The once said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matt 7:7). But when the Lord Jesus returns to work in the last days, many people condemn Him by their own conceptions and imaginations. When the returned Lord Jesus knocks on the door, many people shut Him out heartlessly. … I can’t help thinking of a short story that I read before. Once there was a wealthy man who was always dressed in long gowns and mandarin jackets and rode a luxury carriage to go out. The rich man hired a servant to be a gatekeeper, who had ever heard the rich man was upright and kindhearted. So the servant was very glad to guard the gate for him. The servant’s wages were never in arrears so he exerted himself to guard the gate. Whenever the servant saw the master’s carriage from afar, he would open the gate and greet the master’s return. But he hadn’t never met his master. One day, the master went out in the horse-drawn carriage but came back in the evening by car. The servant not only didn’t greet the master, but he even refused to open the gate. The driver got off the car and said to the servant, “This is the master’s car. Open the gate.” “No. What the master took was a carriage; how could he be in the car? You are lying.” During the dispute, the master got off the car and said, “I’ m the master of this family.” The servant asked, “On what basis do you say that you are the master?” The master answered, “I can tell you the things of my family, and you will know.” Then the master told everything of the family to the servant, but the servant still didn’t believe him and said, “Although what you said is true, our master never takes a car, and he always takes a carriage.” No matter what the master said, the servant clung to his own imagination and strongly refused to open the gate. At last, the master called the butler over to settle the wages of the servant and sent him home.
From this story, it is not hard to see: For the servant guarding the gate didn’t know the master, when the master went out in a carriage and then came home in a car, the servant only considered things on the surface, thinking only the person who returned in a carriage was the master, otherwise he was not. Although the master proved his identity again and again, the servant still lived in his own imagination, and conceived it to be impossible. Finally, the servant was sent home by the master because he blindly upheld himself. Similarly, facing the new work of God in the last days, many people hold on to their conceptions and can’t accept it. For example, some people think since the Lord Jesus left upon a white cloud, He should get back upon a white cloud, so they have conceptions about the work of the incarnate God. Some people think God should still bestow grace when He comes again, so they have conceptions about God’s work of chastisement and judgment. Some people think God should only work in Israel, so they have conceptions about the work location of God in the last days. God says, “The work of God continues to advance, and though the purpose of His work remains unchanging, the means by which He works are constantly changing, and thereby so are those who follow God. The more work of God, the more thoroughly man comes to know God, and the disposition of man changes accordingly along with His work. However, it is because the work of God is ever-changing that those who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit and those absurd men who do not know the truth become opponents of God. Not ever does the work of God conform to the conceptions of man, for His work is always new and never old. Not ever does He repeat work of old but rather forges ahead with work never before done. As God does not repeat His work and man invariably judges the work of God today based on His work of the past, it is exceedingly difficult for God to carry out each stage of work of the new age. Man presents far too many hindrances! The thinking of man is too hidebound! No man knows the work of God, yet they all define such work. … All men wish to gain God yet are unable to tolerate any changes in God’s work. Those who do not accept the new work of God believe that the work of God is changeless, and that the work of God forever remains at a standstill” (“How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?”). From God’s words we can understand: The work of God changes from day to day and is always progressing forward. The way of God’s work is also changing. If we but do not know Him or His work, then we will condemn Him on account of our own conceptions, thereby being eliminated by Him. Let us think back: The religious Pharisees in the Age of Grace thought that keeping the law was all that was needed to be loyal to God and gain God’s salvation. Actually, when the Lord Jesus came to earth to do His work, the religious Pharisees, the chief priests and the scribes all began to condemn and resist Him. They lived in their own conceptions and imaginations and firmly believed that it was impossible for God to do the work outside the law. Because they neither knew the Lord Jesus nor sought or investigated His work, eventually they nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross according to their conceptions and imaginations and were subjected to punishment of God. Thus it can be seen that, with regard to the return of the Lord Jesus in the last days, if people treat the work of God in terms of their notions and imaginations, then they can only repeat the road of the Pharisees so that they will be forfeited by their own conceptions and be eliminated by God’s work in the end.
God’s words say, “Today, many people have committed a similar error. They wantonly proclaim the imminent appearance of God, yet also condemn His appearance; their ‘impossible’ once more confines the appearance of God within the limits of their imagination. … If you cannot discern the utterances of God, how are you qualified to witness the appearance of God? Where God appears, there is the expression of the truth, and there is the voice of God. Only those who can accept the truth can hear the voice of God, and only such people are qualified to witness the appearance of God. Put your conceptions to one side! Stop and carefully read these words. If you yearn for the truth, God will enlighten you to understand His will and His words. …the work of God transcends the limits of man’s thinking and conception. The more that something is impossible, the more there is the truth to be sought; the more that something is beyond the conception and imagination of man, the more it contains the will of God. Because no matter where God reveals Himself, God is still God, and His substance will never change because of the location or manner of His appearance” (“The Appearance of God Has Brought a New Age”).
God’s words point us the way to know God. Whether or not it is the work of God, and whether or not it is the appearance of God, must be judged from the words of God rather than be decided based upon whether it is in line with man’s conceptions, which is what the wise virgins will do. Therefore, in determining whether Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus, we shouldn’t see whether He returns upon a white cloud, whether He bestows grace or where He does His work, but seek and investigate it from the words expressed by Almighty God and the work done by Him. Since He is God, then He can express truth; and since it is the work of God Himself, then He can reveal all mysteries of God’s management plan and God’s intention of saving man. Therefore, facing with the return of the Lord Jesus in the last days, we should have a heart of seeking and the attitude that yearns for and seeks the truth, and put aside our own conceptions. In this way, God will enlighten us to understand His words and His will, and to recognize that Almighty God is the One who has returned in the last days. Now the Lord Jesus has come back and He is knocking at the door outside. Have you opened the door to welcome Him?