How to Be Useful Vessels of God

How to Be Useful Vessels of God

By Jiaxin I heard a story: A group of colorful and beautiful pencils are about to leave the factory. Then they will go to different places to work and welcome their new life. First, they will suffer being sharpened by knives, because only through that can they begin to work; then they will be routinely criticized by rubbers, because only rubbers can correct the mistakes in their work; finally, they shall be held by one hand in their entire life, because only in this way can they perfectly fulfill their function, their way ahead be finer and their steps be steadier. Pencils spend their whole life experiencing these three processes: being sharpened by knives, being criticized by rubbers and being held by hands. Only through the three processes can they fulfill themselves. Otherwise, they will be worthless. Only after believing in the Lord did I know: Each of us is a vessel in the Lord’s hands. In order to let us realize our value and functions, the Lord arranges many sufferings in our entire life, including smiting, discipline, trials and refinements. Only through experiencing these environments can we turn into a useful person, shoulder heavy burdens for the Lord, and gain His perfection of us. Otherwise, we will be worthless. Just as the Bible says, “The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD tries the hearts” (Proverbs 17:3). “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: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God” (Zechariah 13:9). After being corrupted by Satan, we are full of satanic corrupt dispositions in our heart and soul, such as arrogance, conceit, crookedness, cunningness, selfishness, despicableness, and so on. We often live in these corrupt dispositions, unable to extricate ourselves from them. We are tortured to be extremely miserable so that we often cry out, “How could we free ourselves from the control of these satanic dispositions?” God’s words give us the answer. God says, “So if people do not have several years of refinement, if they don’t have a certain amount of suffering, they will not be able to avoid the bondage of corruption of the flesh in their thought and in their hearts. … Only in suffering can lessons be learned, which means being able to gain truth, and understand God’s intention. In fact, many truths are understood within experience of painful trials. Nobody says that God’s intention is known, that His almightiness and wisdom are understood, that God’s righteous disposition is appreciated in an environment of ease or in favorable circumstances. That would be impossible!” (“How to Satisfy God in the Midst of Trials”). From God’s words, I understand that only after experiencing the sufferings and trials arranged by God, can we cast aside our satanic dispositions, get rid of the bonds and control of them and no longer live in sin. Without a certain amount of suffering, we could never see through satanic disposition’s affliction on us and won’t forsake and abandon the bondage of Satan on us from heart. Although smiting, dealing, trials, and refinement bring pain to our flesh, only through these can we be perfected by God. Just like the gold, only through refinement can it be purer. Sufferings and trials are our cup of blessings, and even more the path we must take to become mature in life to be a useful vessel.   » Read more on our Why does God allow pain and suffering page, or click on the related articles below. • Required Reading for Christians: Trials—Another Kind of Blessing From God • What Should We Do When We Face Trials? Learn From the Story of Job • Why Does God Test Us? Have You Felt God’s Goodwill?

fake news

3 Ways Can Help to See Through Rumors

3 ways help us see through rumors, keep us from repeating the Jews’ mistake and resisting the Lord. They’re also the principle to study the true way in the last days.

