By Zheng Fu, China
When the term “preacher” is mentioned, we will think of God’s work and God’s, and that’s right, preachers really do come about because of God’s work. Ever since we were corrupted by Satan, God has started His management work, and every stage of God’s work requires man to cooperate with Him practically, so that the gospel of God saving mankind can be spread to other people, and more people can receive God’s salvation. So, preachers must undertake the mission of bearing witness to God. So then, what kind of preachers are truly in harmony with ?
Some people say that: “Preachers are people who take the gospel of theand spread it to non-believers, in order to get them to become aware that the Lord Jesus is God Himself, and that the heavens and earth and all things were created by God, and in order to get them to come receive the gospel of God, so we feel that so long as someone gets more people to receive the gospel of God, then such a person is a preacher who is in harmony with God’s will, and certainly they will receive God’s praise.” This of course is correct to say, and this is what one ought to do as a preacher. However, are such preachers really in harmony with God’s will? Everybody knows that the Lord Jesus said: “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22-23). From this we can see that only doing such things on the outside will not put the preachers in harmony with God’s will, to where they receive God’s praise, for some people who believe in the name of the Lord and spread His work are considered by the Lord to be people that work iniquity. Like the Pharisees who in their time walked to all ends of the earth to spread the gospel, on the outside it appeared that they were also getting people to , but the Lord Jesus cursed them, saying: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves” (Matthew 23:15). “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13). From the Lord’s words we can see that before the Lord Jesus came to carry out new work, the Pharisees forsook their families and their careers for God’s gospel, they toiled and labored, and they went all over to spread the name of Jehovah God, to get more people to believe in God, but when God became flesh to carry out new work, they not only did not receive it, they even obstructed believers from receiving it, they took believers and controlled them in their own hands, and they even led believers with them to resist and condemn God’s new work. It’s plain to see that even though they spread the gospel to other people, they really were just bringing people before them, and they were not succeeding in getting people to understand God and turn toward God, so we cannot call them preachers who are in harmony with God’s will.
So if we want to become preachers who are truly in harmony with God, then what should we do? In one book this is what they say: “When work is spoken of, man believes that work is to run to and fro for God, preach in all places, and spend for God. Though this belief is correct, it is too one-sided; what God asks of man is not solely to journey to and fro for God; it is more the ministry and supply within the spirit” (“Work and Entry (2)”). “In the future, when the gospel is spread, you should be able to speak of your own knowledge, testify to all that you have gained in your heart, and spare no effort. This is what should be attained by a created being. What is the significance of this stage of God’s work? What is its effect? And how much of it is carried out in man? What should people do? When you can speak clearly of all the work done by God incarnate after coming to earth, then yourwill be complete. When you can speak clearly of these five things—the significance, content, substance of His work, His disposition represented by it, and His work principles—then this will prove that you are capable of testimony, and that you are truly possessed of the knowledge” (“Practice (7)”).
From this we can understand that to be a preacher—not just being okay with rushing about working for God, paying attention to how much fruit has been yielded—while preaching the gospel, they must focus on guiding brothers and sisters toward an understanding of God, discussing their personal experiences of how they put the words of God into practice and how they experience God’s words, so that others can see God’s earnest intention to save man through their testimony, have an understanding of the work of God and have true obedience toward God. Especially when God is carrying out new work, if they are able to guide brothers and sisters to follow closely in the footsteps of God and guide them to return to the presence of God, they are the preachers who truly bring people before God, and who truly are in harmony with God’s will! As a preacher, if they do not bear witness to God’s deeds, and instead let people come to an understanding of them, and worship and follow them, and listen to them for everything, then they cannot be called preachers who are truly in harmony with God’s will.
So, to be preachers who are truly in harmony with God’s will, they not only need to have the resolve to spend for God and to suffer and pay a price for God, they also need to be someone who understands the truth and is considerate of God’s will, someone who bears witness to the various aspects of the truth such as God’s work, God’s will to save man and God’s disposition, only in this way can they truly be able to bring people before God and return them to Him. In this way, when in the last days the Lord returns, they will not be like the Pharisees, who brought people before them, but rather, they will guide brothers and sisters in following the footsteps of God. Just as the Lord Jesus said: “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4). Only such a person can truly return the sheep to God, only such a person can be a preacher who is in harmony with God’s will.
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