The Return-to-the-Word special lectures
The Return-to-the-Word special lectures are not about learning the contents of the Berea Academy course over again. The original lectures of Berea Academy are the foundational teachings. And the books I have written explain in fine detail about subjects which were hard to go over in the original lectures in depth. We used to run a master’s class before but decided to stop because I realized that the students were unable to handle what was being taught after hearing one of the students say, “Berea is not everything”. Jesus also noticed that His disciples didn’t understand His words and said they will understand after they receive the Holy Spirit. And when He spoke to the churches He said, “Hear what the Holy Spirit says to the churches”.
Before we listen to a sermon, we first read a Scripture passage and read the sermon outline. Just like the still images of a movie on a small film strip, a sermon outline is like a condensed summary of the whole Bible. When it is coupled with the inspiration of the preacher, it becomes a sermon. Hence we must not be careless listeners but need to understand it by the Holy Spirit. The reason people are lost and going astray today is because they did not understand despite listening to many sermons over a long time,
The people who ate the bread Jesus gave out followed Jesus. However they could not understand Jesus’ words when He said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven. You must eat My flesh and drink My blood”. And many stopped following him. Though they had followed Him and listened to His words for many years, they were unable to accept His words when His preaching reached a certain point, becoming deeper and more profound.
Jesus said, “The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life”. And when He asked His disciples, “Do you also want to go away?” they answered, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” and followed the Lord to the end. The Word came down from heaven; it is spiritual. In other words, the word of God is spirit. Thus it is impossible to understand the word of God with ears that can only comprehend the man’s words.
Before we were able to hear God’s word which is spirit, in other words, until we became Christians, we confronted many difficulties. While we were of the world, we didn’t know God. We were originally sinners. Not only did we have our own sins but the sin passed down from Adam. In the past, we were unaware of this, but later realized, repented and were baptized in Jesus’ name. And after much prayer, we received the Holy Spirit and also experienced the gifts of the Holy Spirit. These are experiences which worldly people cannot even imagine of having. Thus when Christianity is described as a religion, it is called a religion of experiences. It is not a philosophical religion but that which has testmonies.