A bigwig among the big figures or officials within the Israel Jewish government had walked into the net of Jesus.
As Jesus was conversing with Nicodemus, Jesus said a very important core message to us.
How to receive salvation and how to be born again. Is there a difference between salvation and the rebirth of Spirit?
Repeat after me, “Difference between salvation and the rebirth of Spirit.” We will be blessed with this subject.
Even after receiving Jesus and properly believing in Jesus will not be easy at all. Moreover, you will encounter an event in which you must experience.
This event is about being born-again.
I mean to say, being born-again is to be rebirth by the Holy Spirit. We cannot be born-again through our own effort and will.
Only when Father God and the Holy Spirit work among us, we will become born-again. This is the rebirth of Spirit.
It will be great if we are able to see the Holy Spirit with our eyes. But the Holy Spirit is God who can not be seen with eyes or is touched.
obviously, the Holy Spirit has Father God’s image and exists but we have limited knowledge to understand it all. The Holy Spirit is like Fire, Wind, and He is a Comforter
The bible has many statements such as Father God has sent another Comforter.
The Holy Spirit witnessed to us through His activity. The Holy Spirit is God who works and manifests to us like Fire and Wind. Hallelujah!
The Holy Spirit has several names even though the bible does not state a lot of times.
John 14 verse 16 and 26 states, “Another Comforter” “The Holy Spirit who will be sent by Father in the name of Jesus.” “God’s promised Holy Spirit.”
The bible expressed the Holy Spirit as God.
For how long has God the Holy Spirit existed?
Genesis 1:2, “The earth was shapeless, a chaotic mass, and the Spirit of God brooding over the dark vapors.”
We can know that the Holy Spirit existed even before eternity. Hallelujah!
Through theology school and church, you may have heard about it already.
We have obtained the comprehension of God. God the Holy Spirit is Trinity God. The God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Trinity God is three persons but yet they are One. We can’t fully comprehend all the status of God.
In a theological term, “Three persons in the Trinity God.” Father God is considered the first person among Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit… In other words, they have individuality.
But due to God’s essence when it comes to His attributes, Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit have much equal power and are the same. Only when it comes to doing work in certain areas, there is a little difference.
At night, a man name ‘Nicodemus came to Jesus.
The other day, to Peter and to the other disciples, Jesus said, “I will make you fishers of men.”
When the disciples observed Jesus closely, they realized that whenever Jesus encountered people, He utilized different types of method to handle each individual. Jesus spoke about all different types of problems.
In John chapter 4, Jesus spoke about the true worshipers worshipping the Father in the Spirit and truth. Jesus speaks about worship with a woman who came to the well in Samaria.
Jesus also spoke about the Holy Spirit.
Nicodemus speaks more specifically.
Nicodemus asked a question to Jesus. But first, he realized Jesus came from Father God. He realized because Jesus performed power. Jesus performed the power that no one was able to perform.
Even John the Baptist could not perform such power. Jesus spoke/preached exceptionally.
Therefore, Nicodemus heard about such things about Jesus. Jesus brought a new paradigm.
Jesus brought a new type of salvation. A new type of worship. Jesus brought a new type of salvation and spoke about it.
Until the days of John the Baptist, according to the Law, they taught fasting and the Word of God. But Jesus said, “I am the Son of God!” Such a statement will get you killed from being stoned.
“No one comes to the Father except through Me.” People thought only through the Law they were able to obtain salvation. But Jesus told them, “I am the way and the truth and the life.”
Then what about the Law? The Law is not supposed to be abolished but to be fulfilled. Jesus was saying, “I am the One that fulfills it.”
In our days, there is a cult group in Korea “The Witnesses of Jesus Church of God. Ahn Sahng-Hong”, the founder claimed that he is the Holy Spirit and Jesus. His wife claimed “I am the wife of God”
In the days of Jesus, what Jesus had proclaimed was huge. A shocking thing.
Jesus suddenly appeared to people and told them “I am the Son of God.” This was already written in the bible.
Joel 2:28, “Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.” This statement was spoken vaguely. This statement was spoken like it was going to happen in the far future, someday in the last days. But it had begun earlier than they thought.
In the days of the disciples, while they followed around Jesus, the power of God began to manifest. Hallelujah!
