That Was Close! I Nearly Let the Lord Pass Me By (Part 2)
By Weilian, United States
Seeking Jesus’ Return: Why Would God Incarnate of the Last Days Be a Woman?
After that I reached out to Brother Zhao online and told him the source of my confusion. “The Bible says, ‘He that has the bride is the bridegroom’ (John 3:29). And ‘Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and His wife has made herself ready’ (Revelation 19:7). It’s written that the ‘bridegroom’ will marry the ‘bride’, so doesn’t the ‘bridegroom’ refer to the Lord being male when He returns? However, you testify that the Lord has returned as a woman. This is something I don’t understand. Brother, can you share fellowship on this?” Brother Zhao responded, “I used to think that since the Bible says that the bride will adorn herself to welcome the bridegroom, when the Lord returns He will certainly be male and couldn’t possibly be a woman. So is this understanding of the prophecy actually accurate, or not? If it’s as we take it, when God comes He has to be a man, and only a man can be called the ‘bridegroom’ so the ‘bride’ without a doubt refers to a woman, then which of our brothers, who are male, could become a ‘bride’ and attend the wedding banquet of the Lamb? Wouldn’t they all be cast out by the ‘bridegroom’ into the darkness, weeping? God is the God of all creatures; He is the God of all men and all women, so how could He only save women and not men? That is to say, our concept that the ‘bridegroom’ should be a man comes from looking at things from a worldly viewpoint. It’s just a literal understanding of the Bible, our own notions and imaginations. It is not remotely in line with the true meaning of what was prophesied in the Bible, and it is even less in line with the truth.
“In fact, there is symbolism behind the ‘bridegroom’ and the ‘bride’ and they have nothing to do with the two sexes. The ‘bride’ is a symbol for the church, and whether someone is a brother or a sister, we are all one of the ‘brides.’ The ‘bridegroom’ is a symbol for Christ, who is God incarnate, God’s Spirit realized in the flesh. God’s Spirit isn’t confined by sex: When His Spirit comes He can be clothed in the flesh of a man, or He can be clothed in the flesh of a woman. As long as it is God’s Spirit in the flesh, whether it is a man or a woman, it is Christ, and as Christ, He can be called the ‘bridegroom.’ This is evident and beyond doubt.”
Brother Zhao’s fellowship had me utterly convinced. I realized that the “bridegroom” is a symbol for Christ and doesn’t mean that God will come in the form of a man. All that time I had been going by a literal interpretation of the Bible, relying on my own notions and imaginings to delimit what God’s sex would be. It was so arrogant and ignorant!
Brother Zhao later sent me another passage of Almighty God’s words: “Each stage of work done by God has its own practical significance. Back then, when Jesus came, He was male, and when God comes this time, He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for the sake of His work, and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit comes, He can take on any flesh He pleases, and that flesh can represent Him; whether male or female, it can represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus had appeared as a female when He came, in other words, if an infant girl, and not a boy, had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If that had been the case, then the present stage of work would have to be completed by a male instead, but the work would be completed all the same. The work done in either stage is equally significant; neither stage of work is repeated, nor does it conflict with the other. At the time, Jesus, in doing His work, was called the only Son, and ‘Son’ implies the male gender. Why is the only Son not mentioned in this current stage? Because the requirements of the work have necessitated a change in gender from that of Jesus. With God there is no distinction of gender. He does His work as He wishes, and in doing His work He is not subject to any restrictions, but is especially free. Yet every stage of work has its own practical significance. God became flesh twice, and it is self-evident that His incarnation during the last days is the final time. He has come to make known all His deeds. If in this stage He did not become flesh in order personally to do work for man to witness, man would forever cling to the notion that God is only male, not female” (“The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Brother Zhao went on to say, “In fact, gender is only something that pertains to created beings. God is inherently a Spirit and is not subject to that delineation. He’s only referred to as male or female because He incarnates and takes on the outer shell of a creature—we cannot deny God because it is not in line with our notions that He has incarnated as a female. The reality is that whether God incarnates as a man or as a woman, it’s for the completion of His work, for the salvation of mankind—it is all significant. The Lord Jesus came in the form of a man and completed the work of redemption; if God incarnated in the form of a man in the last days as well, we would think that God is a man, that He is a God of men and not a God of women. Wouldn’t that be delimiting Him? And even more, wouldn’t that be blaspheming Him? God has incarnated as a woman in the last days, which is really contrary to our notions and dispenses with our past, erroneous understandings of God and makes us realize that God is not just the God of men, but He is the God of women as well; He not only saves men, but saves women just the same. In God’s eyes, men and women are on equal footing: He is the God of all of humanity. We can’t weigh whether He really is God in the flesh based on the gender of His incarnation. Instead, we should determine that based on the disposition expressed through His work and words. At the same time, we must lay importance on examining whether or not Almighty God’s words contain the truth and whether they are the voice of God, and if Almighty God’s work is the true way. This is the only way to determine if Almighty God is God in the flesh. Just as Almighty God Himself said, ‘If man intends to inquire into whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, then he must corroborate this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. … If man scrutinizes only His external appearance, and as a result overlooks His essence, this shows that man is benighted and ignorant’ (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“There’s another point we should all understand well. How about we take a look at another passage of Almighty God’s words? Almighty God says, ‘Not ever does the work of God conform to the notions of man, for His work is always new and never old, and never does He repeat old work, but rather forges ahead with work never done before. As God does not repeat His work, and man invariably judges God’s current work by the work He did in the past, it has become exceedingly difficult for God to carry out each stage of work of the new age. Man has far too many difficulties! He is too conservative in his thinking! No one knows the work of God, yet everyone delimits it’ (“How Can Man Who Has Delimited God in His Notions Receive the Revelations of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God is a God who is always new and never old—He never does the same work twice. In order to save mankind, He has become flesh twice: The first time He incarnated as a man, and this time around He has incarnated as a woman. Only by adopting two different genders in His incarnate form has God completed His entire work in the flesh. So when we encounter God’s new work, we can’t apply the rules of the work He’s done in the past or we could easily delimit God and make the mistake of resisting Him.
