I’ve Basked in the Living Waters of Life
By Yangwang, South Korea
My family’s faith in the Lord goes back three generations. I started attending church with my family as a child. When I got older, I provided services to the church like being a deacon and an accountant. I always served the Lord enthusiastically. But over time I found the church was becoming increasingly desolate and the pastor and elders just preached the same old things without any new light. They couldn’t solve our real difficulties and problems. They were always talking about their own work for the Lord, showing off about how much they’d suffered and what a price they’d paid. I was sick of hearing that. And every Sunday service I’d see the clergy pray for people based on prepared scripts and it seemed insincere to me. True prayer should be speaking with the Lord from the heart, even if it was just a few words. That’s because the Lord said, “God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). Them just reciting prayers that had already been written were not true prayers and they certainly couldn’t bring the Lord joy. When the church leaders were filling the deacon positions, they didn’t select people who were of good behavior, faithful, not greedy, and practiced moderation as taught in the Bible (see 1 Timothy 3:1–11). Instead, they appointed people with great enthusiasm who contributed more in offerings. The church leaders’ behavior ran contrary to the Lord’s teachings at every turn; they led the congregation entirely according to their own personal doctrine. I saw no guidance from the Lord within that kind of church, I couldn’t feel the work of the Holy Spirit, or gain any sustenance for my life. Other church members were all spiritually weak and their faith was waning. The clergy tried to think of ways to revive the church like organizing day trips and summer camps for believers, but it was just some passing fun, then everyone was soon gloomy again. I was really disappointed in the church and felt I couldn’t gain anything by worshiping God somewhere like that. I decided to leave the church in May 2013.
After that, in an effort to find a church that was in line with the Lord’s teachings and could provide for my life, I started going online to listen to sermons from famous pastors at home and abroad. I also got in touch with a preacher from my old church who had started her own church after graduating from divinity school. I was listening to online sermons and having gatherings with her, but no one’s sermons were enjoyable or nourishing for me at all. Three months later I made contact with another church. I felt that their teachings were in line with the Bible, so I started to attend a number of their activities. But after a while I discovered that at the beginning and end of every service, they’d always pray in tongues, and they said speaking in tongues was the only evidence of having the work of the Holy Spirit and being saved. But I didn’t agree at all, because it says in the Bible, in Galatians 5:22–23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance.” My understanding of the scripture was that understanding the Lord’s words and yielding the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life was pure faith and evidence of having the work of the Holy Spirit. And in services, the pastors were always preaching over and over the same old things without any new light. Most of the congregation would nod off during the sermon. They just attended as a formality. Most people were in a negative, downcast state. I couldn’t see the joy people should have in worshiping the Lord. Seeing these services conducted in such a sloppy manner, I thought to myself, “Would the Lord rejoice seeing people just go through the motions? Is the Lord really with us during service?” I then thought of this from Revelation: “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write…. I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:14–16). Wasn’t this church in the same state as the church of the Laodiceans? This church couldn’t meet my spiritual needs either, and I was left feeling empty and helpless. I saw that every single one of the churches I had passed through had been the same. Everyone was sticking to regulations and observing the formalities in services, but I couldn’t feel the Holy Spirit’s work or guidance. I was really in pain. My only hope at that time was that the Lord would return soon, for Him to shepherd us. I frequently prayed to the Lord: “Oh Lord! When will You return?”
