Can People Enter the Kingdom of Heaven by Being Forgiven Their Sins?

By Yang Jing

Most of brothers and sisters in the Lord believe: The Lord Jesus has absolved our sins through our faith, and we are no longer of sin because the Lord has sanctified us, so we are qualified to enter the heavenly kingdom. Well, is this view correct? Is it based on the Lord’s words?

Actually, the main reason that we hold this view is because we do not understand the true meaning of the forgiveness of sins. Although we are forgiven of our sins due to the Lord’s redemption, it merely means that God no longer regards us as sinners, but it does not represent that we have been freed from sin. For example, when a man is caught and sent to prison after he committed a crime, his family spends a huge sum of money bailing him out. Can you say that he, who has been bailed out, is not guilty? The answer is definitely no! It’s just the same with all of us who have accepted the Lord Jesus’ redemptive work. The Lord Jesus, through being nailed on the cross as our sin offering, merely redeemed us from the hands of Satan. By coming before the Lord, we are only cleansed of the sins from our behavior, but our sinful nature within hasn’t yet been cast away. So we still live in the situation of sinning by day and confessing by night, unable to extricate ourselves from it. If this continues, we will only become more and more corrupt. Ultimately, all mankind will be devoured by Satan, becoming a captive of it. Thus, the forgiveness of sins does not mean being purified, which should draw our very close attention. But how can we have our sinful nature resolved to be cleansed? This must become a topic of utmost concern to us.

What Truths Do We Need to Seek to Eliminate Our Sinful Nature?

Can People Enter the Kingdom of Heaven by Being Forgiven Their sins?

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First of all, we need to know God’s work as well as His management plan to rescue humanity. Since the progenitors of mankind committed sins, sin entered into man. The wages of sin is death, so God started His six-thousand-year management plan of saving mankind. First, in the Age of Law, Jehovah God issued forth laws for man to obey, and taught the Israelites at that time how to live, how to get along with others, how to worship God, and so forth, so that they could receive His care and protection by keeping the law. On the contrary, if they disobeyed His laws, they would be stoned to death, or burnt by the fire from heaven. At that time, Jehovah God also required man to offer sacrifices. Whoever committed other sins outside the Ten Commandments would have to offer sin offerings to God, using the firstborn sheep, cattle, and doves to cleanse his sins. In this way, man could keep himself from being put to death. Therefore, God’s work in the Age of Law achieved the result of enabling man to know sin. As mankind became ever more deeply corrupted by Satan, they could no longer keep the law, and more people were put to death because of their violations. God could not bear to see the people He created with His own hands be devoured by Satan like that. So He was incarnated to do the work of redemption under the name of Jesus, and was crucified to bear mankind’s sins, serving as a sin offering. From then on, whoever committed sins, as long as he came before the Lord Jesus to confess and repent, his sins would be forgiven. Thus, mankind enjoyed peace and joy from God. However, the people of the Age of Grace are no longer of sin because of the salvation of God, but it does not mean that they are without sin. This is because man’s sinful nature has not yet been resolved, and thus we men can still sin and resist God often, living in the cycle of sinning in the day and confessing in the evening without being able to extricate ourselves. Our corrupt satanic disposition, such as arrogance, self-conceit, selfishness, contempt, crookedness, craftiness, and so on, still persists and controls us, as a result of which there is no true forbearance and patience among us but so much hate and jealousy in our heart. How can we, such a humanity who lives out nothing but Satan’s image, achieve compatibility with God, and how can we be saved and enter into the kingdom of heaven? It is said in the Bible, “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). And the Lord Jesus also said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever” (John 8:34-35). Since our sinful nature hasn’t been cast off and cleansed thoroughly, we are not yet qualified to enter God’s kingdom. Therefore, God’s work of saving mankind will not stop.

Then What Work Does the Lord Jesus Need to Do to Make Man’s Sinful Nature Purified and Transformed When He Returns in the Last Days?

It was discovered that greater number of prophecies in the Bible concern God’s judgment work in the last days. There are at least 200 verses in the Bible mentioning that God will come to execute judgment. Especially those scriptures that prophesy God’s coming to do the judgment work of the last days are highlighted, and some of them are as follows:

“… behold, the judge stands before the door” (James 5:9).

“for he comes to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity” (Psalms 98:9).

And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people …” (Isaiah 2:4).

… for when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (Isaiah 26:9).

“Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained …” (Acts 17:31).

And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man” (John 5:27).

For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22).

For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Peter 4:17).

The Lord Jesus also said, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48). From these verses we can see clearly that in the last days God will surely come down to earth to carry out the work of judgment.

