By Meng Enhui
“Paul clearly said in the Bible, ‘I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel.’ ‘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’ (Galatians 1:6, 8). Therefore, in our belief in the Lord, we should uphold the name of the Lord and the way of the Lord. We cannot follow any other gospel. But what do you do? You don’t adhere to the Bible and don’t uphold the name of the Lord, rather, you believe in the Eastern Lightning message. You have abandoned the Lord and become believers in another gospel. This is betraying the Lord, and is apostasy. If you all don’t admit guilt to the Lord and repent, you will be cursed!”
Meng Enhui continuously recalled these words Pastor Wang had said. Knowing that she and her two co-workers were investigating the Eastern Lightning, Pastor Wang used these words to warn them, not allowing them to investigate. But through the fellowship over several days, Meng Enhui felt Almighty God’s words solved many puzzles and difficulties that she had had in her faith in the Lord all along and counterattacked conceptions and imaginations of her long-held faith, making her sincerely convinced. She confirmed that only the utterances of the Holy Spirit would be able to have such an effect. However, Pastor Wang’s words had immediately confused her. She felt these words were not right, but Pastor Wang was quoting the Bible, using the words of Paul. Therefore, she didn’t know what to do. In confusion, she could do nothing but keep seeking for help from the Lord and praying.
Several days later, Meng Enhui’s bell rang. She opened the door up and had a look, and it turned out to be her former contemporary at university—Tian Mingyue, who, she heard, had gone abroad but she never thought she had been back. Meng Enhui immediately let her into the house. Sister Tong and Sister Yang of the church were present as well. After an exchange of greetings, they began to fellowship …
Meng Enhui said, “Mingyue, in recent years we’ve felt a growing desolation in our church and even though we are co-workers, our faith has also lessened. Recently, it wasn’t easy for us to hear someone testify that the Lord Jesus has returned. So Sister Yang, Sister Tong and I then investigated it. But when Pastor Wang learnt it, instead of supporting our investigation, he read Paul’s words in the Bible to us, ‘I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel.’ ‘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’ (Galatians 1:6, 8). He said that now anyone who preached the way that the Lord has returned was abandoning the Lord Jesus’ name, departing from the Lord Jesus’ salvation on the cross and that what they preached was another gospel. He also told us we couldn’t listen to or believe in this way and that if we believed in it, we would be cursed. On hearing that, we three all got confused. Though we felt what he said wasn’t right, as he was quoting Paul’s words in the Bible, we didn’t know what to do. Mingyue, you are a preacher. Please communicate with us about what approach we should take to these words said by Paul that conforms to God’s will.”
When these words had scarcely escaped Meng Enhui, Sister Yang continued, “Yes, because of the pastor’s and elder’s obstacles, we don’t dare to investigate, worrying that if we investigate the true way wrongly, we will be cursed by God; but if we don’t investigate, our souls have withered to a certain extent. We don’t know what to do and have lived in a real dilemma. We hope Sister Tian could talk to us about how to practice is relatively suitable.”
Tian Mingyue said with a smile, “This question you have raised today is also the confusion I ever had. As we don’t know the truth, if someone takes things out of context to quote the words in the Bible, we will be unable to distinguish and will be easily deceived and restricted. In fact, Paul said this to indicate that there was only one gospel in the Age of Grace, namely,of the Lord Jesus’ redemption work; but in the last days when the Lord Jesus returns, it is the gospel of the descent of heavenly kingdom, which is the everlasting gospel mentioned in the Revelation. The work of judgment in the Age of Kingdom and the work of redemption in the Age of Grace are different work God has done. In the Age of Grace, God’s work was to redeem mankind; in the Age of Kingdom, God’s work is to separate all according to their kind. Therefore, in reading the Bible, we have to know the fact that much of the content of the Bible is bound by ages and meanwhile is set against the background of the age. Just as Paul said, ‘I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel. … 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’” (Galatians 1:6, 8).
