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?
I Welcomed the Second Coming of the Lord After Studying Bible Five Times
In August of 2012, I came to Canada with my son. When I first arrived in this strange country I faced various challenges. In addition to solving the primary problem of food and housing, I had to find a school for my son to study in and hunt for a job to make a living. Numerous difficulties occurred as I looked for jobs, and constant troubles in my life also followed on. No one, however, I could pour out my misery to and no friends I could rely on. I felt much suffering and exhausted. Just then my landlord preached theof the Lord to me. I was deeply touched by her experience of believing in the Lord, and thus I started to go to church with her.
One day, I went to a supermarket for vegetables. When I came out from there, I saw that two people were setting up a stall for something not far away. Out of curiosity, I came near and found many gospel booklets spreading out on a small table. I picked up one at random and flipped it through, feeling that the words inside were very good. Then the two sisters greeted me enthusiastically, and we got to talking. Sister Lisa asked whether I believed in the Lord. I answered, “Yes. But I’ve just been here and I am looking for a job. I have few relatives or friends here. I really hope to make the acquaintance of my fellow villagers.” Then we gave our telephone numbers to each other. Later, Sister Lisa phoned me and asked me out for dinner with my fellow villagers. But I was rather worried: I don’t know anyone here, what if I am cheated by contacting strangers easily? I then remembered Sister Meirong who believed in the Lord for many years and served the church zealously, and so I told her this matter in the worship service on the Lord’s Day. After hearing that, she said seriously, “Don’t easily listen to others’ preaching. Those sermons outside are all impure. They don’t preach according to the….” On hearing this, I was very afraid: I only believe in the Lord and read the Bible. If they don’t preach in accordance with the Bible, it’s not right. And if so, aren’t they taking the wrong path? I completely believed in what Sister Meirong said and declined the invitation of Sister Lisa.
Afterward, a new neighbor, Sister Zhenshi, moved in. We both were like old friends from the start. When we chatted, I learned that she also believed in the Lord. That made us feel more congenial and cordial to each other. She then invited me to conduct Bible studies with her. At the thought of how little I understood of the Bible, I readily accepted. A few days later, Sister Zhenshi took me to the house of Sister Chen to conduct Bible studies. After I listened to their fellowship about their understanding of some verses in the Bible and their experience of believing in the Lord, I felt they were so well and so real. It allowed me to gain more knowledge of the Lord than ever. After that, I told Sister Meirong that people in other churches also conducted Bible studies according to the Bible, and that what they preached had light and conformed to the Bible. Out of my expectation, she was very unhappy and scolded me, “I’ve told you not to listen to others’ preaching at will. All those churches don’t preach in accordance with the Bible. Why don’t you listen to me?” What made me more unexpected was that she told this matter to Pastor Li. That day after the worship service on the Lord’s day, Pastor Li directly came to chide me, “Do you know? Believers oftestify that God has been incarnated again and expressed the truth to carry out the work of judgment. Their sermons are different from the Bible. You mustn’t go to listen to their sermons. Once you listen, you’ll be fooled….” After hearing the words I was rather scared. Since then, once Sister Zhenshi asked me to attend the Bible studies, I would refuse her on various excuses. In spite of my refusal one after another, they still often cared for me and asked about my situation. Sister Chen frequently sent me messages, inviting me to take my child to her house. I was moved by her kindness. But at thought of the pastor’s words, I was afraid that they might be believers of Eastern Lightning. So, I didn’t dare to approach them but continued to attend meetings in our church.
One month later, after the church worship was over, I heard a piece of news: On next Sunday worship, if anyone wants to be a member of the church, he just need to stay behind and put his signature, and then he will become a member of the church. Because I desired to become a member in the church, I specially asked the wife of the pastor about it. She said to me, “It’s OK. Next week you bring your lunch and some bread here. After the worship service, you can stay behind and apply for membership of our church.” Later when the day came for us to attend Sunday worship, I prepared the lunch with joy and was ready to apply for membership after the worship service. However, when the worship service ended, the pastor told me, “If you want to be a member of our church, you have to wait till next year.” Hearing this, my joy was lost at once and I was very puzzled about it. Especially when I saw two sisters, who believed in the Lord at the same time with me, became members, I was much more bewildered: In what aspects are they better than me? Why can they become the members, but I can’t? At this point I suddenly recollected that the income of their families was higher than that of mine, and that the pastor treated them very well in ordinary days. Is it because they have high income and donate much money to the church that the pastor permitted them to be the members? If it is truly so, such behavior of the pastor doesn’t conform to the teachings of the Lord. Aren’t the viewpoints on things of believers in the Lord the same as that of the worldly people? They put money above everything else and disdain for the poor and fawn over the rich, this isn’t after the Lord’s will. The Lord teaches us to love each other and to separate ourselves from the world to be holy. Just as the Bible said, “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called to him his disciples, and said to them, Truly I say to you, That this poor widow has cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living” (Mar 12:42–44). The Lord doesn’t see how much money one donates but sees whether one has a true heart. However, when we made donation in the church, I often saw some brothers and sisters wrote their names on the envelopes with donated money. But I didn’t. For I remembered the Lord’s words, “Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. But when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does” (Matthew 6:1–3). For this reason, I didn’t write down my name on the envelope when I gave offerings. So the pastor couldn’t know whether I made offerings. This might be the reason that he refused my application for membership. Thinking of this, I was very sad: Since I came abroad here, I’ve experienced a number of difficulties. The only thing I wanted to do was truly believe in the Lord and follow Him. In my heart, I have always thought the big church should be good. So when other sisters asked me to conduct Bible studies, I refused them again and again because I trusted the words of the pastors. But the more I trusted them, the more I saw their dark side. I was really deceived and blinded by their outwardly good behavior and false images. I couldn’t help crying and felt much bitter and perplexed in my heart. Not knowing how to walk forward, I kept praying to the Lord, “Oh, Lord, where are You? Where are You? I want to follow You….”
I thanked the Lord for hearing my prayer. In my confusion and helplessness, He stretched out His hand of salvation to me. That afternoon, when I went out of the supermarket, I met Sister Zhenshi. I wanted to approach and greet her, pouring out the sorrow in my heart. But when I thought that I had believed the pastor’s words and thereby refused her sincere invitation time and time again, I felt sad and miserable, uncertain about whether she would like to talk with me. After I thought and thought, I still walked actively toward her and talked to her. She was pleased to see me and cared for me as before. She then invited me to conduct Bible studies this Sunday.