Last summer, I visited the Churches of God in Europe, where I was able to meet many brothers and sisters who worked hard for the gospel with great fervor day and night, following the will of God. From them I got many touching realizations.
If I summarize my impressions of Europe, it was a place of darkness where the light of truth had not yet been fully shone. Since it was in deep darkness, the truth of the Bible was polluted and perverted. Yet, people didn’t recognize it at all. Dozens of sculptures were attached to the outside of a big old church, and the truth of salvation couldn’t be found in it. Nevertheless, people didn’t care about it; they were living so far away from God.
Since God Elohim have come to this earth, there mustn’t be any dark place like that. God calls us the “light of the world,” so we should shine the light of God’s glory on the whole world; if we go to Samaria and the ends of the earth, following the command of Father and Mother, the gospel will be preached quickly to all nations and not only Europe but all the world will become bright with the glory of God. Now, let’s think over what kind of attitude we should have to become the salt and light of the world.
Let me share a funny story with you, which I heard from a brother during a gathering time after the Third Day service in France. The story satirized French people-especially those in the South of France, who have a reputation for having a relaxed attitude to time. Since France has a highly developed social welfare system, most people tend not to like working. This humorous story depicts such social background in France.
There were lazy brothers in the South of France. One day, an electric lamp in their house went out, and they needed to change the light bulb hanging from the ceiling. The older brother, who didn’t feel like working, told his younger brother to change the bulb, but he wouldn’t move at all, saying, “You are taller than me. Why don’t you change it yourself, but tell me to do it?” Since they were so lazy like that, they just kept telling each other to change the bulb, and any of them was not willing to do it. However, as the room was getting dark, it was very inconvenient for them to stay without light. Finally, they agreed to change the bulb together.
The older brother gave his younger brother a pickaback ride, so that he could change the light bulb that was high up. All that the younger brother needed to do was turn the light bulb to take it out and change it with a new one, so that it might come on. The older brother was waiting for his brother to turn the bulb and change it, but strangely enough, there wasn’t any clicking sound above. Then the older brother, who was taking up his brother pickaback with all his strength, reached the limits of his patience and told his brother to hurry up. Then his younger brother’s grumbling voice was heard.
“Why don’t you turn yourself round, but keep telling me to turn the bulb?”
This story not only satirizes the lazy people in the South of France, but it also helps us to reflect on how we are doing in this age. In carrying out the mission entrusted to us by God, if we shirk our obligations to each other, we are like the lazy brothers who just kept telling each other, “You do it,” “No, you do it.” Even though God has given us everything, if we do not make an effort but remain lazy, we will end up like the brother who said, “Why don’t you turn yourself round, but keep telling me to turn the bulb?”
We are entrusted with the mission to be the salt and light of the world. This mission should be carried out by us all-not just by those who are spiritually older or only by those who are spiritually younger. Father and Mother have given us the light bulb and prepared everything for us, and all we need to do is turn the bulb. Nevertheless, if we just wait for someone else to do it for us, it will delay the world mission and the blessings for us will be lost. We should keep this fact in mind.
The world is now waiting for someone to preach the word of God. The people of Zion are entrusted with the mission to go to people around the world and tell them what is falsehood and what is truth. God has taught us what kind of mission we are to do while living in this world as follows:
Therefore do not be partners with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light. Eph 5:7-8
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. . . . Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Mt 5:13-16
God calls us the light of the world and also the salt of the earth. Let’s think about the role of light and salt. The role of light is to drive out darkness and help people recognize correctly what is hidden in darkness, and the role of salt is to prevent decay and purify dirt. Spiritually, we should perform the same mission, so that we can be worthy as those who are entrusted with the mission of salt and light.
In order to carry out this mission faithfully, we should first teach people to discern the truth from falsehood. In the midst of darkness we can see nothing; even though all things are slanted and dirty, we cannot recognize it. Therefore, we, who have received the mission of light from our heavenly Father and Mother, should go and shine the light of truth in every dark place. If we shine the light in darkness, everything that is wrong and distorted will be recognized and corrected.
As the people of Zion go to the barren lands of the gospel and shine the light of truth, many souls are moved by the truth and come to salvation. Since the light of God’s word recorded in 66 books of the Bible is shone brightly in the hearts of people who are living apart from God’s word, they come to recognize what is wrong-what is distorted, and receive the gospel.
They are still thirsty and hungry for the word of God. So, they take great pleasure in studying God’s word which is the spiritual food and the water of life, continuously asking the missionaries from Korea to teach them much more about the truth in the Bible. When I hear such good news about the overseas members or see some of them personally, I become anxious to quickly go to the dark places and carry out the mission of salt and light to correct the wrong and purify impurities. As the children of God, who is light, we should tell them clearly what is wrong and what God wants His people to do. Then many people will realize the will of God and stream to Zion.
Even in the case of lifeless things that make sounds, such as the flute or harp, how will anyone know what tune is being played unless there is a distinction in the notes? Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle? So it is with you. Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air. 1 Co 14:7-9
When we preach God’s word, we should let the gospel trumpet give out a clear sound, not a sound that is ambiguous and confusing if it is the sound of a flute or the sound of a harp. If our gospel message is not clear and those who hear cannot understand what we say-if it means they should keep the Sabbath or they don’t have to keep it-if it means they should keep the Sabbath on Sunday or on Saturday, they will still wander in darkness. Those entrusted with the mission of salt and light should teach them to discern the spiritual things. For this, we must take the perfect word of God with us, and drive away darkness with the light of God’s word.
