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By Su Xing
In the cool moonlight, the autumn night is cold. A crescent moon hangs in the sky; now and then, the floating clouds swim across it. When the moon is blocked out, there appears darkness, and then it will unyieldingly struggle from the cloud, shining and dispelling darkness.
In the moonlight, the village was especially peaceful. Lin Muran was sitting in the chair. Above his head, an incandescent bulb hung there, the light shining on his grey hair. He wrinkled his forehead and his face was covered with sadness. On the desk a Bible lay open, whose torn and yellowed pages were curled. Beside the book, there was a small notebook filled with many words. “Alas!” Lin Muran heaved a long sigh, got to his feet and walked up and down in the room. He was extremely worried when he thought of the situation in the church: Our sermons were repetitive and lackluster, such as practicing patience and tolerance, working hard, watching and waiting, preaching sermons with love, etc. Never mind the brothers and sisters were unwilling to listen; I didn’t even want to preach anymore. We had to search for the information for sermons several days before every gathering. We several preachers all avoided preaching and were puzzled about what we should preach to supply the brothers and sisters. Fewer and fewer people came to attend gatherings in the church. Some brothers and sisters, who have caliber and seek God actively, couldn’t bear the thirst and hunger in spirit, so they all investigated Eastern Lightening and never came back again.
Several days ago, Lin Muran contacted Brother Zhang who believed in Eastern Lightening. Having listened to the testimony given by him, which is indeed reasonable, Lin Muran was convinced. Especially, the brother has unique insights into, which made Lin Muran have no choice but to admit that the preachings of Eastern Lightening are profound and obviously has the work of the Holy Spirit. However, the pastors and elders didn’t allow him to investigate. They said that what was preached by Eastern Lightening—the Lord has been descended secretly through incarnation and has done new work—did not conform with the prophecies of the Lord’s public descending with clouds in the Bible. Lin Muran thought: It seems what the pastors said is also reasonable. Who should I listen to on earth? Lin Muran was anxious. He hesitated, not knowing whether he should investigate or refuse.
It was late at night, but Lin Muran was not sleepy at all. His heart was very heavy, as if a stone were put on it. In these years, according to what he saw and heard, it’s a fact that the church has been desolate without the work of the Holy Spirit. If he continued staying in the religion, he would certainly become foolish virgin and be abandoned by the Lord. At this time, the scene that Brother Zhang spread gospel to him several days ago appeared before his eyes. When they talked about the Lord’s return that day, Lin Muran said, “It’s surely that the Lord will come upon a white cloud publicly. There are prophecies as proof in the Bible: ‘Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him’ (Revelation 1:7). ‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). You can see, the Bible clearly says that the Lord will come with clouds and everyone will see Him. This reveals that the Lord’s return is public. You testify that the Lord has been incarnated and secretly descended. I don’t think it conform to the prophecies in the Bible.”
Brother Zhang said with a smile, “Brother, what you said is correct and the prophecies in the Bible are also correct. But we can’t define the Lord’s return just according to one kind of prophecies, much less confirm how the Lord returns according to the literal meaning of the prophecies. It was prophesied in Isaiah of the Old Testament that the Messiah would come, but when the Lord came, His name was Jesus. Those scribes and Pharisees refused, resisted and condemned the work of the, and they even nailed Him to the cross, which led to the destruction of Israel and Jews’ being killed. God is almighty. His wisdom is unfathomable. I’ll read several passages of prophecies about the Lord’s return: ‘But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only’ (Matthew 24:36). ‘If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come on you’ (Revelation 3:3). ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ (Revelation 16:15).”
Brother Zhang said to Lin Muran, “Brother, from these Scriptures, we can obviously see that there are two kinds of prophecies: One is that the Lord will descend with the clouds publicly; the other is that Lord will come in secret, like a thief. For this, how can we explain? Which kind of prophecies should we hold on to? If we confirm that the Lord will come in public not secret, well, how should another kind of prophecies be fulfilled? Could it be that the prophecies can be said to be right or wrong? Or could we abolish a part of the Lord’s words? In fact, since it is clearly prophesied that the Lord will appear openly and will come secretly, when the Lord comes, He will return openly and also come secretly. Because not one sentence of God’s words will fail to come about.
As for whether God comes secretly or openly first, it’s completely decided by the need of the work God does in the last days. As we all know, God’s work in the last days is to select, reap and winnow, and is to separate all according to their kind and reward the good and punish the wicked. God will separate wheat from tares, sheep from goats, good servants from evil servants and after this, He will reward good and punish evil. God’s work in this way determines that God will first work in secret and then appear publicly to reward good and punish evil, it’s obvious. Because if God openly appeared to the public first, all people would see God and prostrate themselves before God and worship Him, it would not be clear who are the wheat and who are the tares, who are the sheep and who are the goats, who are the good servants and who are the evil ones; and then the work of rewarding good and punishing evil cannot be done. Although God sees deep into man’s heart, knowing who is good and who is evil, whose faith is real and whose faith is false, yet if God didn’t expose the fact, no one would be convinced.
So when God comes in the last days, He works in secret first. During this stage, God selects and saves persons who belong to Him by speaking. Because God’s sheep can hear and understand, those who belong to God will be attracted and conquered by God’s word and be cleansed and perfected through God’s word. Those who don’t belong to God cannot recognize . Once they hear God’s word, they refuse, condemn and slander it. Even when some persons just hear of God’s coming before hearing God’s voice, they eagerly condemn, blaspheme and slander Him and disturb others from listening to sermons. These are God’s enemies, the evil who are revealed by God’s work. After revealing man and separating people according to kind, God will publicly appear to all of mankind to do the work of rewarding good and punishing evil. This is the steps of God’s work in the last days. From this we can see God’s almightiness and wisdom: He first works in secret and then openly rewards good and punishes evil, which not only fulfills all prophecies in the Bible, but also accomplishes all the work God does in the last days.”
In reality, the then fellowship had moved Lin Muran’s heart, so he hardly slept in those days.
“Muran, it’s late. Go to sleep now.” His wife’s words interrupted his thoughts. Looking at the clock, he found it was over midnight. “Muran. Don’t hesitate anymore. The shortest answer is doing. If we want to know whether it’s true way, just investigate it. After listening, we could recognize whether it’s God’s voice. Since we believe in the Lord, we must listen to the Lord’s words, not the pastors.’ The Lord said: ‘And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you’ (Luke 11:9).”
Having heard his wife’s words, Lin Muran’s heart was bright: Yes! The Lord is faithful. If I seek sincerely, the Lord will enlighten and lead me. This night, Lin Muran slept a sound sleep.
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