“The earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa 11:9). Now this blessed and glorious prophecy is becoming a reality. God wants everyone to come to repentance and salvation. Following this will of God, the movement to save the whole world is now being carried out more actively. At this important point in time, we need to think about what we should do.
The saints are those who obey God’s commandments and remain faithful to Christ (Rev 14:12). When the people of Zion hear the word “commandment,” the first thing they think of is the law of the new covenant. Actually, God’s commandments include His law, which Christians should basically keep, and also contain His teachings concerning our mindset. Giving glory to God, loving one another, being considerate of each other, and so on-all these are also God’s holy commands which we, Christians, should observe.
All the words and teachings of God are given for the salvation of our souls, so each and every one of them is very precious to us. Since every command of God is equally precious, we don’t have to think what is more important and what is less important. God repeatedly commanded His people not to add to or subtract from His words, and when Jesus ascended to heaven after finishing His ministry on this earth 2,000 years ago, He commanded us as follows:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you…” Mt 28:18-20
Christ told us to teach people to obey everything He had commanded us, not just a part of His teaching. As Jesus told us, we are now teaching people to obey everything in the Bible, while we ourselves are also learning and practicing it.
Jesus also commanded each of us to “be the one who serves.” This is also a precious teaching of Christ which we should preach to all nations, after we make disciples of them and baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. We need to carefully consider why God repeatedly told us to serve one another, humble ourselves and be slave to each other and personally showed us the example of serving by humbling Himself in front of His disciples, and what Paul meant by saying that though he was free and belonged to no man, he made himself a slave to everyone for the sake of the gospel.
The 13th and last Teaching of Mother also contains the virtue of serving one another. “Even God did not come to be served but to serve. When we serve one another without wanting to be served, God will be pleased.” Keeping these words in mind, we should practice the “virtue of serving” as the children of heaven.
Recently, I read a touching story written by a member of our Church, which reminded me again of the wonderful providence of God.
In Nairobi, Kenya, there is an elephant conservation center that cares for young elephants under two years of age, who have lost their mothers, and trains them to adjust to life in the wild. When an elephant comes in, all the elephants in the center help him adapt to his new environment, being considerate of one another and taking care of younger or sick elephants.
If we take an in-depth look into the lives of the elephants that help younger or weak elephants together, we can fully understand why God told us to serve one another and humble ourselves. Even though they are animals, they graciously help each other. Through them, God teaches us that we, too, should help and serve one another.
I used to think that elephants were just big, strong animals, but now I know there are many things we can learn from them. They do not exert their great strength over others, but use it in serving each other and taking care of one another. Like them, those who are first and hold important positions or titles in Zion should love their brothers and sisters as themselves and take care of them, especially those who are weak in faith, so that they can all go to heaven together. Truly, this is the duty of us all.
Another thing that caught my attention in the story was the following passage that read: “It is very easy to find out who the leader of the elephants is. He is the one who helps other elephants and takes care of them the most.” The leader of the elephants is the one who is most devotional and serves them much more than any other elephant. This gives us a really important and meaningful lesson.
All things in nature were created by God’s will (Rev 4:11). As we consider the will of God contained in all things, we can see that the first and best person in God’s eyes is not the one who gives directions and orders, but the one who serves and helps others, following God’s word.
It is God who is the highest, most exalted One in the universe. God wants His loving children to be a royal priesthood of heaven (1 Pe 2:9). So, He refines them both physically and spiritually, so that they may resemble Him in His holiness through self-sacrificing love, serving one another and taking care of each other on this earth.
If God had wanted us to become the least in the kingdom of heaven, He would not have told us to humble ourselves and serve. “Serve one another.” This teaching of God contains His love and will to exalt us forever.
Jerusalem our Mother also said that God is pleased when we serve one another. The virtue of serving is contained in the teachings of Father and those of Mother as well. Christ teaches us that the one who serves is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Let’s take a look at His teaching again.
Also a dispute arose among them as to which of them was considered to be greatest. Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.” Lk 22:24-27
God Himself showed us the example of serving. If we are the “seed of Christ,” we should take after His example of serving. This is what God has continuously told us to do.
Following Christ’s teaching and example, let’s serve one another. When Christ told us to serve one another, He didn’t mean that we should blindly serve each other, but take good care of one another. By saying that, He meant that we should be concerned about those who have just come in to Zion and also about those who are still weak in faith and help them realize God and have hope for heaven, kindly guiding them to learn everything they need to know.