Master and Servant

Xuesong The Lord Jesus once said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matt 7:7). But when the Lord Jesus returns to work in the last days, many people condemn Him by their own conceptions and imaginations. When the returned Lord Jesus knocks on the door, many people shut Him out heartlessly. … I can’t help thinking of a short story that I read before. Once there was a wealthy man who was always dressed in long gowns and mandarin jackets and rode a luxury carriage to go out. The rich man hired a servant to be a gatekeeper, who had ever heard the rich man was upright and kindhearted. So the servant was very glad to guard the gate for him. The servant’s wages were never in arrears so he exerted himself to guard the gate. Whenever the servant saw the master’s carriage from afar, he would open the gate and greet the master’s return. But he hadn’t never met his master. One day, the master went out in the horse-drawn carriage but came back in the evening by car. The servant not only didn’t greet the master, but he even refused to open the gate. The driver got off the car and said to the servant, “This is the master’s car. Open the gate.” “No. What the master took was a carriage; how could he be in the car? You are lying.” During the dispute, the master got off the car and said, “I’ m the master of this family.” The servant asked, “On what basis do you say that you are the master?” The master answered, “I can tell you the things of my family, and you will know.” Then the master told everything of the family to the servant, but the servant still didn’t believe him and said, “Although what you said is true, our master never takes a car, and he always takes a carriage.” No matter what the master said, the servant clung to his own imagination and strongly refused to open the gate. At last, the master called the butler over to settle the wages of the servant and sent him home. From this story, it is not hard to see: For the servant guarding the gate didn’t know the master, when the master went out in a carriage and then came home in a car, the servant only considered things on the surface, thinking only the person who returned in a carriage was the master, otherwise he was not. Although the master proved his identity again and again, the servant still lived in his own imagination, and conceived it to be impossible. Finally, the servant was sent home by the master because he blindly upheld himself. Similarly, facing the new work of God in the last days, many people hold on to their conceptions and can’t accept it. For example, some people think since the Lord Jesus left upon a white cloud, He should get back upon a white cloud, so they have conceptions about the work of the incarnate God. Some people think God should still bestow grace when He comes again, so they have conceptions about God’s work of chastisement and judgment. Some people think God should only work in Israel, so they have conceptions about the work location of God in the last days. Almighty God says, “The work of God continues to advance, and though the purpose of His work remains unchanging, the means by which He works are constantly changing, and thereby so are those who follow God. The more work of God, the more thoroughly man comes to know God, and the disposition of man changes accordingly along with His work. However, it is because the work of God is ever-changing that those who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit and those absurd men who do not know the truth become opponents of God. Not ever does the work of God conform to the conceptions of man, for His work is always new and never old. Not ever does He repeat work of old but rather forges ahead with work never before done. As God does not repeat His work and man invariably judges the work of God today based on His work of the past, it is exceedingly difficult for God to carry out each stage of work of the new age. Man presents far too many hindrances! The thinking of man is too hidebound! No man knows the work of God, yet they all define such work. … All men wish to gain God yet are unable to tolerate any changes in God’s work. Those who do not accept the new work of God believe that the work of God is changeless, and that the work of God forever remains at a standstill” (“How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words we can understand: The work of God changes from day to day and is always progressing forward. The way of God’s work is also changing. If we believe in God but do not know Him or His work, then we will condemn Him on account of our own conceptions, thereby being eliminated by Him. Let us think back: The religious Pharisees in the Age of Grace thought that keeping the law was all that was needed to be loyal to God and gain God’s salvation. Actually, when the Lord Jesus came to earth to do His work, the religious Pharisees, the chief priests and the scribes all began to condemn and resist Him. They lived in their own conceptions and imaginations and firmly believed that it was impossible for God to do the work outside the law. Because they neither knew the Lord Jesus nor sought or investigated His work, eventually they nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross according to their conceptions and imaginations and…

Do You Know God’s Will When He Established Laws for All Things?

