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After reading the verse in the Scripture, “That if you shall confess with your mouth the, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Rom 10:9), many brothers and sisters in the Lord then think: The Lord Jesus was crucified as a sin offering to redeem us, so we have already been saved because of our belief in Him. Therefore, there’s no need to receive any other salvation. And we’ll be raptured into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes. Is this viewpoint correct? Have we been truly saved by accepting the Lord Jesus’ redemption? And what exactly is being truly saved? If we are unclear about this question, we will easily miss the opportunity of being saved by God.
It’s written in the Scripture, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God” (Eph 2:8). From this verse, we can see: Being saved, on the one hand, refers to God’s salvation coming upon man, and on the other hand, it means that man gains the salvation which is freely given by God because of his belief. That’s to say, when God’s salvation work comes upon man, man will gain the salvation from God as long as he believes in and follows God. Just like in the beginning when mankind was being corrupted, they didn’t know how to live on earth, nor did they know what sins were, much less did they know how to worship God. There is the risk that such mankind will be taken captive by Satan at any time. Therefore, God began His work of salvation among man. In the Age of Law, through Moses, God issued laws and commandments, led His new-born mankind to live on earth, guiding their food, clothing, shelter, and transportation, teaching them how to get along with others, how to worship and serve Him, how to offer sacrifices to Him and how to slaughter bulls and goats to atone for their sins. If people followed the laws set down by Jehovah God, they would be blessed by God. But if not, they would be punished by God like being stoned to death or burned by heavenly fire. Consequently, in the Age of Law, God’s work was to use the laws to constrain people’s deeds and justify or condemn them, so that people could know their sins. At that time, whoever called upon the name of Jehovah and followed His laws was blessed and saved by God. Just as Joel 2:32 says, “Whoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered.” This explains the meaning of being saved in the Age of Law.
However, we all know that though people knew what sins were by the laws set down by Jehovah God, Satan’s poisons were already planted within them after their being corrupted by Satan. As a result, at the end of the Age of Law, people all failed to keep the law and lost their God-fearing heart, to the extent that they sacrificed the blind or lame animals on Jehovah God’s altar. If that continued, they would face the danger of being condemned and executed by the law. In order to save man and allow man to cast off the restraints and condemnation of laws, God personally became flesh and was nailed to the cross to serve as a sin offering. And He began the new work of salvation. From then on, those who believed in and accepted the Lord Jesus wouldn’t be condemned for not being able to keep the law. Rather, their sins were forgiven owing to the Lord Jesus’ salvation. Meanwhile, they lived in the grace and peace and joy bestowed by the Lord. Contrarily, those people, like the chief priests and scribes who served Jehovah and those Jews who followed them, stubbornly held on to the laws of the Old Testament and didn’t admit at all that the Lord Jesus is God, much less accept the Lord Jesus’ redemption. Instead, they nailed the Lord Jesus to death on the cross, so that they offended God’s disposition and fell under the punishment and curse of God. In the end, they lost their chance to receive the Lord’s salvation.
In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus forgave our sins and we were saved through our faith. However, this “being saved” only means that our sins are forgiven, and we won’t be condemned or put to death by the law. It doesn’t mean that we’ve been purified and broken free of the bondage and restraints of sin, much less that we can enter the kingdom of heaven. That’s because our sinful nature is still deeply rooted within us. On this count, we still unknowingly commit sins and resist God, living in the bondage of sin. Let us put forward some examples: We all know that the Lord Jesus taught us to be tolerant and patient with others and love our neighbor as ourselves. However, since others affect our own interests and face, we frequently harbor prejudices against them. Then we can’t bear them or treat them with love but even keep hating them within. The Lord taught us to be pure and honest like little children when we speak and act. But in order to protect our own face and status, we always tell lies and deceive. The Lord taught us to give thanks in everything. But when encountering unfavorable circumstances or disasters, we unknowingly complain about and misunderstand God, and even lose. The Scripture says, “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). The Lord is holy. But now our corrupt satanic dispositions haven’t been gotten rid of and we haven’t been purified, so how could we be fit to see the Lord’s face? How could we say that we have been truly saved?
