Where Will the Lord Jesus Return? How Can We Follow God’s Footsteps?
By Zhang Lan, South Korea
Editor’s Note: In the Bible, it is recorded in Zechariah 14:4, “And His feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” Many Christians think after reading this verse that the Lord Jesus will return in Israel in the last days. Nowadays, the Mount of Olives has long since been broken, and we also now see disasters happening more frequently all around the world, with wars and terrorist attacks occurring all the time, blood moons constantly appearing, and all the prophecies in the Bible concerning Jesus’ return have basically been fulfilled. And yet we still haven’t heard the news of the Lord’s return coming from Israel. The place where the Lord Jesus will return to has therefore become something many who long for the Lord’s return would most like to know. The Christian Zhang Lan was no exception but, by seeking, she discovered the place where God would appear in the last days, and she welcomed the return of the Lord. Let’s now take a look at Zhang Lan’s experiences.
- Will the Lord Appear and Work in Israel When He Returns in the Last Days?
- We Cannot Use Our Personal Opinions to Interpret Prophecy
- God Is the Creator, and He Can Launch His Work in Any Nation and Amongst Any People
- The Significance of God’s Previous Two Appearances and Work in Israel, and of God’s Appearance and Work in China in the Last Days
- I Relinquish My Notions and Joyfully Welcome the Lord’s Return
Will the Lord Appear and Work in Israel When He Returns in the Last Days?
“Oh, Sister Zhang, why are you so despondent now that we’ve finished our meeting?” I turned around to see that it was Sister Zhao Ping who had asked me this question.
I sighed, and said helplessly, “The pastors and elders just say the same old things in their sermons with no new light at all. The people attending meetings are getting fewer and fewer, and although they may come to meetings, some brothers and sisters do not have their hearts in it. While the sermons are going on, they either chat amongst each other or they drowse and take a nap, and some even fall fast asleep. I’m a leader of a small group in the church and even I can’t solve the problems the brothers and sisters have. Although the church often organizes various kinds of different assemblies and tries to motivate the positivity of the brothers and sisters, it can’t remedy the desolation that is happening within it. What will happen if things carry on this way?”
Sister Zhao nodded and said, “Yes, this is a real problem! At the end of the Age of Law, without the work of the Holy Spirit, the once glorious temple became increasingly desolate, and people began to sell livestock and change money in the temple, turning it into a den of thieves. We are now in the last days and the entire religious world is experiencing desolation on an unprecedented scale, disasters are growing more and more terrible all around the world, wars are breaking out all the time, and the prophecies in the Bible concerning the Lord’s return have basically all now been fulfilled. Will the Lord soon return, I wonder? If the Lord does return, where do you think He will come to welcome us into the kingdom of heaven?”
Without needing to think, I said, “The Lord has always worked in Israel. Zechariah 14:4 says, ‘And His feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.’ I think that when the Lord returns, He shall certainly come to Israel.”
“Yes, this is indeed what the Bible says,” said Sister Zhao. She mused for a moment and then said, “But anything to do with God’s work is of the utmost importance, and we have to seek in earnest. Oh yes, that’s right, I have a friend who believes in the Lord who invited me over to her home a few days ago. She has unique insights into biblical passages, and her fellowships are very enlightening. Why don’t we go together? Who knows? Maybe we’ll find the answers to some questions!” I happily consented to this idea.
