What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
A Story Sparked by a Hymn
I was a co-worker in a local Three-Self church. The church was prosperous when I first believed in the Lord, but after several years, somehow I felt thirsty in my spirit and even found myself having nothing to preach. All the brothers and sisters lost their former faith for lack of timely watering, and they just came to the meetings with reluctance. Faced with such a situation, I often felt helpless, and I was even afraid to meet with the brothers and sisters.
One evening, my niece called me and asked me to attend a meeting in Sister Gao’s house. I had no choice but to go there. As soon as I entered the room, I saw a video The Large Tsunamis being played on the TV screen, and several sisters were attentively listening to the hymn from it “Only If Mankind Worships the True God Can They Have a Good Fate”: “… God created this world. He created this mankind. He was the architect of ancient Greek culture and human civilization. Only God consoles, consoles this mankind. Only God cares for this mankind day and night. Human development and progress is inseparable from God’s sovereignty, God’s sovereignty. The history and future of mankind are inextricable from the designs of God, the designs of God. If you are a true , then you will surely believe that the rise and fall of any country or nation occurs according to the designs of God, the designs of God. God alone knows the fate of a country or nation. God alone knows the fate of a country or nation. God alone knows the course that this mankind is to follow. If mankind or a country wishes to have a good fate, man must bow down to God in worship, bow down to God in worship. And man must repent and confess before God, or else the fate and destination of man will unavoidably end in catastrophe.” Listening to the hymn, I was very excited. I thought, “I’ve never heard such a beautiful hymn. Both its tune and lyrics are good. It makes me feel especially brightened in my heart. I must listen to it carefully.” Just when I wanted to go on listening, a sister turned off the TV and said, “Let’s start the meeting.” I thought, “I want to listen more; why turn it off so soon? Where did Sister Gao get such a good hymn? I attended the meetings here for so long, but I never heard it. In the past few weeks, I didn’t come to the meetings; have I fallen behind them? …” Throughout the meeting, the melody of the hymn kept echoing inside my head, and I pondered again and again the few lines of the hymn which I had learned by heart: “God created this world. He created this mankind. He was the architect of ancient Greek culture and human civilization. Only God consoles, consoles this mankind. Only God cares for this mankind day and night.” “This hymn is wonderful!” I kept saying in my heart. Because I was preoccupied with it, I didn’t even hear a word of what the preacher said. After the meeting, when all the others left, I hurried to ask Sister Gao, “Sister, where did you get this VCD?” “In the spring, a preacher from Shandong gave it to me,” she replied. I was annoyed by her words and said bluntly, “It’s so good a hymn; why did you not share it with our brothers and sisters earlier and let us listen and learn it? Tomorrow, you send the VCD to the church; I’ll go buy blank discs and burn the hymn to them to hand to everyone in our church. If all the brothers and sisters listen to it, their strength will rise up!” Sister Gao nodded in agreement.
At noon the next day, I hurried to buy fifty blank discs. I brought them to the church and wanted to ask the son of a host sister to burn the hymn to them, only to learn that he was away and would return in twenty days. At this, I was very anxious, but I could do nothing except and give it over to the Lord.
