41. I Have Welcomed the Lord’s Return
By Chuanyang, United States
The winter of 2010 in the United States left me feeling very cold. Besides the bitter cold of the wind and snow, what was even worse was that my heart felt as though it had been invaded by some kind of “cold wave.” For those of us in the interior decorating business, winter is the hardest time of the year, as once winter starts there is very little work. We even face losing our jobs. This year was my first year in the United States, I was fresh off the boat, and everything felt unfamiliar to me. Neither renting an apartment nor finding a job was easy—and my days were full of hardships. It got so bad that I had to borrow money to pay the rent on my apartment. Faced with this predicament, I became melancholy, and I felt like my life was really hard to bear. At night I faced the ice-cold wall, feeling so sad that all I wanted to do was cry. One day, as I walked around listlessly in my sadness and anxiety, someone who was spreading the gospel of the Lord Jesus handed out a card to me, and said, “The Lord Jesus loves you. Brother, come to our church and listen to the Lord’s gospel!” I thought to myself: “I guess there’s nothing I have to do right now, so there’s no harm in me going to listen to this. I might as well, it’s something to do.” So just like that, I stepped into the church. I listened to the pastor read aloud something the Lord Jesus had said: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). When I heard this, I felt deeply moved by the Lord’s love. I cannot clearly explain how I felt, but I could feel that the Lord’s love was real, and that it surpassed any love that could be found in the world. My grief-laden heart felt greatly consoled. As a result, I decided to earnestly place my trust in the Lord Jesus. Afterward, I started enthusiastically participating in meetings every Sunday, and because of my enthusiastic pursuit I quickly became a co-worker in the church.
After serving in the church for two years, I was feeling less and less like the Lord was with me. I didn’t feel enlightened when reading the Bible, I didn’t feel moved when I prayed, and I didn’t feel like I was getting anything out of attending meetings. In addition, I saw how everyone in the church was living a life whereby they sinned in the day only to confess at night, and how everyone, whether pastors, elders or ordinary believers, was bound by sin, engaging in jealous disputes, colluding with each other to form factions, fighting over fame and profit, and coveting worldly things. All kinds of unlawful deeds were being committed more and more. I also saw that people in society at large were becoming more depraved with each passing day, more and more evil and selfish, and that disasters were occurring all over the world—earthquakes, famines and epidemics were constantly breaking out. All kinds of signs made it clear that the last days had come, and that the Lord Jesus would soon return. The pastors and elders often preached about these Bible verses to us: “Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:23–24). In their sermons, they recklessly claimed that false Christs would appear in the last days, and they told us that by all means we must not listen to strangers preach. They even said that, besides those in our church, the believers in other denominations were all wrong, and that we must take care to be discerning about other people so as not to allow ourselves to be deceived and end up following the wrong path. Since I often heard the pastors preach in this way, I told myself: “I must not deviate from the path in this crucial moment of the Lord’s imminent arrival, and I must be sure to keep my faith in the Lord.”
One day in mid-September 2016, I received an unexpected phone call from Sister Zhu. Sister Zhu was a long-time believer and an enthusiastic seeker in our church, and we had always been on good terms, so I was very happy to get a phone call from her. I listened as Sister Zhu spoke to me excitedly, “Brother, I have some good news to tell you: The Lord Jesus has returned as Almighty God! This time God has incarnated to carry out the work of judging, cleansing and saving man!” I was somewhat surprised to hear these words, and I thought to myself: “Has Sister Zhu not kept the way of the Lord? Has she joined another denomination? How could she be so foolish? The pastors and elders have repeatedly emphasized that false Christs will emerge in the last days, so why hasn’t she listened to them? If we go astray in our faith at this crucial moment when the Lord is soon to come, then won’t we have practiced our faith in vain all these years?” As I thought this, I nervously asked Sister Zhu, “Sister, in the Bible it says that in the last days there will be false—” but without waiting for me to finish speaking, Sister Zhu cut in. “Brother, the Lord Jesus warned us to ‘Judge not,’ and we must not pass judgment as we please, so as not to be condemned by God.” The sister’s warning made me think of these words of the Lord: “Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall not be condemned” (Luke 6:37). I didn’t dare say anything more. However, concerning such an important event as the return of the Lord, Sister Zhu and I each had our own opinions, and we both wanted to persuade the other. We therefore took turns trying to make our points, but in the end neither of us could persuade the other.
