When getting my doctorate in 2003, I alone went overseas, and was engaged in scientific research as a visiting scholar for a university. Afterward, I accepted thein local Chinese church. I was immersed in the love of the Lord, like a kid who had wandered for years finally returned to his mother’s embrace. From then on, I hungrily read the Bible and evangelical materials, watched evangelical movies, listened to sorts of recordings of preaching, and actively participated in all kinds of church activities, such as attending the meetings, Bible study groups, and prayer meetings, handing out evangelical leaflets, and so on. I eagerly sent my wife the news that I had faith in the Lord, believing that she would be happy as we finally share the same belief. Those years, she had always preached of the Lord to me, while I had never taken it seriously, so we often ended up parting on bad terms. As expected, she was extremely pleased after knowing my faith in the Lord, and said she wanted to see me as soon as possible and listen to my testimonies.
Finally, vacation coming, I had the chance to meet my wife. As I arrived at home, my wife, bringing a sister over to our house, said they hoped to communicate with me. I changed my previously magnanimous attitude, showing a humble and seeking attitude. They spoke with gusto, and I listened with attention. When I heard that God has departed from the Bible and done a new stage of work, my heart sank: No wonder they neither hold the Bible in their hands nor refer to it when fellowshiping. Meanwhile, I recalled that my pastor and elders always said our faith in the Lord must be in line with the Bible, for all of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible. Immediately, I became alert inside, but outwardly I didn’t reveal my feelings, wondering what on earth they would talk about, and whether their preaching really had strayed from the Bible. Seeing my “seeking” attitude, they soon testified that God has been incarnated again to express the truth and do the work of judgment starting from the house of God. Hearing this, I baldly said to them: “Enough, enough, don’t go on. What you said has left the Bible; could that even be called faith in the Lord?” And so, the sister had no choice but to leave.
After the sister’s departure, my wife said to me: “The Lord’s return to do the work of the last days has biblical bases.” I hurriedly interrupted her: “Even if there is evidence in the Bible, God’s work cannot go beyond the Bible; all of His words and work are recorded in the Bible, so how could He express the truth and do a new work? Isn’t this beyond the Bible? Our belief in the Lord should be based on the Bible.” She continued: “You haven’t believed in the Lord for very long, but you defend the Bible left and right just like a religionist.” I said complacently: “Actually, it’s quite reasonable that you call me a religionist; just as you say, I have believed in the Lord only for a short time, but do you know how many exegeses I’ve listened to, and how many times I’ve read the Bible? Just have a look.” So saying, I opened my Bible, which was covered with annotations, and gave it to my wife. She took it, and flicked through it; then she shook her head and said: “You’re absolutely researching the Bible instead of believing in God.” At that moment, my self-complacency suddenly vanished, and so our talk broke up in disagreement. Then, I sank into contemplation: These years, my wife and I always split on belief; I thought we finally had the same pursuit and goal, but how could we have disagreements over belief again?
Later, the vacation being over, I returned abroad. On the day I arrived, the deacon of my church sent an email to every one of us believers, warning that we must be wary of Eastern Lightning; it mentioned that Eastern Lightning preaches the Lord has already come back and done a new sage of work, which deviates from the Bible. After reading the email, I was momentarily surprised: Turns out that what my wife believes in is Eastern Lightning. I hurriedly went to Elder Wu, who provided the greatest assistance to my growth in spiritual life; we used to come together to pray, read the Bible, and share the testimonies. Elder Wu said: “Leaving the Bible is just leaving the Lord’s way. All of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible; the truths in it are already complete; outside it, there is no God’s words or work.” I said: “It seems that their preaching doesn’t stray from the Bible but instead has many biblical bases.” Elder Wu firmly replied: “No matter how well they preach, once their preaching goes beyond the Bible, we cannot accept it. Only if we hold on to the Bible can we avoid deviating from the Lord’s way.” Hearing his words, I calmed down a little and thought to myself: It’s very important for us believers in God to follow and keep the Bible. At last, Elder Wu said meaningfully to me: “Brother Zhang, I believe the thing you encountered contains the Lord’s will. I heard that in mainland China many people have accepted Eastern Lightning. Facing a fierce spiritual war, you should equip yourself with the biblical truth, fighting a glorious battle for the Lord.” His words made me feel a weighty responsibility. After that, I began to pray for the spiritual war I encountered, and also for my wife, and fast for one whole day every week; in this way, several months passing, I lost around 5kg of weight, and seemed to suffer a serious illness.
