I Finally Know What Is Eternal Life and How to Get It
My cousin and two sisters spread the gospel of the kingdom of Almighty God to my wife and me. My wife accepted it. However, as a denominational leader reading the Bible much more than them, I didn’t think anything of them at all, nor did I want to hear their fellowship and testimony. Later, whenever they came to have a meeting with my wife, they would invite me to join them, but I made excuses to refuse. Once, I really couldn’t wriggle out of it, and thereby attended the meeting. However, when they said, “Only by keeping pace with God’s work of the last days, can we obtain everlasting life,” I couldn’t accept it. I thought: The Bible is the way of eternal life bestowed by God. As long as I hold on to the Bible, I then will obtain eternal life. From then on, I listened to their fellowship no more.
One day at noon, my wife advised me to catch up with God’s work of the last days early, lest I should be forsaken by the Lord. I said, “If you wanna listen to and believe what they said, I won’t object to it. But I remind you; it is certainly right for us to hold on to the Bible and the Lord’s way. Believing like this, we will certainly gain eternal life. When they come here next time, don’t open the door for them. Locked outside, they will go away naturally.” My wife said, “Is it proper?” I said, “We should have faith in the Lord. We shouldn’t blindly obey them without discernment, otherwise our own life will be harmed. It is most important to receive life by believing in the Lord. We’d better think carefully before we do.” My wife was affected by my words, and accepted my opinion. She agreed not to open the door for them next time. I gave a nod of approval.
The next evening, the northwest wind blew strongly. It was very cold. My wife and I had supper early and went into the bedroom. Soon afterward, hearing a knocking on the door, I knew it was my cousin and the others who came to spread the gospel of the kingdom to us again. So I said to my wife, “It is our cousin and the others knocking on the door. Don’t open it for them.” As my wife sank into a dilemma, I beckoned her not to open the door. We quietly lent an ear to what was going on outside of the door. After half an hour or so, they went away. Then I took a seat and saw the Bible peacefully. After a while, I felt bad and lay in bed. But my uncomfortable feeling got more and more serious, and moreover, I began to have a headache. Even though I wanted to pray to the Lord, I couldn’t get up. I said to my wife feebly, “I got a bad headache, and feel unwell. But I didn’t have a cold. Why does my head ache?” She said quickly, “Tonight, we didn’t open the door for our cousin and the others. What we have done must be wrong. We’ve offended the Lord.” I touched my head and reflected on myself: Did I really offend the Lord as to my closing the door on them? Could what they spread truly be the return of the Lord Jesus? Does the Lord really do new work beyond the Bible? On such a cold day, I shut them outside the door—this couldn’t be done by an unbeliever, let alone a believer in the Lord. I simply had no humanity in doing like that. I have read the Bible for years, and often preach the Lord’s words. I, however, failed to live out His words and didn’t have love toward the brothers and sisters. Didn’t I shame the Lord’s name? Thinking about all of this, I came to regret, and felt guilty within my heart. I said to my wife miserably, “Maybe we are wrong. Well, we really shouldn’t have treated them that way.” She said, “After observing them these days, I have never found they had ulterior motives. What they talked about was in accordance with the Bible. They invited you to attend, but you were always reluctant to do that. The Lord Jesus said, ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled’ (Matthew 5:6). We now cannot feel the presence of the Lord. We are hungry in our spirit, but we don’t actively investigate. The Lord sent them to preach us the gospel of the kingdom. This was the love of the Lord falling upon us. We should seek and investigate. Next time, we must listen to them carefully.” I agreed with her. After that, I prayed to the Lord silently in my heart, “O Lord! Tonight, it is so cold. I shut the brothers and sisters believing in Almighty God outside. I was so lacking in humanity. They repeatedly invited me to communicate with them, but I refused all along. And I always looked down on them and thought myself higher above them, without holding a heart of humble seeking. O Lord, my heart is too hardened. You let me fall ill and endure sufferings. This is out of Your discipline, and also is Your love to me. Thanks for Your grace. I am willing to repent. Next time, when the brothers and sisters come again, I will humble myself and seek Your work. May You lead me to be able to discern Your voice….” The next day, before I knew it,Ｉcompletely had recovered from my illness. Thanks be to the Lord.