I started hoping even more fervently for the Lord’s return and to find a church that could provide sustenance for my life. I began constantly looking online. Every chance I got I’d search for terms like “God’s voice” and “God’s footsteps” that refer to God’s appearance. The morning of January 27, 2016, I looked for information about the Lord’s return online. I stumbled upon a video and I heard words that stirred my heart. “My kingdom is coming into shape above the whole universe, and My throne holds sway in the hearts of hundreds of millions of people. With the angels’ assistance, My great accomplishment will soon be brought to fruition. All My sons and My people eagerly await My return, longing for Me to reunite with them, never to be separated again. How could the multitudinous populace of My kingdom not race toward one another in joyful celebration because of My being together with them? Can this be a reunion for which no price need be paid? I am honorable in all men’s eyes, I am proclaimed in the words of all. When I return, moreover, I shall conquer all enemy forces” (“Chapter 27” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Even though I couldn’t understand everything in it, when hearing that “My kingdom is coming into shape above the whole universe, and My throne holds sway in the hearts of hundreds of millions of people,” and “When I return, moreover, I shall conquer all enemy forces,” I really felt that every word was authoritative and powerful, and that these weren’t words that any human could utter. I immediately sat bolt upright and listened, totally engrossed. I then heard this in the video: “The time has come! I will put My work in motion, I will reign as King among men! I am on the point of return! And I am about to depart! This is what everyone is hoping for, it is what they wish. I shall let the whole of humanity behold the arrival of My day, and they shall all welcome the coming of My day with joy!” (“Chapter 27” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The more I listened, the more I felt these words were so authoritative and moving. I wondered, “Where on earth did these words come from?” At the end of the video I saw this text: “Excerpted from The Word Appears in the Flesh.” I immediately called two Christian bookstores to see if they had that book, but both said they didn’t. I was feeling really disappointed, but then I saw there was a contact number at the end of the video, which I immediately called. A sister answered the phone, and through our conversation I learned that it’s not a book that can be bought with money. I felt that the words I had heard were incredibly valuable, so I told her that I just had to read this book! We then set up a time to meet.
On February 5, 2016, Sister Wang and Sister Jin came to my house. I talked about the situation in churches over recent years and how I’d been searching for a church that had the Holy Spirit’s work and could bring my life sustenance. They asked me, “What did you think of Almighty God’s words?” I said, “They’re really authoritative and powerful, like something no human could utter. They seem like the voice of God.” Sister Wang responded, “These words are the voice of God. These are words uttered by the Lord Jesus returned—Almighty God in the flesh. Almighty God does the work of judgment starting with the house of God in the last days, He expresses all the truths that purify and save man. He reveals all the mysteries of God’s 6,000-year management plan, the mysteries of God’s three stages of work to save mankind, mysteries of the incarnation and the real story behind the Bible, how Satan corrupts mankind, how God saves mankind, how people can be freed from sin and cleansed by God, what mankind’s outcome will be, how people should seek so they can be saved and enter God’s kingdom, and more. God shares all these mysteries and truths with us. This fulfills the Lord Jesus’ prophecy: ‘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: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come’ (John 16:12–13). The Word Appears in the Flesh contains the utterances expressed by God Himself in the last days. It is the water of life granted to us by God, and the way of eternal life. We need only to follow the footsteps of the Lamb and gain the words expressed by God to gain sustenance for our lives. Then our parched spirits can be fed and watered.” I was astounded to hear her say this. I thought, “The Lord has really come back? Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus I’ve been longing for?” Although I knew that the Lord Jesus would return, I wasn’t entirely able to accept the Almighty God they bore witness to. But then I thought of the Pharisees who were always waiting for the coming of the Messiah, but when the Lord Jesus came to work, they refused to acknowledge Him. They stubbornly clung to their own notions, madly condemning and blaspheming the Lord Jesus and they ended up having Him nailed to the cross. They offended God’s disposition and were cursed and punished by God. I’d cautioned myself so many times not to be like the Pharisees when the Lord Jesus returned. I also thought about the prophets Simeon and Anna. I’d always really admired them and wanted to recognize the Lord Jesus when He returned, just like they did. Now that I’d heard news of the Lord Jesus’ return, how could I not seek and investigate it? Then the sisters gave me a copy of The Word Appears in the Flesh. They also told me every word in it came from the mouth of God and that I should read it carefully.