We Cannot Use Our Personal Opinions to Interpret Prophecy
Two days later, I went with Sister Zhao to Sister Li’s home. Although this was the first time I’d ever met Sister Li, I felt her to be an exceptionally cordial person. No matter what question I asked, she answered every one with patience. When we got onto the topic of the desolation in the church, Sister Li said, “The church is now desolate for two reasons. The first reason is because there are more unlawful things happening in the church, and church leaders are not keeping the Lord’s way or practicing the Lord’s words, but instead just maintain the traditions passed down through generations. They focus only on expounding biblical knowledge and theological theories in order to show themselves off, or they talk about their experiences of how they busy themselves, expend themselves, suffer and work for the Lord, and so on. They don’t exalt God or bear witness to God at all. They have strayed entirely from the Lord’s way, and God now detests and rejects them, and He will weed them out. The second reason is because God is now performing a new work, and the work of the Holy Spirit has now shifted.” Sister Li then said, “Actually, the Lord Jesus whom we have long yearned for has returned already as the incarnated Almighty God. God long ago appeared and began His work in China, expressing His words to purify and save mankind and launching the work of judgment beginning in the house of God. Now, the work of the Holy Spirit has already passed from the churches of the Age of Grace into the church of the Age of Kingdom. All who accept God’s work of the last days are raised up before God’s throne, they attend the wedding feast of the Lamb, they are watered and supplied by God’s words, and they enjoy the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who don’t accept God’s new work, however, all lose the work of the Holy Spirit and fall into darkness, their spirits barren and weak, with nowhere to turn. Only by accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days, therefore, can we regain the work of the Holy Spirit and rid ourselves of the barrenness in our spirits once and for all!”
Sister Li’s words amazed me, and they seemed beyond belief. I said, “The Lord Jesus has returned? And He has appeared and is working in China? God has always worked in Israel, so how could He appear and work in China in the last days? The Bible says, ‘And His feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall split in the middle thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south’ (Zechariah 14:4). When the Lord Jesus returns in the last days, He should still appear in Israel! What’s more, China is an atheist, authoritarian dictatorship where the resistance to God and persecution of Christians is at its worst and is vehemently condemned by global human rights organizations. How could God appear and work in the flesh in China?”
Sister Zhao chimed in. “Indeed, the Israelites are God’s chosen people and God has always appeared and worked in Israel, and so when God returns in the last days, He should appear in Israel. How could it happen in China? We don’t understand this at all, Sister Li. Please could you fellowship with us about it?”
Sister Li nodded and said, smiling, “Thanks be to God! When we talk about the prophecies related to the Lord’s return, we must first understand this: These prophecies are God telling us beforehand about the work He will do in the future, and each one contains His wisdom and wondrousness. These prophecies certainly cannot be understood by us relying on our own ideas or going by the literal meaning of scriptures. They are fulfilled and accomplished only when God performs His work, and only then will we know what the prophecies really mean. In relation to prophecies, therefore, we must not decide what they mean by relying on our own thoughts and imaginations, much less cling to our own imaginings to delimit God’s work, for the consequences of doing this are unthinkable. The Pharisees in the time of Jesus read the prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Messiah and went by their own notions and imaginings to believe that, when God came, He would definitely be called ‘Messiah,’ that He would be born in a palace, that He would grow up to be a ruler and that He would lead the Jews to overthrow Roman rule. But when God did come, He wasn’t called ‘Messiah’ but ‘Jesus,’ and He was born in a manger. Nor did the Lord Jesus lead the Jews to overthrow Roman rule. Instead, He preached the way of repentance everywhere He went and taught people to love their neighbors as themselves and to love their enemies. Because the work and words of the Lord Jesus were at odds with the Pharisees’ notions and imaginings, they frantically condemned and resisted the Lord, they fabricated rumors to slander and blaspheme Jesus, and they even crucified Him upon the cross. Thus, they offended God’s disposition and God cursed them and punished them. From this, we can see that it is up to God to decide how His work begins and that He does not act in accordance with the imaginings of man. How prophecies are fulfilled is also unlike our literal understanding, and that is why we must not approach prophecies relying on our own notions and imaginings. Instead, we should have a God-fearing heart and seek with an open mind the facts of the fulfillment of God’s work, for only by doing this will we be able to welcome the Lord’s return. Actually, whichever country God chooses to appear and work in in the last days, God’s will and wisdom are behind it, and it is unfathomable to us human beings. I used to believe too that the Lord should return and appear in Israel, but then I read in the Book of Malachi, Chapter 1 Verse 11, Jehovah God saying: ‘For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles.’ Also, the Lord Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 24 Verse 27: ‘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.’ After carefully contemplating these two verses, I realized that the Son of man would come in the last days into the East of the world, and that the name of God would be great among the Gentiles. Later, I was fortunate enough to hear the kingdom gospel of Almighty God. Through reading God’s words and listening to fellowships given by the brothers and sisters, I became certain from the bottom of my heart that God truly has appeared and is working in China in the last days. Because China is in the East of the world, because it is also known as ‘the land where the sun rises’ and, what’s more, it is a Gentile nation where atheism rules, that God has appeared and is working in China in the last days entirely fulfills these prophecies.”
