Bible Study

Is all Scripture Given by Inspiration of God?

Hello brothers and sisters of Testify God: There’s a question I really can’t figure out. I want to seek your understanding of it. In 2 Timothy 3:16, Brother Paul said, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” I, as well as many brothers and sisters, think that all words in the Bible are given by inspiration of God and are all God’s words, and we’ve never doubted this. However, recently when I read the Bible, I unexpectedly found some contradictions in it. The Bible says: “Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem” (2 Chronicles 36:9). But it says in 2 Kings 24:8: “Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months.” From the two verses we can see 2 Chronicles says Jehoiachin was eight when he began to reign, while 2 Kings says it was when he was eighteen. What’s more, 2 Chronicles says he reigned for three months and ten days while 2 Kings says he only reigned for three months. If all the words in the Bible are God’s words and given by inspiration of God, then one thing should be recorded the same, and there should be no contradictions. Why are there different versions of the same thing? Now I am confused whether or not the Bible is given by inspiration of God. I’m looking forward to your reply. Muyi Hello Sister Muyi: Thank the Lord! If there is anything we don’t understand, we can discuss it together. The more we discuss, the clearer our understanding of the truth becomes. As to the issue whether or not all scripture is given by inspiration of God, we will talk a little bit about our own understanding so that we can learn from each other. We all know that the saying “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” was spoken by Paul, not the Lord Jesus Himself. So unavoidably, there are mixtures of human ideas in it. Paul was just an apostle who spread the gospel. His words can’t represent God’s words. We should use the Lord Jesus’ words to evaluate if Paul’s words conform to the truth. Moreover, these words were in the letter that apostle Paul wrote to the Timothy Church in 60 A.D. At that time, people could only read the Old Testament. The New Testament hadn’t been compiled into a book yet, and there were just some letters kept in the churches. After 300 A.D., the leaders of those churches had a meeting together, in which they selected the Four Gospels, the letters of Paul, Peter, John, etc., and Revelation wrote by John after he saw the vision on Patmos Island after 90 A.D., to be arranged and organized into the New Testament. Subsequently, they combined the New Testament and the Old Testament to become the Old and New Testament we read today. The book of Timothy was written by Paul after 60 A.D., while the New Testament was formed after 300 A.D. They are more than 200 years apart. Therefore, we should know that when Paul said that all scripture was given by inspiration of God, he referred to the Old Testament, not the whole Bible. The view that the whole Bible is given by inspiration of God is inconsistent with the background of Paul saying these words. Additionally, the saying “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” was out of Paul’s mouth. The prophets didn’t say so when they conveyed God’s words. God has never said that the whole Bible is given by inspiration of God. The Holy Spirit never testified these words, either. Obviously, Paul’s words are totally groundless. It is his own understanding of the Bible. It doesn’t represent the will of the Lord Jesus, nor of the Holy Spirit. If we hold on to these words of Paul, aren’t we violating God’s will? As to the issue whether or not all the words in the Bible are God’s words and given by inspiration of God , I saw a fellowship in a book. The book says: “Today, people believe the Bible is God, and that God is the Bible. So, too, do they believe that all the words of the Bible were the only words God spoke, and that they were all said by God. Those who believe in God even think that although all of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament were written by people, they were all given by inspiration of God, and a record of the utterances of the Holy Spirit. This is the erroneous interpretation of people, and it does not completely accord with the facts. In fact, apart from the books of prophecy, most of the Old Testament is historical record. Some of the epistles of the New Testament come from people’s experiences, and some come from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; the Pauline epistles, for example, arose from the work of a man, they were all the result of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and they were written for the churches, were words of exhortation and encouragement for the brothers and sisters of the churches. They were not words spoken by the Holy Spirit—Paul could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit, and neither was he a prophet, much less did he see visions that John beheld. His epistles were written for the churches of Ephesus, Philadelphia, Galatia, and other churches” (“Concerning the Bible (3)”). From this passage I see it is an erroneous interpretation of people that the whole Bible is given by inspiration of God. It is not in accordance with the truth at all. In the Old Testament, there are the prophecies of the prophets as well as the historical records of God’s work. All the prophecies of the prophets were given by inspiration of God. They were written by the prophets after they saw the visions, heard the voice and gained…

Bible,

How to Discern the True Christ and False Christs

By Li Xin On June 8, 2017, Thursday, Cloudy During today’s meeting, the pastor preached to us, “The last days have already come. The prophecies of the Lord’s return have basically been fulfilled. The four blood moons have appeared. The great disaster is right at hand. We must wait for the Lord watchfully. The Lord Jesus told us: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:23–24). In the last days, false Christs and false prophets will surely come to deceive us. So, if someone preaches that the Lord Jesus has come back, don’t investigate carelessly in case you’re deceived by false Christs and are forsaken by the Lord….” These years, the pastors have always spoken to us: False Christs would emerge to deceive people, and so, if someone testified the return of the Lord Jesus, don’t listen or believe. And this was what I had been sticking to. However, when the meeting broke up, an elder sister said to me: “The pastor always tells us not to investigate or believe if we hear someone spreads the news of the Lord’s return. But the Lord Jesus told us clearly: ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). If we insist on not investigating when someone preaches the Lord’s return, if by any chance the Lord really comes back, then won’t we miss the chance of meeting Him and be forsaken by Him?” Her words set me thinking: Yeah, I have believed all the time that false Christs will appear to deceive people. As a result, I only focus on guarding against false Christs. I have never thought of how to seek God’s appearance actively. If someone preaches “the bridegroom comes” and I don’t seek or investigate God’s work, I will miss the chance of meeting the Lord. If so, then it will be too late for me to regret. If we only guard against false Christs rather than know the true Christ, as it seems, we can’t meet the Lord, let alone be raptured before the throne of God. No! I can’t just sit still and wait for death like this. I must take the initiative in seeking, and first of all, I must understand the truth of how to distinguish the true Christ from false ones. Only in this way can I guard against false Christs and meet the true Christ. The Lord ever promised us: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). So I believe that as long as I seek with my heart, the Lord will certainly lead me to understand it. On June 13, 2017, Tuesday, Cloudy Lately, I have been in confusion all day long. Sometimes I even expcted the Lord to appear in my dream and solve it for me. No, I couldn’t just wait. I must go to ask for the pastors’ opinion. Outside, it was dull and cloudy, as if to rain, but I couldn’t worry about that. After a hurried breakfast, I took the raincoat and rode my electric scooter, heading for the pastors’ houses. I went to Pastor Li’s house and then to Pastor Wang’s. About my confusion, they only told me: Whoever preaches the Lord Jesus has returned through incarnation, it’s definitely false. We must refuse to believe it so as not to be deceived. But with regard to the traits and manifestations of false Christs, they couldn’t give a clear explanation at all. I was very disappointed at their replies and left with my confusion unresolved. Pushing my electric scooter without power and caught in the rain, I was just like a drowned rat. The chill went straight to my body and my heart, too. I was in low spirits. At night, there was no stars in the sky, the moon hid itself in the thick clouds, and the air was still close. I took up the Bible and knelt before the Lord in prayer: “O Lord! I’ve always been yearning for Your return. But the pastors and elders tell us not to receive strangers. They say it’s to avoid being deceived. I have no discernment, so I dare not listen to and believe the gospel of testifying Your return. However, now the prophecies of Your return have almost been fulfilled. I’m more eager to meet Your return. O Lord, how should we distinguish the true Christ from the false ones so as not to be deceived by the false Christs? Lord, may You guide me. Amen!” On August 16, 2017, Wednesday, Sunny It was sunny and bright. Birds were chirping and chasing each other, as if spreading some good news. And I was in a good mood, because Sister Li, a believer in the Lord, wanted to see me. She said that a sister, who had worked and preached for many years, happened to visit her today and so I could seek from that sister about my confusion. After seeing that sister, I felt a feeling of kindness, and without much greetings exchanged, I straight told her what had confused me. After she finished listening, Sister Chen said to me smilingly, “Actually, about how to distinguish the true Christ from the false ones, the Lord Jesus has long since told us. He said: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:23–24). From these words, we can see that the most prominent traits of false Christs are that they will show signs and…

