New Year’s Day Special Service sermon by Reverend Dr. Phillip Lee on January 1, 2019 at Moriah Sanctuary
I am making all things new
We have come upon the New Year with a great hope for the year 2019 in our first worship service of the year. God has granted us 8,760 hours and has leased to us this new time throughout this New Year. God says that He is making all things new (Rev 21:5). As we begin our New Year, perhaps there are thoughts of doubt and negativity and the belief that it will be a difficult year. However, today God proclaims, “I am making all things new.” Based upon our main text, in the 601st year, 1st month and 1st day, Noah removed the covering of the Ark and he looked and saw that the surface of the ground was dried up. This day would be the most unforgettable New Year day of his life.
The blessing of the water drying up
The first blessing that Noah received on his 601st year, 1st month on the 1st day of the month was the blessing of the “water drying up (Gen 8:13). The phrase “dried up” actually appears twice in Genesis 8:13. The Hebrew word for “dried up” is charab (חָרַב), meaning that the water dried up. However, in Genesis 8:14, the word “dry” in Hebrew is yabesh (יָבֵשׁ), which means “dry,” “dried up” or “withered,” being completely dry. Therefore, in the 601st year, the 1st month on the 1st of the month, it was the water that prevailed all around the world that had dried up but the ground was still muddy which made it difficult to walk on. However, in Genesis 8:14, after 57 days in the 601st year, 2nd month and the 27th day of the month, it says the earth was completely dry so that people can actually walk on the land. The “water” in Genesis 8:13 reflects God’s curse and judgment because of the sin on earth (Gen 6:5). When the water dried up, it means that God’s curse and judgment had come to an end. We tell ourselves, “I’m not going to sin again.” But we do sin and drown ourselves in the waves of sins. However, the blood that Jesus shed on the cross has put an end to all the waves of sin and judgment (Eph 1:7). Today, God says He has dried up the water of sin and judgment. Therefore, in 2019, may all the curses and judgment and the water of waves be all dried up.
The blessing of the covering of the Ark being removed
In the 601st year of Noah’s life, he removed the covering of the Ark (Gen 8:13). The expression “removed the covering of the Ark” means new air will stream in. For 40 days there was rain upon the earth, day and night, and Noah was not able to open the door. But finally on the 601st year, the 1st month and the 1st day of the month, Noah removed the covering of the Ark and refreshing streams of air flowed into the Ark. The one who closed the Ark was God Himself (Gen 7:16). But the one who opened the covering of the Ark was Noah (Gen 8:13). God made Noah to remove the covering and God entrusted Noah to do this. Beloved saints, perhaps right now there is a covering of hatred in your life? Let us remove the covering. Only then will the new air of love flow into your life. If you hate anybody or spread slander, then nothing will ever work out (1 John 3:15; Prov 10:18). Therefore, we must remove the covering of hatred so that the new fresh air of love will be inhaled and be filled with the love of Jesus Christ (1 John 4:8). We must also remove the covering of laziness and idleness, for laziness is wicked (Matt 25:26). We must not lag behind but in diligence be fervent in spirit in serving the Lord (Rom 12:11). We must preach the Word of God in or out of season and share Redemptive History all around the world in the year 2019 (2 Tim 4:2).
The blessing of enlarging the borders
Noah received the blessings of having the borders enlarged. In Noah’s 601st year, 2nd month and 27th day, Noah finally came out of the Ark because the earth was dry (Gen 8:13-14). God commanded Noah to come out of the Ark. Therefore, in order to come out of the Ark, there must be a command from God first (Gen 8:16-18). When Noah came out of the Ark, God commanded Noah to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Gen 9:1, 7). Indeed, Noah will enlarge his borders from a small tiny confined space in the Ark to the vast land of the entire earth. No matter how small and confined our churches may be, when God commands us to come out of the Ark in the year 2019, I pray our churches will enlarge its borders. When God performs His work, there will surely be an enlarging of our borders for no man can stop the work of God. We have this new precept: “The Church That Enlarges Its Borders of Redemptive History by Increasing in Numbers of Believers Daily.” I pray that this precept will be fulfilled in all the churches around the world and enlarge the borders of Redemptive History (Exod 34:24).
Conclusion: God remembered Noah, and He caused a wind to pass over the earth and the waters subsided (Gen 8:1). Noah might have worried that God had forgotten him and his family (Psa 44:24). But God says that He will never forget, nor forsake us even if our parents forget us (Isa 49:15). This is why He sent Jesus Christ to this earth. Therefore, in 2019, let us remove that covering of the Ark—the covering of hatred, despair, misery and suffering and let us welcome in and inhale the love of hope and prosperity so that the earth would completely dry. Let us go out and believe in the blessings of being fruitful and multiplying and fill the earth and enlarge the borders of God’s Redemptive History so that victory and great hope and happiness will prevail throughout the year 2019.