The Resurrection of Lazarus Glorified God.

拉撒路复活荣耀神2 The resurrection of Lazarus glorifies God.jpg拉撒路复活荣耀神3 The resurrection of Lazarus glorifies God.jpg

Do you have any thought after reading this passage? This miracle the Lord Jesus performed carried much more weight in its significance than the first one, because no miracle could be more amazing than having a dead person come out from his tomb. The Lord Jesus did such a thing, and it was very meaningful in that age. For God was incarnated, and man only saw his appearance and saw the aspects of his being practical and being small. Even though some people saw and knew some of his characters or outward talents, who could know where the Lord Jesus came from, who he was in substance, and what things he could do? To man, all these were unknown. Too many people wanted to verify this matter and wanted to know the truth of the matter. Could God do a thing to prove his identity? To God, it was a piece of cake, as easy as winking. God could do a thing to prove his identity and substance at any time and in any place, but God did things in a planned and systematic way and never did things randomly. He only sought an appropriate time and opportunity to do a most meaningful thing for man to see so as to prove his authority and his identity. Then could the “resurrection of Lazarus” prove the Lord Jesus’ identity? Let’s read the scriptures: “And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth.” When the Lord Jesus did this thing, he only said one word: “Lazarus, come forth.” Then Lazarus came out of the tomb, and this thing was accomplished because of the one word of the Lord’s mouth. During it, the Lord Jesus did not set up an altar or have any other action, but only said one word. Was that a miracle or an order? Or magic? Outwardly, it seemed that it could be called a miracle. Of course, now it can also be called a miracle, but it absolutely cannot be called necromancy, much less sorcery. To put it correctly, this miracle is only a most common and small manifestation of the Creator’s authority. This is God’s authority and God’s power. God has the authority to let a person die, telling that spirit to leave the flesh and return to Hades or return to the place where he should go. When a person will die and where he will go after death, these are determined by God. God can do these things at any time and in any place. He is not restricted by people, matters, things, space, or geography. As long as he wants to do them, he can do. For all things and living beings are under his sovereignty, and all things come into being or perish because of his word and his authority. He can raise a dead person, and this is a thing he can do at any time and in any place. This is the unique authority of the Creator.

The Lord Jesus did such a thing as raising up Lazarus, for the purpose of proving to man, proving to satan, letting man know, and letting satan know that man’s everything, man’s life and death, is decided by God, that although God is incarnated, he is still governing the physical world man can see and also the spiritual realm man cannot see, and that nothing of man is under satan’s control. This is the expression and manifestation of God’s authority and is a way by which God sends to all things the message that he controls mankind’s life and death. “The Lord Jesus raising up Lazarus” was one of the ways in which the Creator spoke to and instructed mankind, a concrete action through which he instructed and supplied mankind with his power and authority, a way in which the Creator used non-language to let mankind see the fact that he governs all things, and a way in which the Creator told mankind with his actual deed that there is salvation in no one else. The instruction given to mankind in such a silent way lasts eternally and can never be obliterated. He has brought a never-fading shock and edification to mankind’s heart. The incident that “the resurrection of Lazarus glorified God” has a far-reaching effect on every follower of God. He has firmly positioned everyone who deeply knows this incident into the realization and vision that “only God controls man’s life and death.” Although God has such authority, and although he has used such a way as “raising up Lazarus” to send the message that he rules over the life and death of mankind, that is not his main work. God never does meaningless things, and everything he does is very valuable and is a classic in the treasures. He will never take “asking a man to come out from his tomb” as the main or only goal or item of his work. God does not do meaningless things. The one case of the resurrection of Lazarus was sufficient to manifest God’s authority and sufficient to prove the Lord Jesus’ identity. So, the Lord Jesus did not perform such a miracle again. God does things by his own principles. In human terms, “God minds his proper duty.” In other words, when God does things, he will not deviate from the purpose of his work. He knew what work he came to do and what he came to accomplish in that stage, and he would do things strictly according to his plan. If a corrupt man has such ability, he will seize every possibility to show it off, letting everyone know his greatness and thus bow their heads to him in submission, so that he will achieve his purpose of controlling and devouring them. This is evil from satan, and it can also be called corruption. God does not have such disposition or such substance. The purpose of his doing things is not to show off but to give man more revelation and guidance. So, people see in the Bible that such a case is rare. Rare does not mean that the Lord Jesus was limited in power or that he could not do so, but that God did not want to do it at all. Because the incident of the Lord Jesus raising up Lazarus had a very practical meaning, and also because the main work of God incarnate was not to perform miracles or to raise up the dead, but to do the redemptive work, therefore the more work the Lord Jesus did was to instruct, supply, and help people, and such a thing as raising up Lazarus was only a small part of the ministry the Lord Jesus performed. It can even more be said that there is no such an element as “showing off” in God’s substance. So he did not perform more miracles not because he deliberately restrained himself, or because he was restricted by the environment, much less because he did not have such ability to do so.

