When the Lord Jesus Knocks at the Door, How Will We Answer

Xiao Fei

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After I entered belief in the Lord, the brothers and sisters liked to sing a hymn called “The Good Man Is Knocking at the Door” which goes: “The good man is knocking at the door, His hair wet with dew; let us quickly rise and open the door, and not let the good man turn around and leave. …” Every time we sang this hymn, our hearts were deeply moved and stirred. We all want to ask the good man to stay the night, so when the good man comes and knocks at the door we will welcome the Lord the first time we hear the good man’s voice. It can be said that all of us who believe in the Lord have such a hope. But when the Lord comes, how will He knock? When the Lord knocks, what should we do to make sure we are welcoming Him as the Lord? This is something people who believe in the Lord should think about.

When the Lord Jesus came to do the work of salvation in the Age of Grace, news of the miracles wrought by the Lord and the word of the Lord spread throughout the land of Judea. His name also caused a great stir in all Judea, and for the people of that time the knock at the door was the disciples led by the Lord Jesus preaching the gospel of the heavenly kingdom in every place. The Lord Jesus said: “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat 4:17). The Lord hopes that people will come before the Lord to repent and confess their sins. In so doing, their sins will be absolved, and they will break free from the condemnation and imprecation of the law and be redeemed by God. At the time, many Jewish people witnessed the miracles performed by the Lord Jesus. They also noticed the authority and power in the word of the Lord, such that the Lord Jesus was able to feed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. With a single word, the Lord Jesus was also able to calm the wind and the sea, as well as to cause Lazarus to emerge from his tomb after being dead for three days…. In accordance with the words of the Lord Jesus, whatever is spoken is fulfilled, allowing us to see the authority and power in the Lord’s word. There are also the words of the Lord Jesus teaching people and rebuking the Pharisees. These words are the truth and are not words we are capable of uttering. The words spoken by the Lord Jesus and the things He did reveal God’s disposition and what God has and is. They manifest the authority and power of God and cause men’s hearts to shake. The Jewish people at that time had already heard the sound of the Lord knocking, but how did they treat the Lord?

The Jewish priests, scribes, and Pharisees at the time knew clearly that the words spoken by the Lord Jesus and the miracles He performed all come from God, but they did not at all have hearts that revered God. They did not seek or investigate the work of the Lord Jesus, but all along just clung to the words of the biblical prophecies, believing that the one who was to come would be called Emmanuel or Messiah, and be born of a virgin. When they saw that Mary had a husband, they determined that the Lord Jesus was not conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that He was not born of a virgin. They also made judgments however they wanted and said that the Lord Jesus was the son of a carpenter and so just a completely ordinary person. They used this to deny and accuse the Lord Jesus. They even went as far as to blaspheme against the Lord Jesus and say that He relied on Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons, to cast out demons. In the end, they joined the Roman government in crucifying Him. Most Jewish people believed that the Lord Jesus should have been born in the temple, and that He would be their king to save them from Roman rule. When the Pharisees were spreading rumors and slander and condemning the Lord Jesus, they were just being blindly obedient without any discrimination at all. Between the salvation of the Lord Jesus and the slanderous words said by the Pharisees, they chose to listen to the rumors and lies of the Pharisees, and rejected the way preached by the Lord Jesus. When the Lord knocked on the door, they closed their hearts off to the Lord. It is just as 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: 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). Because they refused to listen to the Lord’s voice and did not accept the Lord’s work of salvation, these Jewish people missed their chance to follow the Lord Jesus. As a result of resisting God, they were met with God’s punishment, bringing about 2000 years of destruction to Israel. In contrast, the disciples who followed the Lord Jesus at the time such as Peter, John, James, and Nathanael had hearts that loved the truth. They did not rely on their own notions and imaginations in how they treated the word and the work of the Lord Jesus, but sought conscientiously, investigated carefully, and obtained the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. They heard the voice of God and recognized that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah to come, and thus they caught up with the footsteps of the Lord and received the salvation of the Lord. We can see that the failure of the Pharisees and the Jewish people lies in that they only relied on the literal meaning of the biblical prophecies to accept and recognize the manifestation and work of God. This led them to be people who believed in God but resisted God. From this we can see that if people who believe in God treat God’s new work on the basis of their own notions and imaginations, not only will they not be able to welcome God’s arrival, but they may very easily become among those who believe in God and yet resist Him. How lamentable would that be? The Lord Jesus said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. … Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Mat 5:3,6). We can see here that we can only welcome the Lord’s return if we, like Peter and John, hear the Lord’s voice, have hearts that hunger and thirst for righteousness, and actively seek and investigate.

