This Is How I Welcomed the Lord

Xiyue, Japan

welcomed-the-Lord-4
(Source: Megapixl)

When I was six years old my mother believed in the Lord Jesus, and she would often bring me to church gatherings. I slowly became aware of the fact that man was created by God, that if we are in trouble we should pray to God and rely on God, and that we should thank God for everything. My mother told me: “God loves people, so long as we pray to God and entrust Him with what’s on our mind and truly rely on Him, then He will solve our problems and bestow us with bountiful grace. As long as we truly believe in the Lord then He will come in the future to receive us into the kingdom of heaven!” Listening to mother’s words, my heart felt at peace and free from anxiety, I felt like I had something to rely on, and I firmly believed that one day the Lord Jesus would return to bring us into the kingdom of heaven. I looked forward to and dreamed of the arrival of this day.
Continue reading “This Is How I Welcomed the Lord”

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Why is it said that God’s two incarnations complete the significance of the incarnation?

           

        Bible Verses for Reference:

“So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation” (Heb 9:28).

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (Jhn 1:1).

Relevant Words of God:

The first incarnation was to redeem man from sin through the flesh of Jesus, that is, He saved man from the cross, but the corrupt satanic disposition still remained within man. The second incarnation is no longer to serve as a sin offering but to fully save those who were redeemed from sin. This is done so that those forgiven can be delivered from their sins and be fully made clean, and attain a change in disposition, thereby breaking free of Satan’s influence of darkness and returning before the throne of God. Only in this way can man be fully sanctified. God began the work of salvation in the Age of Grace after the Age of Law had come to an end. It is not until the last days, when God has fully purified mankind by doing the work of judgment and chastisement of man for rebelliousness, will God conclude His work of salvation and enter into rest. Therefore, in the three stages of work, only twice did God become flesh to carry out His work among man Himself. That is because only one in the three stages of work is to lead man in their lives, while the other two are the work of salvation. Only if God becomes flesh can He live alongside man, experience the suffering of the world, and live in an ordinary flesh. Only in this way can He supply man of His creation with the practical word that they need. Man receives full salvation from God because of God incarnate, not directly from their prayers to heaven. For man is fleshly; man is unable to see the Spirit of God and much less able to approach Him. All that man can associate with is God’s incarnate flesh; only through Him can man understand all the words and all the truths, and receive full salvation. The second incarnation is sufficient to get rid of the sins of man and fully purify man. Hence, the second incarnation will bring to a close all the work of God in the flesh and complete the significance of God’s incarnation.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

When Jesus was doing His work, man’s knowledge of Him was still vague and unclear. Man always believed that He was the son of David and proclaimed Him to be a great prophet and the benevolent Lord who redeemed man’s sins. Some, based on faith, became healed just by touching the edge of His garment; the blind could see and even the dead could be restored to life. However, man could not discover the corrupt satanic disposition deeply rooted within him and neither did man know how to cast it away. Man received much grace, such as the peace and happiness of the flesh, the blessing of the entire family upon the faith of one, and the healing of sicknesses, and so on. The rest were the good deeds of man and their godly appearance; if man could live based on such, he was considered a good believer. Only such believers could enter heaven after death, which means that they were saved. But, in their lifetime, they did not understand at all the way of life. They merely committed sins, then made confession in a constant cycle without any path toward a changed disposition; such was the condition of man in the Age of Grace. Has man received complete salvation? No! Therefore, after that stage was complete, there is still the work of judgment and chastisement. This stage makes man pure through the word so as to give man a path to follow. This stage would not be fruitful or meaningful if it continued with the casting out of demons, for the sinful nature of man would not be cast away and man would only stop upon the forgiveness of sins. Through the sin offering, man has been forgiven his sins, for the work of the crucifixion has already come to an end and God has prevailed over Satan. But the corrupt disposition of man still remains within them and man can still sin and resist God; God has not gained mankind. That is why in this stage of work God uses the word to reveal the corrupt disposition of man and asks man to practice in accordance with the right path. This stage is more meaningful than the previous one and more fruitful as well, for now it is the word that directly supplies man’s life and enables the disposition of man to be completely renewed; it is a stage of work more thorough. Therefore, the incarnation in the last days has completed the significance of God’s incarnation and completely finished God’s management plan for the salvation of man.

from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The first incarnate God did not complete the work of incarnation; He only completed the first step of the work that it was necessary for God to do in the flesh. So, in order to finish the work of incarnation, God has returned into the flesh once again, living out all the normality and reality of the flesh, that is, making God’s Word manifest in an entirely normal and ordinary flesh, thereby concluding the work that He left undone in the flesh. The second incarnate flesh is in essence similar to the first, but is even more real, even more normal than the first. As a consequence, the suffering the second incarnate flesh endures is greater than that of the first, but this suffering is a result of His ministry in the flesh, which is different from the suffering of corrupted man. It also stems from the normality and reality of His flesh. Because He performs His ministry in utterly normal and real flesh, the flesh must endure a great deal of hardship. The more normal and real this flesh is, the more He will suffer in the performance of His ministry. God works in a very common flesh, one that is not supernatural at all. Because His flesh is normal and must also shoulder the work of saving man, He suffers in even greater measure than a supernatural flesh would—all this suffering stems from the reality and normality of His flesh. From the suffering that the two incarnate fleshes have undergone while performing Their ministries, one can see the essence of the incarnate flesh. The more normal the flesh, the greater hardship He must endure while undertaking the work; the more real the flesh is that undertakes the work, the harsher are the notions that people get, and the more dangers are likely to befall Him. And yet, the more real the flesh is, and the more the flesh possesses the needs and complete sense of a normal human being, the more capable He is of taking on God’s work in the flesh. It was Jesus’ flesh that was nailed to the cross, His flesh that He gave up as a sin offering; it was by means of a flesh with normal humanity that He defeated Satan and completely saved man from the cross. And it is as a complete flesh that the second incarnate God performs the conquering work and defeats Satan. Only a flesh that is completely normal and real can perform the conquering work in its entirety and make a forceful testimony. That is to say, the work of[a] conquering man is made effective through the reality and normality of God in the flesh, not through supernatural miracles and revelations. The ministry of this incarnate God is to speak, and thereby to conquer and perfect man; in other words, the work of the Spirit realized in the flesh, the flesh’s duty, is to speak and thereby conquer, reveal, perfect, and eliminate man completely. And so, it is in the conquering work that God’s work in the flesh will be accomplished in full. The initial redemptive work was only the beginning of the work of incarnation; the flesh who does the conquering work will complete the entire work of incarnation. In gender, one is male and the other female; in this the meaning of God’s incarnation has been completed. It dispels man’s misconceptions of God: God can become both male and female, and the incarnate God is in essence genderless. God made both man and woman, and He does not differentiate between the genders. In this stage of the work God does not perform signs and wonders, so that the work will achieve its results by means of words. Moreover, this time the work of God incarnate is not to heal the sick and cast out demons, but to conquer man by speaking, which is to say that the native ability possessed by this incarnate flesh of God is to speak words and to conquer man, not to heal the sick and cast out demons. His work in normal humanity is not to perform miracles, not to heal the sick and cast out demons, but to speak, and so the second incarnate flesh seems to people much more normal than the first. People see that God’s incarnation is no lie; but this incarnate God is different from Jesus incarnate, and though They are both God incarnate, They are not completely the same. Jesus possessed normal humanity, ordinary humanity, but He was accompanied by many signs and wonders. In this incarnate God, human eyes will see no signs or wonders, neither healing the sick nor driving out demons, nor walking on the sea, nor fasting for forty days…. He does not do the same work that Jesus did, not because His flesh is in essence any different from Jesus’, but because it is not His ministry to heal the sick and cast out demons. He does not tear down His own work, does not disturb His own work. Since He conquers man through His real words, there is no need to subdue him with miracles, and so this stage is to complete the work of incarnation. The incarnate God you see today is completely a flesh, and there is nothing supernatural about Him. He gets sick as others do, needs food and clothing just as others do, being completely a flesh. If this time around, God incarnate performed supernatural signs and wonders, if He healed the sick, cast out demons, or could kill with one word, how could the conquering work be carried out? How could the work be spread among the Gentile nations? Healing the sick and casting out demons was the work of the Age of Grace, the first step in the redemptive work, and now that God has saved man from the cross, He no longer performs that work. If in the last days a “God” the same as Jesus appeared, one who healed the sick, cast out demons, and was crucified for man, that “God,” though identical to the description of God in the Bible and easy for man to accept, would not, in its essence, be the flesh worn by the Spirit of God, but by an evil spirit. For it is the principle of God’s work never to repeat what He has already completed. And so the work of God’s second incarnation is different from the work of the first. In the last days, God realizes the conquering work in an ordinary, normal flesh; He does not heal the sick, will not be crucified for man, but simply speaks words in the flesh, conquers man in the flesh. Only such flesh is God’s incarnate flesh; only such flesh can complete God’s work in the flesh.