When the Lord Jesus raised up Lazarus, he said nothing except such a word as “Lazarus, come forth.” What does this one word show? It shows that God can accomplish everything by his word, including raising up the dead. In the beginning when God created all things, when God created the world, it was by his words, the words of command, the words with authority, that all things came into being and things were thus accomplished. The one word spoken from the mouth of the Lord Jesus is just like the words spoken from the mouth of God when he created the heavens and the earth and all things, which has God’s own authority and the power of the Creator. All things were established and accomplished because of the words from God’s mouth, and likewise, Lazarus came out of the tomb because of the word from the Lord Jesus’ mouth. This is the authority from God. He is manifested and realized in God’s incarnated flesh. Such authority and power belong to the Creator and also belong to the Son of man in whom the Creator was realized. This is the knowledge God has taught man through the fact of his raising up Lazarus. That’s all for this topic. Go on to read the verses.

from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God’s Godself (3)”
in A continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh


God’s Blessing to Noah After the Flood

八口下方舟 Noah and his family come out of the ark.jpg

(Gen 9:1-6) And God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, and on every fowl of the air, on all that moves on the earth, and on all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that lives shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall you not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.

What do you see in this passage? Why have I selected this passage? Why haven’t I selected the passages concerning the life of Noah and his family in the ark? Because they do not have much to do with the subject we want to fellowship about today. What we are concerned about is God’s disposition. If you want to know about those things, you can read them in the Bible. We will not talk about them here. Today we will mainly talk about the subject concerning how to know God’s deeds.

After Noah received God’s commandment and made the ark, he passed through the days when God destroyed the world with the flood, and the eight members of his family all survived. Except for the eight members of Noah’s family, all human beings were destroyed, and all the living things on the earth were also destroyed. To Noah God gave the blessing. God spoke some words to Noah and his sons, and those words were the things God wanted to bestow to him and were also God’s blessing to him. That was the blessing and promise God gave to a man who could listen to his word and receive his commandment, and that was also the way in which God gave a reward to a man. That is to say, regardless of whether Noah was a perfect man or a just man in the eyes of God and regardless of how much knowledge of God he had, he and his three sons listened to God’s word, cooperated with God’s work, and did what they should do as God had instructed them, and thus preserved for God the mankind and all the living creatures after the destruction of the world by the flood, making a very great contribution to the next step of God’s management plan. It was because of all these deeds of his that God blessed him. To the people today, what Noah did may not at all be worth mentioning, and some will even think: “Noah actually did not do anything; it was God who had decided to leave him, so he certainly could be left. His survival could not be accredited to him. That was what God had intended to accomplish, for man was the passive party.” But God does not think so in his heart. In God’s eyes, whether a man is great or small, as long as he can listen to God’s word, obey God’s commandment and commission, cooperate with God’s work, and cooperate with God’s will and God’s plan, so that God’s will and God’s plan can be carried out smoothly and fulfilled, such a deed is worthy for God to remember and worthy for God to bless. God treasures such a man, cherishes such a deed of his, and cherishes his kindness and his heart for God. This is God’s attitude. So, why did God bless Noah? It was because God treats such a deed and obedience of a man in this way.

Concerning the matter of God blessing Noah, some may say, “When a man has listened to God’s word and satisfied God, God should bless him. Isn’t this a matter of course?” Can it be said so? Some say, “No.” Why can’t it be said so? Some say, “Man is not worthy to enjoy God’s blessing.” This word is not completely right! For when a man has received God’s commission, God has a standard as to how to judge whether the man’s deed is good or bad, whether he has obedience or not, whether he satisfies God’s heart’s desire or not, and whether his doings are up to the standard or not. What God pays attention to is man’s heart rather than his outward behavior. It is not that no matter how he does it, as long as he finishes it, God should bless him. This is man’s misunderstanding of God. God does not only look at the result of the thing, but pays much attention to what the man’s heart is like and what his attitude is like in the course of the development of the thing, and looks at whether there is obedience, consideration, and a desire to satisfy God in the man’s heart. How much knowledge did Noah of that time have of God? Did he understand as many doctrines as you do now? In the truths concerning the concept of God and the knowledge of God, did he receive as much watering and shepherding as you do? No! But there is a fact that is undeniable: The concept of God and the attitude toward God the people today have in their consciousness, in their mind, and even in the depth of their heart are vague and equivocal, and it can even be said that a portion of people hold a denying attitude toward the existence of God. Noah, however, believed in his heart and in his consciousness that God really and truly existed and he did not have any doubt about it. So his obedience to God was without any mixture and could withstand the test, his heart was pure and was open to God, and he did not need so much knowledge in doctrine to convince himself to listen to God’s word and follow God’s plan or need so many facts to prove the existence of God so that he could accept God’s commission and could do whatever God commanded him. This is the difference between Noah and the people today in substance, and this is precisely a real interpretation of a perfect man in God’s eyes. What God wants is such a man as Noah, and what God approves is such a man. Such a man is the very one God blesses. What revelation do you receive here? Man looks at the outward appearance of a man, but God looks at the heart and the substance of a man. God does not tolerate man’s being perfunctory toward him or doubting him in the slightest, nor does he tolerate man’s suspecting him or tempting him in any way. Therefore, although the people today are face to face with God’s word and they can even be said to be face to face with God, yet because of the things in the depth of their heart, because of the existence of their corrupt substance, and because of their hostile attitude toward God, they are hindered from truly believing in God and are impeded from obeying God. Thus, it is hard for them to receive a blessing like that God gave to Noah.

