God Has Brought His Glory to the East

God gave His glory to Israel then moved it away from there,bringing the Israelites and bringing all men to the East.God has led them all to the light,so that they may be reunited and associate with light,no longer have to search, search for the light.

Who is my Lord

Liu Zhizhong is a pastor at a local house church in China. He's been a believer for over 30 years, and has constantly maintained that "The Holy Bible is inspired by God," "The Holy Bible represents God, believing in God is believing in the Bible, believing in the Bible is believing in God."

Faith in God

Yu Congguang is a gospel preacher from the Church of Almighty God. Because he was pursued by the CCP government while preaching the gospel, he fled to the mountain and got help from Zheng Xun, a co-worker of the local house church.

XiaoZhen's Story

Xiao Zhen used to be a pure, kind-hearted Christian, who always treated her friends sincerely. However, when it was to their benefit, her former friends became her enemies.

The Mystery of GodLiness

Lin Bo’en had believed in the Lord for decades and was a senior preacher. Ever since his acceptance of Almighty God, Christ of the last days, he had been confronted with the condemnation and rejection of the pastors, elders, and antichrist forces in the religious world and was eventually expelled from the religion.

Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts

Thursday, November 9, 2017

I Learned to Discern the Work of Satan II

I Learned to Discern the Work of Satan II

At dawn of the next day, I heard some knocks at the gate, so I hurried to rise and open the gate, only to see Sister Yang and Sister Zheng with their hair and eyebrows covered with white frost. They were very excited at seeing me. Sister Yang said, “Oh, brother, we finally see you. Where were you the previous two nights? We waited long but didn’t meet you.” I was deeply moved, saying, “Sisters, it’s cold outside. Hurry in.” They entered the room and sat down, and I gave each of them a cup of hot water. Then I was open with them, “Sisters, these days I actually kept avoiding you. I’m so sorry. After you left that day, I began to read Almighty God’s words. But I just felt sleepy and got a headache soon afterward. I didn’t understand what all that was about, so I didn’t want to read the words of Almighty God anymore and deliberately hid from you. Last night, I was in and I heard all that you said. Your love moved me and left me condemned, and I felt I couldn’t avoid you anymore. Today I’d like to figure out the problem. If I miss the return of the Lord Jesus, I’ll regret for the rest of my life. Now that you’re here, could you please fellowship with me about that problem?”
In reply, Sister Yang said, “Brother, the question you ask is crucial. Many people have been troubled in varying degrees when they first believe in God, which concerns the battle in the spiritual realm. In the last days, Almighty God brings us the everlasting way of life while Satan fears most that we may gain eternal life after accepting Almighty God’s work. So, Satan finds ways to interfere with us and make us doubt, fear and even deny God’s work. Only when we are capable of discerning Satan’s work and see through its schemes can we better read God’s words and follow His work. Then how does Satan disturb God’s work? Let’s look at what Almighty God says about it. The word of Almighty God says, ‘What work comes from Satan? In the work that comes from Satan, the visions in people are vague and abstract, and they are without normal humanity, the motivations behind their actions are wrong, and although they wish to love God, there are always accusations within them, and these accusations and thoughts are always interfering within them, constraining the growth of their life, and stopping them from having normal circumstances before God. Which is to say, as soon as there is the work of Satan within people, their hearts can’t be at peace before God, they don’t know what to do with themselves, the sight of an assembly makes them want to run away, and they are unable to close their eyes when others pray. The work of evil spirits wrecks the normal relationship between man and God, and upsets people’s previous visions and the path that their life has entered upon, in their hearts they can never draw close to God, things always happen that cause disruption to them and enshackle them, and their hearts cannot find peace, leaving no strength to their love of God, and making their spirits sink downward. Such are the manifestations of the work of Satan. The work of Satan is manifested in the following: being unable to stand your ground and stand witness, causing you to become someone who is at fault before God, and who has no faithfulness toward God. … it causes God’s touch to disappear within you, and makes you complain about God and oppose Him, leading you to question God, and there is even the risk of you leaving God. All this is of the work of Satan’ (“The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘That which comes from Satan makes your visions disappear, it strips you of all that you used to have, it causes you to stray far from God, it takes away the love between you and your brothers and sisters, breeds in you a heart of hate, gives you nowhere to go, makes you unwilling to lead the life of the church, and leaves you without love of God in your heart. This is the result of the work of Satan and evil spirits’ (“The Twenty-second Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