A Christian woman is praying and reading Bible

How to Keep Faith in God During Trials

A grain of sand: Brothers and sisters, I’m reading the Book of Job when practicing spiritual devotions lately. Whenever I see that God praised Job as a righteous, perfect and upright person who feared God and shunned evil, I admire him greatly in my heart, and I also want to learn from him. I see Job had great faith in God. When he lost his cattle and sheep all over the mountains, his untold wealth, and even his sons and daughters, he didn’t sin through his words blaming God, and he stood witness to God. In the trial he even said words with weight and testimony such as, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1:21). When he suffered great pain from the sore boils all over his body, his wife told him to forsake God and betray God, but instead of doing that, Job said to his wife, “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). From this I see that no matter what great sufferings and tribulations Job encountered, even in the face of death, he could retain his integrity by faith and didn’t rebel against or resist God. Job’s faith is very admirable. However, look at myself: Even though I have believed in the Lord for many years, my faith in the Lord is still very small. In my work and life, whenever encountering untoward things that harm my reputation and my interest, or suffering illness and tribulations, though I won’t say anything, I will still misunderstand and blame God in my heart, just unable to obey. Only when I reflect on myself afterward can I see that my faith in God is truly pitiful, and is worlds away from Job’s. If God allows me to encounter trials in the future, with such faith how can I stand testimony to satisfy God? If I can’t, I will be Satan’s laughingstock, and I won’t gain God’s approval. So, how can I have true faith in the Lord? If brothers or sisters have any understanding of it, please fellowship with me. Thanks! Poster: A grain of sand The way of faith: Thank God! A grain of sand, the moment I entered the forum I saw your post. It’s really arranged by God. Previously, I had the same question as yours. But thanks to God’s guidance, after I studied the Bible carefully, prayed earnestly, sought and fellowshiped together with my brothers and sisters, I got some understanding about how to have true faith. Now, I’d like to share it with you here. And if the brothers and sisters interested in this post have any good understanding, please join us and communicate it together, so that we can learn from each other. From the Book of Job we can know that when Job underwent God’s trial, he was already seventy years old. When he had all his property and children taken, even when his body was covered in boils, he still praised the name of Jehovah God, and retained the way of fearing God and shunning evil. This was inextricably linked to his paying attention to knowing God through practical experiences in his daily life. Job’s classic words “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” verified that his knowledge of God wasn’t vague but practical, that his knowledge of God ruling over and controlling everything was real. Job knew clearly in his heart that all his property, livestock, houses and children were bestowed by God. All of those were not obtained by his own hard work and effort. Without the favor and grace of God, no matter how he toiled, how much price he paid, he would have gained nothing. This was what Job was quite certain about in his heart. So, when God blessed him, he praised God’s name; when his property and livestock were robbed of and his servants were killed, he didn’t deny God or forsake God’s name, nor did he try to take them back. He accepted it from God, tearing his cloth up, shaving his head and then bowing down to worship God. This makes us truly see that it was because Job honored God as great and had a God-fearing heart that in tribulations and trials he was able to absolutely obey God, held no misunderstandings or complaints against God, and said the following words “the LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” At the same time, it can be seen that Job’s faith in God was true, and that his faith was on the basis of having real knowledge of God’s sovereignty. A grain of sand: Thank God! After reading your fellowship like this, I feel much brightened. It turns out that Job’s true faith in God was caused from his knowledge of God’s sovereignty. Job acknowledged from his heart that no matter whether he received good or evil, it was dominated and arranged by God. So he could stand witness to God in trials. This also makes me understand why God praised Job as a person who feared God and shunned evil: He never abandoned God, never did anything to rebel against or resist God under any circumstance; but instead he bore beautiful and resounding testimony for God relying on his true faith, and made Satan completely humiliated and defeated. Job’s faith is indeed worth our emulating! The way of faith: A grain of sand, your acceptance is pure. Thanks for God’s enlightenment! A grain of sand: The way of faith, I have another question: As Job had never seen God, and at that age there was no assembly to attend and no scriptures to read, then how did he confirm God’s real existence, see God’s power and know God’s domination over…

As Christians, How Can We Face Trials From God Audaciously and Calmly?

