After Listening With My Heart, I Have Welcomed the Lord’s Return (Audio Essay)
Max, United States
In 1994, I was born in the United States. My parents are both Chinese. My mother was the classic example of a successful career woman. She is able to think for herself and is very competent. I love my mother very much. When I was in Grade 2, my parents brought me back to China to study so that I would be able to learn Chinese. It was also at that time that I started to get acquainted with the Lord Jesus. I remember one day in 2004, after I got home from school, there was a guest at our house. My mother introduced her and told me that she was a pastor from the United States. I was very happy because that was when I found out that my mother had believed in the Lord Jesus for some time. Before, she did not believe. Every Chinese New Year, she would burn incense and worship Buddha. However, after my mother started to believe in the Lord Jesus, I no longer had to smell the whiff of burnt Joss paper and incense. That day, the American pastor told me a story about the Lord Jesus. Soon after, I was brought to the bathroom and before I could react, “plop,” the pastor had dunked my head into the bathtub and after a moment, pulled my head out. All I heard was my mother and the pastor telling me, “Welcome to the embrace of the Lord Jesus. We are all lost sheep.” In this way, I started a new life journey before I knew it. However, because the Lord was with me, my heart was very happy. Afterward, each Sunday, I would go to church to worship and listen to the pastor talk about Bible stories and read from the scriptures. I was very happy all along. My heart was steadfast and I felt that believing in the Lord Jesus was truly a good thing.
In 2008, my father accompanied me to the United States so that I could study here. During this time, I went to church and participated in fellowships. In 2012, after I graduated from high school, my father bought me a plane ticket so that I could go back to China to visit my mother. Right before leaving, my father sat down with me and spoke many heartfelt words to me. He told me that in China, my mother had started to believe in Eastern Lightning. He hoped that on my return, I would be able to talk to my mother and get her to abandon her faith in Eastern Lightning. As a student who was about to enter into university, of course, I would not only listen to my father’s side of the story. Soon afterward, I went on the internet and searched for information related to Eastern Lightning. I wanted to have more of a realistic understanding of them. The result was that I found some opinions originating from the CCP government and pastors and elders from the religious world that condemned and slandered Eastern Lightning. I started feeling worried for my mother. I decided to go home and see how my mother was doing. After I got back home, I found that everything was normal with my mother. Her concern and love for me had not changed. Her faith and love for God had grown greater and she was more devout than before. I was a little less worried about my mother then.
During the time I was back in China, my mother, as expected spoke to me about Eastern Lightning. She said, “The Lord Jesus has already returned and He has started doing a stage of judgment work beginning with the house of God….” From my mother’s words, I understood that when the Lord Jesus incarnated this time, He had come as a female to do His work. I just remember that at that time, I stared blankly because this was completely different from what I had been told about the Lord Jesus when I was in the States. My pastor always emphasized in the sermons that Jehovah God is the Holy Father and the Lord Jesus is the Holy Son. Since They were Father and Son, both of them were male. Moreover, all the portraits of the Lord Jesus that were hung in the church and all the crosses that had the Lord Jesus on them indicated that the Lord Jesus was a male. However, my mother said that this time, the Lord Jesus has returned as a female. This completely exceeded my knowledge of the Lord Jesus. My heart could not take it and I told my mother, “The Lord Jesus is a male. When the Lord returns, how could it be that He would return as a female?” My mother replied, “God is Spirit in essence. God does not have a gender. It is only because He has incarnated to do the work of salvation that He chose a different gender….” However, since the viewpoint that my pastor had inculcated me with was the first and strongest impression, regardless of what my mother said, I would not believe it.
A few days later, my mother wanted to take me to attend a gathering with her. Even though I did not want to, because I respected my mother, I went with her. At the time, I remember that there was an aunty from Northeast China that said, “The last days have already arrived. The Lord Jesus has already come back in the flesh and lives amongst us. He is doing the work of the Age of Kingdom. Presently, the churches of the Age of Grace no longer have the Holy Spirit’s work and they are all completely desolated….” However, since my heart was already closed, I still maintained that the Lord Jesus is a male and that when He returns, He would surely return as a male. That is why I basically did not believe in what this aunty was talking about. All the way until I left China, I was still very bewildered: Why would the Lord Jesus return as a female? I was worried that my mother was walking on the wrong path. All I could do was pray for my mother, “Lord Jesus! Please keep my mother and make sure she does not walk on the wrong path. Guide her back into Your embrace….”