Having read those words from Almighty God, Sister Yang continued with her fellowship, “God’s words have well explained our problem. All people, matters, and things that stop man from quieting their hearts before God come from the work of Satan. Satan uses certain methods in its work to disturb man so they become upset and can never quiet their hearts before God. For example, people have headaches, feel drowsy, and even nod off while reading God’s words, and then they will have no mind to continue. This is the disturbance of Satan. Satan just uses these methods to make man give up reading Almighty God’s words and leave His care and protection, to prevent them from accepting the true way and thus lose God’s salvation. This is the evil intention of Satan disturbing God’s work and hindering man from investigating the true way. If we want to break free from Satan’s disturbance and temptation, we should have discernment and penetrate its tricks, and come before God to pray, ‘Oh God! I know it’s Satan interfering with the relationship between You and me. Now, I can’t be restrained by it. I should stand my ground. Oh God, I beg You to give me faith and perseverance to overcome Satan’s temptation, to protect my heart, and to allow my heart to be at peace before You.’ When we cooperate with God by praying many times, God will see our heart and then help us overcome Satan’s temptation and disturbance, and in the end, Satan will draw back.”
Then Sister Zheng said, “I’ll share my own experience. I remember when I first accepted God’s work in the last days, I found God’s words are very good and practical and felt like reading them carefully. However, when I read God’s words, my waist hurt and my eyelids began to droop. But once I stopped reading God’s words, those problems just disappeared. At that time, I also doubted God’s work and didn’t read God’s words anymore. In the next meeting, when a sister asked me what I had entered into and what I had gained from reading God’s words, I answered that I didn’t read God’s words because once I read them, my waist would hurt and I would feel drowsy. Then the sister fellowshiped with me that I should have discernment about Satan’s work. Satan just takes advantage of the weakness of our flesh, like illness, headaches, and sleepiness, to interfere with us, cause us to doubt God’s work and word until we betray God in the end. So, when I was disturbed by Satan again, I immediately came before God to pray, consciously cooperated with Him to forsake the flesh, and also asked Him to give me faith and strength so as not to be constrained by the flesh. From then on, I’m no longer troubled while reading God’s words and my heart can also be at peace before God.”
After hearing the two sisters’ fellowship, I said, “Oh, so that explains it. No wonder I dozed off while reading God’s words that day after you left. Today, through your fellowship, I come to understand that Satan was unwilling to see me keep up with God’s work in the last days, meet the Lord’s return, and attain God’s salvation, so it worked behind the scenes. All this turns out to be Satan’s schemes. I didn’t understand the truth in this regard, had no discernment, and rose to Satan’s hook. I nearly betrayed God! Thanks be to God! Today you have cleared up my confusion, and I will no longer be restricted by this. I will read God’s words, pray to God more often about this, and learn to see through Satan’s tricks. I believe God will surely guide me.”
Sister Yang said happily, “Praise God! This is the result achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit. As long as we practically cooperate with God and forsake Satan, we will receive God’s enlightenment and guidance.”
Later, when I read God’s words, I sometimes was still sleepy and could not absorb them, and became upset. Then I knelt down and prayed to God, “Oh God! I know Satan tries to stop me from reading Your words, and it also hinders me from drawing near to You. I don’t want to be restricted by it, and I’m willing to forsake it. I beg You to give me faith and strength so I can overcome its disturbance and concentrate on reading Your words. Amen!” After the prayer, I did not feel that sleepy when reading God’s words and listening to the hymns. Through some time of my practical cooperation with God, I could be at peace before God to read His words and was willing to attend meetings. In the meetings, I read and fellowshiped about God’s words with my brothers and sisters, and understood the truth expressed by God more and more clearly, living freely and unrestrained amidst God’s love.
After a while, I began to cooperate in spreading the gospel, and at last brought the brothers and sisters of my former denomination who truly believed in the Lord with good humanity to God’s family. All the glory goes to God!
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Thursday, October 26, 2017

