The Parable of the Sower

Flight to Egypt

The Parable of the Sower – Matthew 13

The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea side. And great multitudes were gathered together to him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

And he spoke many things to them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell on stony places, where they had not much earth: and immediately they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundred times, some sixty times, some thirty times. Who has ears to hear, let him hear.

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Reveal the Mystery of Great Glory

By Yufei After a Bible study meeting, Pastor Huang left hurriedly, clutching the Bible under his arm. I and several other co-workers began to talk about today’s meeting. Sister Li looked thoughtful and said: “Brothers and sisters, all these years we have been waiting to welcome the coming of the Lord. According to what the pastors say, we watch and pray, look up to the sky, and wait for the Lord to come upon white clouds with great glory and to take us up into the kingdom of heaven. But year after year, disasters become ever greater. The four blood moons have appeared. Yet, why haven’t we seen the Lord come upon the clouds with great glory? These days, I am thinking: Is the way of our waiting for the Lord right? If there is something wrong leading us to miss the Lord’s return, then isn’t our belief in Him all in vain? I attended the wedding ceremony of my niece yesterday and heard several brothers in the Lord talking in a low voice. They said the Lord has returned to flesh and is doing a stage of new work of judging man and purifying man through His words …”   Sister Zhao hurried to interrupt her: “Impossible! Matthew 24:30 says clearly, ‘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.’ The Lord shall definitely return by descending on clouds in His glory and with His angels. At that time, all people on earth could witness the Lord’s return.” Sister Wang agreed with her: “That’s right. The Gospel of Matthew 25:31 tells us clearly, ‘When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory.’ I’m sure the Lord will come again with His authority and power. The scene will be very spectacular: The Lord Jesus shall be sitting on His glory throne with majesty, and all people on earth will be bending the knee to Him, worshiping Him, and accepting Him as the only true God.” At this moment, brother Chen took the thread of the conversation and said seriously, “As to these verses of the Lord’s second coming with great glory, I don’t think we should simply receive them literally. Besides, we need to ponder their inner meanings. Because the Bible says, ‘Who also has made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter kills, but the spirit gives life’ (2 Corinthians 3:6). These years, I’ve been thinking of this question: If the Lord really comes upon white clouds with great glory, it’s obvious that all people will kneel down and leap in joy. But why does the Lord say, ‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn’? (Matthew 24:30). I think ‘great glory’ here should contain some unfathomable mystery …” Instantly, we several brothers and sisters all focused our eyes on brother Chen. I became confused: Brother Chen said that the spectacular scene of the Lord’s descending upon the clouds with great glory came from our imaginations. That reminded me of a scripture: “For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, has shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). “The light of the glory of God” mentioned here did not refer to the glorious light which could be seen with our naked eyes, but the glory that the Lord Jesus gained by defeating Satan and successfully redeeming us from the death and Hades of the Law. So, “the glory” in the prediction of the Lord’s descending again with great glory seem to contain mystery? Thinking of that, I asked curiously, “Hey, Brother Chen, how do you receive ‘great glory’ here? Hurry up to fellowship with us, please.” Brother Chen continued, “Regarding the real meaning of the ‘great glory’ said by God, I studied some verses and saw the Lord Jesus’ words in the Gospel of John 12:23–24, ‘The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it stays alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit.’ And John 17:1, ‘Father, the hour is come; glorify your Son, that your Son also may glorify you.’ From these verses, we can clearly see the ‘glory’ of God in the Age of Grace means that the work of redemption was completed through the Lord Jesus’ crucifixion. The Lord Jesus lived in the flesh for thirty-three and a half years, bore men’s cruel persecution and great humiliations in silence. Finally, He accomplished the work of redeeming mankind at the expense of being nailed His holy and innocent flesh to the cross, and saved men from lifeless laws. And thereby the gospel of the Lord spread throughout the world. The believers who followed the Lord and prayed to Him could be forgiven of their sins and enjoy the grace and blessings bestowed by the Lord. That was a part of glory obtained in His incarnation. So the Lord Jesus said ‘It is finished.’ on the cross, that is, God had completed a stage of redemptive work and thus gained glory. Obviously, the ‘glory’ here means God has completed His work and His work has achieved a result, rather than the outward majesty and splendor in our imagination.” I suddenly understood it and said, “Hearing what you said, I am a little clear. The ‘glory’ turns out to be the result achieved by the completion of God’s work instead of the splendid pictures formed in our mind. The glory we think is vastly different from the actual glory of God! It seems that on the matter of welcoming the Lord’s second coming, we cannot guess and define God’s work by imagination any longer; we should urgently seek the actual meaning of God’s appearance with glory in the last days. Otherwise, if we still keep looking up to the clouds in the sky, the consequences will be unimaginable: We won’t even know we miss meeting the Lord when He comes.” Sister Li said earnestly, “Right! It offends God’s disposition to define God’s work by our conceptions and notions. It’s easy to be forsaken by God. Now we should seek what work God is going to do when the Lord descends again. Only in this way can we follow the footsteps of the Lord.” Brother Chen said excitedly, “Thank the Lord! In the Age of the Grace, God just gained a part of glory. In the last days, God will receive greater glory, then what work will be done in order to receive glory completely when the Lord returns? I search many chapters of the Bible and find the Lord Jesus predicted long ago: ‘I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness. 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 12:46–48). 1 Peter 4:17 mentions, ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17). From these verses, we can see when the Lord returns in the last days, He will express the truth to judge man. In the Age of Grace, the Lord only redeemed us. Though our sins have been forgiven, our sinful nature is still deeply rooted within us, so that we live in the state of committing sins in the daytime and confessing them at night, and are not completely gained by God yet. Thus, the Lord comes back to do the work of judgment beginning at the house of God, to completely save us from Satan’s domain, and to purify and transform us to be those who thoroughly obey God, worship God, and love God. Only in so doing can we be worthy to enter into God’s kingdom and then God will gain all the glory. Hence, when the Lord appears to the public with ‘great glory,’ the work of judgment in the last days will have been accomplished. At that time, God will have purified and perfected a group of overcomers. They will be raptured before God’s throne of glory; the others who resist God, condemn God’s work, and who don’t accept God’s work of judgment will be destroyed in the great disasters. This is the reason why the Lord says, ‘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’ (Mat 24:30). So, if we missed the opportunity of the Lord’s work of judgment and were unable to be purified and perfected, I’m afraid we would beat upon our breasts and weep unceasingly when the Lord appears with glory. So, wherever God’s work of judgment in the last days is testified, we should hurry to find it, seek and investigate humbly. Only in this way can we gain the opportunity of being purified and perfected by the Lord, and be qualified to be taken into the glorious kingdom. Just as Revelation 2:7 says: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the middle of the paradise of God.’” At this moment, we suddenly saw the light, and felt that Brother Chen’s fellowship regarding the practical meaning of the Lord’s coming back with “great glory” in the last day was really full of enlightenment and well-founded. This also allowed us to have a correct goal and direction in welcoming the return of the Lord. Thank God for His guidance! At this point, Sister Li said with remorse, “Alas … It seems that we had a muddled belief in the past. We wait for the Lord’s return by our imaginations and according to the superficial meaning of the Bible. If we keep waiting bitterly and do nothing, we will surely be foolish virgins and lose the salvation of the Lord. Yesterday I heard several brothers say the Lord has come back, and done the work of judging and purifying man through God’s word—that seems to be true. We shall arrange a time and invite them to fellowship with brothers and sisters, so as to investigate whether or not the Lord has returned and done a stage of new work.” I nodded approvingly. While Sister Zhao and Sister Wang turned back angrily, we several co-workers all agreed to seek and investigate, since the Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 5:3). 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: Three South Korean Pastors’ Discourse on the Prophecies of the Lord’s Second Coming

