Why Can We Only Welcome the Lord by Listening for the Voice of God?
Right now, all believers are longing for theto come on a cloud, because disasters are becoming more serious and plagues of all kinds are escalating, and famine and war are looming. Believers feel that the Lord could return at any time, and that they don’t know at which moment He’ll suddenly come down on a cloud, so they watch and pray day and night, awaiting His arrival. However, disasters have already begun to rain down, yet to this day they have not seen the Lord appear on a cloud. Many people feel puzzled, wondering, “Why hasn’t the Lord come yet? Does He speak without integrity?” Certainly not. The Lord is faithful, and the words of the Lord will never come to nothing. When no one was expecting it, the Lord already incarnated as the Son of man and descended in secret, and many people welcomed Him long ago. After seeking for the footprints of the Holy Spirit’s work many years prior, they discovered that the Son of man was speaking and expressing many truths. The more they read these words, the more they felt that it was the Holy Spirit’s voice, the voice of God, and they finally discovered that this Son of man who was expressing truths was the returned Lord Jesus, He was incarnate! They all cheered ecstatically: “The Lord Jesus has returned, we have finally welcomed the Lord!” God’s chosen people rushed to spread the news, bearing witness to Almighty God expressing the truth, appearing and working. Many people from all denominations who loved the truth and yearned for God’s appearance read Almighty and recognized that it was God’s voice, came before God’s throne one after the other, and joined the Lamb’s wedding feast. This fulfills the Lord Jesus’ prophecies: “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). “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). The appearance and work of Almighty God also entirely fulfilled the Lord Jesus’ prophecies: “I come quickly,” “the coming of the Son of man,” “the Son of man comes,” and “the Son of man be in His day.” This proved that God is faithful, and all of His words and prophecies were to be fulfilled. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35). And as Almighty God said, “Heaven and earth may pass away, but not one letter or one stroke of what I say will ever pass away” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 53). Our Savior Jesus has already returned, and He is Almighty God. He has expressed many truths and is doing the work of judgment in the last days, long ago completing a group of overcomers. Almighty God has defeated Satan and gained all glory, and with that the great disasters have begun. We can see that God’s work is all closely linked. Almighty God expresses so many truths, shaking the whole religious world, and the entire world itself. However, many religious people are still gazing at the sky, waiting for the Savior Jesus to come on the clouds. They have all fallen into the disaster and still don’t know what’s happening, and can only be said to be foolish virgins. There are many foolish and ignorant people who are deceived and controlled by antichrist forces in the religious world, still judging and condemning the appearance and work of Almighty God. They know well His words are the truth, yet don’t accept them. They still cling to Bible’s words of the Lord coming on the clouds, without looking into the true way in the slightest, much less seeking to hear God’s voice. As a result, they’ve fallen into the disasters, complaining, wailing and gnashing their teeth. This is really sad. Some may ask, “Why do we have to listen for God’s voice to welcome the Lord?” Today I’ll share a little of my understanding of this issue.