Brothers and sisters of Testify God: Glad to write to you! I have met some problems and calamities in my life recently. Although I know from theory that they are trials and refinements from God, which are good environments for me, I’m still afraid of them a lot. What should I do to dare to face them? Jia Yin Sister Jia Yin: Hello! Regarding the question you asked, I know many Christians have faced it and been confused about it. It is normal that we have this confused and contradictory state. It’s chiefly because we don’t understand the purpose and meaning of God’s work of trials and refinements, and what desired effects should be achieved. The Desired Effects of Trials and Refinements God said: “Go your way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:9-10). “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zechariah 13:9). It can be seen through God’s words that the purpose of God’s trials and refinements is to change and purify man, so that man can be gained and become the people of God’s kingdom. Just like our belief in God, when we’ve enjoyed abundant mercy, love and grace from God, we have profuse “faith” and resolve to fulfill God and repay His love. But if one day, trials come, for example, we are persecuted by our unbelieving families, have frustrations at work, problems in life or pains from disease, or are slandered and ejected by others, then we will have misunderstandings and complaints to God. Because we think that, we’ve paid and expended a lot for God but why do we still need to suffer these calamities? Only at this time can we find out that there are so many impurities in our belief in God, such as personal extravagant desires, transactions, extortions and other motivations, and that our viewpoint of belief in God is incorrect. God sees into the depths of mankind’s hearts and He arranges trials and refinements in order to purify our improper motivations and desires. Thus we can stand in the place of a created being and worship God. The Meaning and Significance of Trials and Refinements From appearances, trials and refinements bring us pains but it achieves the effect of saving us and purifying us. The more trials we meet and pains we suffer, the better we can be able to see that the corruption of us runs too deep, that we lack too much, and that our stature is so small. So we will keep praying, get closer to God and dare not leave Him even for a second. Meanwhile, we will feel that we are unable to overcome the many problems we encounter if we go away from God. Then we will always read His words, fellowship about His truth, get close to Him, rely on Him and practice His words often. The more God’s words we practice in this way, the more corrupt dispositions we can change. Hence we’ll get purified unwittingly and live by God’s word, and then get saved. As such, hardship is our best protection which urges us to come closer to God and pray more often. Through these hardships and trials, we can see God’s holy and righteous disposition, and feel His love and earnest intention in saving man. Meanwhile, we can also recognize the corrupt essence and the truth of our disobedient and God-resisting nature. Only by experiencing trials and refinements can our sins be cleansed. So, the way how we experience trials and refinements directly correlates with whether we can be saved by God! There is an admonition in the Proverbs: “The prosperity of fools shall destroy them” (Proverbs 1:32). It’s true that when we have a leisurely environment and don’t have any troubles, we will have enjoyment of flesh, covet the comforts of it, have no place for God in our hearts, are unrestrainedly dissolute in speaking or doing things, and even offend God and dishonor His name without knowing it. It’s just as what God says: “When people’s lives are easy, and there is no suffering in their environment, they are incapable of experiencing. In comfortable environments, it is easy for people to become depraved—but adverse environments make you pray with greater urgency, and make you dare not leave God. The more easy and dull their lives, the more people feel there is no point in living, and they even feel that they’re better off dead. This is how corrupt people’s flesh is; they can only receive benefits if they experience trials” (Practice 8). So they’re all good for us no matter what persecution or adversity, trials or refinements we meet. And this environment can prompt us to pray more often, get closer to God, read His word and seek His will, which lets us know how to rely on God and not go away from Him. Such hardship is a blessing, can only benefit and does no harm to us. This point can also be seen from the fact of God’s work—People who gain the approval of God are the ones who have experienced trials and refinements, such as Abraham. God told Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac, and he did so willingly, not talking conditions with God or making his own choices, so that he gained God’s approval. As for Job, no matter whether God gave things to or took away from him, blessed or gave him disasters, he still insisted on worshipping God and praising His name. Job didn’t have even a little complaint but followed God’s way: Fear God and shun evil. Finally, he said, “But he knows the way that I take: when he has tried me, I shall…

