Letting Go of My Guardedness Gained Me God’s Salvation of the Last Days
By Li Chunmei, South Korea
Editor’s Note: Theprophesied that He would come again in the last days, and I’m sure that all brothers and sisters longing for the Lord’s return hope to be able to welcome His coming and gain God’s salvation of the last days. Sister Li Chunmei is no exception, but when she hears the news of the Lord’s return she nearly misses God’s end-time salvation because of her guardedness. But fortunately, ultimately she lets down her guard and welcomes the Lord’s return. What was her experience? Read on to find out.
As a Christian in China, I often heard the pastor say, “The Bible says, ‘You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven’ (Acts 1:11). When the Lord Jesus went up into heaven, it was His resurrected spiritual body ascending on a cloud, and so when the Lord returns it will certainly be His spiritual body appearing to us on a cloud as well. Many biblical prophecies have now been fulfilled—the Lord is coming very soon. So, we must be very careful not to be misled and miss out on the chance to get into the kingdom of heaven.” I always kept the pastor’s words in mind.
I came to South Korea in 2014, and after doing a lot of research I chose a Presbyterian church to serve in and later became a district leader for the church. I constantly reminded myself that I had to be a good steward and watch over the Lord’s sheep.
One day in June 2018, two other sisters and I had plans to go read the Bible at Sister Li’s house. It just so happened that her niece, Sister Jin, was also there and so we all delved into the Scripture together. I brought up passages I wasn’t clear on one by one and Sister Jin provided detailed explanations for all of them. She then spoke of these prophecies of the Lord’s return: “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22), “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17), “Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come” (Revelation 14:7). Based on these, she shared fellowship that when the Lord returns He’s going to do a stage of the work of judgment. She also mentioned the parable of the net, the parable of the wheat and the tares, and the parable of the faithful and evil servants, saying that when the Lord returns, He will separate the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, and the faithful from the evil servants through His work of judgment. Sister Jin’s fellowship was really new and contained such light—it was also in line with the Scripture, and I really enjoyed listening to it. As we were wrapping up, Sister Jin said to us very seriously, “Sisters, the Lord Jesus, who we’ve been waiting for a long time, has already returned. He is, Christ of the last days. God has become flesh and is among us, expressing truths and doing the work of judgment beginning with the house of God….” Hearing her say this immediately took the smile off of my face and I thought, “The Lord Jesus has returned and He’s working in the flesh? How could that be possible?” A series of doubts brought to mind what the pastor had said about the Lord definitely coming down on a cloud, and so I immediately put up my guard with Sister Jin. I didn’t want to hear anything more. As we were leaving, she gave me a copy of and sincerely urged me to read through it thoroughly. I accepted the book for the sake of appearances.
After getting home I looked at a few pages of the book out of curiosity; I felt that these words were really authoritative and powerful, but the pastor’s words kept echoing in my head. So, I quickly put the book down and didn’t dare keep reading it. The next day those two other sisters came to see me and said that Sister Jin’s fellowship had been full of light and they wanted to hear more—they invited me to go with them. I said, “It is true that her fellowship was full of light, but the pastor frequently says that when the Lord returns, He will appear on a cloud, and to be on our guard against anyone who says that the Lord has come in the flesh.” They responded that the Lord’s coming was a major event and that since her fellowship had been enlightening, we should really seek and look into it, that that would be the only way to determine if the Lord really has returned or not. I figured what they said was reasonable, so I went to Sister Li’s house again.
When I saw Sister Jin, I said, “Sister Jin, you say that the Lord Jesus has become flesh and returned. How do you know? Have you seen God?” She smiled and responded, “Sister, the Lord Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me’ (John 10:27). Determining that the Lord has returned doesn’t necessarily require personally seeing Him in the flesh. What’s most important is seeing whether the words expressed by Him in the flesh are really God’s voice, whether they are the truth. It’s just like when the Lord Jesus came and did His work—Peter, Nathanael, the Samaritan woman, and others could all recognize the voice of God from the words of the Lord Jesus and so were able to determine that He was the Messiah. They then started following the Lord. And now those of us who have accepted God’s work of the last days have done so because we’ve read the words expressed by Almighty God and have seen that His words are authoritative and powerful. They open up the mysteries of God’s management plan and reveal the corrupt dispositions and thinking hidden deep within human hearts. They point us toward the path to being cleansed. This completely fulfills what the Lord Jesus prophesied: ‘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). Almighty God is the Spirit of truth, and in the last days He has expressed all truths necessary for mankind’s full salvation. By readingand putting them into practice we can gradually cast off our corrupt dispositions and enter into various aspects of the truth. That’s how we have determined that the Lord Jesus really has returned, and that He is Almighty God, Christ of the last days.”
