And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf. And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me. (Genesis 37:5~9)
The Accurate Diagnosis
People who do not know spiritual life for the most part think that if they pray diligently, read the Bible, keep the law, and be good their spiritual life will go well. But one needs to receive an accurate diagnosis of his spiritual life if he is to live true spiritual life.
I was once hospitalized. There were red spots appearing on my buttocks which then spread through my entire body. Someone visiting me saw these and said that they were from my body overheating. He told me that fresh-squeezed bean sprout juice was the best for getting rid of this kind of heat. The juice smelled terrible but I drank a lot of it anyways, but I was not healed. Another person told me that I should drink a three-bean tea made from red beans, green beans, and black beans. I did, but I was not healed at all.
So I asked to see the chief dermatologist at the hospital. The dermatologist saw me and at once said, “Ah, look at him! This is a side effect from antibiotics.” He told the intern next to him, “Check his records and tell me all the antibiotics he has taken.” He told me that I have to take antibiotics for antibiotic side effects, and prescribed me the medication. After having one bag of this medication, the red spots turned black and weakened. Then I was completely healed after two days. I suffered for over 15 days but I became quickly healed. It is very important to have an illness accurately diagnosed and to take the right medication.
When our spiritual life does not go well, it is very ignorant to say, “It will go well if I try harder. It will go well if I pray. It will go well if I read the Bible.” We must know the exact reason spiritual life is not working.
People Who Belong to the Flesh and People Who Belong to God
Joseph one day dreamt that the sheaves he gathered stood up while the sheaves the brothers gathered bowed down. The brothers heard of this dream and hated Joseph so much that they wanted to kill him. I cannot understand that they hated him enough to want to kill him for having this kind of a dream. This is not an ordinary story. Why did they have the heart to kill their younger brother? This is showing a spiritual world to us. We can see that the spirit of Joseph and the older brothers were different and that their hearts were flowing differently.
All people are descendents of Adam. When Adam ate the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil, he had to decide, “Will I follow the Word of God or follow the voice of Satan?” But when Jesus was tempted by the devil, He did not exert his own will but said, “For it is written . . . ,” and spoke the words of God exactly as they were. Because Jesus believed the words of God and kept them in His heart verbatim, He fought through the words. However, Adam heard the Word of God, heard the words of the serpent, and decided through his own thoughts. Adam ultimately chose the words of the serpent. In other words, he threw God away. From then on Adam’s heart became separated from God and connected with Satan. This is exactly the same with us, the descendents of Adam. Jesus said in John chapter 8, “Ye are of your father the devil and the lusts of your father ye will do.”
You probably have tried to do good. You may have tried to be honest. You may have tried to overcome ambitions. But it has not worked. Why not? Though they live in the same green pastures, lions do not eat the grass but eat impalas or zebras. But zebras will only eat grass even if there is meat available everywhere. Just as carnivores and herbivores are completely different, there are people who belong to God and there are people who belong to the world. Even if one goes to church, is baptized, is a deacon, is an elder, or is a pastor, unless he is born again, he belongs to the world. That person’s heart is led by the spirit of the world. On the contrary, people of God have God in them for the spirit of God to lead them.
People do not know this and think, “All I need to do is keep the law well, pray, and read the Bible.” But people who belong to the flesh cannot live spiritual life well no matter how hard they try. That is like a lion, a panther, or a hyena trying to eat grass. These animals do not care for grass no matter how good it is but only want to capture zebras or impalas to eat them. A person who belongs to the flesh will not become a person of the spirit just by attending church. One does not become born again just because he prays. Unless one is born again through the Holy Spirit of God, a person who belongs to the flesh is still only a person of the flesh. Therefore even if he repents, prays, reads the Bible, and has the will to be good, he may do such things for a brief while as he has those thoughts. But when he forgets the dirty, lustful, and deceitful thoughts from the core of his heart spring forth, because these are the things the flesh likes. So it is with the world. One becomes bored and frustrated while reading the Bible while enjoying the stories of the world. Thus the ambitions and the pleasures of the flesh can only rule them. Such people trying to pray well, witness, and keep the law, no matter how hard they try, will not work.