Sister Li’s fellowship caused me to sink into deep thought. “Yes,” I thought. “There are mysteries within these prophecies, so how can we interpret them using our own personal opinions? The sister has now testified that the Lord Jesus has returned, and that He has appeared and is working in China, and this precisely fulfills the prophecies in the Bible. Could it be that the Lord truly has appeared and is working in China in the last days?”
God Is the Creator, and He Can Launch His Work in Any Nation and Amongst Any People
Sister Li went on, saying, “On this issue, Almighty God’s words explain it very clearly. Let’s read a couple of passages of God’s words together. Almighty God says, ‘Actually, God is the Master of all things. He is the God of all creation. He is not only the God of the Israelites, and He is not only the God of the Jews; He is the God of all creation. The previous two stages of His work took place in Israel, and in this way, some conceptions have taken shape within people. People think that Jehovah was at work in Israel and Jesus Himself carried out His work in Judea—additionally, it was through incarnation that He was at work in Judea—and whatever the case, this work did not extend beyond Israel. He was not at work with the Egyptians; He was not at work with the Indians; He was only at work with the Israelites. People thus form various conceptions; additionally, they plan out God’s work within a certain scope. They say that when God is at work, it must be carried out among the chosen people and in Israel; save for the Israelites, God has no other recipient for His work, nor does He have any other scope for His work; they are particularly strict in “disciplining” the God incarnate, not permitting Him to move beyond the scope of Israel. Are these not all human conceptions? God made all of the heavens and earth and all things, and made all of creation; how could He restrict His work to only Israel? In that case, what use would there be for Him to make the entirety of His creation? He created the whole world; He has carried out His six-thousand-year management plan not only in Israel but also with every person in the universe. … Actually, if He were to act according to human conceptions, God would only be the God of the Israelites; in this manner He would be unable to expand His work into Gentile nations, because He would only be the God of the Israelites rather than the God of all creation. The prophecies said that Jehovah’s name would be great in the Gentile nations and that Jehovah’s name would be spread to the Gentile nations—why would they say this? If God were only the God of the Israelites, then He would only be at work in Israel. Furthermore, He would not expand this work, and He would not make this prophecy. Since He made this prophecy, He would need to expand His work into Gentile nations and into every nation and place. Since He stated this, He would thus do so. This is His plan, for He is the Lord who created the heavens and earth and all things, and the God of all creation. Regardless of whether He is at work with the Israelites or in all Judea, the work He does is the work of the entire universe and the work of all humanity. The work He does today in the nation of the great red dragon—in a Gentile nation—is still the work of all humanity. Israel can be the base for His work on earth; likewise, China can also become the base for His work among the Gentile nations. Has He not now fulfilled the prophecy that “the name of Jehovah will be great in the Gentile nations”?’ (“God Is the Lord of All Creation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“‘You also have never thought about how God could personally descend in a Gentile land. He ought to descend on Mount Sinai or the Mount of Olives and appear to Israelites. Are not Gentiles (that is, people outside of Israel) all objects of His loathing? How could He personally work among them? All these are the deep-rooted notions that you have developed over many years. The purpose of conquering you today is to smash these notions of yours. You thereby have seen God personally appearing among you—not on Mount Sinai or on the Mount of Olives, but among people whom He has never led in the past’ (“The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
After listening to Almighty God’s words, I thought: “These words explain it so clearly. God is the Lord who created all things in heaven and on earth and He is the God of all mankind. He can not only work in Israel but can also work in any place outside Israel as well, including China—this is God’s authority. It looks now as though what I’d been thinking before was wrong and it was at odds with the facts of God’s work!”
