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And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the fourth day. (Genesis 1:16~19)
Moon Reflecting the Sun Light
God made the sun, moon, and the stars on the fourth day. The sun and the moon give us light and hope to warm our hearts. When we carefully read and think about God’s creation of heaven and earth, we see that there is a great providence and secret of God hidden in creation. As you know, if you read the Bible, all scriptures have their mates. Thus, to understand the Bible, one must not study by focusing on one aspect, but must read the whole Bible to find the matches here and there. In Psalms, it says, Which (the sun) is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber. In Genesis it talks about how Joseph speaks of his dreams, saying, “The sun, moon, and eleven stars bowed down to me.” Then his father Jacob says, “Will your father and mother bow down to you?” If the eleven stars represent Joseph’s brothers, the sun and the moon represent the father and mother. Therefore the sun ultimately represents the groom and the moon represents the bride. If we think about this again, the sun represents Jesus who is the groom, and the moon represents the church which is the bride. It may sound like a forced interpretation, but if we read the Bible closely, we can see that God has expressed Jesus and the church in such various ways. In some places, Jesus is referred to as the good shepherd, and in some places, He is expressed as the Lamb of God. It may be confusing because in some places He is a shepherd, and in some places he is a sheep. Jesus is also the vine, the bread of life, and He is also the groom to the church, which is the bride. Let’s think about the sun and the moon a bit more closely. The sun radiates light on its own, but the moon cannot radiate light on its own. The moon can never emit any light without facing the sun. “The moon is bright. The moon is really round,” actually means, “The moon is now reflecting the sunlight. The moon is now facing the sun.” The moon can never radiate light on its own regardless of how badly it wants to, but it automatically emits light if it is facing the sun. We say, “Full moon, half moon, crescent moon . . . ,” but in reality the moon itself does not change from a full moon to a half moon, or to a thin, crescent moon. The moon itself is round whether it is a full moon or a half moon. This is also true even when it is a thin, crescent moon, the shape of your thin fingernail clippings. The moon itself is round and when all of it is receiving the light from the sun, it appears as a full moon. When it is only receiving half and reflecting it, it is a half moon. When almost all of it is covered and only the edge is receiving light and reflecting it, it is then a thin crescent moon. A moonless night does not mean that there is no moon, but it is invisible because it is not reflecting any sunlight.
The Light Shines When We Face Jesus
Everyone, this is about spiritual life. We have no light ourselves. It would be extremely painful if the moon were to try to radiate light on its own, not to mention that it is absolutely impossible. That is how our spiritual life is. I tried to follow the law of God and tried to live the life of light and salt before I was born again. The church taught me, “Ye shall be the light of the world, ye shall be the salt,” and I labored much to live as the light and as the salt. I tried to not sin and tried extremely hard to live according to the word of God. Although I tried, it would not work. It is not so easy to realize, “I am not the light.” One labors and it seems that it is working in the beginning, but because man has filthy, dirty, and dark things within, ultimately, wicked, filthy, dirty actions appear through them. That is why it is meaningless to labor to become the light yourself. I must be bright, holy, and righteous when I go before God. If I were filthy, dirty, and evil, how could I stand before God? That is why I tried very hard to become bright; I tried to become righteous; and I tried to become holy. The church-goers around me did not know me and would say, “Mr. Park is such a good person. Mr. Park is so faithful, and his faith is so good.” There was not one person among the pastors and elders who gave me compliments who really knew me. However, the Bible says that I am “filthy and dirty.” “You are deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” If the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, (Jer. 17:9) how would man smell? He would smell rotten, disgusting, and nasty. He would not smell good. But amazingly, if the moon that cannot emit any light shines brightly over the garden, how amazed people become! Right then, people say, “Hey, the moon is bright.” They do not say, “The sun is bright.” The light the moon is projecting, is it actually moonlight, or sunlight? It is sunlight. The moon only receives the sunlight and reflects it like a mirror, but people say, “The moon is bright.” One day, I realized this fact deeply in my heart. The providence of God who made the sun and the moon teaches us this fact. We can live a life of light by reflecting the light radiating from God not because of our own effort and labor to not sin, to keep the law, and to live as a good person. But when we look to Jesus, the holy light of Jesus shines upon our hearts. The light that shined on me shines on others.
It Cannot Be Done Through the Law!
