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Gospel Reader

It is said: “God should show people great miracles; He must heal the sick and cast out demons, and He must bestow blessings upon people. If He does not show miracles, if He doesn’t bring any benefit for mankind, then He is not the true God. If this Almighty God you believe in is the true God, why do you still get sick? Why aren’t your homes peaceful? As believers in Jesus, those of us who are sick are cured, and those who are not sick have peace at home.”

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Response: There are people who deny that Almighty God is the true God and that He is the returned Lord Jesus because people who believe in Almighty God still get sick and their homes are not at peace. They believe that, if Almighty God is the true God, then He will protect those who believe in Him from getting sick or from encountering any mishap, and that their homes will be at peace. This is entirely man’s misconception and imagining, it is a biased understanding of God and in no way does it conform to God’s will. As everyone knows, Job believed in Jehovah God, but Job’s family suffered robbery, plundering of all their wealth, and the death of their children. Even Job himself suffered illness when his whole body broke out in boils. So if you say that by believing in the true God everything should be peaceful, there should be no sickness and no disasters, then what do you think of what Job experienced? Should we use Job’s experience to deny that Jehovah was the true God? Jesus is the true God, nobody can deny this. But over the course of Peter following the Lord Jesus, he underwent countless difficulties and trials, and his illnesses were never-ending. The Apostle Paul also suffered many adversities—he was flogged and stoned many times, and ran into trouble at sea many times. He also became ill. The other disciples and apostles also suffered through many difficulties. If it’s said that by believing in the true God, one should have peace and health, how can we account for these things that came upon those disciples and apostles who followed the Lord Jesus? Could we actually say that the Lord Jesus is not the true God? It is clear that human understanding is one-dimensional and biased! In reality, we cannot confirm the true God based on whether or not He performs signs and wonders, heals the sick, casts out demons, or gives people peace and material benefits. If people measure the true God solely by whether or not He performs signs and wonders or heals the sick and casts out demons, then this is wrong. Couldn’t the Pharaoh’s sorcerers also turn rods into serpents (see Exodus 7:10–12)? And isn’t it true that Simon, who had long practiced sorcery, was also able to make the people marvel at his miracles and even think that he was God (see Acts 8:9–11)? Couldn’t those witch doctors and the prince of the devils heal the sick and cast out demons? Were they all God too? Clearly, they were not. They were just able to perform some miracles, but they could not create the heavens, the earth, and all things nor create mankind, much less save mankind. Only God Himself can create the heavens, the earth, and all things and create mankind, only He can guide mankind’s life on earth. It is only God Himself who can redeem corrupt mankind from sin and from Satan’s dominion. This is something that Satan or evil spirits cannot achieve. Therefore, whether or not someone can perform miracles, heal the sick and provide some physical benefits are simply not the criteria for determining whether or not they do God’s work. To determine whether or not they do the work of God, one must primarily look at whether or not they can begin a new age and bring an old age to an end, and whether or not they can express the truth and save people from sin and from Satan’s dominion. God can create mankind and guide mankind’s life on earth, God can redeem people who have been corrupted by Satan from sin and, finally, God can thoroughly purify and change mankind who have been redeemed and lead them into His kingdom. These are all works that God has either already completed or that He will complete, and they are works that neither Satan, nor evil spirits, nor any human being could ever perform. Moreover, and most importantly, God is the Creator—He can create all things, rule all things, control all things, and He can also destroy all things. He is the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last, the one true God who controls everything in the universe. Even if He did no works and performed no miracles, He would still be God Himself, the unique! This is something no one can deny. Therefore, some people will see those who follow Almighty God sometimes getting sick and occasionally having unpeaceful homes, and they will conclude that Almighty God is not the true God. This is so wrong, and it is the judgment of foolish, ignorant people who know neither God nor His work.