For over a month after this, Sister Zhu gave me repeated phone calls to preach the gospel of the kingdom of Almighty God to me, but I always refused to accept it, and kept urging her to come back to our church and continue believing in the Lord. As time went on, I saw that she was very firm in her belief in Almighty God and that she would not waver in the least in her faith, so I had to let it go, and stopped trying to persuade her. I said, “From now on, I’ll still believe in my Lord Jesus and you can believe in your Almighty God, and we won’t interfere with each other’s faith!” After that, whenever Sister Zhu called me to bear testimony to God’s work of the last days, I would look for an excuse to avoid her. I kept on refusing to accept God’s work of the last days, but she never gave up trying to spread the gospel to me.
One morning in November shortly after 5 a.m., before daylight had even broken, someone rang the doorbell at my home. I opened the door and saw Sister Zhu, and with her were a brother and a sister. When I saw Sister Zhu, I felt quite defensive. I thought to myself: “Haven’t I been clear with you? Why would you still travel such a long way to come to my home? Regardless of what you say I’m not going to believe in Almighty God.” Heedless of all the years we’d known each other as members of the same church, I said some unpleasant words to them and refused to let them in. When Sister Zhu saw how determined I was, a downcast look showed on her face and in a voice choked with emotion she said to me, “Brother, the reason I have come to spread the kingdom gospel to you is because I have been moved by the Holy Spirit. If it weren’t for God’s love, I wouldn’t have been able to swallow my pride and keep trying to spread the gospel to you time and again. Brother, the Lord Jesus really has returned. Right now, the Holy Spirit is working on those who have accepted God’s new work. If it weren’t for the work of the Holy Spirit, how could anyone have this much faith and willpower to come to preach the gospel to you? You too have seen the current situation of our church. Our brothers and sisters all live bound by sin and they lack the strength to break free. God has come this time to express His words to judge man and to carry out the work of ridding us of sin and cleansing us. If we miss God’s work of the last days, we will not have another opportunity to attain God’s salvation.” The sister’s sincere words moved me and I relented a little. In particular, when she was talking about the situation in our church, all the things I’d seen happen in churches suddenly began to flash through my mind: In the first church I served in, the pastors said one thing and did another, and whoever contributed a lot of money was welcomed by the pastors with smiling faces and given lots of attention. Anyone who didn’t contribute very much money, however, was ignored and looked down upon by the pastors. I really couldn’t bear to see this happen, so I joined another church. In this church I witnessed the co-workers excluding one another, getting into jealous disputes, and colluding with each other to form different factions, and they were no different from people in the secular world. This disappointed me greatly. At first, I wanted to move to yet another church, but a brother told me that he had already gone through many churches, and that no matter where he went he always found the same desolation and darkness…. I also thought of the various behaviors I myself exhibited while living in sin, which made me begin to waver in my heart. I thought: “Could it be that the Lord Jesus truly has returned in the flesh to carry out the work of eradicating sin?” Just then, Sister Zhu went on, saying, “As for whether or not Almighty God is the returned Lord, all you need to do is read the word of Almighty God, and then you’ll know. At the time that the Lord Jesus came to carry out His work, His disciples followed Him because they recognized through His words and His work that He was the Messiah who was foretold. Today, in order to determine whether or not Almighty God is the appearance of the Lord Jesus who has come to carry out His work, we must also do so by looking at the work and the words of Almighty God. If, after you read Almighty God’s words, you still believe that He isn’t the returned Lord, then I will not try to force you to believe, and I will stop preaching the gospel to you, because God has never forced anyone to accept His gospel.”