First, we must be clear, if the Lord were really to return from the heavens on a cloud and everyone could see it, then we wouldn’t need to listen for His voice, but just rely on our sight. But because the Lord returns in the flesh, as the Son of man, on the surface He’s just an ordinary person without the image of God, and not at all supernatural. Human beings are mortal beings, incapable of seeing the Spirit of God. We can only see the Son of man’s physical form, so there’s no way to recognize the Son of man in the flesh other than listening to His voice. He can only be identified by His utterances. That’s why the Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). As we all know, 2,000 years ago, God became flesh as the Lord Jesus to redeem humankind. He lived within normal humanity, and ate, dressed, slept and travelled just like ordinary people. No one knew that the Lord Jesus was the incarnate God, not even His family, and even the Lord Jesus Himself did not know that He was God incarnate. He preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven everywhere and expressed many truths. He taught people about confessing their sins and repenting, tolerance and patience, forgiving others 70 times 7 times, bearing a cross and following Him. He told people to love God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as themselves. The Lord Jesus also revealed the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, telling people who can enter the kingdom, and so on. These truths were the way of repentance expressed by God for man’s redemption, and had never been heard or seen by humans. Many people who followed the Lord Jesus did so because they heard how authoritative and powerful the Lord Jesus’ words were, things no created being could express. They recognized the voice of God and followed the Lord. This was God’s sheep hearing His voice and welcoming the Lord. Meanwhile, those chief priests, scribes and Pharisees of Judaism, although they also acknowledged the authority and power of the Lord’s words, yet simply because the Lord Jesus resembled an ordinary and normal Son of man, with no prominent family, nor high status and power, because His words were not in the Scripture, and His name was not Messiah, which didn’t match the Scripture prophecies, they denied and rejected the Lord Jesus, and even condemned Him, saying He spoke blasphemy. Ultimately, they had Him crucified, and were thus punished and cursed by God. So we can see how crucial it is to listen for the voice of God to welcome the Lord! If we don’t listen for the voice of God, but just look at the Son of man’s outward appearance, we’ll never see that He is God. We will just condemn and reject the Lord based on our notions and imaginings. In the last days, God has once again become flesh as the Son of man to appear and work. If we want to welcome the Lord, we have to rely on listening for God’s voice, to listen for whether these are God’s words, if it’s the truth, if it’s from the Holy Spirit. We must base our determination on this. Only then can we recognize Christ, the manifestation of God, and only by hearing the voice of God can we welcome the Lord.
As Almighty God says, “Since we are searching for the footprints of God, it behooves us to search for God’s will, for the words of God, for His utterances—because wherever there are new words spoken by God, the voice of God is there, and wherever there are the footsteps of God, God’s deeds are there. Wherever there is the expression of God, there God appears, and wherever God appears, there the truth, the way, and the life exist. In seeking God’s footprints, you have ignored the words ‘God is the truth, the way, and the life.’ And so, many people, even when they receive the truth, do not believe that they have found God’s footprints, and still less do they acknowledge the appearance of God. What a grave mistake!” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age). “He who is God incarnate shall possess the essence of God, and He who is God incarnate shall possess the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He intends to do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon him, and point the way for him. Flesh that does not have the essence of God is decidedly not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. 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. Which is to say, to corroborate whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, one must discriminate on the basis of His essence. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key lies in His essence (His work, His utterances, His disposition, and many other aspects), rather than external appearance. If man scrutinizes only His external appearance, and as a result overlooks His essence, this shows that man is benighted and ignorant” (Preface to).
“This time around, God comes to do work not in a spiritual body, but in a very ordinary one. Moreover, not only is it the body of God’s second incarnation, it is also the body through which God returns to the flesh. It is a very ordinary flesh. You cannot see anything that makes Him stand out from others, but you can gain from Him previously unheard-of truths. This insignificant flesh is what embodies all the words of truth from God, undertakes God’s work in the last days, and expresses the whole of God’s disposition for man to understand. Do you not desire greatly to see the God in heaven? Do you not desire greatly to understand the God in heaven? Do you not desire greatly to see the destination of mankind? He will tell you all these secrets—secrets that no man has been able to tell you, and He will also tell you of the truths that you do not understand. He is your gate into the kingdom, and your guide into the new age. Such an ordinary flesh holds many unfathomable mysteries. His deeds may be inscrutable to you, but the entire goal of the work He does is sufficient enough to allow you to see that He is not, as people believe, a simple flesh. For He represents the will of God and the care shown by God toward mankind in the last days. Though you cannot hear His words seeming to shake the heavens and earth, though you cannot see His eyes as a flame of fire, and though you cannot receive the discipline of His iron rod, nevertheless you can hear from His words that God is wrathful and know that God is showing compassion for mankind; you can see the righteous disposition of God and His wisdom, and, moreover, realize God’s solicitude for all mankind” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Did You Know? God Has Done a Great Thing Among Men).