A Selected Passage from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God’s Godself (1)”
in A continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh

God Allowed Satan to Tempt Job for the Purpose of Perfecting Job’s Faith

约伯俯伏祷告1 Job falls down and prays

The word in Job 1:8 is the first conversation between Jehovah God and satan we have read in the biblical records. What did God say? The text records as follows: And the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and shuns evil? This is God’s evaluation of Job before satan. God said that he was perfect and upright and feared God and shunned evil. Before his conversation with satan, God had determined to use satan to tempt Job, that is, to deliver Job to satan. The purpose of doing so, on the one hand, was to prove the exact accuracy of God’s searching and evaluation of Job and to put satan to shame through Job’s testimony. On the other hand, it was to perfect Job’s faith and fear of God. So, when satan came before God, God “came straight to the point” and asked satan directly, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and shuns evil?” God’s question contains such meaning: God knew that satan roamed everywhere and often spied on his servant Job and often tempted and attacked him. It attempted to crush Job by a certain means to prove that Job’s faith and his fear of God were untenable, and it also looked for chances unscrupulously to afflict Job and cause him to forsake God, so that it could take him away from God’s hand. However, God searched Job’s heart and saw that he was perfect and upright and that he feared God and shunned evil. God told satan by questioning that Job was a perfect and upright man, one that feared God and shunned evil, and that he would never forsake God and follow satan. Hearing God’s evaluation of Job, satan became more exasperated and was even more impatient to take Job away. This was because it never believed that man was able to be “perfect and upright” or believed that man could “fear God and shun evil,” and it also hated man’s perfectness and uprightness and hated anyone who could “fear God and shun evil.” Just as satan answered Jehovah in Job 1:9-11, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have not you made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” God well knew satan’s malicious nature and also deeply knew that it had harbored the intention of afflicting Job for a long time. So, here, by telling satan again that Job was “a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God and shuns evil,” God was to get satan to submissively do what he wanted it to do—to show its true colors—to attack and tempt Job. That is to say, God purposely emphasized that Job was perfect and upright and feared God and shunned evil, and used this means to stir satan to make an attack against Job because of its hatred of and annoyance at Job’s “being perfect and upright and fearing God and shunning evil,” thus letting satan be shamed by Job’s “being perfect and upright and fearing God and shunning evil,” so that it could be utterly shamed and defeated and would never again doubt or accuse Job’s being perfect and upright and fearing God and shunning evil. Thus, a trial from God and a temptation from satan would be inevitable. And the one who could bear God’s trial and withstand satan’s temptation was only Job. After that conversation, satan was allowed to tempt Job. That was the first round of attack from satan. Its target was Job’s possessions. Because satan accused Job as follows: “Does Job fear God for nothing? …you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land,” God allowed satan to take away all that Job had. That was God’s intention of conversing with satan. But God made a requirement of satan: “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only on himself put not forth your hand.” (Job 1:12) It was the condition God made after he allowed satan to tempt Job and delivered Job into satan’s hand, that is, the bottom line God set for satan, ordering it not to do harm to Job. God acknowledged Job’s perfectness and uprightness and believed that Job’s uprightness and perfectness before him could withstand the test and was beyond doubt, so he allowed satan to tempt Job. Yet he set a limit for satan: satan was only allowed to take away any property of Job, but not to put forth its hand on him. What does this mean? It means that at that time God did not completely deliver Job to satan, and it was allowed to tempt Job in any way or means, but was not allowed to harm Job himself, not even a hair. That is because man’s everything is governed by God and man’s death or life is decided by God, and satan has no such right. After God said the word to satan, satan went anxiously. It went to tempt Job by various means. Soon, Job lost his flocks and herds all over the hills and lost all the possessions God bestowed to him…. God’s trial came upon Job just like that.