2018-01-04 09:10:56

Will the Lord Come Openly on Clouds or Come Hidden as a Thief?

Shufen was a major co-worker of a church. During the fifteen years of believing in the Lord, she had been actively serving in the church. She thought: Now is the end of the last days. All the prophecies of the Lord’s return have been fulfilled, and even the four blood moons were fulfilled. It seems that the day of the Lord’s return should come. To welcome the Lord’s return, recently she led the brothers and sisters to discuss the way for the Lord to return. Unexpectedly, they split on this matter, and two opinions were formed. They were at a stalemate. Some brothers and sisters said that the Lord would appear publicly with clouds to all people and all nations when He came, as the Bible says, “He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him …” (Revelation 1:7). But, some said that the Lord would come in secret to steal treasures, which was based on the prophecy in Revelation, “I will come on you as a thief …” (Revelation 3:3). And even after several gatherings, they couldn’t reach a definite conclusion. Shufen was at her wits’ end now, and she herself also couldn’t figure out how the Lord would appear to man when He returns. Since both opinions of the brothers and sisters were based on the Bible, it was really hard to judge which of them was right. She was troubled so much that she couldn’t eat or sleep well these days, totally being at a loss what to say to the brothers and sisters about this matter. After dinner, she took out the Bible again, expecting to receive the Lord’s guidance and enlightenment on the truth concerning how the Lord would come in the last days. Her husband, as usual, was sharing and communicating with the brothers and sisters from other countries on Facebook. Suddenly, he called her, “Shufen, Come and see this quickly. Brothers and sisters are discussing the way for the Lord to return.” Hearing this, she immediately laid aside the Bible in her hands, and came up to the computer. A video The Mystery of the Coming of the Son of Man was being shown on Facebook. The brothers’ fellowship in the video was well-founded and attracted her attention all at once. After watching the video, she said with surprise, “Their fellowship is rather reasonable. It’s the enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. They bear witness that the Lord will return in secret as the Son of man through incarnation to do the work of judgment starting from the house of God, make a group of overcomers before the disaster, and then appear to all people and all nations. Their fellowship is totally in line with the Bible!” Her husband nodded his approval, saying, “The Lord Jesus has said: ‘Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not’ (Luke 12:40), ‘For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’ (Luke 17:24-25), ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6), ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me’ (Revelation 3:20), ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame’ (Revelation 16:15). Now all these prophecies have been fulfilled. The Lord Jesus repeatedly said ‘the Son of man’ in the prophecies. Does ‘the Son of man’ not refer to the incarnate Christ? And if the Lord comes back in His spiritual body after resurrection, then ‘But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’ will be untenable, for only His flesh can suffer and be rejected, and His spiritual body cannot.” Then Shufen said, “So it seems that the Lord is very likely to come in secret as the Son of man through incarnation, and then appear to the public. In this case, it doesn’t contradict the saying ‘he comes with clouds’ prophesied in the Bible. If the Lord comes in this way, it is hidden yet practical. How wise it is! But how can we know Him if the Lord Jesus becomes flesh when He comes?” Her husband replied, “Do you remember the Lord’s prophecies? He 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’ (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), ‘For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son….’ (John 5:22), ‘And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man’ (John 5:27). These scriptures imply that the Lord Jesus will be incarnated as the Son of man to express the truth to do the work of judgment. And ‘the Spirit of truth,’ I think, may refer to the incarnate Christ who will speak words, so those who can hear and recognize the voice of God will behold the return of the Lord. Just as the Lord Jesus said, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). So, that all depends on whether we are the wise virgins who can know the voice of God.” “So let’s seek this aspect of the truth from the brothers and sisters who posted the video!” After they spoke out their wish with one voice, they smiled. Shufen’s days of gloom was finally dispelled. Read more: Those Who Recognize God’s Voice Are Wise Virgins

2017-10-29 19:04:12

The Judgment Before the Great White Throne Has Already Begun!

