Why Blessed Are the Pure in Heart – Reflection on Matthew 5:8

Why Blessed Are the Pure in Heart – Reflection on Matthew 5:8

ByBy Li Zhong, Italy “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). What does it mean to be the pure in heart? Why should we be the pure in heart? What should we do to be counted as people who are pure in heart? These questions are all very important to us, because only by being the pure in heart can we welcome the Lord’s return, see Him and hear His voice in the last days, and thus have the opportunity to be saved by Him. Today, let’s study the Bible together, and see during the period of the Lord Jesus’ work, which people accepted the Lord Jesus with a pure heart and which people lost the salvation of the Lord because they didn’t have a pure heart. At that time, the Lord Jesus preached in all places to spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and performed a lot of miracles. However, the Pharisees could not comprehend what the Lord Jesus had done, nor did they think that was God’s deeds. They believed that the Lord Jesus couldn’t possibly be the Messiah because, be it the Lord Jesus’ name, His appearance, His parentage or what He had done, none of them conformed to the record about the Messiah in the Old Testament. They not only didn’t accept the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus, but also deceived the Jewish people into judging and blaspheming the Lord Jesus together with them. However, there were two kinds of people who treated the coming of the Lord Jesus differently when they heard the rumors and slanders. First of all, let’s take a look at the first kind of people. In John 10, it is said that on the Sabbath day the Lord Jesus cured a blind person in the temple and testified that He Himself was the good Shepherd, the Son of God, and that His authority came from God. But because of listening to the rumors from the Pharisees, some Jewish people stoned the Lord Jesus and said: “He has a devil, and is mad; why hear you him?” (John 10:20). “These are not the words of him that has a devil. Can a devil open the eyes of the blind?” (John 10:21). “For a good work we stone you not; but for blasphemy; and because that you, being a man, make yourself God” (John 10:33). Here we can see that the Jewish people did not take the Lord’s words and work seriously. They did not ponder whether there was truth in the Lord Jesus’ preaching, whether His preaching was beneficial and edifying to them, or whether His authority of performing miracles came from God. On the contrary, they followed the Pharisees blindly, condemning, judging, and blaspheming the Lord Jesus, and even stoning Him. Finally, the Jewish people followed the religious leaders in nailing the Messiah, whom they had been bitterly waiting for, to the cross. What they had done gravely offended God’s righteous disposition, which led to Israel being subjected to destruction and losing the opportunity of following the Lord forever. This is the lamentable end of those who did not carefully investigate the work and words of the Lord Jesus with a pure heart. Then let’s see the second kind of people, who possessed a pure heart. Take Peter and John as examples. While the Lord Jesus preached and did His work, they heard the slanders and blasphemies from the religious leaders and Pharisees, and saw their attacks and temptations to the Lord Jesus. Yet they didn’t follow them or condemn the Lord Jesus blindly. Rather, they practically investigated the Lord’s work through listening to His preaching and watching the miracles performed by Him. After following the Lord Jesus for a period of time, they came to have some true knowledge of the Lord Jesus and then firmly believed that what the Lord Jesus had said and done was indeed from God, and couldn’t be achieved by any man. Therefore, even though the religious leaders and Pharisees resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus, they weren’t deceived by the rumors from them, but still persisted in following the Lord with pure hearts, for they only followed and listened to God while believing in God. One of the Lord Jesus’ disciples Simon Peter said: “Lord, to whom shall we go? you have the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that you are that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69). From this we can see that Peter had a sober and clear mind, so through the Lord Jesus’ actions and behaviors, he recognized that His identity was God Himself, and that He is the truth, the way and the life, and is the Messiah, whom they had been waiting for a long time. Finally, Peter was praised and blessed by the Lord Jesus. From these two different results caused by different choices, we can see that those without pure hearts will suffer misfortune while those with pure hearts will be blessed. So having a pure heart is really very important for us to welcome the return of God. Having a pure heart means that we can discriminate between right and wrong among different views, and don’t listen to or obey others foolishly; we don’t randomly measure God’s work and words, but can personally investigate God’s work. Only in this way can we avoid making the great fault of forsaking the Messiah while waiting for Him, and have the opportunity to see God and hear God’s voice. It says in the Bible: “Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). It has been already more than two thousand years since the Pharisees deceived the believers into nailing the Lord to the cross. The record of this fact in the Bible gives us an admonishment: In dealing with the return…

