By Han Xu
The once said, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. 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 7:21-23). Why did the Lord say that “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven”? Why will He say that those who in His name have prophesied, cast out devils, and done wonderful works are ones who work iniquity, and tell them to depart from Him? Aren’t prophesying, casting out devils, and doing wonderful works in the Lord’s name doing the will of the Father in heaven? How to explain this?
As believers in God, we all hope to receive God’s promise, to enter into the kingdom of heaven and live with God in the future to enjoy the blessings there. But what should we do to receive the promise God bestowed upon man? The Lord Jesus clearly told us only those who do the will of the Father in heaven can enter into the kingdom of heaven. So what kind of people are the ones who do the will of the Father in heaven? Precisely speaking, they are the ones who can obey the work of the Holy Spirit, obey God’s words, do things in accordance with God’s requirements, seek and act according to God’s guidance in everything, have God’s words as their standard in whatever they do, and obey and satisfy God. So, whether one can enter into the kingdom of heaven depends on whether he can obey God’s words and act according to His requirements. In the Age of Law, Jehovah God set forth laws and led the people to live on earth, so that they knew how to worship God to receive His blessings, and they also understood that as long as they listened to His words, obeyed His leading, and kept the laws and commandments, they would be ones who did the will of the Father in heaven and could receive the care, protection, and blessings from Jehovah God; if they did not comply with the laws and commandments, they would not be ones who did the will of the Father in heaven, and they would lose God’s care and protection, and would be condemned by the law, be stoned to death or be burnt to death by the fire from heaven. When the Age of Grace arrived, the Lord Jesus did the work of redeeming mankind, and He made new requirements of people, telling them to confess their sins and repent, practice forbearance and patience, love their enemies, etc., giving them the ways of practice in the new age. In that age, those who could accept the work of the Lord Jesus, obey His words, and practice according to His requirements were ones who did the will of the Father in heaven. They could be forgiven of their sins and enjoy God’s rich grace and blessing. On the contrary, those who still held onto the law and refused to accept and obey the Lord Jesus’ work and words were not ones who did the will of the Father in heaven. They were eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit and fell into darkness. For example, generation after generation of the Pharisees served God in the temple or traveled land and sea to preach the law, and they had abandoned many things, but when the Lord Jesus became flesh and did the new work, they held onto the law and refused to accept His new work, and even resisted it and persecuted the Lord Jesus. In the end, they nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross and were cursed by God. This is thought-provoking. Weren’t they familiar with the Scriptures? Weren’t they the ones who served God in the temple? How could they do such a wicked thing that resisted God? Although they were well versed in the law and had served God in the temple for years, they were not ones who followed the laws and commandments and did the will of the Father in heaven. They sewed the Scripture to the hem of their garments and prayed standing on the corners of the streets, trying to win the adoration of the Jews and keep their positions and jobs with their godly appearance. Therefore, during the Lord Jesus’ work on earth, when they saw His words and work had authority and power and many people followed Him, for fear of losing their positions and jobs, they hated His coming and the truths expressed by Him, and slandered, framed, and condemned Him contrary to the law and commandments. They defamed the Lord Jesus by claiming that He cast out devils by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils (see Matthew 9:32-34), falsely accused Him of speaking blasphemies (see Luke 5:20-21), condemned Him for healing on the Sabbath days in violation of the law, and plotted how to kill Him (see Matthew 12:9-14). Now it is not hard for us to understand why the Lord Jesus rebuked and cursed them, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” (Matthew 23:13). These Pharisees were all cursed by God, and they could never enter into the kingdom of heaven. So, in God’s eyes, whether one can enter into the kingdom of heaven does not depend on the amount of work he has done outwardly but on whether he can obey God’s new words and work and do the will of the Father in heaven.
God said, “Those who cannot closely follow the footsteps of God are incapable of attaining such a life. They will have lowered themselves into darkness, where they will weep and gnash their teeth; they are people who but do not follow Him, who believe in God but do not obey all of His work. Since man believes in God, he must closely follow the footsteps of God, step-by-step; he should ‘follow the Lamb wherever He goes.’ Only these are the people who seek the true way, only they are the ones who know the work of the Holy Spirit. People who slavishly follow letters and doctrines are those who have been eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit. In each period of time, God will begin new work, and in each period, there will be a new beginning among man. If man only abides by the truths that ‘Jehovah is God’ and ‘Jesus is ,’ which are truths that only apply to a single age, then man will never keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and will forever be incapable of gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how God works, man follows without the slightest doubt, and he follows closely. In this way, how could man be eliminated by the Holy Spirit? Regardless of what God does, as long as man is certain that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, and cooperates in the work of the Holy Spirit without any misgivings, and tries to meet the requirements of God, then how could he be punished? … Man believes that the Israelites were wrong to ‘only believe in Jehovah and not believe in Jesus,’ yet the majority of people act out a role in which they ‘only believe in Jehovah and reject Jesus’ and ‘long for the return of the Messiah, but oppose the Messiah who is called Jesus.’ No wonder, then, that people still live under the domain of Satan after accepting one stage of the work of the Holy Spirit, and still do not receive God’s blessings. Is this not the result of man’s rebelliousness? … Only those who follow the footsteps of the Lamb to the very end can gain the final blessing, whereas those clever people, who are unable to follow to the very end yet believe they have gained all, are incapable of witnessing the appearance of God. They all believe they are the smartest person on earth, and they cut short the continued development of God’s work for no reason at all, and seem to believe with absolute certainty that God will take them up to heaven, they who ‘have the utmost loyalty to God, follow God, and abide by the words of God.’ Even though they have the ‘utmost loyalty’ toward the words spoken by God, their words and actions still feel so disgusting because they oppose the work of the Holy Spirit, and commit trickery and evil. Those who do not follow to the very end, who do not keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and who only cleave to the old work have not only failed to achieve loyalty to God, but on the contrary, have become those who oppose God, have become those who are rejected by the new age, and who will be punished. Are there any more pitiable than them?” (“God’s Work and Man’s Practice”).