By Mei Ling Dear Dad, It’s been a long time since I wrote to you last time. How are you going lately? I think you also desire greatly to know my current situation in Canada. Thank God! My job is very stable, and all aspects of my life are very good. Please be reassured.   How is your church recently? Are the brothers and sisters still weak? Dad, I often heard you moan and groan when I was at home. Since you have preached for more than 20 years, working hard for the Lord and supporting the church wholeheartedly, the Lord should approve you and bless your church. Why has your church become more and more bleak? Have you discovered the reason? You often say that the Lord will come back soon and He will judge all nations and all peoples at His coming, punishing the wicked and rewarding the good. You told us to adhere to the way of the Lord, run about more, spend and dedicate more, and do more good deeds and volunteer work so that we could enter the kingdom of heaven because of our righteous conduct when the Lord comes to do the work of judgment. I asked you, “How will the Lord judge people when He returns?” You turned to the Book of Revelation and said, “‘And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works’ (Revelation 20:11-12). When the Lord comes a second time, He will sit upon a great white throne in the sky, and judge people according to all they have done one by one; the believers in the Lord will be taken up into heaven; subsequently He will send disaster to destroy the unbelievers. This is the judgment before the great white throne.” The brothers and sisters were all confident that they would be taken up into heaven; nevertheless, I felt it was unbelievable and questioned it, “How will the Lord judge us one by one when He comes to take us up into heaven?” Nobody was capable of saying clearly how God will judge man specifically when He comes. Dad, do you have any new understandings about the judgment? It can be seen from the various signs of today that the prophecies of the Lord’s return have already been fulfilled. Then, why haven’t we seen the judgment? Isn’t it worth thinking deeply about? One day, Zhang Yue, a friend of mine, gave me a newspaper. When I read it, the bold headline “Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” caught my attention. The work of judgment, isn’t it what has puzzled me for so many years? I eagerly read on and saw these words, “The ‘judgment’ in the words previously spoken—judgment will begin at the house of God—refers to the judgment God passes today on those who come before His throne in the last days. Perhaps there are those who believe in such supernatural imaginings as that, when the last days have arrived, God will erect a big table in the heavens, upon which a white tablecloth will be spread, and then, sitting upon a great throne with all men kneeling on the ground, He will reveal the sins of each man and thereby determine whether they are to ascend to heaven or be sent down to the lake of fire and brimstone. No matter what the imaginings of man, the substance of God’s work cannot be altered. The imaginings of man are nothing but the constructs of man’s thoughts and come from the brain of man, summed up and pieced together from what man has seen and heard. Therefore I say, however brilliant the images conceived, they are still no more than a drawing and are not able to substitute for the plan of God’s work. After all, man has been corrupted by Satan, so how can he then fathom the thoughts of God? Man conceives the work of judgment by God to be particularly fantastic. He believes that since it is God Himself doing the work of judgment, then it must be of the most tremendous scale and incomprehensible to mortals, and it must resound through the heavens and shake the earth; otherwise how could it be the work of judgment by God? He believes that, as this is the work of judgment, then God must be particularly imposing and majestic as He works, and those being judged must be howling with tears and on their knees begging for mercy. Such a scene must be a grand spectacular and be deeply rousing….” These words are absolutely true! We have always thought that God will erect a big table in the heavens and sit upon the throne, judging man’s sins one by one when He does the judgment work. Isn’t it the true judgment work? I asked eagerly, “How exactly will God do His work of judgment?” Zhang Yue said, “There are over two hundred references to the judgment in the Bible, such as ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17), ‘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), ‘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), etc. All these verses refer to the judgment. In regard to how to judge people, God will come and do the work of judgment with the truth in the last days, that is, He will judge man with His words. The Lord Jesus said, ‘For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son’ (John 5:22). ‘And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man’ (John 5:27). The Lord Jesus’ words directly prophesied that God would return to earth as the Son of man to carry out the work of judgment in the last days, Christ will personally come among man to express His words to judge man. If God spoke in heaven, which is like a thunderclap and incomprehensible to people, the work of judgment couldn’t achieve better results. Only if God becomes flesh and speaks utterances among man can man easily understand His words. For example, the Lord Jesus taught people among them, asking them to be tolerant and patient, and asking them to love others as themselves. He lived and spoke with people, so that they clearly knew how to practice. But the Lord Jesus only did a stage of work of redeeming mankind through the crucifixion, and He will come a second time to do the judgment work. Almighty