One day, two brothers, my wife, and I had a meeting at our home. We were watching a film of the Church of Almighty God, Rapture in Peril, on the computer.
After we finished it, my wife was overwhelmed by emotion, saying, “This film is really so great. It thoroughly exposes the substance of God’s believers worshiping man and looking up to man. And it indeed sounds warnings for those who but in essence follow man and obey man.”
I also said with feeling, “Yes! Without the truth, man is apt to be deceived by false shepherds and antichrists, and even thinks that they can also and if they follow their pastors and elders. They are really muddled, foolish, and ignorant. I remember the once said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me’ (John 14:6). Almighty God also says, ‘ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God. If you do not seek the way of life provided by Christ of the last days, then you shall never gain the approval of Jesus, and shall never be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven, for you are both a puppet and prisoner of history. Those who are controlled by regulations, by letters, and shackled by history will never be able to gain life, and will never be able to gain the perpetual way of life. That is because all they have is turbid water that has lain stagnant for thousands of years, instead of the water of life that flows from the throne. …
Those who wish to gain life without relying on the truth spoken by Christ are the most ridiculous people on earth, and those who do not accept the way of life brought by Christ are lost in fantasy. And so I say that the people who do not accept Christ of the last days shall forever be despised by God. Christ is man’s gateway to the kingdom during the last days, which none may bypass. None may be perfected by God except through Christ’ (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words allow us to understand that only God is the truth, the way, and the life and that only God can save man and perfect man. Man’s gaining the truth and life is inseparable from God’s guidance and provision. If they don’t accept the truth expressed by Christ of the last days, there will be a faint hope for them to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Brother Li said, “Yes! Only God can save man and lead man out of sin. When the Lord Jesus was crucified to redeem mankind, He redeemed man from under the law with His sinless flesh, so that man could continue to live. Today, the last days have come. God has returned to flesh, speaks and utters His voice among man, and judges and purifies man with the truth. These truths are the only way through which man can be purified and approved by God. If man leaves the provision of Christ of the last days, no one will be able to break free from Satan’s bondage and receive God’s promise. This is beyond doubt.”
I said with shame, “Alas! It shames me to say it. Looking back to the time when I didn’t accept Almighty God’s work of the last days, although I was a believer in the Lord, I worshiped man, looked up to man, and followed man. I listened to my pastors and elders in everything, thinking obeying them was obeying God and that they could surely take me into the kingdom of heaven as long as I followed them. Afterward, God’s work of the last days came upon me, but I listened to the words of my pastors and elders, neither seeking nor investigating the new work done by God. It was God’s mercy that allowed me to hear Almighty God’s words, and realize that I’m following man while believing in God and resisting God without even knowing it. Whenever I think of my former absurd viewpoints on belief in God and my attitude toward God’s work of the last days, I am beset by remorse and regret.”
Brother Liang looked at me, saying, “Brother Liu, we’re curious about how you accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. Would you please share it with us?”
I sighed slowly and said, “Oh. It’s a long story. I really hate myself for being so foolish and ignorant …” Then I told them my experience.
One day a year ago, I was told that Pastor Sun came to give a sermon. So, I grabbed a quick snack and went to the meeting place. That day was also when my son came back home (he had worked away from home for over one year), but I had no time to pick him up.
After the meeting, I went back home happily. Unexpectedly, my son was talking to his mother and elder sister about how he accepted the Eastern Lightning. I flew into a rage, and said to him, “Aiguang, we haven’t seen each other for just over a year, but you accepted the Eastern Lightning! Why did you not consult with me about such a great matter? Do your really take me as your father?”
My son said with a smile, “Dad, only after I sought from and investigated the words expressed by Almighty God many times and made certain that Almighty God is indeed the returned Lord Jesus, did I accept His work of the last days. This time I come back just to tell you the good news of the Lord’s return …”
“Stop!” I waved my hand and interrupted him, “With regard to any news of the Lord’s coming, which is a serious issue, we should listen to our pastors and elders. If they accept it, we’ll follow them. But if they deny it, we won’t accept it, either. They’re ordained by the Lord. The says, ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whoever therefore resists the power, resists the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation’ (Romans 13:1-2). From this verse, we can see that we should listen to our pastors and elders in everything. Listening to their words means listening to God’s words, and obeying them is obeying God. Now that the pastors and elders tell us never to listen to or accept it when some people preach the Lord has come, we should act that way according to their words.”
My wife said in agreement, “Yeah. Aiguang, your father is right. While believing in the Lord, we should listen to our pastors and elders in all things. And this has a biblical basis. If we follow what the pastors and elders say, we cannot possibly be wrong.”
My son smiled and said, “Dad, mom, sister, according to the verse ‘Let every soul be subject to the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God’ (Romans 13:1), most believers think obeying their pastors and elders is obeying God and that what their pastors and elders speak and do is from God. But is that really the case? Are we right in holding on to such a viewpoint? Has the Lord ever spoken such words? Without the confirmation of the Lord Jesus’ words, what consequence will it bring to us if we carry on like that? Let us all recall this. In the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus was incarnated to do the work, those Jews without discernment obeyed the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees who ruled in religion. They didn’t seek or investigate the Lord Jesus’ work, but followed the religious leaders to resist and condemn Him, and became accomplices who crucified Him. This is a fact. If obeying those in power were obeying God, how come there was such an outcome? Is it in accord with the truth and the fact? You’ve believed in the Lord for years, but why don’t you even have such knowledge?”
At that moment, my wife nodded and said to me, “Oh, what Aiguang fellowshiped is reasonable, but you are also right because it is what it says in the Bible. Could it be wrong? We can’t see it clearly. What is going on here?”
My son said unhurriedly, “Dad, mom, those words are indeed recorded in the Bible, but there is one thing we should be clear about: They were said by Paul, not by the Lord Jesus, nor were they the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Why don’t you believe in God’s words but instead deny them using man’s words? We all know that when the Lord Jesus came to work, the Judaism of that time persecuted Him. Paul didn’t seek in the slightest whether the Lord Jesus is the incarnate God but blindly listened to the chief priests, persecuting, resisting, and condemning Him. From here we can see that what Paul obeyed was position and influence. He was not at all one who submitted to God. Moreover, he himself said that he was a chief sinner of resisting God. If we act in line with what he said, that is, obey whatever our pastors and elders say and follow them blindly without discerning whether their deeds are after the Lord’s will, aren’t we too foolish? Regarding how to treat God’s work, the Lord Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 5:3), and ‘Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God’ (Matthew 5:8). From these two verses, we can see that the Lord’s intention is for us to drop our notions and seek and investigate His work. We will know whether the Lord has really come back after making an investigation. However, where the news of the Lord’s coming is concerned, if we act as previously mentioned, that is, accept it when our pastors and elders accept and refuse it when they refuse, and neither seek nor investigate it, we are actually listening to man’s words rather than God’s words, and we have a place for man in our hearts rather than for God. Then whom do we actually believe in? This question concerns the serious matter of man’s life and death!”