On the third night, my cousin and the others came to my house in the rain. My wife hurried to find clothes for them to change into. After taking a seat, my cousin asked me, “Cousin, we came to your house the evening before last, and saw your door was closed. Did you not stay at home?” With my head bowed, I blushingly told them what had happened that evening. After that, I raised my head and said, “In the past, I stuck to the opinion that what is in the Bible is God’s word. Through your fellowship and my reading of Almighty God’s words, I have understood that in the Bible, only the words Jehovah personally said, the words Jehovah revealed to Moses, the words Jehovah let the prophets convey, the words Jesus said personally, and the prophecies the Holy Spirit enlightens are truly God’s words. Outside of these, other words came from man, Satan, or animals. In spite of this, I still think that no matter how many God’s words the Bible recorded, the Bible is the way of eternal life given by God. As long as we hold on to the Bible, we can get eternal life. Many people also think so. Therefore, I would like to know: Can I gain eternal life through holding on to the Bible and the Lord’s way?” Sister Jiang said patiently, “Brother, first we should understand who said the words, ‘The Bible is the way of eternal life given by God. As long as we hold on to the Bible, we can get eternal life.’ Jehovah God didn’t say these words, nor did the Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit say. Only seeing things in accordance with God’s words is most accurate. Not based on God’s words, such an opinion is untenable. The Lord Jesus said, ‘Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life’ (John 5:39–40). At that time, the Jewish people held on to the Old Testament. They thought there was eternal life in the Bible, and that as long as they held fast to the Bible, they would gain eternal life. However, the Lord Jesus told them the Bible was just a testimony of God’s work and there was no eternal life in the Bible. And they must come to Him if they wanted to gain eternal life. It was recorded in John 14:6: ‘Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.’ The Lord Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that man could come to the Father only by Him. But He didn’t say the Bible was the way, the truth, and the life, much less did He allow man to come to the Father by the Bible. It makes us see, God has life, but the Bible does not have life. Just as Almighty God says, ‘The way of life is not something that anyone can possess, nor is it something anyone can attain easily. This is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the essence of life, and only God Himself has the way of life. And so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life.’ ‘God Himself is life, and the truth, and His life and truth coexist. Those who are incapable of gaining the truth shall never gain life. Without the guidance, support, and provision of the truth, you shall only gain letters, doctrines, and, above all, death. God’s life is ever-present, and His truth and life coexist. If you cannot find the source of truth, then you will not gain the nourishment of life; if you cannot gain the provision of life, then you will surely have no truth, and so apart from imaginations and notions, the entirety of your body shall be nothing but your flesh—your stench-ridden flesh. Know that the words of books do not count as life, the records of history cannot be feted as the truth, and the regulations of the past cannot serve as an account of words presently spoken by God. Only that which is expressed by God when He comes to earth and lives among man is the truth, life, God’s will, and His current way of working. If you apply the records of words spoken by God during ages past to today, that makes you an archaeologist, and the best way of describing you is as an expert on historical heritage. That is because you always believe in traces of the work that God did in times past, only believe in the shadow of God left from when He previously worked among man, and only believe in the way that God gave to His followers in former times. You do not believe in the direction of God’s work today, do not believe in the glorious countenance of God today, and do not believe in the way of truth presently expressed by God. And so you are undeniably a daydreamer who is completely out of touch with reality. If now you still cling to words that are incapable of bringing life to man, then you are a hopeless piece of deadwood,[a] for you are too conservative, too intractable, too impervious to reason!’ (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, we can see God is the source of life, the Expresser of the truth, and the source of eternal life, but the Bible is not the source of life, not the expression of the truth, let alone the source of eternal life. God is the ever-flowing wellspring of living water, while the Bible is just a historical record of God’s work, with too limited God’s words. Only the truth expressed by God in the last days can bring us eternal life. Holding on to the Bible is merely holding fast to lifeless letters and is delimiting God within the Bible, which can’t make people know God or God’s work. As believers in God, if we don’t seek His present work, but live in our own concepts and imaginations and think we can gain eternal life by rigidly sticking to the Bible, then we are in the clouds and will be eliminated by God’s work in the end.”