God is indeed the Lord Jesus returned, and has expressed millions of words to judge and purify man—this is beyond all doubt. Let’s take a look at more of His word. Almighty God says, ‘In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God’ (‘Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth’). ‘The work of judgment is representative, and is not carried out especially for a certain person. Rather, it is work in which a group of people are judged in order to represent the judgment of all of mankind. By personally carrying out His work on a group of people, God in the flesh uses His work to represent the work of the whole of mankind, after which it is gradually spread. The work of judgment is also thus. God does not judge a certain kind of person or a certain group of people, but judges the unrighteousness of the whole of mankind—man’s opposition to God, for example, or man’s irreverence against Him, or disturbance of the work of God, and so on. What is judged is mankind’s substance of opposition to God, and this work is the work of conquest of the last days. The work and word of the incarnate God witnessed by man are the work of judgment before the great white throne during the last days, which was conceived by man during times past. The work that is currently being done by the incarnate God is exactly the judgment before the great white throne. The incarnate God of today is the God who judges the whole of mankind during the last days’ (‘Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God incarnate does the work of judgment with the truth; He expresses the truth to expose our substance of opposition to and betraying God, reveal our words and deeds that do not conform to truth, and deal with and prune our satanic nature, such as arrogance and conceit, selfishness and baseness, and crookedness and craftiness, which fully convinces us. This is the judgment before the great white throne. When God does His judgment work, He first expresses the truth to judge those who come before His throne and conquer and perfect them, and then takes those who have been conquered and made perfect into the kingdom of heaven and punishes and destroys all the wicked. If we only wait for God to appear publicly to man, we will miss the opportunity for God to purify and perfect us; consequently we will not be able to be saved and taken into the kingdom of heaven. God has been carrying out the judgment work in the last days for more than 20 years, and several million people have accepted His work of judgment and chastisement. God has already made a group of overcomers. Now, all people are being classified according to kind, and the great disaster is coming down soon to destroy the filthy old world. God will appear publicly to all nations and peoples, rewarding good and punishing evil, and the new heaven and new earth will appear. The work of judgment starting from the house of God is directed at all those who accept God’s work of the last days. The group of people who have become clean can receive God’s promises and enter the kingdom of heaven, while all the wicked that resist God and deny Him, according to the prophecy in the Book of Revelation, are the objects to be destroyed. God doesn’t do the judgment and purifying work on them; He merely lets the great calamity arrive and destroy them. So we should know clearly that God’s judgment and chastisement, to God’s chosen people, is purifying, saving, and perfecting; but to the wicked that hate the truth and resist God, it is condemnation and destruction. This is absolutely true.” Hearing these words, I felt astonished. “Wow! You fellowshiped that the judgment work done by Almighty God incarnate is actually the great white throne judgment, and God first judges those who accept the words of Almighty God so as to purify them and make a group of overcomers. This is too practical.” Zhang Yue said, “So it is! When we see God reveal Himself openly to do the judgment work, it will be the time when God punishes the wicked and rewards the good. Those who haven’t received cleansing as a result of not accepting God’s work of judgment by the word are the objects to be eliminated and punished.” I approved with a nod. Dad, now I go to the website of the Church of Almighty God and read the words expressed by Almighty God every day. Therefore I have a normal spiritual life and have regained the delight of the work of the Holy Spirit. Through reading Almighty God’s words, I am certain that Almighty God is the second coming of the Lord Jesus. Dad, please search for the Church of Almighty God hurriedly and accept God’s judgment work of the last days. Do not miss the opportunity to be judged and purified by God. Almighty God says, “God’s work has an unstoppable momentum. He will not repeat the work of judgment again for the sake of your ‘merit,’ and you will be filled with boundless regret at letting such a good opportunity slip. If you do not believe My words, then just wait for that great white throne in the sky to pass judgment upon you! You must know that all of the Israelites spurned and denied Jesus, and yet the fact of Jesus’ redemption of mankind still spread to the ends of the universe. Isn’t this a reality that God made long ago?” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth”). It’s true! The judgment before the great white throne has already begun! The Lord Jesus we have expected for so many years has already returned and carried out a stage of judgment work. We have never expected that the Lord would do the judgment work with the truth. If we don’t listen to the fellowship of the brothers and sisters, don’t accept God’s judgment work until He appears publicly to man, isn’t it too late then? Your daughter, Mei Ling July 16, 2016 in Canada You may also like:   Q&A About God’s Work of Judgment in the Last Days-Question 5