There are born of flesh and born of the Spirit. Nicodemus wanted to understand the meaning of it but he could not understand.
Nicodemus could not obtain the understanding because he had an obstacle.
Due to this very obstacle, Nicodemus came to Jesus at night.
But Jesus did not point out his own obstacle and condemned it as a sin.
Instead, Jesus gently began to resolve his problem. ““Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things?”
In order for us to know the spiritual things, and to know the certain doctrine and theology, we learn. But when it comes to regarding being born again, salvation, the power of Holy Spirit, and holy gifts of the Holy Spirit,
there will be some kind of obstacles. The first obstacle is sin.
Due to sin the nature that has been generated and created within us, as long as sin nature is within us, we will never be able to fully understand 100%.
The Holy Spirit comes like Fire and Wind. How can we ever be able to fully comprehend the Holy Spirit? Hallelujah!
Nicodemus came because he felt thirst.
“What will happen when a person dies? What is the rebirth of Spirit?” He continuously asked. But the core word of Jesus was about sin. The problem of sin had to be resolved. Hallelujah!
In order to resolve the problem of sin, the book of John chapter 3:16 was given.
So then, in order to be born again, we must have our problem of sin resolved. Jesus said, “You must be born again with Water and the Holy Spirit.”
Water represents Baptism and it expresses the washing away sin. It is only the outwardly sign displayed physically.
In other words, sin must be washed away.
The Holy Spirit is literally the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is Pneuma.
The people who are born again have received the Holy Spirit.
People have flesh, living in the flesh, therefore due to self-interest and desires of the flesh, people are being disciplined, and suffer. Hallelujah!
People who live within Jesus has the spirit of Jesus and they are led by the Holy Spirit.
Our Lord helps for all people’s salvation. He helps people for them to be born again. Hallelujah!
All the people are praying to have their problem resolved. It is also a sign of being thirsty for eternity.
Repeat after me, “I have a sign of being thirsty for eternity.” The sign is praying as we come before God, the sign is to try to be filled with the Holy Spirit, the sign is to be on our knees asking God, seek God, and knock!
This is something that we must always think about. Even though you have received the Holy Spirit, you must live your life not to extinguish the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit dwells within you. Therefore, the Holy Spirit supposed to flow outwardly from within through your spirit, soul, flesh and in all areas of your lives.
If the Holy Spirit is not flowing outwardly from within, you must examine what areas in you/your life had you extinguished the Holy Spirit.
Israel’s teacher Nicodemus belonged to the Pharisees party.
He asked about being born again with the Holy Spirit. Being born with the Spirit is not going to be accomplished by training, and education.
Born of the Spirit will happen like the wind. This will happen within one moment like blowing of the wind. And a person will suddenly be born again with the Holy Spirit.
Salvation begins with Jesus, but when it comes to being birthed with the Spirit, it belongs to the Holy Spirit and Jesus.
All kind of spiritual experience, such as healing of the sick, performing the power, and even receiving salvation begins with the rebirth of Spirit.
At night, Nicodemus came, but he did not how to satisfy his spiritual thirst.
Like us, Nicodemus also pursued God. He was a good, honorable and honest man. He was humble, morally upright, very religious, ethical, and one of the most upper-class men with virtue.
But Jesus treated as though these good traits were irrelevant to becoming born again.
“It does not matter even though you teach well with the Law, even though you are a famous teacher of Israel, and even though you teach things regarding the Law, you will not be able to fix things that are born of flesh.
Because God desired to raise up and use a man like myself, He had to discipline me, He had to place me to rock bottom,
Last time, a lawyer came and began crying. Tears had gathered at the bottom of his eyeglasses. Deacon Lee came and wiped his glasses.
The lawyer continuously shed tears. I thought he was going to leave, but he stayed.
In the city of Kang Nam, Seocho District, he has his law firm office.
Nicodemus asked a question to the Lord. But the Lord continuously answered him about the Holy Spirit and life.
Nicodemus continuously asked only about outward action. “What should I do to be saved? What must I do to be born again? What is being born again? What is salvation?”
He continuously asked about some kind of an outward action.
But the Holy Spirit continuously talked about the power of the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!