from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Why do I say that the meaning of incarnation was not completed in Jesus’ work? Because the Word did not entirely become flesh. What Jesus did was only one part of God’s work in the flesh; He only did the redemptive work and did not do the work of completely gaining man. For this reason God has become flesh once again in the last days. This stage of the work is also done in an ordinary flesh, done by an utterly normal human being, one whose humanity is not in the least bit transcendent. In other words, God has become a complete human being, and it is a person whose identity is that of God, a complete human being, a complete flesh, who is performing the work. To the human eye, He is just a flesh who is not transcendent at all, a very ordinary person who can speak the language of heaven, who shows no miraculous signs, works no miracles, much less exposes the inside truth about religion in great meeting halls. The work of the second incarnate flesh seems to people utterly unlike that of the first, so much so that the two seem to have nothing in common, and nothing of the first’s work can be seen this time. Though the work of the second incarnate flesh is different from that of the first, that does not prove that Their source is not one and the same. Whether Their source is the same depends on the nature of the work done by the fleshes and not on Their outer shells. During the three stages of His work, God has been incarnated twice, and both times the work of God incarnate inaugurates a new age, ushers in a new work; the incarnations complement each other. It is impossible for human eyes to tell that the two fleshes actually come from the same source. Needless to say, it is beyond the capacity of the human eye or of the human mind. But in Their essence They are the same, for Their work originates from the same Spirit. Whether the two incarnate fleshes arise from the same source cannot be judged by the era and the place in which They were born, or other such factors, but by the divine work expressed by Them. The second incarnate flesh does not perform any of the work that Jesus did, for God’s work does not adhere to convention, but each time it opens up a new path. The second incarnate flesh does not aim to deepen or solidify the impression of the first flesh in people’s minds, but to complement it and to perfect it, to deepen man’s knowledge of God, to break all the rules that exist in people’s hearts, and to wipe out the fallacious images of God in their hearts. It can be said that no individual stage of God’s own work can give man a complete knowledge of Him; each gives only a part, not the whole. Though God has expressed His disposition in full, because of man’s limited faculties of understanding, his knowledge of God still remains incomplete. It is impossible, using human language, to convey the entirety of God’s disposition; how much less can a single stage of His work fully express God? He works in the flesh under the cover of His normal humanity, and one can only know Him by the expressions of His divinity, not by His bodily shell. God comes into the flesh to allow man to know Him by means of His various work, and no two stages of His work are alike. Only in this way can man have a full knowledge of God’s work in the flesh, not confined to one single facet.

from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Jesus did a stage of work which only fulfilled the substance of “the Word was with God”: The truth of God was with God, and the Spirit of God was with the flesh and was inseparable from Him, that is, the flesh of God incarnate was with the Spirit of God, which is greater proof that Jesus incarnate was the first incarnation of God. This stage of work fulfilled the inner meaning of “the Word becomes flesh,” lent deeper meaning to “the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” and allows you to firmly believe the words that “In the beginning was the Word.” Which is to say, at the time of creation God was possessed of words, His words were with Him and inseparable from Him, and the final age makes even clearer the power and authority of His words, and allows man to see all of His words—to hear all of His words. Such is the work of the final age. … Because this is the work of the second incarnation—and the last time that God becomes flesh—it fully completes the significance of the incarnation, thoroughly carries out and issues forth all of God’s work in the flesh, and brings to an end the era of God’s being in the flesh.

from “Practice (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

In the Age of Grace, God did not do the work of the word, but simply described the crucifixion in order to redeem all mankind. The Bible only describes why Jesus was to be crucified, and the sufferings He was subjected to on the cross, and how man should be crucified for God. During that age, all the work done by God was centered around the crucifixion. During the Age of Kingdom, God incarnate speaks words to conquer all those who believe in Him. This is “the Word appearing in the flesh”; God has come during the last days to do this work, which is to say, He has come to accomplish the actual significance of the Word appearing in the flesh. He only speaks words, and rarely is there the advent of facts. This is the very substance of the Word appearing in the flesh, and when God incarnate speaks His words, this is the appearance of the Word in the flesh, and is the Word coming into the flesh. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word became flesh.” This (the work of the appearance of the Word in the flesh) is the work that God will accomplish in the last days, and is the final chapter of His entire management plan, and so God has to come to earth and manifest His words in the flesh. That which is done today, that which will be done in the future, that which will be accomplished by God, man’s final destination, those who will be saved, those who will be destroyed, and so on—this work that should be achieved in the end has all been clearly stated, and is all in order to accomplish the actual significance of the Word appearing in the flesh. The administrative decrees and constitution that were previously issued forth, those who will be destroyed, those who will enter into rest—these words must all be fulfilled. This is the work principally accomplished by God incarnate during the last days. He makes people understand where those predestined by God belong and where those not predestined by God belong, how His people and sons will be classified, what will happen to Israel, what will happen to Egypt—in the future, every one of these words will be accomplished. The steps of God’s work are accelerating. God uses the word as the means to reveal to man what is to be done in every age, what is to be done by God incarnate of the last days, and His ministry that is to be performed, and these words are all in order to accomplish the actual significance of the Word appearing in the flesh.