By Xinzhi One evening, coming home from work, Wang Kai saw his seven-year-old daughter Lanlan, sitting on the sofa and watching TV. Having put down his attache case on the table, suddenly he heard his daughter crying as he was about to take off his shoes. Then quickly changing his shoes, he came over and held his daughter in his arms, asking her with concern, “Why are you crying, Lanlan?” Pointing at the picture on TV, she replied in tears, “The zebra was bitten to death.” Wang Kai looked toward the picture on TV and found that a pride of lions were splitting a dead zebra for food. At this time, Lanlan looking sad, said, “Dad, the zebra was bitten to death by the lions, and it was so sad.” At this moment, Li Hua, Wang Kai’s wife, came out of the kitchen, looking at both her husband and child on the sofa. Lanlan ran over to her before Li Hua had a chance to speak, shouting, “Mom, the zebra was bitten to death by the lions.” Feeling confused, Li Hua looked at Wang Kai and he pointed at the picture on TV. Looking at the TV, Li Hua understood in her heart what was happening. Then she lifted her daughter onto the sofa, wiping her daughter’s tears away and saying, “Lanlan, you got sad when you saw that the zebra was bitten to death by the lions, didn’t you?” Her daughter nodded and said, “Just now as the lions took a rest, the zebra ate the grass just next to the lions and looked at them from time to time, but why did it not escape?” Her daughter cried once again while speaking. Having wiped her daughter’s tears away, Li Hua comforted her, “Lanlan, don’t cry, and I’ll tell you the reason.” Hearing this, Lanlan wiped her tears away with her own little hands. Her husband, sitting on one side, casually picked up a piece of newspaper to read, without considering joining the conversation between the mother and the daughter. Li Hua said gently to her daughter, “Lanlan, do you know where all kinds of animals come from?” “Mom has said that all kinds of animals are created by God,” answered Lanlan. Touching her daughter’s head, Li Hua said, “Yes, they are created by God. God would prepare food for them after He created all kinds of animals, wouldn’t He?” Blinking her little eyes and nodding her head slightly, Lanlan continued listening to what her mother was saying, “God has created grass as zebras’ food so that they are able to survive by eating grass. Similarly, God has also prepared food for the lions and the zebras are one kind of their food. This is all predestined by God.” After listening to the words of her mother, Lanlan looked at her mother and said, “Mom, I’ve got it. The zebras are food for the lions, and only by eating the zebras can the lions survive, just as Mom cooks meals for me to eat every day so that I can grow up.” Li Hua approvingly scratched her daughter’s nose and said, “Right, what a clever girl you are!” Lanlan smiled happily, but in no time she frowned again and asked, “However, Mom, if the lions keep eating the zebras like this, will the zebras be eaten up?” At this time, Wang Kai, looked back at them after he heard his daughter’s question, expecting in his heart to get the answer from his wife. Hearing her daughter’s inquiry, Li Hua smiled at Lanlan, saying, “Lions eat zebras. Will zebras be eaten up? You are eager to know the answer, aren’t you?” Lanlan nodded and looked at her mother with expectation. Li Hua stood up and fetched the laptop from the table. She switched on the laptop and then said, “I’ll read a passage of God’s words to you, and you’ll know the answer after hearing it.” Then Lanlan got close to her mother and gazed at the laptop. And then Li Hua began to read, “For example, lions eat zebras, so if the number of lions exceeded the number of zebras, what would the fate of the zebras be? They would become extinct. And if the quantity of reproduction of zebras was far less than that of lions, what would their fate be? They would also become extinct. So, the number of zebras must be far greater than the number of lions. This is because zebras don’t only exist for themselves; they also exist for the lions. You could also say that every zebra is one part of the zebras, but it is also the food in a lion’s mouth. Lions’ speed of reproduction can never outstrip that of the zebras, so their numbers can never be greater than the zebras’ numbers. Only in this way can the lions’ food source be guaranteed. Even though lions are natural enemies of zebras, people frequently see them leisurely resting within the same area. Zebras will never be reduced in number or go extinct because the lions hunt and eat them, and lions will never increase their numbers because of their status as ‘king.’ This balance is something that God established long ago. That is, God established laws of balance between all animals so that they can achieve balance, and this is something that mankind is able to see.” At this moment, Wang Kai, sitting on the sofa, unconsciously was attracted. For seeing that these several words can explain this thing very clearly, he considered these words quite unusual. And putting down the newspaper, he approached his wife and daughter. Looking at her daughter’s speculative eyes, Li Hua said, “Just now Lanlan asked whether the zebras would be eaten up by lions. And the answer is no.” Hearing this, Lanlan cheered, “Oh! That’s good! That’s good! Zebras won’t be eaten up.” Looking at her daughter who was shouting and jumping for joy, Li Hua smiled and turned to Wang Kai, saying, “At…