A few days later, I went to visit Sister Li and happened to meet her elder brother from out of town. After learning that he was also a preacher, I began to talk with him about the matters of belief in the Lord. I deeply admired his insight about the . Then I suddenly remembered the hymn from The Large Tsunamis which I heard in Sister Gao’s home, and I thought, “Brother Li works away from home, and he must know many things. I may ask him whether he can sing that hymn.” So I asked, “Brother, can you sing a hymn? The main point of its lyrics seems to be: God created this world, created this mankind, and was the architect of ancient Greek culture. This is the general idea.” He said happily, “I can sing it. I also have a hymnal!” As he said that, he took the hymnal out from his bag. After he found the hymn, he began to sing. When I heard the first verse, I recognized it to be the very hymn. I was very delighted, and said, “Yes, that’s it! Thank the Lord! Brother, can you teach me to sing it?” He said OK gladly and taught me to sing it several times. The more I sang it, the more I felt enjoyment. So I asked him, “I have believed in the Lord for so many years, but I have never heard such a beautiful hymn. Who wrote its words?” He answered, “They were written by —Christ of the last days, the returned Lord . Sister, the has returned to flesh and carried out a new work.” When I heard that the Lord has returned to flesh and carried out a new work, I took an immediate aversion to it, thinking, “He seems a follower of the . I heard our preacher say that the followers of the Eastern Lightning are preaching that the Lord Jesus has come back as a female. I really can’t accept it. But, the lyrics of this hymn are truly good, and no man can write them.” When I thought of this, I didn’t dare to say anything against it, and I thought, “As I don’t understand it, I mustn’t speak anything rashly. If the lyrics were really written by Christ but I say some words of condemnation, won’t I be resisting God?” After much consideration, I decided: Now that the lyrics are beneficial to us, I will take a copy of them home first. As to whether to accept the way or not, I’ll leave the matter aside till later. So I asked Brother Li to write the lyrics down for me, and I left Sister Li’s house right after that.
After returning home, I read the lyrics repeatedly whenever I was free. The words “God created this world. He created this mankind” reminded me of these words in the Bible: “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. … And God said, Let there be light: and there was light” (Genesis 1:1, 3). “Why are they so similar in meaning? Were they really spoken by the Lord after His return?” For this, I often came before the Lord to pray, “O Lord Jesus! The words of this hymn are so good; who wrote them? O Lord! Brother Li said that they were written by You after Your return in the form of flesh, but I can’t accept it. However, I feel that truly, no man is able to write such words. O Lord! What is all this about? Please guide me to understand it.”
After some days, the hymn was finally burned to the discs. On the meeting day, two elderly sisters, who came to the city from the countryside to see a doctor, also attended our meeting. During the meeting, I played the hymn for the other brothers and sisters. After we finished listening, I asked them, “How do you like this hymn?” They all said with delight, “The lyrics are so good!” “Shall we learn to sing it today?” I proposed. They all agreed. We learned it until dark, but they still didn’t want to go home. The host sister said, “Brothers and sisters, it’s too late today. Anyone who has no VCD player can come and continue to learn it tomorrow.” Two young sisters said, “We will record it on our cellphones and continue to learn it after returning home tonight.” In order to learn this hymn, the two elderly sisters from the countryside stayed with the host family for two days. Before they left, we knelt down and prayed to the Lord together, and Sister Zhang (who was the leader of a church in the countryside) prayed, “O Lord Jesus! Thank You that You have brought us here to learn such a good hymn. O Lord! I will take the discs home to my brothers and sisters and ask them to learn it so that they will recover their faith and can continue following You.”
After I returned home, while recalling how eagerly the brothers and sisters had learned the hymn in those two days, I thought, “I haven’t seen such a scene for a long time. Has the Lord Jesus really come back? Are the lyrics of this hymn really the words of the returned Lord Jesus? Or else how could the brothers and sisters be so greatly encouraged after hearing it?” The more I thought about it, the more anxious I became. So I went before the Lord to pray, “O Lord! If You have really come back, I believe You will not abandon us. O Lord! I am willing to seek Your voice, but I can’t contact Brother Li. O Lord! If You have really come back, may You guide me to find You soon.”