Although we know from the Bible the origin of the temptation Job underwent, did Job, as the “one concerned,” know about that? Job was only a mortal, and of course, he did not know the story that happened behind him. However, his fear of God and his perfectness and uprightness made him aware that it was God’s trial coming upon him. He did not know what had happened in the spiritual realm or what God’s intention was behind the trial, but he knew that no matter what came upon him, he should hold on to his perfectness and uprightness and hold fast the way of “fearing God and shunning evil.” Job’s attitude and reaction to these things were seen very clearly by God. What did God see? He saw Job’s heart of fearing him. That is because from the beginning to the end of Job’s undergoing the trial, his heart was always open to God and was laid before God, and he never gave up his perfectness and uprightness or forsook and departed from the way of “fearing God and shunning evil.” That was what God was most gratified with. Next, let’s see what temptations Job underwent and how he treated the trial. Continue to read the scriptures.

Lord Jesus Resurrected (1)

“While the Lord Jesus worked in the flesh, most of His followers could not be completely certain about His identity and His words. When He went to the cross, His followers’ attitude toward Him was watching; from the time He was crucified to the time He was brought into the tomb, men’s attitude toward Him was disappointed, and during this, men in their heart already began to doubt and deny the words the Lord Jesus said when in the flesh; when the Lord Jesus came out of the tomb and appeared to the men one after another, most of those who saw Him with their own eyes or heard the news of His resurrection gradually changed from negating to half-believing. Not until the Lord Jesus asked Thomas to put his hand into His side and He broke the bread and ate it and ate the broiled fish before all the men after His resurrection, did men truly accept the fact that the Lord Jesus was the incarnate Christ. It can be said that the spiritual body with bones and flesh standing before men at that time made everyone feel as if awakening from a dream: This Son of man standing before their eyes is the One who exists from everlasting, He is with form and image and with bones and flesh, He has been eating and living with men for long…. At that time, His existence made men feel it so real and so wonderful, feel so pleased and happy, and also filled with deep feelings. And His reappearing made men truly see His humbleness and feel His being close to men and His being concerned about and reluctant to part from men. The short reunion made men who saw the Lord Jesus feel as if a generation had passed. Their heart was comforted which felt lost, perplexed, confused, uneasy, and worried, was full of yearning, and was numb. Men no longer doubted and was no longer disappointed, because they felt that they had hopes and reliance, and that the Son of man standing before them was their permanent rear guard and eternal strong tower and refuge.”

from A continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh

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Lord Jesus Resurrected(2)

“Although the Lord Jesus resurrected, His heart and His work did not leave man. He told man by His appearing that in whatever way He existed, He would accompany man anytime and anywhere, walking with man and being with man, and supply and shepherd man anytime and anywhere, and He would be visible and touchable to man anytime and anywhere, making man no longer feel helpless. The Lord Jesus also wanted man to know that living in this world man was not isolated, man had God’s concern and God’s presence, God was man’s permanent support, God was the dear one of every man who followed Him, with Him as the support man would no longer be alone and no longer be helpless, and those who accepted Him as the sin offering would no longer be bound by sin. These works the Lord Jesus did after His resurrection were very small things in man’s eyes, but in My eyes every one of them was so meaningful and so valuable, and was so important and weighty.

from A continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh

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The Sabbath year

The Church of Almighty God

Since God’s management began, he has been doing his work with all his heart and with all his strength. Although he has been hiding his original person, he has been accompanying mankind, working on mankind, expressing his disposition, leading all mankind with his substance, and working on everyone by his power, with his wisdom, and by his authority, so that there has been the Age of the Law, the Age of the Grace, and the Age of the Kingdom of today. Although God’s original person has been hidden from man, God has been manifesting his disposition, what he has and is, and his will for mankind to man without any reserve for man to see and experience. That is to say, although mankind cannot see or touch God, the disposition of God and the substance of God mankind contacts are exactly the expressions of God Godself. Isn’t that the fact? No matter in what way or position God does his work, it is with his true identity that he treats man, does the work he should do, and speaks the words he should speak. No matter in what position God speaks, whether he speaks to man in the height of the third heaven, in the position of the flesh, or even in the position of an ordinary man, he speaks with all his heart and with all his mind, without any deception or concealment. During his working, he has been expressing his words, expressing his own disposition, and also expressing what he himself has and is, without any reserve! He has been leading mankind with his life and with what he has and is. In this way, under the leading of the “invisible and intangible” God, mankind went through the Age of the Law—the age of mankind’s cradle.

from A Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh