82. Almighty God’s Word Saved Me
Benxi City, Liaoning Province
I was once a preacher in the True Jesus Church. In October 1998, I accepted Almighty God’s gospel of the last days. When I knew that Almighty God I had resisted and slandered was the returned Savior Jesus whom I had been eagerly waiting for, I was very regretful and hated myself for being arrogant and not seeking the truth and thus becoming a Pharisee of the present age. It was Almighty God’s word that saved me and made me step onto the right track of believing in God and start a true human life.
In 1990, I believed in Jesus. Soon I became a preacher of the church, and I also received much grace. My husband’s mental illness was healed (he believed in the Lord too), and this even more stirred up my love for the Lord. I vigorously sustained the churches and led the brothers and sisters to preach the gospel, being in a very good state.
Just when we were pursuing zealously, envy and strife arose in the church. The elders fought for the position. They attacked each other, judged each other, disobeyed each other, and formed their own cliques, taking the sheep to themselves. The church which had been in a good condition was divided into nine “branches.” After that, the church order was disturbed. The once-a-month Bible study and training meeting was cancelled, and no one from above came to shepherd the churches. The brothers and sisters were in a state of anxiety, and they all complained about that. Many of them were stumbled, some giving up believing, some returning to the world to earn money, and some reluctantly coming to attend the meetings. Seeing that the brothers and sisters became weak and fell, I was very sad. In the face of such a situation, I lost my direction, not knowing what I should preach. So I went to our former elder for help. He said that this fulfilled the words in Matthew 24 in the Bible, “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom,” which showed that the time of Lord’s coming was near. After I returned to the church, I comforted the brothers and sisters with these words, but they still could not regain their strength. I fasted and prayed with them many times, but it had no effect. And in the church there also occurred many things which puzzled us: Troubles often came upon the brothers’ and sisters’ families; some people had illnesses, and some had car accidents. During that period, my husband’s mental illness recurred. I invited the brothers and sisters to my home and we prayed together for it as before, but no matter how we prayed, it didn’t work. Then I called in an elder who had a gift of driving out demons and two brothers, and we prayed earnestly, asking the Lord to cure him. While we were praying, my husband suddenly stretched out his hand and gave the elder two slaps. We were all stunned: In the past, whenever we prayed in the name of the Lord to drive demons, the possessed person would be healed. But why doesn’t it work today? Does God not listen to our prayer? I couldn’t fathom it out. Seeing my husband being possessed by demons and out of his sense every day, I lost all hope. How will we live our life in the future? Facing the pressures from both the church and the family, I was very distressed, gloomy, and weak. So I came before God and prayed, “O Lord! Where are You? Did You really desert us? O Lord! You know I’m weak. Please save me, save the brothers and sisters!”
Just when I felt aimless and helpless, God stretched out His saving hand to me. One day in August 1998, I went to the meeting place and saw several unfamiliar people fellowshipping with the brothers and sisters. They said, “God has come and been incarnated and done a new work…” The brothers and sisters were all listening to them attentively. Seeing this, I sensed that they were here to “steal the sheep.” So I rebuked them loudly, “You are talking absolute nonsense. The Bible says that the Lord will come on a white cloud. How could He be incarnated? You are exactly the deceiving ‘Kingdom Sect,’ the ‘false Christ,’ that our elder talked about. Leave quickly! Don’t come and disturb us again.” After rebuking them, I drove them away. Then I told the brothers and sisters, “From now on, no one is allowed to receive any outsiders without my permission. You are immature in life, and you cannot discern and are easily deceived.” Later, they came to the meeting place a few more times, but every time they were driven away by us. One day they came again. This time I didn’t treat them rudely but asked, “You say God has come. Where is He? Can you let me see?” A sister took out a book and said, “This is God’s personal utterance. After you read it, you will know.” To make them leave quickly, I kept the book temporarily. After they went away, I was pleased with myself, thinking that I was clever to do so. But I never expected that after a few days, they found my house. From then on, they came every two or three days. Every time they came, they fellowshipped with me about the Bible and urged me to read God’s word, but I listened with half an ear, thinking, “Whatever you say, I will never leave the True Jesus Church and follow you.” They did so for about two months despite wind and rain. I didn’t know how many times they visited my home. Sometimes I was really fed up with them, so I deliberately didn’t go home to avoid them when seeing their bicycles in the courtyard of my house. One day they came again. I wanted to give them an absolute refusal, so I said firmly, “Take away the book. Don’t come again. What you believe is not the true way. I won’t believe it.” Hearing this, the sisters’ eyes were filled with tears, and they said, “Could you please keep it one more night? Quiet your heart and read it carefully. We’ll come and take it away tomorrow.” The sisters’ sincerity and love moved me, so I agreed with it. As it was nearly dark and they had a long way to go, they hurriedly left on their bicycles.
