Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word “Beholding the Appearance of God in His Judgment and Chastisement”
By chance, the Holy Spirit expresses a passage of words ‘through’ Him, and though it feels very unexpected, we recognize that this is the utterance of God, and we readily accept it from God. That is because, regardless of who expresses these words, as long as they come from the Holy Spirit we should accept them, and cannot deny them. The next utterance could be through me, it could be through you, or it could be through him. Regardless of who it is, all is the grace of God. Yet no matter who the person is, we should not worship them, for regardless of anything else, they cannot possibly be God; we can by no means choose an ordinary person such as this to be our God. Our God is so great and honorable; how could He be represented by someone so insignificant? What’s more, we are all awaiting the arrival of God to take us back to the kingdom of heaven, and so how could someone so insignificant be qualified for such an important and arduous task? If the Lord comes again, it must be upon a white cloud, visible to all. How glorious that will be! How could He quietly hide among an ordinary group of people?
And yet it is this ordinary person hidden among people who is doing the new work of saving us. He does not clarify anything for us, nor does He tell us why He has come. He merely does the work He intends to do in steps, and according to His plan. His words and utterances become ever more frequent. From consoling, exhorting, reminding, and warning, to reproaching and disciplining; from a tone that is gentle and kind, to words that are fierce and majestic—they all instill both compassion and trepidation in man. Everything that He says hits home at the secrets hidden deep within us, His words sting our hearts, sting our spirits, and leave us ashamed and humiliated. We begin to wonder whether the God in this person’s heart really loves us, and what exactly He intends to do. Perhaps we can only be raptured after enduring such pain? In our heads we are calculating … about the destination to come, and about our future fate. Still none of us believes that God has assumed flesh and works among us. Even though He has been with us for so long, even though He has already spoken so many words face to face with us, we are still unwilling to accept someone so ordinary as the God of our future, much less are we willing to entrust control of our future and fate to someone so insignificant. From Him we enjoy an unending supply of living water, and thanks to Him we live face-to-face with God. We are only thankful for the grace of the Lord Jesus in heaven, and have never paid any attention to the feelings of this ordinary person who is possessed of divinity. He still does His work humbly hidden in the flesh, expressing His heart’s voice, seemingly insensible to mankind’s rejection of Him, apparently eternally forgiving of man’s childishness and ignorance, and forever tolerant of man’s irreverence toward Him.
Unbeknownst to us, this insignificant man has led us into step after step of God’s work. We undergo countless trials, are subjected to innumerable chastenings, and tested by death. We learn of God’s righteous and majestic disposition, enjoy, too, His love and compassion, come to appreciate God’s great power and wisdom, witness the loveliness of God, and behold God’s eager desire to save man. In the words of this ordinary person, we come to know the disposition and substance of God, come to understand God’s will, come to know the nature and substance of man, and see the way of salvation and perfection. His words cause us to die, and cause us to be reborn; His words bring us comfort, yet also leave us wracked with guilt and a sense of indebtedness; His words bring us joy and peace, but also great pain. Sometimes we are as lambs to the slaughter in His hands; sometimes we are like the apple of His eye, and enjoy His love and affection; sometimes we are like His enemy, turned to ashes by His wrath in His eyes. We are the mankind saved by Him, we are the maggots in His eyes, and we are the lost lambs that He thinks of finding day and night. He is merciful toward us, He despises us, He raises us up, He comforts and exhorts us, He guides us, He enlightens us, He chastens and disciplines us, and He even curses us. He worries for us night and day, He protects and cares for us night and day, He never leaves our side, and He devotes all His care to us and pays any price for us. Among the words of this small and ordinary flesh, we have enjoyed the entirety of God, and beheld the destination that God has bestowed upon us. Yet despite this, vanity still stalks within our hearts, and we are still unwilling to actively accept a person such as this as our God. Though He has given us so much manna, so much to enjoy, none of this can usurp the Lord’s place in our hearts. We honor this person’s special identity and status only with great reluctance. If He does not speak up to make us acknowledge that He is God, then we will never take it upon ourselves to acknowledge Him as the God that is soon to arrive yet has been working among us for so long.