After I returned to the United States, I continued attending worship at my church. However, gradually, I discovered that the majority of what my pastor was saying was outdated and repetitious. Otherwise, it was specifically about donating to the church. As a believer, we were not able to obtain genuine shepherding. Many people would doze off during the gatherings and the number of people that attended gradually diminished. In 2014, the church I went to encountered a significant misfortune. The pastor had used public money to buy a house for himself in another state and as a result, our church went bankrupt. When I saw all these things, I felt very disappointed. At this time, my classmates brought me to their church to participate in worship. This church was a lot bigger than the previous church I went to. Each Sunday, when the pastor was giving his sermon, I would sit in the upper row of seats to listen. However, as before, I saw many people dozing off. Sometimes, even I started to doze off. Frequently, the pastor would deliberately raise his voice in an attempt to wake up the brothers and sisters. However, his attempts to get us to listen to his sermons failed. I thought back to the previous church I attended where the pastor misappropriated the church’s money to buy himself a house. His sermons were unable to provide for the spiritual life needs of the brothers and sisters. Instead, they basically came to church to sleep! The church that I was going to at that time was also like this. I asked myself, “Could it be that all churches are desolate?” Suddenly, I thought back to 2012 when I went back to China and the things that my mother and that aunty from Northeast China said. They told me: God has started the work of the Age of Kingdom. The Age of Grace has concluded. God no longer works in the churches belonging to the Age of Grace. Only by following God’s work in the Age of Kingdom can one be able to obtain the Holy Spirit’s work. This was the first time that I asked myself, “Could it be that the Lord Jesus has really returned?”
In a blink of the eye, it was the end of 2015. I received news that my mother went to San Francisco to visit my elder brother. I bought a plane ticket so I could go and see her. Once again, my mother mentioned Eastern Lightning—the second coming of the Lord Jesus. She also got me to watch many gospel videos from The Church of Almighty God as well as read many of Almighty God’s words. This time, I did not resist in the way I did before because in the past two years, I saw many scenes of desolation in the churches that I went to. This confirmed for me what they were telling me about the desolation in the churches. It is indeed the truth! I started to quiet my heart and listen to what my mother was saying, so that I could unlock the shackles that were within my heart. At that time, my mother targeted my notions. She read to me God’s words concerning the aspect of God’s gender. This left a very deep impression on me. It also explained the confusion I had all along regard the gender of the Lord who has returned. Almighty God says, “Each stage of work done by God has a real significance. When Jesus arrived, He was male, and this time He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for His work and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit arrives, He can take on any flesh at will and the flesh represents Him. Be it male or female, both represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus arrived and appeared as a female, in other words, if an infant girl, not a boy, was to be conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If so, this stage of work would have to be completed instead by a male and the work would then be completed all the same. The work done in both stages is significant; no work is repeated or conflicts with each other. … If in this stage He did not become flesh to personally do work for man to witness, man would forever hold on 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). “God’s wisdom, God’s wondrousness, God’s righteousness, and God’s majesty shall never change. His essence and what He has and is shall never change. His work, however, is always progressing forward and always going deeper, for He is always new and never old. … If He were only incarnated as a male, people would define Him as male, as the God of men, and would never believe Him to be the God of women. Then, men would believe that God is of the same gender as men, that God is the head of men—and what of women? This is unfair; is it not preferential treatment? If this were the case, then all those whom God saved would be men like Him, and there would be no salvation for women. When God created mankind, He created Adam and He created Eve. He did not only create Adam, but made both male and female in His image. God is not only the God of men—He is also the God of women” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After I finished reading God’s words, this matter which was gnawing at my mind disappeared almost instantly. In my heart, I felt that these words are correct. In the beginning, God created Adam and Eve. Originally, male and female were equal. If that’s the case, why can’t God return as a female?! God’s essence is Spirit. Of course He can assume either gender identity when He comes amongst us to do His work. Regardless of whether God incarnates as a male or a female, it is God’s choice. God has the right to choose what gender to incarnate into because God is the Ruler of all things and He is the Creator. Is God’s work restricted by people? What is man when compared to God? Isn’t man just dust? How can man fathom God’s wisdom? Before, I believed that God could only be a male. I truly defined God and it reveals that I did not have any knowledge of God. I was too arrogant and foolish.
After I read more of God’s words, my notions about God incarnating as a female this time to do work became thoroughly extinguished. I was also able to accept that God has already returned to do new work. However, I was still not one hundred percent certain about the work of Almighty God because I had read negative propaganda about resisting and condemning The Church of Almighty God on the internet. As a result, my heart still had a bit of apprehensions. I thought, perhaps I should thoroughly examine this and see whether The Church of Almighty God is like this. As a result, starting in February of 2016, with an objective lens, I officially had online meetings with the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God. I also prayed to God to guide and lead me to distinguish what is true and what is false regarding the negative propaganda.