Lord Jesus,Jesus Christ

Is the Lord Jesus God Himself or the Son of God?

Hello brothers and sisters of Testify God, My name is Feifei. I’ve seen that all of you have some particular insight into the Scripture—this has been so helpful and edifying for me. Today, I’d like to ask everyone about something that’s perplexed me for years. As Christians, many of us have the notion that the Lord Jesus is God’s Son because there are a number of mentions in the Bible of “beloved Son” and “heavenly Father.” Just like it clearly states in Luke 3:22: “And a voice came from heaven, which said, You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” Plus in the Lord’s Prayer the Lord Jesus called God in heaven “Our Father which are in heaven.” The Lord Jesus Himself said that, and that’s what the Holy Spirit gave testimony to, so nearly everyone who follows the Lord Jesus thinks that He is God’s Son. But I’ve also seen a lot of places in the Bible where it says that God is the only one true God who created the heavens, the earth, and all things, that there is only one God. So then why would there be any mention of a Father and a Son? Isn’t that contradictory? So was the Lord Jesus the Son of God or was He God Himself? I really can’t figure this out, so I wanted to ask you in seeking. Sincerely yours, Feifei Sister Feifei: Before having fellowship on this, we should first understand that everything God does is correct and without error. God’s words cannot contradict each other, and God’s wisdom is unfathomable to us as human beings. So, whenever we’re confused about something we need to seek the truth with a humble heart. The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). If we have a heart of longing for the truth, I believe the Lord will lead us. Something we really need clarity on is whether the Lord Jesus Christ was God Himself or God’s Son. First let’s take a look at the origin of the idea that the Lord Jesus was the Son of God. In Genesis there was no mention of God having a son, and Jehovah God didn’t mention a son during the Age of Law, either. It wasn’t until the Age of Grace, after the Lord Jesus had become flesh and come to the earth to work that we speculated that there is a Father and a Son from some things written in the Bible. No one knew if this was accurate or not, nor did anyone try to seek out the facts to find out what this really was. But in fact, the Lord Jesus had already disclosed this mystery to us, and it’s something we can find out if we just pay a bit of attention. Back in the Age of Grace, Philip didn’t know God at all. He thought that the Lord Jesus had God, His Father, up in heaven, so he asked the Lord to have the Father show Himself to them. And what did the Lord Jesus say? John 14:9–11 says, “Jesus said to him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known Me, Philip? he that has seen Me has seen the Father; and how say you then, Show us the Father? Believe you not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? the words that I speak to you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwells in Me, He does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.” And in the Gospel of John 10:30, the Lord says, “I and My Father are one.” We can clearly know from the Lord Jesus’ words that there is only one God. The Father is the Son, and the Son is the Father. The Father and the Son are one Spirit, which is to say that the Lord Jesus was God Himself and there was no such thing as a separate Father and Son. There will probably be a lot of people who, reading this, may have a number of uncertainties about the fact that the Lord Jesus Christ was God Himself. The key to resolving these confusions is to understand what Christ really is, and then we’ll have clarity on this issue. Let’s take a look at a couple of passages: “The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself. Be it His humanity or divinity, both submit to the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is the Spirit, that is, the divinity. Therefore, His substance is that of God Himself.” “The incarnate flesh originates in the Spirit: He is the incarnation of the Spirit, that is, the Word become flesh. In other words, God Himself lives within the flesh. … For this reason, even though He is called ‘man,’ He does not belong to the human race, and has no human attributes: This is the man in which God clothes Himself, this is the man that God approves. Within the words is embodied God’s Spirit, and the words of God are directly revealed in the flesh. This makes it all the more clear that God lives in the flesh and is a more practical God, from which it is proven that God exists, thus bringing to an end the age of humanity’s rebellion against God.”…

