By Kemu, Taiwan
My Church Is Desolate, so I Search for a Way Out
I was baptized into the ’ name in 1999, and since then, I began to actively participate in church service work. But gradually, I discovered that many things in my church were not in keeping with . For example, in spite of the church rules about subsidies and the objections of many co-workers, my pastor privately decided to pay with the church money for all the expenses of his nephew while he studied at the seminary; in doing church work, some co-workers even failed to attend the co-workers meeting because of their family affairs. … Seeing all this greatly disappointed me and so I decided to stop serving in the church. Although I had a successful career, I always felt something lacking and felt even more empty when alone. Therefore, I started looking for a way out and pinned my hopes on Facebook.
My pastors have been warning us ten years ago, “Don’t contact The Church of Almighty God (CAG). Their preaching deviates from.” So, I became very cautious and never lightly added anyone as my friend on FB. In 2017, I friended Sister Linda after much consideration and since then, we have always been chatting about our spiritual condition, sharing what we had gained from meetings, and praying for each other.
What Should I Do After Hearing God’s Voice for the First Time?
One day, Sister Linda told me, “The Brother Lin I know is investigating CAG and he said the Lord Jesus has already returned as Almighty.” Hearing this, I was shocked, and thought to myself, “How can this be?” I was very careful in choosing FB friends so as not to come into contact with people from CAG. However, the Brother Lin Sister Linda knew was investigating the work of Almighty God and what’s more, she even advised me to investigate as well. I thought: “No, my pastors always tell us that their preaching departs from the Bible and don’t allow us to contact them, and say that in doing so we are betraying God.” Therefore, I refused at once.
The next day, Sister Linda again asked me on the phone to investigate CAG. Considering how we were able to complement each other in spiritual life and afraid of losing face, I agreed. I thought: “In any case, people from CAG can’t see me. If I don’t want to listen more, I’ll get offline.” Because I had the wrong state of mind, I didn’t take much in at the meeting. After it was over, I told Sister Linda impatiently: “I’m not interested in investigating CAG. Please don’t invite me again.” After saying this, I hang up impolitely.
After that, I lay down on the bed. I could not calm down, thinking: “The Lord’s return is an important matter. However, my pastors always emphasize that our belief in God must be in accordance with the Bible, the canon of Christianity and the highest authority, that departing from the Bible is heresy, and that the preaching of CAG is beyond the Bible.” I tossed and turned and couldn’t sleep that night, as I kept thinking: “How could such a thing come to me? What should I choose?” All I could do in my bewilderment was come before the Lord and pray, asking Him to lead and guide me. For the next few days, I searched online day and night for the information about CAG and whenever I saw some negative information about it, I would comfort myself saying: “My decision not to investigate again is right.”
However, afterward, the thought occurred to me that everything had two sides, so how could there be only negative reviews of CAG? No, I had to get to the bottom of this. Thereupon, I started searching things published by CAG. As I watched CAG’s hymn video’s Kingdom Is a Warm Home, it warmed my heart and aroused my interest. As a result, I went to watch many other videos of CAG after that. During that time, I watched videos until late at night almost every day, sometimes until morning without being conscious of it. Of those videos, the movie—I Am a Good Person!—moved me most. This movie is about a person who is good in the eyes of worldly people but is very cunning in the eyes of God because she does not conduct herself according to the principles of the truth. Indeed, we should live by the truth—what is right is right, and what is wrong is wrong. This movie had me suddenly understand: “I’m not a truly good person either. I treat others well and go along with others in everything in order to establish myself in society; what I pursue is Satan’s philosophies.” I watched this movie five times and it never failed to stab at my heart and move me to tears.
I watched dozens of movies of CAG in that week, and found them to be quite positive, not something heretical at all. I pondered: “If this church were really like what my pastor said, how would it be able to produce so many movies that give supply to people’s life? Many denominations claim themselves to be orthodox Christianity, but they fail to make many wonderful videos that witness God. If CAG hadn’t arisen from God, who would have willingly devoted energy, time and money to making these movies? Moreover, an increasing number of people are accepting the work of Almighty God. If it were not God’s own work, who could do such great deeds? This is just like what Gamaliel said: ‘For if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nothing: But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it; lest haply you be found even to fight against God’ (Acts 5:38–39).” However, I still had some confusion. Why didn’t they read the Bible but instead read The Word Appears in the Flesh? My pastors said that straying from the Bible was heresy. Nevertheless, after much thought, I told myself, “However much confusion I have, even if there is only a one in a hundred chance to welcome the Lord, I’m willing to grasp it rather than miss it.”
