What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
I Have Seen Clearly the Truth
That year, I escaped from the hand of the evil one. What’s more, it is the most crucial and most memorable turning point in my life. My blind eyes are enlightened by the light. I feel immeasurably excited whenever thinking of the past….
I had been passing so many dark days before I believed in God. My husband argued with me frequently for domestic trivialities. It was often strife-torn and warring at home. My two sons would stay away with fear when they saw us quarrelling. Endless squabble left me hopeless in life, crying all day long. In the depths of great suffering and without direction, visited His salvation of the last days upon me. I then accepted God’s new work. At that time, I sang and danced and was gathered in fellowship about with brothers and sisters. So, I was of great faith and my anguished heart was comforted. However, just as I was immersing myself in happiness, something I had never expected happened one after another.
One day, my younger son who studied in another location gave me a ring, saying, “Mom, I have been absent from school for a couple of days due to my stomach ache.” I asked, “Have you taken some medicine?” He replied, “Yes. And I have had intravenous drip at hospital, but all of these don’t help.” I felt very pain when I knew my son’s illness, thinking, “In a place far away from home, he is so pitiful for no one attends to him during his illness. What should I do?” After the call, I still felt sad for his sickness. Then I had a second thought: He may have some unhygienic food and it may not be a big problem. Gradually I did not feel pained any more. On Sunday afternoon, my elder son came back home from school. When I took the bag over his shoulder after he came inside, I heard him recalling gasping. I immediately asked him, “What’s wrong?” He replied with a smile, “It’s nothing.” Then I saw him holding one of his arms in his embrace. Then I asked again at once, “What’s the matter with your arm?” Only then did he say, “I had a fall while playing soccer with my classmates.” I was so distressed that I was on the verge of bursting into tears. At that moment, my husband said, “Take it easy. He is young and will recover soon. Let’s take him to the hospital for an examination.” After taking an X-ray at hospital, we found out my elder son sustained a fracture. On the way home from the hospital, I thought: What are all these about? Two days ago, I was told that my younger son missed his classes for several days because of stomach pain. Today my elder son fell over and fractured his arm. Nothing bad had happened to my two sons before I believed in God. Why did they suffer misfortune one after the other? The sister told me that man would be blessed once believing in God. Why did these misfortunes take place after I believed in God? Where is the blessing? Do I take the wrong path? I went home with anxiety. At that time, I lost my strength and I wanted neither to read God’s words nor to Him. And, I even complained against the sister in my heart about preaching the to me…. I was completely left in darkness.
The second day, my elder son went to school with his bandaged arm. I then called my younger son and he told me that the pain in his stomach persisted. I suddenly felt very bewildered. At that point, my husband got a sudden attack of diarrhoea, trotting to the bathroom time after time. I became more suspicious: It looks like I have taken the wrong way, otherwise how could this happen? At night, his diarrhoea got worse that he stayed in the bathroom for a significantly long time. At that moment, I even more thought that I walked a wrong path, losing all confidence in belief in God. I made up my mind to return the books to the sister when she would come the following day.
The next day, when the sister came for a gathering, I said unhappily, “I don’t want to have a meeting. At the very beginning of accepting God’s work, I felt very good about His words, tasting the feeling of dependability and not feeling miserable. You also told me that God is the God who loves man and that He comes to deliver man from the affliction of Satan. However, in these days, adversities occurred in my family in succession. My younger son got ill; my elder son fractured his arm in a fall; even my husband became ill. I can’t understand why so many mishaps came upon my family after I believed in Almighty God, the true One. Why didn’t He protect my family from misfortunes? Don’t come over here for the next couple of days. I can’t calm down because of these family matters. Let’s put meetings aside for a few days.”
The sister gently said to me, “Sister, we should quiet our hearts first when faced with such things. You will find out the fact after communication. You just mentioned that Almighty God is the true God and people should have lived a peaceful family life after believing in Him. But how come in reality something awful happened to your family? Here two points are involved. Let’s fellowship about them one by one. What you said shows that you believe in God only for the sake of being blessed. Now we get to know that man was created by God and man’s breath is from God. So, man should worship Him as a creature. What’s more, God’s purpose of creating man is to allow man to obey Him, worship Him and manifest His glory. It is heaven’s law and earth’s principle to believe in God and worship Him. This is just as the relationship between parents and children. Parents bear and raise children, so it is right and proper for children to honor their parents. That’s their duty and obligation. If our children honor us just to gain benefits after growing up and if they doubt our love to them or even don’t acknowledge us as their parents when we can’t benefit them, won’t they be the sons of rebellion? Likewise, if we believe in God properly when we gain blessings from Him, but we doubt Him, deny Him, and even give up our faith when we aren’t blessed, aren’t we the same as the sons of disobedience?
