14. Human Nature Cannot Be Judged on Appearances
Yang Rui Yuci City, Shanxi Province
One day, I suddenly heard that my father was expelled from the church. I was totally stunned at the time and couldn’t figure it out. In my heart, my father was the world’s greatest person. Even though he has a bad temper, he took great care of us sisters and never beat or scolded us. Despite our family’s struggles, he would not let us feel indignant no matter how much suffering he would have to endure. After our whole family accepted God’s work, my father was moreover proactive in fulfilling his duty, and often encouraged us to fulfill our own duties properly. Though my father was sometimes a little wild, as soon as there was duty to fulfill, regardless of the wind and rain or the extent of the difficulty, he would find a way to complete it. How could such a good person get expelled? If he cannot receive salvation, then who can? The situation filled my heart with resentment and conflict, because I felt the church did not treat my father fairly. Although I did not say it, I found it difficult to calm my heart and I agonized in torment.
A few days ago, I saw the following among God’s words: “It may be that in all your years of faith in God, you have never cursed anyone nor committed a bad deed, yet in your association with Christ, you cannot … obey the word of Christ; then I say that you are the most devious and sinister in the world. If you are especially cordial and loyal to your relatives, friends, wife (or husband), sons and daughters, and parents, and never take advantage of others, yet you cannot be compatible and at peace with Christ, then even if you … have taken good care of your father, mother, and household, I still say that you are wicked, and cunning, too. Do not think that you are compatible with Christ if you are compatible with man or perform some good deeds. … Do you think that good deeds are a substitute for your obedience?” (“Those Incompatible With Christ Are Surely Opponents of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reflecting on God’s words, I gradually understood: To see if a person is righteous or wicked, look at not whether their outward behavior is good or bad or how their relationships are with other people. Rather, look at their relationship with God, and whether they have true obedience to and fear of God. No matter how good a person’s interpersonal relationships, they are wicked if they cannot be compatible with Christ and cannot obey His words. In his former denomination, my father was a leader. After accepting this stage of God’s work, the brothers and sisters of the church did not elect him to be a leader because his nature was too arrogant. While he appeared obedient on the surface and did whatever he was told, his hidden motive was to be able to sit on the leader’s “throne” once again. Later, when his wish was not realized, he showed his true colors, always acting extremely conceited in the church, never listening to anyone, and always forcing people to listen to him no matter what. If he saw a worker who did not fit his liking, he would judge, belittle, and undermine. … Isn’t this the behavior of the wicked? If he had really become a leader, wouldn’t that be damaging the church and harming brothers and sisters? I did not know my father’s nature and essence, and had always been confused by his words and actions on the outside and blinded by his fatherly love. I was too poor at judging people. Just as God said: “The standard by which man judges man is based on his behavior; one whose conduct is good is a righteous person, and one whose conduct is abominable is wicked. The standard by which God judges man is based on whether one’s essence obeys Him; one who obeys God is a righteous person, and one who does not obey God is an enemy and a wicked person, regardless of whether this person’s behavior is good or bad, and regardless of whether this person’s speech is correct or incorrect” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). According to God’s words, my father’s behavior was not obeying God’s orchestration and arrangement, as well as causing disruptions. Such an essence is one that resists God. Yet I used his conduct on the outside, such as caring about me and looking after me, being able to fulfill his duty, to judge that he is a good person, thinking that the church should not have expelled him. However, his good deeds on the outside do not equate to obeying God, and moreover cannot be called righteous. Only those who genuinely obey God’s orchestration and willingly accept God’s chastisement and judgment, and seek dispositional change, can receive salvation. My father only has himself to blame for falling into the situation he is in today. It was created by him not seeking the truth, and he has no one else to blame. Moreover, this was a manifestation of God’s righteous disposition.
Oh God! Thank You for using this environment and giving me this aspect of the truth to turn my wrong views around, and for making me see Your holiness and that Your righteous and majestic disposition must not be offended by anyone. This has made me understand that I cannot distinguish or see through things without the truth. From now on, no matter what befalls me, I will no longer judge a person based on their outer appearance. I have to take the perspective of the truth and accept everything You do. Even if I cannot see through the things You do, I will believe all that You do is right. I will no longer analyze and examine from the perspective of a person. I will stand on the side of the truth, constantly cautioning myself to stand witness for You.