After Sister Zhu said this, I hesitated for a moment and thought to myself: “I might as well read them and see exactly what truths are spoken in the words of Almighty God that have given Sister Zhu such a staunch belief in Almighty God.” Thereupon, I opened the door and let Sister Zhu and the rest of them into my home. Sister Zhu introduced the others, and they were Sister Zhang Qing and Brother Liu Kaiming from The Church of Almighty God. Sister Zhu said, “Brother Chuanyang, it has been several months since I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. I went to The Church of Almighty God to check it out for myself, and I have participated in their church life. Through personal experiences and through earnest investigation, I have seen that The Church of Almighty God really is a church that has the work of the Holy Spirit. It is a genuine church, and it absolutely arose from God. You and I have been members of the church together for years, and as a co-worker in the church, you ought to know better than I about what’s going on within it now. The Holy Spirit stopped working in our church long ago, and this is something everyone knows. The pastors cannot preach sermons that supply us with life. They only preach about how to attack or to be on guard against other denominations, telling us that we must keep the Lord’s name and that we will be saved so long as we don’t leave our church. But really there is no basis in the word of the Lord for them to act this way. They only do so in order to protect their positions and keep their livelihoods, and they give no thought to our lives. If they truly felt responsible for our lives then they should take the initiative and lead us in search of a church where the Holy Spirit is at work, rather than have us remain obstinately in a religion in which the Holy Spirit stopped working long ago, awaiting our deaths by starvation or from being trapped in a church without the Holy Spirit’s work.” After hearing this I thought to myself: “Sister Zhu really is describing what’s going on. The church today really does not have the work of the Holy Spirit, everything the pastors and elders do really is not done out of consideration for the lives of us believers, and as I’ve stuck with this church over the years I’ve felt more and more like the Lord is not with us. My spirit has long felt parched and far from the light, as though it has come to a dead-end.” Hearing her speak in this reasonable and well-grounded way, I no longer felt opposed to their visit.
Right then, the brother who had come with her—Brother Liu—said, “Brother, the reason the religious world is this desolate is because God has come to carry out new work and the work of the Holy Spirit has moved on, but people have not kept up with the new work that God is doing. An even bigger reason is that the pastors and elders have not obeyed the Lord’s commandments or put the Lord’s words into practice, but instead have led believers to follow the evil trends of the world, and have even resisted and condemned the new work of God. It’s just like when the Lord Jesus came to carry out His work, the temple had been turned into a place where cattle, sheep and doves were sold and money was exchanged. Priests violated laws and offered animals with blemishes as sacrifices to deceive God, the Pharisees coveted wealth and enjoyed the spoils of their position, and other such sins were committed. Even those who served God lived in sin, without the least bit of reverence for God in their hearts. This was enough to show that the Holy Spirit no longer worked in the temple, that the work of the Holy Spirit had moved on, and that God’s work in the Age of Law had come to an end. The Lord Jesus had come to carry out the work of redemption upon the foundation of the work of the Age of Law, and the Holy Spirit no longer worked in those who kept the name of Jehovah God and clung obstinately to the laws. Instead, the work of the Holy Spirit shifted to those who accepted the new work of the Lord Jesus. Since the presence of God was no longer in the temple, it became more and more desolate, until in the end it became a den of thieves. The Lord Jesus’ disciples, on the other hand, received the Lord’s salvation, they put into practice the Lord’s teachings, they followed the Lord with faith and strength, they forsook their homes and abandoned their jobs in order to bear witness to and spread the Lord’s gospel, fearing no persecution or adversity. Wasn’t all of this the effect achieved in them by the work of the Holy Spirit? In the same way, today the return of the Lord signifies that the old age has come to an end and a new age has begun. The Holy Spirit long ago stopped working in the churches of the Age of Grace; rather, He has begun to work on those who have accepted God’s new work, which fulfills these prophecies in the Bible: ‘And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered’ (Amos 4:7). ‘Behold, the days come … that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah’ (Amos 8:11). Almighty God also says: ‘God will accomplish this fact: He will make all people throughout the universe come before Him and worship the God on earth, and His work in other places will