Jesus christ preaching

Why Did Jesus Use Parables When He Did His Work?

When the Lord Jesus worked, He said many words to the people at that time. Some of them are very straightforward. For example, the Lord Jesus often said, “Truly, truly, I say to you …” Some are indirect, just as what the Lord Jesus said to Philip, “I am in the Father, and the Father in me” (John 14:10). But what really impressed me were the parables spoken by the Lord Jesus, such as the parable of the net, the parable of the shepherd’s seeking the lost sheep, the parable of an evil servant exacting a payment from a debtor, the parable of the return of the prodigal son, the parable of the marriage feast, the parable of the fig tree, and so on. Looking at these parables, I couldn’t help thinking: Why did the Lord Jesus speak these parables when He worked? What was His will hidden behind them? With these questions, I kept praying to the Lord to seek His enlightenment. One day when I studied the Bible, I read the passage of verses, “And the disciples came, and said to him, Why speak you to them in parables? He answered and said to them, Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which said, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear” (Matthew 13:10-16). Pondering these verses carefully and praying and seeking in the words of the Lord Jesus, I had a little understanding of His words. It turned out that when the Lord Jesus was doing His work and preaching, there were many people who came to listen to His preaching, but not all of them were the ones who truly followed the Lord and walked in His way, such as the Pharisees at that time. Their purpose of listening to the Lord’s preaching was not to seek the truth, but to find accusations against the Lord Jesus and tempt and frame Him. Some people followed the Lord Jesus because they saw that He had performed many miracles, that He could bestow upon man grace and blessings, and heal the sick and cast out demons. Their purpose was to gain more grace and blessings instead of following the Lord’s way and caring for His will. Only a few followers were willing to follow the Lord because they loved the truth and saw the authority and power in His work and preaching, such as Peter, John, Jacob, and so on. Therefore, in order to gain those who truly believed in God and loved the truth, the Lord Jesus used parables to preach to all, expressing the truth to testify God’s work, God’s disposition and to reveal the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. All of those who loved the truth actively sought for the Lord Jesus, so that they attained enlightenment and guidance from the Holy Spirit and understood the meanings of the parables. However, those who didn’t love the truth but only asked for grace and blessings didn’t initiatively seek the meanings of these words so they never understood the truth. In this way, the ones who had true faith in God and loved the truth, and those false believers and unbelievers who only asked for grace and blessings were separated and sorted according to their own kind. This fulfills what the Lord Jesus said, “Because it is given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whoever has not, from him shall be taken away even that he has” (Matthew 13:11-12). This is the first aspect of significance of why the Lord Jesus spoke parables when He worked. Later, on a website I saw these words, “The first one is the parable of the sower. This is a really interesting parable; sowing seeds is a common event in people’s lives. The second is the parable of the tares. As far as what tares are, anyone who has planted crops and adults will know. The third is the parable of the mustard seed. All of you know what mustard is, right? If you don’t know, you can have a look through the Bible. For the fourth one, the parable of the leaven, most people know that leaven is used for fermentation; it’s something that people use in their daily lives. All of the parables below, including the sixth, the parable of the treasure, the seventh, the parable of the pearl, and the eighth, the parable of the net, are all drawn from people’s lives; they all come from people’s real lives. What kind of picture do these parables paint? This is a picture of God becoming a normal person and living alongside mankind, using the language of a normal life, using human language to communicate with humans and to provide them with what they need. When God became flesh and lived among mankind for a long time, after He had experienced and witnessed people’s various lifestyles, these experiences became His textbook for transforming His divine language into human language. Of course, these things that…

