TAKING HEED TO OURSELVES LEST OUR HEARTS
BE WEIGHED DOWN WITH DISSIPATION
AND DRUNKENNESS AND ANXIETIES OF LIFE
Luke 21:34-35 says, "And take heed to yourselves lest at some time your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and anxieties of life, and that day come upon you suddenly as a snare; for it will come in upon all those dwelling on the face of all the earth." Today, many people pursue earthly riches and love the modern fashion of this world. This is a form of dissipation. They are swallowed up by these things like one who is drunk or in a dream. Their hearts are weighed down by the anxieties of life, and they have no way to be rescued from them. We need to take heed.
NEEDING TO BE WATCHFUL, BESEECHING
AT EVERY TIME THAT WE MAY PREVAIL
In order for us to escape the coming tribulation, we need to be not only watchful but also beseeching. Luke 21:36 says, "But be watchful, at every time beseeching, that you may prevail to escape all these things which are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man." Our strength and power to escape the great tribulation come from being watchful and beseeching. For this we need to be revived every morning and overcoming every day, so that we can be raptured before the great tribulation to the Zion in heaven to stand before our Savior (cf. Rev. 12:5-6, 14).
KEEPING THE WORD OF THE LORD’S ENDURANCE,
AND BEING KEPT OUT OF THE HOUR OF TRIAL
We also need to keep the word of the Lord’s endurance. In Revelation 3:10 the Lord says, "Because you have kept the word of My endurance, I also will keep you out of the hour of trial which is about to come on the whole inhabited earth, to try them who dwell on the earth." Today the Lord’s word to us is the word of His endurance. If we want to keep the word of His endurance, we must suffer the rejection and persecution that He suffered. By this we will be preserved and kept from the great tribulation, which will come upon the whole inhabited earth.
BEING A PRUDENT VIRGIN
Matthew 25 shows us how the prudent virgins watchfully await the bridegroom’s return (vv. 1-10). They carry their lamps with oil in their vessels to go forth to meet the bridegroom. They are the prepared ones. When the bridegroom comes, they can go in with him to the marriage feast. We believers are like chaste virgins. In this dark age we are testifying for the Lord, and we are going out of the world to meet the Lord. For this, we need not only the indwelling of the Spirit of God, but also the filling and the saturation of our soul, that is, of our entire being, by the Spirit of God, lest we be shut outside the door of the marriage feast.
BEING A FAITHFUL AND PRUDENT SLAVE
On the one hand, we need to be the Lord’s prudent virgins. On the other hand, we need to be the Lord’s faithful and prudent slaves. Virgins signify the aspect of life; we are espoused to the Lord and are living to Him. Slaves signify the aspect of service; we are purchased by the Lord to serve Him. Matthew 24 and 25 also tell us of the way to be a faithful and prudent slave: to take care of the Lord’s church by distributing food to the believers at the appointed time, and to do our best to function according to the gift we have received, lest we lose our reward and receive punishment instead.
BEING CAREFUL HOW ONE BUILDS THE CHURCH
UPON THE FOUNDATION LAID BY THE APOSTLES
First Corinthians 3:10-17 tells us that we should be careful how we build the church upon the foundation laid by the apostles. We should not use the materials of our natural man, which are wood, grass, and stubble. Instead, we should build upon Christ as the unique foundation with all the attributes and virtues of the Triune God, which are gold, silver, and precious stones, lest our building be consumed and we ourselves suffer loss so as through fire.
BEING WATCHFUL TO KEEP OUR GARMENTS
Finally, we need to be watchful to keep our garments. In Revelation 16:15 the Lord said, "Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he who watches and keeps his garments, that he may not walk naked and they see his shame." We need to keep ourselves in honor, not walking according to the flesh but according to the spirit, so that we may be prepared to meet the Lord.
(A message given by Brother Witness Lee in Taipei, Taiwan on October 20, 1990)
(The Vision of the Divine Dispensing and Guidelines for the Practice of the New Way, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)