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On the morning of Sunday, it was sunny. Flowers in the courtyard emitted a beautiful, strong smell. The voices of prayers were coming from brothers and sisters in the meeting place, “Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. … Amen.”
The preacher, Brother Liu, stood on the platform, saying to everyone with a smile, “Today, we change a way of having a meeting. You can ask if you are not clear about something or have any questions. We will seek and fellowship together. On one hand, it can liven up the atmosphere; on the other hand, we will develop the burden and fellowship actively. In this way we can understand more truths. May the Lord prepare. Amen!”
Brothers and sisters began to widely discuss. Believer A said happily, “This is a good way. It can not only make brothers and sisters interact with each other but arouse us to seek the truth. I think we should have meetings like this in future so that the effect will be better.”
Sister Wang smiled: “Then I ask a question first. When thewas performing work, He manifested many signs and wonders, which caused a sensation throughout the entire Jewish state. At that time, some people followed the Lord Jesus. But some people resisted and condemned the work of the Lord Jesus, just like those priests, scribes and Pharisees in the temple serving God. After they listened to the Lord Jesus’ sermons, they neither sought nor investigated but tried to find all kinds of accusations against the Lord Jesus, slandering and condemning the Lord Jesus’ work. They even nailed Him to the cross in the end. While the Lord Jesus was working, why did some people follow Him but some people resist Him? What kind of people on earth can gain the Lord’s salvation?”
Brother Liu paused for a few moments and said: “It’s a very important question that you have asked. If we don’t know how toin order to walk on the way of success and don’t summarize and absorb the lessons of those who had failed, we are easy to resist God and step onto the path of no return. Brothers and sisters, before fellowshiping the question, I want to ask you a question first: when the Lord Jesus was performing the work at the time, who most should follow Him?”
All believers looked at one another and answered: They should be the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees who are proficient in.
Brother Liu said, “According to our imaginations and conceptions, the Lord Jesus should enlighten the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees when He began to perform the work. They not only served God in the temple, but also were familiar with the Bible and preached the laws and commandments to believers every day. So they should be the people who followed the Lord. Is this right? (All believers: Yes.) But in fact, not only did they not seek the Lord Jesus’ work after seeing His work, but instead attacked, condemned and resisted Him. Finally, they even combined with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus. Unexpectedly, Peter, John, Matthew and others who were of no reputation and status, and not familiar with the Bible gave up all things to follow Him when hearing the Lord Jesus’ calling. Finally, they gained the salvation of the Lord. From this, we can see that God’s disposition is righteous and faithful. He does not give anyone special treatment. God’s saving of man is not based on our status, seniority, or the time of belief, but on whether we long for and seek the truth.”
All believers discussed widely, “God is very righteous. His work really isn’t in line with our conceptions and imaginations. If we long for and seek the truth, God will save us.”
Sister Wang seemed to understand something, saying, “I thought those priests, scribes and Pharisees should follow the Lord Jesus first, but I never thought that those fisherman and tax collectors kept up with the work of the Lord Jesus. The Lord is too righteous, and He will not treat anyone preferentially.”
Brother Liu asked, “Why can these people keep up with God’s footsteps?”
All believers were puzzled inside, carrying their confusion, they looked at one another.
Brother Liu opened the Bible at ease and said, “The stories in the Bible can tell us the answer. For instance, when the fishermen, Peter and Andrew heard the Lord Jesus’ call, they put aside the fishing net and followed the Lord Jesus; Jacob and John who were fishing for a living also heard the Lord Jesus’ call, then abandoned the fishing boat, said goodbye to their father and followed the Lord Jesus; the tax collector Matthew heard the Lord Jesus’ call, and let go of his work and followed Him. These disciples all heard the Lord Jesus’ call and followed Him purely. A woman of Samaria was surprised that the Lord Jesus told her all things that ever she had done, and then she went into the city, and said to the men that the Lord Jesus is Christ, the coming of Messiah. And Nicodemus was enlightened by God and knew Jesus is from God, for he had a searching heart, visited Jesus in the middle of the night, and heard the Lord Jesus’ teachings. Those people had humble hearts to seek the Lord Jesus’ words and work modestly so that they gained God’s enlightenment, heard. And they finally recognized that the Lord Jesus comes from God, and that He is Christ, the coming of Messiah in the prophecy. As a matter of fact, when the Lord Jesus was preaching and doing His work, He did not enlighten anyone, rather let man hear His words and work so as to reveal who did modestly seek the truth and long for God to appear to work. Just as the Lord Jesus said, ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine’ (John 10:14). ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’ (John 10:27). ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened’ (Mat 7:7-8).”