I’m a Lucky Taiwanese Who Has Welcomed the Lord’s Second Coming I

I’m a Lucky Taiwanese Who Has Welcomed the Lord’s Second Coming I

Xin Sheng    United States

After a Startup Failure, I Believed in the Lord and Received His Grace

My name is Xin Sheng and I was born in Taiwan. In 1978, I moved to the United States at age 19 accompanied by my parents. Afterward, to realize my entrepreneurial dream, I opened a retail auto parts store sponsored by my parents. However, it went out of business later for lack of sales channels. Along with that, my startup dream vanished. My parents often gave me attitude for the money loss and sometimes spoke to me sarcastically, asking me to pay their money back. I was so distressed. At that time, I thought of Pastor Yang and his wife whom I met when I was running my store. They served in a neighboring church and I had visited it several times at their invitation. I felt harmony and love and my heart was at peace there. Faced with my parents’ attitudes toward my failure and toward the loss of my business, I felt that my home was lacking in warmth and love compared with the church. So I wanted to stay in the church to calm my mind. There I was moved by the free help of Pastor Yang and his brothers and sisters to other people. They all abided by the teachings of the Lord and pursued to be good people. I felt it was a pure land in the world. Therefore, I turned to the Lord through baptism on Thanksgiving Day of 1981. Thank the Lord for visiting His blessings and profuse grace upon me thereafter. I got married in 1983. My wife and I left our parents and moved to a town in the middle of the United States the next year. I learned aircraft maintenance and repair at a school and meanwhile attended meetings at a Chinese Christian church. Except for workdays, my wife and I would serve in the church. Although it was a small church, there were many believers with fervent hearts and great faith. In 1986, I became an official aircraft maintenance worker and got a stable job. At the same time, my wife and I had our first child. My career and life went smoothly, which made me feel as if I had entered the good land of Canaan. I was happy with the presence of the Lord, often living in joy.

My Wife and I Spread Gospel and Built a Church in Our Hometown, Taiwan

In 1990, my wife came up with the idea of returning to Taiwan for spreading gospel to our families and building a local church. After prayer, we got back to Taiwan with our kids in 1992. At the beginning, there were few believers in our church. Through our constant efforts and cooperation with the local brothers and sisters, the church thrived in five years, burning like fire with an increasing number of believers. Everyone was following the Lord with the utmost confidence. Seeing that the church we established with consistent efforts grew ever better because of the Lord’s blessings, I felt joyous and thanked the Lord for His blessings and grace, and had a greater faith in following Him.
Seven Years Later, I Returned to the United States and Joined the Charismatic Church
Because of some changes in life, my whole family moved back to the United States in 1999. My wife and I decided to settle down here, expecting a new start.
After coming back to America, we found the Charismatic Church and started to serve again, which brought us a new aim and knowledge. The pastor told us, “It is said in the Bible, ‘But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit with. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: But all these works that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will’ (1 Corinthians 12:7-11). So we should pursue to be filled with the Holy Spirit, which is a spiritual gift. Only those who are filled with the Holy Spirit are the people possessed of spiritual life. It should be emphasized that everyone must pursue to gain the gift of praying in tongues, for the level of our spiritual life can be upgraded only with the gift of speaking in tongues. If we only pray with the understanding, the level of our spiritual life won’t be upgraded, and then it will be hard to say if we can enter into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes….” From then on, people in our church began to pursue various spiritual gifts, and those who gained the gift of speaking in tongues accounted for the largest proportion. I saw that once the pastor laid his hands on the believers and prayed, some cried, some laughed, some suddenly fell down, and some couldn’t stop speaking in tongues … My brothers and sisters always prayed in tongues after we finished singing hymns. But I was unable to do so. I supposed I was not a spiritual person. So I felt troubled for failing to gain any gifts, including speaking in tongues, which was the most common one. Feeling helpless, I just comforted myself with this: Don’t worry, maybe it is still early for me to gain spiritual gifts.

I Was Confused by the Church Situation Where the Believers Pursued to Be Filled With the Holy Spirit

Gradually, a growing number of the believers in our church could speak in tongues. But I saw that when my brothers and sister pursued spiritual gifts and the filling of the Holy Spirit, they paid decreasing attention to the explanation of the Scriptures and the practice of the Lord’s words, and all their deeds were far from testifying to the Lord. I remembered one time when my younger son came back from the church, he said, “I think the church is pretty much like the society. I don’t want to attend meetings anymore.” Actually, I felt the same way about the church. Gradually, I couldn’t feel the work of the Holy Spirit. I began to wonder whether or not the pursuit of being filled with the Holy Spirit was from Him. What’s more, every time we broke bread in Holy Communion, the church became a place of confessing. The moment the glasses of wine were raised, we began to repent our sins. But after that, we returned to real life and again committed sins involuntarily. The original prosperity of our church was lost and never returned. I was worried about living in sin and being unable to save myself. I tried to solve my problem through praying more, reading the Scriptures and spiritual books more, but to no avail. In particular, when I saw the Lord’s words, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3), my heart was full of fear and worry. I still lived in sin and was unable to put the Lord’s teachings into practice. I still could lose my temper, show jealousy and hatred toward others, have passions and lusts, and even tell lies for my personal benefits … I repented my sins, but after that, I continued to sin unwittingly. How could I be reborn in this way? I often thought to myself: If the pursuit of being filled with the Holy Spirit and receiving spiritual gifts is necessary for our salvation, why doesn’t the Lord bless our church? Can we really enter into the kingdom of heaven in such a way?