2017-12-26 03:09:57

Spiritual Awakening: The Key to the Door of My Heart

By Liu Xu In my childhood, I saw that people of my parents’ generation carried each other through life’s ups and downs even without passionate love between them. I quite envied them and also hoped that I could have a partner with whom to grow old and spend my life, just like many other happy and perfect families. Later, after I was grown up, I got married and felt extremely happy in the first few years. My husband worked hard every day to support our family. In order to live a better life, he bought a truck for delivering goods. Every time he went out, he often gave me a call from time to time, letting me know he was OK; after he was back home, he took good care of our children and me. I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for granting me such a good husband. Hence, I really cherished my marriage. I looked after children carefully, and was very attentive to my husband, and took loving care of my parents-in-law. This was a hard-worn happiness, and I resolved to hold on to this. However, later, my husband gradually returned home very late. When I called him, he often said he was treating his clients to dinner, and I took his word for it. But afterward, he even often didn’t bother to come back, and just told me that he had to go dining and singing with his clients, so he would stay out at night. And I was still persuaded. I was never suspicious of whether he had changed his heart toward me until later, when he didn’t answer my call and even turned off his phone once I called him. Yet I was just unwilling to acknowledge it was true. Rather I still trusted him, for we had an adorable son and daughter, I believed he would not do that for the sake of them. However, the fact greatly disappointed me: Half a year later, one day, he suddenly phoned me that he had an affair and he wanted a divorce. Hearing that, I only felt weak and limp from head to foot, just like a dying person. Not until then did I understand why he stayed out for such a long time and why he kept his phone off once I called him. Turned out that he was really having an affair and intended to abandon the family. I felt such extreme pain! Nevertheless, at the same time there was a strong thought in my heart: He is my own husband, and nobody can take him away from me! Soon afterward, I asked my mother-in-law to persuade my husband. Unexpectedly, she said, “It is fairly common in this society, isn’t it? Just turn a blind eye to it!” Then I went to my brother and sister-in-law, hoping them to give my husband some persuasion, but they replied indifferently, “It’s none of our business.” At that moment, I stood still, wondering why they treated me as such. And I could no longer stop my tears of grievance and sadness from bursting out. Then my neighbor, an auntie, told me, “Actually, we villagers have long known all about it. We found your husband often took a woman to your in-laws months ago. Every time the woman came, she bought clothes for your mother-in-law and food for your brother-in-law’s family. And your mother-in-law grinned from ear to ear and was even proud of her son.” Hearing what she said, I really couldn’t believe that my whole family had already known about it, only except me who was totally in the dark. Why did they give my husband indulgence rather than help to persuade him? And what was the point of my life if my family was broken? With these thoughts in mind, I walked, and unconsciously, I went toward a bridge over a river, attempting to drown myself. But when I suddenly thought of my two kids who were sleeping soundly at home, tears welled up in my eyes. I could not help thinking: If I die, won’t they lose their mom? They are still so young. How can I bear to treat them like this? Then I thought: I need to find a way to redeem the heart of my husband and make him come around. Later, when my husband came back, I suppressed my anger and pleaded with him earnestly, “We have been together for over ten years and I have contributed this much to the family. Do I not compare to a woman that you’ve met several months earlier? What about our children if our family breaks up? How poor they will be if they live in a single-parent family! Don’t you often pity my colleagues’ child who was left in the care of her grandma since the couple divorced? Then can you bear to put our children in the same situation?” When I mentioned our children, my husband’s eyes looked hesitant. But he soon stood up as though he had figured something out, and shouted at me, “Don’t you want me to break up with her for the sake of our children? Now I tell you, I just don’t wanna come back any more.” After saying that, he stormed out of the house angrily. Watching his resolute departure, my heart hit the bottom. Considering the marriage that I had managed painstakingly for decades would fall apart, I was heart-broken. Then I made up my mind, “Both the family and husband are mine. It is that woman who broke up my happy family and made my husband stay out! If someday I meet her, I’m gonna get even with her.” From then on, I lived in hatred: I hate my husband who betrayed me, I hate the woman who broke up my happy family, and I hate my mother-in-law who treated me unfairly. Since then, I shut the door of my heart, reluctant to talk with others. I was just like a walking corpse. Except for ferrying my children to school and looking after them, I did not have a clue to what the meaning of living in the world was. When I was in extreme pain and lost hope in life, a friend spread the kingdom gospel of Almighty God to me. I told my bitter experience to her in tears, she sympathized with