Bible Study: Trial Is God's Blessing

Gospel Reflection: Trial Is God’s Blessing

It’s written in the Book of James 1:2-4, “My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” From the verses, we can see that God blesses man and perfects man through trials and refinements. So when we are in trials, we should seek God’s will and face the trial with a positive attitude. In this way we can make up for our deficiencies and tempered our will in adversities. Eventually we can satisfy God’s will and requirement and be commended by God. Since ancient times, those who were used by God or blessed by God all experienced tribulations. They obeyed the environment God arranged for them and stood testimony for God, so that they gained God’s blessings. Moses was refined in the wilderness for 40 years, until his hot blood was ground away and he had the true faith to be fit for God’s use, to shoulder the heavy responsibility of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Abraham offered up his only beloved son, Isaac, to satisfy God’s heart. Finally he received God’s blessings for bearing testimony for God in the trial. Job upheld his faith to God after his property had been stolen and his children lost their lives. Finally he stood the testimony for God and gained God’s blessings. Peter experienced hundreds of trials in the journey of following the Lord. Finally he was nailed upside down on the cross for the Lord, and achieved obedience unto death and love to the utmost. In the Book of Daniel, it says, “Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried” (Daniel 12:10).These words tell us that only by experiencing trials and refinements can we be made purified and get changed in our life disposition. The Lord said, “Whoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Mark 8:34). “God’s refinement of man is not merely for the sake of a one-sided effect, but for the sake of a multi-faceted effect. Only in this way does God do the work of refinement in those who are willing to seek the truth, in order that man’s resolve and love are made perfect by God. To those who are willing to seek the truth, and who yearn for God, nothing is more meaningful, or of greater assistance, than refinement such as this.”   » You might be interested in reading more: • A Reflection on How to Overcome Trials and Tribulations From a Story • What to Do When You Lose Faith in God in Setbacks • What Should We Do When We Face Trials? Learn From the Story of Job Peace be with you all! Dear brothers and sisters, if you have any understanding or enlightenment from God, you’re welcome to share with us.1. Via the online chat window at the bottom right corner of the screen.2. Send an email to sincerely hope we’ll grow spiritually through sharing with each other.

What Does the Lord’s Prayer Mean and What Is His True Intention Within It

What Does the Lord’s Prayer Mean and What Is His True Intention Within It?

By Xiaocao The Lord’s Prayer Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For your is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.Amen. The Lord Jesus taught us to pray, “Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:9–10). Nearly every believer in the Lord can recite this passage of the Lord’s Prayer, but most of the time we just recite it to conclude our worship services or to give thanks before meals while we all neglect to contemplate and understand the true meaning within it. As we get accustomed to this kind of practice, reciting the Lord’s Prayer has become a conventional religious ritual. So how should we interpret the Lord’s Prayer in a way that is in accordance with the Lord’s will? Usually, when we talk about entering into the kingdom of heaven, we believe that God’s kingdom is certainly in heaven and that the Lord will rapture us up into heaven to meet Him when He returns. But in the Lord’s Prayer, the Lord tells us to pray for God’s kingdom to come on earth and that God’s will be done on earth, which is telling us that God’s kingdom will ultimately be realized on the earth, not in heaven. The Book of Revelation also prophesies, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15). “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Revelation 21:2–3). These verses say that the kingdom of God shall come down out of heaven, that the tabernacle of God is with men, and that God’s kingdom will be established on earth. We, however, are always looking forward to being raised up into heaven by the Lord and meeting Him in the air when He returns in the last days—this is totally impractical. The air is simply not a place for us humans to stay. Our notions and imaginings really are against the Lord’s words! Recently I read a passage in a book of truth, which says: “When God and man enter into rest together, it will mean that humanity has been saved and that Satan has been destroyed, that God’s work among man has finished entirely. God will no longer continue to work among man, and man will no longer live under Satan’s domain. Therefore, God will no longer be busy, and man will no longer rush about; God and man will enter into rest simultaneously. God will return to His original position, and each person will return to his or her respective place. These are the destinations that God and man will respectively reside in after the end of God’s entire management. God has God’s destination, and man has man’s destination. While resting, God will continue to guide all of humanity in their lives upon earth. While in God’s light, man will worship the one true God in heaven. … When humanity enters into rest, it means that man has become a true creation; humanity will worship God from upon the earth and have normal human lives. People will no longer be disobedient to God or resist God; they will return to the original life of Adam and Eve. These are the respective lives and destinations of God and humanity after they enter into rest” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together”). These words tell us that God will come to work and save mankind in the last days. After all the evil forces of Satan are wiped out and mankind’s thousands of years of painful life since being corrupted by Satan is put to an end, those who accepted God’s work and are saved by God will survive the great disasters of the last days and be brought by God into His kingdom, while those wicked individuals who once persecuted God upon earth and the enemies who were disobedient to Him will have been destroyed by the great disasters. People who attain God’s full salvation will receive His blessings and enter into rest in the kingdom of God, and they will continue to believe in God and worship God from upon the earth under God’s guidance and will return to a peaceful and happy life as that in the Garden of Eden. So it can be seen that when the Lord returns in the last days, He will establish His kingdom on earth—this completely fulfills these words “Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.” The Lord also tells us that we should first pray for God’s kingdom and righteousness in our belief in God. Therefore, we must pursue the truth and live by God’s words, be able to practice God’s words and believe in God strictly according to His requirements. No matter what trials or refinement may befall us, be they natural or man-made disasters, persecutions, tribulations, suffering or illnesses, we should be able to seek God’s will, not make complaints or betray God, and accept and obey His sovereignty and arrangements unconditionally. Only thus can we be called someone who obeys God and does God’s will, be saved by God and enter into the kingdom of heaven. Just as God said, “Not every one that said to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into…

the Way of Eternal Life

Does the Bible Contain the Way of Eternal Life?

By Weixiang One evening, Brother Gao was rushing along, gripping the Bible and hurrying to the home of Brother Gui … When he got there, the two of them sat down on the couch. Brother Gao opened the Bible and said, “Brother Gui, I’ve come across a problem in my reading of the Bible and I don’t know how to solve it. I feel like this problem is key to us obtaining eternal life through our faith in the Lord, so I hurried over to seek the answer with you.” Brother Gui smiled and said, “OK. Tell me all about it.” Brother Gao then said, “We all know that the Bible is the cannon of Christianity and that all Christians must read it. Whether we are attending gatherings, performing our spiritual devotions, preaching the gospel or giving sermons, we always have to adhere to the Bible. Therefore, we could say that the Bible is a part of our life that we could not be without. God’s previous works are recorded in the Bible as well as the testimonies of many people. We firmly believe that the Bible contains life within it, and as long as we persevere in reading the Bible then we can obtain eternal life. But when I was studying the Bible this evening, I saw that the Lord Jesus said: ‘Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And you will not come to Me, that you might have life’ (John 5: 39–40). This really confused me, for seeing as the Bible contains the words of God and the testimonies of man, then by reading the Bible we should be able to obtain eternal life. Why then did the Lord Jesus say that eternal life is not within the Bible? How are we to understand these words? I don’t really understand this very clearly, so I was wondering what your understanding of it is.” Brother Gui said, “Brother Gao, this issue you raise is key indeed! Some other co-workers and I were also confused by this issue recently. Afterward, when we went to attend a gathering out of town, we sought the answer together with several brothers and sisters until finally we understood this issue.” Brother Gao said happily, “Really? Thank the Lord! Hurry and fellowship with me about it!” Brother Gui said, “Fine! In fact, if we want to understand this issue, we first have to understand the inside story to the works God performed in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace that are recorded in the Bible, as well as the results achieved by these works, and then we will understand why the Lord Jesus said such a thing. First of all, in the Age of Law recorded in the Old Testament, the words Jehovah God spoke were mainly to proclaim the law and His commandments and to lead the Israelites in their lives on earth. The results He achieved were that He taught man how to live normally, to know how to make offerings and praise God and to know what sin was, and so on. But these were only simple truths, and they did not come close to enabling people to gain life, much less obtain eternal life. The New Testament records the words and work of the Lord Jesus, primarily being His work to redeem mankind, giving man the way of repentance, telling man that the heavenly kingdom was near and that everyone had to repent. The results He achieved were that He enabled people to confess and repent, thereby having their sins forgiven, and people became able to perform some external good deeds, such as not stealing or robbing, not fighting with others or verbally abusing others and not drinking alcohol. Some people even became able to work with great zeal, expend themselves for the Lord and give everything up to follow the Lord and to preach His gospel, and so on. “Therefore, by reading the Bible, we come to know that all things in heaven and on earth were created by God, that God proclaimed His law and commandments in the Age of Law, mankind came to know how to live on earth according to God’s requirements, and we saw that God’s disposition was vivid and real, and that God could curse and punish people as well as show us mercy. We also came to know that we should confess and repent our sins to God, that we should forgive others, love our enemies and be the salt and the light. We should bear our cross and spread the gospel and see that the Lord Jesus loved His neighbor as Himself and that He bestowed endless mercy and lovingkindness on man, and see that only by accepting the Lord’s salvation can we enjoy God’s abundant grace and blessing. Therefore, all the words and works of God from the Age of Law and Age of Grace that are recorded in the Bible were based on the level of mankind’s corruption and on our needs at that time. The words of Jehovah God in the Age of Law were spoken to enable us to live normal lives on earth, and the words spoken by the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace can only be called the way that enabled man to repent, and not the way of eternal life. “So what is the way of eternal life exactly? The way of eternal life is the way that can enable us to no longer be subject to the bonds and constraints of sin, that can enable our life dispositions to change and it is the way of truth that allows us to live forever. More specifically, it can save us from sin, enable us to attain the truth as our lives and thoroughly cast off the influence of Satan, enable us to truly know God, obey God and worship God, and no longer commit sin and…