“In addition, God is the Lord of creation and His wisdom and almightiness are unfathomable. Just as it is written in the Bible, ‘O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!’ (Romans 11:33). We are just insignificant little creatures, so how could we fathom God’s work? We determine that God should be this or that way just on our own notions and imaginings; isn’t that so arrogant and senseless? It’s just like when the Lord Jesus came to work—the Pharisees totally lacked reverence for God and did not seek the truth, but instead relied on their own arrogant nature, stubbornly clinging to their notions and what they imagined. They thought that when God came He would be called ‘Messiah,’ and that He would lead them to escape from the Romans’ rule. The Pharisees delimited God within their own notions, and even when they saw that the Lord Jesus’ work and words possessed power and authority, they did everything they could to resist and condemn them because they weren’t in line with their notions and what they imagined. Ultimately, they nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross and were then punished by God. So in order to avoid following in the footsteps of the Pharisees, we must let go of our own notions and what we imagine in our approach to the Lord’s coming. We must seek the truth in the words expressed by God. As long as we hunger and thirst for righteousness, God will enlighten and guide us so that we may see God’ appearance through His words. Just as the Lord Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 5:3). ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled’ (Matthew 5:6).”
Hearing this fellowship from Brother Zhao left me feeling ashamed and my face grew hot. I thought, “Brother Zhao’s fellowship is so true! God is so wise and has such authority, while I’m just a tiny little creature. How could I be qualified to delimit His work? I’m really too big for my own britches, and so lacking in reason. There’s great significance in God incarnating as a woman in the last days. Not only does it strike back at our notions and imaginings about God, but even more, it shows us that God is the God of all humanity, and how wise His work is!” After understanding this I completely changed my mindset and let go of my own erroneous viewpoints; I began to seek and investigate Almighty God’s words.
Gaining Certainty on Jesus’ Return: Following Almighty God and Never Looking Back
Since then, I’ve been hungrily watching online videos of God’s words, gospel films, choral performances, and hymns all produced by The Church of Almighty God. This has deeply rocked my world, and I’ve seen that The Church of Almighty God truly possesses the work of the Holy Spirit. They also produce a rich array of videos and films which have resolved all sorts of my own notions and issues; they really bolster people’s faith. I also read Almighty God’s words regularly, and through His words I’ve come to understand mysteries of the truth such as God’s 6,000-year management plan for mankind’s salvation, the inside story and essence of the Bible, and significance of God taking on different names, how God cleanses, transforms, and perfects people through His judgment work of the last days, as well as mankind’s future destination and outcome. This has really opened my eyes and fed my soul. Almighty God’s words possess authority and carry power—outside of God Himself, no single person could utter these words. I feel like I’ve come out from the wilderness and into the land of Canaan, where my spirit has enjoyment and a place of rest.
After a period of time of seeking and investigation, I determined from the words uttered by Almighty God that He truly is the return of the Lord Jesus, that He is the appearance of Christ of the last days. The excitement for me was incomparable—I prostrated myself and offered up a prayer of gratitude to God: “Almighty God, I give thanks to You! Just when I wanted to give up on seeking and investigating Your work, You didn’t give up on me, but instead had mercy and tolerance for me. You allowed me to understand the truth and resolve the notions I held—I narrowly escaped missing out on the chance to welcome Your return. Oh God, this lost sheep of Yours has finally been able to welcome Your return and attain Your salvation. This is entirely Your grace and elevation. From this day forward, I only wish to read Your words, seek the truth, and fulfill my duty to repay Your love. Thank You, God!”