Chat on Facebook

Thank the Lord for His guidance. One day, on Facebook, I chatted with Sister Jiayin about how man’s sinful nature could be purified. The more we talked, the more we gained the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and this made me have some knowledge of how God does his work to purify man in the last days. At that time, Sister Jiayin read a passage of God’s word to me, “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons were already planted within him. After thousands of years of Satan’s corruption, man already has within him a nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than redemption, where man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before being worthy to serve God. Through this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within him, and he will be able to completely change and become clean. Only in this way can man be worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as refinement, man can cast away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification. In truth, this stage is that of conquest as well as the second stage of salvation. Man is gained by God through judgment and chastisement by the word; through the use of the word to refine, judge and disclose, all of the impurities, notions, motives, and individual hopes within man’s heart are completely revealed. Though man has been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it is only considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with man’s transgressions. However, when man lives in the flesh and he has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing the corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sin and forgiveness. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. As such, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it would not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has corrupt disposition. … it runs deeper than sin, planted by Satan and deeply rooted within man. It is not easy for man to become aware of his sins; man is unable to recognize his own deeply rooted nature. Only through judgment by the word can such effects be achieved. Only thus can man gradually be changed from that point onward” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”).

After reading this passage we understand that man cannot completely cast away his sinful nature and get purified by relying only on the grace and the redemption on the cross of the Lord Jesus. This is because what the Lord Jesus did in the Age of Grace was the work of redemption. According to the stature of the people at that time, He gave them only the way of repentance, and taught man some rudimentary truths and practices, such as how to confess and repent, how to bear the cross, to be patient, humble, and loving, to forgive others, etc. He never expressed the truths that can judge and cleanse man, transform man’s satanic dispositions, and be man’s eternal life. To put it another way, the Lord Jesus did not express the way of truth that involves changing life disposition, how to break free of our sinful nature and to be cleansed and saved. Hence, through accepting the salvation of the Lord Jesus, we are only forgiven of our sins, but the corrupt dispositions like arrogance, conceit, crookedness, deceit, selfishness, despicableness, greed, and evil still remain within us. As a result, we are often bound by sins, living in the cycle of committing sins only to confess them and then to continue on to sin again. We still follow the world trends, pursue fame, fortune, and status, and covet the comforts of the flesh, living helplessly in sin. Besides, we can still harbor deceit in our heart, and often lie to deceive God and other people. When we are faced with disasters, persecution and tribulation, we can still misunderstand, blame, and even betray God. Though having believed in the Lord for many years, we can still, be directed by the intention to obtain blessings, conduct transactions with God while working and expending ourselves, and toil only for the crown and the blessings of heaven. This kind of opposition against God truly show that a stubborn sinful nature still remains within us, that is, the satanic nature, which directly opposes God and the truth. Because our nature of resisting God has not been resolved, so it is utterly impossible for us to live out a normal humanity, and even less attain genuine obedience to God, worship God, and love God. So although we have experienced the Lord Jesus’ work in the Age of Grace and our sins have been forgiven, we have not yet gained the truth as our life. This is a fact. We have to experience God’s work of judgment and chastisement by the word in the last days and get the various kinds of corruption and filth within us revealed in the light. Only through this can we actively know our own corrupt dispositions, and furthermore, under God’s guidance, gradually rid ourselves of various desires and intentions for believing in God, resolve our corrupt dispositions, and achieve knowledge of God and of ourselves. Finally, we can follow the way of God and be capable of fearing God and shunning evil, obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and become of the same mind as God. Only then can we be utterly cleansed by God and can we ultimately gain God’s full salvation. So the forgiveness of sins doesn’t mean that we can enter the kingdom of heaven. If we always hold on to this mistaken viewpoint that we have become sanctified after being forgiven of sins and as a result, refuse God’s judgment and cleansing work in the last days, then we will miss God’s salvation in the last days. We all know that unsanctified people cannot see the Lord. God is holy, therefore, He commands us to seek to be holy. In this manner, we have to experience the work of judgment that God does in the last days and get purified in order to be qualified to enter God’s kingdom.

You may be interested in this article:

Forgiveness of Sin Doesn’t Mean Full Salvation – Spiritual Growth

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Can Christians Who Have Been Dead Gain Eternal Life?

God is holy. Only by getting rid of sin and being cleansed can we gain eternal life. Christians who have been dead didn’t undergo God’s judgment work in the last days and were not cleansed. How can they gain eternal life?

2018-11-09 06:14:00

Are the Truths in the Bible Already Complete?

