Can You Discern the True Christ from False Ones? (I)
Can You Discern the True Christ from False Ones? (I)
Because of my illness I believed in the Lord and joined a church house, and not long after that, I recovered from it. I thought I found the true God, so my faith increased greatly. From then on, I read the and attended meetings fervently. At that time, preachers often told us, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Why if they shall say to you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.” (Matthew 24:24-26) And then they explained, “It’s full of confusion in the last days, for there shall arise false Christs and false prophets to deceive man. You don’t understand the Bible and have no discernment, so don’t listen to sermons without permission, and then you won’t be deceived.” I thought their fellowship made great sense, which was for our good, so I kept their words in mind. Later, when I began to preach in the church, I often talked about these verses as well.
One day, Sister Ma brought her cousin Bai Jie to our church. After an introduction, I learned that Bai Jie had believed in Jesus for ten years and pursued actively. Seeing she was common in appearance, I said to her with a casual tone, “You’re welcome to attend services here. But there is a rule in our church: People from other places can only listen to sermons but can’t give sermons.” Sister Bai nodded. That day, it was my turn to preach, and as usual I talked about Matthew 24:24, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” Just then, I heard Sister Wang who sat in the front row whispered to Sister Qiu, “We’re taught to ‘guard against false Christs’ every time. They’ve really talked my ear off. Except that, they have nothing new to preach. The more I hear, the more I feel bored, so I really don’t want to hear anymore. Listen, Brother Lin is snoring again.” “Yeah, they always let us guard against false Christs. But we still don’t know how to discern. Who are false Christs? Where are they? Although we listen every day, we still have no way to go.” On hearing that, I felt embarrassed. Casting a look at Bai Jie, I then justified myself, “Brothers and sisters, do not feel impatient. We fellowship about guarding against the false Christs every day; isn’t it all for your good, lest you be deceived? Now is the last days. If you’re deceived, will not all your sacrifice over these years in believing in Jesus be for naught?”… After the meeting, I was distracted: “How could those two sisters treat me like that in front of a stranger? They simply didn’t show any respect to me!” But on second thought, “What Sister Qiu said is a problem. Although I read and preach this verse often, I indeed don’t know how to discern false Christs. After so many years of guarding against false Christs, will we really recognize them when they come? I truly have no idea.” When I realized it, my heart became heavy….
Then, a period of time passed, in which co-worker Sister Zhang preached about “how to guard against false Christs” again. Sister Qiu couldn’t help asking, “Sister Zhang, could you specifically talk about what false Christ is? I have believed in the Lord for so many years, and have heard many sermons about guarding against false Christs. But I still don’t know what false Christ is now? If this continues, will we discern them when they come? I don’t dare to say. Then, is it an empty word to guard against false Christs?” Sister Wang echoed, “Yeah, please tell us what false Christ is.” Then brothers and sisters talked in great confusion. Sister Zhang kept a stiff upper lip and gestured silence, and said, “The Bible says clearly, ‘For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders.’ So it can be seen that those who can show great signs and wonders are false Christs.” Sister Qiu retorted upon her immediately, “The did a lot of signs and wonders. How could you say that those who can show great signs and wonders are false Christs? No one’s signs are mightier than the Lord Jesus’. Surely we don’t guard against the Lord Jesus?”
Sister Zhang was speechless. And brothers and sisters talked more loudly, “Surely we don’t guard against the Lord Jesus?” “Yeah, how does it explain?” At that time, I took a look at Sister Bai Jie, who only listened to sermons all the time, and thought, “Now that no one in our church can solve this problem, I may as well ask her.” So I said to her, “Sister Bai Jie, how do you understand this verse? Please give a talk!” Everyone turned their gaze on Sister Bai. Sister Bai nodded, stood up calmly, ran her eyes over brothers and sisters, and said, “Brothers and sisters, let’s think it over. Since the Lord Jesus commanded us that in the last days there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, will He still show great signs and wonders when He returns? In actuality, the Lord Jesus has long implied us that when He returns He won’t show great signs and wonders. If He still does these things when He returns, and so do those false, then isn’t it difficult to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs? Let me recite a passage of words I read from a book, ‘If now there appears a man who can perform signs and wonders, drive out demons, heal the sick, and perform many miracles and he claims to be Jesus who has come, it is the counterfeit of an evil spirit and is done by an evil spirit in imitation of Jesus. Remember one point! God does not repeat His work. The stage of Jesus’ work has been accomplished, and God will never do that stage of work again. What God does simply does not fit man’s notions. For example, it was prophesied in the Old Testament that Messiah would come, but Jesus came. If another Messiah had come, it would have been wrong. … If in the end time God still performed signs and wonders and drove out demons and healed the sick, doing exactly the same as Jesus did, then God’s work would be repeated, and Jesus’ work would be meaningless and worthless. So God does one stage of work in one age. Every time after God does a stage of work, evil spirits will imitate it immediately. After Satan follows in the wake of God, God will work in another way. After God finishes a stage of work, evil spirits will imitate it. You should be clear about this.’ (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) These words tell us plainly that God’s work is always new and never old, and God does not repeat His work. So, if in future there appears a man who can perform signs and wonders and claims he is the returned Lord Jesus, then he must be false Christ. This is a symbol of false Christ. In that way, don’t we distinguish the true Christ from false ones? That’s all I want to say.” Sister Bai smiled and sat down. Immediately, everyone eyed Sister Bai with admiration and nodded in agreement. I also smiled on her and thought her understanding was extraordinary. Sister Zhang said nothing more at the sight of such a scene.