cease, and people will be forced to seek the true way. It will be like Joseph: Everyone came to him for food, and bowed down to him, for he had things to eat. In order to avoid famine, people will be forced to seek the true way. The entire religious community will suffer severe famine, and only the God of today is the wellspring of living water, possessed of the ever-flowing wellspring provided for the enjoyment of man, and people will come and depend on Him’ (“The Millennial Kingdom Has Arrived” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘God has made this group of people the sole focus of His work throughout all the universe. He has sacrificed all His heart’s blood for you; He has reclaimed and given to you all the work of the Spirit throughout the universe. That is why I say you are the fortunate ones. Moreover, He has shifted His glory from Israel, His chosen people, onto you, and He shall make the purpose of His plan fully manifest through this group. Therefore, you are the ones who will receive the inheritance of God, and even more than this, you are the heirs to God’s glory’ (“Is the Work of God As Simple As Man Imagines?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘Because those in religion are incapable of accepting God’s new work, and hold only to the old work of the past, thus God has forsaken these people, and does His new work on the people who accept this new work. These are people who cooperate in His new work, and only in this way can His management be accomplished’ (“God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From these words of God, we can see that the Holy Spirit no longer works in the churches of the Age of Grace, so no matter how hard people try or what kind of human methods they use to revive the churches, it is of no use. The Catholic Church and the Protestant denominations are all the same; the spirits of their believers are parched and starved, their faith and their love gradually grow cold, they are unable to keep the Lord’s teachings, and many of them follow the evil trends of the world, pursuing wealth and coveting worldly things. The churches have become places of desolation. On the other hand, the brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God are those who have left different denominations and who come from different professions to accept God’s work of the last days. They are the wise virgins who, upon hearing the voice of God, have returned before His throne. They are receiving the supply of the living water of life that flows out from the throne of God, they are being shepherded and led by God Himself, and they are spreading and bearing witness to the gospel of the kingdom of God with one accord. They endure being ridiculed and slandered by the world, they endure the abuse and condemnation from the leaders of various denominations, and are even beaten, and they endure being arrested, having their homes searched, their possessions confiscated, and being cruelly tortured and imprisoned and more by the CCP government. Still, they have faith, they have strength, they have love, and they are tenacious and unyielding as they follow Almighty God and bear witness to God’s work of the last days. It isn’t by their own strength that they are able to do so. These are all effects achieved through the work of the Holy Spirit! In addition, God’s will is to be found in His sending of famine into the religious world. His purpose in doing so is to compel those who truly believe in God and who thirst for the truth to break away from religion, to rid themselves of the deception and control of religious antichrists, and to walk away from religion. In doing so, they can then seek God’s footsteps and God’s appearance, accept God’s work of judgment in the last days, and be cleansed and perfected by God. At the same time, those nonbelievers who remain in religion, who seek to eat their fill of bread and who do not believe in God with a true heart, but who instead idolize and follow people, shall be exposed and eliminated. In this way, all people will be separated according to their kinds. Is this not the wisdom and almightiness of God?”
After listening to God’s words and this brother’s fellowship, I felt it all sounded very practical, and that it completely accorded with how things really were. I felt like I had awoken from a dream, and I understood the source of the desolation of the various churches. In this moment, I finally saw how insensitive I had been. Although I had seen that, from the pastors and elders to the ordinary believers, all had been bound by sin, and that the church was brimming with lawlessness and iniquity, I still had not sought God’s will, nor had I sought the work of the Holy Spirit. I also had not paid any attention to listening to God’s voice and, as a result, I had been eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit without even being aware of it. I realized that I needed to carefully read the word of Almighty God. On that day, as Sister Zhu and her companions were leaving, they arranged a time to come back and fellowship with me again, and they also left me with a copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb, which I was very happy to receive.
Later, when I read The Scroll Opened by the Lamb, a book of Almighty God’s word, I saw that the word of Almighty God reveals many mysteries, such as the three stages of work carried out by God to save mankind, the work of His judgment in the last days, the beauty of His kingdom, and so on, which gave me a deeper understanding of God’s work. My parched spirit felt quenched, and the more I read this book the more I loved it. I had used to get up at 5:30 a.m., but after I received my copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb, I started getting up at 4:30 a.m. to read the word of Almighty God and ponder over His words, and my spirit felt such contentment. One morning, as I was reading the chapter “Are You a True Believer in God?” I felt a tremendous stirring in my heart. Almighty God is the God who scrutinizes people’s innermost hearts, and He has exposed our corrupt nature that we could never know by ourselves, thus I became able to see the truth of my corruption by Satan. This was especially true when I read these words of Almighty God: “In any case, I say that all those who do not value the truth are nonbelievers and traitors to the truth. Such men shall never receive the approval of Christ. … You should understand that God does not belong to the world nor any one person, but to all those who truly believe in Him, all those who worship Him, and all those who are devoted and faithful to Him.” While I contemplated these words, I kept asking myself: Am I someone who truly believes in God? Do I esteem the truth? What have I esteemed over these past years of my belief in the Lord? I thought about how I was the same as the majority of the brothers and sisters: Externally, I read the Bible and attended meetings, but I paid no attention to experiencing or practicing the word of the Lord; rather, I esteemed the sermons preached by pastors and the literal meaning of the scriptures in the Bible. I put unquestioning faith in the biblical knowledge and theological doctrines preached by the pastors. I never thought about whether or not what they preached actually had any truth in it, or whether or not it conformed to the will of the Lord, and I certainly never used the Lord’s words to examine and measure what they were saying. We believers just believed whatever they preached. Thinking about it now, I realized how foolish and ignorant I’d been to have blindly idolized people! I thought back over the sermons given by the pastors and elders. They either gave sermons on giving offerings or about guarding against other denominations and sealing off the church, or they would just preach about the same old things that they’d been preaching about for years. There was no new illumination, no new enlightenment, they had absolutely nothing to provide us with, they couldn’t solve the problem of the barrenness in our spirits, and they certainly couldn’t solve the desolation in the church. This led to the brothers and sisters just going through the motions when they participated in meetings. During meetings some would chat, some would doze off, and some would play games on their phones. I had lived in this dark and desolate church, but I had not known to seek God’s will, nor had I known to seek the work of the Holy Spirit. Apparently, I was not someone who sought the truth or who truly believed in God at all. Almighty God says: “All those who do not value the truth are nonbelievers.” “God does not belong to the world nor any one person, but to all those who truly believe in Him, all those who worship Him.” These words were so real, and they made me suddenly think about the Lord Jesus’ words: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). I understood then that God is the truth, that God carries out His work in order to give man the truth, the way and the life, and that the people who truly believe in God pay attention to seeking the truth and obtaining the truth. As a believer in God, I had not been paying attention to seeking the truth, so had I not been all muddled up in my faith? If this was the way I believed in God, then how could I ever have received God’s approval? The words of Almighty God benefited me so greatly! The more I read the word of Almighty God, the more I felt that I was lacking in so many ways. And so, except for when I had to work, I spent all of my spare time reading the word of Almighty God. From the bottom of my heart I felt sure that this was the true way. But I still felt perplexed by these words spoken by the Lord Jesus: “Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:23–24). I didn’t know what the inner meaning to these words was, so I decided to seek about it when Sister Zhu and the others came again.
Sister Zhu and the other brother and sister came by my house at the time we had arranged, and I said to Sister Zhang, “These past few days I’ve been reading a lot from the word of Almighty God, and I feel that every word spoken by Almighty God is the truth, and that it is really what I need. Before, Sister Zhu tried again and again to invite me to look into the work of Almighty God, but because my pastors had preached about how false Christs would appear in the last days to deceive people, I refused to look into the true way, and now I truly regret it. However, I still feel confused about this, so I would like to seek with you. The Lord Jesus said: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:23–24). How do you all understand these words?”
