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14. The Already Received Punishment

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And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged; The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained; And the waters returned from off the earth continually: and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountains of Ararat. (Genesis 8:1~4)

People Who Try to Be Good

Most people try not to sin and try to be good because they think that they will be cursed by God if they sin. When they first start going to church, they feel that they can do well if they try. They think, “This is great. I will soon become good and holy. Then I’ll be able to go to heaven.” But as they live this way, they commit sins. Then they say, “I’ve made a mistake this time, but from now on, if I try harder, everything will be fine.” And again they try hard to live as good people, but only end up continually sinning. Then they become regretful of their spiritual lives. Spiritual life is not simply trying to become good. The Bible says that we humans have all become dirty and that we are filthy. If we live according to the evil thoughts that arise from the center of our hearts, we would truly become pitiful people. Therefore, no one lives according to whatever arises in their heart, but instead they try to live as good people. However, dirty and evil thoughts still continually arise in their heart. They cannot be good no matter how hard they try because such evil thoughts are springing up from the core of their heart. Even if they do live as good people, it is only on the surface. Their heart inside is all dirty.

To Whom Does the Judgment Come Upon?

Noah’s ark is teaching us things of deep meaning. When God was punishing the world with water because it was filled with wickedness, He did not punish those who stole, committed adultery, or committed murder. He punished those who did not enter the ark when He had said to make the ark and enter it. Who entered the ark and who did not enter the ark? Those who thought, “I will be destroyed if I stay here like this. I’d better enter the ark,” were the ones who entered the ark. Those who thought, “Why would God punish the world? I don’t have to enter the ark because I’ve been a good person,” did not enter the ark and followed their own thoughts. It rained for 40 days during the flood, and those who were cursed and destroyed were those who followed their own thoughts. When we read the Bible, God does not tell us, “Be good. Be honest.” God wants us to throw away the evil and dirty thoughts that are inside of us and coordinate our hearts with His. God wanted to destroy every evil heart with water because we cannot become good no matter how hard we try, since we have such filthy and evil hearts. Then He told man to enter the ark. God wanted to save only those who entered the ark. Only the people who do not follow their own thoughts, but follow the heart of God, can enter the ark. Ultimately, those who did not follow their own thoughts were saved by God, while those who followed their own thoughts were all destroyed.

Forsake Your Thoughts and Return

Genesis chapter 8, verse 1 says, And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark: and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. People remembered by God were inside the ark. People who did not follow their own thoughts, but united their hearts with the Word of God, were the ones who had the same heart of God and were not destroyed. God punished those who had hearts that were different from God. When people get cancer, they remove the cancerous part of the body. If they do not do this, the cancer will spread through the entire body and kill the person. People remove the cancerous part in order to spare the rest of the body. Likewise, if we throw away the parts that are different from the heart of God, we do not have to be destroyed. Isaiah chapter 55, verses 6 and 7 say, Seek ye the Lord while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord. Adam and Eve, the ancestors of mankind, threw away the heart of God, and received the heart of Satan. Man has lived in this state of heart ever since then. Therefore we cannot help but to continue sinning because only hatred, distrust, lust, and ambitions arise in our hearts, regardless of how much good we wish to do. We can only commit evil. Therefore, the Bible says, “Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts.” When God told Noah, “The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth,” Noah threw his thoughts away and his heart became those exact words. “Ah, God is going to punish the world with water.” “Make thee an ark of gopher wood.” “Then we will be okay when the flood comes! God is bestowing grace upon us!” Noah’s heart was like the heart of God, but other people did not receive the heart of God. They were deceived by Satan, believed in their own thoughts, and lived following after those thoughts. “Why would God punish man? He will not punish man. He is just telling us not to sin, to be good, and to live that way.” Everyone followed their own thoughts. They all laughed at Noah who was building the ark. “Noah makes me laugh. He is showing off as if he is the only one who believes in God. If God destroys all of mankind, what kind of a God of mercy would he be? That’s nonsense.” Everyone believed their own thoughts. Then it rained for 40 days and nights, and all those people who were outside the ark and did not enter were cursed and destroyed. The people who had their own thoughts and had not thrown their thoughts away were all destroyed.

Because the Ark Takes the Place

What kind of a heart did Noah, his family, and the animals in the ark live with? They lived not with their own hearts, but the heart of God. Think about it. Would a zebra that roams out in the wild be able to enter the ark according to its own mind? Other zebras would not understand the zebras that were entering the ark. “Hey, why are you going there? Some lions just went in there yesterday. They’ll kill you if you go there. And I bet it’s really stuffy in there. Don’t go in.” That was what all the other zebras thought. However, a thought that this zebra could never have on its own entered it and led it into the ark. This was so with the giraffe, rhinoceros, elephant, ostrich, wolf, and so on. All the animals were led not by their own thoughts to enter the ark, but by the will of God. Whether it was animals or people, those who followed their own thoughts remained outside the ark while those who threw away their thoughts and received the heart of God were inside the ark. Then God allowed the rain to begin. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. In order to cover the highest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest, which is 29,035 feet tall, in 40 days, there has to be 725 feet of rainfall per day. That means there would be about 30 feet of rain per hour. No matter how good a swimmer a person may have been, and no matter how smart he or she may have been, there was no one who could survive this. Everyone who believed their own thoughts were destroyed. People inside the ark are safe. No matter how heavy the rain, people inside will not be rained on. It is because the ark takes the place. This is exactly like a person inside of Jesus. Jesus takes the place of their punishment. Whether we have stolen, committed adultery, committed murder, or whatever sin we may have committed, Jesus received all the punishment we should have received. It is just like the ark completely being rained upon while not a single drop of rain comes upon the people inside. The judgment is over with for us if we are inside Jesus. It is because the punishment Jesus received was the punishment for our sins. Jesus was crucified as the result of us having lived by our own thoughts. The Lord already received the punishment for our sins. Even if we may have stolen, committed adultery, committed murder, or committed any other sin, all those sins and the sins to be committed were all paid for on the cross.

Obtained Eternal Redemption

When Moses went to Mt. Sinai in the Old Testament, God showed Moses, in detail, the tabernacle of heaven. “This is the altar. This is the water laver. This is the bread table. This is the incense. This is the mercy seat. This is the ark.” For 40 days, God showed Moses the tabernacle in heaven very closely. Then He told Moses to build the ark exactly as he saw it, but at a reduced scale on this earth. Moses then called Bezaleel and Aholiab, had gold, silver, bronze, and wood brought over, and built the tabernacle. God through Moses gave Israelites the way to have their sins forgiven. Each time they would sin, they would come to the ark, kill a sheep, put blood upon the horns of the altar, and sprinkle the blood upon the mercy seat. The Israelites followed Moses’ words and received the forgiveness of sin through killing lambs, goats, calves, putting the blood on the horns of the altar, horns of the altar of sweet incense, and sprinkling the blood on the mercy seat. But the tabernacle on earth was an image of the tabernacle in heaven. Sin could not be washed away forever there: it only forgave sins committed right then and there. Now God wants an offering not of the tabernacle on earth, but the tabernacle in heaven. Thus, after Jesus came to earth as the Lamb of God to give Himself as the offering for sin, He did not sprinkle His blood upon the temple on this earth. Jesus, the high priest, took His blood and entered the tabernacle in heaven. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building. (Hebrews 9:11) A more perfect tabernacle not made with hands is not the model built by Moses, but this is saying that Jesus entered the tabernacle that is in heaven. Sins were forgiven through the blood of lambs, goats, and calves in the tabernacle on this earth, but Jesus took His blood and entered the tabernacle in heaven, sprinkled His blood on the mercy seat, and redeemed our sins forever. The priests of the Old Testament only redeemed the sins of that time and could not wash away sins forever. But Jesus, to wash our sins away forever, went to the tabernacle in heaven, not the one on earth, and sprinkled His blood. Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. (Hebrews 9:12) Offerings were given through the blood of goats and calves in the Old Testament, but Jesus obtained eternal redemption through His own blood. He received all the punishment we should have received, and ended all judgment for sin eternally. The Bible tells us that eternal redemption was accomplished through Jesus’ death. When we believe this, we are people who are inside the ark. The judgment Jesus received is not judgment for the sins He committed, but for the sins we committed. God passed the judgment, curse, and destruction that we should have received onto Jesus and Jesus received them. It is with Him that our sins and the judgment for our sins have ended forever. That is why we do not have any sin whatsoever in the eyes of God. In Romans, it says that our sins have been washed away and that we have been justified. There are many words stating this in Hebrews as well. Hebrews chapter 10, verse 17 clearly says, their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. We did commit sins and we will continue to sin, but because the punishment for those sins has already been received on the cross 2,000 years ago, there is no more punishment to be given for our sins.

