salvation, the last days, Holy Spirit

Preaching the Gospel Is My Bounden Duty (I)

By Xinming, Canada The Duty of Preaching the Gospel After I came abroad with my children, I believed in the Lord. At that time, I often heard the pastors say that the Lord Jesus was about to come back, so I was naturally looking forward to meeting the Lord earlier. Later on, I got acquainted with Sister Zhenshi. She told me that the Lord Jesus had returned and had done a stage of new work. Through seeking and investigating, I readily accepted God’s work of the last days. After a period of gathering, I understood some truths, knowing that the Lord Jesus only did the work of redeeming mankind, and that in the last days, God has come and expressed all the truths of judging mankind in order to completely purify and change us. Only by accepting God’s judgment work of the last days can we be utterly saved. From then on, I had more faith in God. One day, I read God’s word, which says, “As members of the human race and devout Christians, it is the responsibility and obligation of us all to offer up our mind and body for the fulfillment of God’s commission, for our entire being came from God, and it exists thanks to the sovereignty of God. If our minds and bodies are not for God’s commission and not for the righteous cause of mankind, then our souls will be unworthy of those who were martyred for God’s commission, much more unworthy of God, who has provided us with everything.” From God’s word, I understood that preaching the gospel is both Christians’ duty and mission, and God’s requirement for people who follow Him. By the grace of God, I have followed the footsteps of the Lamb and welcomed the Lord’s return. But there are still many people who live in Satan’s bondage, who have not heard God’s voice. God’s heart is sad and anxious for them; I should care for God’s will and repay His love. So, I prayed to God, “O God! I’m willing to cooperate with You and bring people who have true faith in You yet live in darkness to Your family. May You lead me!” Learning Lessons From Preaching the Gospel After that, I read a passage of God’s word: “If you wish to be perfected by God, you must learn to experience all things and be enlightened in all that you face. Whenever you are faced with something, be it good or bad, you should benefit from it and it should not cause you to become passive. No matter what, you should be able to consider it by standing on the side of God, and not analyze or study it from the perspective of man.” It’s true. Everything that comes upon me contains God’s kind intention. I couldn’t be passive or distressed because of the failure in preaching the gospel, but rather, I should learn and sum up lessons from the failure. I reflected on myself: When I preached the gospel, I adored knowledge, believing that people with knowledge had high caliber. But now, I see that people who truly believe in God should be those who are able to put themselves aside and seek humbly, because they know God’s deeds are unfathomable to man. Arrogant people only rely on biblical knowledge and firmly hold on to themselves; even if others’ words are right, they still refuse to seek. Such people have forgotten the teachings in the Bible, “For God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5). Think back about the Pharisees. They knew the Bible very well, but in the treatment of the Lord Jesus’ new work, not only did they not seek, but they were very arrogant and self-conceited, using the biblical knowledge to condemn and oppose God’s work. After knowing this, I regained faith, and I was willing to continue to cooperate with God and preach God’s salvation of the last days to more people. A few days later, I called him again and continued our unfinished talk from last time. But no matter what I said, he just held that his perspective was right. I told him that the Lord had returned and had done the work of judgment in the last days, which fulfilled the biblical prophecy of “judgment must begin at the house of God.” At my words, he immediately interrupted and questioned me, “Have you believed in Almighty God? Presently, only The Church of Almighty God is preaching the Lord’s return.” He also spoke some negative news, and even tried to dissuade me. Before I could talk further, he quickly hung up. After a while, he sent me some negative messages. I was distressed by his attitude, and thought: I think he is sensible since we used to be neighbors who had friendly communication in the past, and I know he is a brother in the Lord. So I decided to preach the gospel to him. Now that the Lord has come back, why does he hold on to his notion instead of having a heart of seeking and investigating? But then I thought: I should have love and patience. I can’t give up because of his attitude. Subsequently, I called him and told him that I wanted brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God to communicate with him. But he refused and said, “Auntie, if you still talk to me about that, then we got nothing to say to each other.” I said in a hurry, “We should seek humbly. And the Lord Jesus also said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit.’ To confirm whether the Lord Jesus has come back, we should put aside our own perspective and seek it.” “No need to seek. I have read the Bible many times; I know how the Lord will come to work.” After that, he hung up. His obstinate attitude saddened me. I had thought he would be rational in treating the Lord’s coming,…

