Can Those Who Are Living in Sin Enter Into the Kingdom of Heaven?

By Fangfang

At midnight, there was a bright moon and its velvety light shone through the window into Chen Yuemei’s bedroom. She was tossing and turning in bed and unable to fall asleep. Thinking of today her mother-in-law giving her brother-in-law more than his share of the money from selling the land, Yuemei felt really upset. She recalled how her mother-in-law was biased all these years: Whenever she had something that was delicious or good she would give it to her younger son’s family, and she also helped them to look after their children and to do farm work. She took care of them so well. However, she showed no concern for Chen Yuemei’s family matters. Even during the busy farming season, when Yuemei asked her to help look after Yuemei’s children, she would refuse, so Yuemei had no choice but to take her two young children with her when going to the fields to work. Yuemei thought: I am so good to my mother-in-law and never shirk my filial duty to her. Why is she so biased? And today she even gave her young son more than his share of the money from selling the land. The more Chen Yuemei thought, the angrier she felt, and she began to resent her mother-in-law.

At this time, she thought that as a believer in the Lord, she should obey the teachings of the Lord, being patient and tolerant to others and forgiving others seventy times seven times. But she just could not put these into practice. On the surface, she didn’t argue with her mother-in-law, but she bore resentment toward her and was unable to be tolerant and patient to her. When remembering the verses: “But love you your enemies, and do good …” (Luke 6:35), and “Whoever hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15), Yuemei felt so agonized and perplexed, and then she prayed to the Lord and begged Him for forgiving her sins …

Once, Chen Yuemei read the following words of the Lord: “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). She pondered these words, thinking: “The Lord said those who commit sin are servants of sin and they can’t stay forever in the Lord’s house. I am always involuntarily sinning and can never get rid of the bondage of sin. Am I not the servant of sin? In the past, our pastors and elders often told us that as long as we believed in the Lord, our sins were forgiven, we were justified by faith, and the Lord no longer saw us as sinners, so when He came back we could be directly taken up into the kingdom of heaven. Now that I think about it, what the pastors and elders said is not in line with the Lord Jesus’ words. The Lord didn’t say that as long as one believes in Him, he could enter into the kingdom of heaven, and neither did He say that those who have been forgiven their sins are not sinners. Alas! I still live in the midst of sin every day. Can I enter into the kingdom of heaven by believing in the Lord like this?”

Enter Into the Kingdom of Heaven

The next day, when several brothers and sisters came to Chen Yuemei’s house to attend the co-workers meeting, she sought fellowship with them about her confusions.

On hearing Chen Yuemei’s words, Co-worker Wu said: “Sister Chen, how can you worry that you can’t enter the kingdom of heaven? The Lord is faithful, so we should have confidence in Him. It is recorded in the Bible that: ‘When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost’ (John 19:30). Since the Lord Jesus said ‘It is finished’ on the cross, this proved that the work of His saving mankind was accomplished. He was nailed on the cross for us and bore all of our sins, and He no longer sees us as sinners. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus comes back, we can enter the kingdom of heaven directly.”

Co-worker Wang echoed his words: “That’s right. Sister Chen, the Lord is merciful and loving, so no matter what sins we commit, as long as we confess them and repent to the Lord, He will absolve us. Moreover, your resenting your mother-in-law is a very small sin, which the Lord won’t remember. Our sins have already been forgiven, and we just have to wait for the Lord to raise us up into the kingdom of heaven. If we don’t even have such confidence, can we be the Lord’s believers?”

Chen Yuemei frowned and became immersed in contemplation.

Co-worker Li, after hearing their words, pondered for a while, and then said: “Brother Wu, Sister Wang, the Lord’s word is truth, so without the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, we can’t understand the true meaning and mysteries within it. In regard to the Lord Jesus saying ‘It is finished’ on the cross, my understanding used to be the same as yours in that I also believed it indicated that God’s work of saving all mankind was thoroughly complete, and that as long as we believed in the Lord, this meant we had received salvation and could directly be raised up into the kingdom of heaven when He came back. But not long ago, I met an old classmate and when we talked about our own understanding about the Lord’s words ‘It is finished,’ she asked me: ‘If the Lord Jesus on the cross saying “It is finished” meant that all God’s work of saving mankind was complete, then why did He prophesy that He would speak and work again in the last days?’ At that time, I stared blankly and didn’t know how to answer her question. Then we studied many prophecies in the Bible, such as ‘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), ‘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 12:48), and ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7). All of these verses mention that when the Lord returns, He will speak and work, so I realized that I couldn’t define that after God finished the work of redemption there is no further work. In reality, we still live cyclical lives of sinning in the daytime and confessing at night, without casting off the binds and restraints of sin. This proves that we are still the servants of sin and haven’t been saved, so how can we enter into the kingdom of heaven? Thus it can be seen that the Lord Jesus saying ‘It is finished’ meant that His work of redeeming mankind through crucifixion was accomplished; it didn’t mean all the work of God saving mankind was complete. Actually, the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption only completed half of God’s work of salvation.”

On hearing this, Co-worker Wu asked in surprise: “What? The Lord Jesus only completed half of God’s work of salvation?”

Co-worker Wang also said immediately: “How could it be possible? Sister Li, could you explain to us what the salvation you talk about really is?”

And Chen Yuemei said earnestly: “I am also unable to see through this question. Sister Li, if you have any light, please fellowship on it with us!”

Then Co-worker Li took a book out of her bag unhurriedly, saying: “Let me read you several passages of words. Listen carefully and then you will understand. ‘In rescuing man off the cross, Jesus was only completing redemption work; He was not doing perfection work. Thus only half of God’s work was being done, and finishing the redemption work was only half of His whole plan.’

