6. We have read many of Almighty God’s words. They possess authority and power, and they are indeed the voice of God. Yet the pastors and elders say that in the Bible it is written, “I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:6–8). Going by these words spoken by Paul, the pastors and elders say that our belief in Almighty God strays from the name of the Lord Jesus, and from the way of the Lord Jesus. They say we believe in another gospel, and that this is apostasy, a betrayal of the Lord. Though we feel what they say to be wrong, we can’t say for sure in what way they are wrong. Please fellowship with us about this.
Based on these words of Paul, the pastors and elders say that to believe in Almighty God is to turn away from the name of the Lord Jesus, to believe in another gospel, to betray the Lord. But is their interpretation of Paul’s words correct? After reading the Bible, many people do not seek the truth, and, heedless of the context at that time, they impose rules with utter blindness, capriciously and on a whim, which easily fools and misleads people. If the pastors and elders quote the Bible out of context, it is easy for them to sow confusion among those investigating the true way. In fact, there was a context to Paul’s words: In the Age of Grace, there was only one gospel, the gospel of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption. When people spread other ways—gospels unlike the gospel of the Lord Jesus—these were “another gospel,” gospels that deceived people. And people who were deceived into following another gospel after accepting the name of the Lord Jesus betrayed the Lord. When Paul spoke these words, God had yet to do the work of the last days, nor were there any who preached the gospel of the last days. Clearly, then, the “another gospel” of which Paul spoke was certainly not the gospel of the Lord’s return during the last days, but those gospels preached by the false Christs who emerged when the Lord Jesus appeared and was performing His work. Any historical study of the time would surely reveal such a situation. In fact, Paul never said that preaching the kingdom gospel when the Lord returned was wrong, much less did he dare say that if people accepted the gospel of the last days of the returned Lord Jesus—Almighty God—they would be betraying the Lord. Yet the pastors and elders of the religious world use Paul’s words to the churches of the Age of Grace to condemn Almighty God’s work of the last days. In this, they are simply misinterpreting the Bible and quoting it out of context, which is truly ridiculous and absurd! Evidently, the pastors and elders are trying to deceive people, to stop them from seeking and investigating the true way. If it were as they say, then when the Lord Jesus came to earth to work, and many who believed in Jehovah began to follow the Lord Jesus after beholding His appearance and work, and accepted the Lord’s salvation, would these people who followed the Lord Jesus have been betraying Jehovah and committing apostasy? Clearly, they were not betraying Jehovah but were following the footsteps of God—they were being faithful to God. Those who stubbornly clung to the law and did not accept the salvation of the Lord Jesus, meanwhile, may have appeared to keep the name of Jehovah, but in God’s eyes they rebelled against Him and resisted His new work; they kept only to the work that God had done in the past, they did not follow the footsteps of God, and they did not accept or obey God’s present words and work—it was they who were the true apostates, who were detested and rejected by God.
We who believe in the Lord have a deep appreciation that although our faith in the Lord means that our sins are forgiven, we still live in the state whereby we sin during the day and confess our sins at night. Controlled by our satanic natures, we often reveal our satanic dispositions, such as arrogance and conceit, crookedness and deceitfulness, selfishness and ignobility; we cannot help but lie and sin, rebel against and resist God, and we have not escaped the bonds and fetters of sin. Those who are not holy cannot meet with the Lord. God is holy, so how could God permit to enter His kingdom those who brim with the dispositions of Satan and are liable to rebel against and resist Him? And so, with the arrival of the Age of Kingdom of the last days, Almighty God performs a stage of newer, higher work upon the foundation of the work of the Lord Jesus: the work of judging and cleansing man during the last days. In this stage of work, God expresses the truth to resolve the sinful nature and corrupt dispositions of man, enabling man to be cleansed and saved by God once and for all, and bringing him into the kingdom of God. This fulfills the prophecies of the Bible: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (Jhn 16:12–13). “He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (Jhn 12:48). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17). Thus, those who accept Almighty God’s work of the last days are not betraying the Lord Jesus or committing apostasy. Instead, they hear the voice of God and follow the footsteps of the Lamb; only such people are the wise virgins, and these are the ones who are raised before God to attend His feast.
Almighty God says: “Since man believes in God, he must closely follow the footsteps of God, step-by-step; he should ‘follow the Lamb wherever He goes.’ Only these are the people who seek the true way, only they are the ones who know the work of the Holy Spirit. People who slavishly follow letters and doctrines are those who have been eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit. In each period of time, God will begin new work, and in each period, there will be a new beginning among man. If man only abides by the truths that ‘Jehovah is God’ and ‘Jesus is Christ,’ which are truths that only apply to their respective ages, then man will never keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and will forever be incapable of gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how God works, man follows without the slightest doubt, and he follows closely. In this way, how could man be eliminated by the Holy Spirit? Regardless of what God does, as long as man is certain that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, and cooperates in the work of the Holy Spirit without any misgivings, and tries to meet the requirements of God, then how could he be punished? The work of God has never ceased, His footsteps have never halted, and prior to the completion of His management work, He has always been busy, and never stops. But man is different: Having gained but a modicum of the Holy Spirit’s work, he treats it as if it will never change; having gained a little knowledge, he does not go forth to follow the footsteps of God’s newer work; having seen but a little of God’s work, he immediately prescribes God as a particular wooden figure, and believes that God will always remain in this form that he sees before him, that it was like this in the past and will always be thus in the future; having gained but a superficial knowledge, man is so proud that he forgets himself and begins to wantonly proclaim a disposition and a being of God that simply do not exist; and having become certain about one stage of the Holy Spirit’s work, no matter what kind of person it is that proclaims the new work of God, man does not accept it. These are people who cannot accept the new work of the Holy Spirit; they are too conservative, and incapable of accepting new things. Such people are those who believe in God but also reject God. Man believes that the Israelites were wrong to ‘only believe in Jehovah and not believe in Jesus,’ yet the majority of people act out a role in which they ‘only believe in Jehovah and reject Jesus’ and ‘long for the return of the Messiah, but oppose the Messiah who is called Jesus.’ No wonder, then, that people still live under the domain of Satan after accepting one stage of the work of the Holy Spirit, and still do not receive God’s blessings. Is this not the result of man’s rebelliousness?” (“God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Almighty God’s words show us that God is ever new and never old, and that His work of saving mankind never stops moving forward. If, in the new age, we still cling to God’s past work and refuse to accept God’s new work, we will very easily become those who believe in God yet resist Him, and who are eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit. Centuries ago, because the Pharisees clung to God’s work in the age of the Old Testament, because they resisted and condemned the work of the Lord Jesus, and nailed Him to the cross—a heinous sin—they were met with the curses and punishment of God. So how should we now approach God’s work of judgment in the last days? We should all consider this carefully!