Tian Mingyue paused for a moment and then asked, “You are all familiar with the Bible. Do you know whom did Paul write this letter to?” Meng Enhui immediately replied, “The Galatian churches.” “Yes! Then why did Paul write such a letter to the Galatian churches at that time? Have you thought of that?” Tian Mingyue continued to ask them. Sister Tong, frowning slightly, said, “Right! Why had I not thought of the context in which Paul said these words? Why did Paul only write such a letter to the Galatian churches, but not to other churches? Usually, we read the verses simply, but we have never pondered these questions. Mingyue, please fellowship with us about it.”
Tian Mingyue nodded her head and fellowshiped, “Actually, there was a context to what Paul said at that time. After the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven, the gospel of the Age of Grace was spread on a grand scale and lots of Galatians accepted the gospel of the Lord Jesus then. But at that time it was just in the transitional period when the Age of Law turned into the Age of Grace. When the Pharisees saw that the Lord Jesus’ sermons and work were not in accordance with the Old Testament law which they preached, they condemned that the Lord Jesus’ gospel went beyond the Old Testament and did everything they could to disturb those who had accepted the Lord Jesus’ gospel. At that point, after Paul left Galatia, they took the opportunity to sneak into the Galatian churches, threatened those who had just recently accepted the Lord Jesus’ gospel and condemned them, saying that their believing in the Lord Jesus was going a wrong way and betraying Jehovah God’s teachings and would cause them to be cursed and destroyed by God in the future; they also asked them to return to the temple and continue keeping the Sabbath. Because the people of the Galatian churches had no discernment, they gave up the true way. When Paul heard that they followed the Pharisees back to the temple which was without the work of the Holy Spirit to keep the old laws and the rigid regulations, he wrote this letter to the Galatian churches in order to exhort them not to give up the true way.”
Sister Tong nodded and said, “Now I’m clear on this. It turns out that Paul wrote this letter according to the needs of the sisters and brothers in the Galatian churches at that time, but he didn’t say he wrote it to the churches in the last days at all. Formerly, we didn’t understand the background within this and obstinately applied his words to the gospel of the Lord Jesus’ return. Now thinking back, isn’t it our foolishness?”
After hearing Tian Mingyue’s fellowship, Meng Enhui suddenly came to her senses and said, “Right! Now I think that when Paul said these words, he didn’t say those who bore witness of the Lord Jesus’ return would be spreading another gospel. Besides, back then, how could Paul know how the returned Lord Jesus would work? He was only an ordinary man, not a prophet, so he could never image what would happen in the future.”
Sister Yang said, “Through your fellowship, I feel much released in my heart. It turns out that the ‘another gospel’ said by Paul didn’t refer to the gospel of the Lord’sin the last days. If we cannot see clearly the context in which Paul said these words, we will be easily deceived and disturbed by the elder and pastor, and then miss investigating the Lord’s work of the last days.”
Sister Tong said with indignation, “Yes! The elder and pastor have been preaching for many years, but they never figured out the context in which Paul said these words, then they said to us that the gospel of the second coming of the Lord anyone preached to us was another gospel. Isn’t it obviously putting Mr. Zhang’s hat on Mr. Li’s head?”
Meng Enhui added, “The elder and pastor always use Paul’s words spoken to the church during the Age of Grace to condemn the last days’ work of God. Isn’t this quoting the Bible out of context and misinterpreting the Bible? Isn’t there an ulterior motive? It seems we can no longer follow the words of men in the matter of welcoming the coming of the Lord; instead, we must seek and investigate according to the words of God. The Lord Jesus said, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened’ (Matthew 7:7-8). So as long as we actively seek and investigate with a heart that hungers and thirsts for righteousness, we will surely be able to hear God’s voice and see God’s appearance.”
The others all said in chorus, “Amen!”
The bright light shone down on their bodies through the window, and they all felt extremely warm …