People Belonging to the Flesh Will not Accept the Things of God
Joseph and his brothers are of the same father, but the brothers belonged to the world. They were fallen into the ambitions of the flesh of eating, drinking, and enjoying. Joseph had a different view because he was born again. The thoughts of his heart were different from others. It was because he received the heart from God. “My sheaf stood while my brothers’ sheaves are bowing down. I will become governor. It would be good if my brothers would listen to me. . . . I wish my brothers would understand this and follow me . . . .”
Joseph told his brothers about his dream. Joseph wished that his brothers would hear his words and say, “Ah, he will indeed become governor and rule over us. Then we should follow him,” and become born again. But the brothers rather hated him when he spoke to them about the dream. It was because they had a different spirit.
Just because the parents are born again does not mean the children are born again also. Our parents bore our flesh, but the father of our spirit is God. All must become born again through God. People become completely new when they are born again. The Bible says, “On that day the lions will eat grass like the cow,” and in this manner new hearts enter our heart. Joseph lived with his brothers but one day became born again. Until then he was led by his ambition, the thoughts of Satan. But when he received the revelation from God and supplied by the spirit, he became a person who lived in a world completely different form his brothers.
This was also true with Noah. Noah lived in a lustful, riotous world but one day became a new person as he was born again through the grace of God. Now Noah was listening to the voice of God. “I will destroy the world with water.” Grass is not enjoyable to lions but is enjoyable to cows. In this way, these words of God came strongly upon Noah and he accepted them into his heart. Other people also heard that God will destroy the world with water but they did not accept these words. “What flood? It will just rain a bit and stop.” So when they saw Noah building the ark, they thought, “What is going on here? Why does he believe so blindly? God loves us. Why would He send rain to destroy us?”
Why didn’t they build the ark? Why didn’t they enter the ark? It was because they did not accept the Word of God. It means that they accepted the ambitions and pleasures from Satan. The people who belong to Satan are this way. Paul said that people who are not of the Holy Spirit and belong to the flesh do not accept the things of the flesh.
But the natural man received not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (1Corinthians 2:14)
Noah felt so sorry for them.
“Everyone, haven’t you heard that God will destroy this earth with the flood? But why aren’t you building the ark? What are you going to do when God destroys this world with a flood? You will soon be destroyed; what good is building a house and what good is building a ranch? Isn’t it important to build the ark?”
“It is important. We know it’s important. That is why you are building the ark. But we are okay.”
There is one thing that is a little disappointing about the Bible. I would like to put this into the Bible: when the ark was complete and God was sending the rain, the screams of the people, “Ah! Noah was right! We despised the Word of God! That is why we are destroyed!” Such screams, there must have been screams of, “Why didn’t I listen to the word of God!” when they were running away alone as they saw their wives and children being wiped away by the water. I want to put such screams into the Bible. The scary thing is that Satan has hid such things. That is why even though death comes upon man, people do not accept the Word of God.
Then the Uprooting Repentance Occurs
Ever since I was young I learned about repentance at church. At that time the repentance I learned was, “God, I lied. I stole. I hated others,” and begging for forgiveness. I thought that was repentance. But later on as I read the Bible I came to know that that was not true repentance. Theft, murder, and adultery are results of the heart of the flesh. You have to have lust in your heart for it to develop into adultery. Covetousness develops into theft, and hatred develops into murder. Try to stab your own eye with a knife. How could you stab your own loving eye? If you love you can never kill.
True repentance the Bible talks about is not committing adultery, murder, and theft and then confessing of them. No matter how much you try to not steal, commit adultery, or murder, how can you not do them when those hearts arise in you? When the heart to lust does not arise in you when you see a woman, you cannot commit adultery even if you want to. If you have no covetousness how could you steal, and without hatred how could you kill? This is the relationship of the tree and the fruit. The tree of sin bears the fruits of sin, but the problem lies in the type of repentance where the fruits of sin are merely plucked off. No matter how much you pluck, there is no end. Therefore people always sin and repent, and live sinning and repenting. You pluck one fruit, another is borne, pluck another fruit, and another is borne. The tree must be uprooted with an ax but people try to do good while keeping the evilness at the core of their hearts.
