There is no one who has not gone through a test all his life. Except for primitive people, no one can live a better life without going through tests. If we pass one test, we need to face another test and pass it in order to make our life much better.
It is the same spiritually. We have to pass many tests in order to enjoy eternal life and glory in the everlasting kingdom of heaven, living together with our heavenly Father and Mother forever and ever. Only those who pass every spiritual test can receive all the blessings of God.
God said that He would lay a stone in Zion and make it a testing stone and also a cornerstone for the foundation of Zion.
So this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.” Isa 28:16
When a house is built, if there is no cornerstone for its foundation, the house will collapse. Likewise, when Zion is built, if there is not the precious cornerstone, Zion cannot be built. It is the same with our faith. In building our faith, unless we pass through the testing stone, our faith cannot be grounded and settled, so we cannot expect salvation or eternal life in the kingdom of God.
The prophet Isaiah foretold that if God came to this earth, He would be a testing stone, and that many people would stumble and fall and they would also be broken, snared and captured.
“The Lord Almighty is the one you are to regard as holy, he is the one you are to fear, he is the one you are to dread, and he will be a sanctuary; but for both houses of Israel he will be a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. Many of them will stumble; they will fall and be broken, they will be snared and captured.” Isa 8:13-15
God appears on this earth as a testing stone, so it is not easy to recognize Him. 2,000 years ago, Jesus became a testing stone for the Jews. They did not receive the Messiah whom they had looked forward to, but stumbled and fell over the testing stone, Jesus. In their eyes Jesus was merely the son of a carpenter. There were only 120 people who followed Jesus Christ to the end during His ministry on earth (Ac 1:6-15). Four or five thousand people, who even witnessed the miracles performed by Jesus and heard the words of life taught by Him, turned back and no longer followed Him.
When many stumbled over Jesus Christ, the testing stone, and turned away from Him, Jesus said to His disciples with an anxious heart, “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Then Peter, who was spiritually excellent, came out and said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God” (Jn 6:66-69).
There were people who passed the test even though they were few: Peter recognized Jesus as the Christ; John and James regarded Him as precious; Apostle Paul testified that Jesus is in very nature God. Jesus promised those people, who completely passed the test, the right to judge the twelve tribes of Israel and also the glorious privilege to eat and drink at God’s table in the kingdom of heaven.
A test always contains some unexpected contents. If the test is for selecting people with high ability, the test becomes more difficult. When we are given an enigmatic or ambiguous question, we take a random guess at an answer. However, if we take a spiritual test like that, we can never enter the kingdom of heaven. We must know the correct answer.
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God … Jn 1:10-12
God has appeared in front of us as a very difficult test, so that even His own people could hardly recognize Him, to say nothing of the world. The test must not be easy because the Bible says that God gives the right to become His children only to those who recognize God correctly and believe in Him.
If we only look forward to God coming to this earth in power and great glory, we will never be able to meet God, failing to find the answer. If God comes with thunder and lightning, with majesty in His appearance, so that men cannot dare to approach Him, everyone will recognize Him. If He comes this way, He does not become a testing stone to people, because they all can know the answer.
The Bible prophesied that God would come in the form of a man, made lower than angels, because He would become a testing stone. According to the prophecy, God was born into this world as a son of Joseph, a Nazarene carpenter. If He had come in all His splendid glory visible to everyone, He would not have needed to suffer hardship and pain. However, He came in secret as a man just like one of us, hiding His glory, and went through all forms of sorrow and suffering.
Judas Iscariot must have been very confused. He probably expected that Christ had great power, but He was arrested and dragged helplessly by the soldiers; He just remained silent when He was mocked and scorned; He was also helplessly persecuted by the people; and He was silent even when He was crucified on the cross. Judas Iscariot viewed Jesus just physically and he thought there was nothing different between Jesus and other people, so he unfortunately stumbled over the testing stone.
To the people who pass the test, God is the most precious stone; but to those who do not pass the test, He becomes a stone that causes them to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.
As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him … “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone …” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” … 1 Pe 2:4-9
Those who do not receive Christ fully, who is the cornerstone, cannot grow in faith no matter how long their life of faith is. Ultimately, they cannot receive the salvation of their souls or the kingdom of heaven, the goal of their faith, nor can they receive any blessing from God.
Christ is a test given to men by God, and also the greatest problem that mankind has to solve. Today, how should we solve this problem?