Subsequently, an unexpected event occurred. My wife was arrested for her belief in God, and I was asked to return to China to handle the affair. Hearing the news, I felt shocked and believed that there were the Lord’s good intentions: Maybe the Lord heard my prayer, and so He used the capture committed by the Chinese government to make my wife return before Him. At that time, I was filled with gratitude toward God. I recalled that the Bible says: “he that believes on him shall not be confounded” (1 Peter 2:6). Then, I prayed to the Lord, begging Him to guide me to face the fact that my wife was arrested. Later, I tasted the Lord’s wondrous and unfathomable deeds. If not for His giving me power, I, who cared so much about face, wouldn’t receive the fact. Not long after I returned to China, my wife was released. I eagerly witnessed to her the Lord’s, and said: “It was the Lord’s care and protection that enabled you to soon get out of prison; you should come before the Lord to confess and repent your sins.” Yet, she testified to me Almighty God’s love and salvation, and said: “I’ve always believed the so-called religious freedom advocated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). By experiencing the arrest, I now truly see through the atheist CCP regime’s evil essence that resists God, and I even more see God’s wisdom, almightiness, and wondrous protection. The arrest makes my faith more steadfast. Thank Almighty God!” Hearing her words, I felt surprised and kept calling on the Lord: “O Lord! May You do something to awaken my wife!” My wife still persisted in preaching the kingdom gospel of Almighty God to me, and said: “Previously, I preached the gospel of the Lord to you, and advised you to read the Bible, but you were unwilling to read. Now, you believe in the Lord and think that the Bible is great. Now the Lord has returned and done a new work; why don’t you read the words expressed by Almighty God? If you read them, you’ll surely find the new work doesn’t stray from the Bible, and is done by one God, and that Almighty God is the Lord’s return.” I said impatiently: “I only believe in God according to the Bible. No one can keep me away from the Bible or the Lord’s way.” Just like this, our brief reunion ended in disputes.
Later, I returned abroad in despair. I thought my wife would change her faith after experiencing the arrest, but contrary to my expectations, her confidence in following Almighty God became firmer. It was inconceivable! She was timid and weak before, while now she became strong and independent. Is it truly that Almighty God is guiding her and changed her? What troubled me more was: While I pray to the Lord every day, wishing Him to lead and help me to hold my wife back, I feel the Lord has strayed farther and farther from me, and even have no illumination when reading the Bible; what is going on here? Could it be that Almighty God is really the Lord’s return? I fell into puzzlement and confusion. Soon, my contract was due to expire, so I’d return to Chinao expire at. Facing a fiercer spiritual war, I didn’t know what to do but just kept calling on the Lord.
Afterward, I returned to China. My wife took me to a sister’s house where brothers and sisters again preached the kingdom gospel of Almighty God to me. I thought to myself: Since I’ll have to face this sooner or later, today I’d like to listen to what has really been preached in Eastern Lightning. Meantime, I constantly prayed to the Lord silently, asking Him to protect my heart. Brother Hu said to me: “Brother Zhang, I heard that your wife has testified to you the kingdom gospel of Almighty God. If there is anything you don’t understand, you can bring it up; then we could seek and fellowship it together.” I said bluntly: “You say that God has been incarnated again to express the truth and do the work of judgment in the last days; I disagree with such a saying. All of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible; the truths in the Bible are already complete; there is no need for God to return to do a new work or express new words. I can’t accept the kingdom gospel you witness.”
After hearing my words, Brother Hu patiently fellowshiped: “Who said the words ‘All of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible’? Is there any basis in the Bible? The Lord Jesus devoted three years and a half to performing His ministry; are all of His words and work recorded in the New Testament? It’s written in John: ‘And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written’ (John 21:25). From this verse, we can see that God’s words and work recorded in the Bible are just the tip of the iceberg. Many of His words and work, whether in the Age of Law or in the Age of Grace, are not recorded in the Bible; it is a fact. As Revelation prophesies: ‘And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people’ (Revelation 14:6). Only when the Lord comes again in the last days, will the prophecy of ‘the everlasting gospel’ be fulfilled; how could it be recorded in the Bible in advance? Thus, what the Bible records is limited, which is only some of God’s work during the Age of Law and the Age of Grace.
