89. Almighty God’s Word Awakened My Heart
I was formerly a co-worker of the Shouters. At a co-workers’ meeting in March 1996, our leader specially emphasized this: “A group of people are preaching ‘the queen of the south’ now. They go everywhere to steal the sheep from the churches. You must guard the church well and watch over the flock.” After I came back from the meeting, I immediately called together the local workers and told them of the “important” meeting content. From that time, I was on the alert, guarding against at every time the strangers who might come to steal the sheep.
One day while I was making steamed buns at home, a sister came and said to me, “Two strangers are now at Brother Xiao’s home fellowshipping about the Lord’s will.” Her words made me anxious at once. “They are a host family devoted to the Lord. How can I give an account to the Lord if they are drawn away?” I left the dough there and hurriedly went to the brother’s home. There, indeed, two strange brothers were fellowshipping about the Bible, and Brother Xiao and his family were listening attentively. I bristled with anger and yelled at the brothers, pointing my finger at them, “Leave now. Don’t disturb us. God’s glory has filled our church. There is no need for you to mind our business.” The two brothers were driven away by me this way. And I warned Brother Xiao and his family, “Without my permission, you can never receive any stranger in future.”
Despite my devotion to the church work, the church grew desolate day by day, and in the end it splintered into two irreconcilable groups. The co-workers gave each other tit for tat and attacked one another verbally. Half a year later, almost no one came to the church I was in to attend service. The room was cold and cheerless. Sometimes only I was left to read the Bible, pray, or sing hymns. However, the desolation of the church didn’t bring me to seek the will of God, but incurred my greater hatred for the gospel preachers. Once, two sisters came to preach the gospel to me. They said to me gently with a smile, “Sister, the Lord’s work has progressed forward. We shouldn’t stand still. Or else, we will be divorced from the work of the Holy Spirit. Why did the temple in those days become a den of thieves? It’s because the work of the Age of Grace began…” “Stop, stop!” I stopped them for fear of being deceived. “You leave now. Or if you don’t leave, we go. You can talk to the empty house!” Then I dragged my co-worker away with me. We went to a sister’s home, and there I quickly knelt down and prayed, “O Lord! Please curse those heretics. Hinder their steps, and lay thorns on their path ahead.” But on that night, each of my soles suddenly got a blood blister the size of a chicken’s egg. The pain was unbearable and robbed my night of rest. The next day, the sisters came to my home, inquiring after me, with great care. And they fellowshipped with me about the Lord’s will again, till past five in the afternoon. However, I shut my eyes and ears, ignoring them. But they were very patient all along. They were neither impatient nor irritated, but persuaded me earnestly and gently all the time, with smiles on their face. In the end, I slapped the table, yelling at them, and forced them away again.
However, after they left, I felt very disturbed within. My mind constantly flashed back to the scenes of the sisters earnestly persuading me and my slapping the table shouting at them. I was upset and restless. In helplessness, I could only kneel down and pray, “O Lord, what is all this about? Why do those people constantly come to disturb us? Why does our church become more and more chaotic as we reject them? Why do we become more and more arrogant and lacking in patience as we pursue being renewed, transformed, and conformed? But what they have lived out and expressed is admirable. Compared with them, I’m not like a believer in You at all. Lord, have You really left us? … Lord! I can’t lose You. Please illuminate me.” I choked with sobs. I recalled what happened in the church: The co-workers raised jealousy and strife against each other, intrigued against each other, and even attacked each other in prayers loudly with sharp remarks; the brothers and sisters were cold and weak in faith, and they preferred playing mahjong and watching TV to attending service; the holy place already became filled with filthiness. These recollections made me shudder. “Isn’t the desolation of the church today the same as that of the temple where oxen and sheep and doves were sold when Jesus worked? The temple got desolate when Jesus began to preach, and the church now falls into desolation after the ‘queen of the south’ appears. Could it be the true way?” Then, I got up from bed, walked to the closet with the help of the edge of the bed, and reached down the book The Word Appears in the Flesh from the top of it. It was given to me half a year before by a sister who preached the gospel. I just flipped through it at that time and threw it to the top of the closet. At this time, I opened it again, and these words attracted me: “God’s six-thousand-year management plan is coming to an end, and the gate of the kingdom has been opened to all those who seek the appearance of God. Dear brothers and sisters, what are you waiting for? What is it that you seek? Do you await the appearance of God? Are you searching for the footprints of God? How the appearance of God is yearned for! And how difficult it is to find God’s footprints! In an age such as this, in a world such as this, what must we do to witness the day of God’s appearance? What must we do to follow the footprints of God?” “The appearance of God cannot be reconciled with the conceptions of man, much less can God appear at the request of man. God makes His own choices and has His own plans when He does His work; moreover, He has His own objectives, and His own methods. When He does His work, He does not need to discuss with man, or to seek the advice of man, much less notify each and every person. This is the disposition of God and furthermore should be recognized by everyone. If you desire to witness the appearance of God, if you wish to follow the footprints of God, then you must first transcend your own conceptions. You must not demand that God do this or that, much less