Most people are deceived by Satan and cannot think properly. They think that if they zealously keep the law and do well according to the word, they would be able to go to heaven. But this is not so with people who know how to think further. They are freed from such one-dimensional thinking and think deeper. If fish knew how to think a little when a fisherman fishes, they would never bite the fish hook. “Hey, these worms don’t live in the sea, so what is this guy doing here? And there is a string connected to the end of the worm! The string goes up! There is a person at the end of this string holding a stick! Ah, it’s a fishing pole! Ah, people are trying to capture us fish!” The fish would realize this. If the fish had that much wisdom, fishing itself would be no more because fishermen would not be able to catch any fish. However, the fish do not have that wisdom. They only think to simply bite food. They instinctively bite the food and do not have the rationale to think deeply. The Bible says, but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, (Jude. 1:10). There are many people who think with their natural instincts. They do not have the capacity to think deeply, so they simply think, “God told us to keep the law, so I’ll be fine if I keep the law.” But people who have thought deeper than this say, “Ah, it is impossible for me to keep the law!” “My heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. How could anything good come from it? Only evil, filthy, lustful, and deceitful things come from me!” That is right. How can we change such hearts as ours into something good? It is impossible. We realize this when we gain wisdom. Some people who calculate the chronicles of the Bible say that the law came down in 1491 B.C. The law was received by Moses from God on Mount Sinai approximately 1,500 years before Jesus came. Many people tried to keep the law until Jesus came, but there was not one person who kept the law perfectly. Apostle Paul, in Romans chapter 3 tells us, “People who have broken even one law are the same as those who have broken them all. Thus, no one can become righteous before God through keeping the law perfectly.” If the wisdom of God comes to me, I can think, “Ah, I cannot keep the law! I cannot become righteous through the law!” and realize this is true. However, if I fall into my own foolish thoughts without the wisdom of God, I end up simply thinking, “I’ll be fine if I keep the law well.” God made the sun and the moon to teach us that we cannot become righteous and holy through zealously laboring to keep the law. Jesus, Himself, is light and because there is no darkness in Him whatsoever, the sun represents Jesus. Then we are the moon. The moon does not labor or try to radiate light on its own, but it automatically emits light without even knowing it as long as it is facing the sun. It means that all we need to do is receive the light of Jesus.
My Heart or the Heart of Jesus?
I once was invited to a leper colony and went there to preach the gospel. It was my first time going to a leper colony so I was worried. “How will I eat? How will I sleep?” It was a great burden in my heart that I had to live one week with lepers. One day, about three days before the conference was to begin, I went to the chapel early in the morning to pray. I knelt down and prayed, and while praying for a long while, a Bible verse came to mind. The story of Jesus going to Bethany to Simon the leper’s house came to mind. Then one heart entered me. “Even someone as noble as Jesus entered a leper’s house. How could such a lowly person as I hesitate to go to a leper colony!” Peace came to me as I had this heart. Then I had another heart that said, “You are a cold patient if you catch a cold, you are a tuberculosis patient if you catch tuberculosis, and you are a leper if you get leprosy. Lepers are not special! If the Lord gives me leprosy, then I can be a leper today!” That was not my heart. My heart was feeling burdened and hesitant of going to the leper colony, but the heart I received while praying that early morning was not my heart but the heart of Jesus. At that moment, I felt as though it would not be burdensome for me even if I were to hug and kiss the lepers. When I went to the leper colony with this heart, it did not feel strange at all to be eating, sleeping, and swimming together with the lepers in the river. That year, I visited seven leper colonies, doing Bible conferences, and I received the grace of having many lepers become born again. I know without a doubt that the heart to be hesitant was my very own heart, and that the heart of peace, with no hesitation, was the heart of Jesus. I also know that I cannot understand the Scriptures through my own thoughts, wisdom, or methods. The Holy Spirit of God had me understand the Bible. Before, I simply thought, “God created the sun, the moon, and the stars.” But, one day the wisdom of God came upon my heart and made me realize this: “That’s right, it is not that I have to radiate the light through my zealous effort, but I only need to look to Jesus who is the true light! I am not a being that radiates light, but I am one who reflects light. If I look to Jesus, the light of Jesus shines upon my heart. And when my heart is filled with the light of Jesus, that light will naturally shine to other people. As long as I am reflecting the light of Jesus, I become a light to other people!”