Bible,Noah

The Origin and Mystery of the Chinese Word for Ship

As we all know, the ship is an indispensable means of maritime transportation, a weapon of war, a contributor to scientific research, etc. But few people know the origin and mystery of the Chinese character for ship, 船, or chuan. Actually, there is much to be said about the components of chuan. Today, let us explore the origin and mystery of chuan. Do You Know Who Built the First Ship in the World? Most people may shake their heads at the question, but we Christians would answer with conviction: The first ship in the world was built by Noah. In chapter 6, verse 14 of Genesis God said to Noah: “Make you an ark of gopher wood; rooms shall you make in the ark, and shall pitch it within and without with pitch.” As is recorded in Scripture, the ship that Noah built was called an ark, which was made of gopher wood. Noah constructed the ark at God’s instruction, and it was also under God’s guidance that Noah made such a wonderful achievement in history. Do You Know the Purpose and Significance of Noah’s Ark? There might be plenty of people who would say that shipbuilding is for public transportation, arms races among nations, and so on. However, we Christians view things differently: Noah built the ark for none of those purposes; instead, he was obeying God and following God’s instructions, he did this to avoid the devastation of the great flood. More than 4,000 years ago, people were so corrupt and evil to the extent that the earth was filled with violence and murder. They indulged in the wicked trends of the world, eating, drinking and carousing, living a befuddled life, and stopped at no evil. God would not see this mankind, who had been depraved to the extreme and already offended His disposition. So, God decided to destroy the filthy old world with a flood, and He called upon Noah to build the ark. During the over one hundred years when Noah constructed the ark, God had been waiting. He hoped more people could believe His words and board the ark to receive His salvation. From this we can see that God’s command for Noah to build the ark was actually for the purpose of saving mankind: It is a means by which God saves man. Nevertheless, God is principled in His work. Instead of forcing people to do things, God respects everyone’s own choice. Just as God commanded Adam in chapter 2, verse 16 of Genesis: “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat,” God gives man free will after He created man, so that man has the right to choose freely. This is what God is. At that time, except for Noah who obeyed God’s words and led his family to build the ark, no one believed that God would use a flood to destroy the world. When the great flood finally rained down, only Noah’s family of eight embarked on the ark and were saved by God. God fulfilled His words with fact, verifying the authenticity of His words and manifesting His essence—God will accomplish what He says, and is trustworthy and dependable. So, as we can see, the ark is not an ordinary ship, but a special one with representative significance. The story of Noah’s ark allows us to see God’s salvation of mankind, and that if we can believe and obey God’s words, we will be able to attain His salvation and live under His care and protection. This is the significance of Noah’s ark. Do You Know the Size of the Ark? What Can We Learn From the Origin of Chuan? When it comes to the size of the ark, most people may feel it not easy to tell it immediately. However, it is not difficult for us Christians, since chapter 6, verses 15-16 of Genesis have already told us: “And this is the fashion which you shall make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shall you make to the ark, and in a cubit shall you finish it above; and the door of the ark shall you set in the side thereof; with lower, second, and third stories shall you make it.” (Note: A cubit is about 18 inches, or 46 centimeters.) These are the size and overall structure of the ark. When Noah heard God’s calling, he started constructing the ark and making rooms in it according to God’s requirements. Although he suffered a lot and was mocked, ridiculed, and insulted by people of that time, he was not affected in the slightest and kept building the ark with an honest and devoted heart and in accordance with God’s requirements. At the same time, he had been spreading the gospel to people in that age. After more than one hundred years, the ark was built yet no one believed that God would destroy the world by flood apart from Noah and his family. At last, Noah’s family of eight and all sorts of birds and beasts got on board the ark and the door of the ark was closed. Then God sent the flood. The flood lasted for forty days and forty nights, destroying all the creatures of earth and all the evil and corrupt people of that age. Only Noah and his wife and his three sons and daughters-in-law survived the flood, remaining on earth thanks to God’s protection. Thereafter, the Chinese character 船 (chuan) came into existence: The three components—a “ship” (舟, or zhou), the number “eight” (八, or ba) and a “mouth” symbolizing a person (口, or kou)—convey the meaning that a ship saved the eight members of Noah’s family. This is the origin of chuan. The story of Noah’s ark is one about God and man which reveals God’s compassion and salvation of man, and from it we can see God’s…

Put Aside Our Views of “Impossible”

