By Zhou Jing
I am a of the Church of the . Every time when I see those who hold on to the Bible and are not willing to accept God’s new work, I will recall my behaviors of resisting God and refusing to accept God’s new work because of my keeping the Bible before. Whenever I think of this, my heart is like being stabbed by a knife, and I feel terribly ashamed and extremely regretful.
It was in the late fall of 2002. One day when I was studying the Bible at home, two sisters came to my home to preach the gospel, saying, “Sister, our long-expected Jesus has come back. He is the incarnate Almighty God. You should investigate quickly.…” Hearing their words, I came to know they were those who preached like what the leader said. They no longer read the Bible but turned to read another book which was said to be an uplifting of the Bible. I thought: Since we believe in the Lord, we should read the Bible, because the Bible testifies for God and is all-embracing, and only in the Bible can we gain . This is what all believers know. So, I should never accept the way they preach. At this thought, I cast the two sisters out of my house. Later, I heard that they had no place to go but to stay in the garden outside the village for one night. When hearing this, I felt so bad in my heart, but then I changed my mind and thought: Our believing in the Lord is believing in the Bible. For God’s works are all in the Bible. Departing from the Bible is not believing in the Lord. Since the way they preach has left the Bible, I cannot accept it no matter who preaches it to me.
In the next two years, there were sisters coming to preach the gospel to me constantly, but I refused all of them. Around the Spring Festival in 2004, one day, my husband went up to the flat roof to air the wheat to be milled because the weather was especially fine. When he stood on the flat roof, he saw two sisters who preached the gospel standing not far from my doorway. Although the weather was fine that day, the temperature was still pretty low. My husband said to me, “Those two sisters have come here for several times, but you always shut them out. The day is so cold. Just let them in to warm themselves.”
I said to him, “Don’t you forget what the leader said? Those who accept Eastern Lightning will be expelled from the church. Think about it!”
At my words, my husband said, “Is what the leader said after the Lord’s will? The Lord said: ‘But love you your enemies, and do good’ (Luke 6:35). The Lord teaches us to love others as we love ourselves and also to love our enemies, but the leader does not allow us to contact the people who . Is this right? In my opinion, this is completely against the Lord’s will.”
Seeing that my husband was determined to let them in, I warned him, “It is OK to let them in to warm themselves, but you cannot listen to or accept the way they preach, because it deviates from the Bible. Just remember this.”
After the two sisters came into my house, they kindly engaged in a small talk with me, but I replied with a poker face and said to them, “I know your intent. Let me make it clear: You can eat and drink in my home. Just don’t preach your teachings. I know that you do not read the Bible, but I need to keep the way of the Lord and I cannot leave the Bible. If you still want to preach to me, then you’re just wasting your breath. I won’t accept it.” In spite of my firm attitude, the two sisters still kept communicating with me and even helped me with my work, without being angry at all.
Seeing that they were with such a loving heart, I thought: They have come here several times. I’m always neither hostile nor friendly to them, but they still keep fellowshiping to me with unflagging patience. This is what the brothers and sisters of our church cannot achieve. They are so loving and full of faith, which proves that they have the work of the . Or else, who can have such great love? The leader always says that the people of Eastern Lightning are not good, but I feel that these two sisters are dignified and upright and not like what the leader said. What’s this all about? I couldn’t understand anyway. At this moment, I saw one of the two sisters wanted to fellowship with me, so I immediately began to talk about something else and didn’t give her the chance to speak. Seeing my indifferent attitude, my husband glared at me. The sister seemed to have read my mind and said nothing more. Then they helped me pick the greens for a whole afternoon and left at dusk.
Next day when my husband and I were working in the yard after breakfast, one of the two sisters came again. I felt amazed while seeing her, thinking: My attitude to them was so bad yesterday. I didn’t expect that she would . Seeing that I was working, the sister offered to help me and fellowshiped with me at the same time. Only then did I know that her name was Luo Lan. Luo Lan said, “Sister, I can tell that you believe in the Lord with a true heart. Then why don’t you accept the returned Lord? What do you think of Almighty God’s work of the ?”
I said, “Before you there were someone else preaching to me the gospel of Almighty God, and all were refused by me. But I see that you are all with a loving heart, from which I can tell you have the work of the Holy Spirit and the presence of the Lord; otherwise, you won’t come here again after being treated coldly yesterday. I find that you believers in Almighty God are not like what the rumors say. Our leader told us not to listen to you, and not to read your book or contact with you. Now it seems that what the leader said is not after the Lord’s will. I feel pretty peaceful in my contact with you.”
My husband then said, “Yeah, from your living out, we can see you are truly not like what the leader said. The views we hold of you before are wrong.”
Then I frowned and said, “But there is one thing I don’t understand. Shouldn’t we believe in the Lord on the basis of the Bible? It is unacceptable to me that you no longer read the Bible. The Bible contains the full salvation of God, and departing from the Bible is not believing in God. So I really can’t accept it if you ask me to leave the Bible.”
After hearing my words, Luo Lan said, “Sister, many of the believers in God hold the viewpoint that one must believe in God according to the Bible and any work outside the Bible cannot be God’s work. However, does this viewpoint conform to the Lord’s will? Is there any basis for this in God’s word? If we think that holding to the Bible is believing in God, then are we following God? Actually, only conducting our in accordance with the Lord’s word is most accurate. Especially on the matter of the Lord’s coming, we should even more rely on the Lord’s word and absolutely cannot define God’s work according to our notions and imaginations. Why are there so many sects in the world? Isn’t this because people’s understandings are different and that they all follow their own imaginations? The consequences will be serious if we do not believe in God according to God’s word, do not seek God’s will, do not , and do not seek and investigate God’s new work, but live in our notions and imaginations. Thinking of the Jewish Pharisees at that time, although they declared themselves to be faithful to Jehovah, they held on to the Bible rigidly when the Lord came to do His new work, thinking that the way preached by the Lord wasn’t the , for His name was not Messiah and it was not in line with the Bible. Thus, they resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus and nailed Him to the cross in the end, committing a heinous crime. Isn’t what the Pharisees did worthy for us to reflect on ourselves?
“The Lord Jesus said: ‘And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he has sent, him you believe not. Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal : and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life’ (John 5:38-40). From the word of the Lord Jesus, we can understand that we won’t gain God’s approval if we only keep the Bible and do not come before God to gain the life, because only God can save men while the Bible can neither save men nor replace the new word and work of God. In John 16:12-13 the Lord Jesus said: ‘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.’ From the record of the Bible, we can see that the Lord Jesus still had many things to say, but people could not bear them at that time. So it is only until the Lord Jesus comes back that He will bestow more truths to us. Today, God is incarnated again and has expressed millions of words, resolving men’s confusion and revealing all the mysteries in the Bible, which allows us to have a correct viewpoint on the Bible and understand God’s work, God’s disposition, and all He has and is, so that we can have a clear belief.”