Is It Really Heresy to Depart From the Bible?
One day, as I was browsing the videos of CAG, this sentence popped up: “Is It Really Heresy to Depart From the Bible?” This sentence piqued my interest immediately, so I stopped searching. I thought, “My pastors always say that we must read the Bible in our belief in the Lord, and that straying from the Bible is heresy. This is what I’ve always thought too. Therefore, when my pastors told us that people from CAG don’t read the Bible but another book, I began to develop resistance toward CAG and was not willing to contact them, much less listen to their preaching. But, through watching various videos of CAG this period of time, I feel that all of their content is very positive. It doesn’t feel like a heresy at all. I might as well click the video to have a look and figure out this question.” Then, I couldn’t wait to open this video.
In the movie, Sister Wang fellowshiped: “You just said that God wouldn’t depart from the Bible to do the work of salvation, and anything that does is heresy. This brings to mind a question for me: Which was first, the Bible, or God’s work?”
Hearing this question, I said to myself, “Of course God’s work came first.”
Sister Wang continued: “That’s right! In the beginning, Jehovah God created heaven and earth, all things. He carried out work such as destroying the world with the flood, and destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. When God did these things, did the Old Testament exist?”
“No, it didn’t. God is the Beginning. When He created the heavens and earth and all things, there was even no written language, let alone the Bible!” I answered silently in my heart.
Sister Wang went on saying: “That’s right, when God was doing these things there really was no Bible. That is to say, God’s work came first, and only after that was it recorded in the Bible. And in the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus came to work there was no New Testament of the Bible. More than three hundred years AD, religious leaders from all over the world gathered in a conference and selected Four Gospels from the disciples’ records of the facts of the Lord Jesus’ work. They also added some of the letters the apostles wrote to the churches, as well as the Book of Revelation written by the disciple John. They compiled all of these things to make up the New Testament of the Bible. Brothers and sisters, from the process of the Bible becoming the book that it is, we can know that it is only a record of God’s past work. Without God’s work, we would not have the record of the Bible, which is to say that God would not work based on what is in the Bible. He is not restricted by the Bible because God just carries out His work of salvation according to His own plan and mankind’s needs. So, we cannot limit God’s work to just what is within the Bible, nor can we use the Bible to define His work. We particularly cannot say ‘Anything that departs from the Bible is a heresy,’ because God has the right to do His own work, and He has the right to depart from the Bible and do His work.”
After I heard these things from Sister Wang, I suddenly saw the light. Yes, God’s work came first, and the Bible came after. How come I never once thought of such a simple problem? When the Lord Jesus came to carry out His work, there was no New Testament yet, the New Testament wasn’t formed until over three hundred years after the Lord. After God did some work, God’s followers recorded what God had done so that people could understand and get to know God more and thus the Bible was created. The sister’s fellowship was all true and irrefutable. God is the Creator and how He does His work is His own affair. As a small creature, I was unqualified to define God’s work—that was too senseless.
I continued watching the movie and saw Sister Yang from CAG fellowship: “That’s right, if we say that ‘Anything that departs from the Bible is a heresy,’ then aren’t we condemning God’s work throughout the ages? Everyone knows that at that time, the work of the Lord Jesus was not based on the Old Testament. He preached the way of repentance, He healed the sick, cast out demons, did not observe the Sabbath, forgave others seventy times seven times, and more. None of these things appeared in the Old Testament, and they were even completely contradictory to the laws of the Old Testament. The Jewish priests, elders, and scribes of the time condemned the work of the Lord Jesus as heresy precisely because His work was not carried out according to the Old Testament. I remember that in Acts 24:14, Paul said, ‘But this I confess to you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.’ Everyone think for a moment: If we were to weigh this based on our own perspectives, what Paul preached would have been heresy, so how could we not condemn the way of the Lord Jesus that we believe in today?”
Hearing this, I was taken aback: “Indeed, at that time the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees condemned the Lord Jesus’ work as heresy, because His work went beyond the Old Testaments. If I don’t seek and investigate God’s new work and think according to my notions and imaginings that any belief apart from the Bible is a heresy, then won’t I condemn God’s work? Moreover, If the Lord Jesus has really returned, won’t I miss the opportunity to greet the Lord’s return and lose His salvation?” With this in my mind, I felt a bit scared and didn’t dare stubbornly hold on to my notions and imaginings anymore.
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