Sister Zhang said, “Thanks be to God, and may He lead us in this fellowship. As for the question that you have raised, first we must understand what the purpose was for the Lord Jesus saying these words, and what He meant when He said them. The Lord Jesus told us that, when He returned, He would become flesh again as Christ, as the Son of man, and in this passage the Lord said that false Christs would also appear, showing signs and wonders to deceive people. That is to say, the next time that God appears in the flesh, these false Christs will also appear. From this, we can see that the Lord said these words in order to tell us that we must develop discernment to prevent us from being deceived by these false Christs. He did not say these words so that we would refuse to listen to anyone who spreads the good news of the Lord’s arrival and always close our doors to them. It would be a mistake to act like this, and it would be a total misunderstanding of the Lord’s intention. The Lord Jesus prophesied: ‘And at 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). ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me’ (John 10:27). The Lord’s words make it very clear that when the Lord returns, He will use His voice to call God’s sheep, and through His voice God’s sheep will recognize Him and return to Him. That is to say, whether or not we are able to welcome the Lord’s return crucially depends on whether or not we are able to recognize God’s voice. If we do not make an effort to listen to God’s voice, and constantly refuse those who spread the gospel of the Lord’s return, then wouldn’t we be prone to shutting the door on the Lord and locking Him out? From the words of the Lord we see that the distinguishing characteristic of false Christs is the ability to work signs and perform miracles, emulating the work that the Lord Jesus has performed in the past and working some signs and wonders, like healing the sick and casting out demons, in order to deceive man. However, false Christs are the embodiment of evil spirits, so regardless of what kind of signs they work, they cannot express any truth. This is incontrovertible. The words of Almighty God make the expressions and substance of false Christs abundantly clear. Let us look at several passages from the word of Almighty God and you will understand. Almighty God says: ‘If, during the last days, a “God” the same as Jesus appeared, one who healed the sick, cast out demons, and was crucified for man, that “God,” though identical to the description of God in the Bible and easy for man to accept, would not, in its essence, be the flesh worn by the Spirit of God, but by an evil spirit. For it is the principle of God’s work never to repeat what He has already completed. And so, the work of God’s second incarnation is different from the work of the first’ (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, cast out demons, heal the sick, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are Jesus who has come, then this would be a counterfeit produced by evil spirits which imitate Jesus. Remember this! God does not repeat the same work. Jesus’ stage of work has already been completed, and God will never again undertake that stage of work. … If, during the last days, God still displayed signs and wonders, and still cast out demons and healed the sick—if He did exactly the same as Jesus—then God would be repeating the same work, and the work of Jesus would have no significance or value. Thus, God carries out one stage of work in every age. Once each stage of His work has been completed, it is soon imitated by evil spirits, and after Satan begins to follow on the heels of God, God changes to a different method. Once God has completed a stage of His work, it is imitated by evil spirits. You must be clear about this’ (“Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words make it very clear that false Christs are all evil spirits posing as Christ. Even though they call themselves God, they do not possess the least bit of truth and certainly cannot carry out God’s work, since they do not have the substance of Christ. All they can do is follow on the heels of God to imitate the work that the Lord Jesus has already carried out in order to deceive people. False Christs will never be able to bring the truth or a new path of practice to people. Everyone knows that all the knockoff products in this world are made by copying real products. False Christs are just the same. They heal the sick and cast out demons and perform some simple miracles to deceive people by copying the work carried out by the Lord Jesus, but there’s no way false Christs could perform such miracles as bringing the dead back to life and feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. So, anyone who calls themselves Christ, who says they are the Lord Jesus returned and who displays signs and wonders and heals the sick and casts out demons, these people are without a doubt false Christs deceiving people. However, Christ is the incarnation of God Himself, He is the Spirit of God realized in the flesh, He has normal humanity and complete divinity, and He is absolutely God Himself. Almighty God says: ‘God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the essence of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but also the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh cannot be supplanted by just any man, but is a flesh that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those who