Hearing God’s Voice:How to Be a Wise Virgin to Welcome the Lord’s Coming

Hearing God’s Voice: How to Be a Wise Virgin to Welcome the Lord’s Coming

Hello brothers and sisters of Testify God, Nowadays disasters are getting worse and worse all over the world and the situation in every country is very tense. The prophecies in the Bible of the Lord’s second coming have basically been fulfilled, yet I have still not welcomed the Lord. I’m afraid that I will be abandoned by the Lord. Therefore, I’d like to ask for your advice: What should I do to greet the Lord’s second coming? Jingxing Hello Sister Jingxing: The question that you asked is exactly the same one that all the brothers and sisters who are desperately waiting for the Lord’s return are concerned with. If we want to welcome the Lord’s coming, the crucial point is to pay attention to hearing His voice and recognizing His voice from His words. Only then can we welcome His appearance and follow the Lamb’s footsteps. The Lord Jesus 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” (Rev 3:20). And it says many times in Revelation, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2-3). The Lord Jesus also said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jhn 10:27). From these prophecies, we can see clearly that when the Lord Jesus returns, He will speak again, and that God’s sheep will hear His voice and come out to welcome Him and be raptured before His throne. Let’s look back at Peter. From the words and work of the Lord Jesus, he recognized that the Lord Jesus was Christ, the son of God, so he was able to know the Lord Jesus and follow Him. And the woman of Samaria, according to the words the Lord Jesus spoke to her, knew that He was the coming Messiah. Nathanael didn’t acknowledge the Lord Jesus at first, but when he interacted with the Lord, he recognized through His words that the Lord Jesus was Christ. As we can see, all of them could follow God’s footsteps and know that the Lord Jesus is God because they recognized God’s words and work. We believers all know that the way which the Lord Jesus preached, the word He expressed, the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven which He revealed, and the demands which He made of us humans were all the truth, all God’s own voice, and were all manifestations of God’s life disposition and all that He has and is. The miracles He performed—healing the sick, casting out demons, calming the wind and sea, feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, and raising the dead—were all manifestations of God’s own authority and power, which no created man is possessed of or capable of. Those that sought the truth at the time, like Peter, John, Matthew, and Nathanael, recognized from the Lord Jesus’ word and work that He is the promised Messiah, and so followed Him and received His salvation. Whereas the Jewish Pharisees, despite hearing the Lord Jesus’ sermons and seeing Him perform miracles, they still clung to the letters of the Bible, thinking that when God came He should be called Messiah and that He would come to rule and lead them to break free from the rule of the Roman government. However, when the Lord Jesus came, He wasn’t called Messiah, wasn’t born in the palace and didn’t act as their king. Moreover, from the outside, He was just an ordinary person with no power or stature, not in line with their conceptions and imaginations. As a result, they denied the Lord Jesus, wildly condemned and resisted Him, and in the end, they committed the greatest of sins in nailing the Lord Jesus to the cross. The lesson of the Pharisees calls for deep reflection! Those who truly believe in God and love the truth don’t pay attention to the external formalities but instead they focus on hearing God’s voice. As long as they hear God’s voice, they will seek and examine immediately, recognize God from His utterances and follow Him. Such people will thus attain God’s praise. Conversely, those snobs who only seek bread to satisfy hunger and focus on power and status, when seeing that God’s appearance and work is not in accordance with their conceptions, refuse to listen to God’s voice and even wantonly condemn and resist. Such people will never welcome the Lord’s return. The Lord Jesus warned us, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Mat 25:6). We don’t know the way the Lord will knock at our doors. Maybe from the Internet or through hearing the gospel from the brothers and sisters around us or our relatives and friends, we will hear God’s voice and see His words to all the churches. So, if we want to welcome God’s appearance, no matter what way the Lord knocks on our doors, no matter whether or not the way is in line with our conceptions and imaginations, we should be the wise virgins and humbly seek and investigate and listen out for God’s voice. We must not hold on to our conceptions and imaginations or blindly listen to rumors and thus refuse to investigate. If we do so, we will miss the chance to welcome the Lord and be raptured into the heavenly kingdom. God is faithful. Those who sincerely long for His appearance will surely be able to hear His voice, be raised up before His throne and attend the feast of the Lamb. Sister Jingxing, I hope that my fellowshiping can help you. If there is anything you don’t understand, please let me know, and we can fellowship again. May the Lord lead us to welcome the appearance of God soon. Xiaona, Testify God   » You may be interested…