church1

A Christian’s Spiritual Diary—I don’t want to go to church

May 12, 2017 It’s a fine day today. Outside the window, the light breeze was blowing softly. In the yard, leaves on the trees were dancing gaily in the breeze to express their happiness … Looking at the dancing leaves, however, I was still unhappy. For a period of time, I often felt empty and fretful for unknown reasons. At home, when what my husband and son said was not to my liking, I lost my temper with them; when my husband hung about all day long, I even hated and despised him. But I thought of “Be you angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down on your wrath: Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:26-27). So I tried to be tolerant of and patient with them. However, no matter how hard I tried, I found myself always unable to conquer the sins, living in the constant state of committing them by day and confessing them by night. Sometimes, I even felt too ashamed to meet the Lord. Worse still, recently, every time I went to church, as soon as the pastor began preaching, my eyelids started to droop and sleep stole over me. Although sometimes I had tried my best to stay awake, I still felt very drowsy. Neither did it work to call to the Lord for help. And the last few times I even became fed up with church meetings. I knew it’s not right, but I just couldn’t control this thought. I have always thought: How come I have fallen into such a state? At the beginning when I believed in the Lord, brothers and sisters in our church were fervent; I was also full of faith, feeling strong in the spirit. Several times when I was scolded and persecuted by my husband, I felt weak in the spirit, and then the elder sister who led me to faith in the Lord came to my support. We sat under a big tree in the yard. When she talked of how the Lord Jesus was flogged, humiliated, and nailed to the cross, I was deeply moved by the Lord’s love for mankind, and felt that His love was too profound to be described in words. Over the talk, my sorrow and bitterness vanished without my knowing it. And an unfailing strength stirred in me, giving me the faith to walk a rocky road after the Lord. When my family had difficulties, I called to the Lord, and He would send others to help me; when I disobeyed or strayed from the Lord, He would deal with and discipline me through my husband or something else. Several times when I wanted to do business to earn money and didn’t want to attend church meetings, my husband quarreled with and criticized me, and things didn’t go well for me at all. At last, I couldn’t but go on to attend meetings. … At that time, I strongly felt that the Lord is like both a stern father and a loving mother, and that God is in the heaven, at my home, and even more in my heart. However, unknowingly, I began to feel a growing sense of darkness in my heart. At its worst, I couldn’t see anything clearly, as if in a dark, endless wilderness where I felt directionless and lost. More often than not, I sank into unspeakable pain and worries. No matter how I prayed, the Lord seemed to be rather far away from me, and I couldn’t feel His presence at all. Then I thought of Psalm 63 and began to sing, “O God, you are my God; early will I seek you: my soul thirsts for you, my flesh longs for you in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is….” And my tears gushed out. I called in my heart over and over again, “Lord, have You really deserted me? Where are You? Where …” May 16, 2017 Sunny After waking up this morning, I was aware that I should rise to read the Bible. But I didn’t want to move. I lay there, gazing at the ceiling and trying to figure out the cause of my present state: There’re many activities in our church now. We have dinner together after every meeting; the church holds different kinds of activities on festivals; sometimes we join in outdoor activities and go traveling; and the church even invites preachers from other churches to give us sermons. But we are thirsty in spirit and haven’t made much progress in our spiritual life. Believers still pursue the trends of the world; jealous disputes and struggles for the fame and gain happen too often. Everyone is in the state of sinning during the day and confessing at night, unable to extricate himself from it. Actually what is the cause of such a situation? I have asked several brothers and sisters about this question, but they couldn’t explain it clearly and some were even unaware of it. I don’t know how to walk my future path. While I was thinking, I felt I was like a kid abandoned by his mother. Tears trickled down my cheeks. I called on God in my heart to help me out. After breakfast, Sister Wu in our church came to invite me to attend a meeting in another church. I thought: Weak as I am, I should attend meetings. So I went to that church with her. When we walked into the room, their meeting had already begun. The preacher said, “Let’s see: Why is the temple in Judaism desolate? There are two reasons. On the one hand, the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees of Judaism opposed God and were enemies to God. Externally, they were serving Jehovah God; in fact, they went against God’s laws and commandments. For example, they killed prophets and devoured widows’ houses, and they only observed religious traditions. Because they did these unlawful things under the banner of service to God, they were detested and…

