I Have Finally Welcomed the Lord
By Michael, Indonesia
I went only to Catholic schools as a child until I finished high school. I was very active in saying prayers and attending fellowship as well as other church activities. I was always longing for the Lord to come on a cloud and take me into the kingdom of heaven. I saw the signs of the Lord’s return had already appeared and the great disasters were upon us, but the Lord still hadn’t appeared on a cloud. I’d gaze at the sky and wonder, “When will the Lord come?” In my Bible reading one day I noticed that there are more biblical prophecies about the Lord’s return than just Him coming on a cloud, that it says different things. These verses say: “For as lightning cometh out of the east, and appeareth even into the west: so shall the coming of the Son of man be” (Matthew 24:27). “Wherefore be you also ready, because at what hour you know not the Son of man will come” (Matthew 24:44). I was confused, noticing they all mentioned “the Son of man.” How could the Lord return as the Son of man? Then I remembered that the Book of Acts mentions that the Lord Jesus will come down from heaven in the same way He went up, so since He ascended on a cloud, I figured He’d definitely come back down on a cloud. Why did some verses say He’d come as the Son of man but other verses said He’d come on a cloud? It seemed contradictory to me. I went to ask the priest. But he was evasive, saying that we humans can’t understand or fully explain the Bible, and he advised me not to look for the answer. I wondered, “How could that be alright? If I don’t know how the Lord comes, how will I welcome Him when He returns?” I later went to a few Protestant churches and asked the pastors there, but they said the same thing as the priest had. They’d all been serving the Lord for decades but they still weren’t clear on how the Lord would appear when He returned. I was really disappointed. I turned to the Internet to see if I could find a reasonable explanation, but after some time looking there, I still couldn’t find a clear-cut answer. I felt really discouraged and came before the Lord in prayer: “Lord, I’ve read two different things in the Bible about how You’ll return. I’m really confused and have lots of unanswered questions, but I feel like a blind person fumbling around in the dark. Please guide me to understand Your will.”
I prayed this way for three years. Then in August 2018 I discovered The Church of Almighty God’s gospel movies on YouTube and saw they had a lot of views. Seeing that a lot of people were watching their movies made me curious, so I started to check them out. The first one I watched was The City Will Be Overthrown. It thoroughly analyzed the reason behind the desolation in the churches and I gained a lot from it. I felt like The Church of Almighty God possessed the truth, and their fellowship was enlightening. I kept watching their videos. Among them there was a crosstalk, How Exactly Does the Lord Come, which had the answer I’d been seeking for so long. They stated explicitly that the Lord would return in a way besides just coming on a cloud. They referred to these Bible prophecies: “Behold, I come as a thief” (Revelation 16:15). “[A]t midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). They talked about how there are two types of prophecies, about the Lord’s coming openly on a cloud, and about Him coming secretly, like a thief. But they’re not contradictory because they won’t be fulfilled at the same time. The Lord comes in secret first and then later comes openly on a cloud. They also said His coming in secret means that when He returns, He incarnates as the Son of man and comes to earth, which completely fulfills Luke 17:24–25: “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.” “The Son of man” means He is born of a human and that He has normal humanity and can engage in any human activity. If He comes as a spirit, then clearly we can’t call Him the Son of man. That’s why the Lord Jesus’ prophecies of His appearing and coming as the Son of man mean that He will return in incarnate flesh. If God is not incarnate flesh, He couldn’t be called the Son of man, just like Jehovah God, as a Spirit, can’t be referred to as the Son of man. They also linked this with the Lord Jesus’ prophecy: “But first must He suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” They went on saying, “This proves that the Lord will appear in the flesh when He returns. His Spirit is not limited by time or space and everyone fears Him—no one would dare resist Him. If God appeared to mankind in His Spirit form He wouldn’t suffer many things, much less be rejected of this generation. Only the Son of man in the flesh will suffer. This prophecy is about what happens when the Lord Jesus returns, not about what He suffered the first time He became flesh.” Hearing them say this brightened my heart. If the Lord first secretly comes in the flesh and then appears openly on a cloud, all the Bible’s prophecies about the Lord’s coming will be fulfilled and there won’t be any contradiction. The confusion I’d had for years was finally resolved. I was thrilled to find the answer I’d been seeking for so long. I never imagined I’d find it through The Church of Almighty God. I gave thanks to God over and over.
I later went to their YouTube channel to download more gospel movies and followed them on Facebook. I would watch their movies whenever I had the time. I watched Who Is He That Has Returned, Rapture in Peril, Break Through the Snare, God’s Name Has Changed?! and more. I learned some truths like how to discern the true Christ from false Christs, the meaning of God’s name in each age, the difference between the wise and foolish virgins, what kind of faith is in line with God’s will, and what kind of person can get into the kingdom of heaven. These were all truths and mysteries I’d never known in all my years of faith. I was amazed that Almighty God’s words revealed all of these things and it really helped me know God better. I downloaded and saved all of these movies. I also noticed that they all testified that the Lord had returned in the flesh as Almighty God. I was surprised and pleased, and I really wanted to know more about the incarnation and why God had to come in the flesh to work. After that, I watched The Mystery of Godliness.
Two passages of Almighty God’s words about the incarnation were in it. “The ‘incarnation’ is God’s appearance in the flesh; God works among created mankind in the image of the flesh. So for God to be incarnated, He must first be flesh, flesh with normal humanity; this is the most basic prerequisite. In fact, the implication of God’s incarnation is that God lives and works in the flesh, that God in His very essence becomes flesh, becomes a man” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Because He is a man with the essence of God, He is above all created humans, above any man who can perform God’s work. And so, among all those with a human shell like His, among all those who possess humanity, only He is the incarnate God Himself—all others are created humans. Though they all have humanity, created humans have nothing but humanity, while God incarnate is different: In His flesh He not only has humanity but, more importantly, divinity. … Since God becomes flesh, His essence is a combination of humanity and divinity. This combination is called God Himself, God Himself on earth” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
They fellowshiped in the movie: “The incarnation is God’s Spirit wearing flesh, that is, God’s Spirit realized in the flesh with a normal humanity and normal mind, becoming an ordinary and normal person to work and speak among mankind. This flesh possesses normal humanity and complete divinity. Though ordinary and normal in appearance, this flesh can undertake God’s work, express God’s voice, lead mankind, and also save mankind. That’s because He has complete divinity. This complete divinity is the inherent disposition of God, God’s holy and righteous substance, what God has and is, His almightiness and wisdom, and His authority and power, which His Spirit possesses. These are all realized in this flesh. This flesh is Christ and is God Himself who has actually come to the earth to do the work of saving mankind. In appearance, Christ is ordinary and normal, but there are substantial differences between Him and created humans. Created mankind only has humanity without any divine substance. Yet Christ not only has normal humanity. More than that, He has complete divinity. He has God’s substance, so He can represent God. He can express the truth with God’s identity, express God’s disposition and what God has and is, and He can bestow to man the truth, the way, and the life. This is beyond any created human’s capability. When Christ works, speaks and expresses God’s disposition and what God has and is, He does all of these within normal flesh. No matter how He expresses God’s work and disposition, He lives in normal humanity all along. He is of normal flesh, not supernatural in the slightest. So this means God comes among man and becomes an ordinary person. It’s this ordinary and normal flesh that fulfills ‘the Word appears in the flesh.’ This is the incarnate practical God. Because Christ has complete divinity, He can represent God, express the truth, and lead all mankind. Because Christ has complete divinity, He can directly express God’s words instead of conveying them. He can express the truth anytime, anywhere to supply, water, and shepherd man. He can lead the entire human race. Because Christ has complete divinity, God’s identity, and God’s substance, we can say that He is God incarnate, the practical God Himself.”
At this point, I understood that God incarnate is the Spirit of God clothed in ordinary and normal flesh, living among us. He looks just like a regular person from the outside but inside is God’s Spirit and complete divinity. That’s just like the Lord Jesus. He looked like a regular person on the outside but He was completely divine, so He could express the truth, give us the way of repentance, and raise people from the dead. Ultimately, He was crucified to redeem mankind’s sins. Only God can do these things. The main character in the movie asked another question: “Why does God have to come in the flesh to save corrupt mankind?” That was a great question and I really wanted to understand why God needed to incarnate to save us, too. I kept watching eagerly.
The brothers and sisters in the movie read several passages of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, “The flesh of man has been corrupted by Satan, and it has been most deeply blinded, and profoundly harmed. The most fundamental reason why God works personally in the flesh is because the object of His salvation is man, who is of the flesh, and because Satan also uses the flesh of man to disturb the work of God. The battle with Satan is actually the work of conquering man, and at the same time, man is also the object of God’s salvation. In this way, the work of God incarnate is essential. Satan corrupted the flesh of man, and man became the embodiment of Satan, and became the object to be defeated by God. In this way, the work of doing battle with Satan and saving mankind occurs on earth, and God must become human in order to do battle with Satan. This is work of the utmost practicality” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of the Incarnate God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “It is precisely because Satan has corrupted the flesh of man, and man is the one who God intends to save, that God must assume the flesh to do battle with Satan and to personally shepherd man. Only this is beneficial to His work” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “The flesh of man has been most profoundly corrupted, and it has become something which opposes God, so much so that it even openly opposes and denies the existence of God. This corrupt flesh is simply too intractable, and nothing is more difficult to deal with or change than the corrupt disposition of the flesh. Satan comes into the flesh of man to stir up disturbances, and it uses the flesh of man to disturb the work of God and impair the plan of God, and thus man has become Satan, and become the enemy of God. For man to be saved, he must first be conquered. It is because of this that God rises to the challenge and comes into the flesh to do the work He intends to do, and to do battle with Satan. His aim is the salvation of man, who has been corrupted, and the defeat and annihilation of Satan, which rebels against Him. He defeats Satan through His work of conquering man, while at the same time He saves corrupt mankind. Thus, it is a work that achieves two aims at once” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of the Incarnate