Through the sister’s fellowship, I understood: The reason why I maintained my own view “In the Bible, there is eternal life,” and refused to accept all the words expressed by God in the last days is because I equated the Bible with God and placed the Bible above all else, even above God, so that I used the Bible to replace God’s present work. In addition, I also realized: In the past, my faith was not in God, but in the Bible. So, what I worshiped and exalted was the Bible, which had become my “Lord” and “God.” I really was too foolish in believing in God.
Seeing I had gained some understanding, the brothers and sisters let me read a passage of God’s words, “Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path by which man gains life, and it is 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 nor gain the perpetual way of life. … The steps of God’s work are vast and mighty, like surging waves and rolling thunders—yet you sit passively awaiting destruction, clinging to your folly and doing nothing. In this way, how can you be considered someone who follows the footsteps of the Lamb? How can you justify the God that you hold on to as a God who is always new and never old? And how can the words of your yellowed books carry you across into a new age? How can they lead you to seek the steps of God’s work? And how can they take you up to heaven? What you hold in your hands are letters that can provide but temporary solace, not truths that are capable of giving life. The scriptures you read can only enrich your tongue and are not words of wisdom that can help you know human life, much less the paths that can lead you to perfection. Does this discrepancy not give you cause for reflection? Does it not make you realize the mysteries contained within? Are you capable of delivering yourself to heaven to meet God on your own? Without the coming of God, can you take yourself into heaven to enjoy family happiness with God? Are you still dreaming now? I suggest, then, that you stop dreaming and look at who is working now—look to see who is now carrying out the work of saving man during the last days. If you do not, you shall never gain the truth, and shall never gain life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After I read God’s words, Sister Jiang fellowshiped a lot. From God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I understood another reason why I believed that I would gain the eternal life as long as I held on to the Bible was because I had no knowledge of the inside story of God’s work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. The Old Testament of the Bible is a record of God’s work in the Age of Law. During this age, God asked people to keep the laws and commandments, and the result of God’s work was to make people know what sin was. Meanwhile, by the laws and commandments, God led mankind to have a normal life on the earth and learn to serve and worship Him. However, God doing so was not for the purpose of solving the problem of man’s sins so as to change his life. The New Testament is a record of God’s work in the Age of Grace. God mainly expressed the truth about man’s redemption, asking people to confess their sins and repent to the Lord, to be patient, humble and forgiving to others, to love enemies, and so on. These were the ways for man to repent. After believing in the Lord Jesus, we can have some changes in our behaviors, such as not fighting, swearing, stealing, or robbing, etc. Nevertheless, our sinful nature still exists within us, so that we often sin and judge, disobey and resist God. The result of sin is death. So the problem of our sinful nature must be solved, with the result that we can cast off our sins and corrupt disposition. When we thoroughly get cleansed and transformed without committing sins and resisting God and have God’s words as our life, then we gain eternal life. The way of eternal life means the way being able to bestow us life. Almighty God, Christ of the last days, has expressed all of the truth to judge and cleanse man. These truths can become our life, and have our life disposition transformed completely. Therefore, eternal life is given to us by Christ of the last days. Holding on to the Bible just means holding on to God’s work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, namely, holding on to history and lifeless letters. Like this, we cannot keep up with God’s footsteps; instead, we are divorced from His present work. If we only hold fast on to the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus, then we can only gain the truth of confessing our sins and repenting from the Bible. Because in the Bible we can never find the truth about how to change our life disposition and separate from our satanic disposition, which is expressed by Christ of the last days. As a result, we cannot gain eternal life.
After understanding this, I was refreshed, and felt much more brightened within. However, I suddenly thought of the following verses in the Bible, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live” (John 11:25). “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36). At the moment, I felt confused again. It seemed that by believing in the Lord Jesus we still could get eternal life. I consulted my brothers and sisters on my doubt. Sister Liu fellowshiped, “The Lord Jesus spoke these words to let us know He is able to bestow man eternal life and raise man from the dead. The resurrection of Lazarus is a practical illustration. The Lord Jesus had His intention in speaking and doing like this: He allowed man to know He has the unique authority of God, and that He is entirely God Himself and the manifestation of the only true God at work, who created the heavens and earth and all things. Thus man could obey, follow Him, and gain His redemption. The Lord Jesus has the authority to give man eternal life. This is without question. But He just did the work of redeeming mankind, and didn’t grant the way of eternal life during the Age of Grace. As the work of expressing the truth and bestowing upon man the way of eternal life will be done when He comes again in the last days. Just as the Lord Jesus prophesied, ‘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’ (John 16:12–13). Almighty God is the flesh worn by the Spirit of truth, the body in which the Spirit of the Lord Jesus returns. Almighty God brings the truth for us to be purified and saved. His words are the way of enabling us to cast away our satanic disposition and commit no more sins. This is the way of eternal life. When we understand and gain the truth through Almighty God’s words, so that we can escape from the influence of Satan, be fully purified by Him, and no longer disobey or resist Him but truly obey Him, then we can be saved. This means gaining eternal life. The Bible says, ‘He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life’; these words refer to believing in Christ. That is, we should accept the work and words of Christ, the incarnate Son of man. The way of eternal life is given to man by Christ in the last days, who is God incarnate again. If we believe in the Bible but don’t believe in Christ in the flesh, that is, if we believe in some vague and unseen God up in heaven, then we cannot gain eternal life. Just as Almighty God says, ‘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 those 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, and there are none who can go around Him. None may be perfected by God except through Christ. You believe in God, and so you must accept His words and obey His way. You cannot only think of gaining blessings while being incapable of receiving the truth and incapable of accepting the provision of life. Christ comes during the last days so that all those who truly believe in Him may be provided with life. His work is for the sake of concluding the old age and entering the new one, and His work is the path that must be taken by all those who would enter the new age. If you are incapable of acknowledging Him, and instead condemn, blaspheme, or even persecute Him, then you are bound to burn for eternity and shall never enter the kingdom of God’ (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After I listened to God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, my doubt was answered thoroughly. I felt enlightened, as if I stepped into the sun. At the same time, I even more tasted God’s great love and salvation to me. If God hadn’t sent the brothers and sisters to fellowship with me patiently again and again, and hadn’t disciplined or reminded me, I still would have insisted on my own notions and imagination, losing the chance to seek for eternal life. But for Almighty God’s disclosure of the mysteries in the Bible, I would have not known the fact that there is no eternal life in the Bible even though believing in God in religion for a lifetime, but rather would have put too much blind faith in the Bible, adored it, idolized it, and treated it as God to worship, without knowing how long I would have been foolish. So many times I did not want to hear the brothers and sisters’ fellowship because of my arrogant and conceited nature, so that I repeatedly missed the opportunities to follow Almighty God and gain life. It could be seen that I really was blind and ignorant. I wasted so much precious time, as well as delayed so many lives of my brothers and sisters. I really was a sinner. However, God didn’t treat me according to my transgressions, but chastened and led me with His loving hand to awaken me. I am willing to make a full confession and accept Almighty God’s work of the last days. And I also would like to cooperate and bear witness to God’s kingdom gospel to bring my brothers and sisters truly believing in God and loving the truth before God, so that we can pursue the truth and gain life together. I will comfort God’s heart and repay His love this way.