The Inspiration for Teaching Kids From God’s Words

By Li Xin One Sunday morning, Fang Xin’s nephew, Ming Ming, came to her house to draw with her daughter, Ling Ling. Fang Xin kindly touched his head and asked, “Ming Ming, what do you want to draw today?” Ming Ming leaned towards Fang Xin and said, “Auntie, I want to draw mountains, rivers, trees, birds, the sun, clouds, land and people.” Hearing what Ming Ming said, Ling Ling happily clapped her hands and said: “Me too, let’s draw it together!” As they talked, they moved on thinking how the drawing would be like. Ling Ling suddenly had an idea, said: “Mum, bring me a pencil, let me draw.” Less than 5 minutes, a simple drawing was finished. Ming Ming came forward to the drawing and looked at it attentively for a while. He said frowningly: “Auntie, A tiny stream seems to be missing.” As he said, he picked up the pencil and drew a tiny stream. Ling Ling hurriedly said: “It’s wrong, you shouldn’t draw the tiny stream by the road; you should draw it in the grassland.” Ming Ming started to argue back. He thought Ling Ling was wrong and the tiny stream shouldn’t be drawn in the grassland, but by the road … The children kept quarreled, and no one took a step back. At this time, Fang Xin suddenly recalled a paragraph of God’s words which mention about the tiny stream. She gently said: “Children, stop arguing. Let’s read God’s words, and see where the best place is to draw the tiny stream. OK?” Then Fang Xin took out God’s words, gently read to them: “Over the centuries, the tiny stream trickled gently around the foot of the mountain. By following the course the mountain had made, the tiny stream made it back to its home; it joined the river, and flowed into the sea. Under the mountain’s care, the tiny stream never became lost. The tiny stream and the great mountain relied on one another, they restrained one another, and depended on one another” (“God Himself, the Unique VII”). After finishing reading God’s words, Fang Xin asked: “Children, now do you know where to draw the tiny stream?” The Children said happily: “We are all wrong. The tiny stream should be drawn around the foot of the mountain.” Then her daughter drew the tiny stream quickly around the foot of the mountain. After that, the drawing looked better than before. Then, the three of them looked at the sense in the painting. Ming Ming cupped his chin in his hand and kept quite. Fang Xin asked warmly: “Ming Ming, is there anything you still do not understand?” Ming Ming said puzzled: “Why must the tiny stream be drawn around the foot of the mountain?” Fang Xin replied: “God has told us. The tiny stream is around the foot of the mountain, because under mountain’s care, the river never became lost. If without the mountain, the tiny stream will get lost. Because it had no direction, it will flow everywhere, as a result, it will cause more harm than good to us. Only with the mountain as reliance can the tiny stream join the river, and flow into the sea, and it will not become lost and bring harm to us.” As Ming Ming listened to the story, he forgot about the argument with Ling Ling. He kept asking about the relationship between the tiny stream and the mountain, and listened attentively. Ling Ling also listened in fascination. She said delightedly: “Mum, you are so smart! Today not only do we learn to draw, also we know the relationship of the mountain and the tiny stream.” Fang Xin smiled and said patiently: “I know this from God’s words. Though we didn’t know where to draw the tiny stream just now, God’s words give us the answer. God’s words also tell us many other mysteries, that the scientists, celebrities, and great people don’t know. In the future, I will tell all of you something more about belief in God. Gradually, you will understand more.” The children happily nodded their head. Then, Ming Ming picked up a pencil and started to draw trees, the sun, people, and birds. After finishing drawing trees, the sun and people, without thinking, he drew a bird by the river. Ling Ling thought that was wrong, but Ming Ming insisted he was right. Seeing the children were going to argue again, Fang Xin said: “Come on, let’s read God’s words and see the interconnected relationships and interdependence of all things created by God, and then all of you will know where the suitable place to draw the bird is.” Fang Xin opened up God’s words and read: “A ray of sunlight shone down on the tree and the trunk shook. The tree reached out its branches wide and drew deeply from the light. The earth below breathed in rhythm with the tree, and the earth felt renewed, and just then, a fresh breeze blew among the branches, and the tree trembled in delight, bursting with energy. And thus, the tree and the sunlight depend on one another … “People sat in the cool shade of the tree and they basked in the brisk, fragrant air. The air cleansed their hearts and lungs, and it cleansed the blood within. The people no longer felt weary or burdened. And thus, the people and the tree depend on one another … “A flock of songbirds chirped as they alighted on the branches of the tree. Perhaps they were evading some foe, or they were breeding and raising their young, or maybe they were just taking a short rest. And thus, the birds and the tree depend on one another …” (“God Himself, the Unique VII”). After Fang Xin finished reading God’s words, she asked: “After listening to the story God tells us, do you know where to draw the bird? The bird should fly to the tree, because the tree is its house, and the…