me very much and consoled me, “Sister, don’t be sad. Today God comes to save us who are in darkness and have nowhere to turn. God is the mainstay of us. Whatever difficulties we encounter, we should depend on God as well as look up to Him, and believe in God’s control and dominion over all things.” After that, the sister read a passage of God’s words, “The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time. He is watching by your side, waiting for you to turn back. He is waiting for the day your memory suddenly recovers: becoming conscious of the fact that you came from God, somehow and somewhere once lost, falling unconscious on the roadside, and then, unknowingly having a father. You further realize that the Almighty has been watching there, awaiting your return all along” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). Then the sister fellowshiped, “From Almighty God’s words, we can see God’s love and salvation for us humans. He is merciful to us who live under the domain of Satan. He is using His words to awaken us who live in darkness and in pain. He doesn’t want us to live so painfully, but rather, He wants to save us, bring us to the home of God so that we can accept His salvation. Only Almighty God’s words can bring peace and sureness to our heart, and only the Creator is loving us in every possible way….” Hearing God’s words and sister’s fellowship, I felt very warm in my heart, as if my lonely soul had found something to rely on at once, which made me sense the love and compassion from God. Actually I had always been so far away from God and even didn’t know the existence of Him. However, God was still watching by my side and waiting for me to turn back, and to return to His side and gain His care and protection. I felt God’s call to me, and the pain in my heart gradually lightened. After that, I persisted in reading Almighty God’s word every day and attended every meeting actively. Once I encountered difficulties, I would communicate with brothers and sisters about them. And they all combined their experiences to give me fellowship of the truth patiently, which made me understand how to face these things. Little by little, I was not that painful anymore and the expression of a smile began to appear on my face. I thought, “Over these years, in order to own a happy marriage and beautiful family, I have been revolving around my husband, and working hard for this family. However, I wound up being treated by my husband in this way. I will no longer live for this man or the family alone. Instead, I will follow God properly!” Yet, coming out of the shadows of marriage, that was easier said than done. One night in 2011, my children and I had already fallen asleep. Then suddenly, I heard a pounding noise at the door. I got up to open the door, only to see my husband enter the room while fiercely saying to me, “Bitch, you don’t want me to date Xiaohu, do you? Today, I brought her to my family and my parents were very glad. Are you jealous? Huh? Anyway, I am sure to be together with her. What can you do with me? Huh!” Hearing this, I snapped and just about fought with him regardless of life or death though I knew he came to provoke me on purpose. But when seeing my sleeping children, I gritted my teeth and swallowed all of this. Afterward, I went back to bed and lay down, unwilling to respond to him, but he followed. Then like a man possessed, He sat in front of the computer desk at my bedside, and went on to say something gross as he smoked a cigarette. His behavior rekindled the resentment of me: How can you abandon me despite our decades of marriage so easily? And how heartless you are to hurt me with such callous remark! You just want me to ask for a divorce by irritating me, don’t you? The family is mine. The more heartless you are, the less likely I am to divorce you. I won’t allow your plot to prevail… At this thought, I couldn’t breathe, feeling like there was something very heavy blocking my chest. And I began to tremble with anger, tears flowing in streams. My husband, sitting beside the computer, was as pleased as punch when he saw me get mad like this. At this moment, I hated that woman even more. As it was her who ruined my family. The more I thought about it, the more deeply I hated her. My husband got the sick pleasure of watching me in great anger, and he gloated: “Go ahead and be angry! If you die of anger, I will soon get married three days later. Nobody will know it is I that irritated you to death. Anyway, it doesn’t break the law to piss others off.…” Hearing his harsh words, I suddenly felt that he was so strange and scary: Is he still the beloved husband who has lived with me for years? Is he still the one with whom I had ever decided to live till old age? I became alert in a sudden and thought of God’s words, “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … If you can’t bear testimony before Satan, Satan will laugh at you, it will treat you as a joke, as a plaything, it will often make a fool of you, and drive you insane” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”). God’s word made me realize that this was a spiritual battle. Satan was using the attack of my husband to tempt me, aiming to make me lose humanity or reason and do something terrible, like committing suicide or taking revenge on them, thus making me into the butt of Satan’s jokes and get devoured by it. But meanwhile, in this environment God wanted me to see through the ugly face of Satan who harmed man and to avoid arguing with this devil and being deceived by it, so that I could stand firm and bear witness for God, and bring shame upon Satan. At this point, I prayed silently