The Lord Jesus performed a lot of miracles during His work, yet He always told people not to tell others. What’s God’s will in it?
Almighty God Led Me on the Right Track of Believing in God
At a meeting, Sister Wang, the leader of our church, read the , “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” (Romans 13:1) “Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof…” (1 Peter 5:2) After that, she fellowshipped, “All the pastors, elders and preachers are sent by God to manage the church. They have the power bestowed by God, and thus, we all brothers and sisters should submit to them.” I thought, “Sister Wang was talking according to the Bible. Obeying the higher powers is obeying God. It’s well-founded. So, I should do my best to obey the leaders, and only by this can I be approved by the Lord.” From then on, I listened to and obeyed whatever Sister Wang said. Especially when I saw she was fruitful in spreading the and sustaining brothers and sisters, I admired her more. Hence, no matter what happened in the church or in my home, I consulted her for advice. So when my aunt preached the gospel of the Lord ’ return, I even went to ask Sister Wang whether I should accept it or not. Sister Wang told me, “Sister, you are unable to discern at all, because you seldom read the Bible and you’re immature in life. I have served the Lord for many years. If the Lord returns, how could I not know? The has made me overseer of all the flock, so I should be responsible for you all. I’ll know it first when the Lord returns. If anything happens later on, you must talk to me, and this means you are faithful to God. If you want to hear sermons, I’ll tell you. Remember, do not listen to the preaching of strangers.” Hearing her words, I nodded, “Now I see. I’ll only listen to you.”
In the winter of 2003, I heard that Sister Li was very passive and didn’t attend meetings because her pigs got plague. I thought I should care for the Lord’s will and need to visit and sustain Sister Li, for it was also making a preparation for entering the kingdom of God and gaining everlasting life. However, she still didn’t attend the meetings even after I visited and sustained her several times, so I was a little depressed. Thinking Sister Wang would certainly help her up, I went with her to sustain Sister Li. When we reached her home, Sister Wang still talked the same old things, with no new light at all. Even I myself felt it boring, and then I saw Sister Li also showed great impatience. Thus I felt a little disappointed in Sister Wang. Later, Sister Wang and the pastors and elders fasted and prayed for my neighbor who fell ill. They kept praying for several days, but my neighbor didn’t get better at all. I remembered that for several times when Sister Wang and I went to sustain those brothers and sisters who got passive and weak, and we also achieved no results. Looking at our church now, most brothers and sister were weak and became cold in their faith and love. However, Sister Wang could not solve that problem. All those made me very confused: Why does the work of pastors, elders and leaders become more and more fruitless? What’s the matter here? It’s recorded in the Bible that the powers are ordained by God. Since the leaders are ordained by God, how come they couldn’t do the work God entrusted to them? If that continues, what should we do? The more I think about it, the more I felt bewildered. Therefore, I knelt down and prayed, “O Lord! I feel very thirsty in spirit now. In the past, I always obeyed the leaders and relied on them in everything. But I don’t know why they lost the working of the Holy Spirit recently. O Lord! How should I walk the path ahead? O Lord! Please lean me to walk the right way so that I can see You soon…”
In November 2004, my husband returned home from his work in another place. He asked me, “Xiatian, how have you been recently?” I shook my head and sighed, “Ay. Not well. Recently, there are more and more people becoming passive and weak in the church. And they’re still weak no matter how we try to sustain them. Originally I thought Sister Wang was a leader, and she could help them up. However, neither Sister Wang nor the pastors and elders could help. I really don’t know what to do?” My husband said, “Xiatian, I don’t mean to blame you, but why do you always rely on man instead of the Lord Himself while believing in the Lord? Why do you ask the leaders for advice in everything? Who do you believe in exactly? The leaders or God?” On hearing his words, I got angry, “Sister Wang has believed in God for a long time. She has a good knowledge of the Bible, and even gives up everything to spend for the Lord. She is a good example to us. Is there anything wrong that I listen to her?” He refuted, “Is having a good knowledge of the Bible and suffering much equal to knowing God and obeying God? Are they really after God’s heart? Although the Pharisees in the Age of law knew the Bible well, traveled over land and sea, and suffered much for spreading the gospel, yet they didn’t know God. Didn’t they still nail the to the cross? And what’s their final outcome?” I said recalcitrantly, “Anyway, I should believe in God according to the Bible. Since the Bible says, ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God,’ we should submit to the leaders.” My husband shook his head and said pityingly, “You are indeed as muddle-headed as I was before. It is Paul who said this word, but not the Lord Jesus. Since we believe in God, we should follow and obey God rather than obey man, and we should exalt God instead of man. It is said in the Bible, ‘… We ought to obey God rather than men.’ (Acts 5:29) Paul is a corrupt man and he has no truth. Because the truth can only come from God, just as the Lord , ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.’ (John 14:6) and ‘You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.’ (John 15:14) Only if we, believers in the Lord, follow the word and teachings of the Lord Jesus, could we receive eternal life.” Hearing what he said, I became a little clear: So the word “Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God” is man’s word. Man’s word inevitably carries tares and doesn’t correspond to the truth. Obeying the leaders isn’t obeying God, and indeed so it is. My husband continued, “It’s recorded in the Bible, ‘As for us, our eyes as yet failed for our vain help: in our watching we have watched for a nation that could not save us.’ (Lamentations 4:17) God is the source of man’s life. It is intolerable to God that we believe in God yet look up to man, admire man, and consider man to be greater than God.” I asked with doubt, “Could it be that serious?” “Absolutely.” He spoke with curt finality. Then, he took out a book from the bag, and said, “You’ll be clear after I read to you a passage of . ‘Since you believe in God, you should obey God and , should not exalt man or look up to man, and should not regard God as the greatest, the man you look up to as the second greatest, and yourself as the third greatest. You should not have a place for any man in your heart and should not consider man, especially the man you admire, to be the same as God or to be equal with God. This is what God cannot tolerate.’(from The Word Appears in the Flesh) The Lord Jesus also said, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’ (Luke 4:8) From God’s words, we can see that we should worship God alone, obey God alone, and have a place for God alone in our heart. No matter what happens or what difficulties we encounter, we should firstly to God and seek God’s will. We should not look up to man or rely on man, much less should we worship a corrupt man as our idol. Because it goes gravely against the disposition of God. Man can never be the equal of God. No matter who the person is, we should think over whether his words are in accordance with the truth. If those words are in accordance with the truth, we should obey them; otherwise, we shouldn’t obey them. Only if we practice this way, can we be the ones who have reverence for God and be approved by God.”
Hearing my husband’s words, I was suddenly brightened and said, “I have always kept much place for man in my heart yet have little place for God. I listen to man in everything but never seek God’s will by prayer. This is not obeying God.” My husband nodded at my words, and asked me, “Xiatian, do you know the consequence of one following man and looking up to man?”
I shook my head. Then, he read to me another passage of words, “‘Those who follow God with their lips, you had better open your eyes wide to see whom you actually believe in. Is the one you believe in God or Satan? If you know that the one you believe in is not God but your idol, you had better not say that you are a believer in God. If you do not know whom you really believe in, you had better not say either that you are a believer in God. It is a blasphemy to say that! Believing in God is not something out of compulsion. Do not say you believe in Me. I have heard enough of that. I do not want to hear it anymore, for the ones you believe in are the idols in your heart and the local villains among you. All those who shake their heads when hearing the truth but smile all over their face when hearing words of death are the sons of Satan and are the ones to be eliminated.’ (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) If one cannot discern God’s work from man’s work and is deceived and controlled by the religious leaders all the time, then such a person believes in God only in name but in reality believes in man, follows man, and adores man. He is worshiping idols, and is resisting God and betraying God. If such a person persists in his way of belief, he’ll finally offend the disposition of God and thus be cursed and eliminated. The Lord Jesus said, ‘… And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.’ (Matthew 15:14) Those leaders are nothing but corrupt men. If we follow them and believe them blindly, then we will finally end up falling into the ditch, and can never be saved and enter . Only the Lord Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life. Since we believe in God today, we should magnify God and have no place for man in our hearts. Besides, we should initiatively seek the will of the Lord when matters arise.”
I had never heard those words he read, and his fellowship was quite practical. Therefore, I asked him with curiosity, “How did you get this book?” He said with smile, “Xiatian, you know what? The Lord Jesus has already returned. These words are God’s utterances.” I felt there was something wrong with his words, so I shouted immediately, “Stop! Stop! About the return of the Lord, I asked Sister Wang long ago. She said that the Holy Spirit has made her overseer of all the flock, and therefore she must be the first to know the Lord’s return. Now you said the Lord has returned. I dare not believe it.” Hearing my words, my husband said in pity, “Are you confused again? She has never investigated God’s new work and knows none of these truths. You will only be forfeited and ruined if you go to ask her again. If we want to know whether the Lord Jesus has come back or not, we should quiet our hearts before God, seek God’s will, and go to the Church of to investigate or ask the brothers and sisters of to fellowship with us. And then, we’ll know the truth of the facts.”
I thought what he fellowshipped was very reasonable, and thus said, “I feel your fellowship is pretty fresh and has the light. But thinking of the leaders’ words, I feel insecure in my heart.” Hearing my words, my husband suggested, “What about inviting the brothers and sisters from the Church of Almighty God and have an investigation first?” I thought, “I just heard the leader said she must be the first to know the news of the Lord’s return. But now, our church is so desolate, and she is totally unable to solve the problem. Even she herself has nothing new to preach and cannot supply brothers and sisters. The way of Almighty God, which my husband talked to me, benefits me a lot. It seems that the leader’s words are not necessarily reliable. So, I may as well investigate the way of Almighty God first.” Then, I said, “Ok. I’ll listen to their fellowship first.” My husband nodded delightedly.