the Parable of a Shepherd Seeking the Lost Sheep

Six-Thousand-Year Calls “Where Are You?”

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, Where are you? And he said, I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3: 8-10) Since human ancestors Adam and Eve fell, man had sins. After man committed sins, they hid themselves for fear of seeing God. Gradually, man strays from God, and becomes strange to God. Although man forgets the God who breathed the breath into them and supplies them with life, God has never left man. God knows man falls into Satan’s scheme and betrays Him because of their ignorance and their lack of discernment between good and evil. So, God doesn’t remember man’s ignorance but is still concerned about man created by Himself, and God has still been calling over several thousands of years.… In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus came into the human world, eating and living with man. During His work, He told His followers many parables. One of them is “The Parable of the Lost Sheep”: “How think you? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” (Matthew 18:12-14) From this parable, I feel that God is real and true, and feel God’s true heart and His mercy on man. God hopes to awaken the still slumbering mankind by such a parable and let them understand God’s love for man, understand God’s eager desire to save man, and know that God never stops looking for the mankind who lose direction and has still been waiting for their return over these thousands of years. It’s the end time now. Man has been corrupted more and more deeply, and they all live an empty life only concerned with eating, drinking, and the pursuit of pleasure, and enjoy the pleasure of sins. Man completely forsakes God and forgets God is the source of man’s life. To save mankind created by Himself, God returns to flesh again and ceaselessly supplies and waters them with His word of life. The purpose of Almighty God is so that man’s heart and spirit will be awakened and thus they will return before Him soon. As Almighty God says, “Your heart and your spirit have been taken away by the evil one. Your eyes are covered by darkness; you cannot see the sun in the sky, nor the twinkling star in the night. Your ears are clogged with deceptive words and you hear not the thunderous voice of Jehovah, nor the sound of the rushing waters from the throne. You have lost everything that should have belonged to you and everything that the Almighty bestowed upon you. You have entered an endless sea of bitterness, with no strength of a rescue, no hope of survival, left only to struggle and to bustle about. … From that moment, you are doomed to be afflicted by the evil one, kept far away from the blessings of the Almighty, out of reach of the provisions of the Almighty, and you embark on a road of no return. A million calls can hardly rouse your heart and your spirit. You sleep deeply in the hand of the evil one, which has lured you into the boundless realm, with no direction, with no road signs. Henceforth, you have lost your original purity, innocence, and started to hide from the care of the Almighty. The evil one steers your heart in every matter and becomes your life. You no longer fear him, no longer avoid him, no longer doubt him. Instead, you treat him as the God in your heart. You begin to enshrine him, worship him, be inseparable like a shadow of his, and mutually commit to each other in life and death. You have no idea at all from where you originate, why you exist, or why you ‘die.’ You view the Almighty as a stranger; you don’t know His origin, let alone all that He has done for you. Everything from Him has become hateful to you. You neither cherish them nor know their value. You walk with the evil one, from the same day you started to receive provisions from the Almighty. You and the evil one walk through thousands of years of tempest and storm. Together with it, you ‘counter’ God, who was the source of your life. You do not repent, let alone know that you have come to the point of perishment. You forget that the evil one has tempted you, afflicted you; you forget your origin. Just like that, the evil one has been damaging you step by step, even to now. Your heart and your spirit are desensitized and decayed. You no longer complain about the distress of the world, no longer believe the world is unjust. You don’t even care about the existence of the Almighty. This is because you have deemed the evil one as your true father, and you no longer can be apart from him. This is the ‘secret’ in your heart.” “The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people without any consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken…