I Heard the News About the Lord’s Return Seventeen Years Later

I befriended Sister Fang on Facebook in November of 2016. In our conversation, I learned that her cousin was very seeking and that his knowledge and understanding of the Bible were very high. Then through Sister Fang, I got to chat with her cousin, Brother Qiancheng. Thanks be to the Lord. He indeed had a thorough and profound knowledge of the Bible, and I gained a new understanding of the Bible through his sharing. He also told me wonderful news that the Lord Jesus has come back. I was ecstatic and eager to know the work He has brought forth. However, when I heard him say, “The Lord has come back. He becomes flesh and expresses the words to do the work of judgment beginning with the house of God …” I felt conflicted and shocked: The Lord has come back through incarnation; how could it be possible? I believe that the Lord will appear to us with glory in a spiritual body instead of through incarnation when He comes back.
I put forward my viewpoint to Brother Qiancheng. He said, “It is meaningful that God incarnate comes to do His work. God doesn’t do anything insignificant. God becomes flesh once again to do His work in the last days. There are divine mysteries here. Let’s look at the prophecies in the Bible, ‘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). ‘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). These verses have prophesied that the Lord Jesus will return through incarnation. The Son of man refers to God’s return to flesh, becoming a person who is born to a human and have parents. God really and actually becomes man, but the Spirit within Him is the Holy Spirit, and He is the embodiment of the Spirit of God. If God appeared in a spiritual body, then He wouldn’t be called Son of man. On the other hand, when God comes back in the last days, ‘first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.’ Only when God comes in the flesh will He suffer many things, and if God appeared as the Spirit, He wouldn’t suffer as much. For instance, the Lord Jesus suffered in a practical way before He was nailed to the cross. When He transcended the flesh and became a spiritual body after the resurrection, however, He did not suffer anymore. On the third hand, ‘when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.’ Man can comprehend and enter the truth only if God’s Spirit is materialized in the flesh, speaks and works among man in a practical way, while the direct work of the Spirit cannot achieve such results. We will understand it more clearly after reading Almighty God’s words.”
Then Brother Qiancheng began to read the words of Almighty God. Almighty God says, “The Spirit is impalpable to man, and invisible to man, and the work of the Spirit is incapable of leaving any further evidence or facts of God’s work for man. Man shall never behold the real face of God, and shall always believe in a vague God that does not exist. Man shall never behold the face of God, nor will man ever hear words personally spoken by God. Man’s imaginings are, after all, empty, and cannot replace the true face of God; the inherent disposition of God, and the work of God Himself cannot be impersonated by man. The invisible God in heaven and His work can only be brought to earth by God incarnate who personally does His work among man. This is the most ideal way in which God appears to man, in which man sees God and comes to know the true face of God, and it cannot be achieved by a non-incarnate God” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh”).
So if this work is done by the Spirit—if God does not become flesh, and instead the Spirit speaks directly through thunder, so that man has no contact with Him, would man know His disposition? If only the Spirit does the work, then man would have no way of knowing His disposition. People can only behold God’s disposition with their own eyes when He becomes flesh, and reveals His words in the flesh, and expresses His entire disposition through the flesh. God truly lives among man. He is tangible; man can truly engage with His disposition and what He has and is; only in this way can man truly know Him” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)”).
The work that is of greatest value to corrupt man is that which provides accurate words, clear goals to pursue, and which can be seen and touched. Only realistic work and timely guidance are suited to man’s tastes, and only real work can save man from his corrupt and depraved disposition. This can only be achieved by the incarnate God; only the incarnate God can save man from his formerly corrupt and depraved disposition. Although the Spirit is the inherent substance of God, work such as this can only be done by His flesh. If the Spirit worked single-handedly, then it would not be possible for His work to be effective—this is a plain truth” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh”).
After reading Almighty God’s words, Brother Qiancheng fellowshiped, “We are still living in sin and under Satan’s domain. Every day we sin and confess. Such corrupt people like us are unfit to see God’s face. What’s more, we are of flesh and blood, so we can’t see God’s spiritual body. When Daniel saw the vision, he set his face toward the ground, became dumb, and there was no strength or breath left in him. When the apostle John saw the vision on the island of Patmos, he fell to the ground as dead. God’s Spirit allows no offense, and can never be approached by man. Only when God is incarnated to be a man, actually carries out His work and speaks His words in the world of man and expresses the truth, can the outcome of salvation of man be attained.”

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Knock, and It Shall Be Opened to You II