She then went on to talk about some of her own experiences in determining this was the true way—it really resonated with me. However, as soon as I thought about what the pastor said I just couldn’t entirely believe that the Lord had come back in the flesh, so I still kept my guard up with her. I then said to Sister Jin, “These things that Almighty God has said really are great, but I can’t just accept it right away. I need to look into it first.” She didn’t push me, but just invited me to come visitwhen I had a chance.
That night I was tossing and turning, unable to get to sleep. I kept thinking about Sister Jin’s fellowship over the last couple of days, and I thought to myself, “Her fellowship really did contain light. I’ve been a believer all this time but have never heard such wonderful fellowship before. Should I keep listening to it, or not? What if the Almighty God that she’s bearing witness to really is the returned Lord Jesus? If I just steadfastly refuse to investigate it, wouldn’t that be missing my chance to welcome the Lord’s coming? But the pastor has told us very clearly that the Lord will return on a cloud, definitely not in the flesh. If I’m mistaken in my investigation wouldn’t that ruin the lives of the brothers and sisters in my district that I’m responsible for? What on earth should I do?” At that point I got up, then kneeled down to pray to the Lord: “Lord, I’m really at a loss right now. The pastor has said that when You return You’ll be on a cloud, but Sister Jin has fellowshiped that You’ve already come back in the flesh. I can’t be certain now if Almighty God really is Your return. Lord, if this is the right way, please enlighten and guide me so that I can recognize You. If this isn’t the right way, I ask that You grant me discernment so that I can keep to Your way.”
The following day I ran into Brother Wang, who had been a believer for a number of years and was very well-versed in the Bible. He was a devoted seeker and was an independent thinker in his words and actions. I told him about what Sister Jin had said about the Lord’s return and asked him what he thought. Hearing this, Brother Wang said earnestly, “Sister, this is the critical time for the Lord’s coming. If we hear someone spread the news that He has returned we absolutely have to seek this with an open mind and a heart of reverence for God. We can’t just lightly make a judgment. When the Lord Jesus appeared and did His work, the Pharisees crucified Him because they clung to their own notions and wantonly condemned His work. They were then damned and punished by God. We have to learn a lesson from the Pharisees’ failure! The Lord Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 5:3). And it says in Romans 10:17, ‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ I think we definitely have to look into whether or not Almighty God is the return of the Lord. If He really has returned, if we don’t investigate it, we’ll lose our chance at being raptured, and that would be the regret of a lifetime! How about we go visit The Church of Almighty God together?” I felt that what Brother Wang said was very reasonable, and that we should approach the issue of the Lord’s coming with reverence for God, not just blindly pass judgment. Only by seeking and investigating could we figure out if the Lord really had returned or not. So, I nodded my head in agreement and decided to go look into The Church of Almighty God.
A few days later, Brother Wang and I went to The Church of Almighty God along with a couple of other sisters. The brothers and sisters there received us very warmly. After exchanging introductions I shared my concern. “The fellowship that Sister Jin shared last time was all in line with the Bible and it really contained light, but I just can’t accept your testimony that the Lord has returned in the flesh, because it says in the Bible: ‘And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory’ (Luke 21:27). When the Lord returns, He should appear to us in great glory in His resurrected spiritual body. How could He come back in the flesh?”