The Lord Jesus prophesied that He would come again in the last days, and said: “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27). He also said that, in the last days, the Spirit of truth will come to guide man into all truth (see John 16:13). And in the Book of Revelation, it is repeatedly written: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2–3). In the last days, the incarnated Almighty God is carrying out the work of judging man and purifying man with His words on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption. The words uttered by Almighty God are the utterances of the Spirit of truth; they are words spoken by the Holy Spirit to the churches. Almighty God has expressed all the truths corrupt people need in order to be saved and perfected; through His utterances, He has revealed the mysteries God has hidden from mankind for thousands of years and has expressed what God has and is. He has opened up to mankind God’s inherent disposition and His true countenance. This is enough to prove that Almighty God is Christ of the last days, that He is the one true God! This is because His words could not be uttered by a person, and His work could not be done by any human. Almighty God says: “He is well aware of the essence of man, He can reveal all kinds of practices pertaining to all kinds of people. He is even better at revealing human corrupt disposition and rebellious behavior. He does not live among the worldly people, but He is aware of the nature of the mortals and all the corruptions of the worldly people. This is what He is. Though He does not deal with the world, He knows the rules of dealing with the world, because He fully understands human nature. He knows about the Spirit’s work that man’s eyes cannot see and that man’s ears cannot hear, both of today and of the past. This includes wisdom that is not a life philosophy and wonder that people find hard to fathom. This is what He is, made open to people and also hidden from people. What He expresses is not what an extraordinary person is, but the inherent attributes and being of the Spirit. He does not travel around the world but knows everything of it. He contacts the ‘anthropoids’ who have no knowledge or insight, but He expresses words that are higher than knowledge and above great men. He lives among a group of obtuse and numb people who do not have humanity and who do not understand the human conventions and lives, but He can ask mankind to live out normal humanity, at the same time revealing the base and low humanity of mankind. All of this are what He is, higher than what any flesh-and-blood person is. … The work He does is all to reveal His disposition to man and express His being. Only He can do this work, it is not something that a flesh-and-blood person could achieve” (“God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). This is indeed the case; no person can achieve the work or say the words of Almighty God. Only God possesses this kind of almightiness and wisdom, only God possesses what He is, and this is also something that no one can deny.

Showing signs and wonders is supremely easy for God. But whether or not God performs miracles in His work, and whether or not He heals the sick and drives demons out is based on what is needed in His work, and it is based on the needs of corrupt humanity. God does not perform any meaningless work. In the Age of Grace, the first time that God became flesh and worked in the world, He revealed many miracles such as restoring sight to the blind, allowing the paralyzed to walk, making the leper healed, raising the dead, calming the wind and waves, feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, and so on. However, God did these things in order for people to be able to see His actions, His great power, and from that be able to believe in Him, follow Him, and accept salvation from His crucifixion. Because there was no historical precedent to God’s first incarnation, He could only draw people before Him by giving them some material benefits, bestowing grace on them, healing them and casting out demons, and performing some signs and wonders. If He had not done this, then people would never have believed that such normal, ordinary flesh was in fact the embodiment of God’s Spirit. They particularly could hardly believe that a very average person who was nailed to the cross was God Himself. So in order to get people to believe in Him, follow Him, and thus gain His salvation of cross, God added on some miracles, healing of the sick, casting out of demons, and He bestowed rich blessings upon people. So why doesn’t God perform signs and wonders in His work in the last days? It is because the work of God incarnate in the last days is the work of words, a work which uses words to purify mankind whom He has redeemed but who continually commit sin and who remain filthy and corrupted. This is the stage of His work to thoroughly purify, transform, and perfect mankind. If this work were also like the Age of Grace with miracles, healing of the sick, and casting out of demons, it would not result in the conquering, perfection, purification, and transformation of mankind through words. This aim of His work must be achieved through practical, normal work. God incarnate speaks in a practical way; He reveals all His inherent disposition and what He has and is to man, while also exposing mankind’s corruption and rebelliousness, judging mankind’s unrighteousness and resistance, as well as pointing the way for people to achieve a change in disposition and be purified. This allows people to achieve knowledge of, obedience to, and love for God through the truths He expresses and His practical and normal work. It also allows people to be purified and perfected through His words. These results are all achieved through the judgment of His words, not through revealing miracles or bestowing grace and benefits upon mankind. In this stage of work, if God were to both speak in a practical way to purify and save people and display miracles and bestow rich grace upon people, then people would all fall before Him because of His miracles, and they would follow Him because of the grace and the benefits that He bestows. That way people would not be able to understand all of God’s disposition, what He has and is, and God’s wisdom in His work. It would not reveal whether people truly believe or not and if they truly fear and obey God, nor would it reveal people’s corruption, rebellion, and the motives and adulteration in their belief in God, much less would it allow people to know themselves and pursue the truth to gain purification and transformation. That would disrupt God’s work of purifying and transforming mankind through His words. So while God is saving mankind through His words, He does not display miracles. When His work in the flesh is completed, that is, when this group of His followers have been made complete by God, then He will display great miracles for mankind to see. This is because at that time God is going to do the work of punishing evil and rewarding good. Performing any miracle while He does His work of saving man with words would throw God’s practical work into disorder and confusion, and the result of saving man would not be achieved, much less would the goal of exposing all kinds of people and ultimately separating them each according to their kind be achieved. Therefore, God not performing miracles is entirely due to the requirements of His work, and it is in order to complete the work of having His words bear fruit. Almighty God said: “In the Age of Kingdom, God uses the word to usher in a new age, to change the method of His work, and to do the work for the entire age. This is the principle by which God works in the Age of Word. He became flesh to speak from different perspectives, enabling man to truly see God, who is the Word appearing in the flesh, and His wisdom and wondrousness. Such work is done in order better to achieve the goals of conquering man, perfecting man, and eliminating man. This is the true meaning of using the word to work in the Age of Word. Through the word, man comes to know the work of God, the disposition of God, the essence of man, and what man ought to enter into. Through the word, the work God wishes to do in the Age of Word is brought to fruition in its entirety. Through the word, man is revealed, eliminated, and tried. Man has seen the word, heard the word, and become aware of the existence of the word. As a result, he believes in the existence of God, in the omnipotence and wisdom of God, as well as in God’s love for man and His desire to save man. Though the word ‘word’ is simple and ordinary, the word from the mouth of the incarnate God shakes up the entire universe; it transforms man’s heart, notions, and old disposition, and the way the whole world used to appear. … Throughout the Age of Kingdom, God uses the word to do His work and achieve the results of His work; He does not work wonders or perform miracles; He merely does His work through the word. Because of the word, man is nourished and supplied; because of the word, man gains knowledge and true experience. Man in the Age of Word has truly received exceptional blessings. He suffers no physical pain and simply enjoys the bountiful supply of the word of God; without needing to go seeking or journeying forth, from the midst of his ease he sees the appearance of God, hears Him speak with His own mouth, receives what He supplies, and watches Him personally doing His work. These are things that men in ages past were unable to enjoy, and these are blessings that they could never receive” (“The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “In the last days, God principally uses the word to make man perfect. He does not use signs and wonders to oppress man, or convince man; this cannot make plain the power of God. If God only showed signs and wonders, then it would be impossible to make plain the reality of God, and thus impossible to make man perfect. God does not make man perfect by signs and wonders, but uses the word to water and shepherd man, after which is achieved the complete obedience of man and man’s knowledge of God. This is the aim of the work He does and the words He speaks. … When man is made complete at the time that God concludes the age in the last days, he will be qualified to look upon signs and wonders. … The time that God shows signs and wonders is when God punishes man, and also when the age changes, and, moreover, when the age concludes. When God’s work is being carried out normally, He does not show signs and wonders. Showing signs and wonders is supremely easy, but that is not the principle of God’s work, nor is it the aim of God’s management of man. If man saw signs and wonders, and if the spiritual body of God were to appear to man, would all people not believe in God? … God’s work during the last days is real work. During the age of Jesus, He did not come to make man perfect, but to redeem man, and so He displayed some miracles to make people follow Him. For He principally came to complete the work of crucifixion, and showing signs was not part of the work of His ministry. Such signs and wonders were work that was done in order to make His work effective; they were extra work, and did not represent the work of the entire age. During the Old Testament Age of Law, God also showed some signs and wonders—but the work God does today is real work, and He would definitely not show signs and wonders now. If He showed signs and wonders, His real work would be thrown into disorder, and He would be unable to do any more work. If God said for the word to be used to make man perfect, but also showed signs and wonders, then could whether or not man truly believes in Him be made plain? Thus, God does not do such things” (“All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

