The Outside World Is So Broad

Zheng Lu

Many times we think we are right, so we refuse other people’s suggestions and miss many opportunities to find the right answers. Now I’m going to tell you a story. I believe you’ll get some enlightenment from it. The story goes like this:

Once upon a time, there was an isolated island. People there all had thick necks. But they never thought it was a problem, for they had never contacted the outside world and didn’t know what the outside world was like. One day, when an islander was ambling along the shore, he saw a boat lying there and a stranger with a thin neck getting off the boat. So, he ran to call other people to see this thin-necked man. Everyone came to watch him as if watching a monster. They said to him, “Are you ill? It is abnormal that your neck is so thin.” “No, I’m not ill. The neck of a normal person is as thin as mine,” the stranger answered with a smile. However, none of them believed what he said. So, the stranger took some of the islanders to a city outside the island to have a look. When they arrived in the city and saw all people’s necks were thin, they were dumbfounded. Afterward they were led to a hospital for physical check-ups, and only then did they know that their thick necks were caused by iodine deficiency due to their years of living in the isolated island. Then they went back home and told it to the other islanders. Through eating iodine-containing food, all the islanders recovered from the illness at last.

From this story we can see that the islanders all lived in their own thoughts and notions due to living in an isolated and narrow world, and they were like a man who watches the sky from the bottom of a well, knowing nothing about the outside world. They believed that their thick necks were normal; they were not sick; people with thin necks were sick. However, when they came out of their own world to see the outside world, they knew they indeed had illness. After receiving treatment, they not only recovered their health, but also saw a broad world outside their own little world.

This story gives us some inspiration: Usually what we think right may not actually be right. If we cling to our conceptions and imaginations, we’ll never find out what the truth is, for the difference between imagination and reality is like heaven and earth. This reminds me of something. Today, in the last days God has become flesh in China to do His work. He has expressed millions of words and done the work of judgment beginning with the house of God, which fulfills the very prophecy of the Lord Jesus, “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27), and the verse “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). Many believers who sought with a humble heart have heard God’s voice and returned to God’s throne, enjoying the watering and supply of the living water of life from God. But there are still many devout believers who hold onto their own notions and are tirelessly waiting for the second coming of jesus. They are full of notions and imagination about the way of the Lord’s return, the image of Him, and the location of His appearance. In particular, when many people hear someone testify that the Lord has been incarnated again to do the work of saving man, they insist that “God cannot possibly become flesh to do His work,” “God cannot possibly work in China,” and so on. Their views of “impossible” become the barriers to their meeting the second coming of jesus and the reasons of their resistance to God.

Looking back, two thousand years ago, the Jewish commoners, the chief priests, and the Pharisees were all desperately longing for the coming Messiah. However, when the Messiah really arrived, because of their notions, they resisted and condemned His work and ultimately nailed the Lord Jesus—the coming Messiah—to the cross. They offended God’s disposition and were subjected to God’s punishment! They believed that the Lord Jesus “cannot possibly be born in a manger,” “cannot possibly become flesh,” and so on. These notions and imaginations as well as the views of “impossible” caused them to resist God and open wide the gates of hell without any possibility of turning back. This shows us that no matter how reasonable our notions and imaginations are, they are by no means the truth, much less can they take us into the kingdom of heaven. For we have already become the offspring of Satan after being corrupted by Satan, and our thinking will only produce negative things before we gain the truth as life. Furthermore, in the eyes of God, we humans are no bigger than an ant. So how can we fathom God’s work? Just as God says, “for the thoughts of God shall always be higher than the thoughts of man, and the wisdom of God is unfathomable to man. And so I say that those who have ‘seen through’ God and His work are ineffectual, they are all arrogant and ignorant. Man should not define the work of God; moreover, man cannot define the work of God. In the eyes of God, man is smaller than an ant, so how can man fathom God’s work? Those who are constantly saying, ‘God does not work in this or that way’ or ‘God is like this or that’—are they not all arrogant?” From God’s words, we can see that the thoughts of God are always higher than those of man. As someone who is deeply corrupted by Satan, we shouldn’t define the work of God.

Then, when the Lord Jesus returns, what should we do to be after the Lord’s heart? God says, “since we are searching for the footprints of God, we must search for God’s will, for the words of God, for the utterances of God—for where there are the new words of God, there is the voice of God, and where there are the footsteps of God, there are the deeds of God. Where there is the expression of God, there is the appearance of God, and where there is the appearance of God, there exists the truth, the way, and the life. While seeking the footprints of God, you ignored the words that ‘God is the truth, the way, and the life.’ So when many people receive the truth, they do not believe that they have found the footprints of God and much less acknowledge the appearance of God. What a serious error that is! The appearance of God cannot be reconciled with the conceptions of man, much less can God appear at the behest of man. God makes His own choices and has His own plans when He does His work; moreover, He has His own objectives, and His own methods. It is not necessary for Him to discuss the work He does with man or to seek the advice of man, much less notify each and every person of His work. This is the disposition of God and, moreover, should be recognized by everyone. If you desire to witness the appearance of God, if you wish to follow the footprints of God, then you must first transcend your own conceptions. You must not demand that God do this or that, much less should you place Him within your own confines and limit Him to your own conceptions. Instead, you should ask how you should seek the footprints of God, how you should accept the appearance of God, and how you should submit to the new work of God; that is what should be done by man. Since man is not the truth, and is not possessed of the truth, man should seek, accept, and obey” (“The Appearance of God Has Brought a New Age”). God’s words tell us that where there is the appearance of God, there is the expression of the truth and the work of the Holy Spirit. No matter where or how God appears, as long as He can make us gain the truth, the way, and the life, He is God, and is the One we are looking for. We human beings shouldn’t define God’s work based on our notions and imaginations; rather, we should put them aside to seek and investigate God’s work of the last days with a pure and obedient heart. Only by doing so can we be the wise virgins and witness God’s appearance and follow God’s footsteps. Take for example the Lord’s disciple Nathanael and the Samaritan woman who followed the Lord Jesus in the Age of Grace. They witnessed the coming Messiah and gained the Lord Jesus’ salvation because they put aside their notions. So today, how will you welcome God’s appearance?


Put Aside Our Notions to Welcome the Lord’s Return

Reflections on the Story of Genghis Khan

Let Go of Yourself and Be Open to Different Voices

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