Read Bible, Bible Study

5 Key Elements of being the Poor in Spirit

When I was practicing spiritual devotions this morning, I saw the following verse in the Bible: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3), and I thought: Why did the Lord Jesus ask people to be the poor in spirit? And why shall the poor in spirit enter into the kingdom of heaven? As I was contemplating this, some thoughts came to my mind: When the Lord Jesus came to do work, much of His work vastly differed from the work of Jehovah God. For instance, Jehovah God did His work and guided people in the temple, and His requirements of them were complying with the laws and the commandments, making sacrifices, and worshiping Him in the temple; while when the Lord Jesus came, He did not do His work in the temple. Instead, He led His disciples to the towns and villages to spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, asking people to repent and confess their sins. And He told the people at that time: “the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. … when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him” (John 4:21-23). As for how to treat the evil, Jehovah God required “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth” of people (Exodus 21:24), whereas the Lord Jesus said: “You have heard that it has been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say to you, That you resist not evil: but whoever shall smite you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matthew 5:38-39). And so on. At that time people all held fast to Jehovah God’s laws. If they were not humble, did not seek the will of God, they would be much likely to deny and condemn the Lord Jesus, not to mention accepting the Lord Jesus’ work, which is impossible. People didn’t know that the Lord Jesus came to carry out new work and lead human to progress forward. Therefore, the Lord Jesus taught us to be a man with humility, hoping that we would not lightly jump to conclusions or judge the things we don’t understand, but seek more. Only in this way can we be protected rather than be punished and lose the opportunity to enter into the kingdom of heaven because of blindly condemning God and thus offending His disposition. Then I thought: When the Lord Jesus comes to work again in the last days, if His work is different from that He had done during the Age of Grace, can I humbly seek and accept His new work like those disciples who followed Him? If I fail to recognize the Lord when He comes again, will I not be much likely to set foot on the path of resisting God like the Pharisees? During these last days, the critical moment of welcoming the return of the Lord Jesus, what should I prepare? And how to be a seeker with humility? With this question, I searched many passages of the scriptures and some spiritual books. Thanks to the Lord’s guidance, I reaped some rewards … 1. Don’t Be Arrogant and Truth-hating Like the Pharisees As we all know, the Lord Jesus brought the work different from that in the Age of Law. Seeing that the Lord Jesus didn’t abide by the law, didn’t observe the Sabbath, the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees didn’t seek or investigate but arrogantly draw a conclusion that the Lord Jesus’ work went beyond the Old Testament. They condemned the Lord Jesus, “This man is not of God, because he keeps not the sabbath day” (John 9:16). From the scripture we can know that the Pharisees confined God’s work within the law of the Old Testament, and thereby they recklessly judged and condemned Him and denied His work. In addition, what the Lord Jesus did at that time, healing and casting out demons, and performing miracles, shocked all of Judea. The Pharisees had ever heard of the Lord Jesus’ work, and what’s more, some of them had ever seen it with their own eyes. However, not only did they not seek or investigate it, but they also blasphemed and condemned the Lord Jesus without a trace of fear, saying that the Lord Jesus spoke blasphemous words (see Mark 14:61-64), saying that “He has Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casts he out devils” (see Mark 3:21-22). More than that, as the Lord Jesus was preaching in the synagogues, they even attempted to stone Him. It is clear that these Pharisees were arrogant and truth-hating by nature, and that they had no place for God in their hearts, speaking and acting without any reverence of God. Faced with the Lord’s work, they stubbornly held onto their own conceptions and imaginations, defined and resisted God’s work at will. Never did they give up their thoughts to seek or accept the truth. It was their arrogant and truth-disobeying disposition, as well as their truth-hating and God-resisting nature that caused them to not investigate or seek the Lord’s work with humility but manically condemn and oppose it, so that they finally walked on the path of resisting God while believing in and serving God. 2. Give Up the Position It is recorded in the Bible, “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man does many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:47-48). At that time, the sermons the Lord Jesus preached and the miracles He performed shook up all of Judea, there were a lot of people spreading the Lord Jesus’ name and the facts of His work, and more and more people were following Him. The…