The words of Almighty God show how to seek God’s appearance and the way to recognize God’s incarnation. It’s perfectly clear: Christ is the way, the truth, and the life; Christ’s divinity is mainly revealed by expressing the truth and the voice of God. So no matter how ordinary and normal Christ’s appearance is, as long as He can express the truth, express God’s disposition and what He has and is, then He is the manifestation of God. No matter how ordinary and normal Christ’s humanity may be, as long as He can express the truth, and express the voice of God, then He is a person with a divine essence—He is God incarnate. There’s no doubt about this. Since Almighty God appeared and began working, many people from all denominations who love the truth have read the words of Almighty God, and discovered that His words are all the truth, are entirely from the Holy Spirit and the voice of God. They have thus confirmed that Almighty God is the appearance of God, He is God incarnate, the returned Lord Jesus. This is a fact that all of God’s chosen people can confirm. The incarnate Almighty God lives among humans, eating, living and interacting with others, expressing the truth, watering, nurturing, and leading God’s chosen people at any time or place. We’ve witnessed chapters of God’s words expressed one after another, and they have now been complied into books of God’s words such as The Word Appears in the Flesh, with millions of words in total. Almighty God has revealed all the mysteries of God’s 6,000-year management work, such as God’s aims in managing humankind, how Satan corrupted humankind, how God has worked step by step to save them, the mysteries of the incarnations, the inside story of the Bible, how God’s work of judgment in the last days purifies and saves humankind, how God sorts people according to their kind, rewarding good and punishing evil to bring the age to a close, how Christ’s kingdom is realized on earth, and so on. Almighty God also judges and reveals mankind’s anti-God essence and the truth of their corruption. He provides a path for people to rid themselves of their corrupt disposition and achieve salvation. He also tells people how to establish a proper relationship with God, how to practice being an honest person, how to be loyal to God, how to follow God’s way to fear God and shun evil, how to achieve obedience to and love for God, and more. All of these truths are the truths necessary for people to achieve freedom from sin and full salvation by God in their faith. All these truths expressed by Almighty God completely fulfill 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 more we read Almighty God’s words, the brighter our hearts become, and they fully conquer us. Seeing God’s righteousness, holiness, and majesty and wrath revealed through His words of judgment, and experiencing God’s unoffendable disposition, we affirm that Almighty God’s words are the truth and the voice of God, they are the Holy Spirit’s words to the churches. Think about it—apart from God, who could reveal the mysteries of God’s work? Who could express God’s disposition and all He has and is? Aside from God, who could judge and expose the corrupt essence of humankind? Who could save humanity from sin? There is no doubt that only God can express the truth, only God can cleanse humankind of corruption, and save them from sin and the power of Satan. Almighty God may look just like an ordinary and normal Son of man, but from His words and work, we can see that He not only possesses normal humanity, but also a divine essence. He has the Spirit of God indwelling, and His words are direct expressions from God’s Spirit. Almighty God is the way, the truth, and the life, He is the incarnate God, and the returned Lord Jesus. Just as Almighty God says, “God continues His utterances, employing various methods and perspectives to admonish us about what we should do while, at the same time, giving voice to His heart. His words carry life power, show us the way we should walk, and enable us to understand what the truth is. We begin to be drawn by His words, we begin to focus on the tone and manner of His speaking, and subconsciously we begin to take an interest in the innermost feelings of this unremarkable person. … No one apart from Him can know all of our thoughts, or have such a clear and complete grasp of our nature and essence, or judge the rebelliousness and corruption of mankind, or speak to us and work on us like this on behalf of God in heaven. No one apart from Him is endowed with the authority, wisdom, and dignity of God; the disposition of God and what God has and is are brought forth, in their entirety, in Him. No one apart from Him can show us the way and bring us light. No one apart from Him can reveal the mysteries that God has not disclosed since creation until today. No one apart from Him can save us from Satan’s bondage and our own corrupt disposition. He represents God. He expresses the inmost heart of God, the exhortations of God, and God’s words of judgment toward all mankind. He has begun a new age, a new era, and ushered in a new heaven and earth and new work, and He has brought us hope, ending the life we led in vagueness and enabling our whole being to behold, in total clarity, the path to salvation. He has conquered our whole being and gained our hearts. From that moment onward, our minds have become conscious, and our spirits seem to be revived: This ordinary, insignificant person, who lives among us and has long been rejected by us—is this not the Lord Jesus, who is ever in our thoughts, waking or dreaming, and for whom we long night and day? It is He! It really is He! He is our God! He is the truth, the way, and the life!” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Beholding the Appearance of God in His Judgment and Chastisement).
At this point, you should have more clarity on why we need to listen for God’s voice to welcome the Lord. Actually, listening for God’s voice is not difficult. God’s sheep can hear God’s voice—this is ordained by God. People’s level of education doesn’t matter, their Bible knowledge and depth of experience don’t matter, either. Anyone with a heart and spirit who reads Almighty God’s words can feel that all of God’s words are the truth, they are authoritative and powerful, and they are the voice of God. They can feel God’s love for humankind, and God’s righteous, majestic disposition that will tolerate no human offense. This is the function of spiritual feeling and intuition. It’s the same feeling as when we read the words of the Lord Jesus, because the words of Almighty God and the words of the Lord Jesus are both the expression of one Spirit. They’re from the same source. Almighty God and the Lord Jesus are one God. Let’s read a few more passages of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, “Throughout the universe I am doing My work, and in the East, thunderous crashes issue forth endlessly, shaking all nations and denominations. It is My voice that has led all men into the present. I cause all men to be conquered by My voice, to fall into this stream, and submit before Me, for I have long since reclaimed My glory from all the earth and issued it forth anew in the East. Who does not long to see My glory? Who does not anxiously await My return? Who does not thirst for My reappearance? Who does not pine for My loveliness? Who would not come to the light? Who would not look upon the richness of Canaan? Who does not long for the return of the Redeemer? Who does not adore Him who is great in power? My voice shall spread throughout the earth; I will face My chosen people and speak more words to them. Like the mighty thunders that shake the mountains and rivers, I speak My words to the whole universe and to mankind. Hence the words in My mouth have become man’s treasure, and all men cherish My words. The lightning flashes from the East all the way to the West. My words are such that man is loath to give them up and at the same time finds them unfathomable, but rejoices in them all the more. All men are glad and joyful, celebrating My coming, as if an infant had just been born. By means of My voice, I shall bring all men before Me. Thenceforth, I shall formally enter into the race of men so that they will come to worship Me. With the glory that I radiate and the words in My mouth, I shall make it such that all men come before Me and see that the lightning flashes from the East and that I have also descended unto the ‘Mount of Olives’ of the East. They will see that I have already long been on earth, no longer as the Son of the Jews but as the Lightning of the East. For I have long since been resurrected, and have departed from mankind’s midst, and then reappeared with glory among men. I am He who was worshiped countless ages before now, and I am also the infant forsaken by the Israelites countless ages before now. Moreover, I am the all-glorious Almighty God of the present age! Let all come before My throne and see My glorious countenance, hear My voice, and look upon My deeds. This is the entirety of My will; it is the end and the climax of My plan, as well as the purpose of My management: to have every nation worship Me, every tongue acknowledge Me, every man repose his faith in Me, and every people be subject unto Me!” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Seven Thunders Peal—Prophesying That the Gospel of the Kingdom Shall Spread Throughout the Universe).
“I was once known as Jehovah. I was also called the Messiah, and people once called Me Jesus the Savior with love and esteem. Today, however, I am no longer the Jehovah or Jesus that people knew in times past; I am the God who has returned in the last days, the God who shall bring the age to an end. I am the God Himself that rises up from the end of the earth, replete with My entire disposition, and full of authority, honor, and glory. People have never engaged with Me, never known Me, and have always been ignorant of My disposition. From the creation of the world until today, not one person has seen Me. This is the God who appears to man in the last days but is hidden among man. He resides among man, true and real, like the burning sun and the blazing flame, filled with power and brimming with authority. There is not a single person or thing that shall not be judged by My words, and not a single person or thing that shall not be purified through the burning of fire. Eventually, all nations shall be blessed because of My words, and also smashed to pieces because of My words. In this way, all people during the last days shall see that I am the Savior returned, and that I am the Almighty God that conquers all of mankind. And all shall see that I was once the sin offering for man, but that in the last days I also become the flames of the sun that incinerate all things, as well as the Sun of righteousness that reveals all things. This is My work in the last days. I took this name and am possessed of this disposition so that all people may see that I am a righteous God, the burning sun, the blazing flame, and so that all may worship Me, the one true God, and so that they may see My true face: I am not only the God of the Israelites, and I am not just the Redeemer; I am the God of all creatures throughout the heavens and the earth and the seas” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’).