So what exactly is being truly saved? Let’s read God’s word. God said, “For, in the Age of Grace, the demons went away from man with the laying on of hands and prayer, but the corrupt dispositions within man still remained. Man was healed of his sickness and forgiven his sins, but the work for just how the corrupt satanic dispositions within man could be cast away was not done in him. Man was only saved and forgiven his sins for his faith, but the sinful nature of man was not taken away and still remained within him. The sins of man were forgiven through God incarnate, but it does not mean that man has no sin within him. The sins of man could be forgiven through the sin offering, but man has been unable to resolve the issue of just how he can no longer sin and how his sinful nature can be cast away completely and be transformed. The sins of man were forgiven because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live in the old, corrupt satanic disposition. As such, man must be completely saved from the corrupt satanic disposition so that the sinful nature of man is completely cast away and never again develops, thus allowing the disposition of man to be changed. This requires man to understand the path of growth in life, the way of life, and the way to change his disposition. It also needs man to act in accordance with this path so that the disposition of man can gradually be changed and he can live under the shining of the light, and that he can do all things in accord with the will of God, cast away the corrupt satanic disposition, and break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation.” “Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and this work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.”
From God’s words, we can see that in the Age of Grace the Lord Jesus just completed the work of His redemption of mankind, but He didn’t do the work of judging and purifying man, and our filthiness and corruption still exist within us. So if we remain in the Age of Grace, we can only be forgiven of our sins. But since our sinful nature remains rooted within us, we still endlessly reveal our corrupt satanic disposition. Thus we can never achieve purification and have no chance to enter God’s kingdom. Therefore, if we wish to attain purification and be completely free from Satan’s influence, we still need God to do another stage of work of judging and purifying to transform us. Only in this way can we cast off our corrupt satanic disposition and recover the original likeness of the first created humans. Only then will we truly be saved. Therefore, we must come out of the Age of Grace to accept and obey’s work of the last days and experience God’s work of judgment and chastisement. Only in this way can we truly be purified and saved by God completely. This also fulfills what says, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Pe 1:5).
Through the above fellowship, we know that in the Age of Law, man could be saved because of his obeying the law. However, this work in the Age of Law was just the very beginning of the work of salvation which merely made men achieve to be aware of their sins, but men hadn’t been truly saved through it. Then, in the Age of Grace, because of their belief in the Lord, men could obtain the salvation of the Lord and have their sins forgiven if they came before Him to confess sins after they sinned. But as the root of men’s committing sins had not yet been resolved, they could still sin and resist God. Thus, men hadn’t been truly saved. However, in the final age, Christ of the last days, Almighty God, has expressed a variety of truths and has done the work of judgment and chastisement to remove sins. This work aims to save man completely from Satan’s influence. So, only if we follow God’s footprints and accept His end-time judgment can we be thoroughly saved. At that time, those people who devoutly served Jehovah God held on to the viewpoint that men would be saved if they called on the name of Jehovah. They rejected the Lord Jesus’ salvation and suffered the pain of subjugation in the end. Similarly, if we also hold on to the viewpoint, “We have been saved because of our belief in the Lord Jesus, so we’ll be raptured into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord is back,” and refuse to accept God’s salvation of the last days, then won’t we lose the final opportunity of being saved like those who rejected the Lord Jesus’ work in the Age of Grace? Revelation 14:4 says, “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes.” It proves that God’s work doesn’t remain frozen at one stage but is always progressing forward. Only those who follow the footsteps of the Lamb are the overcomers. In the end, may we put aside our notions and be the ones who follow the Lamb’s footsteps closely, so as to accept God’s salvation of the last days and attend the wonderful feast.
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You may be interested in this article: How to Be Saved Fully?
Rapture in the air is not in accordance with Jesus’ words. What is the meaning of rapture? Through fellowship, she understood that the true meaning of rapture is to follow God’s footsteps.
