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God’s salvation is different from man saving each other; it’s not the financial relief given to the poor by the rich, it’s not the saving of the dying and the treating of the wounded performed on patients by doctors, and it’s not the deeds of charitable organizations or philanthropists. God’s salvation is prepared for the sake of saving man’s degenerate souls, and the entirety of His salvation contains the truth, the way and the life. After we attain salvation, there is no longer any more pain, tears or sorrow, nor any more feelings of helplessness in our families, our studies, our work and our lives, and our lives become filled with light and happiness; we live with more purpose and meaning, and we live within the promises and blessings of God.
In one lifetime, God will give us many opportunities to be saved, but if we want to attain God’s salvation, we must first know God’s salvation, or else we will miss our chance to attain it. Some people say, “So what if we miss it? It’s no big deal.” But we should understand that missing our chance to attain God’s salvation is not like missing a good meal, or missing your subway train, and it’s not like missing an opportunity for study or employment. Missing our chance to attain God’s salvation is like being trapped in a burning building and missing your chance to be rescued in time by the fire brigade. Therefore, missing one’s chance to attain God’s salvation is something incredibly regretful and lamentable. Knowing God’s salvation and attaining God’s salvation are so important. And since they are important, from God’s work we will now gradually learn what God’s salvation is.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve were thrust out of the Garden of Eden, and they didn’t understand how to live or how to revere God or follow God’s way. Thereafter, the earth became filled with killing, violence and adultery, etc. until, several hundred years after the world was destroyed by flood, people still didn’t know how to live or how they should worship God. And so, God used Moses to proclaim His commandments and laws to man, such as to keep the Sabbath, respect one’s parents, and that there should be no idolatry, adultery or stealing. There were also rules about the offering of sacrifices, the eating of food, compensation for stealing, and rules about killing cattle and sheep, etc. In this way, whatever people did, they had principles to guide their actions. When people offended God’s laws and decrees, they were punished. But if they made offerings to God and repented and avoided committing their sins again, God would excuse them from their sinful actions. Jehovah used His commandments and the rules of His laws to place limits on man, and because man listened to Jehovah’s words and kept His commandments and laws, they were protected by God, and they attained God’s salvation of the Age of Law.
Toward the end of the Age of Law, man was becoming more and more degenerate and they were no longer keeping the laws and commandments. They did many things which offended God, such as engaging in idolatry and adultery, devising evil schemes, deceiving and cheating, stealing and robbing, embezzling money, etc., and even sacrificing to God lame and blind doves, cows and sheep, and so God abhorred them. As Jeremiah 14:10 says, “Thus said Jehovah to this people, Thus have they loved to wander, they have not refrained their feet, therefore Jehovah does not accept them; he will now remember their iniquity, and visit their sins.”
And yet God didn’t have the heart to have all of mankind sentenced to death by His laws, and so He incarnated as the Son of man—the—once again opening a way for mankind, bringing the Age of Law to an end and ushering in the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. The Lord Jesus preached His gospel everywhere He went, healing the sick and casting out demons, bestowing an abundance of grace on man and forgiving them their sins. So that man’s sins could be utterly absolved, the Lord Jesus was crucified upon the cross, thus becoming man’s eternal sin offering and completing the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. If we accepted the Lord Jesus’ salvation, prayed to His name and confessed and repented our sins to Him, our sins could then be absolved, and we were no longer to be condemned or sentenced to death for having offended the laws. This was the salvation God prepared for man in the Age of Grace.
It is recorded in, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Pe 1:5).
“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” (Heb 9:28).
“Why gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1Pe 1:13).
It also says in a book that “The sins of man were forgiven, and this is because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live within the corrupt satanic disposition of old. This being so, man must be completely saved from his corrupt satanic disposition, so that his sinful nature may be completely extirpated, never to develop again, thus enabling the disposition of man to be transformed. This would require man to grasp the path of growth in life, to grasp the way of life, and to grasp the way to change his disposition. Furthermore, it would require man to act in accordance with this path, so that his disposition may gradually be changed and he may live under the shining of the light, so that all that he does may be in accord with the will of God, so that he may cast away his corrupt satanic disposition, and so that he may break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation”
The Lord Jesus redeemed us and enabled our sins to be forgiven. But the roots of man’s sinful nature endured, and our corrupt dispositions remain deeply rooted within us, such as being arrogant and conceited, selfish and contemptible, crooked and deceitful, and being bent only on making profits, etc. It is precisely because we possess these corrupt dispositions that we can argue with our friends, suspect each other and secretly plot against each other for the sake of fame and fortune, and we can also lose trust between ourselves and our families; when trials of illness and disaster befall us, we blame God and misunderstand Him, and we live a life whereby we sin in the daytime and confess in the evening. The Lord Jesus once said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever” (Jhn 8:34-35). God is holy, and no stained person is permitted to enter God’s kingdom. Therefore, we need a further stage of salvation so that our corrupt dispositions can be cleansed, and we can be utterly saved by God. The Lord Jesus said, “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” (Jhn 16:12-13). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:7). God has already told us clearly that the Holy Spirit of the truth in the last days will come to guide us into all truths and to uncover all mysteries. If we want to earn God’s praise, we must accept God’s work in the last days, for only then can we attain the salvation God has wholly prepared for us! Therefore, only by listening carefully towill we be able to welcome the Lord’s return and attain God’s salvation of the last days!
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?