1. Things have gotten bleaker and bleaker in our church over the last few years. The brothers and sisters are losing their faith and their love, they are becoming increasingly negative and weak, and the preachers have become spiritually barren; they have nothing to preach. We all feel that we have lost the work of the Holy Spirit. We have searched all over for a church that has the work of the Holy Spirit, but each one we find is as desolate as the next. Why is every denomination beset by such famine?
Today, the world of religion has become a desolation, and it is without the work of the Holy Spirit, and many people’s faith and love is waning. These are recognized facts. So what is the primary reason for this desolation? We all know that we are now in the final stage of the last days. The Lord Jesus prophesied, “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” (Mat 24:12). Today, cases of iniquity in the religious community are becoming ever more prevalent. In the churches, pastors and elders do nothing more than expound knowledge of the Bible and theological theory to flaunt themselves, establish themselves and earn the veneration of others. They have never followed the commandments of the Lord Jesus, nor do they possess any testimonies of experience of putting the Lord’s words into practice. They can give no sermons about life entry, nor have they ever led people in practicing and experiencing the words of the Lord. Many pastors and elders also follow the trends of the outside world, and they covet money and fight for power and their own interests—they have completely strayed from the way of the Lord. After years of believing in the Lord amid religion, all they understand is theological theory and knowledge of the Bible; they grasp nothing of the truth, they do not know the Lord in the slightest, and they have no reverence or obedience. They have all become those who believe in the Lord, but do not know the Lord and oppose the Lord. This shows that the leaders of the religious world have completely strayed from the way of the Lord, which has led to them losing the work of the Holy Spirit and the blessings of God—this is the primary reason for the desolation of the world of religion. The other reason is that God is doing new work and the work of the Holy Spirit has shifted. The Lord Jesus has returned, He is the incarnate Almighty God. He is carrying out the work of judgment beginning from the house of God upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, ushering in the Age of Kingdom and bringing to an end the Age of Grace. Only those who accept Almighty God’s work of the last days are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit, and only they enjoy the provision of the living water of life that flows from the throne. Those who have not kept pace with God’s present work and refuse to accept Almighty God shall be forsaken and eliminated by God and plunged into darkness. The pastors and elders of the religious world, especially, not only do not seek or investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days, but fanatically oppose and condemn it, spreading all sorts of lies and fallacies to deceive people and stop them seeking and investigating the true way, and trying to steal God’s sheep as their own. They have long since provoked God’s disposition and are loathed and cursed by God. How could they not be forsaken and eliminated by God? Today, almost the entire religious world is controlled by religious leaders who hate the truth and are hostile to God. How could it obtain the work of the Holy Spirit? And how could it not become a wasteland? This is the fundamental reason behind the desolation of the world of religion. This desolation also completely fulfills the prophecy of the Bible: “Behold, the days come, said the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah” (Amo 8:11). “And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered to one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have you not returned to Me, said Jehovah” (Amo 4:7–8). “One piece was rained on” of this passage refers to the churches that accept and obey Almighty God’s work of judgment of the last days; because they accept His present utterances, they enjoy the provision and watering of the living water of life that flows from the throne. “The piece whereupon it rained not withered” refers to the pastors and leaders of the religious world who do not practice the Lord’s words, who do not keep the Lord’s commandments, and who oppose and condemn Almighty God’s work of the last days, which leads to the religious world being detested, rejected, and cursed by God. It is utterly without the work of the Holy Spirit, it is incapable of receiving the provision of God’s present utterances, and it has sunk into desolation. At the end of the Age of Law, the temple that had previously brimmed with the glory of Jehovah grew desolate, believers did not follow the laws, the priests offered poor sacrifices, and the temple became a den of thieves, chiefly because the Jewish leaders only held to the traditions of man and abandoned the commandments of God; they had completely strayed from the way of God, and, as a result, were cursed by God. In addition, it was because the Lord Jesus embarked upon the work of redeeming mankind outside of the temple in the Age of Grace. God’s work had shifted, and all who accepted the work of the Lord Jesus obtained the work of the Holy Spirit, while those who rejected and resisted the Lord Jesus were eliminated by the work of God and plunged into darkness and desolation.
God permits the religious community to be beset by famine, and God’s will is behind this. Let us look at two passages of the words of Almighty God: “God will accomplish this fact: He will make all people throughout the universe come before Him and worship the God on earth, and His work in other places will cease, and people will be forced to seek the true way. It will be like Joseph: Everyone came to him for food, and bowed down to him, for he had things to eat. In order to avoid famine, people will be forced to seek the true way. The entire religious community will suffer severe famine, and only the God of today is the wellspring of living water, possessed of the ever-flowing wellspring provided for the enjoyment of man, and people will come and depend on Him” (“The Millennial Kingdom Has Arrived” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “God has made this group of people the sole focus of His work throughout all the universe. He has sacrificed all His heart’s blood for you; He has reclaimed and given to you all the work of the Spirit throughout the universe. That is why I say you are the fortunate ones. Moreover, He has shifted His glory from Israel, His chosen people, onto you, and He shall make the purpose of His plan fully manifest through this group. Therefore, you are the ones who will receive the inheritance of God, and even more than this, you are the heirs to God’s glory” (“Is the Work of God As Simple As Man Imagines?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The words of Almighty God clearly show us that God has never forsaken those who truly believe in Him and yearn for His appearance. That God has allowed the religious community to become desolate is to force those in religion who love the truth to leave religion, to escape the shackles and control of its antichrists and wicked people, so that they can be raised before God’s throne to be judged, cleansed, and perfected by God’s words. Almighty God of the last days does the work of judgment, and expresses all truths for the cleansing and salvation of mankind, in order to make a group of overcomers before the disasters arrive, which are the first fruits. This fulfills the prophecy of the Book of Revelation: “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb” (Rev 14:4). When these overcomers are completed by God, God shall rain down the great disasters to reward good and punish evil. Only if we leave religion, follow the footsteps of the Lamb, accept and obey Almighty God’s work of the last days, and experience judgment and cleansing before Christ’s seat can we be perfected by God into overcomers, and avoid God’s trials when the world is tested. Only these overcomers—these first fruits—who are completed by God are entitled to receive the promise and blessings of God. Those who never accept Almighty God’s work of the last days, meanwhile, will be detested, rejected and eliminated by God. They are sure to be plunged into disaster and punished, and shall forever lose their chance at salvation. This is beyond doubt!