“Additionally, we all know that the Lord Jesus is not the author of the New Testament. It was after He finished the work of redemption that people recorded His words and work, and those records were collated by subsequent generations into the New Testament. Similarly, Almighty God’s words and work in the last days can’t be written in the Bible in advance. Is it a fact? As Almighty God says: ‘All that is recorded within the Bible is limited and unable to represent all the work of God. The Four Gospels have fewer than one hundred chapters altogether in which are written a finite number of happenings, such as Jesus cursing the fig tree, Peter’s three denials of the Lord, Jesus appearing to the disciples following His crucifixion and resurrection, teaching about fasting, teaching about prayer, teaching about divorce, the birth and genealogy of Jesus, Jesus’ appointment of the disciples, and so forth. These are but a few writings, yet man values them as treasures, even verifying the work of today against them. They even believe that Jesus only did so much in the time after His birth. It is as if they believe God can only do this much, that there can be no further work. Is this not ludicrous?’ ‘The work of God in each age has clear boundaries; He does only the work of the current age and never does He carry out the next stage of work in advance. Only in this way can His representative work of each age be brought to the fore. Jesus had spoken only of the signs of the last days, of how to be patient and how to be saved, how to repent and confess, as well as how to bear the cross and endure suffering; never did He speak of what man in the last days should enter into or how to seek to satisfy God’s will. As such, would it not be an act of fallacy to search within the Bible for God’s work of the last days? What can you discern merely holding the Bible in your hands? Be it an interpreter of the Bible or a preacher, who can foreknow the work of today?’ According to Almighty God’s words, we can see that every time God does a new work, He only does the work of the current age, and teaches mankind how to follow His way, yet never carries out the next step of work ahead of time. Like during the Age of Law, God taught mankind how to obey the law and the commandments, not saying the work He would do in the Age of Grace in advance. This is the principle of God’s work. As a result, the words ‘All of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible’ are absolutely man’s conceptions and imaginations; they are religious fallacies which do not accord with God’s words.”
After I listened to Almighty God’s words and Brother Hu’s fellowship, my heart skipped a beat: The words “All of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible” simply do not conform to the truth and are completely invalid. How could I have not seen through such a simple problem? Feeling ashamed, I retorted with face going red: “Of course I know that the words and work of the Lord Jesus can’t be recorded in the Bible in advance. What I mean is that the Bible is all we need to practice, for the truths in it are already complete, and that there is no need for God to return to express the truth or do a new work.”
Brother Hu continued: “Is it really true that the truths in the Bible are already complete, and that there is no need for God to return to express the truth or do a new work? The Lord Jesus says: ‘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). Besides, it is prophesied many times in Revelation: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7). We can see from these verses that the Lord will return to do a new work and express the truth to tell us the truth and mysteries we don’t understand. However, you say that ‘The truths in the Bible are already complete; there is no need for God to return to do a new work or express new words’; isn’t this contrary to the Lord Jesus’ words? We all know the Lord is faithful, and that all His words will be fulfilled. Hence, isn’t the saying that ‘The truths in the Bible are already complete, and there is no need for God to return to express the truth or do a new work’ a fallacy?”
After I heard his fellowship, my heart was in great turmoil: Revelation clearly prophesies: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” It just tells us that God will come back and speak words in the last days, and tells us to pay attention to God’s voice. How can I not understand? I, blindly believing the elder’s words, even delimited God’s work. How ignorant I was! Supposing that the words of Almighty God are really “what the Spirit says to the churches,” while I stubbornly cling to the Bible and refuse to accept His salvation in the last days, just like the Pharisees resisted God’s work in the Age of Grace, will I be condemned and eliminated by God like them? At that moment, I completely lost my original arrogance.
Returning home, I sat on the sofa. Scene after scene of things happening those months appeared in my mind: No matter what things we encountered, my wife continuously thanked Almighty God, while I constantly thanked the Lord. Somehow, I felt it was God who orchestrated and arranged all these for us, that it was God who cared and protected us, and that it was God who guided me, step by step. I prayed to the Lord silently: “O Lord! So many things happened this period of time, which, I believe, are all Your orchestrations and arrangements, but I don’t understand Your will. O Lord! Today, I listened to the way of Eastern Lightning, which indeed has the truth. O Lord! Have You really returned? If You do have returned, may You lead me to follow Your footsteps!”
At that time, my wife, holding a book of Almighty God’s words, walked out of the bedroom and said to me with a smile: “Religionist, why are you pensive? You should be happy. Almighty God loves you very much; in order to let you receive the kingdom gospel, He raised so many people up to help you; He has paid so much price to save you.” I hesitated: “All Christianity regards the Bible as the basis for belief in God; could we believers in God really leave the Bible?” Hearing this, my wife said: “Which do you exactly believe in, God or the Bible? Who is your Lord?” Then, she opened the book of God’s words, and passed it to me, asking me to read a passage: “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.” Reading this, I was silent and thought to myself: Almighty God’s words are indeed the truth! Aren’t I precisely the kind of person that He revealed? Looking back, since I believed in the Lord, I read the Bible every day; gradually, the Bible became the standard of my conduct and replaced God’s position in my heart, so that I have blind faith in it, see it as higher than God, and even constrain God’s work within it; I completely live in religious conceptions, and have no heart to seek or investigate. I am both silly and arrogant.
My wife said: “Who can reveal man’s states so thoroughly? Man is simply incapable of saying such words. Can’t you recognize that it’s God’s voice? Actually, God doesn’t forbid us from reading the Bible; He just wants us to treat it correctly. Do you know how the Bible came into being? It was after God completed His work that people recorded down His words and work, and then these records were compiled into the Bible. In other words, the Bible is only a record of God’s work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, a testimony to His work. It cannot replace God, nor can it stand in for God’s work of saving man. Just as the Lord Jesus says: ‘Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life’ (John 5:39-40). Although we believers in the Lord always read the Bible, only by obtaining the work of the Holy Spirit can we understand the truth in it. This is a fact. Merely reading the Bible, but not accepting God’s words or work in the last days, we can’t cast off the sinful nature, much less be purified and saved by God. God’s work of saving mankind is continuously expanding forward: In the Age of Law, Jehovah God led mankind to learn how to worship God, how to live, and to know their sins. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus was crucified as the sin offering to redeem us mankind from condemnation by law, and gave us abundant grace and blessings. In the last days, Almighty God does the work of judgment starting from the house of God to rid us of our satanic nature, purify and save us. So, only if we follow God’s footsteps, accept and obey His judgment work of the last days, can we obtain the work of the Holy Spirit, receive God’s full salvation, and enter the wonderful destination He has prepared for us. Just read God’s words carefully.” After saying this, my wife went into the bedroom.
Then, I saw the following passage of God’s words: “The fact that I am explaining here is this: What God is and has is forever inexhaustible and limitless. God is the source of life and all things. God cannot be fathomed by any created being. Lastly, I must still remind everybody: Do not delimit God in books, words, or His past utterances again. There is only one word for the characteristic of God’s work—new. He does not like to take old paths or repeat His work, and moreover He does not want people to worship Him by delimiting Him within a certain scope. This is God’s disposition.” Repeatedly pondering God’s words, I came to know: It’s true! How can man fathom God’s almightiness and wisdom? I was so blind and ignorant that I defined God’s work with my conceptions and imaginations, and even limited His work and words to the Bible. How could I be so arrogant and unreasonable? At that moment, with scenes of my refusal to accept God’s work keeping replaying in my mind, tears of regret blurred my sight. I, stubborn and rebellious, pushed awayin the last days time and again, but God didn’t abandon me, and instead arranged for brothers and sisters to testify to me His kingdom gospel. God loves me so much! In pondering this, I knelt down and sobbed: “O Almighty God! I was blind, foolish and ignorant, so much so that I delimited Your work to the Bible, refused and opposed Your work time and again. O God! You didn’t treat me according to my disobedience; rather, in order to save me, You led brothers and sisters to preach gospel to me. I’m willing to put aside my conceptions, and walk out of the Bible.”
Afterward, through reading a lot of Almighty God’s words and listening to brothers and sisters’ fellowship, I was completely certain that Almighty God is truly the last, the returned Lord Jesus. The work of Almighty God in the last days is indeed the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. The utterances of Almighty God are the truth, the way, and the life He bestows upon us to purify and save us. Accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days, I’ve been raptured before His throne, and attended the wedding feast of the Lamb. All the glory be to Almighty God!
By Zhang Jun
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