People continuously ask in prayer with some kind of prayer request and problems.
But God will first talk to you about spiritual restoration and about being touched by the grace of God above other things. “You must receive the power of the Holy Spirit and if your spirit is restored,
and if your sin problem is resolved, everything will be added on to you. Hallelujah!
You will come and pray regarding a certain problem, you will pray because your spiritual thirst, and you will pray when you are tired and due to a heap of problems,, but the first thing must be that you must first be truly be touched by God and His grace.
When you are truly touched, your sick body will get healed, your spirit will be restored, and the sensible, spiritual power to view certain situations will be created within you.
You will obtain wisdom. When you encounter situations, you will know the priority. You will create a priority list within your thoughts and know what to carry out first. “I need to do this first. This should be done first. I will do that the next.”
God will grant wisdom and knowledge, and you will progress orderly. This way, there won’t be failure and mistake.
Even if you encounter many complicated events, you will not be fussed about it. You will feel at ease.
Repeat after me, “If you are touched by God and His grace, you will be laid back.” Hallelujah!
God has created special means for people. Which is, God has granted a spiritual ability to all people.
There is something that we can do with this spiritual ability. Because of spiritual means and spiritual ability, even if we have all thing in this world, we will still be thirsty.
It is because we have spiritual function/ability within us.
Therefore, we must be born again. Being born again is not a matter of our thinking, emotion, and will.
It is totally the matter of spiritual means within us.
Because we utterly have a spiritual problem, we feel thirsty, distressed, hurt…
Only the hidden spiritual ability will be able to contact with God.
This is why we must speak spiritual language many times. You call this praying in tongue.
The more you possess the spiritual ability, you will be able to resolve the problem faster.
It will be great if you speak in spiritual language. If your spiritual ability gets restored, it will be even better.
Call out the name of the Lord, cling to the Word of the Lord and receive Him, then God the Holy Spirit will spiritually touch us.
When God spiritually touch and comes upon us, our spirit, soul, and even body’s ability will be restored.
I’ve experienced a very special incident today. This is a personal thing.
As the US conference approaches, the evil spirits attacked me. They harass me intensely.
Early today, I had a meeting with someone. Before a meeting, I finally went to bed to sleep at around 8 o’clock in the morning.
I do not like to sleep because I do not like to enter into the unconsciousness. In order for your body to be restored, you need to sleep certain hours a day.
But ever since the Holy Spirit is specifically present with me, sleeping for me has been difficult.
Sometimes I sleep one hour to thirty minutes. Especially on Sundays, I only sleep one hour to thirty minutes. I toss and turn even in that one hour period although I close my eyes and try to sleep.
Therefore, I feel fatigue by Sunday evening.
So I told my wife, “Samonim, go ahead and sleep first. I have a hard time sleeping now.”
I drank about two cups of cold water from the water dispenser. But every time I drink, in that cup, I saw fangs of the evil spirits.
I saw from the bottom of its nose to its mouth. I saw fangs with blood around its mouth. Whether it hissed or not, I drank the water.
I was like, “I will drink one more cup of water.” But the same evil spirit’s mouth with fangs was reflecting above the water. But I ignored it and drank the water again.
Then I laid down on my sofa and closed my eyes. When I am in the most tired and weary condition, that’s when the evil spirits madly attack and make me even more tired.
At my feet and by my bedside, the appearance of two young female evil spirits appeared. They began to cuss and swear.
They unceasingly cussed and swore. Then they screamed, “Why are you doing this!! Why do you harass us!! Why are you bothering us!!”
I hated the very sight of them. I usually sleep side way curl up. I rarely sleep on my back. So because I hated the very sight of the evil spirits, I began to try to sleep on my side way curled up on the sofa.
My spiritual eyes began to open up as I tried to sleep. Sleeping is tough for me.
A long time ago, I used to sleep very well as soon as I lay down. I even snored.
Once your spiritual eyes are fully opened, your life will become tough.
I don’t even remember but one of the alumni pastors told me that I already had my spiritual eyes opened. He said I prayed to have my spiritual eyes closed. I think I bluffed a lot when I was a youth pastor.
I asked him, “When did I say that?”
Anyways, as I tried to sleep, my spiritual eyes opened up. I was seating right in front of the throne of God. Hallelujah! It was great until something happened.
