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 New Life – Experience God’s Salvation
In the past, I went to the pub for a drink every day at daybreak with several of my old friends. After drinking, we went to the teahouse to play cards and chess. I often didn’t go home until midnight. I lived happily, humming a little tune every now and then, feeling that my life was very pleasant. My wife was worried that drinking and staying up late like that would hurt my body, and she said to me: “You are getting old, and every day you drink, smoke, play cards, and even stay up until midnight. Why do you live like this?” I said airily: “My wife, I tell you, this is enjoying life—do you understand? We are already 60; if we don’t enjoy life now, when shall we? Can we live for another 60 years?” I turned a deaf ear to her words, and still went out to play early in the morning and came back late at night as before, immersing myself in these things….
In the fall of 2005, my niece and a young sister came to me to preach’s work in the last days, and said that only Almighty God can save people. At that time I thought: When I was young, I ran around and worked hard for decades in order to make a living. Now I’m getting old, and also free from the burden of life; it’s time for me to enjoy an easy and care free life. I chat freely and have a drink with my friends every day, and pass the time by playing cards in the teahouse; how free I am! Why do I have to believe in God? It’s too restrictive to believe in God. So, I refused them politely.
Later, they came several more times, and my niece said to me patiently: “Uncle, now everyone seems to live a comfortable life, yet they don’t have the care and protection from God if they don’t believe in God. As they don’t believe in God, they are all living under Satan’s domain, so Satan can corrupt and harm them at any time. As we know, although some people have a lot of money and are in good health now, but a cancer might come upon them at an unexpected time. At that time it’ll be no use even though they have much money. Some play cards or go to the pub every day; they look very happy outwardly, but they feel empty and uncomforted in their hearts. Thus we can see what we human beings need most is not sufficient food, but God’s salvation and protection, and even more God’s provision of life to us. Almighty God is the one true God who created the heavens and earth and all things. In the last days, God has been incarnated and descended upon the China mainland in secret, expressing the truth to purify and save us. It is a rare opportunity for us to be saved.” Listening to her words, I felt they were somewhat reasonable, and thus I accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days. But after that, I couldn’t resist the temptation to eat, drink, and play and still kept company with those several old friends. My brothers and sisters asked me to attend meetings, but I always refused them with different excuses, always saying that I had no time.
Soon it was 2006. One day of the first lunar month, when I was walking home after drinking at my nephew’s, I suddenly felt dizzy and fell down to the ground. My wife hurriedly asked others to rush me to the village clinic. The doctor took my blood pressure and said: “Your blood pressure is very high. You are so lucky. You fell down but didn’t die or have a stroke. Many people suffered very serious consequences after falling down like you.” Having heard the doctor’s words, I thought of Mr. Qu living nearby had died of high blood pressure. On the evening before his death, when he bathed and bent to get the towel in the basin, he fell down and died. I also remembered Dr. Liu. That night he was on night duty at the clinic, but on the next morning, he was found lying on the ground by someone who went there to see a doctor. He was hurriedly carried into a ward and was given first aid treatment, and then he died two or three days later. There were many other such examples around me. “Today I fell down, yet am still safe and sound. How lucky I am!” I thought smugly to myself. “Good fortune awaits the survival of a great disaster. It seems that I still have a good chance to enjoy my life….”
Unexpectedly, when I got up on the next morning, I felt pain in my chest and could not straighten up. I, bearing the pain, rode a bike to the hospital for an examination. The doctor said to me with my examination report in his hands: “There is a tumor on your liver, and it’s 2.8 cm across. This disease is not easy to cure. I’ll give you some medicine. Come back for a re-examination after taking them.” Looking at his serious expression, I became perturbed: A tumor grows on my liver; what illness is it? Could it be liver cancer? … I dared not go on thinking about it. With the examination report and the prescription, I hurried to wait in line to get the medicine. There happened to be a young woman besides me. When she saw my examination report, she said: “Your disease is very complicated. An old professor of Wuhan Tongji Hospital is seeing patients in the office of the Family Planning Commission on the fourth floor. He especially treats the difficult and complicated cases. You’d better go and visit him quickly.” My eyes lit up at her words, and I was like a drowning man grasping at straw. Full of hope, I rushed there and saw the old professor. After asking about my condition, he took my examination report and looked at it for a while. Then he said: “It’s very difficult to cure your disease. The only way is to give you some Chinese medicine so that the virus in your liver will be gradually killed. I guess you have to take at least 300 doses….”
Going downstairs with the medicine, I considered the old professor’s words, and my legs felt weak. I thought: I guessed I might have met my savior this time, but unexpectedly he also said that my disease was difficult to cure. It seems that I am hopeless and my life in the world is coming to its end. … On my way home, with a heavy heart, I kept thinking: It must be because I’m too fond of drinking and have smoked too much that I have got the liver disease. This is the consequence brought by my temporary enjoyment! At that moment, I felt so regretful: My niece told me to believe in God, and other brothers and sisters asked me many times to attend meetings and also told me repeatedly that God is the source of our life, that gaining God is gaining life, and that the fleshly enjoyment is empty and will disappear soon. I, however, merely promised them to believe in God on my lips, but after that, still indulged myself in eating, drinking, and playing. Now I have got the incurable disease; it is too late to regret. Thinking about this, I felt a wave of sadness, and I went home by bike weakly….
Man’s end really is God’s beginning. I did not expect that two brothers in the church came to my house the next day. I, who was in agony and despair, felt as if seeing my relatives. I felt very warm, my eyes brimming with tears. After knowing I got liver disease, they read a passage ofto me: “When the waters swallow men whole, I save them from the stagnant waters and give them a chance to have life anew. When men lose their confidence to live, I pull them up from the brink of death, granting them the courage to live, that they take Me as the foundation of their existence. When men disobey Me, I cause them to know Me in their disobedience. In light of humanity’s old nature and in light of My mercy, rather than putting humans to death, I allow them to repent and make a fresh start. When men suffer famine, I wrest them from death so long as they have one breath left …” (“The Fourteenth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading God’s words, a brother fellowshiped: “All things and beings are controlled by God’s hands, and our human beings’ birth, aging, sickness, and death are also ordained and ruled by God. Only by coming before God to rely on Him and obey His sovereignty and arrangements, can we obtain release and freedom and will we not be bound by death.” God’s words and the brother’s fellowship comforted my heart like a warm current. I seemed to see God stretching out His hands of salvation to me, which encouraged me to live on and be willing to rely on Him, put my disease entirely in His hands, and obey His orchestrations and arrangements. From then on, I began to read God’s words and attend meetings with some brothers and sisters. I also committed my disease to God through prayers and was willing to submit to God arrangement. Gradually, I obtained release and freedom in my heart, not constrained by the disease any more. I was no longer willing to eat, drink, and play in the pub and teahouse, but quieted myself before God and read God’s words whenever I had time.
One day, I read these words of Almighty God: “Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at ‘institutes of higher learning.’ The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him. Man’s disposition becomes more vicious by the day, and there is not a single person who will willingly give up anything for God, not a single person who will willingly obey God, nor, moreover, a single person who will willingly seek the appearance of God. Instead, under the domain of Satan, man does nothing but pursue pleasure, giving himself over to the corruption of the flesh in the land of mud” (“To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Pondering these words of God, I became lost in thought: I had always lived by the Satan’s poisons, such as “Life is short, so have fun” and “Enjoy yourself today and don’t worry about tomorrow.” I was satisfied to find pleasure in the pub and teahouse, thinking that was enjoying life. Little did I know that this was Satan’s scheme, which deluded me into straying from God. Apparently I was carefree and very happy by living like that, but when the disease came upon me, I felt so helpless and fearful because I didn’t have God in my heart, and the enjoyment of the flesh couldn’t give me any comfort. Now I have truly understood that the life of a person who lives under Satan’s domain without faith in God is empty even though his flesh enjoys very well. Although I didn’t treasure God’s salvation before, God still treated me graciously and protected me, and gave me another chance to come before Him. At that time, I was full of gratitude for God in my heart and set a resolution before God: “O God! In the past, my heart was blinded by Satan and so I refused Your salvation and evade Your care and protection. But in the time of crisis, You didn’t abandon me because of my rebelliousness, and instead gave me comfort with Your words so that I had the hope to live on. Now I’m willing to commit myself to You, and even more willing to perform my duty as a creation to repay Your love.” Later, I began to open up my home for meetings.
In the church I saw many young brothers and sisters. Though young, they could reject the filthy and corrupt social trends and did not covet the enjoyment of the flesh, and came before God to worship Him and pursued the truth to walk the correct path of life. This is thanks to the great power and authority of God. I was over 60, but pursued the trends, eating, drinking, and playing all day. I truly felt ashamed of myself. Reading God’s words, singing, and dancing together with brothers and sisters, I felt especially released and happy, as if I was more than ten years younger. They were concerned about my disease, and fellowshiped with me that I shouldto God and read God’s words more, and not live in the disease, because God says: “To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well” (“The Sixth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I became integrated into this large family wholeheartedly, and gradually I forgot my disease.
Miraculously, after a period of time, I found my physical condition became better and better. I truly experienced that everything is controlled by God’s hands, just likesays: “No one can fathom the Almighty’s whereabouts, and further, no one can feel the transcendence and greatness of the Almighty’s life power. His transcendence lies in how He can perceive what humans cannot. His greatness lies in how He is the One who is renounced by mankind yet saves mankind. He knows the meaning of life and death. Moreover, He knows the rules of living for mankind, whom He created. He is the basis for human existence and the Redeemer for mankind to resurrect again” (“The Sighing of the Almighty” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Ten years have passed in a flash, during which I never went to the hospital for re-examining, nor went to see the old professor to get medicine again. Yet my health now is even better than before. Someone has asked me: “I heard you had liver disease before. What medicine cured it? How come you become healthier than before?” I could not help replying: “It’s Almighty God who has given me a new life and saved me from the brink of death.” I truly thank and praise Almighty God! All the glory be to the almighty and only true God!