By Zhang Yan Now is the end of the last days when the prophecies of the Lord Jesus’ return have all come true, and we expect to be taken into God’s kingdom and obtain eternal life more eagerly, because the Lord Jesus once said, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36). All these years we have been repenting our sins, preaching the gospel, and bearing fruits, just as the Lord Jesus asked. Thus, we all feel ourselves most approved by God, and that as long as we hold on to the Lord Jesus’ way, we will surely obtain eternal life. Then, is the opinion, after all, in accordance with God’s will? Regarding this question, let’s think back on what the Lord Jesus did in the Age of Grace.At that time, the Lord Jesus incarnate came among us mankind and brought forth the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, saying, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). From the Lord’s word, we clearly know that what He brought man was the way of confession and repentance. And, in addition to these teachings, He also gave all his mercy and love to His followers, bestowed sufficient grace upon man, healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead…, until eventually He was nailed to the cross for redeeming mankind, thus completing the work of redemption. However, in spite of having received forgiveness of sins from the Lord, we man still live in the vicious cycle of committing and confessing sins. We can still express these corrupt dispositions anywhere and anytime, such as greed, selfishness, arrogance, deceit, and so on, so that we commit sins at any time and any place. For instance, when we labor hard for the Lord for years, we feel we have the capital to flaunt ourselves. Meanwhile, we all enjoy being in a lofty position to have others worship us, and always exalt and testify ourselves. Isn’t this the behavior of our arrogant nature? Such substance is exactly the substance of the Pharisees, with which we always talk big, try every means to be exalted and admired by others in sermons. Not only this, we also have treacherous nature. So, in order to secure our fame and status, we usually act one way in public and another in private, and unwittingly tell lies to deceive and blind man on sundry occasions so as to satisfy our personal desires. This proves that our sinful nature is still deeply rooted within us and thus we can still sin and resist God, that is, we have yet to achieve eternal life, since those who have eternal life are someone whose sins have been cleansed. God’s kingdom is holy, and only those who have been purified are worthy to enter His kingdom. How can we, who often sin, be qualified to enter it? The Lord Jesus never said that man could enter the kingdom of heaven with his sinful nature; while we often absurdly think that as long as we labor, sacrifice for the Lord, and keep the Lord’s name at all times, we will enter it and gain eternal life. However, never have we realized that only pursuing to be purified by the Lord and thereby being thoroughly cleansed is the precondition of being approved by the Lord and raptured into the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus said clearly, “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). He also demanded, “And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The Lord Jesus told us plainly that if we man don’t become as simple and honest as children, and don’t break away from sin to be purified, we won’t be able to enter the kingdom of heaven or obtain eternal life. Then, how will the Lord Jesus’ promise that we will have eternal life be accomplished since we still often commit sins now and have yet to obtain eternal life? When studying the Bible carefully, I read the words of the Lord Jesus, “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). “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 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 16:12-13). Also, I saw some man’s words of enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). From the above verses, we know that when the Lord Jesus was first incarnated to do the work of redemption, He took on all the sins of man as the sin offering and thereby redeemed man from the law, so that man would be no longer condemned or cursed by the law and had the qualification and opportunity to come before God to get close, pray, confess, and repent to Him. Nevertheless, we man haven’t gotten free from our sinful nature and can’t enter God’s kingdom yet. Therefore, in the last days the Lord Jesus will come again, express more truths, and do a stage of work of thoroughly judging, purifying, and saving man, in order to solve our sinful nature and have our corrupt disposition completely cleansed and transformed, through which we can obtain eternal life. The Lord Jesus once said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36). We all know that what the Lord Jesus did during the Age of Grace was the redemptive work, and what He preached was the way of repentance. The Lord Jesus is Christ, God Himself, and eternal life. It’s just that only when He