from “All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

God has come to earth primarily to accomplish the fact of “the Word become flesh,” which is to say, He has come so that His words may be issued from the flesh (not like the time of Moses in the Old Testament, when God spoke directly from the sky). After that, each of His words will be fulfilled during the Age of Millennial Kingdom, they will become facts visible before people’s eyes, and people will behold them using their own eyes without the slightest disparity. This is the supreme meaning of God’s incarnation. Which is to say, the work of the Spirit is accomplished through the flesh, and through words. This is the true meaning of “the Word become flesh” and “the Word’s appearance in the flesh.” Only God can speak the will of the Spirit, and only God in the flesh can speak on behalf of the Spirit; the words of God are made plain in God incarnate, and everyone else is guided by them. No one is exempt, they all exist within this scope. Only from these utterances can people come to know; those who do not gain in this way are daydreaming if they think they can gain the utterances from heaven. Such is the authority demonstrated in God’s incarnate flesh: making all believe. Even the most venerable experts and religious pastors cannot speak these words. They must all submit beneath them, and none will be able to make another start. God will use words to conquer the universe. He will do this not by His incarnate flesh, but through using the utterances from the mouth of God become flesh to conquer all people in the entire universe; only this is the Word become flesh, and only this is the appearance of the Word in the flesh. Perhaps, to people, it appears as if God hasn’t done much work—but God has but to utter His words for people to be thoroughly convinced, and for them to be overawed. Without facts, people shout and scream; with the words of God, they fall silent. God will surely accomplish this fact, for this is God’s long-established plan: accomplishing the fact of the Word’s arrival on earth.

from “The Millennial Kingdom Has Arrived” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

God is not only the Holy Spirit, that Spirit, the sevenfold intensified Spirit, the all-encompassing Spirit, but also a person, an ordinary person, an exceptionally common person. He is not only male, but also female. They are similar in that They are both born to humans, and dissimilar in that one is conceived by the Holy Spirit and the other is born to a human but derived directly from the Spirit. They are similar in that both incarnate fleshes of God carry out God the Father’s work, and dissimilar in that one does the work of redemption and the other does the work of conquering. Both represent God the Father, but one is the Lord of redemption filled with lovingkindness and mercy, and the other is the God of righteousness filled with wrath and judgment. One is the Supreme Commander to launch the redemption work, and the other is the righteous God to accomplish the work of conquering. One is the Beginning, the other the End. One is sinless flesh, the other is flesh that completes the redemption, continues the work, and is never of sin. Both are the same Spirit, but They dwell in different fleshes and are born in different places. And They are separated by several thousand years. Yet all Their work is mutually complementary, never conflictual, and can be spoken of in the same breath. Both are people, but one is a baby boy and the other is an infant girl.

from “When It Comes to God, What Is Your Understanding” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Whether in this stage God incarnate is enduring hardship or performing His ministry, He does so to complete the meaning of incarnation, for this is God’s last incarnation. God can only be incarnated twice. There cannot be a third time. The first incarnation was male, the second female, and so the image of God’s flesh is completed in man’s mind; moreover, the two incarnations have already finished God’s work in the flesh. The first time God incarnate possessed normal humanity, in order to complete the meaning of incarnation. This time He also possesses normal humanity, but the meaning of this incarnation is different: It is deeper, and His work is of more profound significance. The reason God has become flesh again is to complete the meaning of incarnation. When God has completely ended this stage of His work, the entire meaning of incarnation, that is, God’s work in the flesh, will be complete, and there will be no more work to be done in the flesh. That is, from now on God will never again come into the flesh to do His work.

from “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

(Selected Passage of God’s Word)

The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation

Each stage of work done by God has its own practical significance. Back then, when Jesus came, He was male, but this time He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for the sake of His work, and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit comes, He can take on any kind of flesh at will and that flesh can represent Him. Whether male or female, it can represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus had appeared as a female when He came, in other words, if an infant girl, and not a boy, had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If such had been the case, then the present stage of work would have to be completed by a male instead, but the work would be completed all the same. The work done in either stage is equally significant; neither stage of work is repeated nor conflicts with the other. At the time, Jesus in doing His work was called the only Son, and “Son” implies the male gender. Then why is the only Son not mentioned in this stage? This is because the requirements of the work have necessitated a change in gender different from that of Jesus. With God there is no distinction of gender. He does His work as He wishes and in doing His work He is not subject to any restrictions, but is especially free. However, every stage of work has its own practical significance. God became flesh twice, and it goes without saying that His incarnation in the last days is the last time. He has come to reveal all His deeds. If in this stage He did not become flesh in order personally to do work for man to witness, man would forever hold on to the notion that God is only male, not female. Before this, all humanity believed that God could only be male and that a female could not be called God, for all humanity regarded man as having authority over woman. They believed that no woman could take on authority, but only man. What is more, they even said that man was the head of woman and that woman must obey man and could not surpass him. In the past, when it was said that man was woman’s head, this was directed at Adam and Eve who had been beguiled by the serpent, and not at man and woman as they had been created by Jehovah in the beginning. Of course, a woman must obey and love her husband, just as a husband must learn to feed and support his family. These are the laws and decrees set forth by Jehovah that mankind must abide by in their lives on earth. Jehovah said to woman, “Your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” He spoke thus only so that mankind (that is, both man and woman) might live normal lives under the dominion of Jehovah, and only so that the lives of mankind might have a structure and not fall out of their proper order. Therefore, Jehovah made appropriate rules for how man and woman should act, but this was only with regard to all the created beings living on the earth and bore no relation to God’s incarnate flesh. How could God be the same as His creation? His words were directed only toward the mankind of His creation; it was in order for mankind to live normal lives that He established rules for man and woman. In the beginning, when Jehovah created mankind, He made two kinds of human being, both male and female; and so His incarnate flesh was also differentiated into either male or female. He did not decide upon His work on the basis of the words He spoke to Adam and Eve. The two times He became flesh were determined entirely according to His thinking at the time He first created mankind, that is, He completed the work of His two incarnations based on the male and the female before they had been corrupted. If humanity took the words spoken by Jehovah to Adam and Eve who had been beguiled by the serpent and applied them to the work of God’s incarnation, would not Jesus also have to love His wife as He ought? This way, would God still be God? And this being so, would He still be able to complete His work? If it be wrong for God’s incarnate flesh to be female, then would it not also have been an error of the greatest magnitude for God to have created woman? If man still believes that it would be wrong for God to be incarnated as female, then would not Jesus, who did not get married and was therefore unable to love His wife, be as much in error as the present incarnation? Since you use the words spoken to Eve by Jehovah to measure the truth of God’s incarnation of the present day, then you must use Jehovah’s words to Adam to judge the Lord Jesus who became flesh in the Age of Grace. Are these two not the same? Since you take the measure of the Lord Jesus according to the male who had not been beguiled by the serpent, then you may not judge the truth of today’s incarnation according to the female who had been beguiled by the serpent. This would be unfair! If you made such a judgment, it would prove that you have taken leave of your senses. When Jehovah twice became flesh, the gender of His flesh was related to the male and the female who had not been beguiled by the serpent; it was in accordance with the male and the female who had not been beguiled by the serpent that He twice became flesh. Do not think that the maleness of Jesus was the same as that of Adam who was beguiled by the serpent. He and he are completely unrelated, and the two are males of different natures. Surely it cannot be that the maleness of Jesus proves He is only the head of all women but not of all men? Is He not the King of all the Jews (including both men and women)? He is God Himself, not just the head of woman but the head of man as well. He is the Lord of all creatures and the head of all creatures. How could you determine the maleness of Jesus to be the symbol of the head of woman? Would this not be blasphemy? Jesus is a male who has not been corrupted. He is God; He is Christ; He is the Lord. How could He be a male like Adam who was corrupted? Jesus is the flesh worn by the most holy Spirit of God. How could you say He is a God who possesses the maleness of Adam? In that case, would not all of God’s work have been wrong? Would Jehovah have been able to incorporate within Jesus the maleness of Adam who was beguiled? Is not the incarnation of the present time another instance of the work of God incarnate who is different in gender from Jesus but like Him in nature? Do you still dare say that God incarnate could not be female, because woman was the first to be beguiled by the serpent? Do you still dare say that, as woman is the most unclean and the source of the corruption of mankind, God could not possibly become flesh as a female? Do you dare to persist in saying that “woman shall always obey man and may never manifest or directly represent God”? You did not understand in the past, but can you now go on blaspheming the work of God, especially the incarnate flesh of God? If you are unable to see this with complete clarity, best mind your tongue, lest your foolishness and ignorance be revealed and your ugliness exposed. Do not think that you understand everything. I tell you that all you have seen and experienced is insufficient for you to understand even the thousandth part of My management plan. So why then do you act so haughty? The mere bit of talent and the minimal knowledge you have are insufficient for Jesus to use in even one second of His work! How much experience do you actually have? What you have seen and all that you have heard in your lifetime and what you have imagined are less than the work I do in a moment! You had best not nitpick and find fault. No matter how arrogant you may be, you are just a creature that’s less than an ant! All that you hold within your belly is less than what an ant carries within his! Do not think, just because you have gained some experience and seniority, that this entitles you to gesticulating wildly and talking big. Are not your experience and your seniority the product of the words I have uttered? Do you believe that you purchased them through your own labor and toil? Today, you see that I have become flesh, and on this account alone you are filled with such rich concepts, and have gleaned countless notions from them. If not for My incarnation, even if you were possessed of extraordinary talents, you would not have so many concepts; and isn’t it from these that your notions come? If Jesus had not become flesh that first time, would you even know of the incarnation? Is it not because the first incarnation gave you knowledge that you have the impudence to try to judge the second incarnation? Why, instead of being an obedient follower, are you subjecting it to study? When you have entered into this stream and come before the incarnate God, would He allow you to make a study of this? It is fine for you to study your own family history, but if you try to study the “family history” of God, would the God of today allow you to conduct such a study? Are you not blind? Do you not bring contempt upon yourself?

If only the work of Jesus had been done without being complemented by work in this stage of the last days, then man would forever hold onto the notion that Jesus alone is the only Son of God, that is, that God has only one son, and that anyone who comes thereafter by another name would not be the only Son of God, much less God Himself. Man has the notion that anyone who serves as a sin offering or who assumes power in God’s behalf and redeems all mankind, is the only Son of God. There are some who believe that as long as the One who comes is a male, He may be deemed the only Son of God and God’s representative, and there are even those who say that Jesus is the Son of Jehovah, His only Son. Is this not a seriously overblown notion of man? If this stage of work were not done in the final age, then the whole of mankind would be veiled under a dark shadow when it comes to God. If this were the case, man would think himself higher than woman, and women would never be able to hold their heads up, and then not even a single woman would be able to be saved. People always believe that God is male, and moreover that He has always despised woman and would not grant her salvation. If this were the case, would it not true that all women, who were created by Jehovah and who have also been corrupted, would never have the opportunity to be saved? Then would it not have been pointless for Jehovah to have created woman, that is, to have created Eve? And would not woman perish for eternity? For this reason, the stage of work in the last days is to be undertaken in order to save the whole of mankind, not just woman, but all of mankind. This work that is done for the sake of all mankind is not done just for the sake of woman. If any think otherwise, then the more fools they are!

The work being done at present has pushed forward the work of the Age of Grace; that is, the work under the entire six-thousand-year management plan has moved forward. Though the Age of Grace has ended, God’s work has made progress. Why do I say time and again that this stage of work builds upon the Age of Grace and the Age of Law? This means that the work of this day is a continuation of the work done in the Age of Grace and an advance over that done in the Age of Law. The three stages are tightly interconnected and each link in the chain is closely tied to the next. Why do I also say that this stage of work builds on that done by Jesus? Supposing that this stage did not build on the work done by Jesus, He would have to be crucified again in this stage, and the redemptive work of the previous stage would have to be done all over again. This would be meaningless. And so it is not that the work is completely finished, but that the age has moved forward and the level of the work has been raised even higher than before. It may be said that this stage of work is built on the foundation of the Age of Law and on the rock of Jesus’ work. The work is built stage by stage, and this stage is not a new beginning. Only the combination of the three stages of work may be deemed the six-thousand-year management plan. The work at this stage is done on the foundation of the work of the Age of Grace. If these two stages of work were unrelated, then why is the crucifixion not repeated in this stage? Why do I not bear the sins of man? I do not come through conception by the Holy Spirit, nor do I bear the sins of man through crucifixion; rather, I am here to chastise man directly. If My chastisement of man and My coming now not by the conception of the Holy Spirit did not follow the crucifixion, then I would not be qualified to chastise man. It is precisely because I am one with Jesus that I come directly to chastise and judge man. The work at this stage is built entirely on the work in the preceding stage. That is why only work of this kind can bring man, step by step, into salvation. Jesus and I come from one Spirit. Even though We are unrelated in Our fleshes, Our Spirits are one; even though the content of what We do and the work that We take on are not the same, We are alike in essence; Our fleshes take different forms, but this is due to the change in era and the differing requirements of Our work; Our ministries are not alike, so the work We bring forth and the disposition We reveal to man are also different. That is why what man sees and understands this day is unlike that of the past; this is so because of the change in era. For all that They are different in the gender and the form of Their fleshes, and that They were not born of the same family, still less in the same time period, Their Spirits are nonetheless one. For all that Their fleshes share neither blood nor physical kinship of any kind, it cannot be denied that They are the incarnation of God in two different time periods. That They are the incarnate fleshes of God is an irrefutable truth, even though They are not of the same bloodline and do not share a common human language (one was a male who spoke the language of the Jews and the other a female who exclusively speaks Chinese). It is for these reasons that They have lived in different countries to do the work that it behooves each one to do, and in different time periods too. Despite the fact that They are the same Spirit, possessed of the same essence, there are no absolute similarities at all between the outward shells of Their fleshes. All They share is the same humanity, but as far as external appearance of Their fleshes and the circumstances of Their birth are concerned, They are not alike. These things have no impact on Their respective work or on the knowledge that man has of Them, for, in the final analysis, They are the same Spirit and none can separate Them. Even though They are not related by blood, Their entire beings are in the charge of Their Spirits, which allocates to Them different work in different time periods, and Their fleshes to different bloodlines. Similarly, the Spirit of Jehovah is not the father of the Spirit of Jesus, and the Spirit of Jesus is not the son of the Spirit of Jehovah: They are one and the same Spirit. Just like the incarnate God of today and Jesus. Though They are not related by blood, They are one; this is because Their Spirits are one. God can do the work of mercy and lovingkindness, as well as that of the righteous judgment and of chastisement of man, and that of calling down curses on man; and in the end, He can do the work of destroying the world and punishing the wicked. Does He not do all of this Himself? Is this not the omnipotence of God? He was able both to promulgate laws for man and to issue him commandments, and He was also able to lead the early Israelites to live their lives on earth and to guide them to build the temple and altars, holding all the Israelites under His dominion. Relying on His authority, He lived on earth with the people of Israel for two thousand years. The Israelites dared not rebel against Him; all revered Jehovah and observed His commandments. This was the work that was done relying on His authority and His omnipotence. Then, during the Age of Grace, Jesus came to redeem the whole of fallen mankind (and not only the Israelites). He showed mercy and lovingkindness to man. The Jesus that man saw in the Age of Grace was filled with lovingkindness and was always loving toward man, for He had come to save humanity from sin. He was able to forgive men their sins until His crucifixion completely redeemed mankind from sin. During this period, God appeared before man with mercy and lovingkindness; that is, He became a sin offering for man and was crucified for the sins of man so that they might forever be forgiven. He was merciful, compassionate, enduring, and loving. And all those who followed Jesus in the Age of Grace likewise sought to be enduring and loving in all things. They were long-suffering, and never fought back even when beaten, cursed, or stoned. But during the final stage this can no longer be so. Similarly, even though Their Spirits were one, the work of Jesus and Jehovah was not entirely alike. Jehovah’s work was not to bring the age to an end but to guide it, ushering in mankind’s life on earth. However, the work now in hand is to conquer those in the Gentile nations who have been deeply corrupted, and to lead not just the family of China, but the entire universe. It may appear to you that this work is being done only in China, but in fact it has already begun to expand abroad. Why is it that foreigners are, time and again, seeking the true way? That is because the Spirit has already set to work, and the words that are being spoken now are directed toward people throughout the universe. With this, half of the work is already under way. From the creation of the world down to the present, the Spirit of God has set this great work in motion, and has moreover done different work in different ages and in different nations. The people of each age see a different disposition of His, which is naturally revealed through the different work that He does. He is God, filled with mercy and lovingkindness; He is the sin offering for man and man’s shepherd; but He is also man’s judgment, chastisement, and curse. He could lead man to live on earth for two thousand years, and He could also redeem the corrupted mankind from sin. Today, He is also able to conquer mankind, who do not know Him, and prostrate them under His dominion, so that all submit to Him fully. In the end, He will burn away all that is unclean and unrighteous within men throughout the universe, to show them that He is not only a merciful and loving God, not only a God of wisdom and wonders, not only a holy God, but, even more, a God who judges man. To the evil ones among mankind, He is burning, judgment, and punishment; to those who are to be perfected, He is tribulation, refinement, and trial, as well as comfort, sustenance, provision of words, dealing, and pruning. And to those who are eliminated, He is punishment and also retribution. Tell Me, is God not almighty? He is capable of any and all work, not just the crucifixion as you imagined. You think too lowly of God! Do you believe that all He can is redeem the whole of mankind through His crucifixion and that’s it? And after that, you will follow Him up to heaven to eat of the fruit from the tree of life and drink from the river of life? … Could it be that simple? Tell Me, what have you accomplished? Do you have the life of Jesus? You were indeed redeemed by Him, but the crucifixion was the work of Jesus Himself. What duty have you fulfilled as a man? You have only outward piety but you do not understand His way. Is that how you manifest Him? If you have not attained the life of God or seen the entirety of His righteous disposition, then you cannot claim to be one that has life, and you are not worthy to pass through the gate of the kingdom of heaven.

Not only is God a Spirit, He can also become flesh; He is, moreover, a body of glory. Jesus, though you have not seen Him, was witnessed by the Israelites, that is, the Jews at the time. He was at first a fleshly body, but after He was crucified, He became the body of glory. He is the all-encompassing Spirit and can do work in every place. He can be Jehovah, or Jesus, or Messiah; in the end, He can also become Almighty God. He is righteousness, judgment, and chastisement; He is curse and wrath; but He is also mercy and lovingkindness. All the work He has done is capable of representing Him. What manner of God do you say He is? You just won’t be able to explain. All you can say is: “As for what manner of God He is, I’m unable to explain.” Do not draw the conclusion that God is forever a God of mercy and lovingkindness, just because He did the work of redemption in one stage. Can you be certain that He is only a merciful and loving God? If He is a merciful and loving God, why will He bring the age to an end in the last days? Why will He send down so many disasters? If it is as you think, that He is merciful and loving toward man to the very end, even to the final age, then why is He going to send down disasters from the heavens? If He loves man as Himself and as His only Son, then why is He going to send down plagues and hailstones from the heavens? Why does He allow man to suffer from famine and pestilence? Why does He allow man to suffer these disasters? As for what manner of God He is, no one among you dares to say, and none is able to explain. Can you be certain that He is the Spirit? Do you dare say that He is no other than the flesh of Jesus? And do you dare say that He is a God who will forever be crucified for man’s sake?

from The Word Appears in the Flesh

Footnotes:

a. The original text omits “the work of.”

 

I Have Found a True Home

Yangyang, USA

When I was three years old my father passed away. At that time my mother had just given birth to my younger brother, and my grandmother, owing to superstition, said that it was my mother and younger brother that caused my father’s death. For lack of a better option mother had to take my younger brother to her father’s house to live, so from the start of my earliest memories I was living together with my grandpa and grandma. Although my grandpa and grandma treated me well I still felt lonely and really wanted to be together with my mom and little brother. I hoped for the same kind of motherly love that other kids received. Really, what I was asking for wasn’t much, all I wanted was a true family, a mother who loved me dearly, who I could share my true feelings with. But even this small ask turned into an extravagant hope. I was only able to see my mother on the weekends. Whenever I got into trouble at school mom was never there by side either, I was like a small patch of grass by the side of the road, nobody showed any interest in me. Over time I became very self-abased, I held everything back in my heart and didn’t take initiative to interact with others. When I was sixteen there were some people in my village who were going abroad for work, and the idea tempted me. I thought to myself: My family conditions aren’t very good, if I were to go abroad then I could earn my own living, and even give some of my earnings to my family. That way I could help my family live a little better. Continue reading “I Have Found a True Home”

When the Lord Jesus Knocks at the Door, How Will We Answer

Xiao Fei

Lord-knocking-at-the-door-1

After I entered belief in the Lord, the brothers and sisters liked to sing a hymn called “The Good Man Is Knocking at the Door” which goes: “The good man is knocking at the door, His hair wet with dew; let us quickly rise and open the door, and not let the good man turn around and leave. …” Every time we sang this hymn, our hearts were deeply moved and stirred. We all want to ask the good man to stay the night, so when the good man comes and knocks at the door we will welcome the Lord the first time we hear the good man’s voice. It can be said that all of us who believe in the Lord have such a hope. But when the Lord comes, how will He knock? When the Lord knocks, what should we do to make sure we are welcoming Him as the Lord? This is something people who believe in the Lord should think about.

When the Lord Jesus came to do the work of salvation in the Age of Grace, news of the miracles wrought by the Lord and the word of the Lord spread throughout the land of Judea. His name also caused a great stir in all Judea, and for the people of that time the knock at the door was the disciples led by the Lord Jesus preaching the gospel of the heavenly kingdom in every place. The Lord Jesus said: “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mat 4:17). The Lord hopes that people will come before the Lord to repent and confess their sins. In so doing, their sins will be absolved, and they will break free from the condemnation and imprecation of the law and be redeemed by God. At the time, many Jewish people witnessed the miracles performed by the Lord Jesus. They also noticed the authority and power in the word of the Lord, such that the Lord Jesus was able to feed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. With a single word, the Lord Jesus was also able to calm the wind and the sea, as well as to cause Lazarus to emerge from his tomb after being dead for three days…. In accordance with the words of the Lord Jesus, whatever is spoken is fulfilled, allowing us to see the authority and power in the Lord’s word. There are also the words of the Lord Jesus teaching people and rebuking the Pharisees. These words are the truth and are not words we are capable of uttering. The words spoken by the Lord Jesus and the things He did reveal God’s disposition and what God has and is. They manifest the authority and power of God and cause men’s hearts to shake. The Jewish people at that time had already heard the sound of the Lord knocking, but how did they treat the Lord?

The Jewish priests, scribes, and Pharisees at the time knew clearly that the words spoken by the Lord Jesus and the miracles He performed all come from God, but they did not at all have hearts that revered God. They did not seek or investigate the work of the Lord Jesus, but all along just clung to the words of the biblical prophecies, believing that the one who was to come would be called Emmanuel or Messiah, and be born of a virgin. When they saw that Mary had a husband, they determined that the Lord Jesus was not conceived by the Holy Spirit, and that He was not born of a virgin. They also made judgments however they wanted and said that the Lord Jesus was the son of a carpenter and so just a completely ordinary person. They used this to deny and accuse the Lord Jesus. They even went as far as to blaspheme against the Lord Jesus and say that He relied on Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons, to cast out demons. In the end, they joined the Roman government in crucifying Him. Most Jewish people believed that the Lord Jesus should have been born in the temple, and that He would be their king to save them from Roman rule. When the Pharisees were spreading rumors and slander and condemning the Lord Jesus, they were just being blindly obedient without any discrimination at all. Between the salvation of the Lord Jesus and the slanderous words said by the Pharisees, they chose to listen to the rumors and lies of the Pharisees, and rejected the way preached by the Lord Jesus. When the Lord knocked on the door, they closed their hearts off to the Lord. It is just as the Lord Jesus said: “And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which said, By hearing you shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing you shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them” (Mat 13:14-15). Because they refused to listen to the Lord’s voice and did not accept the Lord’s work of salvation, these Jewish people missed their chance to follow the Lord Jesus. As a result of resisting God, they were met with God’s punishment, bringing about 2000 years of destruction to Israel. In contrast, the disciples who followed the Lord Jesus at the time such as Peter, John, James, and Nathanael had hearts that loved the truth. They did not rely on their own notions and imaginations in how they treated the word and the work of the Lord Jesus, but sought conscientiously, investigated carefully, and obtained the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. They heard the voice of God and recognized that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah to come, and thus they caught up with the footsteps of the Lord and received the salvation of the Lord. We can see that the failure of the Pharisees and the Jewish people lies in that they only relied on the literal meaning of the biblical prophecies to accept and recognize the manifestation and work of God. This led them to be people who believed in God but resisted God. From this we can see that if people who believe in God treat God’s new work on the basis of their own notions and imaginations, not only will they not be able to welcome God’s arrival, but they may very easily become among those who believe in God and yet resist Him. How lamentable would that be? The Lord Jesus said: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. … Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Mat 5:3,6). We can see here that we can only welcome the Lord’s return if we, like Peter and John, hear the Lord’s voice, have hearts that hunger and thirst for righteousness, and actively seek and investigate.

Today, the prophecies of the Lord’s second coming in the last days have fundamentally been fulfilled. When the Lord comes again in the last days, we must be more vigilant and prepared, take heed of God’s voice, and have hearts that seek and thirst for righteousness to await the Lord to knock at the door at any time. Only in this way can we welcome the second coming of the Lord. The Lord Jesus said: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth” (Jhn 16:12-13). It is also prophesied many times in Revelation chapter 2-3: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” We can see from the scriptures that when the Lord Jesus returns He will speak again and do new work. This is the Lord knocking at the door for us, as well as Him using His word to knock on the doors of our hearts. All who hear the Lord’s utterances and actively seek and listen attentively to the voice of the Lord are the wise virgins. If they recognize that the Lord is speaking they are able to welcome the return of the Lord and obtain the watering and supply of the word of God. This fulfills the word of the Lord: “And also on the servants and on the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit” (Joe 2:29). The Lord is trustworthy, and He will allow all those who thirst and seek for Him to hear His voice in this time. However, God’s wisdom is difficult for us humans to fathom, and the way the Lord will knock at the door when He returns will not be as it seems in our notions and imaginations. It could be someone calling “the Lord has returned!” to us. It is just as the Lord Jesus warned us: “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Mat 25:6). We may also hear God’s voice from the churches that spread the gospel of the Lord’s return, or from the internet, radio, Facebook, or elsewhere and see God speaking to all the churches. Still, no matter what way the Lord knocks on our doors, we absolutely must not treat the Lord’s knocking like the Jewish people did. We must not decline to seek or investigate based on our notions and imaginations nor blindly listen to lies and rumors. By doing so we would have rejected the Lord’s call and missed our chance to welcome the Lord and be raised up into the heavenly kingdom. The Book of Revelation predicts: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Rev 3:20). The Lord Jesus says: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Mat 7:7). The will of the Lord is that we may all be the wise virgins and always be watchful in listening for the voice of the Lord. When we hear the Lord’s voice we must look into it with open minds and investigate with sincerity, and when we recognize the voice of God we must rush out to welcome the Lord. As long as we have hearts of seeking, God will surely open up our spiritual eyes. In this way, we will be able to be raised up before the throne of God and be present at the feast of the Lamb!

All the glory belongs to God!

 

 

Meeting the Lord Again(part 2)

After listening to Almighty God’s words and Brother Wang’s fellowship, I recalled what the priest in our church had said about “When the Lord comes good people will be separated from the bad people” and realized that this notion is just too vague, too impractical, and doesn’t match the reality of God’s work at all. We all live in sin, we continuously commit sins and repent without being able to escape from this cycle, so who are the truly good people? When the Lord returns, if we haven’t been cleansed of our sins, will we be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven? Thinking of this was like turning on a light in my heart, and I thanked the Lord for His leadership. My visit hadn’t been in vain, because now I understood that God distinguishes good from evil according to how people treat the truth. In other words, people are good or evil depending on whether or not they accept and obey the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, and this is God’s righteousness being wholly manifested. God employs words and work to separate the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, the wise virgins from the foolish virgins, the true believers from the fake believers, and the lovers of the truth from the haters of the truth. God is so incredibly wise! However, I also recalled the priest saying that when the Lord returns to judge people He does it one by one, and each individual’s sins are also listed and judged one by one, before He decides if the individual will go to heaven or to hell. But now Almighty God is saying that God’s work of judgment of the last days is being done through His words, so just how are these words being used to judge people?

So I raised this question with the group and Brother Zhang answered it by reading two passages of Almighty God’s words to me: “Some believe that God may sometime come to earth and appear to man, whereupon He shall personally judge the whole of mankind, testing them one by one without anyone being omitted. Those who think in this way do not know this stage of work of incarnation. God does not judge man one by one, and does not test man one by one; to do thus would not be the work of judgment. Is not the corruption of all mankind the same? Is not the substance of man all the same? What is judged is mankind’s corrupt substance, man’s substance corrupted by Satan, and all the sins of man. God does not judge the trifling and insignificant faults of man. … but judges the unrighteousness of the whole of mankind—man’s opposition to God, for example, or man’s irreverence against Him, or disturbance of the work of God, and so on. What is judged is mankind’s substance of opposition to God, and this work is the work of conquest of the last days” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

Brother Zhang then fellowshiped this with me: “We have the notion that during God’s work of judgment of the last days He will call each and every person to come before His white throne and then will judge them. Every person will have to kneel on the ground and then confess to every single one of their sins committed throughout their lifetime. Then God will decide whether each person will go to heaven or to hell depending upon the severity of their sins. We think that God judges people according to sins such as physically or verbally abusing people, not being filial to parents, stealing and robbing, etc. But in fact God’s work of judgment of the last days is not concerned with these external behaviors or character flaws that we have but instead is aimed at judging mankind’s satanic nature of resisting God and each of the corrupt dispositions. These include our arrogance and self-conceit, our crookedness and craftiness, our selfishness and baseness, our greed and evil, etc. We also have many viewpoints that are not compatible with God, many outdated religious notions and feudal thinking. These things are all sources of our resistance to God. They are problems that are common to all of corrupt mankind, and so are the things that God’s work of judgment aims to purify and transform. So, the words that God expresses reveal mankind’s nature and essence and every corrupt person on earth is a part of this, without exception. Or to put it another way, God’s words are directed at the whole of mankind and so there is no need to judge people individually. By reading the words of Almighty God and accepting the judgment and chastisement of God’s words we can understand many truths and clearly see our nature, substance, and real situation of our being corrupted by Satan. Doing this will also allow us to recognize God’s righteous disposition and develop hearts that revere God and despise ourselves so that we’ll be willing to betray our flesh and practice truths. In this way, our corrupt satanic disposition will gradually be purified and our viewpoints and outlook on life will also change. When we start to live by God’s words, when we cease to oppose and resist God and instead really obey and revere God and shun evil, then we will gain God’s salvation and become people who are compatible with God’s intentions. This is the actual situation with, and purpose of, God expressing truths to do the work of judgment during the last days.”

After listening to Brother Zhang’s fellowship, I came to feel that God’s work of judgment is just so practical and based in reality! I was able to accept what he said, and it resonated with me deep in my heart. Yes, people are arrogant, they seek fame and fortune and status, and they live in their various corrupt dispositions. God uses the judgment of His words to rid us of all of the filth and corruption inside of us. Our nature of resisting God is thus resolved and our corrupt disposition is transformed, and we become truly good people. Looking at it this way, I could see that this idea that the priest talked about of people being judged individually and sins being judged one by one when the Lord returns to judge mankind is just human notions and imaginings and has nothing to do with the way God actually does His work. Almighty God’s words really do contain truths; they really are the voice of God! What I heard on that day made me decide to thoroughly examine the work of Almighty God.

During my investigations, I watched a number of gospel movies produced by The Church of Almighty God, including The Days of Noah Have Come, The Mystery of Godliness, and Caught the Last Train, as well as some hymn videos of God’s word such as How Important God’s Love for Man Is. I also read a lot of Almighty God’s words and listened to the brothers and sisters fellowshiping about all aspects of the truth. This helped me to verify that Almighty God is indeed the returned Lord Jesus! Almighty God is the one true God and is the returned Lord that we have been waiting for! I was so happy to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days.

Since believing in Almighty God I’ve often been getting together with the brothers and sisters or listening to sermons with them, and now every day I feel happy and feel that I’m gaining spiritual sustenance. I’m enjoying the comfort that comes from the work of the Holy Spirit, and I’m starting to understand more and more truths. In The Church of Almighty God, the brothers and sisters are all familiar and honest with each other, and nobody tries to deceive anyone else or keeps their guard up. Everybody is simple, open and sincere, and even when they reveal their corrupt dispositions they are each able to know themselves through God’s words and seek truths to resolve their corrupt dispositions. To me, they are true Christian brothers and sisters. What especially impresses me are the hymn videos, music videos, dance and song videos, gospel movies, etc. produced by The Church of Almighty God, which all hold the truth in the highest esteem and bear witness to God and God’s work of the last days. The purpose of all these productions is to help people to submit to God, worship God, and the church really does feel like a place where God does His work! What I’ve seen, heard, and experienced is proof for my heart that The Church of Almighty God is a true church where God personally nurtures and shepherds His flock. The fact that I’ve been able to enter God’s house and live a life face-to-face with God means that I’ve been exceptionally exalted by God. I really am so fortunate! Thank You, Almighty God!

Meeting the Lord Again (part 1)

Jianding, USA

meet-the-Lord-again-1-1

I was born into a Catholic family, and from an early age my mother taught me to read the Bible. At the time, the Chinese Communist Party was re-building the nation after the civil war, and as the CCP was suppressing all religions, I was 20 years old before I finally got the chance to go to church and listen to sermons. The priest often said to us: “We Catholics must properly confess our sins and repent. We must do good, not evil, and always go to Mass. During the last days, the Lord is going to come and judge everyone and send people to heaven or to hell according to how they have acted and behaved on earth. The biggest sinners will be punished in hell eternally, whereas those who commit minor sins can still go to heaven as long as they confess their sins to the Lord and repent. Anyone who doesn’t believe in the Lord will never get to heaven, no matter how good they are.” Whenever I heard this, I always congratulated myself for having the good fortune to be a member of the Catholic congregation from birth. I’d always tell myself to pursue hard, attend Mass more, and confess sins and repent to the Lord more, and that way I’d go to heaven and not suffer in hell. So that’s when I developed the determination to go to church and participate in Mass regularly. At that time, the priest also told us that in 2000 the Lord would return, and this news made us all very excited. So we all began to pursue earnestly, waiting for the Lord’s return. But the year 2000 came and went and we didn’t see any sign of the Lord’s return. Many in our congregation lost their faith, and fewer and fewer people attended church for Mass. I also felt a sense of loss, but I still felt that my faith in the Lord wouldn’t be shaken, no matter what others did. That was mainly because there had been many times when I’d been in danger and the Lord had protected me and made the danger disappear. Without the Lord’s protection I’d have died long ago, so I wasn’t going to be so ungrateful as to lose faith in the Lord.

 

In the following years I heard from people around me that the USA was “heaven on earth,” and so a strong desire to come here grew in me. In December 2014 my whole family and I immigrated to the U.S., but the reality of life here was nothing like the beautiful picture I’d painted in my mind. At first, everything in the U.S. seemed unfamiliar and we didn’t know anyone. The environment and climate were very different from what I was used to in China, and my body soon began to complain. I often felt weak and listless, but the doctors in the hospital couldn’t find anything wrong with me. I was at my wit’s end, so I started praying even more sincerely to the Lord, hoping that the Lord would protect me. I prayed more and began looking for a church where I could do Mass and eventually found a church for Chinese Christians. But after going to the church a few times I discovered that it wasn’t much different from what was going on in everyday society: Members of the congregation were superficially friendly but their interactions were governed by power and money. Faced with this kind of situation in the church, I became very disappointed. I thought to myself: “Oh Lord, when will You return? When You return, good people will be separated from wicked people and the world will be cleansed.” Although I still kept on going to Mass I was never able to feel God’s presence in the church, and this made me disappointed and depressed and affected my faith in the Lord. But then one day in July 2015, when I was working out of state, I got a phone call from my wife. She said to me excitedly: “The Lord has returned. He is expressing words and doing the work of judgment of the last days! Hurry back so that we can accept God’s new work together.” On hearing this, I couldn’t help but be a bit suspicious: The Lord has returned? How is that possible? When the Lord returns to judge the world the good people will be separated from the bad people. But right now the good and the bad are still mixed together, so why is my wife saying that the Lord has returned? Has my wife joined another denomination? We’ve been Catholics for most of our lives, there’s no way we’re going to deviate now! So I hurriedly finished off the job I was doing and returned home.

When I got home I asked my wife: “How do you know that the Lord has returned? You haven’t deviated from our Catholic beliefs, have you? You’re saying that the Lord has returned to do the work of judgment, but right now the good people and the bad people are still mixed together so how can the Lord have already returned? We can look forward to the Lord’s return, but we can’t be disloyal to Him!” My wife listened to me and then patiently replied: “Don’t get so agitated. I only just found out myself about the Lord’s return. At present, The Church of Almighty God is bearing witness to the Lord’s return and Almighty God is expressing truths to do the work of judgment that has begun in God’s house. I’m not clear about the specifics of what’s happening, but I’ve been reading online a lot of the words that Almighty God has expressed and I’m sure that they are all the voice of God. The Lord once said: ‘My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me’ (Jhn 10:27). We can find out whether Almighty God is the returned Lord by going to The Church of Almighty God to investigate, right?” What my wife said sounded reasonable, and the Lord’s return to do the work of judgment is something that is predicted in the Bible, so there was no harm in me going along with her to the church to take a look and then I could make up my mind.

To this end, my wife and I arranged to visit the home of one of the members of The Church of Almighty God, a man known as Brother Zhang. Brother Wang and Sister Li, and some other fellow Catholics also came. Seeing that I had plenty of company greatly put my mind at ease. After a little polite chit-chat we all sat down and I asked the brothers and sisters this: “Regarding the return of the Lord my understanding is this: When the Lord returns to do the work of judgment, the good people will be separated from the wicked people. Then the good people will be accepted into heaven by the Lord and will meet Him, while the wicked will be sent to hell and punished. You say that the Lord has returned and He is doing the work of judgment, so how come we haven’t seen any of these things happening?” Brother Wang replied: “Brother, my viewpoint used to be the same as yours in that I also believed the Lord’s return meant that good people would be separated from wicked people, that good people would live in heaven eternally and the wicked would be punished, and that if we didn’t see this happen then that proved that the Lord hadn’t returned. But after reading Almighty God’s words I realized that is only our notions and imaginings and isn’t the actual way that God works. How God undertakes the work of judgment in the last days is something that God alone plans and organizes. God’s wisdom is higher than the heavens, and in God’s eyes humans are as small as a speck of dust, so how can we fathom God’s work? In the Bible it says: ‘Who hath forwarded the spirit of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor, and hath taught him? With whom hath he consulted, and who hath instructed him, and taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and shewed him the way of understanding? Behold the Gentiles are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the smallest grain of a balance: behold the islands are as a little dust’ (Isa 40:13-15). Every one of us uses our brains to think, so we can speculate about God’s work as we like but God never does His work according to our imaginings. If we use our imaginings to set parameters for God’s work then aren’t we behaving extremely arrogantly? So, how does God do His work of judgment? How does He separate the good from the wicked? Let’s read several passages of Almighty God’s words to help us understand. Almighty God said: ‘The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it should naturally be done by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead. Because judgment is the conquering of the human race through the truth…. That is to say, in the last days, Christ shall use the truth to teach men around the earth and make all truths known to them. This is God’s work of judgment’ (‘Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘The last days have already arrived. All things in creation will be classed according to their kind, and divided into different categories based on their nature. This is the moment when God reveals humanity’s outcome and their destination. If people do not undergo chastisement and judgment, then there will be no way of exposing their disobedience and unrighteousness. Only through chastisement and judgment can the outcome of all creation be revealed. Man only shows his true colors when he is chastised and judged. Evil shall be put with evil, good with good, and all humanity shall be classified according to their kind. Through chastisement and judgment, the outcome of all creation will be revealed, so that the evil may be punished and the good rewarded, and all people become subject to the dominion of God. All this work must be achieved through righteous chastisement and judgment. Because man’s corruption has reached its peak and his disobedience become exceedingly severe, only God’s righteous disposition, one that is principally compounded of chastisement and judgment and is revealed during the last days, can fully transform and complete man. Only this disposition can expose evil and thus severely punish all the unrighteous’ (‘The Vision of God’s Work (3)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘My purpose in doing the work of conquest is not solely to conquer for the sake of conquest, but to conquer so as to reveal righteousness and unrighteousness, to obtain proof for the punishment of man, to condemn the wicked, and even more, to conquer for the sake of perfecting those who willingly obey. In the end, all will be separated according to kind, and all the ones who are perfected have their thoughts and ideas filled with obedience. This is the work to be completed in the end. But those who are filled with rebellious ways will be punished, sent to burn in the fires and become the object of eternal curse’ (‘Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). We have the idea that God’s work of judgment is directly to separate the wheat from the tares, the goats from the sheep, the good servants from the wicked servants, in other words, separating the good people from the wicked and putting each with its own kind. But if we think about it, there are at present over 2 billion Christians around the world—and they all say they have true faith in God and love God—so how are we to distinguish good from bad, righteous from evil? If God determines that you are good and that I’m evil, I definitely won’t go along with it because I’ll feel that I’m also a good person. If God determines that I’m good and that someone else is evil, they definitely won’t go along with it. So how on earth are we supposed to know who is good and who is evil? We can’t, because we humans don’t have the principles or standards to gauge this. If God were to gauge us like this we certainly wouldn’t submit and would have notions about it, such as thinking that God was unfair and unjust. So how could the work of putting each with its own kind thus proceed? The Lord that returns during the last days is Christ of the last days—Almighty God—who uses truths to do the work of judgment. For all Christians, revealing who are the wheat, who are the tares, who are the goats, who are the sheep, who are the good servants, who are the wicked servants, who are the wise virgins, who are the foolish virgins, is all done by using truths. God’s words reveal everyone, and the wise virgins are those who truly believe in God and love the truth. When they hear that someone is testifying to God’s coming they go out to welcome it and actively investigate God’s words and God’s work. They recognize God’s voice and accept God’s work of the last days, and in the end they gain purification and salvation through God’s judgment. During great catastrophes they have God’s protection and are able to survive, and finally are taken into God’s kingdom. By contrast, because the foolish virgins do not love the truth, because they insist on holding onto their own notions and imaginings or believing in rumors, because they don’t seek or investigate God’s work of the last days—and some of them even follow religious leaders in resisting and condemning God and refusing God’s salvation of the last days—they will be revealed as evildoers by God’s work of the last days and will be eliminated. Their fate will be to suffer punishments during the great catastrophes. From this, we can see that God’s work of putting each with its own kind during the last days is not done according to our notions and imaginings. Instead, God uses the method of judgment to do the work of revealing people, and the final result is that everyone is thoroughly revealed and put with their own kind according to whether they accept the truth or resist the truth. Isn’t this exactly God’s wisdom, God’s fairness, God’s righteousness?”