Sister Li continued with her fellowship. “God is the Creator who rules over and controls the entire universe, the entire world, and even more so He controls the fate of mankind. God is not only the God of the Israelites, but even more so He is the God of all creation, from one end of the cosmos to the other. God has the right to perform the work of His plan within any nation and amongst any people. But no matter what country He appears and works in, His work is done for the sake of all mankind. In the Age of Law, for example, Jehovah God used Moses to proclaim His law and began the Age of Law in Israel. Then, using this land as a center, He gradually expanded His work to other lands, so that all nations and peoples would accept Jehovah’s gospel and magnify Him as great. In the Age of Grace, God became flesh and incarnated as the Lord Jesus in Judea (wherein lived a branch of the Israelites), and thus He began the work of redemption. But the Lord Jesus didn’t just redeem Jews, He redeemed all of mankind. After He was crucified and the work of redemption was completed, the Lord’s gospel gradually spread to all nations of the world. Similarly, in the last days, God has become flesh and has appeared and is working in China, expressing His words to judge and purify man. But God doesn’t just judge the people of China—He judges all of mankind. God is just testing the waters in China first of all and making complete a group of overcomers. Thereafter, God turns His attention toward the entire universe and will judge all of mankind, thus allowing all who are possessed of both heart and spirit to hear His gospel and receive His salvation in the last days. It is evident, therefore, that no matter the age and no matter what country or people God chooses to appear and work in, He always chooses a place to work first and then, using this place as an example, gradually extends His work to other places. It is not that, once God has appeared and worked in one country or people, He is then only the God of this one country or people—this is wrong. If we go by our own notions and imaginings and we believe that, because God’s previous two stages of work were performed in Israel, then God will always appear and work in Israel and cannot work in any Gentile nation, and only the Israelites deserve God’s blessings and no Gentile can attain God’s salvation, wouldn’t we then be delimiting God? And how then would these words spoken by God, ‘My name shall be great among the Gentiles,’ be accomplished and fulfilled? Could it be that God is only the God of the Israelites? Could it be that God must first solicit the opinions of man about where He performs His work? Would to believe that not be too arrogant and self-conceited? And would we not be resisting God?”
Sister Li’s fellowship was right, and I nodded and said, “Yes, I saw that God had always worked in Israel and so I delimited Him, saying that He could only appear in Israel. If God had appeared and performed His work in Israel again in the last days, then I would have delimited Him still further as the God of the Israelites, and that would have been to deny God as the Ruler of all mankind! I would have been resisting God by doing that!”
Sister Li said, “Through the fact that He has returned in the flesh in China where atheism rules, God has destroyed all our notions, and He has allowed us to see that the appearance and work of God are not bound by any rules, and to see that He works according to His own plan. At the same time, God has done this to show us that not only does He save the Israelites, but that He also saves the Gentiles—God is the God of all mankind. In short, no matter where God appears and works, it is all done for the sake of His work, and it is all done to better save mankind and to enable the whole of mankind to come before God and worship Him. This also fulfills and accomplishes the prophecy, ‘For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same My name shall be great among the Gentiles’ (Malachi 1:11).”
The Significance of God’s Previous Two Appearances and Work in Israel, and of God’s Appearance and Work in China in the Last Days
I said, “Sister, I understand now from your fellowship that God’s plan is always behind where He chooses to appear and work and, even more so, God’s wisdom and His good will are to be found therein as well. We are unfit to form opinions on God’s work, much less delimit His work. But there is still something I don’t understand: China is an atheist nation where most people don’t believe in God or worship God. Since God appeared and worked in Israel before, couldn’t He also work in nations like the US or the UK, where Christianity is the state religion? Why did He deliberately choose to perform His work in China? What is God’s will here? Are you able to give us fellowship on this?”
“Yes, God’s appearance and work are meaningful and we human beings would never be able to work it out. So do please fellowship with us again!” said Sister Zhao.