Over twenty days passed away quickly. One day, my elder sister called me unexpectedly, and she invited me to her house. So on the next day, I went there by bus. On arrival at her home, I saw several strangers there. Through my sister’s introduction, I knew that they were all sisters in the Lord. After a brief chat, they took out the Bible and wanted to fellowship with me about it. I thought to myself, “How come they want to talk about the Bible with me so soon after seeing me, like Brother Li I met last time? Are they also the followers of the Eastern Lightning?” So I became alert at once and got up from the sofa. I walked to the window and pretended to watch the flowers so as to avoid them. They read my thoughts and no longer said anything about belief in the Lord but chatted with me about the matters of daily living. After dinner, the sisters again took out the Bible and tried to talk with me about it, but I was still unwilling to fellowship with them. At night, everyone fell asleep, but my heart was in great turmoil, and I couldn’t go to sleep. I felt great perplexity: It seems that they are followers of the Eastern Lightning. Do they have the same faith as Brother Li? The followers of the Eastern Lightning testify that the Lord has come as a female. I can’t accept it. Yet their hymn can bring us the work of the . If the Lord has really come back but I refuse to listen to their testimony about it, will I not miss the opportunity to meet the Lord? I prayed in my heart, “O Lord! Please give me courage and faith and keep my heart, so that I won’t go astray from Your way.” I tossed and turned all night, unable to sleep. Later, I said to myself, “I can’t just be on guard against them! I have the Lord with me; what do I have to fear? Tomorrow I will ask them directly whether they are followers of the Eastern Lightning. I will take this opportunity to find out what exactly the Eastern Lightning is.”
The next morning after breakfast, I asked the sisters directly, “Sisters, are you followers of the Eastern Lightning?” Two sisters answered me in unison, “Yes!” “Then I ask you this: Has the Lord Jesus really come back?” I said. “Yes, the Lord Jesus has really come back!” they replied. I continued, “Then let’s talk about it. You say that the Lord Jesus has come back as a female. I don’t believe it, because the Lord Jesus was male. How can you say that the Lord Jesus has come back as a female?” A sister answered with a smile, “Sister, in the beginning I had the same thoughts as you. I didn’t believe that the Lord Jesus has come back as a female. Later, I came to understand it through reading . Now let’s look at what Almighty God says about it. Almighty God says: ‘Each stage of work done by God has a real significance. When Jesus arrived, He was male, and this time He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for His work and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit arrives, He can take on any flesh at will and the flesh represents Him. Be it male or female, both represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus arrived and appeared as a female, in other words, if an infant girl, not a boy, was to be conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If so, this stage of work would have to be completed instead by a male and the work would then be completed all the same. The work done in both stages is significant; no work is repeated or conflicts with each other. At the time of His work, Jesus was called the only Son, which indicates the male gender. Then why is the only Son not mentioned in this stage? This is because the needs of the work have necessitated a change to the gender different from that of Jesus. … If in this stage He did not become flesh to personally do work for man to witness, man would forever hold on to the notion that God is only male, not female’ (‘The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the ’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Sister, God’s words have made it clear to us that God’s substance is Spirit, and with God there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit arrives, He can take on any flesh at will. Be it male or female, both can represent God and both can take on the work He wants to do. What gender God is incarnated to be depends on the needs of His work, not on man’s conception or imagination. If God came as a male again this time like Jesus, man would forever believe that God is male. Then would man not delimit God? God is always new and never old, and His wisdom soars higher than the heavens, and man can never fathom it.” When I heard that, the door of my heart seemed to be opened all at once. “Yes! God is almighty, and whether He will become flesh as a male or a female just depends on one thought of His. God is Spirit, and with God there is no distinction of gender. Why have I never thought of this?” I said to the sisters with excitement, “These words make a very good point, and they have made me see light suddenly. The return of the Lord Jesus is a great matter; I must investigate it carefully. Please tell me everything about it.”
Then the sisters fellowshiped with me about many words of Almighty God. The more words of Almighty God I listened to, the more I was certain that they are God’s words and that the Lord Jesus has truly come back. My tears flowed down uncontrollably. After the fellowship, I prayed to God together with the sisters. I, filled with remorse and indebtedness, fell down before the Lord and said, “O Lord! I never dreamed that You would be female when You became flesh again. O God! I was too blind and ignorant to recognize You, but You sent the brothers and sisters to preach the Only If Mankind Worships the True God Can They Have a Good Fate” … to me. The painstaking price You have paid for me is too costly. O God! I will repay Your love! I will tell the news of Your return to those brothers and sisters in the church who are yearning and waiting for You, so that they will accept Your salvation…” When I said this, I choked with sobs. After the prayer, we again sang the hymn of —“