I started reading Almighty God’s words after that, and having online gatherings with brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God. One day, I read these words from Almighty God: “True faith in God means the following: On the basis of the belief that God holds sovereignty over all things, one experiences His words and His work, purges one’s corrupt disposition, satisfies the will of God, and comes to know God. Only a journey of this kind may be called ‘faith in God’” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). I said an “Amen” within my heart, and thought back on my own experiences in my belief. I’d been complacent with the grace of the Lord Jesus’ redemption, thinking that having gatherings, praying, reading the Bible, and working for the Lord were equivalent to having faith. I really didn’t understand the true meaning of faith. Reading those words was really illuminating for me—I saw that faith requires experiencing God’s work and words to change our corrupt dispositions, so we can gain the truth, and come to know God. This is to have faith in God. Just these few, concise words fully explained the true meaning of faith and showed me the path of how to believe in God. Only God could utter such words. I later read some of Almighty God’s words exposing the truth and essence of man’s corruption. For example, He reveals that we work and expend ourselves not because we love God and want to satisfy Him, but in the hope of getting the blessings of God’s kingdom in return, by making deals with God. He uncovers our arrogance and conceit, and our lack of fear of God. The moment His work isn’t in line with our notions, we arbitrarily judge and condemn it. Just like it says in Hebrews 4:12, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” I felt even more that the words expressed by Almighty God truly are God’s words, because only God can scrutinize the depths of human hearts, examine our thoughts and ideas, and know just what we are thinking, and only God can so precisely dissect the truth of our corruption. Almighty God’s words opened up the mysteries to so many Bible passages I’d never understood before, such as what “being raptured” really means, what the water of the river of life is, what New Jerusalem is, what wise and foolish virgins are, what opening the scroll and its seven seals means, and more. It really opened my eyes—I was utterly convinced. No one could unveil these mysteries of the Bible except God Himself. The more I read Almighty God’s words, the more spiritually nurtured I felt. It was like a sweet rain after a long drought, nourishing and watering my life. I became totally certain that these were the Holy Spirit’s words and God speaking to mankind, that Almighty God really is the returned Lord Jesus. I experienced the meaning behind what the Lord Jesus said, “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). It turned out, only Christ of the last days has the spring of living waters, and now I’d finally found the source of this spring of life.
By reading Almighty God’s words and gathering and fellowshiping with brothers and sisters I came to understand the essence and causes of the religious world’s desolation. Almighty God says, “Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. Today, all those who follow the present words of God are in the stream of the Holy Spirit; those who are strangers to the words of God today are outside of the stream of the Holy Spirit, and such people are not commended by God. Service that is divorced from the present utterances of the Holy Spirit is service that is of the flesh, and of notions, and it is impossible for it to be in accordance with God’s will. If people live among religious notions, then they are unable to do anything that is fit for God’s will, and even though they serve God, they serve in the midst of their imaginings and notions, and are totally incapable of serving in accordance with the will of God” (“Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “In each stage of God’s work there are also corresponding requirements of man. All those who are within the stream of the Holy Spirit are possessed of the presence and discipline of the Holy Spirit, and those who are not within the stream of the Holy Spirit are under the command of Satan, and without any of the work of the Holy Spirit. People who are in the stream of the Holy Spirit are those who accept the new work of God, and who cooperate in the new work of God. … Not so for the people who do not accept the new work: They are outside the stream of the Holy Spirit, and the discipline and reproach of the Holy Spirit do not apply to them. All day, these people live within the flesh, they live within their minds, and all that they do is according to the doctrine produced by the analysis and research of their own brains. This is not what is required by the Holy Spirit’s new work, much less is it cooperation with God. Those who do not accept the new work of God are bereft of the presence of God, and, moreover, devoid of the blessings and protection of God. Most of their words and actions hold to the past requirements of the Holy Spirit’s work; they are doctrine, not truth. Such doctrine and regulation are sufficient to prove that the gathering together of these people is nothing but religion; they are not the chosen ones, or the objects of God’s work. The assembly of all those among them can only be called a grand congress of religion, and cannot be called a church. This is an unalterable fact” (“God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading this I realized that because my old church and the different denominations I’d been in weren’t able to keep up with God’s new work, they’d been left out of the Holy Spirit’s work and had become religious venues, and were no longer God’s churches. The clergy just expounded on biblical knowledge and doctrine, always elevating and bearing witness to themselves, flaunting how much they’d suffered and given up. They never exalted or bore witness to God and they didn’t lead others to practice the Lord’s words. Some of them gave people church positions based on favoritism, and said people speaking in tongues were filled with the Holy Spirit and that proved they were saved by God. They’d come up with these things based on their own thinking, notions and imaginings. By leading their churches this way, religious leaders departed from the Lord’s teachings and went against the Lord’s will. They said they were believers but didn’t adhere to the Lord’s way or keep His commandments. Their path ran entirely contrary to the Lord. How could the Lord approve of that? Those places didn’t even count as churches anymore. They were just places for denominations or religious groups. That’s why I couldn’t gain God’s guidance when I practiced my faith there. I was just left spiritually parched and devoid of sustenance.