As I was seating right in front of the throne of God, the devil appeared again. And it was right next to me.
I did not know whether the devil wanted to report or accuse of me but, it said something as it shook its head.
The devil said, “You bastard!! You bastard!!” He poured out all kind of ruthless curses and swore with body gesture.
But he dropped its head in front of God.
Then the Lord appeared right side of me.
“Lord! I feel like I’m going to go insane because of him! I really want to beat him up!” Then the Lord said, “Go ahead. Do it at your pleasure”
It is a very graceful thing. The Lord had permitted me to beat the devil up as much as I desire in front of the throne of God!
The scene was like the things that had occurred from the book of Job chapter 1 and 2.
When I was writing the books, “Baptism of blazing holy fire.” I experienced such a scene. Ever since then, this time, I’ve experienced it once more.
So when I asked the Lord, “Can I beat the devil up?” The Lord had unrestrainedly given me permission.
Therefore, I began to punch the back of his head a few times. “You…you… you…!!” The devil looked at me with piercing eyes.
Then the Lord restricted the devil with His eyes. Then the devil shrank.
If you ever experience this, do not beat up the devil. It’s because I only move under the specific permission within particular areas.
I felt a great detestable towards the devil and I wanted to beat him up. So I punched his back and kicked him. But no matter how hard I tried, the devil pretended as though he was hurting, he did not even budge.
I’ve beaten him up by punching him from the top of his head to his back.
When I saw him the last time, his appearance was of a monster. But this time, he changed his appearance similar of a human.
I don’t know how long I had beaten him up.
Even though the devil said, “It hurts!” I think it was more likely because of the authority, power and the Word of the Lord.
The Lord said, “Pastor Kim, it is enough. It’s enough for you now.”
I said, “Lord, the devil orders his subordinates to harass each and every matter of our church members and blocking our pathway as they interfere each and every affair!”
The Lord said, “I know it all. That is why you guys must pray and live a holy spiritual life. You need to receive more of the overflowing power of the Holy Spirit.” Hallelujah!
So for two hours, I’ve had this experience.
When the Holy Fire just began, we asked the Lord, “Lord! We would like to visit hell and beat the devil up, he harasses us!” The Lord had permitted specifically in certain areas for us to carry out certain actions.
but whenever we beat up the devil in hell, the right next day, we’ve encountered some kind of an incident of retaliation.
Such as, church members get into a fight, my children were beaten by somebody, my car was smashed and crushed, the sound mind of people suddenly changs, on top of all this, the landlord of our church building tried to kick us out.
Some drunks came and threw bricks and broke the church window glasses. All kind of incident occurred.
You must be very cautious when it comes to provoking the devil more than you can handle.
It was a very unique experience once more.
Let us go back to the main sermon, we have to thirst for the eternal life. This is a matter that we are always concern about.
About salvation and the rebirth of Spirit, what’s the difference?
Salvation means, our spirit becomes alive. Hallelujah! When we believe in Jesus, we receive salvation. Hallelujah!
When you believe in Jesus and have your spirit comes alive, this means being rebirthed.
In today’s verse, Jesus said that we must be born of water and the Spirit.
First thing, those who are saved must go through the process of the rebirth of the Spirit.
Repeat after me, “The one who received salvation must become born again.”
Can a person who has received salvation not experienced the rebirth of the Spirit? Yes or no?
The answer is Yes.
What it means…it can be difficult to understand.
Where is the place to be born again people will surely go? It is heaven. Hallelujah!
Let’s say that you have been saved in the name of Jesus and you have inherited the eternal life.
But when you become born again, you must walk the path of obedience.
But even after you’ve become born again and do not walk the path of obedience, you can lose your salvation.
This is why I spoke about Apostle Paul regarding salvation. There is a salvation that is like past tense, present tense and future tense.
In the book of Philippians chapter 2, Apostle Paul expressed, “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”
Repeat after me, “Every day, we must work out salvation.” What does this mean?
The meaning of “working out salvation daily” is, the importance of our life that works out our salvation.
We continuously live our life. If we have received salvation, we need to diligently move for the Kingdom of God.