Question 2: The truths in the Bible are already complete. In believing in God, we have the Bible, and that’s enough. We don’t need the new word at all.  Answer: What the Bible records is limited. The Old Testament only records the work of Jehovah God, and the New Testament only records the work of the Lord Jesus. The Bible only prophesies God’s work in the last days, but doesn’t record the details, because in the last days God does the work of judgment, which is a new work outside the Bible. God is the expresser of the truth, and even more is the Ruler of all things. His richness is unfailing and inexhaustible, and He is unfathomable to any created being. So, the contents of the Bible alone can’t make clear all God’s deeds at all. Almighty God tells us, “All that is recorded within the Bible is limited and unable to represent all the work of God. The Four Gospels have fewer than one hundred chapters altogether in which are written a finite number of happenings, such as Jesus cursing the fig tree, Peter’s three denials of the Lord, Jesus appearing to the disciples following His crucifixion and resurrection, teaching about fasting, teaching about prayer, teaching about divorce, the birth and genealogy of Jesus, Jesus’ appointment of the disciples, and so forth. These are but a few writings, yet man values them as treasures, even verifying the work of today against them. They even believe that Jesus only did so much in the time after His birth. It is as if they believe God can only do this much, that there can be no further work. Is this not ludicrous?” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “No one knows the truth about the Bible. It is merely a historical record of God’s work, and a testimony to the first two stages of God’s work, and you cannot understand the purpose of God’s work from it. Everyone who has read the Bible knows that it is an account of the two stages of work God did during the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. The Old Testament of the Bible records the history of Israel and shows how Jehovah did His work from the creation of the world to the end of the Age of Law. The New Testament records Jesus’ work on earth, which is in the Four Gospels, as well as the work of Paul. Are these not all historical records? Anything that happened in the past is history today, no matter how true, how real; and history cannot address the present. For God does not look back! So if you understand only the Bible but not the work that God plans to do now, if you believe in God but do not seek out the work of the Holy Spirit, then you do not know what it means to seek after God. If you read the Bible in order to research the history of Israel and to learn how God created heaven and earth, then you do not believe in God. But since you believe in God now, since you seek after life, since you seek to know God rather than seek after the lifeless letters and doctrines or seek to know the history, then you must seek God’s will in the present day, the direction in which the Holy Spirit’s work is moving. If you are an archaeologist, you may read the Bible; but you are not an archaeologist, you are a believer in God, and you would be better off seeking out God’s will today” (“Concerning the Bible (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From Almighty God’s words, we see that the Bible is only a historical record of God’s former work and it can’t save man. The Bible can by no means be compared with God. God is the spring of living water of life. His utterance is the fountain of living waters, and is immeasurable. However, the record of the Bible is very limited. This is a fact that no one can deny. Brothers and sisters, God is an ever-new and never-old God. In each age, He does a new work and expresses new words. Like in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus did a new work and expressed new words. But the Jewish priests and Pharisees of that time held on to the Old Testament. They not only rejected and condemned the Lord Jesus, but even nailed Him onto the cross, committing a monstrous sin. Today, Christ of the last days, Almighty God, expresses all the truths, which are not recorded in the Bible at all. Since there is no record, the Bible can’t substitute for God’s work and words in the last days. We can no longer hold on to the Bible. We should seek God’s present will and search for the work of the Holy Spirit. Only this is after God’s heart. Almighty God once said this. Let me read it for you, “If during the Age of Grace you were to eat and drink the Old Testament, practicing the requirements of the Old Testament age, then Jesus would forsake you, condemn you. If you had tried to impose the Old Testament on Jesus’ work, you would have been called a Pharisee. And so today, if you eat and drink and practice the Old and New Testaments, then the God of today will condemn you; you cannot keep pace with the work of the Holy Spirit today. If you eat the Old and New Testaments, then you are one outside the stream of the Holy Spirit” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words tell us: If in the Age of Grace we still held on to the Old Testament, Jesus wouldn’t approve of us and we couldn’t receive the grace and redemption from God, much less receive the peace and joy after the forgiveness of sins. Similarly, Almighty God has come in the last days. If we still hold on to God’s work in the Age of Grace and the Bible, we won’t receive God’s approval, much less God’s salvation of the last days. from the movie script of Disclose the Mystery About the Bible Recommended: Is the Bible All God-breathed? Inside Story of the Bible – Gospel Movie “Ironclad Proofs—Disclose the Mystery About the Bible” (4)

2017-06-04 23:59:53

The Relationship Between Bible and God, Figured Out!