Bible,easter,Baptism,life

Can People Be Saved Into the Heavenly Kingdom Through Baptism?

Dear Sister Wang: Peace to you in the Lord! I’m very glad to receive your letter. In your letter you say: “I’ve always believed that we believers in the Lord have been reborn and saved and become an entirely new being because of having been baptized, so we are qualified to enter the heavenly kingdom, for the Lord once said, ‘He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned’ (Mark 16:16). But some brothers and sisters said: ‘Though we have been baptized and accepted the Lord’s salvation, we still live in sin and are unable to cast off the bondage of sin, so we must accept God’s work of judgment and purification in the last days for admission into the heavenly kingdom.’ I am very confused by this. Can people be saved and enter the heavenly kingdom through baptism? The question you have raised also puzzles many brothers and sisters in the Lord. And I was not an exception. It was not until recently when I attended a meeting—where the preacher, Sister Li, just happened to give a sermon about this aspect, which made me feel a special kind of brightness in my heart—that I came to understand the relationship between baptism and entry into the heavenly kingdom. Next I will share with you something that the sister fellowshiped that day and my gains. Sister Li said, “In Matthew 28:19-20, it says, ‘Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.’ From the verses, we can see: Baptism is just a kind of ritual of accepting the work of the Lord Jesus and it represents our formally becoming a Christian and returning before the Lord. It also represents that we can enjoy the Lord’s care and protection as well as blessings, and that we have received the sin offering. But it doesn’t mean that we have been reborn and saved and can enter into the heavenly kingdom. We have to admit the fact that we still cannot help but often commit sins though we have been pardoned for our sins. For example, we still lie and cheat in pursuit of reputation and status. When others harm our interests, we can still hate them, utterly incapable of practicing tolerance and patience as the Lord Jesus requires. When confronted with natural and manmade disasters, or trials and tribulations, we blame and betray God. When God’s work is not in accordance with our own conceptions, we deny, judge, and oppose God. These are facts for all to see. The Bible says, ‘Be you holy; for I am holy’ (1 Peter 1:16). And the Lord Jesus said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever’ (John 8:34-35). Therefore, because God is holy, only those who have freed themselves of sin and have been cleansed can enter the heavenly kingdom. Although we believers in the Lord have been baptized, we still have corrupt dispositions and can still sin and resist God. We have not yet been cleansed and changed and become an entirely new being. So how can we be qualified to enter into God’s kingdom?” Then, the sister shared with us a passage of words: “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.” After listening to this passage and the sister’s fellowship, I understood: In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus only performed His redemption work. By believing in the Lord our sins are absolved and we are saved through our faith. But this saved refers to no longer being convicted by law and sentenced to death. It doesn’t mean that we are completely holy, much less does it mean that we can enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is because though our belief in the Lord Jesus pardons our sins, our sinful nature is still deeply rooted within us, and we can still resist God, betray God, and consider God as an enemy. Evidently, if our corrupt satanic dispositions are not resolved, we will be unqualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus said, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:12-13). The Lord’s words are very…

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