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Take a Firm Stance in Welcoming the Bridegroom

Xiewen

In our daily life, we often see that when faced with something, the ambivalent people are obsessed with right and wrong and torn between two possibilities without taking a firm stance, and afterward, they will be very bothered and regret what they have done. Today, in the important matter of welcoming the second coming of Jesus, many believers also hesitate at the crossroads, following the herd without taking a firm stance. If this goes on, what then will be the consequences? Let’s read a story:

In ancient times, there was a man in the State of Qi. One day, he went to sell a donkey with his son. After going out, he asked his son to ride on the donkey while he walked and led it. On the way they met a man, and the man sneered, “What an unfilial boy! Your father is an old man, but you let him walk and you are riding on the donkey!” Upon hearing this, the boy immediately got down from the donkey and asked his father to ride, and he walked. After a short while, they met another man, and the man said, “What a cruel old man! You yourself are riding on the donkey but let your poor little boy follow as best he can on his own legs.” At his words, they dared not ride the donkey anymore, so they walked and led it. Before they hadn’t gone far, they met another man, and he said, “What a pair of fools! They trudge along the road when they might be riding!” After hearing this, they two immediately mounted the donkey. However, they hadn’t gone far when they met another man, and the man said, “They are so cruel-hearted. Both of them are riding on the little donkey. You see, the donkey is dead tired!” Hearing this, the father and son hurriedly dismounted the donkey, and discussed what they should do. Then they said, “We’d better carry the donkey.” Again, they hadn’t gone far when they met a crowd of people, and these people all said, “How stupid they are! They are carrying their donkey rather than riding on it.” At the moment, the father and son got stumped, “The donkey cannot be ridden: when one of us rode on it, we were criticized by others; when both of us rode on it, we were blamed. When we carried it, they said us to be stupid.” It happened that they saw a well at the side of the road, so they threw the donkey into it for fear of being judged by others.

discernment

This story is short, but it is thought-provoking. The father and son were unable to think for themselves, had no discernment, and were afraid of others’ criticisms, so they complied with the opinions of various kinds of people and brought a lot of troubles on themselves. In the end, they threw their donkey away alive instead of selling it. They completely lost their donkey because of their vanity and self-respect. This reminds me of a fact: Today there are many people who have heard the news that the Lord Jesus has returned to flesh and does His work in China, and they have even heard the word of the truth and read the personal utterance of God. They think that they are in accordance with what the Bible prophesied and acknowledge in their heart that they are from God, but they believe the words of their pastors and elders and reject God’s salvation in the last days because of having no place for God in their heart and adoring and looking up to man. There are many, too, who cannot maintain a firm stance after hearing the rumors of the outside world formed on mistaken premises, and they eventually follow the crowd and shut the door on God. Don’t these people who have no discernment and stance reject God’s salvation for fear of being ridiculed and slandered? This is the same as what happened in the Age of Grace. At that time, the Lord Jesus came to the world to spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, and He bestowed upon man abundant grace, healed the sick, cast out demons, and performed many deeds of God, such as the great miracles of “feeding five thousand with five loaves and two fish,” “resurrecting Lazarus,” and so on. The people knew that all that the Lord Jesus did was unattainable by an ordinary prophet, and they all agreed and admitted in their heart that the deeds of the Lord Jesus were extraordinary. However, when the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees attacked, condemned, and slandered the Lord Jesus, and judged that He performed miracles and cast out devils by the prince of the devils, many muddled people had no discernment, so some of them, because of admiring the leaders, others, for fear of being persecuted, and still others, because of following the general trend, denied all that the Lord Jesus had done, and followed the Pharisees to reject and resist Him and even nail Him to the cross. As a result, they were condemned by the Lord Jesus and the nation of Israel was subjected to destruction. These were the consequences of their lacking discernment and having no stance and following the herd in dealing with the great matter of the Lord’s coming. In the last days, God has been incarnated again to speak utterances among man. He has carried out a stage of work to judge and purify man upon the foundation of the work of the Age of Grace, expressing the words of life to supply man. In order to free us humans completely from sin and make man holy, now the words spoken by God in the new age are already made public to the whole world on the Internet, and the work of God in the new age is testified through various means, including a great variety of books, movies, hymns, and dances, so that all those who truly yearn for the appearance of God can receive the rich supply of life prepared for us by God, live under the personal guidance of God, and enjoy a life on earth akin to heaven. But those muddled believers, who follow what others said and have no discernment and stance, believe all kinds of rumors of the outside world and are subjected to various kinds of restraints. They dare not accept God’s work in the last days for the sake of safeguarding their own interests, and hence are classified as ones standing on the side of the evil one, and they will ultimately live in the disaster that has scarcely been seen through the ages. This is determined entirely by the righteous disposition of God. Therefore, as Christians who have been longing desperately for the Lord to come, how should we treat the great matter pertaining to our end and destination? Should we follow the herd and gain nothing like the father and son who were on their way to sell the donkey or be the wise virgins who take a firm stance and go out to meet the Bridegroom when hearing the news of His second coming? To welcome the second coming of Jesus, we must actively seek the truth and gain discernment, and be able to hear and recognize God’s voice. Only in this way can we witness the appearance of the Lord.