Bible study, word of God

Being Pure of Heart Is More Important Than Being Sighted – Reflection on Matthew 5:8

Editor’s Notes: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). The Lord Jesus taught us to be people who are pure of heart, because only such people can recognize God’s voice and follow God’s work. From the examples of a blind man and the Pharisees recorded in the Bible, Jack, a Christian, has deeply felt that being pure of heart is more important than being sighted! Jack, who had just returned from evangelizing London, arrived at the door of a coffee shop around the corner at 2 p.m. as usual. Perhaps because the owner of this coffee shop was a Christian, there were free copies of the Bible there for every Christian friend to read. For Jack, this place was of course his first choice, because the quiet environment there enabled him to have more closeness with the Lord. As soon as Jack walked in, a skillful barista saw him. This barista had known Jack for a long time, therefore he knew Jack’s habits—an espresso and a Bible would be quite enough. Jack walked to his usual table next to shelves of copies of the Bible. He gently took one from a shelf, then opened it, and began to read in earnest. He saw these verses, “And it came to pass, that as He was come near to Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging: And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant. And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passes by. And he cried, saying, Jesus, You Son of David, have mercy on me. And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, You Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought to Him: and when he was come near, He asked him, Saying, What will you that I shall do to you? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight. And Jesus said to him, Receive your sight: your faith has saved you. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God” (Luke 18:35–43). Jack carefully pray-read these verses, and thought to himself, “In order to make people confess and repent, the Lord Jesus did many miracles, such as curing the blind man who begged Him to do so. Before performing this miracle, the Lord said, ‘Your faith has saved you.’ The Lord Jesus observed the depths of people’s hearts, and could look upon anyone’s deeds and thoughts. Because of the blind man’s faith in the Lord Jesus and also because of the Lord’s great power, the blind man could see.” “Sir, it’s your espresso. Please enjoy it.” A waiter’s words interrupted Jack’s thoughts. Jack politely nodded his thanks. Then, lifting his coffee cup, he once again fell into deep thought: The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). Yes! Only people who are pure of heart are able to recognize God’s voice, follow God, and gain God’s salvation. Though the blind man couldn’t see, his heart was not blind. Instead, he had a clear heart and believed in the Lord Jesus, so he gained the Lord’s mercy and grace. Jack took a sip of his coffee, tasting its bitter flavor. Then, he read another verse, “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He has Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casts He out devils” (Mark 3:22). After reading it, he remembered that when the Lord Jesus came to work, He healed lepers, made the crippled walk, used five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five thousand people, and even raised the dead; moreover, His preaching had authority and power, and many people followed Him. However, though the religious leaders, Pharisees, chief priests, scribes of the time saw all of this, they didn’t accept the fact that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah; they simply did not seek or investigate whether what the Lord Jesus expressed was the truth, the way and the life, whether His expression was beneficial to them, or whether the Lord Jesus came from God. On the contrary, they stubbornly clung to their own conceptions, condemned the Lord Jesus, blasphemed against Him and said that He relied on Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons, to cast out demons. They tempted the Lord Jesus whenever they could, and even incited the Jewish people to reject Him. In the end, they conspired with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus, committing the most heinous of sins. Jack realized this, “Though these people’s eyes could see, their hearts were blind. They didn’t recognize that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah or that the Lord Jesus’ authority to perform miracles came from God. Their eyes were worse than the blind man’s eyes, because they resisted God though being sighted. No wonder the Lord Jesus said, ‘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’ (Matthew 13:14).” After understanding this, Jack sighed with emotion, and thought, “Being pure of heart is really more important than being sighted! A blind man can be cured by the Lord, but if one’s heart is blind, then he can’t be cured. Seeking the true way does not depend on eyes, but rather hearts. Only when the eyes of our hearts are open and we have a sober and clear mind can we recognize God’s voice and know God’s work.” At the thought of this, Jack remembered what it says in the Bible, “Now all these things happened to them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, on whom the ends of the world are come” (1 Corinthians 10:11). The Pharisees were blind and ignorant, and their…