‘For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.’

Having read the words above, she fellowshiped: “These words make it very clear. By using crucifixion as a sin offering, the Lord Jesus redeemed man from his sinfulness. What He did was the redemption work, rather than the work of cleansing and changing man. So it can be seen that the Lord Jesus saying ‘It is finished’ only meant that God’s work of redeeming all mankind was finished, not that all God’s work of saving mankind was accomplished. Though the Lord Jesus pardoned us of our sins, our sinful nature has not been pardoned and we still live in our corrupt disposition and can’t help but sin and resist the Lord. Take me, for example. I want to put the Lord’s words into practice and be honest, speaking honestly and doing practical things, but when something involves my own reputation and interests, sometimes I can’t help but lie and engage in deception, revealing only satanic dispositions of deceit, crookedness, selfishness, and despicableness. What’s more, whenever I see some brothers and sisters are unable to attend gatherings normally because of clinging to wealth and still weak and negative after being supported and helped, I always turn up my nose at them and even define them as people who don’t pursue the truth. I am unable to be patient or tolerant toward them, and instead lecture them in a condescending attitude. I see that my arrogant nature reveals frequently. And I often preach the Lord’s words but can’t practice them. Isn’t this being hypocritical? The Bible says: ‘Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). How can people like me, who can still commit sins on a daily basis, be qualified to be taken up into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes back? So I think our viewpoint that since the Lord Jesus has already forgiven our sins, we have been saved and just have to wait to enter the kingdom of heaven is erroneous and purely the conception and imagination of us that do not in line with the Lord’s word. This is my understanding and opinion. Brothers and sisters, what do you think about this?”

Chen Yuemei nodded her head a few times, while Co-worker Wu glanced at Co-worker Li and looked a little embarrassed.

Chen Yuemei said with a smile: “Thank the Lord! What Sister Li has fellowshiped today is indeed very illuminating and it surely has emerged from the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination. No wonder I cannot be tolerant and patient toward my mother-in-law; no matter how I pray and restrain myself, I still cannot help but commit sins, living in pain. It turns out that I have merely been redeemed, but have not cast off my sinful nature to receive cleanness and gain transformation. I still need God’s salvation.”

Co-worker Han said with emotion: “I’ve just been paying attention to Sister Li’s fellowship. It is reasonable. In particular, the two passages of words that Sister Li just read make the effectiveness of the Lord Jesus’ work so clear. What the Lord Jesus did was merely the work of redemption, and even though we have been forgiven our sins, it doesn’t represent that we have been purified and changed. This is a fact that we are unable to deny. Only today have I realized that we cannot be purified simply by attending gatherings, reading the Bible, and working hard for the Lord. We still need God’s salvation in the last days. Sister Li, the words in your book contain truth. Can you read more of them to us?”

“Right,” Chen Yuemei agreed. “Sister Li, how can we get rid of our sinful nature, be purified, and receive God’s salvation? Can you fellowship some more with us?”

Co-worker Wang also said: “Yes, Sister Li, I’d like to go one step further and work out how we can receive salvation. Please fellowship with us some more!”

Co-worker Li smiled and said: “Thank the Lord! Sister Chen, Sister Wang, regarding the question you brought up, we can find the answer in this book. Let’s read it.” Then she opened the book and found two passages of words for Chen Yuemei to read: “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.” “By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God.” Co-worker Li continued to fellowship: “From these words, we can see that if we want to cast off our corrupt disposition and to be purified and truly saved by God, we not only need the Lord Jesus to do the work of redemption to forgive our sins, but also need the Lord to return and perform the work of judging and chastising to resolve our sinful nature. God is the truth, the way, and the life, so His words can cleanse man, change man, and save man. When we are able to put God’s words into practice and live relying on God’s words in our lives, we will gradually get free from Satan’s dark influence, our corrupt disposition will be lessened, and we will live out the likeness of a man, gain release and freedom in our soul, and no longer be bound and controlled by sin. This is exactly how God’s work of salvation deepens step by step, until God thoroughly saves man from Satan’s domain. Right now, it is already the last days. Mankind can’t extricate itself from living in sin, and even we believers in the Lord are also unable to hold on to the teachings of the Lord, often scheming against and having jealous disputes with others. All that we live out is satanic dispositions. In addition, many Christians lust for money, pursue fame and status, and are following the trends of the world. Their hearts stray further and further from God. If it continues, all mankind will be seized and swallowed by Satan. Thus, in accordance with the needs of corrupt mankind, God needs to do a stage of judgment and chastisement work, allowing people to be purified and changed through His judgment and chastisement, thereby completely saving mankind from sin and taking us into the kingdom of heaven.”

Chen Yuemei said excitedly: “Thank the Lord! Sister Li, after hearing these words and your fellowship, my heart has finally become enlightened. If we want to enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must accept God’s judgment and chastisement in the last days. This time, I also have the hope to cast off the bonds of sin. And I also find the way to enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

Co-worker Li and Co-worker Han smiled and said: “Thank the Lord!” And Co-worker Wang nodded her head.

However, Co-worker Wu frowned and didn’t say a word, as if he was thinking about something …

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Is Once Saved Always Saved True? Here Is the Answer

Once saved, we are always saved and then can enter the kingdom of heaven. Is this view correct? Being truly saved is not that simple. Read this article to learn the true meaning of being saved and find the way to true salvation.

2019-01-12 07:50:56

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

What Is Forgiveness of Sin? Can People Enter the Kingdom of God After Being Forgiven of Sin?

Can people enter the kingdom of God after being forgiven of sin? After seeking, he got the answer and understood the true meaning of forgiveness of sin and found the way to the kingdom of God.

2019-02-26 19:40:26

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