By Wang Ying In 1982, I accepted the Lord Jesus’ gospel. Through reading the Bible, I knew that the Lord Jesus is the only true God and is the Lord who created the heavens and earth and all things. Later, our preacher often preached to us 2 Timothy 3:16, “‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.’ The entire Bible is inspired by God and is all God’s word. All of God’s work and word are in the Bible. There is no God’s work and word outside the Bible. No matter when, as a believer in God, we cannot depart from the Bible.” These words impressed themselves on my mind. I thought the Bible was a heavenly book and represented God. So, I especially treasured it, studying and reading the Bible with hunger and thirst for righteousness every day and reciting some famous chapters and verses; the Bible became my lifeblood. A few years later, I became a preacher and often said to brothers and sisters, “None of the books in the world can be the equal of the Bible. The writings of any great spiritual figure cannot replace the Bible. God’s word and work are all in the Bible. The Bible is the foundation for our Christian faith.” Gradually, there arose envy and strife in our church, which thus split into a few factions, and brothers and sisters didn’t want to attend meetings. Faced with the condition of the church, I took great pains to study the Bible and wanted to change it. But no matter how I read, I was still thirsty in my spirit and had no new knowledge. When preaching, I felt dry, without any new light. Sometimes, I dozed off when I read the Bible. But the place of the Bible was still very high in my heart. Living in such a condition, I felt extreme pain. So many times I knelt before the Lord and prayed tearfully to seek His will. I hoped that someone having the work of the Holy Spirit could fellowship with us about the truth in the Bible so that our thirsty heart could be watered. It was one hot summer morning in 1995. I was washing clothes under the big tree in my yard. At this time, two young sisters came to chat with me. They talked about the present situation of the church, saying, “Now, the religious world is a widespread desolation. Jealousy and strife between co-workers of all the sects happens too often. The preachers have no message to preach; believers are cold in faith and cannot feel the work of the Holy Spirit. This fulfills the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, ‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold’ (Matthew 24:12). These conditions are the signs of the Lord’s return….” Hearing these words, I nodded gravely. I thought: The two sisters are young, but what they said is the real situation of the religious world; it seems that the Lord Jesus will come soon. Then, one of them said, “The reason why the religious world becomes so desolate is that the Holy Spirit’s work has moved and God has done a new stage of work.” As she said this, she took out a book from her bag and said, “Auntie, the Lord Jesus we have longed for has returned. He has been incarnated and has done a stage of new work of judgment and chastisement. The words in this book are all God’s personal utterance. Please read God’s words and investigate His work of the last days.” Having spoken, she handed the book to me. I shot a quick glance at the book but didn’t accept, thinking, “Is this God’s utterance? Has God done a stage of new work of judgment and chastisement? That’s not right. It goes against the Bible. Doesn’t it depart from the Bible? God’s words are all in the Bible. The book in their hands is not the Bible. How could they say these words are God’s words?” So, I said to them firmly, “Just now you talked about the church’s desolation, I feel it’s reasonable. But you said the Lord Jesus has come back and expressed new words, and that the words in this book are God’s words, how could it be possible? God’s word and work are all in the Bible. There is no God’s work and word outside the Bible. Apart from the Bible, I won’t believe anything. Speak no more!” Then the sister asked me, “Auntie, are we really sure that there is no God’s work and word outside the Bible? John 21:25 records, ‘And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.’ From this, we can see God’s work and word are not completely recorded in the Bible. The Bible just recorded a very limited portion of them. God is who He is and is the living water of life. God can create the heavens and earth and all things, and even more can rule everything. Can the Bible thoroughly clarify God’s deeds? We confine God’s work and word to the Bible, saying there is no God’s work and word outside the Bible, don’t we regard God as too small?” Though these words of the sister were reasonable, I wasn’t convinced. I turned my head aside, without saying anything. The other sister asked me, “Auntie, which, you say, came first, God or the Bible? Which is greater, the Bible or God? Which do we believe in, God or the Bible? The Lord Jesus said: ‘Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me’ (John 5:39). Actually, what the Bible recorded was the previous work God has done, and it is a media by which we know God’s previous work. So, the Lord Jesus said the Bible is only a testimony to Him. But He didn’t say His word and work are all recorded in the Bible, that there was no His word and work outside the Bible. We all know God’s work is always new and never old. When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the Old Testament was out of date. If man holds on to it, he is resisting God. Likewise, in the last days, the Lord has come again and done the new work and expressed new words, so the New Testament is out of date. If we confine God’s word and work to the Bible, not reading His new word, we