At this point, I thought for a second: What the sister said does make sense. God created man, bestowed upon man with sunlight, rain, air and so on. If I believe in God only for the purpose of blessings and without blessings I then doubt God and even will not continue my faith, am I not the same as the son of disobedience? Oh, I don’t understand all such things. I need to listen to her carefully.
She continued her fellowship, “Regarding this aspect, Almighty God makes it very plain. Let’s read His words. Almighty God says, ‘What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God—for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plough the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest. A coward such as you, who always pursues the flesh—do you have a heart, do you have a spirit?’ (‘The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words have revealed man’s flawed ideas of pursuits. In many people’s conceptions and imaginations, they believe that God is the One who bestows joy and peace upon man; Since man believes in Him, God should keep him and his family safe, make everything go smoothly and allow him to enjoy comfort in the comfy nest with good health and good luck. The reason that man has such an erroneous pursuit is because after man was corrupted by Satan, satanic poisons, ideas and viewpoints and living principles have already permeated man to harm and corrupt his soul and have become his life. Man lives based on these things every moment, becoming more and more selfish and deplorable and doing everything for his own sake. Even in the belief in God, he also wants to gain benefits from Him. If God doesn’t bless, he will become passive, draw back and even doubt God and not continue their belief. It can be seen that Satan has already corrupted man to such degree that he has lost the conscience and sense and even discussed conditions with God in his belief. God’s original purpose of creating man is to make man worship Him and obey His sovereignty. However, after man was corrupted by Satan, he no longer regards himself as a created being, much less think about how to satisfy God’s will, but instead he simply wants God to satisfy him. Whereas, God is forever selfless. To save man from Satan’s domain, comes to earth twice, and saves man while enduring mankind’s rebellion and resistance. Even when man has betrayed Him, He still loves man as before. From that we can see that for mankind is free from transaction or adulteration. We are God’s creations, so it is our bounden duty to believe in God and worship Him and should not depend on conditions. When God blesses us, we believe in Him. When God does not bless us, we draw back. In this way, we have fallen into Satan’s trap.
At that moment, I felt that Almighty God has spoken my thoughts. My goal in believing in God was to be blessed. When I did not receive God’s blessings, I doubted Him and believed that I took the wrong way and even thought of no longer believing in Him. It turned out that the wrong views of belief in God would cause man to betray God and lose His salvation. Thank God for arranging for the sister to fellowship with me today. However, there was another thing I did not understand. After I have accepted God’s work, why did three of the four persons in my family get sick? What’s the reason? I then spoke out my mind.
The sister said, “This is a spiritual struggle. In the spiritual realm, Satan is competing with God for people’s souls. Before we returned to God, we have been controlled and grasped by Satan. Today God wishes to save man. But Satan wants to continue controlling man. So it harms and disturbs man’s return to God by contemptible methods. It causes man to fall into some mishaps. For example, after believing in God, some people or their family member get sick; some people get involved in family quarrels or other misfortunes. Man doesn’t know it’s the battle in the spiritual realm, so he starts to doubt when he is faced with Satan’s disturbance: Is the One I believe in the true God? Do I believe in the wrong way? Let’s discuss Job’s story. In God’s eyes, Job is a righteous man who reveres God and shuns evil. Satan had never believed that someone could be perfect and upright, or that they could fear God and shun evil. It accused Job before God time and time again, employed various means to tempt him. First, it caused Job to lose his great wealth and all his children, and caused sore boils all over his body. Later, Satan attacked Job’s integrity to God, wishing to use his wife’s words to make Job renounce God. But Job praised the name of Jehovah and still walked in the way of fearing God and shunning evil. From then onward, Satan on longer had such license to tempt Job and then Job was set free. Through the example of Job, we see clearly that Satan is evil and cruel. It doesn’t want mankind to lead a safe and secure life under God’s care and protection, let alone obtain God’s salvation and the beautiful destination that God has prepared for man. Thus it does everything possible to hinder man’s return to God and uses various tricks to cause man to become doubtful to God. If we don’t depend on God and seek the truth, we will be easily tricked, give up God’s salvation for us, return to Satan’s domain and continue to be harmed and trampled by it, eventually being dragged into hell by it.”
When the sister discussed it here, I took up the thread of the conversation, “So, do all these bad things that happened to my family come from Satan?”