We gather to eat, drink, enjoy God’s words,
and we receive the Holy Spirit’s work.
We Have Found the New Work of the Holy Spirit (III)
We Have Found the New Work of the Holy Spirit (III)
(3) How to Experience God’s Judgment?
Two days later, we had a meeting again. Preacher Brother Yin said, “Our leader, Brother Liu, is a good preacher and knows the Bible very well. As the leader of the church, he is concerned over church affairs. I remember that once, when I was seriously sick and laid between life and death, Brother Liu prayed for me and I soon recovered from my illness. Or else, I might be dead.” Brother Zheng said, “Brothers and sisters, now the church is desolate, and Brother Liu can’t solve this problem. We shouldn’t look up to the leaders and workers but should look up to God together with Brother Liu.” On hearing that, Brother Yin got angry, “Brother Liu is different from us. His uncle founded this church and before he was martyred, he exhorted Brother Liu to shepherd the church….” He kept on talking. Then, Brother Zheng said with a little temper, “Brother, woe to those who look up to man….” At that point, some brothers interrupted Brother Zheng, and said, “Brother, brother, don’t talk. Hear Brother Yin out.” Seeing Brother Yin get irritated, a brother touched Brother Zheng’s arm and advised, “Brother, don’t talk for now.” Sister Wang saw that such dispute would end in nothing, and therefore, she finished the topic to ease the dispute. Thus, we closed the meeting.
Next day, when brothers and sisters all gathered together, Brother Zheng said, “Brothers and sisters, I was too arrogant yesterday. I shouldn’t have argued with Brother Yin. I just maintained my own face and position. Please forgive me.” Some brothers and sisters said, “Nothing. It doesn’t matter. We were also to blame.” Brother Zheng continued, “Yesterday, you asked me to stop talking and wait until Brother Yin finished his talk. It was not your fault, nor was my fellowship wrong. It was simply that my arrogant disposition was loathsome to God and then God brought on circumstances to prune and deal with me. For God is righteous and holy, and allows no transgressions. Yesterday, after arguing with Brother Yin, I felt rebuked within. Then, I made a prayer to God, and God inspired me to think of a passage of His words, ‘Some people adore Paul very much. They just like to give sermons and do work outwardly, like to have meetings and talk, like others to listen to them and adore them, like to be centered, like to have a place in others’ hearts, and like to impress others with their image. From these manifestations, what do we find in their nature? … If one really has these manifestations, it sufficiently shows that they are arrogant and conceited and do not worship God at all, and that what they seek is to hold a high position and they desire to govern and occupy others and want to have a place in others’ hearts. This is the typical image of Satan.’ (from Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers) After that, I realized that I argued the brother down with the word in the Bible, trying to force him to submit to me and think I understood more truth than him. The substance of my behavior is to seek others’ admiration and to contend with God for position. Isn’t it exactly the typical image of Satan as God says?” An old co-worker was very confused and he said, “God is a loving and merciful God. He said we are His sons. How could these words be so severe? They even curse man as Satan. If so, will we have destination and blessings?”
Sister Wang took the topic, and said with a serious look on her face, “It is written in the Bible, ‘But if you be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are you bastards, and not sons.’ (Hebrews 12:8) God loves us, and that’s why He disciplines us. The judgment by the word is not to condemn us but to awaken our hearts. Just as a hymn goes, ‘1. All that God’s disposition manifests is love, exactly true! From God’s works, people have seen God’s wrath, majesty, and judgment, but they have also seen God’s grace and love and mercy, Ah, seeing that what God does and the disposition He manifests are love are love for people, Ah, and all that God does can satisfy people’s needs and is for perfecting people for perfecting people.
2. God curses you for the purpose that you will love Him and you will know the essence of the flesh; God chastises you for the purpose that you will wake up and know your deficiencies and know man’s unqualifiedness and unworthiness. Ah, God refines man’s faith by this means, so that man will have a true love a true love for Him. Ah, God has been loving man and God has been saving man, revealing all His disposition to man. Ah, God has been loving man and God has been saving man, revealing all His disposition to man.’ (from Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) Whether God shows mercy and love for us or disciplines and chastens us, He intends to better save us. Just like what parents do when they see their child make mistakes and yet is deaf to all advice. They, in order to change their child for the better, have no alternative but to beat him. While the kid is suffering, parents’ hearts are also in agony. But finally the kid changes. Today, God treats us in the same way, and God even loves us more than our parents do.”