Sister Zhang finally had an opportunity to extricate herself from the awkward situation, and hastened to say, “Sister Bai, what you say is quite right. Then, what is Christ? We shall first know what Christ is. In Acts 4: 26, it says that Christ is the anointed one.” Just as she finished speaking, I said, “In the Old Testament, Jehovah anointed David through Prophet Samuel; Palms mentions that Aaron was anointed from his beard down to the skirts of his garments by God through Moses. Both Aaron and David were anointed. Could it be said that they are Christs? We only say “ ,” but never “David Christ” or “Aaron Christ.” Obviously, your explanation doesn’t make sense.” Sister Zhang asked me, “Then, what is Christ?” I replied, “About this question, I have studied the Bible recently. In Luke 2:11, it says, ‘For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.’ So I suppose that Christ isborn by promise but of man.” Sister Zhang was recalcitrant and rebutted, “Luke 1:13 says, ‘But the angel said to him, Fear not, Zacharias: for your prayer is heard; and your wife Elisabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.’ From this verse we know that John was also born by promise. As your remarks, John was also Christ. But John 1:20 says, ‘And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.’ John said that he was not Christ. How do you explain it?” I was stunned, and thought to myself, “Yeah, they were both born by promise. But why is Jesus Christ while John isn’t?”
Just as I didn’t know how to response, Bai Jie said, “Let me recite two more passages of words to you, ‘The incarnated God is called Christ. Christ is the flesh the Spirit of God is clothed with, and this flesh is different from any fleshly man. The difference is because Christ is not of flesh but is the embodiment of the Spirit. He has a normal humanity and full divinity, and His divinity is something that no man has. His normal humanity is for maintaining all His normal activities in the flesh, and His divinity is for doing God’s own work. Both His humanity and His divinity obey the will of the heavenly Father. The substance of Christ is Spirit, that is, divinity, so His substance is the substance of God Himself….’ ‘Because He is a man with the essence of God, He is above any of created humans, above any man who can perform His work. And so, among all those with a human shell like His, among all those who possess humanity, only He is the incarnate God Himself—all others are created humans. Though they all have humanity, created humans are nothing but human, while is different: In His flesh He not only has humanity but more importantly has divinity.’ (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) Although John and Jesus were both born by promise and it seemed there was no difference in outward appearance, yet Jesus, conceived by the , was the incarnate flesh of God and the embodiment of God’s Spirit. He not only had normal humanity, but also had complete divinity. This is the true meaning of ‘Christ.’ As for the anointed ones such as John, Aaron, and David whom we spoke of just now, they had normal humanity but didn’t possess divinity. And so, only the Lord Jesus is Christ. This is the unique identity and status of the Lord Jesus.”
I admired Sister Bai inwardly, and thought, “So Christ is the incarnate flesh of God. He possesses both normal humanity and complete divinity. His substance is God Himself. Hmm, what Sister Bai fellowships has the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.” I couldn’t help feeling envious of her, and wondered, “We both believe in the Lord for many years, but why don’t I have such understanding? I don’t know where those words she recites come from. I should find an opportunity to ask her.” At that time, Sister Qiu said, “What Sister Bai talks is quite reasonable and makes me have a clear understanding of the point that no one could articulate. Now I know what Christ is. So Christ is God’s Spirit becoming a man, an unique man. His substance is God Himself.” Sister Bai nodded toward me, in agreement. I felt I had great enjoyment in today’s meeting, so I unconsciously had a liking for Sister Bai.
Later, more and more brothers and sisters asked Sister Bai to preach. Though a little embarrassed, I also wanted to listen to her sermons more. So I prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, brothers and sisters are dry in spirit now. If Sister Bai can preach something new to provide and benefit brothers and sisters, I’m willing to obey Your arrangement.” Therefore, we exclusively arranged a meeting for Sister Bai to give a sermon.
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