to God in my heart, “O God! Today I have seen clearly the true colors of my husband. My heart is extremely distressed. I really want to have a bitter fight with him and even want to fight it out with that woman. O God! But I know I will fall prey to Satan’s trickery and won’t please You if I really do that. O God! I beg You to protect my heart and make me stand witness before You.” After praying, my heart gradually calmed down and I didn’t shiver anymore. After a while, seeing me quiet and motionless, he thought I might had fallen asleep, so he hung his head in dejection and went to bed in another room. I thanked God for His protection to me from the bottom of my heart. Or else I really didn’t know what I would have done. In the summer of 2012, my grandmother-in-law passed away, so my mother-in-law asked me to her home. Unexpectedly, the minute I got there, my husband brought the woman there, which totally made my blood boil. And I was really dying to fight it out with that woman. But then I recalled that last time when my husband spoke harsh words and made me mad, if not for God’s protection I would have been deceived by Satan. This time I couldn’t fall for its tricks. So, I went to the room and prayed silently to God, “O God! Seeing my husband take that woman to his home, I can’t control my anger. I think I have let go of it a little bit, but somehow, in fact, I still felt anger to see her. Oh God! Please protect my heart. I am willing to submit to Your sovereignty! Amen!” After praying, my anger was lightened slightly. Nevertheless, I didn’t understand: How can people nowadays become so evil, so corrupted and so shameless? And why is it that I always get fooled and afflicted by Satan? Afterward, I read these words of God, “In truth, out of the myriad things in God’s creation, man is the lowest. Though he is the master of all things, man is the only one among them that is subject to Satan’s trickery, the only one that falls prey in endless ways to its corruption. Man has never had sovereignty over himself. Most people live in the foul place of Satan, and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that till they are half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny. And so people go through their whole lives in a daze of confusion, never once enjoying the good things that God has prepared for them, but instead being damaged by Satan and left in tatters. Today they have become so enervated and listless…” (“Work and Entry (1)”). After reading God’s word, I finally realized: After being corrupted by Satan, people all esteem evil, they revel in the pleasures of the flesh, and live in the licentiousness and sin. People regard evil and filth as positive, and view justice and goodness as negative. The extramarital affair which was viewed as a pariah, now has been widely accepted as normal. Nowadays a lot of people see a married man who has an affair as capable; meanwhile, woman no longer feels ashamed of breaking up others’ family as a mistress. Satan corrupted people so that they became neither man nor ghost and lost the integrity and dignity. Then I thought about myself: I was also deeply corrupted by Satan and become ever more malicious, always seeking to revenge against the woman who broke up my family. If not for God’s care and protection for me, I didn’t know what terrible things I would have done. I then thought of many friends around me who had similar experiences: There was a couple who lived in my neighborhood. The husband was seduced by other woman, then the wife hanged herself in a fit of pique, leaving behind her three-year-old daughter. Here’s another example: One of my friend’s sister, whose husband was very rich and had three mistresses, leaving his wife and children neglected and untended at home. Later his wife suffered from melancholia after a long time of continually being in a bad mood. And another example is a male classmate of mine. He had an affair a year after his marriage, and then he took away all the family wealth and eloped with his mistress. His wife was so angry that she smashed all the furniture. Sucked in to a vortex of suffering, she was preoccupied with suicide all day. Seeing the pain and tragedy of those people caused by the harm of Satan, I really thanked God for saving me from the agony and death time and time again, and using His word to enlighten and guide me and comfort my injured soul. I saw the beauty and goodness of God, and came to understand God’s will to save man. At this thought, I felt greatly relieved and was able to let go of the hatred for that woman. One year later, the woman dumped my husband and then got married with another man. Yet my husband still stayed out as usual. For he hooked up with another one, a married woman. But I was not so painful as before to learn of this. Since I often sang and danced to praise God and fulfilled my duty with brothers and sisters. Our interactions were simple and open, and we encouraged and supported each other. Besides, I often read God’s word, from which I got the nourishment and watering of life, and my heart was full of joy and peace. Gradually, I came out of the shadows of my marriage and felt ineffably at ease. Just as Almighty God said, “… When your heart truly opens up to God, you will see that His heart is such an infinite world, and you will enter into a realm you have never experienced before. In this realm there is no cheating, there is no deception, there is no darkness, and no evil. There is only sincerity and faithfulness; only light and rectitude; only righteousness and kindness. It is full of love and care, full of compassion and tolerance, and through it you feel the happiness