Today, the prophecies of the Lord’s second coming in the last days have fundamentally been fulfilled. When the Lord comes again in the last days, we must be more vigilant and prepared, take heed of God’s voice, and have hearts that seek and thirst for righteousness to await the Lord to knock at the door at any time. Only in this way can we welcome the second coming of the Lord. The Lord Jesus said: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (Jhn 16:12-13). It is also prophesied many times in Revelation chapter 2-3: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” We can see from the scriptures that when the Lord Jesus returns He will speak again and do new work. This is the Lord knocking at the door for us, as well as Him using His word to knock on the doors of our hearts. All who hear the Lord’s utterances and actively seek and listen attentively to the voice of the Lord are the wise virgins. If they recognize that the Lord is speaking they are able to welcome the return of the Lord and obtain the watering and supply of the word of God. This fulfills the word of the Lord: “And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” (Joe 2:29). The Lord is trustworthy, and He will allow all those who thirst and seek for Him to hear His voice in this time. However, God’s wisdom is difficult for us humans to fathom, and the way the Lord will knock at the door when He returns will not be as it seems in our notions and imaginations. It could be someone calling “the Lord has returned!” to us. It is just as 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 may also hear God’s voice from the churches that spread the gospel of the Lord’s return, or from the internet, radio, Facebook, or elsewhere and see God speaking to all the churches. Still, no matter what way the Lord knocks on our doors, we absolutely must not treat the Lord’s knocking like the Jewish people did. We must not decline to seek or investigate based on our notions and imaginations nor blindly listen to lies and rumors. By doing so we would have rejected the Lord’s call and missed our chance to welcome the Lord and be raised up into the heavenly kingdom. The Book of Revelation predicts: “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). The Lord Jesus says: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Mat 7:7). The will of the Lord is that we may all be the wise virgins and always be watchful in listening for the voice of the Lord. When we hear the Lord’s voice we must look into it with open minds and investigate with sincerity, and when we recognize the voice of God we must rush out to welcome the Lord. As long as we have hearts of seeking, God will surely open up our spiritual eyes. In this way, we will be able to be raised up before the throne of God and be present at the feast of the Lamb!

All the glory belongs to God!

 

 

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What is The Rapture?

Lord Jesus.Li Huan

Just like many other Christian brothers and sisters, I eagerly long for the second coming of the Lord Jesus. We abide by the following passage from the Bible: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord” (1Ts 4:17). For this reason, we foolishly look up to the skies longing for the day that Jesus will return and take us up into the clouds so that we can be with the Lord. However, after so many years have passed, the four blood moons have already appeared; earthquakes, famines, plagues and war and all sorts of other disasters are becoming more and more intense. The prophecies of the Lord’s second coming have basically been fulfilled. However, we still have not seen one Christian raptured into heaven. I cannot help but think, “Why does the Lord not come to receive us? The Lord is trustworthy. The Lord promised that He would take us into the heavenly kingdom in the last days. The Lord’s promise certainly will be accomplished and fulfilled. I do not doubt this at all. Yet, how come up until now, we still have not been raptured by the Lord into heaven? Could it be that there are some problems with our longing?” Continue reading “What is The Rapture?”

In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, Do You Know What God’s Hidden Intention Is?

