The Work of God Is So Wise
By Shiji, Anhui Province
Normally, when attending co-workers’ meetings, my leader would often preach about the experiences of people who failed in their service to God, and would ask us to learn lessons from their experiences and to take them as a warning. For example, some leaders always preached letters and doctrines when they gave sermons or fellowshiped. They were unable to preach real knowledge of the truth and they were unable to perform practical work, with the result that they served as leaders for years without moving the work offorward; the church work almost came to a complete standstill, and they became false leaders and were sifted out by God. When performing their duties, some leaders always showed themselves off, exalted themselves and testified to themselves, and worked to protect their status, and in the end, such leaders led people before themselves, and became antichrists to be expelled. Some leaders showed too great a consideration for their own flesh, coveting comforts and never doing any real work. Such leaders were like parasites in the church who coveted the blessings of status, and in the end, they were exposed and weeded out. Hearing these examples of failure, I couldn’t help but question: “Is God not almighty? Given that these leaders were perpetrating evil and resisting God as they worked and were causing loss to the church’s work, why didn’t God step in sooner to expose and weed them out? In this way, would not the life of the brothers and sisters and the church’s work suffer less loss?” I was beset with this question.
One day, I read in a sermon: “Some people are always hurling criticism at leaders of every level and making irresponsible remarks. What does this behavior expose in these people? It exposes them to be arrogant and conceited and irrational, and that they have no understanding of the work of God at all, and so they are incapable of possessing a correct understanding. If you can discern that this person lacksand is not leading God’s chosen into the truth with his work, does this not prove that you have entered into the truth? If one sees this kind of thing happen—if false workers or false apostles appear—what is the duty of God’s chosen? How should God’s chosen handle this situation? How should they approach this kind of issue? You can report the issue to your superiors and expose the person in question. Go through the proper channels so that even more of God’s chosen have discernment, and take the appropriate measures to report, expose, and propose suggestions—is the problem not in this way resolved? Thus, God’s chosen also must bear responsibility and must know the right way to resolve such matters. If God’s chosen people are without truth, they will certainly not act appropriately in resolving these issues. Some people have a sense of justice—they just won’t allow disturbers and destroyers of God’s work within their church. As soon as they find such a person, they immediately report and expose them. Some people will resist the disturbers or destroyers, while some will blindly obey. Some people blindly worship and follow the leader no matter who he is, others act without discernment, heeding and accepting whatever anyone says. So you see, in this way all different kinds of people are exposed. When things like this happen, they really expose people, and behind them there is God’s good intention. If God’s chosen people have a strong grasp of the truth, then the majority of them will be able to discern, resist and reject false apostles and false workers when they appear. What does this show? This shows that the lives of God’s chosen have matured and grown up, that they have completely attained and that they have been gained and made complete by God. Therefore, God’s good intentions are behind all that occurs” (“How to Know Man’s Conceptions and Judgments” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life III). This fellowship thoroughly resolved the confusion in my heart. As it turned out, God allows false leaders and false workers to emerge within our church, in order to expose all different kinds of people. More so, it allows Him to instill the truth within people so that they may develop their discernment and insight, and so that they may understand the truth and enter into the reality of God’s word. All those who pursue the truth and have a sense of justice will stand up and report, expose, resist and reject the false leaders and false workers when they see them committing acts of evil in the church and disturbing the church’s work, so as to safeguard the church’s interests and stand for God; these people are the ones God works to perfect. But because those who do not pursue the truth and who indiscriminately follow others lack discernment, they can only go along with the masses, and blindly follow and acquiesce to others, and they will end up conspiring with evil-doers; because those deplorable flunkies who advocate and fawn on the influential do not love truth, but only love to worship, pursue and admire others, they will end up being deceived by false leaders and false workers; because those who are arrogant, conceited and without a shred of reason have no knowledge of the work of God, they can only opine and develop notions regarding the church’s work and even call into doubt and pass on God’s work, and for this, they are exposed. As is clear, God is so very wise! Through His work which is at odds with people’s notions, He exposes, perfects and eliminates man. Those who truly and pursue the truth are