The utterance of God continues, and He employs various methods and perspectives to admonish us what to do and express His heart’s voice. His words carry life power, and show us the way we should walk, and allow us to understand what the truth is. We start to be drawn to His words, we begin to focus on the tone and manner of His speaking, and subconsciously begin to take an interest in the heart’s voice of this unremarkable person. He makes painstaking efforts for us, loses sleep and appetite for us, weeps for us, sighs for us, groans in sickness for us, suffers humiliation for the sake of our destination and salvation, and His heart bleeds and sheds tears for our numbness and rebelliousness. Such being and possessions of His are beyond an ordinary person, and cannot be possessed or attained by any of the corrupted. He has tolerance and patience possessed by no ordinary person, and His love is not possessed by any created being. No one apart from Him can know all of our thoughts, or have such a grasp of our nature and substance, or judge the rebelliousness and corruption of mankind, or speak to us and work among us like this on behalf of the God of heaven. No one except for Him can possess the authority, wisdom, and dignity of God; the disposition of God and what He has and is are issued forth, in their entirety, from Him. No one apart from Him can show us the way and bring us light. No one apart from Him can reveal the mysteries God has not disclosed from creation until today. No one apart from Him can save us from Satan’s bondage and our corrupt disposition. He represents God, and expresses the heart’s voice of God, the exhortations of God, and the words of judgment of God toward all mankind. He has begun a new age, a new era, and brought a new heaven and earth, new work, and He has brought us hope, and ended the life we led in vagueness, and allowed us to fully behold the path of salvation. He has conquered our whole being, and gained our hearts. From that moment onward, our minds become conscious, and our spirits seem to be revived: This ordinary, insignificant person, who lives among us and has long been rejected by us—is He not the Lord Jesus, who is ever in our thoughts, and whom we long for night and day? It is He! It’s really Him! He is our God! He is the truth, the way, and the life! He has allowed us to live again, to see the light, and has stopped our hearts from wandering. We have returned to the home of God, we have returned before His throne, we are face-to-face with Him, we have witnessed His countenance, and have seen the road ahead. At the time, our hearts have been completely conquered by Him; we no longer doubt who He is, and no longer oppose His work and word, and we fall down, completely, before Him. We wish for nothing except to follow the footprints of God for the rest of our lives, and to be made perfect by Him, and to repay His grace, and repay His love for us, and to obey His orchestrations and arrangements, and to cooperate with His work, and to do everything we can to complete what He entrusts to us.
Being conquered by God is like a martial arts contest.
Each of God’s words strikes at our mortal spot, and leaves us sorrowful and afraid. He reveals our notions, reveals our imaginations, and reveals our corrupt disposition. Through all that we say and do, and every one of our thoughts and ideas, our nature and substance are revealed by His words, leaving us humiliated and trembling with fear. He tells us of all of our actions, our aims and intentions, and even the corrupt disposition that we have never discovered, making us feel we are thoroughly exposed, and even more feel completely convinced. He judges us for our opposition to Him, chastises us for our blasphemy and condemnation of Him, and makes us feel that in His eyes we are worthless, and we are the living Satan. Our hopes are dashed, we no longer dare to make any unreasonable demands and attempts upon Him, and even our dreams vanish overnight. This is a fact that none of us can imagine, and which none of us can accept. For a moment, our minds become unbalanced, and we do not know how to continue on the road ahead, do not know how to continue in our beliefs. It seems like our faith has gone back to square one, and that we have never met and been acquainted with the Lord Jesus. Everything before our eyes perplexes us, and makes us feel as if we have been cast adrift. We are dismayed, we are disappointed, and deep in our hearts there is insuppressible wrath and disgrace. We try to vent, try to find a way out, and, what’s more, we attempt to continue waiting for our Savior Jesus, and pour our hearts out to Him. Though there are times when we are neither haughty nor humble on the outside, in our hearts we are afflicted with a sense of loss like never before. Though sometimes we may seem unusually calm on the outside, inside we endure rolling seas of torment. His judgment and chastisement have stripped us of all our hopes and dreams, have left us without our extravagant desires, and unwilling to believe that He is our Savior and capable of saving us. His judgment and chastisement have opened up a deep gulf between us and Him and no one is even willing to cross. His judgment and chastisement are the first time that we suffer such a great setback and such great humiliation. His judgment and chastisement have allowed us to truly appreciate God’s honor and intolerance of man’s offense, compared to which we are so lowly and impure. His judgment and chastisement have made us realize for the first time how arrogant and pompous we are, and how man will never be the equal of God, or on a par with God. His judgment and chastisement have made us yearn to no longer live in such a corrupt disposition, and have made us long to rid ourselves of such nature and substance as soon as possible, and no longer be detested by Him and disgusting to Him. His judgment and chastisement have made us happy to obey His words, and no longer willing to rebel against His orchestrations and arrangements. His judgment and chastisement have once more given us the desire to seek life, and have made us happy to accept Him as our Savior…. We have walked out of the work of conquest, stepped out of hell, stepped out of the valley of the shadow of death…. Almighty God has gained us, this group of people! He has triumphed over Satan, and defeated all of His enemies!
We are just such an ordinary group of people possessed of corrupt satanic disposition, we are the ones predestined by God before the ages, and we are the needy whom God has lifted from the dunghill. We once rejected and condemned God, yet now we have been conquered by Him. We have received life and have received the way of eternal life from God. No matter where we are on earth, despite persecution and tribulation, we cannot be apart from the salvation by Almighty God. For He is our Creator, and our only redemption!
The love of God extends forth like the water of a spring, and is given to you, and to me, and to him, and to all those who truly seek the truth and await the appearance of God.
Just as the moon always follows the sun, the work of God never ceases, and is carried out upon you, upon me, upon him, and upon all those who follow the footprints of God and accept the judgment and chastisement of God.
Expressed on March 23, 2010”