by Yi Xin
For us believers in the Lord, there is nothing so important as us receiving the of the Lord. Particularly in the present time of , facing the Lord’s return, many Christians think: The pastors and elders are the leading sheep of , who have believed in the Lord for years and know the very well. They actively preach the to testify the Lord’s name, and moreover, some even endure prison as a result. They have suffered a lot for the Lord, so when the Lord comes back, they must be revealed first. Then, is this viewpoint correct or not? Is it in consistent with the ’ words? And, can we really be certain that the Lord will give revelation to pastors and elders first when He returns?
When we read the Bible, we can see that people under the law were all longing for the coming of the Messiah. According to the conceptions and illusion of the people at that time, when the Messiah came, He should first reveal it to the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees since they were all well versed in the law, often explained and exalted the Bible, and even traveled over land and sea to preach the gospel of Jehovah God. When God was incarnated to bring redemption, knowledge of the Bible the Pharisees they held, however, could not help them know God in the slightest, though they beheld with their eyes that the work and words of the Lord Jesus had great authority and power. They did not acknowledge at all that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah who would come. When Jesus was working and preaching, not only did they not seek the truth, but on the contrary, they tried to find all kinds of accusations against Him, condemning and slandering His work. Due to their arrogance, conceit, and disobeying the truth, the Lord did not enlighten them, but instead condemned them, saying that woe was to them.
However, compared with the exalted Pharisees, shepherds, the Magi from the east, and Simeon, who had neither status nor any prestige, on the contrary, received God’s revelation. It is written down in the Bible that when shepherds were tending the flocks in the wilderness of Bethlehem, angels appeared among them, delivering the good news that the Lord Jesus was to be born. It is written in the Bible, “And, see, the angel of the Lord came on them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said to them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign to you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:9-12). After the Lord was born, the Magi from the east went to Bethlehem to find the Lord’s appearance. God used a star to guide them to the place where the Lord Jesus was born. The Bible records, “and, see, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was” (Matthew 2:9). Similarly, the devout Simeon had been longing to be able to see the Lord before he died, and God promised him as what he expected. The Bible says, “And it was revealed to him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law” (Luke 2:26-27).
From these facts, we can see that God enlightens man by principles. It’s not based on how much he has suffered, what qualifications he has, or his status, or how much biblical knowledge he has, but rather based on whether he can forsake himself to seek truth and whether he has a pure and obedient heart. Unless he is a correct person, he can never obtain God’s enlightenment and guidance, not to mention the Lord’s revelation, because God observes man’s heart. For example, according to our human conceptions, we may all think: Jehovah God must have first revealed the work He would do to Eli, the old priest, who served Jehovah God in the temple all his life. However, Eli shielded his sons, failing to practice righteousness, so God did not work on him; rather, He worked on the child Samuel who followed Eli and ministered to Jehovah God. He called Samuel four times on end, telling him His will, instead of telling Eli first. Therefore, when it comes to the arrival of the Lord, we likewise should not use our conceptions and illusions to measure God or define that God will surely first reveal to those religious leaders who labor in work all the time and are zealous in serving God. God’s work often counters our imaginations and ideas. The Lord Jesus said, “because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes” (Matthew 11:25). “For whoever exalts himself shall be abased; and he that humbles himself shall be exalted” (Luke 14:11). Clearly, we man pay attention to the laboring capital, admire a high position and reputation, and believe that we will certainly receive the Lord’s revelation with them. Nevertheless, God knows different. He delights in our letting go of ourselves and humbly seeking the truth. Especially when God does His new work, only when we are like little children, pure and honest, can we receive the Lord’s revelation and guidance. So, in welcoming the Lord’s return in the last days, it is wrong and goes against the truth for us to stubbornly cling to the view that the Lord will surely first reveal it to pastors and elders when He comes back.
Let’s recall those who followed the Lord Jesus at that time. They were chosen by the Lord and followed Him not because of their high status or reputation, but because they had a heart of humble seeking and thirsting for the truth, and thus gained God’s revelation and kept pace with the Lord’s footsteps. Take Peter for an example: He originally was a fisherman who walked by the Sea of Galilee. After following the Lord Jesus, through contact with Him, Peter had a deeper understanding of the Lord from His words and work. Owing to his seeking and longing for the truth, the Lord Jesus enlightened him to become certain that He was the appearance of God. When the Lord asked the disciples, “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered and said to him, “You are the Christ” (see Mark 8:29). In addition, Acts 8 records: An eunuch of Ethiopia, who had come to Jerusalem to worship, sat in his chariot reading Esaias the prophet. When meeting him, Phillip asked, “Understand you what you read?” The eunuch said humbly, “How can I, except some man should guide me?” (see Act 8:30-31). Thus, Phillip preached the gospel of the Lord Jesus to him. After hearing the of the Lord’s deeds from Phillip, he received baptism and accepted the gospel of the Lord . Though an eunuch of great authority, he could set aside position and did not consider himself higher than others. Ultimately, he received the salvation from the Lord. Besides, John 4 records that when the Samaritan woman came to draw water out of the well, the Lord revealed her secret in the exchange between them, which said, “You have well said, I have no husband: For you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband: in that said you truly” (John 4:17-18). It was because the Lord Jesus exposed the Samaritan woman’s hidden facts of darkness that she recognized through His words that He was the coming Messiah, Christ. As she yearned for and sought the truth, she received God’s enlightenment. Such a person is truly a wise virgin. Hence, those who do not seek or investigate when hearing the gospel of the Lord’s return, yet hold to the incorrect viewpoint that the Lord will surely first reveal it to pastors and elders when He comes back, and furthermore, believe this kind of sermons preached by the pastors and elders, they are the foolish virgins. They will never welcome the Lord’s return since they trust their own imaginations as well as pastors and elders so much. They do not believe or acknowledge that the Lord has come since the pastors and elders do not acknowledge it. God’s believers adore and follow man, and they will surely be abandoned and eliminated by God. It is just as the Lord Jesus said, “Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14).
Brothers and sisters, all those who can welcome God are the ones who long for and seek the truth. On account of their thirsting for and believing s, they receive God’s enlightenment and illumination, know the voice of God, and have welcomed the return of the Lord. They never live based upon their own notions and imaginations, nor are they restrained by the influence of the position of the pastors and elders. When hearing someone witness God’s return, that Christ has already appeared and carried out new work among man, and that God has spoken words, they actually seek and investigate. Thus, they see that God’s words are the truth with authority and power, and that He who is able to express these words is indeed the appearance of Christ, thereby following God’s footsteps. Therefore, if we hear the news about the Lord Jesus’ return, we should learn from them and follow the example of the Lord’s disciples, the Samaritan woman, and others in treating the Lord’s return with a humble, seeking heart. That way we will receive God’s enlightenment and see the appearance of God.
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