the Parable of a Shepherd Seeking the Lost Sheep

My Harvest From the Parable of a Shepherd Seeking the Lost Sheep

Whenever reading these lines from Scripture: “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” (Mat 18:12-14), I feel very moved in my heart, as God loves men so much that He won’t leave anyone as long as the sheep belongs to Him. But I had been wondering before why the Lord Jesus expressed His love for us human beings by parable and what the Lord’s will was? I didn’t understand the profound meaning within it until one day I saw the word of God on the gospel website. God’s word says: “(Mat 18:12-14) 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. “This is a metaphor—what kind of feeling do people get from this passage? The way this metaphor is expressed utilizes a figure of speech in human language; it’s something within the scope of human knowledge. If God had said something similar in the Age of Law, people would have felt that it wasn’t really consistent with who God was, but when the Son of man delivered this passage in the Age of Grace, it felt comforting, warm, and intimate to people. When God became flesh, when He appeared in the form of a man, He used a very appropriate metaphor to express the voice of His heart in humanity. This voice represented God’s own voice and the work He wanted to do in that age. It also represented an attitude that God had toward people in the Age of Grace. Looking from the perspective of God’s attitude toward people, He compared each person to a sheep. If a sheep is lost, He will do whatever it takes to find it. This represents a principle of God’s work among mankind this time in the flesh. God used this parable to describe His resolve and attitude in that work. This was the advantage of God becoming flesh: He could take advantage of mankind’s knowledge and use human language to speak to people, to express His will. He explained or ‘translated’ to man His profound, divine language that people struggled to understand in human language, in a human way. This helped people understand His will and know what He wanted to do. He could also have conversations with people from the human perspective, using human language, and communicate with people in a way they understood. He could even speak and work using human language and knowledge so that people could feel God’s kindness and closeness, so that they could see His heart.” From the word of God, I understood that through the parable—“a man seeks the lost sheep,” the Lord Jesus used the feeling that we can understand to describe God’s eager desire to save people, so that we can experience God’s sincere feelings of expecting mankind to be able to return to the proper path after going astray. When a person strays far from God, God’s intention in wanting to find him is the same as the man’s intention in looking for the lost sheep; when this person is recovered and returns to God again, God feels the joy which is like that of the man finding his lost sheep. But the Lord Jesus’ word didn’t mean that He preferred this lost sheep to the ninety and nine that did not go astray, but expressed God’s love and expectation of mankind. God values us and hopes that we can turn to Him and come before Him to worship Him. So we can understand God’s love for mankind. Apart from this kind of joy, God also made clear to us His resolve and attitude of saving people and never giving up until He gains people. The Lord Jesus also used this parable to let us understand His will toward the people He intends to save. When we are immature and get lost, God is worried about us by our side, and arranges all kinds of situations to awake us and causes us to no longer be harmed by Satan. For instance: When I first started to believe in God, I was so tempted by social evil trends that I just worked hard to earn money, without regular gatherings. Just when I was about to be lost in the social trends and devoured by Satan, God arranged some situations to awake my heart. At that time, I often hit a wall when I did things. Besides, I also felt that I lived like that so miserably and tiredly, feeling empty inside. At last I thought of God, so I came before God once again, admitted my sins and repented to God. God gave me one more opportunity, which made me feel the warmth of His love. Now, I look back on it: If I had not hit a wall in the world and not experienced the pain of living for money, I wouldn’t have turned around; on the contrary, I would still keep on falling into the whirlpool of money from which I would be hard put to extricate myself, let alone have the chance to get God’s salvation. Meanwhile, I also…

Lord Jesus Preaching

What Is the Moral of the Parable of New Cloth on an Old Coat?