I attended church but for a very long time that was how I lived my spiritual life. “I should be good, I should not lie, I should not have a lustful heart, I should not steal . . . .” But it did not work. My actions were somewhat controlled, but I could not do anything about the dirty desires and ambitions of my heart. But I thought I was good. But one day God gave me His grace and allowed me to precisely see my image of fallen inside sin. At that moment, I think God allowed me to borrow His eyes. Until then I saw myself and thought I was truthful and smart. But my image seen in the eyes of God was a dirty, filthy human being worthy to be cursed and destroyed. Right then I knew. “This is how the core of my heart is. What good could I do? Even if I were to do good, it would be fake. This is how evil and dirty my heart is. How could I serve God?” I discovered that I was a filthy human who could only be destroyed.
Right then all of the heart to believe in myself crumbled down. After knowing how truly evil my thoughts were, I came to distrust myself. Before, I always believed my thoughts and followed my thoughts more than the Word of God. But as I denied myself, the precious grace appeared. I believed that my sins were forgiven through the blood of Jesus. Before, I said that the blood of Jesus forgave my sins but it seemed my sins remained. But as I precisely believed that Jesus forgave all of my sins, my heart began to change. Jesus had come inside me.
What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought, since Jesus came into my heart.
From then on I who enjoyed the ambitions of the world liked the Bible so much and it was so graceful that I read it every day. Sometimes I needed to run some errands but had a little time left. I would think to read the Bible for a moment but I would forget everything and read the Bible all day long until the sunset. The Bible was so graceful. When a lion becomes a cow, the grass becomes delicious. Likewise, I changed and the Word of God began to live and work inside me. I was completely changed.
New Born Again Man, Joseph
Joseph was a changed person. The Bible does not tell us the details of how he changed, but the brothers heard the voice of the world, the voice of the devil while Joseph heard the voice of God and received the guidance of God. Therefore what Joseph saw was completely different from what the brothers saw.
Joseph dreamt again. He saw that the eleven stars of the heavens, and the sun and the moon were bowing to him.
“Okay, let me tell my brothers about this dream. Then my brothers will change their hearts and may believe God.”
“You punk, are you gonna tell us about dreams again?”
“Yes, I had another dream.”
“Did you have a different dream this time? Did you dream that you became a slave?”
“No, I dreamt that eleven stars, the sun, and the moon bowed down to me.”
“What did you say? I thought you changed your heart . . . You punk!”
Joseph thought upon hearing this, the brothers would say, “Ah, you will indeed become the governor. When it happens, have mercy on us. Then what should we do now?” But the brothers hated Joseph so much they wanted to kill him.
This was how Apostle Paul was before he was born again. He hated born again people so much that he killed them. Satan deceived him to make him this way.
Joseph’s brothers set up a plan to kill Joseph. But after Joseph became governor, he did not hate his brothers. The brothers felt that surely Joseph will hate them for trying to kill him and thought he would set out to kill them. But Joseph’s heart was different. Joseph had received the heart of God, and the heart of Jesus. The love inside Jesus overcomes hatred and thus Joseph could not hate. The righteousness inside the heart of Jesus defeats sin and thus sin cannot remain. Holiness defeats filthiness. This does not come about through effort but this accomplishes the holy life.
Joseph is showing us the image of a born again, new person. Everything he did was prosperous and blessed. Joseph had the broad heart of Jesus to forgive his brothers who tried to kill him. On the contrary, the brothers had the evil heart to kill Joseph, which shows us that the evil spirit and the holy spirit of God are different.
Ye Must Be Born Again
People think, “I have to pray hard. I have to read the Bible,” but Jesus said that man cannot see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. Being born again is being cut off from the wild olive tree and being grafted on to the true olive tree. Just as David said, “I was shapen in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me,” because your heart is evil and only filthy, you must distrust your heart and accept the heart of Jesus. Then you can live blessedly through the heart of Jesus.
Loving folks, you should not simply try hard but become born again. We by nature are filthy and dirty from the seed of Adam. We should distrust our thoughts and accept the heart of Jesus, so that as the day for lions to eat grass comes, we can live the bright, joyful, new life through God.