By Xiao Rui, Sichuan Province
When my duty inwas preaching the gospel, while doing this I encountered religious leaders who bore false witness to frantically resist, disturb, and block people’s investigation and acceptance of God’s work in the last days. They even called the police to have them arrest those of us sharing the gospel. As a result, those we were preaching to didn’t dare come into contact with us, and those who had just accepted the gospel were subjected to disruptions and became uncertain about God’s work. Our gospel work was greatly hindered. I felt really anxious when I saw so many brothers and sisters with genuine faith who were hoodwinked and disrupted by the pastors and elders. They were unable to return before God and accept His purification and salvation of the last days. I worked hard every day to share fellowship on God’s words with them to resolve the notions they held regarding God’s work, but after doing this for a period of time, our gospel work still hadn’t taken a turn for the better. I thought: “Evangelical work is so difficult to carry out. It would be so wonderful if God just displayed some miracles and punished those who bear false witness as well as those who seriously resist Him to show to those who have been deceived. Then wouldn’t the work of the gospel advance more quickly? It wouldn’t be so difficult for us to preach the gospel.” This is how this hope came up in my heart every time I encountered difficulties. Later, I read the book of Classic Examples of Punishment for Resisting and during fellowship heard some testimonies on God’s signs and wonders, and I felt very glad in my heart. I hoped even more that God would do some things in the areas that I worked in so that our gospel work there could be carried out smoothly. But no matter how I hoped, I still didn’t see God perform any miracles there or do anything to punish evil people. The religious people were still fully resisting God, and the difficulties in our evangelical work were still great. I became negative, thinking: “Why doesn’t God open up a way out for us? Could it be that our faith is inadequate?”
Faced with difficulties, I came before God many times to seek His will. Later, during my devotionals I saw these words of God: “Now, if God were to perform supernatural signs and wonders, then, without having to undertake any great work, He would simply curse a man to death with His own mouth, the man would die on the spot, and in this way every human being would be convinced; but this would not achieve the aim of God in becoming flesh. If God were truly to do this, humanity would never be able, with their conscious minds, to believe in His existence, would never be able truly to believe, and moreover would mistake the devil for God. Even more importantly, humanity would never know God’s disposition: Is this not one aspect of the meaning of God’s being in the flesh? If humanity is incapable of knowing God, then it will always be a vague God, a supernatural God, who holds sway in the human realm: Would this not be a case of man’s notions taking possession of man? Or, to restate this more plainly, would not Satan, the devil, be holding sway? ‘Why do I say I take back My power? Why do I say that the incarnation has too many meanings?’ The moment God becomes flesh, this is when He takes back His power; it is also when His divinity comes forth directly to do His work. Step by step, every human being comes to know the practical God, and because of this the place held by Satan in the human heart is completely suppressed while God’s place is augmented” (“Chapter 6” of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I ruminated over God’s words and my heart suddenly brightened: It turns out that the purpose of God’s work in the flesh isn’t to use His authority to frighten people into obedience, but it is to fully make known His disposition to mankind through actual work and words, and through this dispel the image held in mankind’s hearts of a vague God. It is to allow people to cast off the constraints of their notions, to truly know God’s disposition and work, and to allow people to possess the truth and discernment, allowing them to be conquered and attained. God’s work really is so practical, and His wisdom is unfathomable for humans! Give it some careful thought—this work God is doing would not bear fruit if it were done through signs and wonders. Just like in the Age of Law, God displayed so many miracles to the Israelites and punished so many of those who resisted Him, but the Israelites still did not know God and in the end went to die in the wilderness. In the Age of Grace, God again displayed countless signs and wonders among the Jews, but they still crucified Him alive because they did not know Him. All of this shows that God’s signs and wonders can’t make people truly know God and develop a heart of reverence for Him; they cannot become the foundation of their belief in God. However, even though I have followed God until now, I have not had a shred of understanding of God’s essence, and I have understood even less of the goals and significance of God’s work in the flesh. I have believed in His authority and that whoever resists God will be punished, so I have wholeheartedly sought to see God’s signs and wonders. Isn’t this type of faith exactly like the Pharisees, living awash in vagueness, believing in a supernatural God while resisting the practical God? If my pursuit of God were to continue this way, how could I be compatible with God? It truly was too dangerous!
After that, I saw more of God’s words: “It is greatly arduous for God to carry out His work in the land of the great red dragon, but it is through such difficulty that God does a stage of His work to make manifest His wisdom and wondrous deeds. God takes this opportunity to make this group of people complete. Because of people’s suffering, their caliber, and all the satanic disposition of people in this unclean land, God does His work of purification and conquest so that, from this, He may gain glory and gain those who stand witness to His deeds. This is the full significance of all the sacrifices that God has made for this group of people. That is to say, God does the work of conquest just through those who oppose Him. Therefore, only doing so can manifest the great power of God. … This is just as in the stage of Jesus’ work; He could only be glorified among those Pharisees who persecuted Him. If not for such persecution and the betrayal of Judas, Jesus would not have been ridiculed or slandered, much less crucified, and thus could never have gained glory” (“Is the Work of God So Simple as Man Imagines?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From these words I became even more aware that no matter what work God does, it all has meaning. If His work is to show some miracles or mete out some punishments, it has meaning, it has principles. If He does not do this work, then it contains even more of God’s wisdom. God currently does not get rid of those evil ones who bear false witness or seriously resist Him; this contains even more of God’s goodwill. He uses these difficulties to allow us to taste the hardships of His own work, to allow us to see with our own eyes His will to save mankind to the greatest extent possible, thus recognizing God’s kindness and beauty. God also uses these difficulties to capture proof of people doing good or evil, and in the end provide them with a suitable destination so that we are fully convinced, so that we can see God’s righteousness and holiness. Even more, God has used these difficulties to reveal that I lack the aspect of truth pertaining to vision, that my nature is too lazy, timid, foolish, and ignorant, and that through my suffering, efforts, and cooperation with God, He will bestow upon me discernment, confidence, love, wisdom, and courage. Even more, He will give me the truth of God’s work, thus completing me and obtaining me. God’s work truly is so wise, so wonderful! But I am too blind—I have no understanding of the significance of God’s work or His good intentions. All I fear is physical suffering and I am unwilling to cooperate with God. I truly am a believer who does not properly attend to work and who revels in comforts!
Thanks be to the enlightenment of the words of God which gave me some knowledge of the purpose and wisdom in God’s work in the flesh and also allowed me to see that my faith in God was in vagueness, that not knowing God is too dangerous! From this day forward, I am willing to equip myself more with the truth, to pursue being a person who knows God’s work and disposition, to do my duty to the utmost in order to comfort God’s heart.