Chengxin

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One evening, as I sat at my desk after praying to God, I read the parable told by Jesus in Matthew 20:1-16, where the kingdom of heaven is likened to a landowner hiring workers for his vineyard, and it didn’t matter whether they went first thing in the morning or if it was in the noon or the afternoon that they went into the vineyard, their wages were all the same. When the workers who came first learned of this, they grumbled against the landowner, but the landowner replied by saying: “Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is your eye evil, because I am good? So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen” (Mat 20:15-16). After reading these several lines of scripture from the Bible I knitted my brows and could not help but think: “It is reasonable to say that those who practice their faith in God for a long time, who forsake more and expend themselves more for the Lord and who toil and work for more years ought to be rewarded with more than those who come later, but in Scripture it says that the wages are the same for those who come early and those who come late, isn’t this God intentionally showing favoritism for those who come later?” I felt that I really didn’t understand these words, I didn’t understand what the Lord’s intention was in saying these words. Continue reading “In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, Do You Know What God’s Hidden Intention Is?”

Establishing a Proper Relationship With God | As a Christian, Regularly Attending Gatherings Cannot Be Neglected!

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Xiaogao

Hello brothers and sisters of  Spiritual Q&A,

I get very tired from working during the day, and I do not sleep very well at night. As a result, I am not willing to make it to gatherings on time. I do not like to be restricted. I feel that if I have spiritual needs, as long as I look for my brothers and sisters to chat during those times, it should be fine. I wonder what the cause of this issue is. How should I resolve this?

An Jing

Hello Sister An Jing,

You said that you are not willing to attend gatherings on time and that when you feel you have spiritual needs, that is the only time you will actively look for your brothers and sisters to chat. We can think like this because we do not understand what truly believing in God and the importance of gatherings are. Thank the Lord. I will talk a little bit about my understanding about this aspect. I hope it will be useful to you.

What It Means to Truly Believe in God

We all know that the reason why God originally created man was so that man would honor and worship God on earth. The Lord Jesus said: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment” (Mat 22:37-38). As believers in the Lord, we should all prioritize faith and worshiping God and have normal relationships with God. Gatherings, prayer, communicating the truth, singing hymns and praising God are ways to establish a normal relationship with God. As Christians, these are things that we must do at the very least. God’s words say: “‘Belief in God’ means believing that there is a God; this is the simplest concept of faith in God. What’s more, believing that there is a God is not the same as truly believing in God; rather, it is a kind of simple faith with strong religious overtones. True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). “There are some people whose belief has never been acknowledged in God’s heart. In other words, God does not recognize that these people are His followers, because God does not praise their belief. … They regard believing in God as some kind of amateur hobby, treating God merely as spiritual sustenance…. How does God look upon these people? He views them as non-believers” (“How to Know God’s Disposition and the Result of His Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From here we can see, if our faith in God merely consists of verbal acknowledgement and believing within our hearts, yet we do not pursue the truth, do not experience and practice God’s words but regard faith as spiritual sustenance or a hobby, this is not truly believing in God. God does not praise this sort of faith. True believers in God should frequently come before God, pray to God often, read God’s words often, attend gatherings often and understand more of the truth from God. At the same time, they must bring God’s words into real life. They believe that what happens every day is presided and arranged by God. This is especially the case when they encounter something that is not in accordance with their notions and when they reveal their own corruption and are unable to let go of it. They are able to come before God and reflect upon themselves in accordance with God’s words. They are able to seek in the environment arranged by God the lessons they should learn and the truths they should enter and put into practice. Afterward, they actually put them into practice in accordance with God’s demands, cast off satanic corrupt disposition, live out a normal humanity and in the end, achieve a true understanding of God, obedience to God and love for God. Only this way of experiencing God’s work and words constitutes truly believing in God. We can only obtain God’s approval if we believe in God in this manner. If we do this, in the end, we will be brought into God’s kingdom. Contrarily, if our faith does not involve a normal relationship with God, regular participation in gatherings, prayer, communicating the truth and putting God’s words into practice; if it is just a spare-time faith, if we believe in God a few years yet our corrupt disposition has not changed whatsoever and if we do not have a true understanding of God, God does not acknowledge this sort of faith. There is no difference between this and the faith of unbelievers. If our faith is like this, even though we believe until the very end, we will not be able to obtain God’s approval and salvation.