Sister Li smiled and said, “Thanks be to God, for the words of Almighty God explain this issue very clearly. Let’s read a couple more passages of God’s words. Almighty God says, ‘Nothing was more symbolic than the first stage being carried out in Israel: The Israelites were the most holy and least corrupt of all peoples, and so the dawn of the new epoch in this land held the utmost significance. It can be said that mankind’s forefathers came from Israel, and that Israel was the birthplace of God’s work. In the beginning, these people were the most holy, and they all worshiped Jehovah, and God’s work in them was able to yield the greatest results. The entire Bible records the work of two ages: One was the work of the Age of Law, and one was the work of the Age of Grace. The Old Testament records Jehovah’s words to the Israelites and His work in Israel; the New Testament records Jesus’ work in Judea. But why does the Bible not contain any Chinese names? Because the first two parts of God’s work were carried out in Israel, because the people of Israel were the chosen ones—which is to say that they were the first to accept the work of Jehovah. They were the least corrupt of all mankind, and in the beginning, they were of a mind to look up to God and revere Him. They obeyed the words of Jehovah, and always served in the temple, and wore priestly robes or crowns. They were the earliest people to worship God, and the earliest object of His work. These people were a specimen and model for the whole of mankind. They were specimens and models of holiness and righteousness. People such as Job, Abraham, Lot, or Peter and Timothy—they were all Israelites, and the most holy of specimens and models. Israel was the earliest country to worship God among mankind, and more righteous people came from here than anywhere else. God worked in them in order that He could better manage mankind throughout the land in the future. Their achievements and the righteousness of their worship of Jehovah were recorded, so that they could serve as specimens and models to the people beyond Israel during the Age of Grace; and their actions have upheld several thousand years of work, right up until today’ (“The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“‘The work of Jehovah was the creation of the world, it was the beginning; this stage of work is the end of work, and it is the conclusion. At the start, God’s work was carried out among the chosen ones of Israel, and it was the dawn of a new epoch in the most holy of all places. The last stage of work is carried out in the most impure of all countries, to judge the world and bring the age to an end. In the first stage, God’s work was done in the brightest of all places, and the last stage is carried out in the darkest of all places, and this darkness will be driven out, the light brought forth, and all the people conquered. When the people of this most impure and darkest of all places have been conquered, and the entire population has acknowledged that there is a God, who is the true God, and every person has been utterly convinced, then this fact will be used to carry out the work of conquest throughout the entire universe. This stage of work is symbolic: Once the work of this age has been finished, the work of 6,000 years of management will come to a complete end. Once those in the darkest of all places have been conquered, it goes without saying that it will also be so everywhere else. As such, only the work of conquest in China carries meaningful symbolism. China embodies all forces of darkness, and the people of China represent all those who are of the flesh, of Satan, and of flesh and blood. It is the Chinese people who have been most corrupted by the great red dragon, who have the strongest opposition to God, whose humanity is most base and impure, and so they are the archetype of all corrupt humanity. … It is in the people of China that corruption, impurity, unrighteousness, opposition, and rebelliousness are manifested most completely and revealed in all their varied forms. On the one hand, they are of poor caliber, and on the other, their lives and mindset are backward, and their habits, social environment, family of birth—all are poor and the most backward. Their status, too, is low. The work in this place is symbolic, and after this test work has been carried out in its entirety, His subsequent work will go much better. If this step of work can be completed, then the subsequent work goes without saying. Once this step of work has been accomplished, great success will have been fully achieved, and the work of conquest throughout the entire universe will have come to a complete end. In fact, once the work among you has been successful, this will be equivalent to the success throughout the entire universe. This is the significance of why I have you act as a model and specimen. Rebelliousness, opposition, impurity, unrighteousness—all are found in these people, and in them is represented all the rebelliousness of mankind. They are really something. Thus, they are held up as the epitome of conquest, and once they have been conquered they will naturally become a specimen and model for others’ (“The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
After she’d finished reading these passages, Sister Li gave us fellowship, saying, “We can understand from Almighty God’s words that God decides the place where He will work and the objects of His work in every age based on the needs of His work, and God’s decision about where to perform His work is principled, meaningful and representative. Take Jehovah’s work in Israel in the Age of Law, for example. His work allowed people to know what sin was, how to tell the difference between good and evil, and His work allowed people to live normal, orderly lives on earth. Jehovah God chose to work in Israel, as Israel was the place where God made our ancestors, Adam and Eve. The Israelites were the people least corrupted by Satan, and they were also the people who first began to worship God. By performing His work on the Israelites, they were able to accept and obey it easily, and working in Israel was advantageous to spreading God’s work to other places more easily. In the Age of Grace, the incarnated Lord Jesus performed the work of redemption upon a tribe of the Israelites—the Jews—in order to save mankind from the fetters and bonds of the law and to enable people to come before God to confess and repent their sins. Because the Jews worshiped Jehovah God already and were kept within bounds by the law, they were least corrupted by Satan. If those who were the least corrupted needed the salvation of God, just think how much more the rest of mankind, who were even more corrupted, needed it! Wouldn’t they have needed God’s salvation even more? That is why God’s previous two stages of work were performed in Israel; it was what was required by God’s work. Because the work performed in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace was just to make people aware of sin and to confess their sins, and it did not involve changing people’s corrupt dispositions, God therefore chose to come and perform His work in the land of Israel, where the people were least corrupted, and where they believed in God and worshiped God. He did this so as to better launch on earth His work to save mankind and to better spread His gospel.