should you place Him within your own confines and limit Him to your own conceptions. Instead, you should ask how you should seek the footprints of God, how you should accept the appearance of God, and how you should submit to the new work of God; that is what should be done by man. Since man is not the truth, and is not possessed of the truth, man should seek, accept, and obey.” “The objective of God’s appearance free from the constraints of any form or country is for Him to be able to complete the work in His plan. For example, when God became flesh in Judea, His aim was to complete the work of crucifixion to redeem all mankind. Yet the Jews believed that it was impossible for God to do this, and they thought it impossible that God could become flesh and assume the form of the Lord Jesus. Their ‘impossible’ became the basis by which they condemned and opposed God, and ultimately led to the destruction of Israel. Today, many people have committed a similar error. They wantonly proclaim the imminent appearance of God, yet also condemn His appearance; their ‘impossible’ once more confines the appearance of God within the limits of their imagination.” “Where God appears, there is the expression of the truth, and there is the voice of God. Only those who can accept the truth can hear the voice of God, and only such people are qualified to witness the appearance of God. Put your conceptions to one side! Stop and carefully read these words. If you yearn for the truth, God will enlighten you to understand His will and His words. Put aside your view of ‘impossible’! The more that people believe something is ‘impossible,’ the more likely it is to occur, for the wisdom of God soars higher than the heavens, God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts, and the work of God transcends the limits of man’s thinking and conception. The more that something is impossible, the more there is the truth to be sought; the more that something is beyond the conception and imagination of man, the more it contains the will of God.” The words of God pierced through my heart like a sharp double-edged sword. “Why have I been resisting Almighty God all along? Isn’t it because what God does is different from my notions? I believe that God can’t possibly do this or that. Isn’t that my imagination? What right do I have to demand God? I’m a mere creature created by God. Should God do His work after getting my approval? God’s thoughts are always higher than man’s. The more that something is impossible, the more there is the truth to be sought. The more that something is beyond the conception and imagination of man, the more it contains the will of God. How come I didn’t know this before?”
Then I read these words of Almighty God: “God does not partake in the politics of man, yet the fate of a country or nation is controlled by God. God controls this world and the entire universe. The fate of man and the plan of God are intimately connected, and no man, country or nation is exempt from the sovereignty of God. … Recall the scene in the Bible when God wrought destruction upon Sodom, and think also of how Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt. Think back to how the people of Nineveh repented their sins in sackcloth and ashes, and recall what followed after the Jews nailed Jesus to the cross 2,000 years ago. The Jews were expelled from Israel and fled to countries around the world. Many were killed, and the entire Jewish nation was subjected to unprecedented destruction. They had done wrong: they had nailed God to the cross—a heinous crime—and provoked the disposition of God. They were made to pay for what they did, were made to bear the consequences of their actions.” These words woke me up. “Yes! The fate of man is under the sovereignty of God. Who can stop God’s work? The Pharisees resisted God crazily, even to the point of nailing Him to the cross, but Jesus’ name is still spread throughout the world, and those who resisted God ended up with perdition and destruction. I ran around for the church work faithfully, yet I didn’t see a prosperous church but the increasingly prosperous work of Almighty God. Who is able to tear down the temple of God? Isn’t it precisely done by God?” I finally came to know that the church was desolate because God had done a new work. The more I read the book of Almighty God’s word, the more I was unable to tear myself away from it, like a parched land receiving rain. By then, I was fully assured that it was the personal utterance of God. And I also realized that the reason I got blood blisters on my soles was that I had resisted against the Ruler of the universe and thus was disciplined by Him. I resisted God so much and drove away the sisters so fiercely. Yet God only gave me such a discipline. Compared with the punished Jews, I was already treated very leniently. Thinking of that, I felt too indebted to God and couldn’t help breaking out in tears.
By that time, God had started to work in our church. The brothers and sisters all received God’s enlightenment: “Don’t stand still anymore. Wake up quickly and drop old things.” We gathered together with one accord and began to eat and drink and enjoy Almighty God’s word. Everyone was attracted by the word, and none were unwilling to be apart from it. Almighty God’s word resurrected us “the dead,” and the church came to life again. One week later, the two sisters I had driven away came. I held them crying bitterly, feeling too indebted to God and to them. Since then, we were led onto the right track of faith in God by Almighty God.
Brothers and sisters, especially leaders of different denominations, maybe you have the same mind as mine prior to my acceptance of Almighty God, or you may have an experience similar to mine. But could you please make conclusions after investigating it with an open mind? Do the churches today still have the work of the Holy Spirit? Think of how those 250 leaders were punished and how the 600 million Israelites died in wilderness, and consider how the high priests, scribes, and elders suffered disasters and how the nation of Israel was destructed. How could we men, a mere creature, fathom God’s work? Let’s come before God and seek the work of the Holy Spirit. Trust God that He will surely open our spiritual eyes!