impersonate Christ will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the essence of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself’ (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). So, only Christ can carry out God’s own work, only Christ can express the truth, and only Christ can express God’s disposition and provide for man and shepherd man. Only Christ can carry out the work of redeeming and saving mankind, only He can bring an end to the old age and usher in the new. What’s more, God’s work is always new and never old, and God never repeats the same work. Therefore, every time Christ comes to carry out work He will always bring new work, expressing God’s disposition and what He has and is. When the Lord Jesus came to carry out work, for example, He ended the Age of Law and ushered in the Age of Grace, He delivered the sermons that enabled people to confess their sins and repent, and He taught people to love their enemies, to be humble, to be patient and to forgive others. These were just some of the things the Lord Jesus did. The Lord Jesus revealed to man God’s loving and merciful disposition. Similarly, Almighty God has come in the last days, and He has ended the Age of Grace and ushered in the Age of Kingdom. He is carrying out the work of judging man and cleansing man with His words on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, giving us all the truths we need to be cleansed and to attain salvation, showing us the path to rid ourselves of sin and attain salvation, and expressing the righteous, majestic and wrathful disposition of God. Through the work and words of Almighty God, we are entirely able to recognize that Almighty God is God incarnate and that He is God Himself appearing among mankind in the last days.”
After listening to God’s words and the fellowship given by this sister, I felt like I had awoken from a dream, and I finally understood how to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs. This made me feel both happy and ashamed, as I saw how pitiful I was to be without the truth. I thought about how I had time and again refused God’s work of the last days, and realized that it had been because I’d been afraid of being deceived by false Christs, with the result that I rejected the true Christ like someone not eating for fear of choking. When the Lord returned and knocked on my door, I had refused to listen to the voice of God, time and again shutting the door on the Lord. But God did not give up on saving me, but instead He moved these brothers and sisters to come to my home to spread the gospel. God really had never left me—God’s love really is so great! Because I’d believed what my pastors had said, I’d decided that everyone who bore witness for the returned Lord was preaching a false Christ. I had misunderstood the word of the Lord, and I had rejected, condemned and resisted Almighty God, and I had also believed that the notions I clung to were right—I had been so ridiculous! If I hadn’t read the word of Almighty God and listened to the fellowships of these brothers and sisters on the differences between the true Christ and false Christs, then I would have never been able to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs, and I would have only been deceived by what the pastors and elders said. I would have followed the pastors and elders in their resistance and refusal of God’s arrival, and would thereby have lost this extremely rare opportunity to attain God’s salvation. As I thought about this, I said to Sister Zhu and the others, “Through reading the word of Almighty God and listening to your fellowships, I now know how to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs. Now I am convinced that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned, and I am willing to accept the work of Almighty God in the last days.”
After I began to participate in the church life, I saw that the brothers and sisters understood many truths, and that I was so lacking compared to them. I thought to myself: “I must have Sister Zhu and the rest of them fellowship with me more on the word of God and help me so that I will more quickly understand the truth.” I discussed this with Sister Zhu, asking her if we could turn my home into a meeting place, and she agreed right away. After that, we gathered together every week to read the word of God and fellowship about the truth. I gradually came to have more and more knowledge of the words of God and to understand more and more truths. I could feel from the bottom of my heart that these words were the expressions of the truth. In that moment, I thought about the words the Lord Jesus had said: “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). I felt all the more moved, and I saw that these words of the Lord had all come to pass. The word of Almighty God is “what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). Almighty God is in the process of guiding man to understand and gain entry into all truths. Only by accepting God’s work in the last days and only by accepting the truths expressed by God can one be cleansed, attain salvation and become someone who is after God’s heart. It was the word of Almighty God that brought me back to the house of God and that brought me before the throne of God. Now, every day I have God’s words to provide for me and guide me, and I feel peaceful and joyful, at ease and filled with light. I wish to do all that I can to pursue the truth and follow Almighty God to the very end!