What it means is that, you must completely die to yourself, and to live a life that is led by the Holy Spirit. This is the life of a person who is born again.
Salvation is, God called us and lead us to believe in Jesus. And in this world, you have become a born-again person with the power of the Holy Spirit.
But in the bible, there are vaguely expressed verses as well. Even though we are not able to express all, let us properly express faith.
People receive salvation. But within these people, some are acting accordingly and fits salvation. When Jesus expressed heaven, he talked about 10 wise and foolish virgins. He talked about 5, 2, 1 talent(s). It was about servants with talent(s).
Although these people received salvation, it seems like the Lord is picking people who act accordingly that fits salvation.
There is a purpose to pick out certain people who fit salvation.
What does it mean? Let’s say, there are 10 brides who are waiting for the Bridegroom.
They all heard the voice of the Bridegroom. But only those who have properly prepared went into the wedding ceremony with the Bridegroom.
the left out 5 virgins finally realized that they lacked making sure of having enough oil, lighting up of fire, and preparation of adorning themselves as a chaste bride in their daily lives.
People may think, “I have it all prepared!” in their daily lives, but on the Bridegroom’s arrival day, their oil can run out and their lantern light can become dimmed.
You are the bride of Christ and you have received qualification to be the bride. But at that very crucial moment, you can be pushed to the back and disqualified.
As a holy bride, one can be disqualified. It’s not like God says, “You are not qualified as a holy bride!”
But rather, in the process of you working out your salvation in your daily life, you are lacking in preparation as a holy bride.
Among 10 virgins, only 5 was qualified as a holy bride. They were divided into 5 genuine and 5 fake brides. After the 5 brides entered into the wedding ceremony, the door had shut.
No matter how much people speak about the importance theologically and with doctrine, we must face and experience reality.
the Parable of the talents, the Master told the servants to make a profit with the utmost efforts until He returns. With their master’s one statement, the servants who had received 5 and 2 talents went immediately and traded with the money and doubled their investment.
They thought, “In my daily life, I do not know when my Master will come to count and check!” Therefore, they had put their utmost effort to buy and sell. Our Master is such a person.
But the servant who has received 1 talent misunderstood and distorted the idea of his Master.
He had put his own way and thoughts in the utmost effort and guarded the 1 talent. His method was wrong.
His method was digging the ground, and burying it. He had guarded it day and night in case of the thief who might dig it out and steal it.
But that was not the method of the Master. When the Master returned, the servant was only able to give the principle.
“If I only wanted the principle from you, I did not have to entrust any talent to you. It would have been better if you had put it in the bank. This way, you could have brought me an interest in the principle!”
So the Master took the 1 talent away and gave it to the servant who has worked hard and faithfully unto death.
Repeat please, “You must be even more faithful /loyal when it comes to the kingdom of God.” In heaven, those who were faithful unto death shines like stars of the sky.
You must evangelize more. You must be a servant who prays, sacrifice and serves more. Do not be a servant who tries a little and says, “I’M EXHAUSTED AND TIRED! I CANNOT DO IT ANYMORE!!
But be a person who keeps on Striking a blow to your body and nail your desires and greed to the cross. “I need to do more, and I need to pray more.”
In these days, I have some problems. “Ah, tired. I am exhausted. I want to rest today.” Without even realizing, I say these statements.
Whenever these thoughts come in, I force myself and drag my feet to church and kneel down on my knees on the altar. When I do this, God grants me strength and power.
Even though I’ve received the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit grants me more of Him. Because we are still in the flesh, we become weary and tired. When we cry out, “God!! Father!!” The power will turn into the new strength.
Without realization, if we say, “I am already becoming 60..70…It’s time to retire. I have 3 grandchildren already. I’ve done enough already.” Then our thinking and flesh will become degenerate.
And you will feel like things do not go according to your will.
Repeat please, “Nevertheless, we must pray. Nevertheless, we must pray!” Hallelujah!
You must always be in a prepared state. You must have reverential fear. The bible expressed as though salvation can drift away.
Even your holy gifts can drift away. Your salvation can drift away. Your faith can become weak. We always have to know that we all have the possibility of becoming altered to the corrupted ways.
By knowing it, we will humble ourselves and go lower.
Do not become loosened.