From God’s words we see that if one wants to receive God’s promise, he must closely follow the footsteps of God. God’s work is always new and never old, each stage of which is higher and deeper than the last, and done on the foundation of it. If one can follow the Lamb closely wherever He goes, accept and obey God’s new work simply and honestly, and act according to God’s new requirements without cleaving to the old work once done by God, then he is someone who does the will of the Father in heaven, and he can receive the work of the Holy Spirit and the blessings and perfection of God. So, are the pastors and leaders in the religious world today ones who do the will of the Father in heaven? In the last days, God has become flesh again and carried out the work of judging and purifying man on earth, and He has ended the old age and opened up a new age. But the pastors and leaders in the religious world don’t at all seek or investigate the work of God in the new age. In order to attain their ambitious aim of holding on to power, controlling the believers, and establishing their own kingdom in the religious world, they, flying in the face of the words of the Lord Jesus, wildly judge, attack, and blaspheme Almighty God, and try desperately to stop the believers from seeking and investigating the true way. The Lord Jesus once taught us to be the wise virgins, who go out to meet the Bridegroom when hearing someone crying, “Behold, the bridegroom comes.” But when the pastors and leaders in the religious world hear the news of the return of the Lord Jesus, in order to keep their own positions and jobs, they not only do not seek or investigate the true way themselves, but also try by every possible means to seal off the churches and stop and disturb the believers from seeking and investigating it. The Lord Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves, but they incite the believers to beat and curse the brothers and sisters who bear witness to Almighty God’s work of the last days, and they even report them to the police. They also deceive and bind the believers with the literal meaning of some verses, saying that the Lord will appear as a spiritual body on a white cloud when He comes, and it is impossible that He will become flesh to do the work of judgment and chastisement, that God’s word is only in the Bible, and nowhere else, and departure from the Bible is heresy, and so on. They have plunged the believers deeply into the mire of the religious world using such fallacies contrary to the truth, so that they cannot receive the supply and watering of God’s words in the new age, falling into darkness and losing the work of the Holy Spirit and the chance of salvation. Worse still, many believers are deceived by the rumors spread by them and even follow them to condemn and resist the work of Almighty God, becoming their lackeys and accomplices…. Through hindering and disturbing the work of God, they have deprived so many believers of the opportunities to ! These facts show that they are not at all ones who do the will of the Father in heaven. So how can they enter into the ? Aren’t they the kind of people spoken of by the Lord Jesus in the words “I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity”?
Therefore, if we want to enter into the kingdom of heaven, we must do the will of the Father in heaven. Today Almighty God, the returned Lord Jesus, has carried out the work of judgment of the last days by expressing the truths. Only if we closely follow the footsteps of the Lamb and accept Almighty God’s work of the last days, obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit, pursue and practice according to the present requirements of God, accept His chastisement and judgment to be free from sin and be cleansed and saved, will we be doing the will of God. Only by doing so can we enter into the kingdom of God. If we cleave to God’s past work and refuse to accept the work of Almighty God, we will not be ones who do the will of the Father in heaven. Even if we believe in God to the very end, we will be destroyed, for all those who fail to keep up with the new work of God are opponents of God and are evildoers. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathers not with me scatters” (Luke 11:23). Almighty God said, “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit” (“When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Almighty God earnestly exhorts us to obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit and long for and seek the truth. In the face of God’s work, we should not condemn it blindly, should not reject the work of the Holy Spirit for fear of being deceived, and should not blaspheme the Holy Spirit, because the Lord Jesus said, “Why I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven to men. And whoever speaks a word against , it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matthew 12:31-32). In treating the work of Almighty God in the last days, only if we seek sincerely with a heart of reverence and obedience for God, can we receive the leading and guidance of God and be brought before His throne to receive His judgment and purification. Only through being judged by God’s words can we see our ugly self corrupted by Satan, and pursue the truth to have our old corrupt disposition transformed. In the end, when we can live by the words of God and have become ones who do the will of God, we will have been saved and will enter into God’s kingdom and inherit His promise.