We ought to help the weak and take care of one another not only in the Church but also in our home and neighborhood. ‘I hold a higher position than you, so you need to listen to me.’ ‘I am first and a leading member, so you have to follow me.’ This kind of thought does not come from God.
Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down, asked a favor of him. “What is it you want?” he asked. She said, “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.” …When the ten heard about this, they were indignant with the two brothers. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mt 20:20-28
Jesus said that the rulers of the world exert their power and authority over people, but that God’s people should not do so. This is the difference between the people who incline toward this world and the people who look toward heaven.
Christ taught us not to exercise authority over others, even though people in the world do that. We may have learned unknowingly many bad habits such as arrogance and selfishness from people while living in this sinful world. However, we live in God now, so we must get rid of all evil and take everything that belongs to God. When we, who have received the truth earlier, graciously obey and follow the teachings of Father and Mother, all the brothers and sisters in Zion around the world will learn and practice God’s teachings fully.
Viewed from a spiritual perspective, this earth is a “refuge,” that is, a prison where the souls, who committed sin in heaven, are confined (Nu 35:1-28; Heb 11:13-16). It may be an everyday occurrence that the sinners in a prison try to rule or dominate over others.
However, it is not Heaven’s will. The children of God, who dwell in Zion-the kingdom of grace, must love one another and take care of each other. If we love our brothers and sisters and take good care of them, we can be a royal priesthood in heaven. That’s why God has given us the mission of a shepherd to take care of His sheep while helping one another.
Jesus repeatedly taught His disciples to serve others.
“Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Mt 18:4
The first and greatest person in Zion is the one who serves the brothers and sisters the most. God evaluates him that way, and says that He will bless such a humble person.
You may have read a fairy tale titled “The Prince and the Pauper.” Their social positions were temporarily reversed, but they returned to their original positions in the end. The pauper, when his position was changed, tried to act like a prince, but it was not easy for him to fit into the life of a prince. On the other hand, the prince came to see the suffering of the people while living a pauper’s life, and this experience helped him become a great king who governed wisely.
Like the prince and the pauper, our position has temporarily changed. Our present position on this earth is not the one that we once had in heaven. Our current appearance is not what we really looked like in heaven. There are many things we, God’s children, must learn through our temporary sufferings on this earth. That’s why God Himself came to this earth and showed us a practical example of sacrifice, humility and service.
While preaching the words of truth in the Bible, if we exclude Christ’s teachings on serving one another and try to reign on the earth, just directing and commanding others, it is an act of the angels who sinned but still do not realize they are sinners. Even though we were beautiful angels in heaven, we committed sin and it changed our position as spiritual sinners. So, we have our own path to walk and our own crosses to bear on this earth; God lets us undergo temporary persecutions and sufferings while we are living in this world. When we overcome all those difficulties, helping one another and taking care of each other, and humble ourselves like little children, we will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Wouldn’t it be far better for us to humble ourselves and serve one another and become a royal priesthood in heaven forever when we go back to the kingdom of heaven, rather than to be served for a short time on this earth and become the lowest in heaven? God teaches us that the greatest in heaven is the person who humbles himself like a child and takes care of the brothers and sisters, always thinking about what is troubling them.
“…When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Lk 14:7-11
We respect God, who personally set an example for us by humbling Himself and serving others, and follow all His teachings. So, we should please our Father and Mother by practicing the virtue of serving in everyday life.
Zion is the place of grace where God dwells and bestows His blessings upon us, isn’t it? The greatest in Zion is the person who serves others the most; he is the best in the eyes of God and angels as well. Although we all keep the Sabbath and the Passover, the one who serves brothers and sisters most graciously will be more greatly blessed by God than anyone else. So, I am afraid whenever I read God’s word. Then I come to reflect upon myself whether I have served my brothers and sisters so that I may become worthy as a royal priesthood of heaven, or whether I have acted as the one in the lead while neglecting to serve others in Zion.
Numerous souls around the world are now continuously returning to Zion. I earnestly ask you, who have been called earlier, to take care of the souls wholeheartedly and show them a gracious example of helping and serving one another, so that they can adjust well to the culture of Zion. Also, I’d like to ask you to preach the truth of the new covenant diligently to those who do not know it yet, always giving all glory to God. Lastly, I want you to engrave in your hearts all the teachings that God Elohim, our Saviors, have given us and put the virtue of serving into practice, so that you can all be a royal priesthood in the kingdom of heaven.