“Similarly, there is also a tremendous significance to God appearing and working in China in the last days. The work God performs in the last days is the work of conquering and perfecting mankind. It is to express His words to expose and judge our rebelliousness and corruption, to make us recognize the truth of our own corruption by Satan and our God-defying satanic nature. It is to enable us to pursue the truth, to be rid of our satanic corrupt dispositions once and for all, for us to be changed and purified by God, and to become people who truly obey and worship God. Therefore, the objects of God’s work in the last days must necessarily be the epitomes of the people most deeply corrupted by Satan amongst all of corrupted mankind. If God can conquer the people who are the most deeply corrupted amongst all mankind, then that would be tantamount to conquering all of mankind. Only in that way will Satan be thoroughly shamed and defeated, and only then will God truly gain glory. In all the universe, the people of China are the ones who have been most deeply corrupted by Satan, and who resist God the most. As everybody knows, China is under the rule of an atheist government which believes in Marxism-Leninism, and which promotes atheism, materialism and evolutionism; China is the nation that is the darkest and the most unwilling to acknowledge the existence of God in all the world. The Chinese Communist Party uses school education, media broadcasts, the opinions of the great and famous, as well as all manner of social trends to perpetually indoctrinate people with such satanic poisons, philosophies and axioms as ‘There has never been any Savior,’ ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses,’ ‘One’s destiny is in his own hand,’ ‘Man can conquer nature,’ ‘Every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost,’ ‘Man will do anything to get rich,’ ‘Money is first,’ ‘Life is just about eating and dressing,’ and ‘Seize the day for pleasure, for life is short.’ After the Chinese people have accepted all these poisons and axioms of Satan, they all resist and deny God, and they don’t believe that it is God who provides for and nurtures mankind, much less do they believe that God is currently performing His work to save mankind. The people of China have been deeply corrupted by Satan and they live by the philosophies and axioms of Satan; they are all incredibly covetous of physical pleasures, and they advocate the acquisition of money, fame, fortune and status. From the high officials of the CCP to the ordinary street peddlers, they strive, scheme and fight against each other in order to obtain fame, fortune and status. What’s more, the people of China are the descendants of Moab who have descended from licentiousness and wickedness, who are cursed by God, who have the poorest caliber and the lowliest status of any among the whole of mankind. In China, eating, drinking, whoring, gambling, smoking, swindling, and thieving are all becoming more and more prevalent, and people are becoming more and more promiscuous, corrupt and wicked. In other words, the people of China are the epitomes of corruption and wickedness. In the last days, God has become flesh and has appeared to perform His work in China, He expresses His words and performs the work of judgment to conquer the people of China—those who are the most filthy and corrupt—and in doing so, He makes it easier to conquer the peoples of other nations. Therefore, performing His work of conquest and judgment on the people of China is the best way for God to show His almightiness and wisdom, and it is the best way to shame Satan and achieve the outcome of conquering and perfecting mankind. If God performed His work in the last days in Israel again, then this outcome would be impossible, and Satan would remain unconvinced. It would accuse God, saying that the Israelites have always revered and obeyed God, that they are not the most deeply corrupted of mankind, and that to make people like this complete does not demonstrate that God can make complete all the people throughout the universe. Now that we have read Almighty God’s words, we have seen that, whether it be God’s previous two stages of work in Israel, or God appearing and working in China in the last days, His work is always profoundly meaningful, and it always allows us to see God’s power, wisdom and wondrousness!”