Four Things That Christians Must Do

Here are four most fundamental things that we Christians must do in following the Lord. They are these: reading God’s words, praying to God, performing our duties and practicing God’s words. Our spiritual lives mainly include these four aspects. If we can practice them in our everyday life, we will meet the conditions for being true Christians. First, we must read God’s words. Since believing in the Lord, we have probably been reading the scriptures for decades, without interruption. Then how do we read God’s words to achieve good results? To achieve this, we need to grasp the truth and seek God’s will from every one of God’s words, pray-read and ponder them carefully rather than read like viewing flowers from horseback or for only memorizing scriptures. We should earnestly read God’s words and seek with sincerity to gain the Holy Spirit’s work. Then we can understand the truth as well as the Lord’s will. Second, we must pray to God. In John 4:23-24 it says, “But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Actually, the process of praying is also the process of worshiping God. But there is a condition: We must worship God in spirit and in truth. If we hope that our prayers can be approved by the Lord, we should quiet our heart before praying and think about what we want to pray and what the Lord’s will is in the situations we encounter every day. After that, we should pray according to the Lord’s will instead of only asking Him for things. Rather than speak repetitious things aimlessly, or just repeat the same prayer, we should accurately know our own difficulties and then seek God’s will earnestly. We should honestly speak what is in our heart to God. We should never talk big or say meaningless things, or make empty promises before God without fulfilling them. What’s more, we should keep God’s place in our heart and exalt Him all the time, seek out God’s will and look toward Him in all matters, seek His guidance and enlightenment, and make prayers of submission. Only by practicing in this way, can our prayers achieve the effect of worshiping God. Third, we must perform our duties. Mark 10:29-30 records, “And Jesus answered and said, Truly I say to you, There is no man that has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundred times now in this time, houses, and brothers, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.” In addition, the Lord Jesus said, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). Every Christian has duties he or she should fulfill. Some Christians offer themselves to God and spread the gospel all around for decades; some give alms to the brothers and sisters who truly believe in the Lord and pursue the truth; some support the brothers and sisters who are negative and weak; some host those who come from far away to spread the gospel, and so on. These things are what we always do in our life, but truly fulfilling our duties is to do something for God. You should do it solely for satisfying the Lord, without adulteration. It is not making a deal with the Lord to gain blessings or a crown, nor is it for earning the praise of others. Only if we fulfill our duties with such a mentality will we please the Lord. Otherwise, our fulfilling duties and expending ourselves are just for our personal schemes, desires and demands, which is not following God’s words or obeying His will, and the Lord Jesus will condemn us by saying, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Fourth, we must practice the truth. Practicing the truth is actually putting the Lord’s words into practice. The Lord Jesus expressed many teachings. For example, He said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:37-39). Practicing the Lord’s words is doing God’s will. To achieve that, we should love the Lord with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind. However we expend ourselves in our duties, we should do it willingly without personal intentions or ambitions. Whatever trials or refinements befall us, we should not complain against God or rebel against Him, or even betray Him. Instead, we should submit to God and love God, be loyal to Him unto death and stand witness for Him. When practicing the Lord’s words, we should not hold on to the literal meaning of His words but should seek the Lord’s will hidden in them as well as the essence and true meaning of the truth. Only then can we truly practice the truth. These are the four things that we should keep in our belief in God. Only when we grasp these four fundamental things can we please the Lord. Otherwise, we will have no direction or goal in our belief, nor will we make much progress despite many years of following God. So, to succeed in our faith, we have to grasp these key things.