Church Life Is Essential

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If we are unwilling to attend gatherings on time, this indicates that we do not understand the importance of church life. In fact, church life is our life of communicating God’s word and entering into the truth, and it is also the life of experiencing the Holy Spirit’s work and enjoying God’s love. Understanding the truth, entering into the truth and attaining God’s salvation are completely a result that is achieved through the Holy Spirit’s work. Only through our lives in the church where we serve and provide for one another, fulfill our duties and bear witness to God would we be able to easily obtain the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s perfection. In other words, winning God’s approval in regard to our faith and attaining His salvation are inextricably tied to a normal church life. In the Bible, it says: “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching” (Heb 10:25). The Lord Jesus said: “Again I say to you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the middle of them” (Mat 18:19-20). From this, we can see, living a church life is one of God’s demands for us as Christians. Since our caliber itself is limited and we do not have the organ to receive the truth, it is very difficult to understand the truths and mysteries within God’s words. Even though we understand a lot of the literal meaning, we understand very little of God’s intentions and the demands that God has for man. But if we consistently participate in church life, pray together with our brothers and sisters, read God’s words and communicate our own understanding, experience and acceptance of God’s words, we will be able to obtain the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination. We will obtain even more light and rewards, we will understand more clearly God’s intentions and requests, and the path of practice will be even clearer. This is especially the case when we do not understand God’s words or encounter various difficulties. If we cooperate with our brothers and sisters to seek God, pray to God and have the Holy Spirit work amongst us, we will be able to understand the esoteric meaning of God’s words and all our problems and difficulties will be resolved because we understand the truth. The more problems we solve in our church life, the more truth we will understand and obtain. This way, we will no longer be annoyed with worldly affairs. Our lives will be effortless and liberating. Afterward, we will be able to tackle the situations we encounter in accordance with God’s intentions and demands. Gradually, God’s words will become the principles and directions with which we handle situations. Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we will walk upon the path of God’s salvation.

If we do not participate in church life, if we occasionally pray to God ourselves and read God’s words, our attainment of the Holy Spirit’s work will be very limited. Without the Holy Spirit’s work, we will not be able to understand the truth, nor will we be able to enter into the reality of the truth. When we encounter difficulties or problems, since we do not understand God’s intentions, we will frequently not know what to do nor how to put the truth into practice. If we occasionally rely on our own notions and imaginations to do things, we will do things that violate God’s intentions and even offend God’s disposition. We will lose the Holy Spirit’s presence, not to mention God’s salvation. God’s words say: “If your spiritual life is not normal, you cannot understand God’s current work; you always feel that it is completely incompatible with your own notions, and you are willing to follow Him, but you lack internal drive. So no matter what God is currently doing, people must cooperate. If people don’t cooperate the Holy Spirit can’t do His work, and if people do not have a heart of cooperation, they cannot attain the work of the Holy Spirit. … If people do not cooperate with God and do not pursue deeper entry, God will take away what they once had. Inside, people are always greedy for ease and would rather enjoy what is already available. They want to gain God’s promises without paying any price at all. These are the extravagant thoughts within mankind. Gaining life itself without paying a price—what has ever been so easy? When someone believes in God and seeks to enter into life and seeks a change in their disposition, they must pay a price and achieve a state where they will always follow God no matter what He does. This is something that people must do. Even if you follow all of this as a rule, you must stick to it, and no matter how great the trials, you cannot let go of your normal relationship with God. You should be able to pray, maintain your church life, and stay with brothers and sisters. When God tries you, you should still seek the truth. This is the minimum for a spiritual life” (“You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, we can see that a normal spiritual life is very important to us. Praying, reading God’s words and attending gatherings are all a part of a spiritual life. If we are unable to adhere to these, we will be unable to attain the Holy Spirit’s work. Even though our hearts want to follow God, we will not have faith. Therefore, regardless of how busy our work lives are and how tired our physical bodies are, we must not lose our normal relationship with God. At the minimum, we must maintain a normal spiritual life. We must live before God and seek the truth and put the truth into practice when we encounter situations. Only if we do this will our spiritual life become unyielding. Only then will we have a path that we can take when we encounter situations.

