What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
Walk at Night With God’s Company
At dusk, when the sun was about to set, a coach driven from town to village just stopped at the village entrance, then Yutong got off it. Seeing the roadside cornfields, she sighed with emotion in her heart: Corncobs have already appeared since I left a few days ago. How fast the crops grow! Then she dusted her trousers and when she turned around, she found the coach had already driven so far away, stirring up a cloud of dust as if it had vanished in a mist. When she looked at her watch, she felt worried: Hurry up! The sister who rears deer is still waiting for me to have a meeting with her at home.
She soon arrived at the gate of the sister’s house, pushed the large iron gate open, and then entered the courtyard. The yard seemed narrow as deer sheds were built on its both sides. Through the casement window, Yutong saw the sister’s son sitting watching TV on the kang. “Has the sister gone out?” supposed Yutong. The door of the deer shed behind her was opened when she just arrived at the door of the room. Yutong looked backward and found it was the sister. With a cheery countenance, Yutong turned and said, “May I help you, sister?” The sister answered merrily, “Everything has been done already. I will come soon after washing my hands. We still have something important to do. You may go into the room first.” Hearing the honest answer of the sister, Yutong felt much more assured. Last time when Yutong came, the sister looked extremely worried, as she was disturbed by various rumors put about by religious pastors, elders, and the wicked. She fretted herself about these rumors, dreading that she had taken the wrong path. After knowing the situation, Yutong fellowshiped with the sister, “When the Lordcame to work, the Judaic chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees of that time constrained and controlled the Jews, wildly condemned and opposed Him, and finally nailed Him onto the cross. They did these only to protect their positions and livelihoods. Nowadays, when , of the , expresses the truth and does His work of judgment in the last days, the religious pastors and elders also do their utmost to condemn and oppose Almighty God’s work in the last days in order to save their status and jobs. They start all sorts of rumors and fallacies to deceive believers, or instigate co-workers to disturb, so that they doubt God’s work and then stray from and deny God thoroughly. Hence, to see through Satan’s trickery, we should more and read more of to seek the truth at this time.” Through the fellowship, the sister gained discernment, whereupon she didn’t hesitate anymore and decided to go on having meetings. Today, the smile on her face testified that she wasn’t frightened by rumors indeed once again. Yutong stepped into the west room and sat on the bedside. Presently the sister came in, and said smilingly, “Since you left last time, I have read lots of Almighty God’s words. I sensed that the more I read them, the more I love to read.” Thereafter, Yutong knelt down in prayer on the bed with the sister. Suddenly, they heard that there was a sound from the door when the sister just spoke a few words. Yutong was startled by this, and then the sister also stood up. Meanwhile, with the wall lamp turned on, two women broke into the house, standing in the center of the room: one was tall, and the other was short. They threatened Yutong loudly with their arms akimbo, as if they were interrogating a prisoner. Moreover, they pointed at Yutong to let her leave at once. Sitting on the bed, Yutong appeared composed, but she prayed to God incessantly in her heart; she didn’t know what they would do. Then she looked at the sister who sat on the bedside and found there was a tremble in the sister’s voice as though she was taken aback by the circumstances coming all of a sudden. From the conversation between the sister and these two women, Yutong noticed that these two were leaders of the sister’s former church, and the elder one is the sister’s elder sister. Then Yutong was aware that the sister was in a quandary and didn’t know what to say. At that point, one of the two leaders yelled at Yutong like crazy, “If you don’t go, I will send you to the police station.”
At sight of this scene, Yutong knew exactly that these religious leaders who not only didn’t seek or investigate the second coming of the Lord, but also condemned and blasphemed God wantonly dared to do anything, just like the Pharisees who opposed the Lord Jesus of that time. How many brothers and sisters were sent to the Public Security Bureau or detention houses by these religious antichrists without reason in the course of spreading the kingdomof Almighty God. At that moment, Yutong remembered what the Lord Jesus once said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Mat 10:16). Thinking about this, Yutong knew clearly that facing such condition, she had no chance to have a meeting with the sister tonight even though she continued to stay. Thereupon, she determined to leave here first and then visit the sister some other day. Though Yutong was somewhat afraid to walk in the dark night, she realized that she had to leave so that she could avoid the siege of these antichrists. The instant Yutong walked into the yard and looked at the darkness before her eyes, a thought suddenly came to her that she could put up for one night in a house of sister in nearby village. Nevertheless, the nearest house of sister was twenty miles away from here, and it was impossible to walk there. After that, she thought, “Maybe there still are vehicles if I come back to the town.” She was in torture when standing in the yard, not knowing where to go on her own. Just then a hymn of experience occurred to her, “The darkness covers the earth; the devils are extremely ferocious. God does His work with difficulty; He suffers all kinds of humiliations. … What Jesus encountered has reoccurred today. … Although there are many believers in God, very few of them know God. Wherever we go in the mainland, it’s not easy to testify God …” (“Who Cares for God’s Heart” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). She couldn’t help crying, which was not for timidity, but for tasting the experiences described in the hymn that what Jesus encountered has reoccurred today. She feared that the sister would return to the religion on account of affection and thus lose the opportunity of keeping up with God’s footsteps and being saved. Then she held the sister’s hands and spoke under her breath, “Sister, you must read the book of to the end.” The sister gazed on Yutong, as if she were saying, “Sister, I’m sorry. I dare not keep you since I’m afraid that the religious leaders will hand over you to the government.” When Yutong was about to leave, something unexpected happened.