Knock, and It Shall Be Opened to You II

After that, I still went to the meetings with my Bible. When what was talked about was in line with the Bible, I accepted it. If it was not, I turned a deaf ear to it. I waited for the day when my brothers and sisters would wake up. However, their states became ever better and their countenances were full of joy, while I had a heavy heart, and just responded to their greetings with a false smile. One day in the meeting, the brothers and sisters fellowshiped about their understanding and knowledge of the words of Almighty God enthusiastically, and they were joyful as if having received a treasure, but I could hardly understand what they fellowshiped about, just sitting there like a fool without a word. I became more and more sad and distressed and could only cry to the Lord in my heart, “O Lord, You were so gracious to me before. Why don’t You enlighten me now? Have You rejected me? O Lord, my only hope is in You. Please don’t forsake me.” Although I cried to the Lord desperately, I could not feel any response or comfort from Him.
Back home, I could not hold back my sorrow anymore and threw myself down on the bed crying out to God tearfully, “O Lord, You know I love You, and I will not put the Bible aside and depart from You whatever happens. However, I have never felt so dark in my heart throughout the many years of my belief in You. O Lord, please don’t hide Your face from me, and please have mercy on me. My brothers and sisters all say that the words in The Scroll Opened by the Lamb are the utterances of You who have returned, and that they have gained a lot from them. I, however, have fallen into darkness and cannot feel Your presence. O Lord! I am very distressed and bewildered, and don’t know how to face all this. O Lord, are the words in The Scroll Opened by the Lamb really the utterances of You who have returned? If they are, I am also willing to follow You.” When I spoke this, suddenly in my mind appeared a picture of the Lord Jesus standing at the door and knocking, who seemed to have waited for a long time. I was startled at this, and realized that I had shut the Lord outside the door. The Church of Almighty GodImmediately tears of self-reproach, remorse, and indebtedness gushed out, and I did not wipe them, but took out the Bible and turned to Revelation 3:20-22, which said, “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. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches.” I was certain that it was the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, so I knelt before the Lord again with my tears coursing down unceasingly, “My Lord, Almighty God, little did I expect that I would treat Your coming this way … I was so blind and foolish that I did not recognize Your voice and shut You outside the door … I’ve grieved and disappointed You … were it not for Your mercy, I would continue rejecting Your utterances and live in darkness…. O Almighty God! I am willing to return to You and accept Your words. Please hide Your face from my transgressions and continue Your salvation of me.” After the prayer, I felt incomparably released, and my heart was so relieved, as if a big stone weighing upon it had been moved away. From then on, whenever I had time, I would read God’s words, wishing to make up for the time I had lost before. However, I still did not know why God does His work outside of the Bible.
One day, I opened the book of God’s word and read these words: “How should the Bible be approached in the belief in God? This is a question of principle. … For many years, people’s traditional means of belief (that of Christianity, one of the world’s three major religions) has been to read the Bible; departure from the Bible is not the belief in the Lord, departure from the Bible is an evil cult, and heresy, and even when people read other books, the foundation of these books must be the explanation of the Bible. Which is to say, if you say you believe in the Lord, then you must read the Bible, you must eat and drink the Bible, and outside the Bible you must not worship any book that does not involve the Bible. If you do, then you are betraying God. From the time when there was the Bible, people’s belief in the Lord has been the belief in the Bible. Instead of saying people believe in the Lord, it is better to say they believe in the Bible; rather than saying they have begun reading the Bible, it is better to say they have begun believing in the Bible; and rather than saying they have returned before the Lord, it would be better to say they have returned before the Bible” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