“As I turn My face to the universe to speak, all mankind hears My voice, and thereupon sees all the works I have wrought throughout the universe. Those who set themselves against My will, that is to say, who oppose Me with the deeds of man, will fall under My chastisement. I will take the multitudinous stars in the heavens and make them anew and, thanks to Me, the sun and the moon will be renewed—the skies will no longer be as they were and the myriad things on the earth will be renewed. All will become complete through My words. The many nations within the universe will be partitioned afresh and replaced by My kingdom, so that the nations upon the earth will disappear forever and all will become a kingdom that worships Me; all the nations of the earth will be destroyed and cease to exist. Of the human beings within the universe, all those belonging to the devil will be exterminated, and all who worship Satan will be laid low by My burning fire—that is, except for those now within the stream, all will be turned to ashes. When I chastise the many peoples, those in the religious world will, to varying extents, return to My kingdom, conquered by My works, because they will have seen the advent of the Holy One riding on a white cloud. All people will be separated according to their own kind, and will receive chastisements commensurate with their actions. All those who have stood against Me will perish; as for those whose deeds on earth have not involved Me, they will, because of how they have acquitted themselves, continue to exist on the earth under the governance of My sons and My people. I will reveal Myself to the myriad peoples and the myriad nations, and with My own voice, I will sound forth upon the earth, proclaiming the completion of My great work for all mankind to see with their own eyes” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 26).
Every word from Almighty God is powerful and authoritative, shaking people’s hearts. Almighty God speaks to all humankind as the Creator. God’s authority and identity are clearly manifested through His words, and their tone, the position He holds, the disposition and what He has and is that are expressed, are God’s unique characteristics. No angel, no created being, no satanic evil spirit could ever possess or achieve all of this. The words of Almighty God fully reveal God’s unique authority, and they show God’s righteous and unoffendable disposition. We have all seen that the words of Almighty God are the expressions and the voice of God.
Today, Almighty God’s words in The Word Appears in the Flesh and many videos of readings of God’s words can all be found online, and more and more people from all countries and all denominations are investigating and accepting Almighty God. However, there are still many people within religion who cling to the words of the Bible, who cling to their notion of the Lord coming down on a cloud. They see Almighty God expressing so many truths, yet they don’t seek, investigate, or listen to the voice of God. They may even go along with the religious world’s antichrist forces, judging, slandering and condemning Almighty God. It’s as if their hearts have been blinded—they hear but don’t know, and see but don’t understand. Such people are incapable of hearing God’s voice, which shows that they are not God’s sheep. They are the tares revealed by the work of God in the last days, the foolish virgins, who have now been abandoned and eliminated by God, and fallen into the disasters. It’s hard to say if they’ll live or die. If they can survive, they can only wait for the Lord Jesus to come on a cloud and appear openly to all after the disasters. But by that time, when they see that the Almighty God they condemned and resisted is the returned Lord Jesus, they’ll be dumbfounded, but it will be too late for regrets. They will be left weeping and gnashing their teeth. This completely fulfills the prophecy of Revelation: “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).
Finally, let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, “Wherever God appears, there the truth is expressed, and there the voice of God will be. Only those who can accept the truth will be able to hear the voice of God, and only such people are qualified to witness the appearance of God. Let go of your notions! Quiet yourself and give these words a careful reading. If you yearn for the truth, God will enlighten you and you will understand His will and His words. 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 essence will never change on account of the location or manner of His appearance. … 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 Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age).