When you go to this factory, it has a sign stating, “Wipe, tighten and lubricate.”
In general term, “born of water” speaks about water baptism.
But the meaning of “born of water” is, even though water baptism is important, the true meaning is “Repenting of your old life(man).”
That is to say, we have to be born of water and the Holy Spirit. When you are water baptized, you are basically announcing before people. But you need to go beyond this level.
In order for you to produce fruit worthy of repentance, you must go back to the Word. You must follow and obey the Word. Therefore, you are being baptized with water.
This regards the changing of your consciousness and thinking.
“I’m a Christian! My thinking must be changed! My behavior must change!” Change of your consciousness. “I need to die on the cross!”
We need to die like Jesus. We need to nail ourselves on the cross. Hallelujah!
When it comes to the rebirth of the Spirit, water is not enough.
You do not become a new person with changed consciousness.
Repeat please, “By the power of the Holy Spirit. By the power of the Holy Spirit.” When the Holy Spirit powerfully works, you will transcend water baptism.
The power of the Holy Spirit will transcend your consciousness, thinking, and mind.
God will completely overturn your thinking, mind, consciousness, and actions! Hallelujah!
If water baptism represents changes of your consciousness, the baptism of holy fire and the rebirth of the Holy Spirit will also change your actions and behavior.
The way you speak and all will be changed! Hallelujah!
If your thinking, emotions, and will changes, you will literally be the new creation in Christ. Only with water, it will be difficult for you to become a new creation and it takes a very long time.
If you want to be a new creation in Christ, you need to receive the Holy Spirit.
You need to experience the spiritual rebirth.
Although the Holy Spirit dwells within you now, the Holy Spirit can be extinguished if you do not rely on the power of the Holy Spirit and you become weakened.
The power of the Holy Spirit may try to flow but the flow will break and begin to become weakened. The presence of the Holy Spirit only stays within your spiritual consciousness. The presence and the power of the Holy Spirit are not within your thinking, heart, and actions. When the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit become weakened, it is not because the Holy Spirit is weak, but rather,
the cause will be the way of your thinking. The thought goes toward weakness. Then the work of the Holy Spirit will be extinguished.
When this happens, Satan will come into you and will challenge you. “Are you sure you have received the Holy Spirit? I know you have received holy gifts a while back. But look at yourself and condition! Ah, you look great(mockingly)!”
When the power of the Holy Spirit weakens within you, the devil will attack and challenge you. When this happens, even if you want to block the attack, you will not have power left to guard. Say Amen!
This is why you must put utmost effort and shout out with all your heart as you pray! “Please help me!! Please work for me!! Lord!! Deliver me and restore me!!”
Whether you are young or old close to the death, you must rely on God, you must cry out and pray “Help me!”
Even when you die, “Lord! I’m coming! I am prepared!” What a nice death!
It will be great dying in such a way.
In reality, defining salvation is difficult. Therefore Jesus said, “For the Spirit-wind blows as it chooses. You can hear its sound, but you don’t know where it came from or where it’s going. So it is within the hearts of those who are Spirit-born!”
When the Lord talks about the parable of the holy bride, He is telling us that the holy bride must always self-exam daily and be prepared daily.
When the Lord talks about Talent(s), He is telling us to be faithful and be loyal unto death. You may not know exactly how, but
you must put your utmost effort and try to be faithful as best as you can! And make a profit! Those who make a lot of profit, God will grant even more on top of it. He will even take away talents from the other servants who could not make any profit! God will grant many more and abundantly!
The rebirth of the Spirit cannot occur through training and education.
We can study the rebirth theoretically, but in reality, only through spiritual experience and power, we will experience the rebirth of the Spirit. Hallelujah!
We will jump over to such a level after we resolve the matter of sin.
Today, please rely on the Holy Spirit, and pray fervently. Amen.
Sermon by Pastor Kim, Yong Doo
Head pastor of the Lord’s Church, Korea
Author of Baptize by Blazing Fire book series
Translated by Pastor Steve & Yoojin Kim
Pastors of Fire of God Church in San Francisco (Fremont)
Fire of God Church is a branch church of the Lord’s Church, Korea and is under the spiritual covering of head Pastor Kim, Yong Doo