Christian pray to God

4 Ways to Become as a Little Child

When I first started believing in the Lord, I saw Matthew 18:3, where the Lord Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” The Lord’s words tell us that only honest people who are pure and lovable can obtain His approval and are qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. Having understood the Lord’s will, I began to practice watching my tongue and not telling lies in real life, striving to be an honest person in God’s eyes, yet I always failed. Gradually, I lost faith in my pursuit of being an honest person. Luckily, a while ago in a gospel forum where I communicated with some brothers and sisters about how to be an honest person, a brother shared some paths to practice. When I consciously practiced being an honest person according to what he said, I achieved a surprising result and gained some benefit. Here, I’d like to share with you the four principles of being an honest person I learned from that brother. 1. We must give our hearts to God and allow God to take charge, act in accordance with the truth in all things, and accept God’s scrutiny. God says, “I Jehovah search the heart, I try the reins” (Jeremiah 17:10). And it is said in Proverbs, “The spirit of man is the candle of Jehovah, searching all the inward parts of the belly” (Proverbs 20:27). From these verses, we can know that God is an omnipotent and omniscient God who observes all things, and that our every thought and idea, every act and move is in full view of Him. So, if we want to become honest people, we should first give our hearts to God and allow Him to take charge, and accept His scrutiny in all things. In ordinary life, regardless of what we are doing, whether we are praying, reading the Bible, attending meetings or doing church work, we should accept God’s observation. This is beneficial for us to practice the truth of being an honest person, seek out God’s intentions in things we encounter and act in accordance with His requirements. For example, when we want to deceive and cheat, if we accept God’s observation, we will become aware that God is almighty and carefully observes all things, including our every act and move, every thought and idea, and that deceiving and cheating will only bring about God’s detestation, and even offend His disposition; then we will become restrained and avoid doing things that offend God. When we want to go through the motions or skate through in doing church work, if we accept God’s observation and know that God is watching our attitude all the time, we will realize that God doesn’t like such behavior, and thus will have the resolution to betray our incorrect intentions. In this way, we will gradually be able to work for God in an honest manner. When we give our hearts to God and accept His scrutiny in all things, we will live constantly in the light with open and upright hearts. 2. During prayer, we must open our hearts to God and say the words in our hearts, and maintain and uphold a normal relationship with God. The Lord Jesus once taught us, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). From this it can be seen that God likes it when we worship Him with a sincere heart. So, while praying, we should practice speaking true words to God, saying whatever we think in our hearts, telling Him whatever difficulties we have, praying for His help without pretense or disguise. Only this kind of prayer can be heard by God. The Lord Jesus also warned us, “But when you pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not you therefore like to them: for your Father knows what things you have need of, before you ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8). From the Lord’s words we can know that those who just say repeated and empty words when praying are unbelievers in His eyes, and that He doesn’t accept their prayers. So, even if we don’t have anything to say in prayers, we can’t make things up or just put some words together. Praying to God is not writing an essay—God doesn’t care that prayers are long or short, only that they are honest and come from our hearts. Therefore, only if we speak sincerely and honestly when praying will God listen to our prayers, and only then can we maintain a normal relationship with God. 3. In our interactions with others, we must be purely open and speak honestly without treachery or deceit in our hearts. The Lord Jesus said, “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). God is faithful, so He requires that we speak according to the facts, calling a spade a spade, and not go against our conscience to tell lies. To solve the problem of lying, we should first resolve our wrong intentions. The mouth is the door of the heart; many times we tell lies dominated by the intentions of protecting our own reputation and vanity, fame and status, or other personal interests. For instance, we didn’t preach the gospel because of being busy with work, but when our brothers and sisters asked us whether we had converted any people, we, fearing that if we spoke truthfully they would blame us for not shouldering enough of the burden and thus look down on us, lied to them and said we had spread the gospel but didn’t yield any fruit. In such a situation, we ought to pray to God, saying, “O God, I lied to protect my own face and I…

