Sunday, October 8, 2017

Whom Do You Actually Believe in? II

Whom Do You Actually Believe in? II

My wife thought for a while and then said to me, “Aiguang’s explanation accords completely with the fact. Most people in the religious world think that pastors and elders are predestined by God to be His servants, and that God raises them up to lead people to His kingdom. I also have been seeing it this way. But just now what Aiguang fellowshiped is right. The Lord Jesus indeed never told us to obey the pastors and elders in all things, nor did He say obeying the pastors and elders in belief in God was obeying God. So, is there anything wrong with our viewpoint that obedience to the pastors and elders equals obedience to God?”
I responded defiantly, “Aiguang, I acknowledge your fellowship is right. However, the pastors and elders have been serving God for years, toiling and laboring. Their knowledge of the Bible is more than ours anyway. Listening to and obeying them shouldn’t be the wrong thing to do.”
My son said sternly and solemnly, “Dad, mom, people believe that pastors and elders know the Scriptures very well and suffer much, so they must be after God’s heart and it is undoubtedly right to follow them on the path of belief in God. However, the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees in Judaism were all religious leaders. They were familiar with the Bible and suffered a lot of hardships. the-scribes-and-pharisees-stopping-the-people-from-hearing-jesus-preaching_Do you think they were people after God’s heart? Then who crucified the Lord Jesus? Who led the Jewish people down a road of no return? Weren’t they the hypocritical Pharisees? The Pharisees were familiar with the Bible, and they knew the coming of the Messiah prophesied in the Scriptures. But when the Lord Jesus came, did they recognize that He was the Messiah? Did they bring the Jewish people before God? This fact is sufficient to prove that the Pharisees did not know God. What they understood were just letters and doctrines. They explained the scriptures in the temple according to the knowledge summed up from their mind and their imaginations and conceptions, without the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit. They were not fellowshiping about the truth, but evidently exalting and testifying about themselves through the sermons. They used their biblical knowledge to deceive and shackle people, and drew the believers into their presence to worship and follow them. What’s more, the Pharisees did not at all know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work. They worshiped their notions and imaginations as the truth, so that they ended up committing a heinous crime of nailing the Messiah to the cross though anxiously waiting for Him. The Pharisees had undergone many sufferings, but their suffering and sacrifice were all for their fame, gain and positions. They worked for their status and jobs, hindered people from following the Lord Jesus, and had people listen to them and obey them. The Lord Jesus exposed them with the words, ‘But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in’ (Matthew 23:13). ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves’ (Matthew 23:15). ‘Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. You blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you are like to white washed sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity’ (Matthew 23:25-28). The Lord Jesus also revealed them to be blind guides and cursed them for their being the generation of vipers. Seen from the Lord Jesus’ revelation of the Pharisees, they were the ones who hindered God’s work and opposed God, and God loathed and despised their actions. God observes the depths of man’s heart while we focus solely on man’s appearances. The Pharisees gave the appearance of piety yet hated the truth and opposed God inside. Dad, mom, the pastors and elders in the last days are believing in God yet opposing Him following the path of the Pharisees. Outwardly they are pious, faithful, and can bear hardships, but behind the facade lies their ulterior evil intentions. They’re no different from the Pharisees, working for status and jobs, adhering to letters and doctrines and theologies, but not practicing the truth. For example, 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 …’ (John 16:12-13), and chapter 2, verse 7 in Revelation says, ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches.’ These scriptures clearly state that the Lord will surely express new words when He comes back, and that man must seek with caution. But why do pastors and elders not practice the Lord’s words and lead the brothers and sisters to seek and investigate Almighty God’s work in the last days? Why do they arbitrarily judge and condemn Almighty God and nail the returned Lord Jesus to the cross again? It is plain to see that they don’t know the new trend and direction of the Holy Spirit’s work like the Pharisees, and that neither do they know the work of God. What’s more, they only exalt what man says instead of what the Lord says while expounding on the Bible, and don’t follow the Lord’s way. They make the Lord’s words ring hollow and replace them all with man’s words. For example, the Lord said, ‘Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven’ (Matthew 7:21). Have the pastors and elders ever led us to follow the will of God? They only tell us that as long as we endure hardships, run and expend ourselves for the Lord, preach the gospel more and bear fruits, then we will be able to enter the kingdom of heaven and there will be laid up for us a crown. Isn’t it holding on to man’s teachings but making void the Lord Jesus’ requirements for us? Isn’t the path they lead contrary to or even poles apart from God’s will? When the Lord Jesus returns to do new work in the last days, they refuse to accept it and even hinder the brothers and sisters from seeking and investigating the true way. Isn’t it restricting man’s freedom of investigating the true way? Is there any difference between them and the Pharisees who hindered the Jews from accepting the Lord Jesus’ work? Christ of the last days, Almighty God, has already revealed the essence of the pastors and elders. Let’s read Almighty God’s words.
Almighty God says, ‘Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of “robust flesh,” how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour?’ (“All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Dad, mom, Almighty God’s words sharply lay bare the real situation of the religious world. It has been controlled by antichrists and false shepherds. Though these pastors and elders label themselves as believers in God, they stand in God’s place to restrain and lecture people. They are arrogant and conceited, lawless and defiant of God, and they simply don’t have a heart that fears God. In order to keep their position and bread and butter, they hinder people from investigating the true way, for fear that God’s sheep will hear God’s voice and hence reject them so that they will lose the place in man’s heart. Thus, they clutch God’s sheep tightly in their hands, intentionally disturb God’s work and don’t allow people to seek and investigate the true way. Are they not antichrists? Many people have been deceived by them, believing in God in name yet following and obeying antichrists and false shepherds. If, even today, we are still deceived by these people and obey these hypocritical pastors and elders, sooner or later, we will be eliminated by the Lord and stripped of our chance for salvation. When the time comes, our outcome can only be being punished by God. God is righteous. He will not spare anyone who resists and betrays Him.”
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