Sister Wang smiled, “Oh, I am clearer through your fellowship. I thought those who had status, fame and gifts should gain God’s enlightenment and follow the pace of God’s work first. But the fact fights back against my conceptions and imaginations. God doesn’t care about these outward things, yet He cares about who longs for God, which made me think of the Lord Jesus’ words, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Mat 5:3). ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled’ (Mat 5:6). ‘Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God’ (Mat 5:8). Although disciples who followed the Lord, like Peter, John, Matthew and so on, neither had a high position or status nor were familiar with Bible verses, they were willing to follow the Lord when they heard the Lord’s call and modestly sought God’s words and work. They did not feel constrained by the Pharisees, breaking through all dark influences and devoting themselves to follow the Lord Jesus. Finally, they gained God’s salvation. In future, we should imitate Peter and John and do not rely on our own conceptions and imaginations but on God’s word regarding the return of the Lord. Only when we seek and investigate with humble hearts, can we receive God’s guidance and enlightenment, keeping up with the pace of God’s work.”
Believers discussed widely, “Yeah. It seems that our thoughts before don’t conform to the truth indeed. The Lord’s disciples, Peter and John, are really the examples we should follow. God is righteous and faithful. As long as we put our notions aside, seeking and investigating with our true hearts, God will enlighten us and we can welcome the Lord’s appearance and work like Peter, John and Matthew.”
Sister Wang looked pensive and said, “I still don’t understand that at the beginning, so many people heard the Lord Jesus’ sermons and saw Him perform miracles and welcomed His return in the crowd, but why did most of them follow the Pharisees to resist the Lord Jesus later?”
Brother Liu said with a firm voice, “Sister, your question is very practical. We all know that the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees are religious leaders and elite. Most people looked up to and worshiped them because they had believed in God for a long time, and were familiar with Bible and had status and gifts, regarding the theories of the theology and biblical studies they preached as the truth. Those people believed in God but they didn’t seek or investigate the Lord Jesus’ words and work, nor did they care whether it came from God or benefited people. They just blindly looked up to and worshiped biblical studies, status and power. When the Pharisees found all kinds of accusations against the Lord Jesus and condemned Him by law, most people had no discernment and were deceived by them. They believed Pharisees’ fallacies and followed them to resist the Lord Jesus, being made into the Pharisees’ accomplices. The other aspect is that when they knew the Lord Jesus did not come to be their King and lead them to overthrow the Roman government’s rule, even He Himself was condemned and resisted by the religious leaders, they denied the Lord Jesus’s words and work. They thought that if the Lord Jesus was Christ and Messiah, He should be King and supported by everyone. How come He could be condemned and rejected? Therefore, as the Lord Jesus’ working did not conform to their conceptions, they stood on the side of the Pharisees to beat the drum for them and resist and condemn the Lord.”
Sister Wang said excitedly, “Thank God. I am clear through your fellowshiping. It turns out that the reasons why most people followed the Pharisees to condemn and resist the Lord Jesus are that they looked up to and worshiped people, felt constrained by power and status, and that they did not seek the truth and had no discernment at all, but viewed the Lord Jesus’s work based on their own conceptions and imaginations. It looks like that we should have a heart that reveres God on the subject of welcoming the return of the Lord. We could not listen to the words of pastors and elders. Otherwise, we are easily to be deceived and cheated so that we resist God and suffer His punishment.”
Brother Liu said, “Yes. Facing the work of the returned Lord, only by having a heart that reveres God to seek and investigate modestly, not to judge or condemn willfully, can we get the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination, keeping up with the pace of God’s work and receiving His salvation.”
Believers discussed with a smile, “Yeah. If it were not for today’s communication in this way, we would also have no discernment regarding the subject of welcoming the Lord just like those people at that time who looked up to and worshiped pastors and elders with status and power. And we would treat God’s work based on our own conceptions and imaginations. God is righteous and loves the people who humbly seek the truth. People like Peter, can be approved by God. That’s right. If we still insist on listening to the pastors’ and elders’ words and don’t discern them, we are easily to be deceived. We should follow Peter and John, seeking the truth with a heart that reveres God. Only by praying more and seeking God’s will as well as hearingcarefully when encountering the problems, can we follow God’s footsteps and gain His salvation.”
All believers, “Thank God! Amen!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: To Welcome the Second Coming of Jesus, Should Avoid Pharisees’ Failure
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?