Of course, there are other aspects of practical significance in God not performing miracles, healing the sick, or casting out demons in the last days. Let’s read another couple of passages of Almighty God’s words: “In the conceptions of man, God must always display signs and wonders, must always heal the sick and cast out demons, and must always be just like Jesus, yet this time God is not like that at all. If, during the last days, God still displayed signs and wonders, and still cast out demons and healed the sick—if He did exactly the same as Jesus—then God would be repeating the same work, and the work of Jesus would have no significance or value. … Why is the work of God today different to the work of Jesus? Why does God today not display signs and wonders, not cast out demons, and not heal the sick? If Jesus’ work were the same as the work done during the Age of Law, could He have represented the God of the Age of Grace? Could He have completed the work of crucifixion? If, as in the Age of Law, Jesus had entered into the temple and kept the Sabbath, then He would have been persecuted by none and embraced by all. If that were so, could He have been crucified? Could He have completed the work of redemption? What would be the point if God incarnate of the last days displayed signs and wonders, like Jesus? Only if God does another part of His work during the last days, one that represents part of His management plan, can man gain a deeper knowledge of God, and only then can God’s management plan be completed” (“Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “The words spoken by God incarnate of the last days are according to the substance of man’s nature, according to the behavior of man, and according to that which man should enter into today. His method of speaking[a] is both real and normal: He does not speak of tomorrow, nor does He look back on yesterday; He speaks only of that which should be entered into, put into practice, and understood today. If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, cast out demons, heal the sick, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are Jesus who has come, then this would be the counterfeit of evil spirits, and their imitation of Jesus. … God carries out one stage of work in every age. Once each stage of His work has been completed, it is soon imitated by evil spirits, and after Satan begins to follow on the heels of God, God changes to a different method. Once God has completed a stage of His work, it is imitated by evil spirits. You must be clear about this” (“Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). We can see from Almighty God’s words that the reason He doesn’t perform miracles, heal the sick, and cast out demons in the last days is that He is an ever-new God. He never does the same work twice. The principle of God’s work is to never repeat what He has accomplished. This is God’s great power, and this is what He is. God already did the work of performing miracles, healing the sick, and casting out demons in the Age of Grace. If He did those things again in the last days, that would be doing the same work twice and it would be meaningless. On top of that, people would also define God as a God of miracles, healing the sick, and casting out demons, and their understanding of Him would be one-dimensional and inaccurate. God is the almighty, all-wise God, and no one can fathom His wisdom. How could God possibly allow Himself to be delimited within the bounds of human notions? In this stage of work in the last days, God does not perform miracles, but does completely new and high work. He works through words; He achieves everything through words. This allows people to know what He has and is as well as His wonderful wisdom through His words, and to know the might and authority of His words, thereby deepening their knowledge of God and preventing them from delimiting God any longer. Another aspect of why God doesn’t perform miracles is so that people can distinguish between the work of God and the imitations of evil spirits, as well as understand that God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s schemes. Every time God completes a stage of His work, evil spirits imitate and impersonate it. After the Lord Jesus completed His work, there were many evil spirits right at His heels who imitated the Lord Jesus in performing miracles, healing the sick, and casting out demons. This caused people to confuse the image of God with the image of Satan. Many people regard anyone who can perform signs and wonders, heal the sick and cast out demons as God, and they follow and worship them. Therefore, God does not perform signs and wonders in the last days. He just speaks and expresses the truth, expresses God’s disposition and what He has and is, exposes people’s corruption and rebelliousness, and provides people with sustenance for life by means of uttering words. In this way, the goals of conquering man, purifying man, changing man, and perfecting man are achieved. This way in which God works is something that Satan and evil spirits cannot imitate, for Satan and evil spirits do not possess the truth, they do not have the essence of God, and they can never express God’s word. Not only does this work of God allow people to distinguish between what is God’s work and what is the imitation of evil spirits, but it particularly allows people to recognize God’s wisdom and almightiness and see clearly Satan’s despicableness and evil. God’s work is truly meaningful.