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Additionally, since we have been corrupted very deeply by Satan, inside, we are filled with Satan’s poison. We love wealth, fame, status and fleshly enjoyment, etc. We do not like positive things. If we do not frequently become intimate with God, it is very easy for us to get caught in Satan’s net, follow the world’s evil trends and become wantonly unrestrained to the point where we do somethings that violate God’s intentions and cause God to detest us. Gatherings are our opportunity to become intimate with God. They close the distance between us and God and allow us to frequently live before God, accept God’s examination and receive God’s care and protection. Once our relationship with God has become normal, our spirits will become sharp, and we will be able to distinguish the matters that God hates and God likes. When we encounter situations, we will be able to stand on God’s side, and we will not follow our fleshly preferences and do something that contradicts or resists God. As a result of this, we will receive even more of God’s blessings. Therefore, a church life is very important in regard to whether we can obtain God’s approval and salvation.

Living Before God and Receiving God’s Protection

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The Lord Jesus said: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Mat 11:30). The Lord hopes that we can live effortlessly and freely. He does not want to see us being wrapped up with the secular world and suffer. So why is it that we are not willing to attend gatherings due to feeling too tired from working? Actually, such ideas originate from Satan. They contain Satan’s evil schemes within. God says: “What God wants to do in man is just what Satan wants to destroy, and what Satan wants to destroy is expressed through man without being hidden at all. … Satan’s destruction in mankind is also clearly represented—they are more and more depraved and their conditions are sinking lower and lower. If it’s dire enough, they could be captured by Satan” (“Interpretation of the Fifteenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Satan is God’s enemy. It opposes God in all respects and it frequently targets and attacks our weak points. It causes us to become engrossed in the flesh and trapped in our fleshly entanglements. It disturbs our normal relationship with God and makes us distance ourselves from God, betray God and in the end, its objective is to swallow us whole. If we always yield to ourselves and satisfy our fleshly desires, we will grow further and further from God. At that moment, Satan’s plot will have prevailed. Therefore, when our faith is weak and our state is abnormal, we must come before God more, pray more to God and rely on God. We must not leave the church life. At the same time, we must set our resolve before God to satisfy Him. When we cooperate with God in this way, Satan’s schemes will not have any effect upon us and in a panic, it will flee. Once our relationship with God is normal, we will not feel that attending gatherings is constraining. On the contrary, we will feel that attending gatherings is a way for us to become intimate with God and enjoy God’s love.

Thank God for His guidance! Sister An Jing, this is where we will end our fellowship today. I hope the understanding that was shared today is of benefit to you. If you have any questions, let’s discuss them together.

Spiritual Q&A

 

A Hundred Questions and Answers on Investigating the True Way

Since the Lord Jesus and Almighty God are the same God, isn’t just believing in Jesus enough to be saved?

The answer from God’s word:

     To man, God’s crucifixion concluded the work of God’s incarnation, redeemed all of mankind, and allowed Him to seize the key to Hades. Everyone thinks God’s work has been fully accomplished. In actuality, to God, only a small part of His work has been accomplished. He has only redeemed mankind; He has not conquered mankind, let alone changed the ugliness of Satan in man. That is why God says, “Although My incarnate flesh went through the pain of death, that was not the whole goal of My incarnation. Jesus is My beloved Son and was nailed to the cross for Me, but He did not fully conclude My work. He only did a portion of it.” Thus God began the second round of plans to continue the work of the incarnation. God’s ultimate intention is to perfect and gain everyone rescued from Satan’s hands, which is why God prepared again to risk dangers to come into flesh.

from “Work and Entry (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Continue reading “A Hundred Questions and Answers on Investigating the True Way”