While I read this passage of God’s word, I felt as if God was teaching me face to face. I thought, “Yes, this is exactly my former view. I believed that a believer in God must read the Bible and should not read any book except the Bible, otherwise he is a betrayer of God. Now through God’s disclosure, I have realized that my view is indeed wrong. But isn’t the Bible given by inspiration of God? Haven’t we believed in the Lord according to the Bible? Then what’s the difference between returning before the Bible and returning before the Lord?” I wanted to know the answers, so I continued to seek in God’s words. I saw these words: “The Bible is a historical record of God’s work in Israel, and documents many of the foretellings of ancient prophets as well as some of the utterances of Jehovah in His work at that time. Thus, people all look upon this book as ‘holy’ (for God is holy and great). Of course, this is all a result of their reverence for Jehovah and their adoration for God. People refer to this book in this way only because the creatures of God are so adoring of their Creator, and there are even those who call this book a ‘heavenly book.’ In fact, it is merely a human record. It was not personally named by Jehovah, nor did Jehovah personally guide its creation. In other words, the author of this book is not God, but men. The ‘Holy’ Bible is only the respectful title given to it by man. This title was not decided by Jehovah and Jesus after they had a discussion amongst each other; it is nothing more than a human idea. For this book was not written by Jehovah, much less by Jesus. Instead, it is the accounts of many ancient prophets, apostles, and seers, which were compiled by later generations into a book of ancient writings that, to people, seems especially holy, a book that they believe contains many unfathomable and profound mysteries that are waiting to be unlocked by future generations. As such, people are even more disposed to believe that this book is a ‘heavenly book.’ With the addition of the Four Gospels and the Book of Revelation, people’s attitude toward it is particularly different from any other book, and thus no one dares to dissect this ‘heavenly book’—because it is too ‘sacred’” (“Concerning the Bible (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The words of Almighty God have unlocked the mystery of ages past. Almighty God says: “The Bible is a historical record of God’s work in Israel….” I pondered over these words carefully and realized they were true. “God is a God who created all things and rules over all mankind; how can it be possible that He only works in Israel? But the Bible only documents the work God did in Israel. This is a fact. The reason why the Bible is called a ‘holy book’ by people is that it documents many words of God. People call it a ‘holy book’ out of their reverence for God. However, the publication of the Bible was actually not decided by Jehovah and man after they had a discussion together; it is nothing more than a human idea. Moreover, the author of the Bible is not God, but those ancient saints, prophets, seers, and apostles.” God’s disclosure left me ashamed and humiliated. Thinking about the view I had held throughout the years of my belief in God, I realized I was too ignorant and foolish. I saw the Bible as important as God, and thought that whoever departs from the Bible is not a believer in God. I was not clear about the substance of the Bible and its value, nor did I ever think about the difference between belief in God and belief in the Bible. I did not know anything about the reality of belief in God, and regarded my conceptions as the truth and talked wildly. However, God did not treat me according to my ignorance. Instead of condemning me, He enlightened and guided me…. From God’s words I saw the Creator’s mercy for corrupt mankind.
Although in God’s words, I felt God’s majesty that I had never felt in my many years of belief in the Lord, I was still fascinated by them and read on. Through reading God’s words, I could treat the Bible correctly and moreover received God’s watering and shepherding, so that I understood some truths gradually. I thank and praise God from the bottom of my heart.
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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Can Man Define Where God Appears?Yikao, Hunan Province