One of the brothers responded with this fellowship: “Sister, there are a lot of other prophecies about how the Lord will appear when He returns aside from that verse you mentioned that say that He will show Himself to humanity in the flesh. For example, ‘Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not’ (Luke 12:40), ‘For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be’ (Matthew 24:27), ‘For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in His day. But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’ (Luke 17:24–25). These prophecies mention ‘the Son of man comes’ and ‘the coming of the Son of man’—by saying ‘the Son of man,’ that means He is born of a human being and possesses normal humanity. If He were to appear in a spiritual body He wouldn’t be referred to as the Son of man. For example, Jehovah God was a Spirit and wasn’t called the Son of man. After the Lord Jesus was resurrected, even though His spiritual body looked just like a fleshly body on the outside, He could not have been called the Son of man. The angels are also spiritual bodies, and they can’t be referred to as the Son of man, either. So, whenever He has the image of a human being but is actually a spiritual body, He’s not called the Son of man. The Lord Jesus in the flesh was the Son of man, He was Christ, and this was because He was the Spirit of God clothed in the flesh. He looked very common, very normal on the outside, but He was entirely divine and could do God’s own work. And so, when the Lord Jesus mentioned ‘the Son of man comes’ and ‘the coming of the Son of man,’ He was referring to God returning in the last days in the flesh. This verse in particular—‘But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’—proves that when the Lord returns He will appear in the flesh to work. It’s only if God comes in incarnated form so that He appears very normal on the outside that people will fail to recognize Him as God, and then they’ll slander, judge, and condemn Him. If the Lord Jesus appeared to mankind in His resurrected spiritual body with great glory, everyone would tremble and prostrate themselves in fear before Him. Who would dare to rebel against, resist, or reject God then? Then suffering and being rejected by this generation would be out of the question. In our investigation of whether He is the returned Lord Jesus, we should take into account all of the prophecies of His second coming. If we determine that He’ll return on a cloud just based on one or two Bible verses we’ll be likely to end up resisting God and then lose the Lord’s salvation of the last days!”
There wasn’t a single thing I could refute in this brother’s fellowship; I started to let down my guard a bit. He then played a wonderful clip called The Mystery of the Coming of the Son of Man from a film by The Church of Almighty God for us, The Mystery of Godliness. After watching this I realized that the Lord’s appearance and work when He returns in the last days will happen in steps. First, He’ll become flesh and secretly walk among mankind, expressing the truth and doing a stage of work of judgment and cleansing to complete a group of overcomers before the disaster. Once the work of His secret coming has been finished He’ll begin to rain down great disaster to reward the good and punish the evil, and only after all that will He come down on a cloud and openly show Himself to the peoples of all nations. Then those who resisted Christ of the last days will succumb to disaster, weeping and gnashing their teeth. This is the fulfillment of this biblical prophecy: “Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him” (Revelation 1:7). Once I understood all of this I no longer held onto the belief that the Lord would return in a spiritual body, appearing to humanity on a cloud. However, I still didn’t understand why the Lord would come to work in the flesh, so I continued my seeking with this brother.
The Return of a Prodigal Son
I forsook God’s salvation. I truly was so blind and ignorant. I still believed in God according to my conceptions and imagination, Thanks be to God! It was God who led me each step of the way to where I am now, so in order to repay God for His love, I am willing to offer all of my strength to carry out the work of spreading God’s gospel.
I Finally Welcomed the Lord
Many Christians who have looked forward to the day when the Lord will come to rapture them into the kingdom of heaven, but none of them realized that this was just the dream of man, and not the actual situation of God coming to rapture us into the kingdom of heaven, because to actually be raptured means to accept God’s work in the last days and come to God!
Catholic Beliefs: The Lord Really Has Returned
After reading this essay we finally understood the reason today’s churches are all so desolate as well as how we should welcome the Lord’s return. We hope that all faithful brothers and sisters may gain the Holy Spirit’s work and follow the footsteps of God, just as the protagonist has. So how should we watch and wait to welcome the Lord’s return?
I Welcomed the Return of the Lord (Audio Essay)
The churches at present are as desolate as the temple was, and it’s also because God is doing new work. The Lord Jesus that we have been desperately waiting for is now incarnated in human form and returns among us. He has taken the name Almighty God to express the truth and do the work of judging, cleansing and saving man in the last days. He has come to conclude the Age of Grace and begin the Age of Kingdom.