I’ve heard a story of a beggar who paid one dollar for a luxurious car. It goes like this: In a slum of America there lived a group of beggars. Among them was a beggar who hadn’t got any food to eat for several days and had only one dollar left. But he endured hunger and was unwilling to spend his last dollar. Just when he was at the end of his tether, it happened that wind swept a newspaper toward his face. He took it, and an eye-catching advertisement came into his view—One Dollar for One Luxurious Car. He was stunned and thought, “Can it be possible? I can hardly believe such a good thing. It must be a joke.” But he had a second thought, “Well, I am a dying man. Why not try my luck with the last dollar? Maybe it’s an opportunity to get rich.” Then he went to the address on the ad, a magnificent villa, in front of which many luxurious cars were parked. He found the car owner, signed the transfer, and paid one dollar. And then the owner gave him the car key and let him drive the car away. He was delighted with his unexpected good fortune, and asked the owner before leaving, “May I venture to ask a question? Why do you sell your car for one dollar?” She answered, “Before my husband died last year, he willed that the money for selling this car should be given to his mistress. I got mad after knowing it. I had never imagined that he would dare to betray me. In a burst of anger, I decided to sell the car for one dollar and then transfer it to his mistress in accordance with the legal procedures. Actually, this advertisement has been put for more than one year, but it’s a pity that not until today do I meet the buyer.” Then the beggar drove the luxurious car to the slum. When he was elatedly telling his experience, another beggar suddenly fainted. A year ago, he saw the same advertisement but considered it impossible, yet now it turned out that the advertisement was true. This story reminds me of the believers of God in the last days who are looking forward to the Redeemer’s second coming and taking them to heaven. When someone preaches that the Lord Jesus we have been longing for and awaiting day and night has come back in the flesh to do a stage of work of chastising, judging and purifying man by expressing words, some of them shake their heads, cower, and ignore it, some judge, condemn, and even slander it, and some are confused, doubtful, and adopted a wait-and-see attitude. All these behaviors show this: Lots of people among us hold on too many “disbeliefs” and “impossibles” toward God’s arrival. Some people said, “It’s impossible! For God shall come upon a cloud. If He has really come, why haven’t we seen Him?” Some said, “It’s impossible! For God shall first give revelation to our leaders when He arrives!” Some said, “It’s impossible! How could God’s name change to ‘Almighty God’?” Some people said, “It’s impossible! How could God work outside the Bible?” Still, some said, “It’s impossible! How could God become flesh in China when He comes? God is the God of the Israelites!” And so on. Many people just believe in God according to their own thoughts and conceptions, as if God were a clay statue. Therefore, they don’t seek or investigate God’s work, but simply disregard it. Due to their all kinds of “impossibles,” they have closed their hearts to God. Could such “impossibles” actually hold water? Let us see some examples. In Noah’s time, Noah followed God’s instructions to construct the ark and preached to people that God would destroy the world with a flood. During more than one hundred years, no one at that time believed that it would happen, so they denied and judged what Noah had preached. Their “impossible” kept them from God’s salvation, and led them into the disaster. Only Noah’s family of eight obtained God’s protection, and they went into the ark and survived. When the Lord Jesus came to save mankind, the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees of Judaism obstinately held onto the Bible, considering that God could only be called Messiah instead of Jesus, that what the Lord Jesus did broke the law, and that God couldn’t do His new work outside the Bible, so they nailed the Lord Jesus upon the cross. Their “impossible” made themselves lose the Lord Jesus’ redemption and become the opponents of God, and eventually suffer the curse and punishment from God. We believers in God shouldn’t define what God should do according to our own notions and imaginations. We all know that nothing is impossible for God and what God intends to achieve will be completed. There are many other examples. We may remember this story: God promised Abraham a son, but Abraham thought it impossible and secretly laughed at what God said. However, Abraham felt ashamed when facing the fact that God gave him a son when he was one hundred years old. Take for another example, Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt. When they reached the Red Sea, they had no way to follow, so they complained bitterly. But God made a path for them by dividing the waters and making the sea dry land, and the waters formed a wall on their right hand, and on their left. How inconceivable it is! Yet it is these impossible things that reveal God’s almightiness and wisdom. As we all know, God can lay out the heavens and earth, create the universe, manage and rule over the laws of all things. When God incarnated into flesh for the first time as the Lord Jesus, He performed great miracles, like walking on the sea, resurrecting a dead man, feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, and…

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