I was much moved by Almighty God’s words and by the fellowship given by Sister Li, and I said, “Yes, Israel is a God-worshiping nation and, relatively speaking, the Israelites are the least corrupted amongst mankind. If the Lord returned to work in Israel, many would accept it and would very quickly be made complete by God. In that way, God’s work of conquest would not achieve a good outcome and people would be unable to witness God’s almightiness and wisdom. China, on the other hand, is the most degenerate and the least God-worshiping nation in the world, and if God can conquer the people of China, then this would show His power even more. I now understand that the significance of God working in China in the last days is truly great indeed, and yet I hadn’t known the significance of God’s work, but had instead made decisions about God’s work using my own notions and imaginings—how arrogant I was!”
I Relinquish My Notions and Joyfully Welcome the Lord’s Return
Sister Li said happily, “Thanks be to God! That we are able to relinquish our notions and imaginings and seek to accept the truth is all down to the leadership and guidance of God! God’s wisdom is higher than the heavens, and there are mysteries to God’s work and truths to seek no matter what work He does. And so, in relation to the matter of the Lord’s coming to perform His work, we must relinquish our own notions, as no matter where God works, His disposition and essence do not change, and all of God’s work is done to save mankind. What we need to do is listen carefully to the voice of God, relinquish our notions and imaginings, seek the truth, keep pace with God’s footsteps, and avoid missing our chance to be saved by God because we are delimiting God. Just as Almighty God’s words say, ‘Let go of your opinions about the “impossible”! The more that people believe something is impossible, the more likely it is to occur, because the wisdom of God soars higher than the heavens, God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts, and the work of God transcends the limits of man’s thinking and notions. The more that something is impossible, the more it has truth that can be sought; the more something lies beyond man’s notions and imagination, the more it contains the will of God. This is because, no matter where He reveals Himself, God is still God, and His substance will never change on account of the location or manner of His appearance. The disposition of God remains the same regardless of where His footprints are, and no matter where the footprints of God are, He is the God of all mankind, just as the Lord Jesus is not only the God of the Israelites, but is also the God of all the people of Asia, Europe, and America, and even more than that, He is the one and only God in the entire universe. So let us seek God’s will and discover His appearance in His utterances, and keep pace with His footsteps! God is the truth, the way, and the life. His words and His appearance exist concurrently, and His disposition and footprints are open to mankind at all times’ (“The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
Just then, I felt overjoyed that I had been able to know God’s work, and I also felt remorse and a sense of indebtedness for having previously delimited God—my heart was filled with all kinds of emotions. I had longed to welcome the Lord’s return for years, but I’d never realized that I was delimiting where God could appear and work within my imagination, or that I was believing in God and yet resisting Him at the same time. It was the words of Almighty God that had revealed the mysteries of God’s appearance and work, and I had finally come to have the correct understanding about the significance of God coming to perform His work in China in the last days. That I was fortunate enough on this day to hear Almighty God’s words was truly God raising me up; my heart was much moved, and I was filled with gratitude toward Him. After the meeting was over, Sister Zhao and I both said that we wanted to look further into Almighty God’s work of the last days, and we took the initiative to ask Sister Li for a copy of The Word Appears in the Flesh, the book of words expressed by Almighty God.
After I got home, I held the book of Almighty God’s words in my hands and loved it so much that I couldn’t put it down, and I read it avidly every day. After some time had passed, I came to understand many truths I had not understood before when I had merely believed in the Lord, such as the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, the truth and the backstory to the Bible, the mystery of God’s name, the inside story on God’s three stages of work, as well as what true faith in God is, and how God determines the ends and destinations for various kinds of people. The truths expressed by Almighty God possess authority, power and majesty, and they contain God’s mercy for mankind. Besides God, no one could uncover these mysteries or express these truths. I became absolutely certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned, and I gladly accepted the work of Almighty God. It is the grace of Almighty God that has enabled me to keep pace with the footsteps of the Lamb. Thanks be to God!