By Yaning One day, after a meeting, a sister asked me, “Brother, the Lord Jesus said, ‘No man puts a piece of a new garment on an old; if otherwise, then both the new makes a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agrees not with the old’ (Luke 5:36). Do you know what this parable means? What does the Lord want to tell us through it?” Hearing the sister’s questions, I thought that I happened to have some understanding of this parable of the Lord Jesus, so I replied without thinking, “In the Old Testament, the Israelites were required to fast on the day of atonement every year. But as the salvation of the Lord Jesus had come, the old practices were no longer applicable, and people should abide by the new requirements proposed by the Lord. By telling this parable, the Lord Jesus warns us that in our faith in Him, we cannot cling only to the laws of the Old Testament like the Pharisees did, but instead should accept and follow the Lord’s words and act in accordance with His teachings.” Upon hearing my answer, the sister nodded her head, and I also felt gratified for my ability to understand the Lord’s will. Just then, Co-worker Zhang, who had recently returned from another place, said, “Brother Wang, I used to think like you. But God’s words are the truth and contain deep meaning. A couple of days ago, I had a fellowship with a brother from another church on this verse. Through reading a book of truth, I gained some deeper understanding about the Lord’s will behind this parable. How about we fellowship together?” Hearing that Brother Zhang had a deeper understanding and knowledge about this verse, I said happily, “That would be great!” “Brother Zhang,” the sister anxiously cut in, “since you have a deeper understanding, please tell us about it!” Brother Zhang smiled and said, “OK. Let me first read a passage that we read that day.” As he said this, he took a tablet out of his bag and read, “‘Because there are always new developments in God’s work, thus there is new work, and thus there is also work that is obsolete and old. This old and new work is not contradictory, but complementary; each step follows on from the last. Because there is new work, the old things must, of course, be eliminated. … The work of God is always new and never old, and it never forms doctrine and is, instead, continually changing and renewing to a greater or lesser extent. This work is the expression of the inherent disposition of God Himself. It is also the inherent principle of God’s work, and one of the means by which God accomplishes His management. If God did not work in this way, man would not change or be able to know God, and Satan would not be defeated. Thus, in His work there continually occur changes that appear erratic, but which are actually periodic. … God’s intention has always been for His work to be new and alive, not old and dead, and that which He makes man hold firm to varies with the age and period, and is not everlasting and immutable. That is because He is a God who causes man to live and be new’ (‘Only Those Who Know the Work of God Today Can Serve God’). “From this passage we can see that God’s work does not follow rules, and that He performs new work in accordance with His plan for mankind’s salvation as well as according to the degree of mankind’s corruption by Satan. God’s work varies with the age and period, and is not everlasting and immutable, and He always does newer and higher work. When the new work begins, the previous work becomes out of date, and God embarks on another plan and carries out new work. For example, Jehovah God did the work of issuing laws and guiding the lives of people. Under the guidance of Jehovah God, the Israelites of the time learned how to conduct their lives and how to worship God, and understood what sin was. But in the later period of the Age of Law, as man was becoming more and more corrupted by Satan, no one was able to keep the laws and commandments any longer, and all were in constant danger of being sentenced to death by the law. In order to save mankind, God incarnated into the image of Jesus and, on the basis of the work of the Age of Law, did a stage of work of redeeming mankind through crucifixion. The Lord Jesus brought a new age, fulfilled the laws and commandments, gave people a new way to practice and proposed new requirements for them, such as being tolerant and patient, loving their enemies, being the light of the world and salt of the earth, and so on. From the outside, these two stages of work appear different, but they actually complement each other, through which God saves mankind from the influence of Satan step by step. From this we can see that God’s work does not remain unchanged, but rather is always moving forward, and that God’s requirements of mankind are becoming ever higher. “The Pharisees back then, however, didn’t know God’s work. They abided by religious notions and used the laws of the Old Testament to examine the Lord Jesus’ new work and words. They said that the Lord Jesus sat at the table with tax collectors, and that He and His disciples had violated the laws by not keeping the Sabbath day and not fasting, thereby denying that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah. So when the Lord Jesus said, ‘No man puts a piece of a new garment on an old; if otherwise, then both the new makes a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agrees not with the old’ (Luke…

Holy Spirit, salvation, the Bible

What Truly Are the Foolish Virgins?

Bible Verses for Reference: “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. … five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: … While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go you rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Truly I say to you, I know you not” (Mat 25:1-3, 5-12). “By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Mat 13:14-15). Classic Words of God: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Have you now heard the words of the Holy Spirit? The words of God have come upon you. Do you hear them? God does the work of the word in the last days, and such words are that of the Holy Spirit, for God is the Holy Spirit and can also become flesh; therefore, the words of the Holy Spirit, as spoken of in the past, are the words of the incarnate God today. There are many absurd men who believe that the words of the Holy Spirit ought to come down from the heavens to the ears of man. Any who thinks this way does not know the work of God. … Those who deny God become flesh are those who do not know the Spirit or the principles by which God works. Those who believe that now is the age of the Holy Spirit yet do not accept His new work are those who live in vague faith. Such manner of men shall never receive the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who wish only for the Holy Spirit to directly speak and carry out His work, yet do not accept the words or work of the incarnate God, shall never be able to step into the new age or receive complete salvation from God! from “How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. Today, all those who follow the present words of God are in the stream of the Holy Spirit; those who are strangers to the words of God today are outside of the stream of the Holy Spirit, and such people are not commended by God. Service that is divorced from the present utterances of the Holy Spirit is service that is of the flesh, and of conceptions, and it is incapable of being in accordance with God’s will. If people live among religious conceptions, then they are unable to do anything that is fit for God’s will, and even though they serve God, they serve in the midst of their imagination and conceptions, and are totally incapable of serving in accordance with the will of God. Those who are unable to follow the work of the Holy Spirit do not understand the will of God, and those who do not understand the will of God cannot serve God. God wants service that is after His own heart; He does not want service that is of conceptions and the flesh. If people are incapable of following the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work, then they live amid conceptions, and the service of such people interrupts and disturbs. Such service runs contrary to God, and thus those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God are incapable of serving God; those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God most certainly oppose God, and are incapable of being compatible with God. … Those who are eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit are people who are incapable of following the latest work of God, and who rebel against the latest work of God. That such people openly oppose God is because God has done new work, and because the image of God is not the same as that in their conceptions—as a result of which they openly oppose God and pass judgment upon God, leading to their loathing and rejection by God. Possessing the knowledge of the latest work of God is no easy matter, but if people can intentionally obey the work of God and seek the work of God, then they will have the chance to see God, and will have the chance to gain the newest guidance of the Holy Spirit. Those who intentionally oppose the work of God cannot receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit or the guidance of God; thus, whether or not people can receive the latest work of God depends on the grace of God, it depends on their pursuit, and it depends on their intentions. from “Know the Newest Work of God and…

