Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Knock, and It Shall Be Opened to You II

Knock, and It Shall Be Opened to You II

After that, I still went to the meetings with my Bible. When what was talked about was in line with the Bible, I accepted it. If it was not, I turned a deaf ear to it. I waited for the day when my brothers and sisters would wake up. However, their states became ever better and their countenances were full of joy, while I had a heavy heart, and just responded to their greetings with a false smile. One day in the meeting, the brothers and sisters fellowshiped about their understanding and knowledge of the words of Almighty God enthusiastically, and they were joyful as if having received a treasure, but I could hardly understand what they fellowshiped about, just sitting there like a fool without a word. I became more and more sad and distressed and could only cry to the Lord in my heart, “O Lord, You were so gracious to me before. Why don’t You enlighten me now? Have You rejected me? O Lord, my only hope is in You. Please don’t forsake me.” Although I cried to the Lord desperately, I could not feel any response or comfort from Him.
Back home, I could not hold back my sorrow anymore and threw myself down on the bed crying out to God tearfully, “O Lord, You know I love You, and I will not put the Bible aside and depart from You whatever happens. However, I have never felt so dark in my heart throughout the many years of my belief in You. O Lord, please don’t hide Your face from me, and please have mercy on me. My brothers and sisters all say that the words in The Scroll Opened by the Lamb are the utterances of You who have returned, and that they have gained a lot from them. I, however, have fallen into darkness and cannot feel Your presence. O Lord! I am very distressed and bewildered, and don’t know how to face all this. O Lord, are the words in The Scroll Opened by the Lamb really the utterances of You who have returned? If they are, I am also willing to follow You.” When I spoke this, suddenly in my mind appeared a picture of the Lord Jesus standing at the door and knocking, who seemed to have waited for a long time. I was startled at this, and realized that I had shut the Lord outside the door. The Church of Almighty GodImmediately tears of self-reproach, remorse, and indebtedness gushed out, and I did not wipe them, but took out the Bible and turned to Revelation 3:20-22, which said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcomes will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches.” I was certain that it was the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, so I knelt before the Lord again with my tears coursing down unceasingly, “My Lord, Almighty God, little did I expect that I would treat Your coming this way … I was so blind and foolish that I did not recognize Your voice and shut You outside the door … I’ve grieved and disappointed You … were it not for Your mercy, I would continue rejecting Your utterances and live in darkness…. O Almighty God! I am willing to return to You and accept Your words. Please hide Your face from my transgressions and continue Your salvation of me.” After the prayer, I felt incomparably released, and my heart was so relieved, as if a big stone weighing upon it had been moved away. From then on, whenever I had time, I would read God’s words, wishing to make up for the time I had lost before. However, I still did not know why God does His work outside of the Bible.
One day, I opened the book of God’s word and read these words: “How should the Bible be approached in the belief in God? This is a question of principle. … 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” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
While I read this passage of God’s word, I felt as if God was teaching me face to face. I thought, “Yes, this is exactly my former view. I believed that a believer in God must read the Bible and should not read any book except the Bible, otherwise he is a betrayer of God. Now through God’s disclosure, I have realized that my view is indeed wrong. But isn’t the Bible given by inspiration of God? Haven’t we believed in the Lord according to the Bible? Then what’s the difference between returning before the Bible and returning before the Lord?” I wanted to know the answers, so I continued to seek in God’s words. I saw these words: “The Bible is a historical record of God’s work in Israel, and documents many of the foretellings of ancient prophets as well as some of the utterances of Jehovah in His work at that time. Thus, people all look upon this book as ‘holy’ (for God is holy and great). Of course, this is all a result of their reverence for Jehovah and their adoration for God. People refer to this book in this way only because the creatures of God are so adoring of their Creator, and there are even those who call this book a ‘heavenly book.’ In fact, it is merely a human record. It was not personally named by Jehovah, nor did Jehovah personally guide its creation. In other words, the author of this book is not God, but men. The ‘Holy’ Bible is only the respectful title given to it by man. This title was not decided by Jehovah and Jesus after they had a discussion amongst each other; it is nothing more than a human idea. For this book was not written by Jehovah, much less by Jesus. Instead, it is the accounts of many ancient prophets, apostles, and seers, which were compiled by later generations into a book of ancient writings that, to people, seems especially holy, a book that they believe contains many unfathomable and profound mysteries that are waiting to be unlocked by future generations. As such, people are even more disposed to believe that this book is a ‘heavenly book.’ With the addition of the Four Gospels and the Book of Revelation, people’s attitude toward it is particularly different from any other book, and thus no one dares to dissect this ‘heavenly book’—because it is too ‘sacred’” (“Concerning the Bible (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The words of Almighty God have unlocked the mystery of ages past. Almighty God says: “The Bible is a historical record of God’s work in Israel….” I pondered over these words carefully and realized they were true. “God is a God who created all things and rules over all mankind; how can it be possible that He only works in Israel? But the Bible only documents the work God did in Israel. This is a fact. The reason why the Bible is called a ‘holy book’ by people is that it documents many words of God. People call it a ‘holy book’ out of their reverence for God. However, the publication of the Bible was actually not decided by Jehovah and man after they had a discussion together; it is nothing more than a human idea. Moreover, the author of the Bible is not God, but those ancient saints, prophets, seers, and apostles.” God’s disclosure left me ashamed and humiliated. Thinking about the view I had held throughout the years of my belief in God, I realized I was too ignorant and foolish. I saw the Bible as important as God, and thought that whoever departs from the Bible is not a believer in God. I was not clear about the substance of the Bible and its value, nor did I ever think about the difference between belief in God and belief in the Bible. I did not know anything about the reality of belief in God, and regarded my conceptions as the truth and talked wildly. However, God did not treat me according to my ignorance. Instead of condemning me, He enlightened and guided me…. From God’s words I saw the Creator’s mercy for corrupt mankind.
Although in God’s words, I felt God’s majesty that I had never felt in my many years of belief in the Lord, I was still fascinated by them and read on. Through reading God’s words, I could treat the Bible correctly and moreover received God’s watering and shepherding, so that I understood some truths gradually. I thank and praise God from the bottom of my heart.
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