Can Man Define Where God Appears?Yikao, Hunan Province

One day, in a Bible study meeting, I had a debate with several brothers and sisters because of our different opinions about the Lord’s appearance. I believed that the Lord would appear on the Mount of Olives in Israel when He returned, for the Bible says: “And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east” (Zechariah 14:4). Israel was the birthplace of God’s work, so the Lord would still descend in Israel when He returned in the last days. As long as we paid close attention to any signs in Israel, we would surely be able to welcome the Lord’s appearance. While a sister raised a query, “Now all sorts of disasters have frequently occurred, and the prophecies of the Lord’s return have already been fulfilled. If the Lord really appears in Israel when He returns, we should have welcomed Him early on. However, we still haven’t met the Lord though we have earnestly expected His return for many years. I feel perhaps the Lord has appeared elsewhere.” At her words, I was just about to refute her, when a brother butted in, “I agree with her. As Matthew 24:27 says, ‘For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.’ I wonder whether it means the Lord’s return is like lightning, coming from the East to the West. If this is true, then it’s very possible that the Lord will first appear in some country in the East!” Other people also played along, “Their words make sense!” “Yes! No wonder we haven’t met the Lord’s return, regardless of how we have focused on Israel. …” At that moment, the brothers and sisters were still discussing about this matter, but I no longer had the heart to participate in it.
That night, the sky was darkly clouded, and I lay awake tossing and turning. When I recalled the words the brothers and sisters said during the day, I fell into confusion. Both prophecies speak of the place where the Lord will appear: One is on the Mount of Olives in Israel, and the other in the East. Why is that? Where on earth will the Lord appear? And how should we welcome the Lord’s appearance? Pondering over these problems, I felt very puzzled …
Several days later, one of my friends came to visit me. When I poured out my confusion to him, he fellowshiped, “The wisdom of God soars higher than the heavens, and God’s thoughts are far higher than our human’s thoughts. How can we freely define where God will appear based on the words in the Bible? In the beginning, when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, didn’t the Pharisees define the Lord Jesus’ new work in accordance with God’s previous work just because they didn’t know the work of the Holy Spirit, and obstinately adhered to the rules and letters of the Old Testament? The Bible records, ‘At that time Jesus went on the sabbath day through the corn; and his disciples were an hungered, and began to pluck the ears of corn and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, Behold, your disciples do that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath day. But he said to them, Have you not read what David did, when he was an hungered, and they that were with him; How he entered into the house of God, and did eat the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for them which were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law, how that on the sabbath days the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are blameless? But I say to you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day’ (Matthew 12:1-8). From these verses it can be seen that when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, He didn’t work within the temple according to the law of that time, but worked outside of it with His disciples on the Sabbath, and His disciples even plucked the ears of corn to eat. When the Pharisees accused them of not keeping the Sabbath, the Lord Jesus didn’t rebuke His disciples for not observing the Old Testament; on the contrary, He refuted the Pharisees with the fact that David ate the show bread in the temple when he got hungry. Here, the Lord Jesus also clearly told us ‘That in this place is one greater than the temple,’ ‘For the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.’ From Jesus’ work and His words, we can see that the Lord Jesus wants us to know God is the Master of all things, and He is the God of all creation. He is not restricted by geography, by space, or by people, events, or things. The work brought by Him completely exceeded the Old Testament, exceeded the old laws and rules, and even more exceeded people’s thinking. Those disciples and other people who put aside their own conceptions to follow the Lord Jesus gained the Lord’s blessings and grace; while the Pharisees who lived under the laws and rules of the Old Testament didn’t give up their old notions, delimited God within the words in the Bible, and eventually became the ones of eternal guilt defying God, and were thus eliminated by God’s work. Likewise, if we believe that God’s return will most certainly be on the Mount of Olives in Israel, aren’t we keeping obstinately to the rules and letters of the Bible, defining and resisting God by our notions?”
His words suddenly opened up my minds: Right. At that time the Pharisees adhered to the Old Testament, defined the Lord’s work, and became those who served God yet resisted Him, and eventually suffered God’s punishment. So if I define that the Lord’s return will surely be on the Mount of Olives in Israel, am I not committing the same mistake as the Pharisees? Looking back, since the prophecies of the Lord’s return have already been fulfilled, why have I not witnessed His appearance? Maybe I’m really wrong. I shouldn’t define God’s appearance this way. If I really miss the Lord’s return, then the result … I didn’t dare to think further. Afterward, my friend left me a book before leaving, and said that the words in the book unraveled all mysteries we had never known before, and could relieve all confusion about belief in God.
After he left, I opened up the book, and a passage of words caught my eye: “The appearance of God cannot be reconciled with the conceptions of man, much less can God appear at the behest of man. God makes His own choices and has His own plans when He does His work; moreover, He has His own objectives, and His own methods. It is not necessary for Him to discuss the work He does with man or to seek the advice of man, much less notify each and every person of His work. This is the disposition of God and, moreover, should be recognized by everyone. If you desire to witness the appearance of God, if you wish to follow the footprints of God, then you must first transcend your own conceptions. You must not demand that God do this or that, much less should you place Him within your own confines and limit Him to your own conceptions. Instead, you should ask how you should seek the footprints of God, how you should accept the appearance of God, and how you should submit to the new work of God; that is what should be done by man. Since man is not the truth, and is not possessed of the truth, man should seek, accept, and obey”. As I contemplated this passage, I understood it a little better: God is the Creator, and we are created beings. No matter where God reveals Himself, where He chooses to work, or in what manner He does His work, all of this is up to God Himself, not us humans. God has His precise plans, and no one can fathom them or has any right to interfere, which is determined by God’s disposition. So if we want to seek the true appearance of God, we must put aside all of our imaginations and notions, maintain a heart of yearning for and seeking the truth, and submit to God’s work and His words. Then we can behold God’s appearance. As the Bible says: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).