What Truly Are the Wise Virgins?

Bible Verses for Reference: “shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. … But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. … And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. … and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut” (Mat 25: 1, 4, 6-7, 10). “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jhn 10:27). “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Rev 14:4). “For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Rev 7:17). “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Mat 7:7). Classic Words of God: Five wise virgins mean the number of people…. This is the reason why they have been asked to prepare oil in the last days. (The creation does not possess My quality; if they want to make wise ones then they need to prepare oil, and thus they need to be equipped with My words.) The five wise virgins represent My sons and My people among the humans that I created. Addressing them[a] “virgins” is because although they are born on earth, they are still gained by Me; one can say they have become holy, so they are called “virgins.” from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning Today, all those who follow the present words of God are in the stream of the Holy Spirit; … “Following the work of the Holy Spirit” means understanding the will of God today, being able to act in accordance with the present requirements of God, being able to obey and follow the God of today, and entering in accordance with the newest utterances of God. Only this is someone who follows the work of the Holy Spirit and is in the stream of the Holy Spirit. Such people are not only capable of receiving God’s praise and seeing God, but can also know God’s disposition from the latest work of God, and can know man’s conceptions and disobedience, and man’s nature and substance, from His latest work; furthermore, they are able to gradually achieve changes in their disposition during their service. Only people such as this are those who are able to gain God, and who have genuinely found the true way. … All who are able to obey the present utterances of the Holy Spirit are blessed. It does not matter how they used to be, or how the Holy Spirit used to work within them—those who have gained the latest work are the most blessed, and those who are unable to follow the latest work today are eliminated. God wants those who are able to accept the new light, and He wants those who accept and know His latest work. Why is it said that you must be a chaste virgin? A chaste virgin is able to seek the work of the Holy Spirit and understand the new things, and moreover, able to put aside old conceptions, and obey the work of God today. This group of people, who accept the newest work of today, were predestined by God before the ages, and are the most blessed of people. You hear the voice of Goddirectly, and behold the appearance of God, and so, throughout heaven and earth, and throughout the ages, none have been more blessed than you, this group of people. from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” Since man believes in God, he must closely follow the footsteps of God, step-by-step; he should “follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Only these are the people who seek the true way, only they are the ones who know the work of the Holy Spirit. People who slavishly follow letters and doctrines are those who have been eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit. In each period of time, God will begin new work, and in each period, there will be a new beginning among man. If man only abides by the truths that “Jehovah is God” and “Jesus is Christ,” which are truths that only apply to a single age, then man will never keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and will forever be incapable of gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how God works, man follows without the slightest doubt, and he follows closely. In this way, how could man be eliminated by the Holy Spirit? Regardless of what God does, as long as man is certain that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, and cooperates in the work of the Holy Spirit without any misgivings, and tries to meet the requirements of God, then how could he be punished? The work of God has never ceased, His footsteps have never halted, and prior to the completion of His work of management, He has always been busy, and never stops. from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” God seeks those who long for Him to appear. He seeks those who are able to hear His words, those who have not forgotten His commission and offer up their heart and body to Him. He seeks those who are as obedient as babes before Him, and do not resist Him. If you are unhindered by any force in your devotion to God, then God shall look upon you with favor, and shall bestow His blessings upon you. If you are of high station, of honorable reputation, possessed of abundant knowledge, the owner of plentiful assets, and supported by many people, yet these things do not prevent you from coming before God to accept His calling…

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