29. “Seeing Is Believing” Is Not to Be Believed
Xiaowen Zhengzhou City, Henan Province
Before, when I used to hear people commenting on something, they would often say “seeing is believing.” As time passed, I also took this as the basis for looking at things, and it was the same regarding God’s words. The result was that I ended up unable to believe in many of God’s words that had not been fulfilled. As my time spent believing in God increased, I saw God’s words in varying degrees of fulfillment, saw the facts of the accomplishments of God’s words and no longer doubted anything God said. I thought this was my having some understanding of God’s faithfulness, and that I was able to believe that everything God said was real.
But one day, when I read these words spoken by God, “without the salvation of God incarnate in the last days, then God would have long ago destroyed all mankind in hell,” I again couldn’t believe in it. I thought, if it had said “without the salvation of God incarnate in the last days, then all of corrupt humanity must be finally destroyed,” then I could completely believe in it, as I knew how crucial God incarnate is to us. But to say that without the salvation of God incarnate in the last days, then God would have long ago destroyed man in hell, I thought that this was just an interpretation. When I thought this, I felt very uneasy. I had to come before God to seek help and guidance: Oh God! I don’t want to have this approach to Your words and I hate that I am so crafty. I’ve followed You for so long and have seen many facts of the fulfillment of Your words, so how can I still be thinking this way? Oh God! I wish to believe every word You say and have a true belief in Your words. I wish for You to lead me into this reality!
Afterward, I read the fellowship from the above that says: “One must recognize that every word God says will be fulfilled and accomplished, but man cannot recognize or see them all. Because the fulfillment of God’s words can certainly not match what man imagines completely and will sometimes be concealed by many external appearances, and man cannot easily discern them; only God knows how the words of God shall be fulfilled. There are some things in which the fulfillment of God’s words can be seen clearly by mankind, and some in which it is not easy to see clearly, so mankind should not base their conclusions of whether or not God’s words have been fulfilled on their own imaginations. Even those with a comparatively better understanding of the truth cannot see entirely clearly how every word of God is fulfilled. The things in which man can see clearly the fulfillment of God’s words are very limited because man can never fathom God’s wisdom. How any word of God’s is fulfilled is entirely down to Him to define and it all contains God’s wisdom—so how can man fathom it?” (“A Fundamental Change in Viewpoints Is a Sign of Truly Understanding the Truth” in Annals of Fellowship and Work Arrangements (I)). Reading that passage, I suddenly thought of Jonah. The evil of the people of Nineveh reached Jehovah, and God sent Jonah to Nineveh to call out “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jonah 3:4). But Jonah wasn’t willing to do as Jehovah had bid because he knew that Jehovah God had grace and mercy, had abundant love and was not given easily to wrath. Jonah feared that, if he went and proclaimed as Jehovah had bid, then after 40 days if God did not bring calamity on the people of Nineveh, they would say he was a liar and a cheat. Several thousand years later, I was going through this whole process that can be seen recorded in the Bible. I knew clearly that, at that time, God indeed wanted to destroy the city of Nineveh, but because of their repentance He did not do so. But if I had been someone living in Jonah’s age, who did not know what Jonah had been through and all I saw was that all was well in Nineveh, would I then have thought Jonah was a liar and a cheat? I certainly would have.
Only then did I understand that to judge things based on facts seen from the outside is too one-sided, too simple. It does not consider the entirety of the facts, it is not the true state of things and it is too inaccurate. This is because the things that are visible to man’s eyes are too few, too limited and too superficial. Only seeing things in accordance with God’s words is most accurate, most comprehensive, and reveals the true situation. Just as when Jehovah wanted to destroy Nineveh. Looking at the facts that people could see, all the while from before Jonah spoke those words until afterward, all was well in that city, with no indication that Jehovah meant to destroy it. The true situation, however, was that, to the righteous disposition of God, the people of that city were so corrupt that He had to destroy it. But God showed mercy to man and loved them, and so sent Jonah to tell them to repent. Afterward, God saw that they really did repent and so, with a merciful heart, He did not bring calamity down to destroy them. If they had not repented, God would have accomplished that which He had said: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.” The true situation at that time developed in this way, but it was not possible for the people involved to recognize or see it all. In other words, everything God says will be fulfilled and accomplished—this is for certain. This is because man can never fathom God’s wisdom, and how any word of God’s is fulfilled is entirely down to God to define and it all contains God’s wisdom, it is only man that cannot fathom it, much less penetrate it completely.
I give thanks to God for using this matter to enlighten me, to make me understand that the phrase “seeing is believing” that people often say is inaccurate, and that to weigh up God’s words according to this view is entirely mistaken. After I came to this recognition, I then read again these words that God had spoken, “without the salvation of God incarnate in the last days, then God would have long ago destroyed all mankind in hell,” and could believe them from my heart and accept them in the correct way. In light of our corruption and God’s righteousness, we should have been destroyed long ago, but only because God showed us mercy and came again in person in the flesh to save us, can we live in God’s presence today. Only now do I have a vivid realization that every one of God’s words are worth believing in, and from my heart I feel that God is so righteous and so loving to man.
I give thanks to God’s enlightenment that made me understand this aspect of the truth, and that turned around my previous mistaken point of view. From now on, whether in regard to how I see people or how I see things, I will always do so in accordance with God’s words, because God’s words are most accurate. Other than God’s words, any point of view such as “seeing is believing” that people see as being correct, regardless of whether it has been practiced and tested or has a long history, it is still inaccurate. God’s words are the only standard by which I look upon or weigh up all things.