By Zhang Rui
At the co-workers meeting, Sister Yang speaks: “Brothers and sisters, it is now the final era of the last days and the day when the Lord returns. We should watch and pray, work hard for the Lord, manage the Lord’s ‘vineyard’ well, and feed the flock, becoming a faithful and wise servant. Only thus can we meet the Lord calmly when He returns.”
The co-workers are talking in a low voice and nodding in agreement.
Brother Wang says (thoughtfully): “Sister Yang, the topic you spoke today is just the question I want to discuss with every co-worker. Because it is a great matter which concerns whether our service is according to the Lord’s will or not, and whether we can receive God’s praise. In my opinion, it is not easy to become a faithful and wise servant. Only taking a bit of a trip and working hard cannot reach it.”
Sister Li says (in agreement): “Yes! I also consider that it is not that simple. For this question, we should look into seriously, not use our own imagination to examine this.”
Brother Niu says (taking a glance at them dismissively): “What kind of servant is faithful and wise? Sister Yang has already spoken very clearly. It is just watching and praying, working hard for the Lord, spreading gospel constantly and bearing much fruit, and feeding the church well. One who does these is just a faithful and wise servant. We’ve already served the Lord’s will as we do so. We will gain the Lord’s praise when He comes back. Is there anything else you don’t understand?”
Sister Pan says (in agreement): “Yes, I also think as long as we work hard for the Lord and take good care of the church, we will be faithful and wise servants.” (Others: Amen!)
Sister Yang says (calmly and confidently): “In the parable Jesus gave of the ‘Ten Talents’ in Matthew 25, the servant who had received the five talents went and gained another five talents; the servant who had received two talents also gained another two talents. The Lord said they were all faithful and wise servants. However, only the servant who had received one talent buried his silver. When the Lord came, the Lord regarded him as a wicked and slothful servant and cast him into darkness: there should be weeping and gnashing of teeth. My fellow co-workers, today we have spread the Lord’s gospel, fed the church, and dedicated our entire beings to expend for the Lord. Therefore, I think we are faithful and wise servants when we do these. This is my understanding. Please speak out and communicate together if you have any different thoughts.”
Brother Gao says (smilingly and calmly): “I want to tell you my opinion. I think it is our duties and obligations trying to spread the Lord’s gospel, feeding the flock and watching over the churches. This is something we ought to do, but we can’t be called a faithful and wise servant only by doing these. In Matthew 24:45-47, thesaid: ‘Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. Truly I say to you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.’ From this we can see, the main thing about the faithful and wise servant is that he can manage the church well, give brothers and sisters food at the right time. Namely, he bears the burden and responsibility for the life of brothers and sisters, and waters and supplies them practically according to their need, so that their spiritual lives grow up ceaselessly and their faith and love for the Lord increases ceaselessly. Only thus can he be called a faithful and wise servant. If we only pay attention to the external work, yet don’t bear the real burden of the life of brothers and sisters or water and supply them well, then we can’t reach the Lord’s requirements. There is still a disparity with what the faithful and wise servant does.”’
Sister Pan says (in disagreement): “I don’t think what you said seems suitable. These years, in order to look after the Lord’s sheep, we not only preach in the churches all day but also busily serve brothers and sisters. Sometimes we even don’t have time to look after our own family. Isn’t this supporting and supplying brothers and sisters? Isn’t this responsible for the life of brothers and sisters? This is a faithful and wise servant, isn’t it?”
Brother Niu says (tossing his head): “Yes! To protect the Lord’s sheep and uphold the true way, I am really busy day and night, even can’t have a good sleep. It isn’t faithful to the Lord, is it? I can’t conceive what you said.”
Brother Wang says (calmly, having a burden): “Whether we are faithful and wise servants or not is not based on how much we outwardly suffer or how many sacrifices and expenditures we make, but on whether all we do is in harmony with the Lord’s will, whether we have the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and whether our work has the practical effect. We consider that all of us are busy and bear the burden of the church. We are so busy, however, why can’t we see the effect of the work of the Holy Spirit? Why can’t we get the Lord’s leading? Why don’t our sermons have the work of the Holy Spirit? Now, the church gets more and more desolate; brothers and sisters are even more negative and weaker, and their faith becomes colder and colder; some of them even go back to the world to earn money. … Based on these obvious facts, how is our faithfulness manifested? We haven’t resolved the practical problems and difficulties of brothers and sisters by fellowshiping the truth so that their lives can’t get supply and benefit and they can’t live the Lord’s words to witness and glorify Him. So it’s hard to say whether the Lord will condemn our sins when He returns. Don’t we feel scared?”