For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve. 2 Co 11:13-15
The Bible tells us that Satan’s servants, masquerading as apostles of Christ, will appear. In deep spiritual darkness, all who say, “Lord, Lord,” may be recognized as those who believe in God. However, if the bright light of truth is shone in the darkness, people will be able to discern whether they are true prophets or false prophets-whether their faith is true or it is in vain.
No matter how cleverly Satan’s servants masquerade themselves as angels of light, as servants of righteousness, they are supposed to do the work of Satan. Satan has made the law of death in order to deceive the whole world and lead all people to death, while God has made the law of life to lead all people in the world to repentance and to the kingdom of heaven. So, the servants of Satan will continue to strive by every possible means to spread the law of Satan, while the servants of God will make continuous efforts to preach the law of God. As God’s workers, we must clearly tell people what is the law of life and what is the law of death.
He will speak against the Most High and oppress his saints and try to change the set times and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time. Da 7:25
Satan who opposes God has oppressed the saints who believe in God and revere Him, and has changed the law of God and replaced it with his own law. God sternly rebukes those who forsake His law and follow Satan’s law.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel-which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! Gal 1:6-10
“‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.” And he said to them: “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!” Mk 7:6-9
Apparently, Satan’s servants seem to believe in God just as God’s servants do. However, if the light of God is shone on them, the two are clearly and easily distinguished from each other. As God has shone His light in the darkness, it turns out that those who claim to believe in God are actually following the law of Satan, not the law of God, while honoring God only with their lips. The Bible describes what they follow a “different gospel,” or the “rules taught by men.”
. . . The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. Rev 12:7-9
Satan and his angels, who were hurled down to the earth, have completely hidden the light of truth from people and cleverly deceived them, so that the people of the world have forsaken God’s law without feeling guilty and are following Satan’s law which is craftily changed (Rev 13:1-8). However, since the light of God’s glory has been shone in the darkness, it has been discovered that Babylon the Great, mistaken for God’s temple, is actually a dwelling place of demons. God tells His chosen people to come out of her without hesitation, so that they will not share in her sins, so that they will not receive any of her plagues (Rev 18:1-5).
The law of truth, which God has established, serves as the light to expose the identity of Satan’s servants and to prove that we are God’s children. God calls those who keep His law “My children.”
Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring-those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Rev 12:17
This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Jesus. Rev 14:12
Those whom Satan opposes most are the ones who keep God’s commandments. Everyone in the world comes to follow the law of Satan if they do not follow the law of God. However, God’s children faithfully keep what He has commanded, that is, His law, and preach it.
God has commanded us to give all people warning from Him. We should brightly shine the light of the gospel to all the nations of the world. How can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they distinguish the truth from falsehood and have true faith unless they hear? (Ro 10:14-15).
Look upon Zion, the city of our festivals; your eyes will see Jerusalem, a peaceful abode, . . . There the LORD will be our Mighty One. . . . For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; it is he who will save us. . . . and the sins of those who dwell there will be forgiven. Isa 33:20-24
In Zion, where the appointed feasts are celebrated, God has proclaimed the new covenant, the law of God, and He has bestowed the grace of the forgiveness of sins upon those who dwell there.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy” (Ex 20:8). This is a law given by God. “I am going to celebrate the Passover . . .” (Mt 26:18). Saying that, Jesus commanded us, “Do this in remembrance of me” (Lk 22:19-20). This is also a law given by God. Nevertheless, false apostles completely deny those laws of God, and oppose God’s people who keep His laws. In the book of Revelation, who opposes those who obey God’s commandments? The Bible clearly exposes the identity of the false prophets.
Those who follow the law of Satan, not the law of God, can never know God. The people who keep the Sabbath can find God Elohim the Creator, who made all things and rested on the seventh day, through the Sabbath. However, those who keep rules of men cannot find God. The people who keep the Passover of the new covenant can find God the Redeemer, but those who ignore the new covenant cannot come to the grace of redemption which God gives through the Passover. It is because God consecrates His people through His law.
We have received God Elohim in Zion, and keep the law of the new covenant-God’s law-which God has declared in Zion. So, we need to take pride in the fact that we are under the law declared by God, and confidently testify to this fact where we go.
Our heavenly Father and Mother, the true Light, have shone the light of truth on us, by which we can recognize everything, and have led us to the path of life. Now, as children of light, let’s go and shine the light of truth in every dark place. Those who have not yet heard the truth are still in darkness. So, we should go to them, wherever they are, and shine the light of truth on them. Ten candles can produce a brighter light than a single candle, and a hundred candles can produce a much brighter light than ten candles. Likewise, when all the people of Zion hold the lamp of truth high and shine it in every place around the world, all our scattered heavenly family members will recognize the truth and come back into the arms of God.
Shining the light of truth on those who are still in darkness and unable to discern anything, so that they can distinguish the truth from falsehood, and purifying everything that is polluted and corrupt-this is the will of our heavenly Father and Mother who have entrusted us with the mission of salt and light. Let us all carry out this mission faithfully. There are still many people who remain in darkness. Let’s go quickly and bring the light of truth into all the dark places. By doing so, let us find all our lost brothers and sisters and give glory to Father and Mother, as those entrusted with the mission of salt and light.