On the whole, if someone says: “God should show people great miracles; He must heal the sick and cast out demons, and He must bestow blessings upon people. If He does not show miracles, if He doesn’t bring any benefit for mankind, then He is not the true God. If this Almighty God you believe in is the true God, why do you still get sick? Why aren’t your homes peaceful? As believers in Jesus, those of us who are sick are cured, and those who are not sick have peace at home,” it is clear that these are absurd words, and it shows that people have no understanding of God at all. Could it be that He is not God unless He performs miracles, heals the sick, casts out demons, and brings benefits to people? If God temporarily stopped bringing people grace and benefits or showing people miracles for the sake of purifying and transforming them, could it be that He is not God? If God tries and refines people, and allows illness and adversity to come upon them, could it be that we will just disavow Him? Do you not know that the adversity and trials that came upon Job were much worse than what we face today? Yet Job did not deny God’s name, and he said something that showed the highest understanding: “Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil” (Job 2:10). “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). Compared to Job, shouldn’t we be ashamed? Actually, to be able to accept the judgment and chastisement of Almighty God’s words and to be able to undergo all manner of trials and refinements is the greatest blessing for people in the last days. All this is meticulously arranged by God to perfect His people, and together they form the path that must be traversed in order for people to be purified and to attain salvation. It was prophesied in the Book of Zechariah 13:8–9: “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, said Jehovah, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, Jehovah is my God.” And today, just as in the prophecy “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried,” these words are fulfilled in this group of people who follow Almighty God in the last days. When this group of people is made complete, that will be the day that God reveals a great miracle and gains great glory. At that time, God will cull out the two thirds of people who resist Him and do not recognize Him. He will bring the one third of people who accept His words and have been purified into the beautiful destination prepared for them so that they may enjoy the promises and eternal blessings given by God. This is a fact that God must complete, and will complete. So brothers and sisters, do you want to be one of the two thirds, or do you want to be one of the one third? If you want to be purified and saved by God and be spared, becoming one of God’s people, then you must waste no time in letting go of your own notions and accepting the judgment of Almighty God’s words! Because the Age of Grace, the age of “those of us who are sick are cured, and those who are not sick have peace at home” has long since been ended, God stopped that kind of work long ago. We can no longer bury our heads in the sand and deceive ourselves. Actually, in the last days, God bestows on man the way of eternal life, which is far more valuable than being bestowed with grace. Could it be that you seek only for your sickness to be cured and to gain a little physical benefit, and yet are unwilling to obtain the way of eternal life from God?

 

Footnotes:

a. The original text reads “It.”

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