By Qiu Zhen, China
One day, my sister phoned me and said that she was back from the north and that she had something important to tell me. She asked me to come over right away. I had a feeling about what might have happened and went to my sister’s house after the phone call. As soon as I entered and saw that my sister was reading a book, I felt relieved. My sister saw that I had arrived, suddenly stood up and said: “Sister! This time in the north I got some good news: The Lord Jesus has returned!”
After I heard this I distractedly thought: All these years Eastern Lightning has always testified that the Lord Jesus has returned; could it be that my sister has accepted Eastern Lightning? Before I could speak, my sister said seriously: “Sister! The Lord has been incarnated and has come to our country, China.” I hurriedly said: “Don’t believe whatever people say. Can God come to China? In the Bible it says very clearly: ‘And His feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south’ (Zechariah 14:4). God has to come to Israel. He cannot come to China. What a shame that, as someone who works for the Lord, you do not even know this!”
My sister said sincerely, “Sister, I used to think the way you do, but through the words of Almighty God and the fellowship of brothers and sisters, I have realized that the Lord was really incarnated in China. The scripture you speak of is a prophecy, but prophecies cannot be commented on at will by us. They are fulfilled through the facts of God’s work so that people can see. When the Lord came to carry out work, neither Peter nor the Samaritan woman, nor the eunuch of Ethiopia held onto the scriptures prophesying the coming of the Lord. It was the facts of what the Lord Jesus said and what work He carried out that affirmed that the Messiah had come as the Lord Jesus. They all followed God’s footsteps and received the Lord’s salvation. And those Pharisees who held onto the prophetic words of the Bible all treated the Lord Jesus, the Messiah who had already come, as an ordinary person and denied, resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus, and in the end crucified the Lord Jesus. They were thus punished by God. Sister, we must handle the Lord’s coming carefully. We must have God-revering hearts. Whatever you do, do not settle easily!”
I glanced at my sister and held the Bible up and said, “Jehovah God promulgated the law in Israel and the Lord Jesus was crucified in Israel too. When China is a country ruled by an atheistic party, why would God come to such a country? We have believed in the Lord for so many years, but we cannot believe whatever people say!”
My sister said anxiously, “Sister, when the Lord Jesus did work at that time, the Pharisees resisted the Lord and said: ‘Search, and look: for out of Galilee rises no prophet’ (John 7:52). ‘Shall Christ come out of Galilee?’ (John 7:41). But in fact the Lord Jesus was raised in Nazareth in Galilee. The Bible says: ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out! For who has known the mind of the Lord? or who has been His counselor?’ (Romans 11:33–34). How can we fathom God’s wisdom? We cannot analyze God’s work based on our own minds! We look forward to the coming of the Lord every day. Now that the Lord has really returned, if we hold onto our own notions and do not seek or investigate, we will miss the opportunity to meet the Lord and will be full of remorse!”
Seeing my sister looking so serious, I thought: My sister sincerely believes in the Lord and is a thoughtful, assertive person. She is generally careful about what she does and for such a big deal as the Lord coming, she is even less likely to blindly believe what someone says. Now that she can accept Eastern Lightning, could it be the case that the Lord has really come back in China to do His work? But then another thought came: How could the Lord do work in China? It’s too unimaginable! So I said firmly: “The Bible is a thousand layer cake and each person’s way of interpreting it is different. The Bible prophesies that God will actually descend in Israel in the last days. Moreover, most Chinese people worship Buddha and the national government has always persecuted religious beliefs. God will not come to China to do work!”
My sister eagerly said, “Sister, the Lord has returned and appeared in China to do work. This is very significant. I just accepted Almighty God’s last days’ work. I still do not understand too much about this aspect of the truth, but I hear brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God testify in a very illuminating way. I will get them to fellowship with you!” I waved my hand and said, “Don’t get them. I’m leaving.” After returning home, I sat stolidly on the couch and thought back to what my sister had said. I felt wild inside and could not calm down. I had always waited for the Lord Jesus to step foot on the Mount of Olives, so how could she suddenly say that the Lord had come to China? How could this be? I ceaselessly leafed through the Bible but did not find a chapter that foretold that the Lord would come to work in China. “At the time when the Lord Jesus did His work, the Pharisees resisted the Lord, and said: ‘Search, and look: for out of Galilee rises no prophet’ (John 7:52). ‘Shall Christ come out of Galilee?’ (John 7:41). But in fact the Lord Jesus was raised in Nazareth in Galilee….” My sister’s words came to my mind from time to time, and I thought that what she said was true. I looked through the Bible for a moment and thought about my sister’s words for a moment. Thinking it over and over again, I did not know what was right, but just called to the Lord in my heart, “Lord, what should I do? Lord, where will You come down?”
A few days later my sister came to find me again. As soon as she entered the house she smiled and said, “Sister, Sister Xie and Sister Hao from The Church of Almighty God came to my home to support me. They have believed in Almighty God for a long time and understand much more than I do. If there is anything you do not understand about the Lord’s return, go and fellowship with them.” I thought about how I had believed in the Lord for many years and how I had always hoped for the coming of the Lord and how I wanted to know whether or not the Lord had come even more. I had better take advantage of this opportunity to fellowship with them. So I went with my sister to her home. As soon as I entered the room, the two sisters greeted me very warmly and spoke very approachably. They asked me to speak out if I had any questions for everyone to fellowship. So I asked, “You say that the Lord Jesus has already returned and is doing work in China? Are there any grounds in the Bible?” Sister Hao smiled and said, “Sister, the Bible actually does have prophecies about the Lord coming to do work in China in the last days.” I rashly said, “How could this be? I have been through the Bible many times, but have not discovered a single biblical record. Where is the basis in the Bible?” Sister Hao patiently said, “Sister, let’s read two verses of Scripture and you will know. In Malachi 1:11 it says: ‘For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles; … said Jehovah of hosts.’ In Matthew 24:27 it says: ‘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.’ From these two verses of Scripture, we can clearly see that the place where God shall once again descend is the East of the world and it is in the lands of the Gentiles. We all know that China is the East of the world. The first two stages of God’s work were both in Israel. For Israel China is a Gentile nation. Therefore God’s last day’s arrival in China to do work fulfills these prophecies!” After listening to the sisters’ fellowship and pondering the meaning of these two verses of Scripture, I thought that their fellowship was very illuminating. Although I had read these two verses before, I did not see the meaning of the Lord’s return being in the East, China. Listening to them explaining now, I felt that this stemmed from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.
Sister Hao went on to say, “Let’s see what Almighty God said: ‘Throughout the universe I am doing My work, and in the East, thunderous crashes issue forth endlessly, shaking all nations and denominations. It is My voice that has led all men into the present. I shall cause all men to be conquered by My voice, to fall into this stream, and submit before Me, for I have long since reclaimed My glory from all the earth and issued it forth anew in the East. Who does not long to see My glory? Who does not anxiously await My return? Who does not thirst for My reappearance? Who does not pine for My loveliness? Who would not come to the light? Who would not look upon the richness of Canaan? Who does not long for the return of the Redeemer? Who does not adore the Great Almighty? My voice shall spread throughout the earth; I wish, facing My chosen people, to speak more words to them. Like the mighty thunders that shake the mountains and rivers, I speak My words to the whole universe and to mankind. Hence the words in My mouth have become man’s treasure, and all men cherish My words. The lightning flashes from the East all the way to the West. My words are such that man is loath to give them up and at the same time finds them unfathomable, but rejoices in them all the more. Like a newborn infant, all men are glad and joyful, celebrating My coming. By means of My voice, I shall bring all men before Me. Thenceforth, I shall formally enter into the race of men so that they will come to worship Me. With the glory that I radiate and the words in My mouth, I shall make it such that all men come before Me and see that the lightning flashes from the East and that I have also descended unto the “Mount of Olives” of the East. They will see that I have already long been on earth, no longer as the Son of the Jews but as the Lightning of the East. For I have long since been resurrected, and have departed from mankind’s midst, and then reappeared with glory among men. I am He who was worshiped countless ages before now, and I am also the infant forsaken by the Israelites countless ages before now. Moreover, I am the all-glorious Almighty God of the present age! Let all come before My throne and see My glorious countenance, hear My voice, and look upon My deeds. This is the entirety of My will; it is the end and the climax of My plan, as well as the purpose of My management. Let every nation worship Me, every tongue acknowledge Me, every man repose his faith in Me, and every people be subject unto Me!’ (‘The Seven Thunders Peal—Prophesying That the Gospel of the Kingdom Shall Spread Throughout the Universe’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). We all know that God brought the gospel of the kingdom the first time He was incarnated. This gospel was passed from the West to the East. But people didn’t expect that God would return to flesh in the East of the world—China, bringing the eternal gospel and doing the work of judging, purifying and saving people. This time God’s work is spread from the East to the West …”
When I heard this, I interrupted the sister and asked in a puzzled manner, “Sister, the Bible records that Jehovah God did work in Israel, the Lord Jesus’ work was in Judea and God’s two stages of work were both in Israel, so the Lord’s return should also be in Israel. How can you say it is in China?” Sister Hao smiled and said, “We think that God’s first two stages of work were both in Israel, so the Lord will definitely do His work in Israel when He returns. Is such thinking true to the facts? Could it be that God is just God of the Israelites? Could it be that God just controls and saves Israelites? Let’s see what Almighty God says.”
Sister Xie opened the book of God’s words and read the words: “When the Savior arrives during the last days, if He were still called Jesus, and were once again born in Judea, and did His work in Judea, then this would prove that I only created the people of Israel and only redeemed the people of Israel, and that I have nothing to do with the Gentiles. Would this not contradict My words that ‘I am the Lord who created the heavens and earth and all things’? I left Judea and do My work among the Gentiles because I am not merely the God of the people of Israel, but the God of all creatures. I appear among the Gentiles during the last days because I am not only Jehovah, the God of the people of Israel, but, moreover, because I am the Creator of all My chosen ones among the Gentiles. I not only created Israel, Egypt, and Lebanon, but also created all the Gentile nations beyond Israel” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “I will make all people know that I am not only the God of the Israelites, but also the God of all the nations of the Gentiles, even those that I have cursed. I will let all people see that I am the God of all creation. This is My greatest work, the purpose of My work plan for the last days, and the only work to be fulfilled in the last days” (“The Work of Spreading the Gospel Is Also the Work of Saving Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “He led the Israelites and was born in Judea, and He is also born in a Gentile land. Is not all His work for the whole of the mankind that He created? Does He love Israelites a hundred fold and loathe Gentiles a thousand fold? Is that not your notion? … If you still maintain that God is the God of Israelites only, and still maintain that the house of David in Israel is the origin of God’s birth and that no nation other than Israel is qualified to ‘produce’ God, and even less is any Gentile family able to personally receive Jehovah’s work—if you still think this way, then does that not make you an obstinate holdout? … You also have never thought about how God could personally descend in a Gentile land. He ought to descend on Mount Sinai or the Mount of Olives and appear to Israelites. Are not Gentiles (that is, people outside of Israel) all objects of His loathing? How could He personally work among them? All these are the deep-rooted notions that you have developed over many years. The purpose of conquering you today is to smash these notions of yours. You thereby have seen God personally appearing among you—not on Mount Sinai or on the Mount of Olives, but among people whom He has never led in the past” (“The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “If His current work were carried out among the Israelites, by the time His six-thousand-year management plan comes to a close, everyone would believe that God is only the God of the Israelites, that only the Israelites are God’s chosen people, that only the Israelites deserve to inherit God’s blessing and promise. During the last days, God is incarnate in the Gentile nation of the great red dragon; He has accomplished the work of God as the God of all creation; He has completed the whole of His management work…. Therefore, every stage of this work is very meaningful; God absolutely will not do something without meaning or value” (“God Is the Lord of All Creation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Then Sister Hao said in fellowship: “In the past we determined in our hearts that God was God of the Israelites because God’s first two stages of work were both done in Israel. Israel was the birthplace of God’s work and also the base area for God’s work, so we thought that God’s work can only be in Israel, that the gospel can only come out of Israel and that only the Israelites are truly God’s chosen people. If God is still working in Israel in the last days, then we will even more think that God can only do work in Israel, that God can only bless the Israelites and that His blessing has nothing to do with Gentiles. In the last days, God has chosen to carry out His work of judging and purifying people in a Gentile country. It is also the land where the great red dragon lies—China. This turns everyone’s conception around and lets people actually see that God is not only God of the Israelites, but also God of all the nations of the Gentiles, God of all created beings. God not only blesses the Israelites but also blesses Gentiles. This accomplishes the work of ‘God is the Lord of all creation.’ It is clear that God choosing to do work in the last days in China is of great significance. God is truly so omnipotent and so wise.”
Listening to the sister’s fellowship, I felt immersed in contemplation: Yes, God is the Lord of all creation. Isn’t the whole of mankind created by God? God not only saves the Israelites, but also saves the Chinese people. Is God coming to work in China today not His love for Gentiles? It seems that I really do not understand God’s will! Thinking of this, I felt somewhat ashamed and moderated my tone and said: “Sister, I understand what you say. If God comes again to do work in Israel, we will establish a rule about God and think that God is just God of the Israelites. God’s work today is to break people’s notions and to make people understand that God is the Lord of all created beings. God can do work in Israel and also in China and so accordingly we do not establish rules about God’s work. It seems that establishing rules about God’s work based on notions and imagination is really too foolish and ignorant! However, there is still one thing I do not understand. There are so many countries in the world, such as many countries of Europe and America, where Christianity and Catholicism are the national religions. Would it not be easier for God to come and do His work of judging and purifying people in those countries? China is an atheistic country, full of idolaters. The national government frenziedly persecutes those who believe in God, so why would God work in China?”
Sister Xie smiled and said, “Sister, your question is so essential! Why does God choose to do judgment and purification work in a country that regards God as an enemy? If only we understand the purpose and significance of God doing work in Israel and in China, we will understand this aspect of the truth. Let’s take a look at what the word of God says. Almighty God says: ‘The Old Testament records Jehovah’s words to the Israelites and His work in Israel; the New Testament records Jesus’ work in Judea. But why does the Bible not contain any Chinese names? Because the first two parts of God’s work were carried out in Israel, because the people of Israel were the chosen ones—which is to say that they were the first to accept the work of Jehovah. They were the least corrupt of all mankind, and in the beginning, they were of a mind to look up to God and revere Him. They obeyed the words of Jehovah, and always served in the temple, and wore priestly robes or crowns. They were the earliest people to worship God, and the earliest object of His work. These people were a specimen and model for the whole of mankind. They were specimens and models of holiness and righteousness. People such as Job, Abraham, Lot, or Peter and Timothy—they were all Israelites, and the most holy of specimens and models. Israel was the earliest country to worship God among mankind, and more righteous people came from here than anywhere else. God worked in them in order that He could better manage mankind throughout the land in the future. Their achievements and the righteousness of their worship of Jehovah were recorded, so that they could serve as specimens and models to the people beyond Israel during the Age of Grace; and their actions have upheld several thousand years of work, right up until today.’ ‘The work of Jehovah was the creation of the world, it was the beginning; this stage of work is the end of work, and it is the conclusion. At the start, God’s work was carried out among the chosen ones of Israel, and it was the dawn of a new epoch in the most holy of all places. The last stage of work is carried out in the most impure of all countries, to judge the world and bring the age to an end. In the first stage, God’s work was done in the brightest of all places, and the last stage is carried out in the darkest of all places, and this darkness will be driven out, the light brought forth, and all the people conquered. When the people of this most impure and darkest of all places have been conquered, and the entire population has acknowledged that there is a God, who is the true God, and every person has been utterly convinced, then this fact will be used to carry out the work of conquest throughout the entire universe. This stage of work is symbolic: Once the work of this age has been finished, the work of 6,000 years of management will come to a complete end. Once those in the darkest of all places have been conquered, it goes without saying that it will also be so everywhere else. As such, only the work of conquest in China carries meaningful symbolism. China embodies all forces of darkness, and the people of China represent all those who are of the flesh, of Satan, and of flesh and blood. It is the Chinese people who have been most corrupted by the great red dragon, who have the strongest opposition to God, whose humanity is most base and impure, and so they are the archetype of all corrupt humanity. This is not to say that other countries have no problems at all; the conceptions of man are all the same, and although the people of these countries may be of good caliber, if they do not know God, then it must be that they oppose Him. Why did the Jews also oppose and defy God? Why did the Pharisees also oppose Him? Why did Judas betray Jesus? At the time, many of the disciples did not know Jesus. Why, after Jesus was crucified and rose again, did people still not believe in Him? Is man’s disobedience not all the same? It’s merely that the people of China are made an example of, and when they are conquered they will become a model and specimen, and will serve as reference for others. Why have I always said that you are an adjunct to My management plan? It is in the people of China that corruption, impurity, unrighteousness, opposition, and rebelliousness are manifested most completely and revealed in all their varied forms. On the one hand, they are of poor caliber, and on the other, their lives and mindset are backward, and their habits, social environment, family of birth—all are poor and the most backward. Their status, too, is low. The work in this place is symbolic, and after this test work has been carried out in its entirety, His subsequent work will go much better. If this step of work can be completed, then the subsequent work goes without saying. Once this step of work has been accomplished, great success will have been fully achieved, and the work of conquest throughout the entire universe will have come to a complete end. In fact, once the work among you has been successful, this will be equivalent to the success throughout the entire universe. This is the significance of why I have you act as a model and specimen. Rebelliousness, opposition, impurity, unrighteousness—all are found in these people, and in them is represented all the rebelliousness of mankind. They are really something. Thus, they are held up as the epitome of conquest, and once they have been conquered they will naturally become a specimen and model for others’” (“The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading God’s words, Sister Xie continued on with her fellowship: “The word of Almighty God clearly tells us that what kind of workplace and target for His work He chooses for every stage of His work are all based on the needs of His work and that they are all considerably meaningful. For example, the first two stages of God’s work were in Israel because the Israelites were God’s chosen people. They were the least corrupt of all mankind and they had God-fearing hearts. Doing work amongst them, it was easiest for God to create a group of models and specimens to worship God. Thus God’s work could spread faster and more easily, so that the entire human race would know God’s existence and God’s work, so that more people could come before God and receive God’s salvation. Therefore, it makes the most sense for God to do the first two stages of work in Israel. In the last days, God does the work of conquering and purifying people. He also needs representative people to first accept God’s conquest and purification. Amongst the whole of mankind, the people of China are the most corrupt and backward and China is the nation which least believes in God and the place of worst resistance of God. So in the last days, God first doing His judgment and conquering work in China, doing work chastising and judging those who are the most corrupt and conquering and purifying us who are the most corrupt will best set off God’s omnipotence, holiness and righteousness and shame Satan. When those who are the most corrupted are conquered by God, it goes without saying for the remaining mankind to be conquered and that Satan will also be completely defeated. From the place and target chosen by God for every stage of His work and the final results achieved, we can even better see that God’s work is so wise and wonderful!”
After listening to the words of Almighty God and the sisters’ fellowship I understood: God previously did work in Israel because He wanted to create a group of models and specimens amongst the least corrupted people and through their testimony and proclamation of God’s gospel, even more people would receive God’s salvation. The work that God does in the last days is conquering and cleansing work and He chooses the most corrupt, most defiled Chinese people as the target of God’s work, making these people models and specimens who are conquered and saved. This is even more revealing of God’s wisdom and almightiness. I did not understand God’s intentions and read the Bible saying that God will come down again on Israel’s Mount of Olives, so accepted the literal meaning and thought that God would definitely do work in Israel. Who would think that God came to China long ago! It seems that God’s work is not as simple as people imagine!
At this time, Sister Xie went on to say: “No matter which country God does work in it is all for His work, and to better save mankind and it is all very meaningful. If we want to seek God’s appearance today, we must first put aside our imaginations and notions. We must not determine God’s footsteps as being limited, thinking that God should come to this or that country. God is the God of all of mankind. He can freely choose the place of work according to the needs of His work. Almighty God says: ‘God is the God of the entire human race. He does not consider Himself the private property of any nation or people, but goes about doing the work as He has planned it, unconstrained by any form, nation, or people. Perhaps you have never imagined this form, or perhaps your attitude to this form is one of denial, or perhaps the nation where God reveals Himself and the people among whom He reveals Himself just happen to be discriminated against by everyone and just happen to be the most backward on earth. Yet God has His wisdom. With His great power, and by means of His truth and His disposition, He has truly gained a group of people who are of one mind with Him, and a group of people that He wished to make complete—a group, conquered by Him, who, having endured all manner of trials and tribulations and all manner of persecution, can follow Him to the very end’” (“The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After hearing Almighty God’s words, I cried in excitement and said to the sisters, “These words carry God’s power and authority and come from God. Now I finally understand: God is not only God of the Israelites, but also God of Chinese people and even more so God of the whole of mankind. God has really returned! These days I had not been able to eat or sleep well because I was afraid of taking the wrong path! Thanks to fellowshiping with you today, the stone in my heart has fallen to the ground. It truly is thanks to God for not giving up on me!” Afterward, the two sisters gave me a copy of The Word Appears in the Flesh. I happily returned home holding the book in both hands. Through reading Almighty God’s words, I became convinced that Almighty God was the returned Lord Jesus. Our Lord Jesus has really returned!