Listen! Who Is Speaking?

Having finished the breakfast, my husband went to read the book. I thought, “Why didn’t he ask me to read it together with him?” I stood at the door for quite a while, but he immersed himself in the book and didn’t notice me at all. I walked in the kitchen back and forth restlessly, anxious to see what was written in the book. I looked into the room, and he was still absorbed in reading the book. I really wanted to go into the room and read that book with him. But then I thought, “The brothers and sisters came to preach to me many times, but I didn’t accept it. If I ask him to let me read the book, would he reproach me? If so, how embarrassed I would be!” At the thought of that, I withdrew my head. I paced up and down the outer room. When I remembered the words my husband read aloud in the early morning, I grew more anxious, thinking, “I must go in to see what that book talks about.” So I walked to the door, but drew back again. Like a cat on hot bricks, I didn’t know what to do. At last, I steeled myself and thought, “Well, if he says something unpleasant to me, let him do it. I shouldn’t have rejected them so stubbornly or have turned a deaf ear to his advice.” I got up the courage and walked into the room, and said embarrassedly, “Shall we read it together?” He raised his head with a surprised look and said joyfully, “OK! Come! Let’s read it together.” I was much moved, as he didn’t reproach me as I had expected. My uneasiness now vanished. I was so happy and began to read the book with my husband. But what we read were not the words I overheard in the early morning. Just then my husband went out, and I hurriedly turned back the pages. I found the very words I wanted! I read these words aloud with joy: “Peter was greatly encouraged by Jesus’ words, because before Jesus was crucified He had said to him: ‘I am not of this world, and you too are not of this world.’ Later, when Peter reached a point of great pain, Jesus reminded him: ‘Peter, have you forgotten? I am not of the world, and it was only for My work that I departed earlier. You too are not of the world, have you forgotten? I have told you twice, do you not remember?’ Peter heard Him and said: ‘I have not forgotten!’ Jesus then said: ‘You once spent a happy time gathered with Me in heaven and a period of time by My side. You miss Me, and I miss you. Although the creatures are not worth mentioning in My eyes, how can I not love one who is innocent and lovable? Have you forgotten My promise? You must accept My commission on earth; you must fulfill the task that I entrusted you with. One day I will certainly lead you to be by My side’” (“How Peter Came to Know Jesus” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I read them over and over again. The more I read, the more I felt they didn’t deviate from the Bible. I wondered then, “Why do my senior co-workers say whoever preaches that the Lord has come back and done new work and spoken new words has departed from the Bible and that departure from the Bible means departure from the Lord’s way?” I prayed in my heart, “O Lord, what is all this about? May You enlighten me and guide me so that I can understand Your will.”

Afterward, I read these words of Almighty God: “For many years, people’s traditional means of belief (that of Christianity, one of the world’s three major religions) has been to read the Bible; departure from the Bible is not the belief in the Lord, departure from the Bible is an evil cult, and heresy, and even when people read other books, the foundation of these books must be the explanation of the Bible. Which is to say, if you say you believe in the Lord, then you must read the Bible, you must eat and drink the Bible, and outside the Bible you must not worship any book that does not involve the Bible. If you do, then you are betraying God. From the time when there was the Bible, people’s belief in the Lord has been the belief in the Bible. Instead of saying people believe in the Lord, it is better to say they believe in the Bible; rather than saying they have begun reading the Bible, it is better to say they have begun believing in the Bible; and rather than saying they have returned before the Lord, it would be better to say they have returned before the Bible. In this way, people worship the Bible as if it were God, as if it were their lifeblood and losing it would be the same as losing their life. People see the Bible as being as high as God, and there are even those who see it as higher than God” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words touched my heart. “Aren’t they directed at me? I have been holding to the Bible like this since I began to believe in the Lord. I see the Bible as my lifeblood. Every time after I read it, I put it on a high place beyond the reach of my children. I consider it above everything else, and even think that departure from the Bible means betrayal of the Lord. But, am I wrong?” I read on with a seeking heart, from “Concerning the Bible (1)” to “Concerning the Bible (4).” The more I read, the more I became enlightened. Almighty God’s words made me completely understand this: Actually, the Bible is nothing more than a historical record of God’s work, a testament to the previous two stages of God’s work. The Old Testament records Jehovah’s work from the time of creation until the end of the Age of Law, and the New Testament records the Lord Jesus’ work in the Age of Grace. God’s work is always new and never old, and is ceaselessly progressing onward. Today God has done a new stage of work outside the Bible—the work of the Age of Kingdom, which is the last stage of God’s work of saving man. These three stages of work are done by one God. “That’s right!” I thought, “God is so almighty, so wise; it is impossible for Him to have just done the limited work recorded in the Bible. Besides, I have personally seen from Almighty God’s words that God’s words and work in the last days do not deny the Bible, but become higher and deeper on the basis of the work of the Age of Law and the Age of Grace recorded in the Bible, and are more in line with man’s actual needs. It is just as this passage of Almighty God’s word says: ‘You must understand why, today, you are asked not to read the Bible, why there is another work that is separate from the Bible, why God does not look for newer, more detailed practice in the Bible, why there is instead mightier work outside of the Bible. This is all what you should understand. You must know the difference between the old and new work, and even though you do not read the Bible, you must be able to dissect it; if not, you will still worship the Bible, and it will be difficult for you to enter into the new work and undergo new changes. Since there is a higher way, why study that low, outdated way? Since there are newer utterances, and newer work, why live amid old historical records? The new utterances can provide for you, which proves that this is the new work; the old records can’t sate you, or satisfy your current needs, which proves that they are history, and not the work of the here and now. The highest way is the newest work, and with the new work, no matter how high the way of the past, it is still the history of people’s reflections, and no matter its value as reference, it is still the old way. Even though it is recorded in the ‘holy book,’ the old way is history; even though there is no record of it in the ‘holy book,’ the new way is of the here and now. This way can save you, and this way can change you, for this is the work of the Holy Spirit’” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). At that moment, I was suddenly enlightened: Now I know why I have grown increasingly passive in spirit although I have held to the Bible all the time and why my brothers and sisters have become ever weaker and some of them have even stopped attending the meetings although they haven’t departed from the Bible under my leading; why those brothers and sisters who have accepted the kingdom gospel of Almighty God are full of faith, and no matter how I have treated them, they are not disheartened but still come to preach the gospel to me again and again. The reason is this: What I have held to is the old way and I have long lost the work of the Holy Spirit; whereas the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God are guided by the new way and watered by God’s new words, thereby gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. This is how the new way and the old way differ.

At that time, I had a mixed feeling of happiness and sadness. I was happy because although I had been so disobedient and resistant to Him, God didn’t abandon me but allowed me to overhear His voice through my husband reading His words out in early morning. That was really God’s love for me. And I was sad because every time the brothers and sisters came from afar to preach the gospel to me, I ignored them, and I even spoke cold words when they fellowshiped with my husband. Thinking of God’s love and my resistance to God’s work, I couldn’t restrain my tears. I knelt down before God and prayed, “O Almighty God, I know I am wrong. I’m willing to put aside the Bible, keep up with Your new work, and listen to Your words in the new age. I will never again oppose You, nor do I want my life to be ruined by my notions and imaginations. O God, I’m resolved to cooperate with You and bring those true believers in You to Your house, so as to make up for my indebtedness to You. Thank Almighty God! May all the glory be to Almighty God!”

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