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…

Hearing God’s Voice:How to Be a Wise Virgin to Welcome the Lord’s Coming

Hearing God’s Voice: How to Be a Wise Virgin to Welcome the Lord’s Coming

Hello brothers and sisters of Testify God, Nowadays disasters are getting worse and worse all over the world and the situation in every country is very tense. The prophecies in the Bible of the Lord’s second coming have basically been fulfilled, yet I have still not welcomed the Lord. I’m afraid that I will be abandoned by the Lord. Therefore, I’d like to ask for your advice: What should I do to greet the Lord’s second coming? Jingxing Hello Sister Jingxing: The question that you asked is exactly the same one that all the brothers and sisters who are desperately waiting for the Lord’s return are concerned with. If we want to welcome the Lord’s coming, the crucial point is to pay attention to hearing His voice and recognizing His voice from His words. Only then can we welcome His appearance and follow the Lamb’s footsteps. The Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). And it says many times in Revelation, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2-3). The Lord Jesus also said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (Jhn 10:27). From these prophecies, we can see clearly that when the Lord Jesus returns, He will speak again, and that God’s sheep will hear His voice and come out to welcome Him and be raptured before His throne. Let’s look back at Peter. From the words and work of the Lord Jesus, he recognized that the Lord Jesus was Christ, the son of God, so he was able to know the Lord Jesus and follow Him. And the woman of Samaria, according to the words the Lord Jesus spoke to her, knew that He was the coming Messiah. Nathanael didn’t acknowledge the Lord Jesus at first, but when he interacted with the Lord, he recognized through His words that the Lord Jesus was Christ. As we can see, all of them could follow God’s footsteps and know that the Lord Jesus is God because they recognized God’s words and work. We believers all know that the way which the Lord Jesus preached, the word He expressed, the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven which He revealed, and the demands which He made of us humans were all the truth, all God’s own voice, and were all manifestations of God’s life disposition and all that He has and is. The miracles He performed—healing the sick, casting out demons, calming the wind and sea, feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, and raising the dead—were all manifestations of God’s own authority and power, which no created man is possessed of or capable of. Those that sought the truth at the time, like Peter, John, Matthew, and Nathanael, recognized from the Lord Jesus’ word and work that He is the promised Messiah, and so followed Him and received His salvation. Whereas the Jewish Pharisees, despite hearing the Lord Jesus’ sermons and seeing Him perform miracles, they still clung to the letters of the Bible, thinking that when God came He should be called Messiah and that He would come to rule and lead them to break free from the rule of the Roman government. However, when the Lord Jesus came, He wasn’t called Messiah, wasn’t born in the palace and didn’t act as their king. Moreover, from the outside, He was just an ordinary person with no power or stature, not in line with their conceptions and imaginations. As a result, they denied the Lord Jesus, wildly condemned and resisted Him, and in the end, they committed the greatest of sins in nailing the Lord Jesus to the cross. The lesson of the Pharisees calls for deep reflection! Those who truly believe in God and love the truth don’t pay attention to the external formalities but instead they focus on hearing God’s voice. As long as they hear God’s voice, they will seek and examine immediately, recognize God from His utterances and follow Him. Such people will thus attain God’s praise. Conversely, those snobs who only seek bread to satisfy hunger and focus on power and status, when seeing that God’s appearance and work is not in accordance with their conceptions, refuse to listen to God’s voice and even wantonly condemn and resist. Such people will never welcome the Lord’s return. The Lord Jesus warned us, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Mat 25:6). We don’t know the way the Lord will knock at our doors. Maybe from the Internet or through hearing the gospel from the brothers and sisters around us or our relatives and friends, we will hear God’s voice and see His words to all the churches. So, if we want to welcome God’s appearance, no matter what way the Lord knocks on our doors, no matter whether or not the way is in line with our conceptions and imaginations, we should be the wise virgins and humbly seek and investigate and listen out for God’s voice. We must not hold on to our conceptions and imaginations or blindly listen to rumors and thus refuse to investigate. If we do so, we will miss the chance to welcome the Lord and be raptured into the heavenly kingdom. God is faithful. Those who sincerely long for His appearance will surely be able to hear His voice, be raised up before His throne and attend the feast of the Lamb. Sister Jingxing, I hope that my fellowshiping can help you. If there is anything you don’t understand, please let me know, and we can fellowship again. May the Lord lead us to welcome the appearance of God soon. Xiaona, Testify God   » You may be interested…

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