After a period of time of investigation, I discovered that each time that we had a gathering, the brothers and sisters would read God’s word, communicate the truth and fellowship about God’s intentions. Moreover, Almighty God’s words requires people to live out a normal humanity and become honest people. The content of Almighty God’s words also includes how to know God’s disposition, how to pursue the truth in order to attain God’s salvation etc. These are all necessities when it comes to our spiritual life needs and they are beneficial to us living genuinely as humans. From what the brothers and sisters were saying, I could see that they genuinely show care and concern and help each other in spiritual life. The intentions of an individual’s conduct are evident from what he says and the points of views he expresses. From my interactions with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, I could feel that they simply are not the way that the material on the internet purported them to be. Instead, they are very kindhearted and sincere. They have a heart that reveres God in all the things they say and do. Moreover, I felt that the Holy Spirit’s work is there. These brothers and sisters pursue the truth with passion. In their communication of God’s words at gatherings and their individual experiences and knowledge, there were certainly the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination. Each time we had a gathering, I was able to have some understanding of the truth and could have something to gain. This was something that I did not experience at the churches I attended in the past. The truth is victorious over mere rhetoric and rumors are discredited in the face of the facts.
In one gathering later, I told the sister about the rumors that had been fabricated by the CCP government and the pastors and elders of the religious world. I did not understand: The Church of Almighty God has the Holy Spirit’s work and it is the church that has been produced by God as He appears to do His work in the last days. Why does it face the frantic opposition and condemnation of the CCP government and the pastors and elders of the religious world? The sister communicated with me about the truth of this aspect, “We must see through the rumors on the internet. It is not strange that the CCP government and the pastors and elders of the religious world would attack and judge God’s work of the last days and condemn The Church of Almighty God because since ancient times, the true way has been persecuted! Satan has always been the enemy of God. It fabricates and spreads all sorts of rumors in order to deceive and disturb us so that we will leave and betray God. Its goal is to control us and possess us. This is similar to the beginning when Satan used rumors to deceive Eve into denying God’s word and betraying God. When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees also relied on all kinds of rumors to deceive the common Jewish people. They disparaged the Lord Jesus as a carpenter’s son. They blasphemed that the Lord Jesus relied on the ruler of demons to drive out demons and even colluded with the Roman government to nail the Lord Jesus to the cross. After the Lord Jesus’ resurrection, they even bribed soldiers to lie and say that the Lord Jesus had not resurrected to block the common Jewish people from returning to the Lord. In the last days, God has incarnated once again to do a stage of judgment work to thoroughly cleanse and save man. God’s kingdom gospel is already common knowledge in mainland China. Presently, Almighty God’s work is in the process of being spread to all corners of the world. Under the guidance of God’s words, more and more people are able to distinguish the evil forces that originate from Satan. They also see clearly the satanic and demonic essence of the leaders of the religious world and the atheistic political regime of the Chinese Communist Party. They thoroughly reject them and have started to return to God, pursue the truth and walk on the proper path of life. Will Satan just do nothing as God comes to do the work of saving man and helping man break away from Satan’s dark influence? It is not willing to be defeated. In order to vie over God’s chosen people with God, it will fight to the end. The religious world and the satanic CCP regime have teamed up together and through the internet and media, they spread rumors about and smear the name of The Church of Almighty God without restraint in order to deceive those who do not have the truth or cannot distinguish. They are attempting to obtain control over the human race forever. Their evil goal is to corrupt and devour mankind. It is precisely as the Bible says: ‘the whole world lies in wickedness’ (1Jn 5：19). The Lord Jesus said, ‘And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved’ (Jhn 3： 19-20). In terms of how to see through Satan’s evil schemes and not to be deceived by Satan, Almighty God exhorts us and says, ‘When you have undergone experiences, you will be able to differentiate many things—you will be able to distinguish between good and evil, between righteousness and wickedness, between what is of flesh and blood and what is of the truth. You should be able to distinguish between all these things, and in so doing, no matter the circumstances, you will never be lost. Only this is your real stature. Knowing the work of God is no simple matter: You should have standards and an objective in your pursuit, you should know how to seek the true way, and how to measure whether or not it is the true way, and whether or not it is the work of God’ (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). When we think about the background of the Lord Jesus’ work and based on the truth, weigh God’s salvation work in the last day and the rumors and lies that Satan spreads in order to obstruct man from returning to God, it is not hard to see Satan’s sinister motives. It is also not hard to understand the reasons why the CCP government and the religious world resist, condemn, suppress and persecute The Church of Almighty God.”
After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I gained some discernment about Satan’s schemes. I also had some knowledge about Satan’s essence of resisting God. Moreover, I understood that someone simply has to practically examine and understand God’s work to distinguish all these rumors and separate the truth from the lies. If you just blindly believe in the one-sided story and do not seek the truth nor investigate the facts, you will be deceived by the rumors of the Chinese Communist Party and the pastors and elders of the religious world. If this is the case, you will have missed out on the salvation of God in the last days. At this time, my heart was thankful to Almighty God for guiding me to understand these truths and helping me become completely certain that Almighty God is the second coming of the Lord Jesus, so that I could keep up with the footsteps of God and welcome the Lord’s return. Thank God! Amen!