Those who do not know God cannot say they believe in God. No matter how hard they may pray every day, even early in the morning and through the night sometimes, serve the church in every way and bear many fruits through preaching, if they do not know God, the fruits are nothing at all because they will soon become rotten. So the prophet Hosea said that we should press on to know God (Hos 6:3). Through the prophecies of the Bible, we must know who God is, where He is, and what promises and blessings He gives us, so that we can recognize Him even if He comes incognito, hiding His indentity.
Apostle Paul testified that Christ is the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations (Col 1:26-27). The 66 books of the Bible give us the many hints of the fact that God the Father and God the Mother are immanent in Christ who is God.
In Rev 22:17 it is written that the Spirit and the Bride give us the water of life. Some explain that the Bride, who gives the water of life together with the Spirit, represents the saints or church. We, the saints, are just given life; we cannot be the giver of life. We can do an errand for God by delivering the water of life to others, but we have no power to give life. This proves that the Bride in Rev 22:17, who gives life, is God Herself.
But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother. Gal 4:26
God has given a test about God the Mother to us who even find it difficult to understand God the Father. In order to give us the answer, God has guided us to Zion and let us know God Elohim, the mystery that has been kept hidden since the creation of the world.
We are now in a period of the test, during which we should receive God who has come as a testing stone. While taking the test, the correct answer is not provided, but it is opened in the end. God will show us His transformation into the immortal, spiritual Being in all His glorious splendor.
2,000 years ago, when Jesus went up to a mountain with Peter, John and James, a thick cloud enveloped them and Jesus was transfigured into a glorious, majestic figure. Before His transfiguration, He just looked the same as an ordinary man; like a root out of dry ground, He had no beauty or majesty to attract people to him, nothing in His appearance that they should desire Him. However, on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus appeared in a totally different form than usual.
This will happen to us also; the day will come when God will show us His transformed appearance. Apostle John described God’s majestic appearance as follows: “His eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters” (Rev 1:9-16).
God has hidden His mystery from the beginning of the world until today. So, even John the Baptist, who came with the mission of Elijah to prepare the way for Jesus, doubted whether Jesus was Christ.
When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “… Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Mt 11:2-6
God came to this earth, completely hiding His glorious splendor. He didn’t come splendidly or clamorously, but came incognito and stayed quietly beside His people. That’s why many people stumbled over the outward aspects of Jesus’ life, and the religious leaders like the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, who stoned Jesus, were never able to pass the test. It was not easy for them to understand that Jesus, who was a carpenter, was God who had created the whole universe and all things in it, wasn’t it?
Solomon testified that he had been in heaven before he was born on the earth (Pr 8:22-31). Before he came to this earth, he had existed as a spirit. Solomon, who was a mere creature, came to this earth as a man. Then, how much more could God the Almighty come to the earth in the flesh? We have to abandon the preconceived notion that God could not come in the flesh, while even we, mere creatures, put on flesh.
“You made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and put everything under his feet.” … Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. Heb 2:7-15
The Bible prophesied that God would come in human likeness, made lower than the angels. He came as a testing stone, a trap and a snare, and gave us an essential question which mankind must solve, so that we could receive God’s blessings. Only when we pass the test, we are able to lay a solid foundation for our faith.
If any of us has not fully received God and still remains at an immature stage of faith, just keeping God’s laws, he needs to reflect upon himself. We are to observe the Sabbath because God has commanded us to keep it, and we are to celebrate the Passover because God commanded us to keep it. If God did not tell us to celebrate the Passover, it is meaningless to keep the Passover; if God did not tell us to observe the Sabbath, there is no need to keep the Sabbath. The law is meaningless before God says, “For the generations to come you shall celebrate it.” The reason why the law of God is important is because it leads us to God, our Savior.
God said that He came to this earth to seek and to save what was lost. In other words, He did not come to show us miracles, but to bring us salvation.
Jesus said, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me.” Keeping these words in mind, we must correctly recognize and receive God, who has appeared as the Spirit and the Bride in this age; we must receive God the Father who came in the name of David and God the Mother who is the new Jerusalem, and follow Them wherever They go, until the end.
God must not be a testing stone to us any more. If God is still a testing stone to any of us, he or she should quickly pass the test by replying on God’s word and make the testing stone “a precious cornerstone.” I earnestly hope that all the people of Zion will find the correct answer provided by God through the Bible and will receive abundant blessings from God the Father and God the Mother, as the God-fearing people.