will easily commit the same mistake of the Pharisees resisting God.” After hearing their words, I was in a quandary. I felt their words made sense, but I then called to mind that the preacher often told us the Bible was all inspired by God, and the Bible was all the word of God. The Lord Jesus has ever said: “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). Moreover, over these years, believers in the Lord Jesus hold onto the Bible like this. Since I believed in the Lord, I have always read and recited the Bible, and preached to brothers and sisters in this way. Aren’t we really wrong? It’s impossible. But I should treat the preachers who preach the Lord has come with love, which is after the Lord’s heart. At that moment, I felt somewhat fretful and wanted to quiet and think it over. So, I moderated the tones of my voice and said to the two sisters, “Sisters, it’s getting late today. Let’s end it here. Since you said this book is God’s word, then I will take it and have a look. Let’s commune another day.” The two sisters happily left the book to me and went away. After dinner, I was washing the bowls while staring blankly. What the two sisters asked me in the day lingered in my mind all the time: Which came first, God or the Bible? Which is the greater, God or the Bible? Their words make me puzzled. I haven’t thought these questions although I’ve believed in the Lord for so many years. I must search the Bible and make them clear. After washing the bowls, I knelt on the bedroom floor and prayed to the Lord, “Oh, Lord! Today two sisters came and told me You have returned and moreover, You have expressed new words and done a new work. I feel what they said is reasonable. However, aren’t all of Your work and words in the Bible? What’s going on? Lord, please enlighten me and open my spiritual eyes so that I can understand Your will. If You really have come back, may You help me to guard my tongue from blaspheming You. Pray in the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen!” After my prayer, I sat in front of the desk and opened the Bible. When I read Genesis, I thought: Genesis was written by Moses. When was Moses born? I saw Moses’ birth was recorded in Exodus, that is to say, when God created the heavens and earth and all things, the Bible didn’t exist. And there was no Bible when the world was destroyed by flood and when the Israelites went out of Egypt. Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Leviticus and Deuteronomy were all written after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt. It was then two thousand years after God created the heavens and earth and all things. At that time, there was no book of prophecy, but the Five Books of Moses. That is, God didn’t create the heavens and earth and all things according to the Bible. The work of destroying the world with a flood and burning Sodom were not according to the Bible, either. They were recorded by Moses after God had done the work. That proves that God’s work came first and then the record of the Bible. Thus, the viewpoint that God’s word and work are all in the Bible and there is no God’s work and word outside the Bible is not consistent with the fact. Now, our church indeed has no work of the Holy Spirit, and we have no new light when reading the Bible. Has God really done a new work and expressed new words outside the Bible? But the preachers said God’s work and word were in the Bible, I also told the same thing to brothers and sisters. Is it really wrong? At that moment, I felt conflicted, walking to and fro in the room. Sometimes I read the Bible, and sometimes the book the sisters gave to me, not knowing what to do. So, I came before the Lord again asking Him to lead me. After praying, I realized: If this book really is God’s utterance, there must be truth in it and it can resolve all man’s difficulties and issues. Then why don’t I read this book and see whether it can solve my puzzlement? Thinking of this, I opened the book and saw “Concerning the Bible (1)”, “Concerning the Bible (2)”, “Concerning the Bible (3)” and “Concerning the Bible (4)” in the table of contents. Out of curiosity, I opened the book and read: “During the time of Jesus, Jesus led the Jews and all those who followed Him according to the Holy Spirit’s work in Him at the time. He didn’t take the Bible as the basis of what He did, but spoke according to His work; He paid no heed to what the Bible said, nor did He search in the Bible for a path to lead His followers. Right from when He began to work, He spread the way of repentance—a word of which there was absolutely no mention in the prophecies of the Old Testament. Not only did He not act according to the Bible, but He also led a new path, and did new work. Never did He refer to the Bible when He preached. During the Age of Law, no one had ever been able to perform His miracles of healing the sick and casting out demons. His work, His teachings, His authority—no one had done this during the Age of Law. Jesus simply did His newer work, and even though many people condemned Him using the Bible—and even used the Old Testament to crucify Him—His work surpassed the Old Testament; if this were not so, why did people nail Him to the cross? Was it not because it said nothing in the Old Testament of His teaching, and His ability to heal the sick and cast out demons? … To people, it appeared as if His work had no basis, and there was much of it that was at odds with the records of the Old Testament. Is this not folly? Does doctrine need to be applied to the work of God? And must it be according to the foretellings of prophets? After all, which is greater: God or the Bible? Why must God’s work be according to the Bible? Could it be that God has no right to exceed the Bible? Can God not depart from the Bible and do other work? Why did Jesus and His disciples not keep the Sabbath? If He were to keep the Sabbath and practice according to the commandments of the Old Testament, why did Jesus not keep the Sabbath after He came, but instead washed feet, covered head, broke bread, and drank wine? Isn’t this all absent from the commandments of the Old Testament? If Jesus honored the Old Testament, why did He defy these doctrines? You should know which came first, God or the Bible! Being the Lord of the Sabbath, could He not also be the Lord of the Bible?” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading this passage of words, I felt all these words are reasonable. Yes, when the Lord Jesus did His work, the New Testament didn’t exist. The New Testament of the Bible didn’t come into existence until three hundred years after the Lord Jesus finished His work. So, the Lord Jesus’ work of healing the sick and casting out the demons and the crucifixion was not according to the records of the Bible. Besides, the Old Testament didn’t even mention the work God would do, thus the Lord Jesus’ work and word were outside the Old Testament. This shows that the Bible was produced as God’s work. Before God didn’t do His work, the Bible couldn’t have entire records. These words are indeed quite practical. At this moment, I thought of the words the Lord Jesus has said in the Bible: “However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:13). It is mentioned many times in Revelation: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). The Lord said when the Spirit of truth comes, He will tell us all the truth and the future things, which prophesies that the Lord will speak when He comes again. Since these words are not in the Bible, can it be said that there is truly God’s word and work outside the Bible? At that point, I felt puzzled. Then, I read the following two passages. I thought: These words cannot be spoken by any ordinary people. They speak more clearly than the Bible; are they really God’s word? But 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God …” How can we believers in the Lord give up the Bible? At that time, although I had many questions and couldn’t put aside the Bible, I didn’t feel conflicted. I hoped that the two sisters could come again and clear up my confusion. A few days later, the two sisters came again. I told them my thoughts, “After hearing your fellowship last time, I feel it’s reasonable. After you left, I checked the Bible, and these days I read the book you gave to me and understood that God’s work and word came first, and then the Bible. That I think God’s words are all in the Bible is indeed not factual. But I still don’t understand this question: The Bible was all inspired by God and entirely came from God. So, the words in the Bible were all God’s word. And the Lord Jesus has ever said heaven and earth shall pass away but not a stroke of His words shall pass away. But you said that the Bible was out of date, and you didn’t read the Bible. Doesn’t it mean that you’ve abandoned the Bible?” One of the sisters said to me smilingly, “Auntie, ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God,’ is said by Paul not by the Lord Jesus. However, the whole religious world says everything written in the Bible was inspired by God, and was God’s words. Is this viewpoint right? First, what Paul said had no basis, because God had never borne witness to the Bible in this way, nor had the Lord Jesus ever said that the Bible was divine inspiration and was entirely the word of God. Paul’s testimony of the Bible was merely based on his individual knowledge of it; he was not at all speaking on God’s behalf. Only God knows the inside story of the Bible, and we humans of creation have not been able to understand it thoroughly. This is a fact. Today, Almighty God has disclosed the inside story of the Bible. After reading Almighty God’s word, we will be clear. Almighty God says: ‘Today, people believe the Bible is God, and that God is the Bible. So, too, do they believe that all the words of the Bible were the only words God spoke, and that they were all said by God. Those who believe in God even think that although all of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament were written by people, they were all given by inspiration of God, and a record of the utterances of the Holy Spirit. This is the erroneous interpretation of people, and it does not completely accord with the facts. In fact, apart from the books of prophecy, most of the Old Testament is historical record. Some of the epistles of the New Testament come from people’s experiences, and some come from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; the Pauline epistles, for example, arose from the work of a man, they were all the result of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and they were written for the churches, were words of exhortation and encouragement for the brothers and sisters of the churches. They were not words spoken by the Holy Spirit—Paul could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit, and neither was he a prophet, much less did he see visions. His epistles were written for the churches of Ephesus, Philadelphia, Galatia, and other churches. … If you say that his epistles are the words of the Holy Spirit, then you are absurd, and you are committing blasphemy! The Pauline epistles and the other epistles of the New Testament are equivalent to the memoirs of the more recent spiritual figures. They are on a par with the books of Watchman Nee or the experiences of Lawrence, and so on. It’s simply that the books of recent spiritual figures are not compiled into the New Testament, yet the substance of these