Brother Zheng continued, “Without God’s such discipline, I would never change, because man is all arrogant and haughty by nature and as soon as he understands a bit of doctrine, he will stand in a high position to lecture others. Only by experiencing God’s judgment and discipline, will man be able to realize and detest their satanic nature of arrogance and haughtiness, to practice the truth and finally attain a change in disposition. From this, we can see what God does is all about purifying man and is love.” After hearing that, we stared at one another in astonishment. I said, “We don’t know how to experience; no one has ever taught us that. Neither do we know how to know ourselves!” An old sister said, “What you fellowshipped is really good. You truly have the working of the Holy Spirit. We can’t even feel the presence of God with us, whereas you can experience God’s discipline!” At that moment, Brother Yin said, “Through your fellowship, I also realize that my previous act is wrong. I always thought I was the chief and brothers and sisters were servants. As such, I not only bossed them around, letting them serve me and wait on me hand and foot, but also lectured them with the words in the Bible. I also stand in a high position. I apologize to you all.” After saying that, Brother Yin picked up the kettle and served us each a cup of water. Seeing that, a brother said happily, “Our Brother Yin also has some change: He serves us water today. In the past, we always did it for him.” Then, brothers and sisters said gladly, “It’s so great to gather together like this! Previously, we were all afraid of Brother Yin and felt a little restrained. Today we are released at last!” Brothers and sisters asked Brother Zheng, “Brother, when you lay bare your corruption before us, aren’t you worried that other brothers and sisters might laugh at you and look down upon you? If I were you, I wouldn’t have the courage to open myself.” Brother Zheng said seriously, “We shall exalt God and bear testimony to God. If one wants to be an honest person, he should practice in this way.” Brothers and sisters asked again, “Then what’s the relationship between exalting and testifying for God and opening ourselves?”
Brother Zheng took a sip of water and said, “Brothers and sisters, let me sing a hymn to you first, ‘To be honest means to give the heart to God, not to play false with Him in anything, to be open with Him in everything, not to hide the facts ah, not to cheat those above and delude those below, not to do things of merely currying favor with God, and to do things and speak without impurity. If in your words there are Wow many justifications and useless vindications, God says that you are one who is very unwilling to practice the truth.’ (from “What Is an Honest Person” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs) The Lord told us ‘let your yes be yes and your no be no.’ Yet this hymn illustrates the truth more thoroughly: God requires us to be an honest person, about our true inner states, and open ourselves to brothers and sisters as well. Take my experience today for example. If I only apologized to you without exposing my corrupt nature and substance, then I was hiding the facts, and cheating brothers and sisters and cheating God, which was neither pleasing to God nor approved by God. God likes honest people. Through our opening ourselves, God will work on us, and meanwhile, only then will brothers and sisters know how to help us. In the past, we often fellowshipped about some enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit; as a result, some people thought that was our own stature. However, if we lay bare our corruption and open ourselves, others will know that what we fellowship is totally the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit and they will no longer look up to us. In this way, we won’t lead people to ourselves. Besides, through laying bare our corruption and testifying about God’s pruning, dealing and disciplining work on us to brothers and sisters, we can not only make them see God’s righteousness and God’s love for us, but also can make them benefit from our experiences and have a path to take in their future practice. Such practice is pleasing to God and won’t be laughed at by brothers and sisters. For they’ll feel you are pretty honest and trustworthy when you lay bare your own corruption. Thus, our relationship with brothers and sisters will become closer, and we’ll be free of guilt within and don’t need to pretend anymore.” I said in surprise, “Oh, so it is! We have the way now. So, to be an honest person, lay bare ourselves before brothers and sisters to seek help, and share with them the light we receive—all these are also testifying for God!” Brother Zheng said, “Yes, thank God!” I asked curiously, “Brother Zheng, what’s the book you read? How could you have such deep knowledge? Could we read the book?”
Then, Sister Wang took out a book from her bag and said tenderly, “It so happens that I have the book with me. This is the utterance of Almighty God—the return of the Lord Jesus. God has already been incarnated the second time among us and done the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. Only by accepting Almighty God’s work of judgment and purification, can we get rid of corrupt dispositions, become sanctified, and be brought into the good destination by God.” All brothers and sisters were very surprised, “The Lord has returned to flesh to do the work of judgment and purification?” Brother Zheng said, “Yes, because the Lord Jesus just did the redemptive work and didn’t do the work of changing man’s corrupt dispositions, the root of man committing sins is still embedded within. And therefore, this requires God to do another stage of work—the work of judgment—to completely rid us of our corrupt dispositions, so that man can become sanctified, and be brought into the by Him. The knowledge and experiences we fellowshipped about with you these days are all from Almighty God’s word. Facts have proved that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus and Almighty God’s work is the last stage of work in God’s six-thousand-year management plan. That’s unquestionably true. Blessed are those who accept Almighty God’s end-time work, while all those who reject Almighty God’s work are detested by God!” Brother Zheng took the book from Sister Wang, and read a passage of Almighty God’s words, “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit.” (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) Then he continued, “Brothers and sisters, God hopes we all can receive His salvation, enter His kingdom, and enjoy the He bestows upon us. We should be the ones who obey the work of the Holy Spirit, and thirst for and seek the truth; only in this way will we not miss God’s work in the last days or miss the once-in-life opportunity of being saved.” Brothers and sisters all nodded in agreement.
In the following days, we began to formally investigate Almighty God’s work in the last days. Through one-week fellowship about the truth, those among us who truly believe in God accepted God’s end-time gospel. All the glory be to Almighty God!
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