After that, I read a couple more passages of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, “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). “I gave My glory to Israel and then took it away, and afterward I brought the Israelites to the East, and all of humanity to the East. I have brought them all to the light so that they may be reunited with it, and be in association with it, and no longer have to search for it. I shall let all who are searching see the light again and see the glory I had in Israel; I shall let them see that I have long ago come down upon a white cloud into the midst of mankind, let them see the countless clouds of white and fruits in their abundant clusters, and, what is more, let them see Jehovah God of Israel. I shall let them look upon the Master of the Jews, the longed-for Messiah, and the full appearance of Me who have been persecuted by kings throughout the ages. I shall work upon the entire universe and I shall perform great work, revealing all My glory and all My deeds to man in the last days. I shall show My glorious countenance in its fullness to those who have waited many years for Me, to those who have longed for Me to come upon a white cloud, to Israel that has longed for Me to appear once again, and to all mankind who persecute Me, so that all will know that I have long ago taken away My glory and brought it to the East, so that it is no longer in Judea. For the last days have already come!” (“The Seven Thunders Peal—Prophesying That the Gospel of the Kingdom Shall Spread Throughout the Universe” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). By reading God’s words and gathering with brothers and sisters I came to understand that the Lord Jesus has returned in the flesh to do new work in the last days. He’s begun the Age of Kingdom and concluded the Age of Grace, and the Holy Spirit’s work has in turn shifted to God’s work of the last days. The religious world has entirely lost the Holy Spirit’s work. Those people stuck in religious venues have fallen into darkness and desolation. At the end of the Age of Law, the Lord Jesus incarnate did a newer, higher work outside of the temple, beginning the Age of Grace and ending the Age of Law. God’s work shifted to that age’s work of redemption and then the temple became desolate. Those who clung to Jehovah God’s work and wouldn’t accept the Lord Jesus’ work all fell into darkness and became lost. That made me think of Amos 8:11: “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.” Then, I finally understood. I’d visited several churches and listened to the sermons of so many famous pastors, but I never found a supply of life. My starving spirit was satiated when I heard Almighty God’s words. I realized it was entirely because God is doing new work and the Holy Spirit’s work has shifted. The Holy Spirit now only supports the work done in the name of Almighty God. No matter how well people follow the Lord Jesus’ work, it’s no longer endorsed by God.
I shared this understanding in a gathering and Sister Wang shared this fellowship: “In fact, God’s will is behind the famine in the religious world. The famine in religion makes those who truly believe in God and love the truth leave religion to seek what the Holy Spirit says to the churches, and seek the appearance and work of God. All those who hear the voice of God and accept and obey Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days are the wise virgins, and will be raised up before God’s throne. They undergo the judgment, cleansing, and perfection of Almighty God’s words and see the truth of how Satan’s corrupted them. Their arrogant, crooked, crafty satanic dispositions are gradually cleansed and transformed. They come to know God better and better and gradually grow in their lives. They give all sorts of testimonies of submitting to God and being loyal. They’re the overcomers God makes before the disasters, and they’re the first fruits. This fulfills the prophecy in 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’ (Revelation 14:4). Once this group of overcomers has been made by God, God incarnate’s work of judgment beginning with the house of God will come to an end. After that, He will rain down disasters, reward the good and punish the wicked. Then all who refused to accept God’s work of judgment, who condemned and resisted Almighty God will succumb to the disasters, weeping and gnashing their teeth. Only those cleansed by God will gain God’s protection and survive to ultimately be brought into God’s kingdom.”
Through the sister’s fellowship, I understood God’s work and God’s will. I felt how real God’s love is. God had not cast me aside, but had allowed me to welcome the Lord Jesus’ return during my lifetime. He’s supplied me with all these words and has bestowed so many truths upon me, nourishing my parched spirit. The more I think about it the more blessed I feel! I also read these words from God: “The way of life is not something that anyone can possess, nor is it something anyone can attain easily. This is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, and only God Himself has the way of life. And so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God is the source of life for all things—His words are the truth, the way, and the life. They endlessly water and nourish us. And now, I’ve gained the watering and shepherding of Almighty God’s words and I bask in the living waters of life from the throne. I really am attending the Lamb’s wedding feast. I’m so grateful to Almighty God for saving me!