“Auntie, wait for a moment. Let me see you off. Mom! You should not let her go alone. I will send her after putting on my clothes.” The voice came out from the east room. At that moment, Yutong felt that God was right beside her, and thus she was not alone. Notwithstanding the early fall night was a little cold, she felt a warm current flowing into her heart. The sister was also extremely astonished, shouting with emotion, “My son! Zhiyuan! Help me send your auntie to the town.”
At nearly ten o’clock at night, it was pitch dark in the village. and the chirps of katydids and crickets came out from the croplands by the highway every now and then. Yutong prayed constantly within her and begged God to strengthen her faith and courage so that she could defy hardship and danger. At that time, the little boy by her side consoled her, “Auntie. Take it easy. I will accompany you to the town.” Yutong knew clearly it was God’s orchestration and arrangement that a boy who was unknown and had no relation to her could comfort her like this. As God’s word says, “The heart and spirit of man are held in the hand of God, and all the life of man is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear according to God’s thoughts. This is how God rules over all things” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life”). Suddenly, on the pitch-dark road, she saw indistinctly a light of car shining in the distance. It was a taxi! Yutong was very delighted, with her hand beckoning ceaselessly. When the car stopped, a middle-aged man sat next to the driver rolled down the window and said, “Please get in! Without an urgent matter, none will hail a car on the road so late. It must be fate that we can meet here.” Sitting in the car, looking at the sister’s son who was accompanying her throughout, and thinking of the casual meeting with the taxi, Yutong felt that she had endless gratitude toward God in her heart. She was a little weak and passive when she was in the sister’s house, nevertheless it seemed as if everything passed away at that moment. She recalled a passage of God’s word, “Despite this, God still continues the work He intends to do: He utters His voice and spreads the gospel. None can fathom the almightiness of God. In China, a country that regards God as an enemy, God has never ceased His work. Instead, more people have accepted His work and word, for God does all He can to save each and every member of mankind” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind”). Think back to the period of spreading gospel more than a decade. How many difficulties and dangers she encountered! How many times she came safely out of danger under God’s care and protection! She firmly trusted that no enemy force could stand in the way of what God wishes to achieve, and it’s God’s urgent intention to spread the kingdom gospel to save mankind. Under the encouragement of , she felt a stream of strength rising up from her heart: It’s my mission to preach the gospel and testify to God.
“Auntie! Here we are. Should we get off here?”
Yutong said smilingly, “Yeah, we get off here.” Yutong saw several taxies stopping by the street through the shine of street lights, so she called a taxi and enjoined the driver to send the child home. Sitting in the taxi, Zhiyuan waved his hand and said smilingly, “Auntie! Hope you can visit us again.”
Yutong nodded, “Tell your mom that I will call on her afterward.” At that moment, she believed that the sister would not be shaken, because God would guide her. From what happened that day, Yutong tasted God’s love and salvation. Finally Yutong took the Gangtian motor vehicle with pleasure to Sister Zhang’s house nearby, and intended to share what she gained.
Two days later, after a nap, Yutong looked out of the window and saw two butterflies dancing trippingly on the cucumber trellis in the yard of Sister Zhang’s. Unknowingly, she thought of the sister, and went over these sentences unceasingly in her mind, “How about the sister? What would the religious leader treat her? It will be the day of meeting with the sister in two days.” Suddenly, there was a sound from the gate and then two brothers of the Church came in. Yutong thought, “Maybe they bring the news of the sister.” When the two brothers entered the room, Yutong asked concernedly with an expectant and anxious gleam in her eyes, “Brothers, do you know anything about the sister who rears deer?” One brother answered buoyantly, “Sister Yutong, the sister who rears deer let me tell you that you can visit her the day after tomorrow.” Yutong stood in amazement for a short while, then recovered herself on the spot, with tears flowing down her cheeks…
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