Sister Yang says: “Brother Wang, you said the faithful and wise servant can use the truth to resolve problems. Who of us does not read the Bible and explain it to brothers and sisters every day? When brothers and sisters face problems, we all exhort and comfort them with the words of the Scriptures. Isn’t this using the truth to resolve problems? I believe it is in accordance with the Lord’s will that we do so. The Lord must remember what we have done.”
Brother Gao says (patiently): “My understanding of ‘to give them meat in due season’ is mainly using the Lord’s words to deal with the practical problems and difficulties in spiritual lives of brothers and sisters, and watering and supporting them according to their failings so that their lives constantly progress, they have more and more knowledge of God, and their faith and love become greater and greater. Now, though we always read the scriptures and preach to brothers and sisters, we are stranded and don’t know how to resolve it when facing the practical problems and difficulties in spiritual lives of brothers and sisters. In our meetings, the sermons are the same old platitudes and doctrines. We are unable to shed new light with our talk and to have a real understanding of the Lord’s words, but read a few words in the Bible to exhort and comfort them. Even brothers and sisters can’t get spiritual nourishment and their many present difficulties can’t be resolved that they often live in negativity and weakness and have no way to go; their faith becomes cold and their love disappears; what’s worse, a lot of brothers and sisters are unwilling to come to church for their spiritual lives can’t be supplied. These real problems all exist here, how can we say we ‘give them meat in due season’?”
Sister Li says (nodding): “Yes! I quite agree with Brother Gao. The wise and faithful servant can crucially fellowship the pure understanding, experience and knowledge of the Lord’s words for brothers and sisters, in order that their lives can be nourished and they can be sated in the spirit, have more knowledge of the Lord and understand the Lord’s will and requirements.”
Sister Yang says: “You are right. For all these years, we have always sacrificed everything for the Lord in rain and storm. All that we do is for the sake of becoming faithful and wise servants and when the Lord returns, we will be calm and feel no regret to receive the Lord’s praise and reward. Especially, now the Eastern Lightning testifies that the Lord has come back. Many churches’ brothers and sisters all seek and investigate after hearing that, and some have been stolen away. To protect the brothers and sisters, we talk how to defend against the Eastern Lightning in gatherings day and day. This is bringing brothers and sisters before the Lord, isn’t it?”
Sister Pan: “What Sister Yang said is right. That we defend against the Eastern Lightning and protect the church is just bringing brothers and sisters before the Lord. If we didn’t watch the brothers and sisters of the church closely, very genuine seekers would be stolen away.”
Sister Li: “Sister Pan, I don’t agree with your words. We believers should have a heart of fearing God. For the preaching of the Eastern Lightning, we have never heard it, but only know the church is very prosperous. The followers all have a great faith and all of the sincere believers in the Lord of every denomination and sect have been stolen away. If this preaching comes from God, we don’t discern, but limit brothers and sisters contacting and investigating. It is not bringing them before God, but damage them and resist God.”
Brothers Wang (gravely): “Yes! I consider that another important thing for the faithful and wise servant is to lead brothers and sisters to recognize what is from God and what is human way of acting. If the preaching of the Eastern Lightning has the truth and comes from God, we should lead brothers and sisters to seek and investigate. We all know, now it is near the end of the last days and the moment when the Lord returns. At this moment, if we just wait blindly and don’t seek the work of the Holy Spirit, we won’t get the supply of the living water. If it continues, how can we welcome the Lord’s return?”