Seeing With My Eyes, and Seeing Through the Eyes of the Word
I used to go to church and tried to live as a good person, but I could not even do one thing right. One day, I realized in my heart, “I truly cannot do good or righteous deeds. I cannot keep the law,” and I gave up and distrusted myself. From then on, I was able to have hope in Jesus Christ. That is why, although I did not live righteously, the righteousness of the righteous life of Jesus became mine. Just as the moon receives the sunlight exactly as it is, I, too, went before God and received the righteousness of Jesus exactly as it was. Jesus bore my wicked life, my filthiness and lowness, and went to the cross. On the other hand, the holiness, righteousness, truthfulness, and the cleanliness of Jesus were given to me. I am not clean or righteous in my own eyes, but in the Scriptures, it says that Jesus gave all of Himself to us. He gave His life, His righteousness, His holiness, and His name to us. Therefore, Jesus is inside of me. Whether I feel it or not, regardless of my feelings, God says that He has given it to us, then He has. God’s word is correct; not my judgment. Last year, I caught malaria in Africa. I did not know I had malaria. I felt cold while I was in Johannesburg, South Africa, and I thought I had only caught a cold. I went to Tanzania and the missionary’s wife in Tanzania looked at me with worried eyes. “Pastor, what’s wrong?” “Uh, I think I have a cold.” “Pastor, this is Africa. It could be something really bad!” So, I immediately went to the hospital. There was a hospital five minutes away from the church. The doctor took a needle, pricked my finger, took the blood, placed it on a slide, and looked at it under a microscope. Malaria germs were found. The doctor said, “Malaria,” to me, and gave me two pills called fansida and told me to take them. I took them and I was easily cured from malaria. No matter how much I look at the blood with my eyes, I cannot see the malaria germs. But the malaria germs were seen through the microscope. Which eyes are more accurate? The eyes of the microscope, of course. It would be foolish to exert, “There is no malaria here. All I see is blood!”
Then My Sins Are Washed Away!
Although it may seem in my eyes that Jesus is not inside of me and that my sins were not washed away and still remain, the word of God records that Jesus forgave all of my sins on the cross and that the righteousness of Jesus has been given to me. Because of this, I believe that the judgment of God is correct, rather than believe my feelings or thoughts. This is where many people are deceived. That is what the word of God says, but in your heart it feels as though you have sin and are pricked by your conscience. Because your heart cannot eliminate this, you hesitate for a bit and say, “I’m a sinner.” You may not see malaria germs with your eyes, but the eyes of the microscope see the malaria germs. Which eyes are correct? Which eyes should you believe in? Because the microscope could see more closely, I believed that I was a malaria patient. That is why I took the medicine. Likewise, although it seems that you are a sinner in your eyes, you are righteous if the word of God says that you are. “Ah, in my eyes it does not seem so, but if the word of God says that the righteousness of Jesus has been given to me, then I am righteous! I am holy!” Therefore, it is not that you should search for good within yourself or strain to create your own righteousness, but you should receive into your heart the fact that Jesus Christ washed your sins away through His own blood and has given you His righteousness. That is what faith is. “Yes, Jesus did not have sin, but He was crucified. He was nailed to the cross for me. Jesus was crucified for my sins. Then my sins are washed away!” Amen? Jesus took all of your sins away and gave you His righteousness. From then on, the Lord’s light shines on your heart and you become the light. You are not the light, but others call you a light because the light of the Lord is shining through you. Just as they say, “The moon is bright,” instead of saying, “The sun is bright,” when they see the moon, people call you righteous, not through your righteousness, but through seeing the righteousness of Jesus. Loving folks, the sun radiates light by itself, but the moon cannot emit light on its own. Likewise, Jesus is the light and is righteous, but we are dirty and dark. That is why we must receive the light of Jesus. We must look to the Lord. We become the light as well without even knowing it when we look to the Lord. Do not try to do good and be righteous yourselves, but look to the fact that Jesus has given you righteousness and holiness. The Bible says, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1) It says that sins and iniquities will I remember no more (Heb. 10:17), and that our sins have been washed as white as snow (Is. 1:18). Now, we must not make decisions based upon our own judgment, but we must believe the judgment of the word of God. When you do so, you can live the bright life of the light and be strengthened by the righteousness of God, living a righteous, holy life.