The Tragedy of Religious Prayers

We Christians cannot be without prayer to God. Yet do you know how many religious prayers are there among those we make in our real life? Now please read this gospel article “The Tragedy of Religious Prayers”. One day, I came back home from the church meeting, my legs still aching. I sat on the bed, patting my two legs and humming a hymn weakly, “We have to praise Jehovah, because all things are out of Him. He is the Ruler of the heavens and earth and all things. There is no other God like Him …” Just as I was singing, my husband opened the door and came in. Seeing him back, I was very excited and asked, “You have finally come back. How come you go out so long this time? It’s nearly two years.” My husband put the things with him on the table, explaining, “These days, I was busy dealing with the affairs of the church and couldn’t get away.” Then he came to the bedside and asked me with concern, “Why do you massage your legs again?” I said, “I received a notice from the upper-level co-workers and had a meeting for a few days. I came home a little while ago. My legs ache badly. I just massage them to stimulate the circulation.” My husband said with a smile, “Did you kneel to pray for a long time in the meeting?” I said gruffly, “That’s right. The two co-workers prayed for more than one hour and called on the name of the Lord for over twenty minutes. In the end, they again prayed for more than one hour. It was almost three hours in all. In fact, after praying for forty minutes, I felt my legs were numb and my calves swollen. I wanted to stand up to relax my legs and reduce soreness, but at the thought that this suffering would be approved by God, I had to kneel there and continued praying. Later, when the prayer was finished, I could hardly stand up. I felt tired and painful. I really couldn’t bear it.” My husband said seriously, “The Lord Jesus has ever said: ‘God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:24). Prayer is the most direct way for us to worship God. We need to use our heart to pray to the Lord and speak intimate words with Him. That is, we should talk to God about our true state and actual difficulties, rather than show off our eloquence and exhibit ourselves in praying. In the past, when I prayed with brothers and sisters during my sermon, many times I listed the verses and said a bunch of nice sounding words. I didn’t pray with my heart. Instead, I wanted to win others’ favor for admiration and let others look up to me. Now, I am very fed up with the way we prayed.” I said in puzzlement, “Yeah, the Lord Jesus asked us to use our heart and integrity to worship Him. Put like that, I find I have the same attitude that if I pray with many words, list many scriptures and pray for a long time, I will be spiritual and others dare not look down upon me. Actually, we co-workers also list verses to compare ourselves to each other. That’s the reason why each of us prayed longer than the next.” My husband said, “In reality, God pays no mind to our half-hearted prayers. In Matthew 6:5-7, it recorded what the Lord Jesus has ever taught His disciples,‘And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. But you, when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father which is in secret; and your Father which sees in secret shall reward you openly. But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.’ From these words, we can see that the Lord Jesus loathes the prayers of the hypocrites. But we think that the more words of our prayers are, the happier the Lord will be. In fact, it is not. Our prayers are to flaunt ourselves on purpose and to show off, so that others will mistake our outward practices for our devotion to the Lord. How can such behaviors deceive the Lord?” After hearing his words, I nodded and said, “What you said is truly so. Well, I find you have had much progress. Where did you get so much light? I have never heard before.” He said with a smile, “Such seeing was from some words a net friend sent to me the other day. I felt he had his own unique insights about prayer, so I wrote down some of the important passages on my notebook. When I am free, I can ponder them. Let me share them with you.” Saying these words, my husband stood up and walked to the table. He opened his bag to take out his notebook, and began to read, “‘Prayer is not a case of going through the formalities, or following procedure, or reciting the words of God, which is to say, prayer does not mean parroting words and copying others. In prayer, you must give your heart to God, sharing the words in your heart with God so that you may be touched by God.’ You see how these words are accordance with the Lord’s requirements for us. That is to say, prayer is not going through the formalities or following procedure or reciting God’s words. In prayer, we should give our heart to God and speak from the heart to Him.” Looking at these words, I said, “In this light, our former prayers are reciting verses, parroting words and…

Wise Christians Will “Know Them by Their Fruits”

“Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Matthew 7:17-18). I’d like to share something with you today. When we hear someone preaching that the Lord has returned, how should we discern that the gospel they spread is the gospel of the Lord’s return? And how should we be a wise Christian, not following in the Jews’ footsteps or being deceived by the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees? The Bible says, “You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Why by their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:16-20). From these words of the Lord Jesus, we see that the Lord Jesus showed us the path of discernment, that is, to recognize them by their fruits. Comparing these words with my many years of faith, I always read the Bible, prayed, preached and sacrificed for the Lord, and then thought that I had faith in and knowledge of God because of my so many good behaviors; however, when I encountered something unfavorable, I could still lose my faith in God, and even blame and misunderstand Him, thus keeping my distance from God, and becoming estranged from Him in my heart unwittingly. In particular, during recent years, many brothers and sisters, just like me, don’t feel the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and can’t receive enlightenment or have new light when reading the Bible. Much less can we practice and experience the Lord’s words in our life, and we even often commit sins and live helplessly in sin. When the quiet of night came, I always thought to myself: We all truly believe in God. However, at the time of the Lord’s return, why do we live in this kind of state and do not feel the work of the Holy Spirit or the guidance of God? Recently I read the following passage in a book: “If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, man becomes ever more normal, and his humanity becomes ever more normal. Man has an increasing knowledge of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan, and of the essence of man, and he has an ever greater longing for the truth. That is to say, the life of man grows and grows, and the corrupt disposition of man becomes capable of more and more changes—all of which is the meaning of God becoming the life of man. If a way is incapable of revealing those things that are the essence of man, is incapable of changing the disposition of man, and, moreover, is incapable of bringing him before God or giving him a true understanding of God, and even causes his humanity to become ever more lowly and his sense ever more abnormal, then this way must not be the true way, and it may be the work of an evil spirit, or the old way. In short, it cannot be the present work of the Holy Spirit” (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God”). Pondering on this passage, I couldn’t help but thinking that after the Lord Jesus resurrected and ascended to heaven, His disciples and apostles began to preach the gospel of redemption everywhere in the name of the Lord, but the Roman government and Judaism’s highest leaders opposed them so strongly. They not only fabricated all sorts of rumors about the Lord but arrested the Lord’s disciples without restraint. We thought based on our conceptions and imaginations that under the Roman government and the Jewish religion’s grave resistance against the Lord Jesus, the gospel of the Lord would have been hindered. However, all that from God will thrive, and any hostile force can’t block the carrying out of the Lord’s will. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the disciples not only listened to God’s wordsresolutely without fear of the violence, but dedicated themselves to spreading the Lord’s gospel even if they suffered all hardships. We have all seen this fact: They did it with the guidance of God, and they accomplished their missions of spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus. Nowadays, there is a severe famine in the whole religious world. Various sects and denominations have all lost the work of the Holy Spirit. But I saw a group of people on Facebook eagerly spreading God’s gospel of the last days with a strong feeling of excitement. Although I haven’t listened to the way they preach, I can be certain of one thing: They have the Holy Spirit’s work. Why do I say this? There is one reason: When facing the slander, judgment and condemnation of the religious community’s highest leaders, they just communicate the truth with these religious people without repaying evil with evil. Even if being resisted too much, this group of people don’t make a fuss with them, and still spread God’s gospel as usual without being influenced by some people. A co-worker having come into contact with them told me, “These people all pursue an understanding of God and of themselves in God’s words. I have debated with them many times. They always fellowship the truth and God’s will with me patiently. I really have gained great rewards through contacting them. They have the Holy Spirit’s work and love, and when preaching the gospel to us, no matter how many difficulties they meet, they will help us out of love, without fearing the derision and slander from anyone. I really admire that about them. Although there are so many denominations in today’s religious world, I think only these people have the work of the…

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