God says: “If, in the pursuit of God, man does not have his own position to stand by, and does not know what truth he should hold to, then it means that he has no foundation, and so it is not easy for him to stand firm. Today, there are so many who do not understand the truth, who cannot distinguish between good and evil or tell what to love or hate. Such people can hardly stand firm. … Those who do not understand the truth always follow others: If people say that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, then you, too, say it is the work of the Holy Spirit; if people say it is the work of an evil spirit, then you, too, become doubtful, or also say it is the work of an evil spirit. You always parrot the words of others, and are incapable of distinguishing anything by yourself, nor are you able to think for yourself. This is someone without a position, who is unable to differentiate…. It is actually the work of the Holy Spirit, but you say it is the work of man; have you not become one of those who blaspheme against the work of the Holy Spirit? In this, have you not opposed God because you cannot differentiate?” (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God”). From God’s words we see that if a believer in God does not have his own position to stand by, he will be a failure in his belief in God, for he can follow others to do evil and resist God. So we should draw a lesson from the failure of the Jews who blindly adored and followed the religious officials and the Pharisees. We should not parrot the words of others and follow the herd, but should stand our ground, seek the truth and rely on God, and be able to discern what is the true way.

The Pharisees stopping the people from hearing Jesus’ preaching

God says: “Distinguishing between the true way and the false way requires several aspects of basic knowledge, the most fundamental of which is to tell whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit. For the substance of man’s belief in God is the belief in the Spirit of God. Even his belief in God incarnate is because this flesh is the embodiment of the Spirit of God, which means that such belief is still the belief in the Spirit. There are differences between the Spirit and the flesh, but because this flesh comes from the Spirit, and is the Word become flesh, thus what man believes in is still the inherent substance of God. And so, in distinguishing whether or not it is the true way, above all you must look at whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit, after which you must look at whether or not there is the truth in this way. This truth is the life disposition of normal humanity, which is to say, that which was required of man when God created him in the beginning, namely, all of normal humanity (including human sense, insight, wisdom, and the basic knowledge of being man). That is, you need to look at whether or not this way takes man into a life of normal humanity, whether or not the truth that is spoken of is required according to the reality of normal humanity, whether or not this truth is practical and real, and whether or not it is most timely. If there is truth, then it is able to take man into normal and real experiences; man, furthermore, becomes ever more normal, man’s human sense becomes ever more complete, man’s life in the flesh and the spiritual life become ever more orderly, and man’s emotions become ever more normal. This is the second principle. There is one other principle, which is whether or not man has an increasing knowledge of God, whether or not experiencing such work and truth can inspire a love of God in him, and bring him ever closer to God. In this can be measured whether or not it is the true way. Most fundamental is whether this way is realistic rather than supernatural, and whether or not it is able to provide the life of man. If it conforms to these principles, the conclusion can be drawn that this way is the true way. … If you grasp these several key principles, then whatever happens you will not be deceived” (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God”).

From these words of God we see that it requires principles to distinguish what is the true way. It requires us to tell whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit in this way, whether or not there is the expression of the truth in it, whether or not it can make our conscience and sense become ever more normal, and whether or not we can obtain a knowledge of God in experiencing such work and truth. If there’s the work of the Holy Spirit, we will become ever more normal, will have an increasing knowledge of our corrupt satanic disposition and substance, and will be increasingly transformed in our corrupt disposition. At the same time, we will understand more and more truths and grow in life, have a deeper knowledge of God, recover our reason and conscience, and come ever closer to God. If there are these results of the Holy Spirit’s work following, this way is undoubtedly the true way. For example, in the Age of Grace, the truths expressed by the Lord Jesus could supply what His followers needed in life, so when the disciples spread the gospel, they didn’t revile in return when reviled or strike back when struck. They were full of faith, love, tolerance, and patience, and could endure the ridicule and slander of various kinds of people to carry out God’s will and cooperate with God in preaching the gospel to save man. Judging from the humanity they lived out, their sense and conscience as well as their knowledge of God, they were the very ones who followed God’s work. Today, the returned Lord Jesus has expressed all the truths that enable man to know God and be saved, including the inner truths of the three stages of God’s work, the mystery of God’s incarnation, the significance of God’s names, God’s disposition, and what God has and is. Meanwhile, He has also revealed the truths and mysteries concerning our substance corrupted by Satan, the true condition and root of our corruption by Satan, the end and the destination of us humans, and so on. Through experiencing God’s words of judgment, we can gain some knowledge of our satanic nature and corrupt disposition of arrogance and conceitedness, treachery and craftiness as well as selfishness and baseness, and we can also obtain a knowledge of God’s righteous and unoffendable disposition, so that we will have a heart that fears God and be gradually transformed in our corrupt disposition, and eventually we will be completely set free from sin and made clean. All these can fully prove that the work of God is the true way. Although condemned by the religious world and suppressed and in danger of being captured by the CCP government, the believers in God, under the guidance of the work of the Holy Spirit, have spread God’s gospel of the kingdom to all the nations by their faith and love toward God, and have established many churches in dozens of countries and regions, which is completely the result of the Holy Spirit’s work. I believe that from this the wise virgins will be able to hear the voice of God, welcome the bridegroom and feast with Him!

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