and joy of being alive. These things are what He will reveal to you when you open up your heart to God” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III”). Through my experience, I truly felt God’s care, mercy, and concern for us humans. God’s love for us were genuine, He hoped we could cast off the bondage and constraint of Satan, so that we could live a happy and meaningful life. Afterward, I saw God says, “pernicious influences that thousands of years of “the lofty spirit of nationalism” have left deep in the human heart as well as the feudal thinking by which people are bound and chained, without an iota of freedom, with no will to aspire or persevere, no desire to make progress, remaining instead passive and regressive, entrenched in a slave mentality. And so on. These objective factors have imparted an indelibly filthy and ugly cast to the ideological outlook, ideals, morality, and disposition of humanity. Humans, it would seem, are living in a terrorist world of darkness, which none among them seeks to transcend, and none among them thinks of moving on to an ideal world; rather, they are content with their lot in life,[1] to spend their days bearing and raising children, striving, sweating, going about their chores, dreaming of a comfortable and happy family, of conjugal affection, of filial children, of joy in their twilight years as they peacefully live out their lives…. For tens, thousands, tens of thousands of years until now, people have been squandering their time in this way, with no one creating a perfect life, all intent only on mutual slaughter in this dark world, on the race for fame and fortune, and on intriguing against one another. Who has ever sought after God’s will? Has anyone ever heeded the work of God?” (“Work and Entry (3)”). “Man’s entire life is lived under the domain of Satan, and there is not a single person who can free themselves from the influence of Satan on their own. All live in a filthy world, in corruption and emptiness, without the slightest meaning or value; they live such carefree lives for the flesh, for lust, and for Satan. There is not the slightest value to their existence” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment”). Right, I had been living in pain, this is because I was deeply influenced by feudal ethics and thinking, simply hoping to live in conjugal harmony and affection with my husband, have a happy family, and live out my life peacefully. These things had become the goals of my pursuit in life. As I was bound and constrained by Satanic poisons, such as “Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be,” “A married couple love and respect each other,” “The whole family enjoy happiness” and so on. When I possessed these things, I was happy and joyful; but when my beautiful dream was shattered, I felt like losing my life and grieved to the extent of wishing to die. When my husband didn’t come around, and when my mother-in-law and brother-in-law weren’t on my side to give me a hand, I then bore a grudge against them. And I even more hated the woman who broke up my family and was dying to fight it out with her. Satan’s poisons and outlook on existence made me weak and without willpower, and caused me to lose humanity as well as sense. Satan’s decayed and degenerate views on life and values made my life bleak and joyless. It was God’s word that enabled me to realize: If man doesn’t believe in God and lives under the domain of Satan, no matter how he pursues those things, it is all in vain and is all pain, and his life has no value and no meaning. God’s word corrected my way of thinking and my view on life, thus allowing me to have a new goal to pursue in life! Not long after the Spring Festival in 2016, one day my mother-in-law came to visit me. And my husband also came back, but he just stayed overnight here. The next morning when he went out he left his mobile phone at home. Then when we were about to have a meal, my son grabbed my husband’s mobile phone, saying to me, “Mom, someone texted my dad. It says, ‘Darling, come over now!’” It did sort of chill my heart to hear this. But soon I realized that it was God creating an environment to test me once again. Hence, I prayed silently in my heart, “O God! No matter how You design the environment, I am willing to submit to Your arrangements. I hope I could act in harmony with Your will. Amen!” After the prayer, my heart settled considerably. At this moment, my mother-in-law sat across from me in an awkward silence, not really knowing what to say. Then I said to her, “Never mind! I have long ago seen through your son. Actually, as years have passed, I care less and less about whom he is seeing. Once he initiates divorce, I will immediately agree and sign the papers the next day. Further delays make no sense.” Hearing this, my mother-in-law looked very surprised. As for the first time, I made her feel that I had given up her son completely. She never imagined that I, a person who placed marriage even above life, would have let go of it by now. It is the revelation of God’s word that makes me know the root of humanity’s licentiousness and evil. It is the support and supply of God’s word that have led me out of suffering step by step and lead me all the way until now. Moreover, it is the enlightenment and guidance of God’s word that have saved me from the harm of Satan time and time again, thus allowing me to eventually get out of the shadows of my marriage. God’s word is the key to the door of my heart, it enables me to live with complete freedom and relief, and feel assured and at peace on the path of seeking the truth and pursuing a real life. The End.

2017-10-30 10:37:49