people is the same: They were people who were used by the Holy Spirit during a certain period, and they could not directly represent God’ (‘Concerning the Bible (3)’in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘Not everything in the Bible is a record of the words personally spoken by God. The Bible simply documents the previous two stages of God’s work, of which one part is a record of the foretellings of the prophets, and one part is the experiences and knowledge written by people used by God throughout the ages. Human experiences are tainted with human opinions and knowledge, which is unavoidable. In many of the books of the Bible are human conceptions, human biases, and human absurd interpretations. Of course, most of the words are the result of the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and they are correct interpretations—yet it still cannot be said that they are entirely accurate expressions of the truth. Their views on certain things are nothing more than the knowledge of personal experience, or the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. The foretellings of the prophets were personally instructed by God: The prophecies of Isaiah, Daniel, Ezra, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel came from the direct instruction of the Holy Spirit, these people were seers, they had received the Spirit of prophecy, they were all prophets of the Old Testament. During the Age of Law these people, who had received the inspirations of Jehovah, spoke many prophecies, which were directly instructed by Jehovah’ (‘Concerning the Bible (3)’in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From Almighty God’s words, we can see: The Bible isn’t all God’s words. In the Bible, only Jehovah’s and the Lord Jesus’ words are God’s words; the prophets’ predictions in the Old Testament and Revelation are inspired by God. Apart from these, none are inspired by God or are God’s words. Some are the writings of the disciples, and some are historical records. They are all man’s words. This is an undeniable fact. We all know that God’s words are completely accurate without any impurities. But Judas’ death was recorded in the Bible differently. Matthew 27:5 recorded, ‘And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.’ Acts 1:18 said, ‘Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the middle, and all his bowels gushed out.’ These two verses recorded the same thing, but one said he hanged himself while the other said that he burst asunder in the middle. How can this obvious mistake be from God? And about the genealogy of the Lord Jesus recorded in Matthew, we all know that the Lord Jesus and Joseph have no relations, but Matthew made a genealogy for the Lord Jesus, saying He was the son of Joseph. What did the Lord Jesus say about this? Luke 20: 41-44 recorded, ‘And he said to them, How say they that Christ is David’s son? And David himself said in the book of Psalms, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit you on my right hand, Till I make your enemies your footstool. David therefore calls him Lord, how is he then his son?’ Since David called Him Lord, how could He be his son? The Lord Jesus rejected this saying even at that time, so can it be inspired by God? God is who He is and is the Creator. How can He have a genealogy? Isn’t it from human impurities and good intentions? From the impurities and deviation in the Bible, we can see that not the whole Bible is the inspiration of God or is God’s word. So, we think the Bible is all inspired by God and is all God’s words; this is man’s absurd understanding and doesn’t accord with the fact at all.” Hearing her fellowship, I hurriedly found these verses she said and searched them carefully. After that, I was stunned. Before the ironclad facts, I had to admit that not the whole Bible was the inspiration of God. I thought, “I have believed in God for so many years, knowing the Bible very well, and often expound on the Bible to brothers and sisters, but why didn’t I realize that there are so many obvious deviations in the Bible?” At this time, I had mixed and inexplicable feelings. It was incredible and undeniable that there should be so many incredible problems with the Bible I worshiped. When the other sister saw I was surprised, she said with patience, “Only God knows clearly about these deviations. If Almighty God didn’t disclose them, we wouldn’t know this even if we read the Bible for a lifetime, because we blindly trust the Bible, and regard it as God. Christ of the last days, Almighty God has come and brought new work and new words. We should follow God’s new work and read God’s actual words, only doing this is following God’s footprints.” Hearing their reasonable fellowship, I felt very enlightened and fully convinced. Later, through reading more of Almighty God’s words and fellowshipping with the sisters, I understood many truths that I didn’t know before, and was able to put aside my absurd notion and get a correct understanding of the Bible. Moreover, I was certain that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus and is leading us into all the truths. Now I have come out of the Bible thoroughly, and have accepted God’s work of the last days and followed His footprints. Thank God for saving me. All the glory be to God! The End. If you have other understanding or new light about this article, you’re welcome to have a chat with us via the online chat window at the bottom of the website or send an email to info@findshepherd.com. We Look forward to sharing with more brothers and sisters about your enlightenment from God and growing together in Christ. You may be interested in this article: It’s Not a Dream to Get Rid Of Sins and Enter Into the Kingdom of Heaven!

