By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
Almighty God Brings “the City with Rain”
I came to the yard silently, lifted my head and stared at the dark sky blankly, and couldn’t help missing the Lord again. Looking back at the time when I started to believe in the Lord, I enjoyed lots of peace and joy, and also experienced His love and care. When I had difficulties and cried out to the Lord, He made a way out for me; when I had diseases and sufferings, He came to heal; when I was sneered and slandered, He comforted me; when I became weak and feeble, He gave me faith and strength; when I committed sins willfully and couldn’t obey the Lord’s teachings, He disciplined me so that I wouldn’t go further down the wrong path. However, now I lost the presence of the Lord. When I prayed, read the , and attended meetings, I couldn’t feel His presence; I often lived in sin but was powerless to escape them; when I came across problems, there was no guidance from the Lord. I had less and less faith and hope. I cried out in my heart again and again: Lord, where are You? I miss You. Without You, my heart becomes dark and bitter, and I’m lonely and helpless now. Lord, I couldn’t live without You…
One day, I read Amos 4:6, “And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have you not returned to me.” When I read that, I remembered: The Lord said, “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35) The word of the Lord is the bread of life, and our spirit could be satisfied only after we are supplied by His word. But here, it says “want of bread”, which means without supply from the Lord, people get hungry and thirsty, having no way to go. Isn’t this my situation now? “Want of bread in all your places.” Yes, it’s true. Not only I have no work of the , but it is the same situation in the church: the preachers don’t have new light, and brothers and sisters are thirsty and hungry in spirit and weak in faith. Why are all places in want of bread? What’s God’s will? Then I read, “And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.” (Amos 4:7) Is it that the Lord doesn’t work here but works somewhere else, so our church lost the work of the Holy Spirit? Does the Lord want me to look for the church with the Holy Spirit’s work? I felt it was the Lord’s inspiration and guidance for me. So I came to the Lord and prayed, “Lord, thank You. I don’t know where You have started a new work, but I’m willing to seek Your footsteps. Lord, may You guide me and show me the way ahead.”
Several days later, I went to Sister Liu Jie, a seeker after the truth, to seek the Lord’s will with her. When I arrived at her home, I found co-workers Zhao and Zhang were also there. After we greeted each other and sat down, I said, “Thanks for the Lord’s guidance, I gained some light when I read the Old Testament a couple of days ago. I want to fellowship with Sister Liu.” Co-worker Zhang said, “Great! Please share with us!” I said, “Amos 4:6-7 says ‘And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have you not returned to me.’ ‘And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.’ From here we can see that the reason why we are withered in spirit is that the Lord doesn’t work among us, but works somewhere else. The Lord’s will is to let us walk out of the churches without the Holy Spirit’s work and find ‘the city with rain’ which has the Holy Spirit’s work, that is, the Philadelphia church. Only in this way can we be satisfied.”
Hearing my words, co-worker Zhao frowned and retorted urgently, “Sister Li, what you said isn’t in accordance with the Lord’s will! Because where we believe in God, we shall stay there. If we go somewhere else, we are not loyal to the Lord.” Co-worker Zhang followed, “Yes! Sister Li, we can’t go out to seek blindly. It’s enough to keep the belief in our own church. We should have faith in the Lord and trust that He won’t abandon us.” I didn’t agree with them, so I said, “I think what you said doesn’t conform to the truth! We all know the fact that when the Lord did His work, those chief priests, scribes, Pharisees held the view that to believe in God, one must go to the temple, and that leaving the temple and following the was unfaithful to Jehovah. Therefore, they refused to seek God’s footsteps even after the temple became a den of thieves due to losing the Holy Spirit’s work. Because of the notion they held, they became the one who resisted God while believing in God. On the contrary, people like Peter, John, Jacob and so on, actively sought the true way and thus gained God’s inspiration. They followed God’s footsteps and received the Lord’s salvation. Then, how could we say those people, who originally believed in Jehovah in the temple but later left the temple and actively seek God’s footsteps, were unfaithful to Jehovah?”
Hearing that, Sister Liu nodded and said, “Right. We shouldn’t walk the wrong path the Pharisees did. We should seek God’s footsteps. This is our Lord’s will.” Co-worker Zhao said with a tough tone, “The Lord Jesus advised us clearly, ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.’ (Matthew 24:23-24) It’s the last days now. The false ways are preaching everywhere so we shouldn’t seek outside at will, nor should we receive strangers or listen to their preaching. Once deceived, we will become the one who betrays the Lord.”
I thought for a while, and said, “Sister, if we dare not seek the Lord’s footsteps, or listen to the strangers’ sermons for fear of being deceived, and would rather die of thirst in the church without the Holy Spirit’s work, then isn’t that giving up eating for fear of choking? What the Lord said is to let us be prudent and have discernment.” Sister Liu said, “Yes, I remember the Scripture says, ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ (Hebrew 13:2) This verse clearly told us to entertain strangers, if we refuse all the strangers, we might refuse God’s blessings. So, God’s will for us is to discern with truth instead of refusing blindly.” Hearing this, co-worker Zhao stood up, took a glance at us, and then angrily left Sister Liu’s home with co-worker Zhang. Seeing their behavior, I felt a little disappointed in my heart. However, it didn’t change my faith in seeking the Lord.
One day, I was doing housework at home, Sister Zhang Hui, who had a good relationship with me, came to me. As soon as she came in, she took my hands and said happily, “Sister Li, a couple of days ago, my friend gave me a book, saying that this book is a treasure, and asked me to read it carefully. After I read it, I got great supply in spirit and felt it has lots of light. It seems that these words are from the Holy Spirit. Sister Li, you may read it as well!” Saying that, she took a thick book from her handbag and gave it to me. Looking at the book, I thought to myself: Sister Zhang has good humanity and pursued the truth. Since she says that, I should read it carefully. After she left, I knelt before the Lord and prayed, “Lord, Sister Zhang gave me a book today. She said we could get much supply from the words in it, which seems to be from the Holy Spirit. Lord, if these words are really from you, may You guide and enlighten me.” After the prayer, I opened the book, and came across the following words, “… God will accomplish this fact—everyone in the universe will see God, who is on earth. God’s work elsewhere will stop, man will be forced to seek the true way. Just as everyone went to Joseph to get food and bowed down to him because he had food. To escape from famine, people will have to seek the true way. The whole religious world will suffer from a serious famine. Only today’s God is the fountain of living waters, providing an endless source of water for people’s enjoyment. People will come and rely on Him.” (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) These words pointed out our situation, which was also the problem I was investigating. It says God’s work elsewhere stops and the whole religious world suffers from famine, which is to force people to seek the true way and everyone in the universe will worship God who is on earth. But I don’t understand: Why does God work in this way? Aren’t we saved by the belief in Jesus? Why it says there is another true way? God has done another work? It said “Only today’s God is the fountain of living waters.” Then where does God work today? These words attracted me, so I continued to read, “All of God’s work in the entire universe has focused on this group of people. He has devoted all His efforts to you and sacrificed all for you; He has reclaimed and given to you all the work of the Spirit throughout the universe. That is why I say, you are the fortunate. ” (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) These words carries authority, as well as love and mercy. Except God, who else has such authority? Is this ? I must investigate it seriously! I was excited, and decided to have more contact with Sister Zhang Hui’s friends and fellowship those questions with them.