The Reason Judgment Departs Us

After the 40 days of flooding, God allowed the wind to blow because the judgment was over, and He allowed the waters to assuage. In the same way, God allowed the judgment to depart from our lives. I had clearly sinned. I committed terrible sins and did evil things, but God allowed the judgment to go further and further away from me, so that it can never reach me. . . . God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. (Genesis 8:1) And the waters returned form off the earth continually . . . . (Genesis 8:3) The judgment that we should have received retreated. Surely I was an evil human being who sinned, but the judgment retreated from me. There is no judgment for me. There is no curse for me. It is because Jesus has received all the judgment and curse in my place on the cross. Noah entered the ark, but surely he, too, must have sinned. His wife must have sinned as well as his three sons and three daughters-in-law. But the judgment already came to the earth, and the ark took the judgment instead of them. Therefore, no matter what sin they may have committed, the judgment retreated because there was no more judgment left to be received. The waters retreated, the high mountains could be seen, the ark settled on Mt. Ararat, the waters assuaged further, and Noah exited at a vast peaceful field. Now they did not have to fear the judgment anymore. The judgment was over with. When I think about this, I am so thankful to God. I committed terrible and evil sins and should be destroyed and cursed, but the Lord received all the punishment for my sins on the cross. And for me, the judgment is over with. The curse that I should have received is over with. There is no record of my sin whatsoever in heaven. Even in the memory of God, there is no sin. Then God tells us, “You are righteous. You are holy.” The judgment retreated after the woman taken in adultery met Jesus. It was because Jesus bore her sins, and in her place, received the judgment. Jesus received the judgment for her after she sinned. But for us, He has already received the punishment for our sin completely. Just as this woman did not receive the judgment, we do not receive the judgment in any way as well. All judgment is over with. Curse, plague, and judgment retreat from us, and the peace, grace, blessing, and mercy of Jesus remain in us. How amazing and wonderful this is.

Believe This Truth!

Everyone, believe this truth! Many people during Noah’s flood believed in their own thoughts only to be cursed. You, however, should not believe in your thoughts, but believe the Word of God. The Word of God says that our judgment is over with. It says that our judgment, sins, destruction, and curse are over with. Thus, God had the waters assuaged. God promised that the peace and blessing of God would follow. I preached this gospel after receiving salvation. After people realized these words of promise, I saw how the judgment was truly retreating from them in their lives. I saw curse and plagues leaving them. Jesus was living in them, and the righteousness, holiness, preciousness, and glory of Jesus came upon them. Loving folks, Jesus died on the cross to receive the judgment for your sin. Believe this truth! Your conscience that is inside of you will say loud and clear, “I am a sinner. I have done evil and committed sins.” But consider the Word of God to be greater than the voice of your conscience and believe. Say, “Right, it is true that I have sinned. But the judgment for my sin is over with. The punishment for my sins was received by Jesus on the cross. None of my sins remain. I am as white as snow. I am sanctified.” Believing in this is true faith. When you have this faith inside of you, God will remove the judgment from you and bestow His grace upon you. I have preached the gospel to many people. The Holy Spirit works upon everyone who believes in the truth that their sins have been redeemed. I saw how curse and judgment departed them. I hope that you, too, will believe these words and both realize and have faith that the judgment and curse for your sins are over with and dwell in the Lord. And through this, I hope that the blessing of God will overflow in you.

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