2017-12-26 04:56:06

Can We Be Justified by Faith? - Bible Study

By Bai Xue Some Christians think that they are no longer sinners, but are justified by believing in the Lord Jesus, and that they will be taken into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord returns. It is written in the Bible, “Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus” (Romans 3:25-26). So they consider that, with Jesus Christ acting as their sin offering, as long as they repent to the Lord, their sins can be forgiven, and thus they can be justified through the redemption of Jesus. However, whether or not we have ever thought: It is true that our sins have been forgiven through our faith in the Lord Jesus, but does this mean that we are righteous men and are no longer of sin? First, we might as well see what the apostle John said about this, “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that does righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (1 John 3:7). The apostle John warned us not to be enticed by people’s exteriors, and that without doing righteousness, a preacher of righteousness isn’t necessarily righteous only by promoting righteousness, whereas the one doing righteousness as well is sure to be righteous. It is perceived that neither promoting righteousness nor doing righteousness can be absent. However, with neglecting to put righteousness into practice, we only think, as long as we endure to the end, we will be justified by faith and will not be counted as sinners, and also we will surely enter the kingdom of heaven. This viewpoint above doesn’t accord with God’s will, nor is there any proof in the Bible. Next, looking at us, believers in the Lord Jesus today: Although we have some good deeds outwardly after accepting the redemption of the Lord Jesus, such as giving alms and helping others, yet these deeds are still far from proving that we are doing righteousness—merely standing for a good behavior, which can still not correspond to the Lord Jesus. It is because that we, having many corrupt dispositions within, can’t avoid committing sins and resisting God yet. For instance, when we encounter things in our real life, we can’t walk in God’s way or live out His words, filled with selfishness and baseness, crookedness and craftiness, but often reveal corrupt dispositions of arrogance and self-conceit without a heart of reverence for God; when we shepherd the church and suffer hardships to do some work for the Lord’s sake, we can exalt and testify ourselves to be venerated and looked up to; when we serve God, we can attack against each other and raise jealousy and strife between one another to compete for status; in addition, when our labor and sacrifice beget no God’s blessings, we can complain about and misunderstand God; when God’s work is not in accord with our notions, we can judge God; and so on. Aren’t these manifestations above the revelation of corrupt dispositions? With so many sins existing within us, can we be called the righteous? Let’s see what is written in the Bible, “If so be that you have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Ephesians 4:21-24). These verses also tell us: Since we have accepted the way of the Lord, we must cast off our former corrupt behaviors, live out the likeness of a new man, and ought not to do abominations any more. We should know the ones God finally will get are those who can live out God’s words and righteousness from the inside out, instead of those who only have a few good behaviors on the surface but are still bound by sins within. We, however, have lots of corrupt satanic dispositions, full of sins. How can we be called righteous people for this reason? It is also recorded in the Bible, “But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die” (Ezekiel 18:24). As can be seen from the verse, although we can be justified because of the redemption of the Lord Jesus and our faith in Him, nevertheless this does simply mean that we get an opportunity of being justified from the Lord, rather than represent that we are righteous people. If we can’t seize this opportunity to do righteousness, but live in sin and give free rein to the spread of sin, then how can we become righteous? So faith is inseparable from practice. If we only have faith but no living out in our behaviors, then we can’t receive God’s approval. Thus, the saying of being justified by faith is invalid. Now that we can’t truly be justified by faith, how can we be justified then? In fact, the Lord Jesus has already set the standard of righteous people. It is said in Revelation 19:7-8, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife has made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” From this we see that what God says about the standard of righteous people is based on whether we can do righteousness, in other words, it depends on whether we can live out holiness and the image of a just man. Supposing that we fail to do it, then we will not be justified by God. But, as for us, having many Satan’s corrupt dispositions within, we have not changed our life dispositions, full of sins in our living out, so we cannot glorify and manifest God at all, nor can we live out His words. Then how can we act out righteousness? Therefore, we must get rid of our corruption, not living in sin any longer, so that we can become the ones who accept God’s inspection in everything, follow His will and practice according to His words, have a heart of loving and obeying God in all our actions, achieve changes in our disposition, and finally fear God and shun evil. Such people are righteous ones of whom God approves. Just like Job, in all his life he conducted himself in conformity with the Lord’s way, and had a heart of fearing God and shunning evil in everything. Whether trials of hardships or refinements, he could obey God’s orchestration and arrangement without complaints, without his own choices or demands, and could still praise God’s name. So, Job is the one who truly lived out the image of a righteous man and became a perfect man in God’s eyes. We think a man can be justified by faith. In that case, we can weigh whether what we do is the living out of a righteous man. For example, since we believe in and follow God today, whether we have changes in our disposition, whether we still live by the old satanic nature, and whether we have tolerance, patience and love to others on the basis of understanding the principles of the truth; on the other hand, whether we act strictly as words said by God without mixture of our own will, notions and imaginations, and whether all we do can be in accordance with Christ? How many, mentioned above, have we lived out? If we would like to be justified, we must remove our corruption, not living by satanic corrupt disposition any more. Only by breaking away from sin to carry out righteous acts can we get the Lord’s approval. Just like the words in 1 Peter 1:15-16, “But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy.” as well as in Hebrews 12:14, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” We all know that God is holy. So, God does not allow any filthy and corrupt things to exist in His kingdom. Only the ones who are purified and saved by God can enter God’s kingdom. If you have other understanding and new light, you’re welcome to have a real-time chat with us via the online chat window at the bottom of the website or send an email to info@findshepherd.com. We’re all ears to your experience and knowledge of belief in the Lord. Looking forward to exchanging our sharing and welcoming the Lord’s second coming together.

2017-11-03 21:51:59