Brothers and sisters of Grow in Christ:
Hello! Now disasters are getting ever bigger. The day of the Lord has already come. We believers in the Lord are all anxiously waiting for Him to be raptured into the heavenly kingdom. The Lord Jesus said, “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened to ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. … and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut” (Matthew 25:1–10). From these verses, we see that when the Lord comes, the foolish virgins will be locked outside on account of not preparing oil, while the wise virgins who have prepared oil will dine with Him. Only by being wise virgins can we welcome the Lord’s return. Then, in the last days, how should we prepare to be the wise virgins to welcome the Lord?
Posted by Xun’en
Hello! Peace to you in the Lord! You have brought up a very important question. It concerns whether we can welcome the Lord’s return in the last days and be raptured into the heavenly kingdom, and all of the brothers and sisters in the Lord pay close attention to this question. Thank the Lord for His guidance. Recently, through looking to the Lord to seek and communicating with brothers and sisters, I have gained a ray of light. Below I will talk a bit about my personal understanding.
Let’s first study several verses of scripture. The Bible says, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16: 12–13). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). From these words of the Bible, we can see that when the Lord comes, He will speak to the churches. Therefore, only by recognizing God’s voice can we welcome the Lord’s return and be raptured into the heavenly kingdom. If we don’t know how to distinguish God’s voice, even though we hear the words of the returned Lord, we are incapable of recognizing He is the Lord. So, in order to welcome the Lord, we must learn to distinguish God’s voice.
Then, how can we distinguish God’s voice? After studying the Bible and looking to the Lord to seek, we have found some ways from God’s word.
Firstly, God’s word can reveal mysteries, and expose man’s corrupt substance, as well as man’s mind and thoughts.
As is known to us all, the incarnate Lord Jesus revealed many mysteries while preaching and doing His work, such as, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). And, “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” (Matthew 7:21). Apart from these, the Lord Jesus revealed many other mysteries. For example, when the Lord Jesus did His work, no one knew who John the Baptist was, and even John himself didn’t know. But the Lord Jesus is God and He knew this mystery. He said, “And if you will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come” (Matthew 11:14). These words revealing mysteries are what man cannot express and beyond the reach of man’s thinking. Just like the Bible says, “The secret things belong to the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever …” (Deuteronomy 29:29). Only God knows the secret things. So, we can be sure that the One who is able to uncover mysteries is God. There is a prophecy in Revelation, “Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:5). As we all know, only the Lamb can open the scroll, that is to say, only the words uttered by God in the last days can uncover the mysteries that are unknown to us.
Additionally, God can see into men’s minds and hearts and has a thorough understanding of man. Only God can reveal the essence of our nature and every thought in our hearts. Take Samaritan woman, Nathanael, and Matthew for example. Samaritan woman believed in the Lord Jesus because Jesus spoke of all that she had done and what she thought about in her heart. Nathanael believed in the Lord Jesus because Jesus, who had not been with him, told him where he had been before he came to see Jesus and what kind of man he was. The tax collector Matthew recognized the Lord Jesus is God because Jesus spoke out the content of his prayers. From these examples above, we find that God’s word can disclose things deep in man’s heart. This is also one way we can distinguish God’s voice.
Secondly, God’s words possess His disposition, and have authority and power; God is as good as His word, and His word shall be accomplished.
Regardless of whether they are the words of God become flesh, or the utterances of the Spirit of God, they are all the words uttered by God to mankind from up high. Such are the tone and characteristics of God’s word. Here, God’s authority and identify are obviously manifested. It can be said that this is the unique means by which the Creator speaks. The utterances of the incarnate Lord Jesus primarily relate to God’s requirements and admonitions of man, the words of God’s administrative decrees and commandments, the words of prophecies and God’s promises to mankind, etc. These words are all the expression of the truth, the way, and the life, as well as the revelation of God’s life and substance. They represent God’s disposition and all that He has and is. From the words expressed by God, we can see that His words are the truth, and they have authority and power.
Let’s read the words of God’s requirements and admonitions of men, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (Matthew 22:37–40).
And what the Lord Jesus said about administrative decrees, “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 the Son of man, 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).
And the words the Lord Jesus spoke to expose and curse the Pharisees, “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).
Apart from these, there are also some words of prophecies and God’s promises. For example, the Lord Jesus said, “I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2–3). “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47–48).
For another example, the Lord Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead. It is written in John 11:43–44: “And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin.”
We can see from these words that the Lord Jesus’ words are God’s utterances to all mankind. He directly expressed God’s disposition and God’s intentions for mankind to lead mankind, provide to mankind, and personally redeem mankind. This completely represents the identity and authority of God Himself. Reading them instantly makes us feel that these words are the truth, with authority and power. They are the voice of God and God speaking to mankind! They could not have been uttered by any man.
Therefore, in the last days, if we want to discern whether the words are the utterances of the returned Lord, we should see whether they possess God’s disposition and have authority and power. If we can see these, we can be sure that they are the voice of the Lord.
Xun’en, the several ways of discerning the Lord’s voice above are some illumination we have gained in our quest. Hope they can bring some help to you. As long as we grasp these truths above and are able to recognize God’s voice, we can welcome the Lord’s return.
May God guide you! If you have any other problems, you are welcome to communicate with us. Let us seek God together to resolve them. All the glory be to God!
Grow in Christ