The Story of a Winter Jacket and a Leather Whip

On one particular winter, a man was lost in the mountains. He was very cold and hungry, so he sat down and took a break. Because it was in the middle of a cold winter, once he stopped walking, he would surely freeze to death. However, he didn’t know that he was very close to his home. After a while, a warm-hearted man passed by and advised him to go home quickly. Though he shivered with cold, he didn’t get up. The warm-hearted man could only give him his winter jacket and then left. Soon after, a carriage passed by. Seeing that this man was about to freeze to death, the coachman knew that the most important thing to do was to make the man move his body. So, he used his whip to beat the man and scolded him. The man was outraged by the coachman. He got up immediately and wanted to fight with the coachman. The coachman started to drive his carriage, and the man kept chasing behind. While running, the man felt that his body was becoming warmer and his mind became clearer; moreover, he saw his house was only a few steps away from him. At this moment, he realized that the driver had saved his life. Having read this story, all of us are glad that the man was lucky enough to meet the carriage, and that the driver used a special way to save his life. In the meantime, this story tells us that no matter what we encounter in life, do not judge it only with our minds; there are some hidden messages or stories behind everything. In this story, the man was very grateful when the first warm-hearted man gave him the winter jacket, but the winter jacket could only bring temporary warmth for him; it could not save his life. He would freeze to death if he stayed there too long. However, the driver whipped the man, and in our view, the driver seems to have done something wrong, but the driver actually saved the man’s life. From this story we can understand that things that conform to our conception might not be the best; on the contrary, some ideas or ways that we are not willing to accept might be more beneficial to us. It reminds me of those brothers and sister who are still holding on to the Age of Grace. When they heard that the return of Lord Jesus, Almighty God, has come and done the work of judgment and chastisement, some of them cannot accept it, thinking that God is merciful and God always bestows man grace; it is impossible for God to do the work of judgment; if God judges man, man will be condemned and die. As a result, they refuse God’s work in the last days. Are these views correct? In the Age of Grace, all believers of the Lord Jesus accepted the Lord’s salvation and got endless grace from the Lord. As time went by, these believers thought that the Lord is a God that bestows grace upon man, and thus they believed that God is meant to be merciful and God will always give man grace. So when they hear that Christ of the last days, Almighty God, has expressed words to do the work of judgment and chastisement, many of them do their utmost to deny Almighty God and refuse to accept His work. However, all the work the Lord Jesus had done in the Age of Grace was according to the needs of people at that time. At the late period of the Age of Law, people could not keep the law and were in the danger of being put to death by the law. Therefore, God incarnated in the name of the Lord Jesus and started His salvation work in the Age of Grace. The Lord Jesus was crucified, became mankind’s eternal sin offering and bestowed rich grace and blessings upon humans. However, although our sins are forgiven by the Lord Jesus, our sinful natures have not been removed completely. We live in a situation of committing sins in the day and confessing at night, committing sins involuntarily and unable to get rid of the bondage of sin. Therefore, we have only enjoyed the Lord’s grace and mercy, but have not ridden our sinful nature. We still need to experience God’s deeper salvation. Almighty God says, “God has already carried out one stage of the work of grace in the flesh, and has already bestowed material blessings upon man—but man cannot be made perfect with grace, love, and mercy alone. In man’s experiences he encounters some of God’s love, and sees the love and mercy of God, yet having experienced for a period of time, he sees that God’s grace and His love and mercy are incapable of making man perfect, and incapable of revealing that which is corrupt within man, nor are they able to rid man of his corrupt disposition, or make perfect his love and faith. God’s work of grace was the work of one period, and man cannot rely on enjoying the grace of God in order to know God” (“Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God”). The word of God tells us that we cannot know God completely and attain perfection only by God’s love, grace and blessings. Because we have not broken free from our corrupt disposition, we still belong to Satan, and thus we cannot be saved. If we want to break free from our corrupt disposition and receive God’s salvation, the only way is to accept Almighty God’s work of judgment and chastisement in the last days. Almighty God says, “Through what is God’s perfection of man accomplished? Through His righteous disposition. God’s disposition primarily consists of righteousness, wrath, majesty, judgment, and curse, and His perfection of man is primarily through judgment. Some people don’t understand, and ask why it is that God is…

flowers in snow

How Can Christians Get Reborn?

All along I kept thinking: Why does the Bible say “mount up with wings as eagles” (Isaiah 40:31) and “your youth is renewed like the eagle’s” (Psalms 103:5)? Today I finally understood the meaning of these words … “The lifespan of eagles is the longest among the birds in the world. They can live more than 70 years. However, in order to reach this age, when they are 40, they have to make a serious and difficult choice. At that age, their claws are no longer sharp or agile and they even can’t catch prey; due to the aging process, their beaks become curly and long, to the extent that they can almost touch the breast feather; and their feathers become heavy as a result of calcification, which makes them no longer agile and have difficulty in flying. At this time, they only have two choices: Wait to die or experience a 150-day painful metamorphosis and then spread their wings once again. If they choose the latter, they would fly to the summit of a high mountain, nest on a rock and perch there, and temporarily stop flying. After that, they would peck the rock with their aging beaks despite of bleeding until the beaks fall out. Then they would wait for the growth of a new beak. After a long period of 50 days, eagles would begin entering a new phase of metamorphosis. They would pull their aging and hard nails one by one out of their claws with the new beaks. After regenerating new nails, they would pull out the calcified feathers one by one. This is a process of repeated bleeding, a process of experiencing the taste of death. While their blood is bleeding drop by drop, their life is revived day by day. The first flight after the metamorphosis shows that the only one transformation of eagles in their lifetime comes to an end. They again soar freely and the boundless sky again becomes their paradise. The metamorphosis enables them to live another 30 years. The rebirth of the eagles gives the old saying ‘Put the troops in death ground and they will live’ a true explanation!” (“How Do Christians Experience Transformation Like Eagles” on Gospel Website of Christianity). After reading this story, I felt shocked in my heart. Eagles are valued as the king of birds, and according to their boldness and spirit they deserve this title. But who has ever thought that what eagles experience in gaining a new life is such a bloody test, and that it is just the metamorphosis that gives them a second life. They choose to give up the beaks, pull out the nails and feathers, and shed blood, because they clearly know that only after the pain of death, can they gain a new life, and that sharp beaks and claws and strong feathers will allow them to spread their wings again. We can’t imagine what eagles have experienced in that 150 days. But it must be a process full of battles between flesh and will, a combination of danger and rebirth, and even more an experience of pursuing a new life. Only after they have fully experienced such tribulations, can they once again spread their wings and fly in the sky. The eagles’ second life gives me an inspiration: The path we Christians walk is the path of being born again. What we experience is a process from knowing sins to confessing sins, and at last removing sins. The Lord Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). The Lord’s words tell us that if our old life doesn’t die, we cannot gain a new life, much less enter into God’s kingdom. If we want to be born again and changed into new people and enter into God’s kingdom, we can’t be satisfied with standing still, keeping those outmoded rules and laws in our life, or having some outward changes and good behaviors. Instead, we must step forward and attain transformation in our sinful nature. For we, though having been redeemed by the grace of the Lord Jesus and enjoying abundant grace from Him, still live in the situation of sinning each day and confessing each night, and are still caked in grime. The Bible says: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrew 12:14). “But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15-16). From these verses, I came to understand that God is holy and righteous, and thus He absolutely doesn’t allow filthy and corrupt people to enter into His kingdom. So, how can we get reborn as new people and achieve purification? This question had puzzled me for years until one day I read two passages of words from a gospel website. “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…

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…


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…

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