capable of seeking the truth, understanding God’s will, practicing the truth, and standing testimony to satisfy God when they encounter antichrists, false leaders, and false workers, and thus God makes them complete and perfects them. Those who do not pursue the truth can only follow the crowd, blindly worship others, or pass judgment on God living within their own notions and imaginings, and for this, they are exposed and weeded out. I thought of the following passage of God’s words: “It is through many negative things, many adversities that God perfects you. It is through many of Satan’s actions, accusations, and its expression in many people that God allows you to acquire knowledge, thus perfecting you” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Indeed, this is true. People might regard an event as adverse or negative, but God is working through this situation to allow people to develop their discernment and insight, to make people understand the truth, know God’s wisdom, omnipotence, wondrous acts, and righteous disposition, and see through Satan’s plots so that they may forsake Satan and turn to God. This is the meaning behind God perfecting people through His work which is at odds with people’s notions. If God had exposed and weeded out the false leaders and false workers in the church as soon as they emerged, then in a situation whereby people do not understand the truth, given their inability to thoroughly understand people’s essence and having no discernment, as well as being deluded by the superficial sacrifices and expending of those leaders and workers, they would, as a result, develop notions and judgments of God’s work, and they would even voice grievances and come to the defense of the supposed injured parties. In this way, people would have no discernment of the evil and corruption of Satan, and no understanding of what God has and is, such as His almightiness, His wisdom, His holiness and righteousness, and they would be incapable of life entry; God would therefore be unable to achieve His goal of saving man and perfecting man. God didn’t neglect to expose these false leaders and false workers because He is not omnipotent or because He didn’t know they were there. Rather, He wanted to use these people as a foil, so that people could then tell the difference between those who have the work of the Holy Spirit and those who do not, between true and false leaders and workers, and between those who preach letters and doctrines and those who possess the reality of the truth. He wanted us to see to the heart of every individual in the church who pursues the truth and has a sense of justice, and everyone who does not pursue the truth, who is muddled and lacks discernment, and those arrogant, conceited people who constantly hold notions with regard to the work of God. Once all people have understood the truth, have entered into the reality of God’s word, and been gained by God, those antichrists, false leaders and false workers will have served their purpose. At that time, God will thoroughly eliminate these people, and in this way, not only will people not misunderstand God, but they will praise His righteousness and omnipotence. As is clear, God works through these adverse and negative events to allow people to seek the truth and equip themselves with the truth, so that they can understand the truth, recognize different kinds of people and have a true understanding of the work of God.
Thank God for His enlightenment and guidance which has allowed me to understand that, behind these things which are at odds with people’s notions, there is God’s good intention and even more so His wisdom. It is all done to expose and perfect man in the most meaningful way. Just as God’s word says, “My wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s schemes,” and “God maneuvers all things so that they serve Him.” From this day on, I no longer wish to weigh situations good or bad with my own human eyes. But in all the things which I will encounter, I wish only to seek the truth, seek to know God’s wisdom and almightiness, and know God’s disposition and what He has and is, so that I may truly understand the truth and gain the truth.
God’s Words Have Awakened Me
Thanks to the enlightenment of God’s words, I have awakened from my own conceptions and imagination, realizing that I am not a person who is willing to accept God’s chastisement and judgment.
I Was Not Following Peter’s Path
At this point, I fell down before God: Oh God! Thank You for timely salvation, which made me up from my stupor, realize my real situation, and see that I was still walking the path of Paul the Pharisee. My work and the fulfilling of my duty was exactly the same as the Pharisees, which must have disgusted You.
The Holy Spirit Works in a Principled Way
There is a principle behind the Holy Spirit’s work on man. Man himself must have a yearning, seeking heart to be able to positively and actively work with God. Only then can the Holy Spirit work on man and enlighten and illuminate man’s understanding of God’s will, causing them to understand the truth in His words.
A Haughty Spirit Before a Fall
In the Bible, the Book of Proverbs says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Just as I was diving head-first into my work with very high hopes, I felt that, in my heart, I was losing touch with God. Not only did my work fail to fall into place, but also the effectiveness of our gospel work went from soaring to taking a nosedive. I fell into an extremely painful position, but wasn’t sure what I did wrong.