comes again, which is to say, the Spirit of truth comes, can the way of eternal life be given to man. Those wise virgins who can recognize the Lord’s voice will obtain it, just as the Lord Jesus said, “And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” Obviously, when He comes again, He will, still in the image of the incarnate Son of man, bestow life upon man through expressing the truth. God says, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life.” Provided that we merely hold on to the Lord Jesus’ way of repentance yet don’t accept all the truths brought by the returned Lord, then we can’t be called believers in the Son, much less can we obtain eternal life. Instead, only when we believe in the incarnate Son of man in the last days, moreover, accept all the truths expressed by Him, and receive the judgment and purification of these truths to gain life, can our faith accord with the Lord Jesus’ word, and can the meaning of our belief in the Son be complete. Also, this is the only way for us to obtain eternal life and to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven in the last days. All the enlightenment, illumination, and glory be to God! Recommended: To Gain Eternal Life, You Must Know the Source of It Can We Gain the Way of Eternal Life by Believing in Almighty God? Christ of the Last Days Brings the Way of Eternal Life
By Kally Pastors and elders always tell us that all the words in the Bible are God’s words and that the Bible is given by inspiration of God. As the Bible says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). So, we have been holding the belief that everything in the Bible is the word of God. But today, when studying the Bible together with Sister Qi, I gained a new knowledge of this notion. When we read several passages of the scriptures, Sister Qi said that there are not only the words of God but also the words of man, of the serpent, of Satan, and of an ass in the Bible. And then she showed the following verses to me. Genesis 3:1: “And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” This is what the serpent said to Eve. Job 2:2: “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” This is what Satan said to God. Numbers 22:30: “And the ass said to Balaam, Am not I your ass, on which you have ridden ever since I was your to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you?” This is what an ass said to his master. After reading these verses, I couldn’t help but feel confused in my heart: Right, these are not the words of God but are the words of Satan, of the serpent, and of an ass. Then why did Paul say that all scripture is given by God? Why do the pastors and elders say that everything in the Bible is God’s word? Sister Qi seemed to have read my mind and then shared some knowledge with me. She said, “In fact, in the Bible, we find that God never said that everything in the Bible is His word, nor did the Holy Spirit testify it. The saying ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God’ only represents Paul’s personal knowledge instead of God’s will. And the belief pastors and elders hold is just based on the words of Paul, not God. We believers in God should view everything according to God’s words.” Hearing this, I nodded my agreement. She then said, “Now we understand that not all the words in the Bible are God’s words. Then, what parts of the Bible are God’s words? I think it’s necessary for us to clarify this issue.” Thereupon, we continued the discussion. Sister Qi went on, “In the Bible, only the words spoken by Jehovah God, the words Jehovah God instructed Moses to say, the words God asked the prophets to convey, the words said by the Lord Jesus, and the prophecies God revealed to John in Revelation are God’s words; apart from these, the biographies of man and letters of apostles are all man’s words. They only represent their personal experiences and knowledge, not God’s words, and moreover cannot be said to be the word of God. “Let’s take a look at all the words that God enlightened the prophets. To differentiate God’s words from prophets’ words, the words of God conveyed by the prophets are always first marked ‘the LORD has spoken’ or ‘thus said the LORD’ according to God’s will. For example, Exodus 16:23: ‘And he said to them, This is that which the LORD has said …’; Ezekiel 5:8: ‘Therefore thus said the Lord GOD …’; and Jeremiah 7:20: ‘Therefore thus said the Lord GOD …’ etc. Aren’t these all facts? Are you able to accept this?” I nodded and answered, “Yes, I can.” Thank the Lord! Today, I have obtained these gains from studying the Bible together with Sister Qi. Well, brothers and sisters in the Lord, have you also understood these? If you want to know more about the mysteries of the Bible, read more on our God and the Bible page, or in the following articles. Does Believing in the Lord Means to Believe in the Bible What Kind of Book Is the Bible? Who Wrote the Bible?
The Lord Jesus did forgive our sins, but we are still living in a circle of sinning and confessing. Then how can we enter the kingdom of heaven without being purified?