Watching their receding figures, I pondered, “What made them have so great strength? If it were not of God, who would be willing to suffer such hardships? Could it be that God has really done a new work?” So I came before God and prayed, “O God! They said that You have come and done a new work, and this book is Your word. Is it true? I don’t know how to discern. May You enlighten me!” In the evening, I opened the Bible and came across Matthew 23:13, which says, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in.” I was startled, and I had a clear feeling that this was God’s guidance. I thought in my heart, “O God! If this is Your work, I will never be a Pharisee to resist You. If You have come, I will surely follow You. You know I’m waiting for You and expecting You.” For the first time I opened the book of God’s word, which was left in my home for about two months. I read these words of God: “When I say that ‘Today, God has new work once more,’ I am referring to God’s return to flesh. Perhaps you do not mind these words, perhaps you despise them, or perhaps they are of great interest to you. Whatever the case, I hope that all those who truly yearn for the appearance of God can face this fact and give it careful consideration. It is best not to jump to conclusions. This is the way that wise people should act. To study such a thing is not difficult, but requires each of us to know this truth: He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the substance of God, and He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He must do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon man, and show man the way. Flesh that does not contain the substance of God is surely not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance. If man sees only His external appearance, and overlooks His substance, then that shows man’s ignorance and naivety. External appearance does not determine substance; what’s more, the work of God has never conformed with the conceptions of man. Did not the outward appearance of Jesus conflict with the conceptions of man? Were not His appearance and dress unable to provide any clues as to His true identity? Was not the reason why the earliest Pharisees opposed Jesus because they merely looked at His external appearance, and did not take to heart the words that He spoke? It is My hope that the brothers and sisters who seek the appearance of God will not repeat the tragedy of history. You must not become the Pharisees of modern times and nail God to the cross again. You should carefully consider how to welcome the return of God, and should have a clear mind of how to be someone who submits to the truth. This is the responsibility of everyone who is waiting for Jesus to return with the clouds. We should rub our spiritual eyes, and not fall prey to the letters full of flights of fancy. We should think about the practical work of God, and should take a look at the real side of God. We should not get carried away, should not lose ourselves in daydreams, always looking forward to the day that the Lord Jesus suddenly descends among you on a cloud to take you who have never known Him or seen Him, and do not know how to do His will. It is better to think upon practical matters!” “After the work of Jehovah, Jesus became flesh to do His work amongst man. His work was not carried out in isolation, but built upon the work of Jehovah. It was work for a new age after God had concluded the Age of Law. Similarly, after the work of Jesus ended, God still continued His work for the next age, because the entire management of God is always progressing forward. When the old age passes, it will be replaced by a new age, and once the old work has been completed, a new work will continue the management of God. This incarnation is God’s second incarnation following the completion of Jesus’ work. Of course, this incarnation does not occur independently, but is the third stage of work after the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. Each new stage of God’s work always brings a new beginning and a new age. So too are there corresponding changes in the disposition of God, in His way of working, in the location of His work, and in His name. No wonder, then, that it is difficult for man to accept the work of God in the new age. But regardless of how He is opposed by man, God is always doing His work, and is always leading the whole of mankind forward. When Jesus came into the world of man, He brought the Age of Grace and ended the Age of Law. During the last days, God once more became flesh, and when He became flesh this time, the Age of Grace ended and the Age of Kingdom began. All those who accept the second incarnation of God will be led into the Age of Kingdom, and be able to personally accept the guidance of God. Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and began the work of chastisement and judgment, which brought man to a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.” (from “Preface” to The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words awakened me. Then I knew that God had indeed come among us and done a new work, and understood that only if we accepted God’s new work of the last days would we be able to gain the truth, the way, and the life. God’s word brought hope to me. I was so excited that my eyes ran over with tears. I prayed to God in my heart, “O God! Today it is Your enlightenment that has woken me up. Your coming is far beyond my imagination. I’m really too arrogant and devoid of sense. I kept Your book for two months yet didn’t look at it. I’m really a stupid pig who doesn’t recognize the pearls and am unworthy of Your salvation. I hate my being blind and ignorant and not seeking the truth. I believed and expected You yet resisted, slandered, and condemned You. I missed the opportunity to be saved many times. I hurt Your heart too much! Because of my absurdness, the brothers and sisters who preached the gospel to me suffered much. I really have no humanity. O God, Your love is so immense and so deep. You didn’t remember my evil but illuminated me through Your words, so that I saw Your appearing and understand Your present will. O God! I truly thank You for Your so great salvation. I will do my best to bring the deceived brothers and sisters before You to console Your heart and repay Your love.”
The next day, two sisters came to my home. When they heard my experience the evening before, they were moved to tears. We held each other tightly. God’s love fused our life into one. Then the sisters fellowshipped with me about many verses in the Bible which were fulfilled in God’s work of the last days. And they read a few pieces of God’s word, which strengthened my belief that this way is the true way. So I told them our church condition and my state. One sister said, “Now the churches are all desolate as the temple in the Old Testament was at the time when Jesus worked. As the Age of Grace came, the Holy Spirit began to uphold the work of Jesus Christ. Those who followed Jesus Christ and entered the Age of Grace all had the way to go and received life supply. Those who didn’t follow were in desolation and finally eliminated by God’s work. Today God’s work has advanced further, having entered into the Age of Kingdom from the Age of Grace. The Holy Spirit has begun to uphold the new work of Almighty God in the Age of Kingdom. Those who refuse to accept the new work are in hunger and desolation. This has fulfilled what is said in the Bible, ‘… not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.’ The desolation of the church is permitted by God, but it is not God’s intention. So to change the desolation and revive the churches, the only way is to seek the work of the Holy Spirit, for only Almighty God’s word can save people.” Then we opened the book of God’s word and read these words: “Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God. If you do not seek the way of life provided by Christ of the last days, then you shall never gain the approval of Jesus, and shall never be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven, for you are both a puppet and prisoner of history.” (from “Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through hearing the sisters’ fellowship and reading God’s words, I was released in my spirit and my distress and worries of yesterday all vanished. God’s word is really a quick-acting heart medicine. I came to life like dry young crops being moistened by rain.
After accepting Almighty God, I cooperated with the gospel preachers and brought more than two hundred people in three churches in our area before Almighty God. The brothers and sisters held the book of God’s word in hands and loved reading it so much that they could hardly put it down, enjoying the sweetness of God’s word with a thirsty heart. They sang and danced happily and praised God jubilantly, enjoying the pleasure brought by the working of the Holy Spirit, and the deadness of the past was all gone. Whenever I saw the scene of kingdom meeting life, I was thrilled. It was Almighty God who saved us, and it was Almighty God’s word that brought the truth, the way, and life, and led us back to the right track of believing in God. Brothers and sisters! Now the churches are desolate, which is a fact known to all. Every one of us is eagerly expecting the Lord’s coming again. But now God has already been incarnated and come among us, and His work in China is drawing to an end and the next step is to spread the gospel to the entire universe. There isn’t much time left. If you miss this golden opportunity, you’ll regret bitterly. Don’t hold on to what you have or believe the rumors. Seek immediately! To follow God’s footsteps is the only way out, for God says: “The work of God never waits for any that cannot keep pace with God, and the righteous disposition of God shows no mercy to any man.” (from “Christ Does the Work of Judgment with the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh)