We gather to eat, drink, enjoy God’s words,
and we receive the Holy Spirit’s work.
Good News Received at Bible Study Meetings
By Chengshan, America
At present, many brothers and sisters dare not listen to sermons with their guards down for fear of being deceived by false Christs. But shutting our doors and keeping to ourselves like this will delay our life progress, and even cause us to miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord. We may even be abandoned by Him. Actually, as long as we grasp the principles of differentiating false Christs, we will automatically not be deceived by them. After attending some Bible study meetings, not only did I grasp the principles of differentiating false Christs, but I also got good news.
In March 2018, Sister Li and I went to visit a sister who was feeling weak. When we got to the sister’s home, her niece happened to be there. After introductions, I learned that her niece, Sister Chen, also believed in the Lord, so we four fellowshiped together. From the conversation, I felt Sister Chen fellowshiped with insight and that there was light in her words. Later, Sister Chen proposed that we should study the Bible together. The rest of us agreed happily. Then we read and fellowshiped the scriptures about signs of the last days together. From Sister Chen’s fellowshiping, I understood that nowadays believers in the Lord cling to the material world and their faith and love have grown cold; the pastors and elders preach the same old platitudes, scheme against one another, grow jealous of one another and get into disputes, and so on. All these show the degree of desolation in the churches, and are signs of the last days. Also, the fulfillment of the prophecy of the four blood moons, and the occurrence of all sorts of disasters, are signs that the last days have appeared. I had never thought that now is the time of the last days, and the Lord was coming soon! When thinking of these things, I got excited. Though in the church I had heard the pastors explain these scriptures, they didn’t explain them as clearly as the sister did, and I never had such a sense of urgency. I never thought that a sister as young as Sister Chen could give such fresh and lively fellowshiping. I decided to listen carefully.
Next, Sister Chen brought together some of the prophecies in the Bible and fellowshiped about the manner of the Lord’s return, the Lord’s coming again to do the work of judgment, and the significance of God’s judgment, etc. I listened to it all with relish and came to understand that the reason why we keep sinning constantly is that a sinful nature still exists inside us. Thus, the Lord prophesied that in the last days He would do a stage of judgment work to purify our corrupt disposition thoroughly and save us from our sins. The more I listened to the sister’s fellowshiping, the more enlightening I felt it was. Though I had listened to sermons in the church for many years, I had never heard such a clear sermon. Later on, Sister Chen played us many dance and song videos, videos of hymns and recitations of God’s words, and sketches as well. They were refreshing to watch, as I had never seen such programs before. The hymn videos were much better than those I watched in the church, especially the videos Attachment to God and All the Way in Your Company, the lyrics of which were just like what I was thinking in my own mind! I was moved after listening to them. Before I knew it, it was already rather late, and we made a date to study the Bible another time. On the way home, the happiness in my heart and the expectation of the next meeting made me croon hymns praising the Lord.
After getting home, I thought about the fellowshiping in the meeting. I felt I had gained much and also understood more about many scriptures which I didn’t understand before. Suddenly a thought came to me: Was what Sister Chen preached the way of Eastern Lightning? The pastors had reminded us many times that Eastern Lightning preaches very lofty sermons but that we must not listen to them. At that time, I was rather worried, and an intense battle raged in my heart: If my suspicions were right, should I still go to the meeting next time? But there was light in Sister Chen’s fellowshiping, which the pastors didn’t have in their preaching; also, what she fellowshiped was based on the Bible and gave me spiritual pleasure. These feelings were all true. All these clearly showed that her fellowshiping had the working of the Holy Spirit. I thought, “I shouldn’t blindly listen to the pastors. If the Lord Jesus has really come back, but I didn’t listen, I would miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord, and would regret it for a lifetime wouldn’t I?” So I decided to attend the following meeting.
At the next gathering, I told Sister Chen about my apprehensions: “Now in the church, the pastors often tell us about false Christs deceiving people during the last days and that we shouldn’t listen to sermons with our guards down, or else we’ll be deceived easily. So, for fear of being deceived, we daren’t listen to any other sermons.’”
Sister Chen said: “In the Bible, Jehovah God said: ‘And lest your heart faint, and you fear for the rumor that shall be heard in the land’ (Jer 51:46). The Bible also says: ‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’ (2Ti 1:7). From these scriptures we can see that God has put power and courage in our hearts. When God is with us, there is nothing we need to fear, because God is almighty and everything in the world is in His hands. Timidity and fear are from Satan; when we don’t have God in our heart, we’ll feel timid and fearful. Just like King Saul: When he had God in his heart, he won every battle; but when he rebelled against God and was deserted by God, he became rather timid in his heart when facing the giant, and even let his negativity infect his army. And there was David, just a shepherd boy with no weapon in his hand. But he had a place for God in his heart and believed that no matter how savage the enemy was he was still under the dominion of God. So, when facing the giant, he wasn’t timid. Timidity and fear are from Satan. If we refuse to listen to the true way because of being timid or scared, haven’t we just fallen for Satan’s scheme? We all know that it has been mentioned many times in the Revelation that: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Rev 2:7). This is the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and also is God’s reminder that in the matter of investigating the true way, we should listen, understand, and judge so that we can understand His desire. It is also recorded in the Bible that: ‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Rom 10:17). From this scripture we can see that hearing and investigating the way are the preconditions for our believing in the true way. If we hadn’t listened to the Lord’s gospel in the beginning, how could we have come before the Lord? Only after listening to and investigating the way that others preach to us can we judge whether it is the true way or not. The sheep of the Lord listen to the Lord’s voice. So, only after listening can we know whether it is the Lord’s voice or not and do we have the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s return. God has our backs, and He is our support. So, is there anything we need to be afraid of?” Sister Chen’s fellowshiping was quite rational. The Lord is almighty. With the Lord as my support, what did I have to fear? At that time, I began to feel calmer.
Sister Chen continued to say: “As for the matter of false Christs emerging in the last days to deceive people, let’s see what the Lord: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 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’ (Mat 24:23-25). When the Lord said this, His intention was that in the matter of waiting for the Lord’s return, we should be cautious and discriminating. And He has clearly told us the false Christs’ characteristics—manifesting great signs and wonders—so that we don’t get deceived. However, the Lord’s intention is not that we take the attitude of not listening to those who are preaching the Lord’s return or not seeking for the appearance of false Christs in the last days. The Lord says He will come quickly. If we avoid and refuse all those who preach the gospel of the Lord’s return for fear of being deceived by false Christs, isn’t this like closing our doors and staying at home or not eating for fear of choking? In doing so, how can we welcome the Lord’s return? Actually, it’s easy for us to not be deceived by false Christs. As long as we understand the truth of distinguishing the true Christ from false Christs, we’ll naturally neither be deceived by false Christs nor miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s coming. So, how can we distinguish the false Christs? Let’s fellowship about this aspect of the truth.”
I thought every word that Sister Chen said was reasonable. It seemed so right to say that if we passively defended against whoever said the Lord has returned for fear of being deceived by false Christs, wouldn’t we miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s coming? If we could distinguish false Christs, we need not worry about being deceived by them. So when hearing Sister Chen say that she would fellowship the truth of discerning the true Christ from false Christs, I listened more carefully.
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