The Relationship Between God’s Names and His Work of Salvation

The Relationship Between God’s Names and His Work of Salvation

By Xia Lin The Old Testament records, “I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside Me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11). “Jehovah … is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations” (Exodus 3:15). The New Testament also states, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Seeing all this, some brothers and sisters can’t help but feel confused: It was mentioned in the Old Testament that the name of Jehovah God would never change, but why did Jehovah become Jesus? And why does God’s name change? In order to gain some clarity on this issue, first let us look at Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” From this verse, we see that in the beginning, God was called God and He didn’t have a name. After mankind was corrupted by Satan, they urgently needed God’s salvation, and only then did God take corresponding names according to His management work. Accordingly, God’s name changes with the age and His work. The work in the Age of Law is the first step in God’s management plan to save mankind. In the Age of Law, God issued the laws through Moses to guide mankind’s lives on earth. And He also witnessed His name to Moses, just as He said, “Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations” (Exodus 3:15). “I am Jehovah: And I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by My name JEHOVAH was I not known to them” (Exodus 6:2–3). God promulgated commandments and laws and decrees with the name of Jehovah among the Israelites. He used these commandments and laws to constrain man from committing sins; this guided people to properly live the life of worshiping God. Those Israelites who upheld Jehovah God’s laws would live under the care and protection of God and enjoy God’s blessings; those who violated God’s laws and commandments would be stoned to death, or would be incinerated by fires. With regard to the significance of God taking the name of Jehovah, I read the following passage in a book, “‘Jehovah’ is the name that I took during My work in Israel, and it means the God of the Israelites (God’s chosen people) who can take pity on man, curse man, and guide the life of man. It means the God who possesses great power and is full of wisdom. … The name Jehovah is a particular name for the people of Israel who lived under the law. In each age and each stage of work, My name is not baseless, but holds representative significance: Each name represents one age. ‘Jehovah’ represents the Age of Law, and is the honorific for the God worshiped by the people of Israel” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’”). From these words we see that Jehovah is a name specific to the Age of Law, and is the name God took when He did the first step of His work of saving mankind. The Israelites all respected the name of Jehovah as a holy name, prayed to Jehovah God, and worshiped Jehovah God. Living under the law, they also felt the man-pitying, man-cursing disposition of God. But the name Jehovah only represents the Age of Law, and the work God did and the disposition God expressed in that Age. When the Age of Law ended and the Age of Grace came, the name of Jehovah was no longer brought up. Jehovah God once said, “Jehovah … is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations,” but the “for ever” and “to all generations” mentioned here were about God’s work in that age. That is, God’s name in that age would not change until His work in that age was completed. But when God ends His work in that age and begins new work, His name also changes. At the end of the Age of Law, because mankind was corrupted by Satan ever more deeply, gradually man couldn’t adhere to the laws and there were no longer enough sin offerings. If this had continued, then mankind would all have died under the laws, and God’s creation of mankind would have been meaningless. In order to save us humans who lived in sin, God ended the Age of Law, initiated the Age of Grace, and did the work of redeeming mankind in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then, what is the significance of the name Jesus? This book says, “‘Jesus’ is Emmanuel, and it means the sin offering that is full of love, full of compassion, and redeems man. He did the work of the Age of Grace, and represents the Age of Grace, and can only represent one part of the management plan. … Which is to say, the name of Jesus came from the Age of Grace, and existed because of the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. The name of Jesus existed to allow the people of the Age of Grace to be reborn and saved, and is a particular name for the redemption of the whole of mankind. And so the name Jesus represents the work of redemption, and denotes the Age of Grace. … ‘Jesus’ represents the Age of Grace, and is the name of the God of all those who were redeemed during the Age of Grace” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’”). In the Age of Grace, God did the work of redemption of the crucifixion under the name of Jesus….

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