God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “When God is working in the flesh, He is actually doing battle with Satan in the flesh. When He works in the flesh, He is doing His work in the spiritual realm, and He makes the whole of His work in the spiritual realm real on earth. The one who is conquered is man, man who is disobedient to Him, and the one who is defeated is the embodiment of Satan (of course, this is also man), who is in enmity to Him, and the one who is ultimately saved is also man. In this way, it is even more necessary for God to become a human who has the outer shell of a creation, so that He is able to do real battle with Satan, to conquer man, who is disobedient to Him and possessed of the same outer shell as Him, and to save man, who is of the same outer shell as Him and has been harmed by Satan. His enemy is man, the object of His conquest is man, and the object of His salvation is man, who was created by Him. So He must become human, and in this way, His work becomes much easier. He is able to defeat Satan and conquer mankind, and, moreover, is able to save mankind” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of the Incarnate God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The fellowship in the movie went on: “Why does corrupt mankind need to be saved by God incarnate? It’s because man’s flesh has been deceived and corrupted by Satan itself. All of mankind lives under Satan’s domain, indulging in sin, ignorant of good and evil, beauty and ugliness. They don’t know what is negative and what is positive. They live by their satanic philosophies and dispositions. They’re arrogant, deceitful, evil, hardened, ferocious, and bored of the truth. These things are all deeply entrenched and have become people’s very nature. Under their control, people can’t help but sin and resist God. They may have faith, read the Bible, pray and confess to God, but then they just keep sinning. They can’t free themselves from sin. It’s just like what Paul said: ‘[F]or to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not’ (Romans 7:18). God is the Creator. Only God knows everything about man’s essence. God knows how deeply corrupted people are, so only God can expose man’s corrupt disposition and satanic nature. God can tell us exactly how to live and how to conduct ourselves. God bestows us with life and truth, He can lead and save mankind. Besides God, no one else can see man’s corrupt substance or give us the truth about how to conduct ourselves. So, in order for God to thoroughly save deeply corrupted mankind from Satan’s domain, God must be incarnated to express the truth and God’s disposition and tell people all the truths that we must possess so that we understand what the truth is, come to know God, see through Satan’s schemes and all of Satan’s lies and finally rebel against and reject Satan in our hearts, and turn to God fully. If God worked in the Spirit in the last days that wouldn’t fully cleanse our corrupt dispositions. We can’t see or touch God’s Spirit, and we wouldn’t understand when He spoke. On top of that, God’s Spirit is too holy for corrupt mankind to get close to. They’d be struck down by God for being sullied. The Old Testament records that thunder was heard when Jehovah God appeared on Mt. Sinai and the Israelites saw smoke from the mountaintop along with the lightning, the sound of thunder and trumpets. They all stood far away and said to Moses, ‘Speak you with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die’ (Exodus 20:19). That’s why only God in the flesh can do the work of fully saving and conquering mankind. God’s incarnation exposes all sorts of people. People are arrogant and conceited and won’t listen to anyone. When God is incarnated to express the truth, they’ll have their own notions, rebel against and even resist Him. The truth of corrupt mankind resisting and betraying God will then finally be revealed. God will carry out His judgment of man according to their nature and the corruptions they reveal. This is beneficial to God’s conquering, saving, and perfecting man. We’ll be gradually conquered and purified through God’s step-by-step judgment. Once man is completely conquered by God’s words, we will begin to be obedient to God incarnate. We will accept the judgment and chastisement of His words, and experience His work. We’ll make a resolution to pursue the truth, and will no longer live by Satan’s philosophies. When we live completely by God’s word, that means God has defeated Satan. Mankind then becomes God’s spoils of war with Satan. God will have saved mankind from Satan’s domain once and for all. This is what God incarnate’s work achieves and it’s why God’s incarnation is necessary. Only the incarnate God can conquer and save man thoroughly.”
After watching this I understood that in the last days, the Lord Jesus returns in the flesh to save us entirely based on our own needs. Satan has corrupted us and it’s this corrupt and rebellious disposition that makes us resist and go against God. It’s only by God becoming flesh as the ordinary and normal Son of man and interacting with us face-to-face that these satanic dispositions within us and our mistaken perspectives can be fully exposed. God directly expresses truths to judge, expose and cleanse people based on the corrupt dispositions we reveal. Only then can we feel true regret and repent to God, then develop a heart of reverence for God. Our corrupt dispositions will be gradually cleansed and we can be fully saved by God. God becoming flesh is the best way for Him to save mankind. I looked into it for a while and became certain that Almighty God’s words are the voice of God, that He is the Lord Jesus returned in the last days, without a shadow of a doubt! After three years of praying and seeking I finally learned that God has returned in the flesh. I had this indescribable feeling in my heart and I felt God’s love and mercy deep within me.
I got in touch with The Church of Almighty God in February 2019 and started living the church life with brothers and sisters. From Almighty God’s words I’ve seen that God reveals the mysteries of His three stages of work, the inside story and essence of the Bible, the significance of God’s judgment work in the last days, and all aspects of the truth. I can feel in my heart that Almighty God’s words are the fount of living waters of life, incomparably abundant. Thanks be to God! I heard God’s voice and came before Him because I watched the Church’s gospel movies, and I even got to welcome the Lord’s return!