Brother Gao says: “What Brother Wang said is right. We have to seek the work of the Holy Spirit, because our sermons have already been without the work of Holy Spirit and can’t supply brothers and sisters at all. Every time I see Jehovah God blame the shepherds of Israel in Ezekiel 34:4, ‘The diseased have you not strengthened, neither have you healed that which was sick, neither have you bound up that which was broken, neither have you brought again that which was driven away, neither have you sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have you ruled them,’ I will feel indebted to the Lord. The church have been in such a desolate state, for which we all bear the blame. Now we should seek the church that has the work of the Holy Spirit, so that brothers and sisters can receive the watering and supply of the living water of life. This is what the faithful and wise servant should do.”
Brother Niu and Sister Pan don’t look convinced. Brother Niu is folding his arms, while Sister Pan is turning her head away to one side.
Brother Gao says: “Today, The prophecies of the Lord’s coming have basically been fulfilled. It is the moment that the Lord returns. I feel that the Lord maybe have already come back. If we want to seek to become the faithful and wise servant, then we should actively seek the Lord’s appearance instead of sitting and passively awaiting destruction, sticking to our folly and doing nothing. Recently, I have gained a bit of illumination from the parable of the ten virgins that the Lord Jesus said. The place of understanding of the wise virgins is: They can pay attention to listening to God’s voice and seeking the work of the Holy Spirit when seeing the church is so desolate, without any work of the Holy Spirit in it; they can seek and investigate when hearing someone witness to the Lord’s return. As a result, they will unconsciously have welcomed the return of the Lord. Instead, the foolish virgins blindly cling to their own conceptions and don’t seek the work of the Holy Spirit, so that they lose the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s return and be lifted up into the kingdom of heaven, falling into darkness with great misery. 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). ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Rev 2:11). Repeatedly contemplating these prophecies, I see that the Lord still need say to the churches when He returns. If we don’t listen and seek, how can we hear the Lord’s voice and welcome His return?”
Sister Yang is listening silently and thoughtfully.
Brother Niu says (seriously): “I don’t agree what you said. At present, there are many false Christs. If we go out to seek and are deceived by the false Christ, what should we do?”
Sister Pan says (echoing): “Yes. If we are really deceived by the false Christ, will it be for naught that we’ve believe in the Lord for many years? As long as we keep the Lord’s name and His way, the Lord will not cast us aside or ignore our needs when He really comes back.”
Brother Wang says (solemnly with justice): “Sister Pan, what you said is wrong. Afraid of being deceived, we don’t seek the work of the Holy Spirit. This is not eating for fear of choking, and is an ignorant action. The God we have faith in is almighty. God is our rear guard, what are we afraid of? Besides, we shouldn’t be afraid of being deceived, because we are preachers who have preached for more than ten years. This is only to say that we don’t understand the truth at all, and we have no faith in the Lord. The Lord Jesus said: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you’ (Mat 7:7). ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled’ (Mat 5:6). The Lord’s words said clearly as long as we sincerely seek the appearance and work of the Lord, the Holy Spirit must lead and guide us. If we don’t lead others to seek or investigate but still obstinately maintain our own religious notions, we will become the wicked and slothful servants, won’t we? How can we be faithful and wise servants?”
Brother Gao says: “Yes, what Brothers Wang said conforms to the Lord’s will. The Lord Jesus said: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Mat 5:3). As long as we truly rely on the Lord with a humble heart, the Lord must lead us to find God’s footsteps.”
Sister Li says: “Yes. It’s time, we should actively seek the work of the Holy Spirit. This is what the faithful and wise servant should do.”
Sister Yang says (a little excited): “Thank the Lord! The more we argue, the more clearly and brightly we see the truth. Through today’s argument, I feel Brother Wang and Brother Gao talked brightly. They make me have a pure understanding of the faithful and wise servant. So then, I don’t really complete the tasks the Lord has entrusted to me. I am really indebted to the Lord! Now it is the important moment that the Lord returns, but see our church’s desolate condition again. … Alas, let’s pray to the Lord sincerely, seek the church that has the work of the Holy Spirit, and pursue becoming the faithful and wise servants. How can we seek the church with the work of the Holy Spirit? We need pray in one accord, and pray the Lord to inspire and lead us. I believe that as long as we pray earnestly, the Lord must lead and guide us to find God’s footsteps.”
Everyone is nodding, with a little excited in their eyes, seeming to see the hope. …
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