By Anna, United States
Learning of the Lord’s Return in the Midst of the Church’s Desolation
I started to believe in the Lord Jesus along with my mother when I was 13. Most of the time, we would go to small assemblies at a local house church, during which it was usually the brothers who gave sermons. At that time, I didn’t understand why there were no sisters who preached. Once, my mother took me to attend a big assembly where I heard the pastor say, “It is recorded in the Bible, ‘The head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God’ (1 Corinthians 11:3). This verse tells us that Christ is the head of the church. Since Jesus Christ is a male, this means men can take on authority. Therefore, the brothers are the head of the sisters and they are in charge of all the important church work, while the sisters can only cooperate with the work like visiting and supporting the believers, singing hymns and hosting….” Hearing him say this stirred my heart, and I thought: “So that’s how it is! No wonder the pastors, elders and preachers are all brothers while the sisters cannot give sermons on the podium. This is because the Bible says man is the head of woman. This really rings true. Woman was the first to be tempted to sin and thus they are unclean and are not qualified to take on those works.”
Besides, the pastor emphasized over and over again, saying, “The second coming of the Lord must be a man and cannot possibly be a woman. This is because the Bible clearly records that the Lord Jesus Christ is a male and that only men have authority. So we must not be deceived….” Since then, I had been clinging to this view that man was the head of woman and that when the Lord returned He couldn’t possibly be a woman.
In 2001, however, we heard Eastern Lightning preach that the Lord had returned and was called Almighty God, and they also said this time God had come as a woman. I thought what they preached was different from what the pastor said, whose words had a biblical basis, so I didn’t even bother to investigate it and kept avoiding those who preached the way of Eastern Lightning.
At that time, because the situation in the church was very terrible, with many believers growing weak in faith and no longer coming to gatherings, my co-workers and I were busy supporting those weak brothers and sisters every day. But no matter how hard we worked, there were still many believers who stopped attending meetings. The church was growing ever more desolate, yet there was nothing we could do about it except frequently pray for the Lord to revive the church.
One morning in 2003, I received a call from my cousin, who invited me to her house. After I got there, she said to me, face beaming with joy, “Thank the Lord! Today I called you here because I wanted you to hear a brother preach with me. He is a good preacher who preaches everywhere and is experienced and knowledgeable. It’s a rare opportunity that we can listen to his sermons.” Happily, I said, “Thank the Lord! Since this is such a great opportunity, of course I’d love to hear him speak.” So I began to talk about the situation in my church and the brother then integrated some of the biblical prophecies about the last days to fellowship about the root of the church’s desolation, saying now was the time of the Lord’s return. After that, he gave us fellowship on how the Lord would return, God’s three stages of work, the mystery of incarnation, the mystery of God’s name, and so on. These were things I had never heard over my many years of belief in the Lord, and I had never expected that the brother would understand so much. His fellowship was very illuminating and contained the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and my heart felt enlightened after I heard it.
The next day, we continued to gather together to fellowship. To my surprise, the brother said happily to me, “The Lord has come back as the incarnate Almighty God, and He is doing the work of judgment beginning from the house of God….” Upon hearing the name Almighty God, I immediately thought of how the pastor had said Eastern Lightning preached that the Lord had returned as a woman, and then my insides started to turn: “Women are cursed by God and are the origin of mankind’s sin, so how could God possibly become a woman? Besides, the Bible clearly says: ‘But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God’ (1 Corinthians 11:3). The returned Lord should be a man. How could He be a woman? That’s never possible. But what the brother has fellowshiped these days makes a lot of sense and is in line with the biblical prophecies. If Almighty God is actually the returned Lord Jesus and I miss His coming, won’t I lose God’s salvation?” After some inner struggle, I decided to ask the brother to make it clear.
Is It That God Can Only Incarnate as a Man?
So, I asked straight out, “Brother, what you have fellowshiped these days is very good, and I have gained a lot from hearing it. But you say this time God has come as a woman, which I cannot totally accept. Back then, the Lord Jesus incarnated as a man, and moreover, it says in the Bible that women are cursed and cannot take on authority, so how could God become a woman to do His work?”
Smiling, the brother said, “Thanks be to God! The truth expressed by God in the last days has exposed all sorts of notions we harbor about God and also told us what God is and has. As long as we have a heart that thirsts for and seeks the truth, any conceptions that we may have can be resolved. Now let’s fellowship on this issue together. Most believers in the Lord maintain that because the Lord Jesus came to work in the form of a man and it says in the Bible that the head of the woman is the man and that women are cursed by God, it is absolutely impossible that God will become flesh as a woman. But is this conclusion we’ve reached based on these words in the Bible in line with the truth and God’s will? Is this understanding verified by the Holy Spirit or is it simply our notions and imaginings? In fact, this understanding does not conform to the truth but is merely our notions and misunderstanding about God. Let’s look at a passage of Almighty God’s words and then we will understand. ‘Before this, all humanity believed that God could only be male and that a female could not be called God, for all humanity regarded men as having authority over women. They believed that no woman could take on authority, only men. What is more, they even said that man was the head of woman and that woman must obey man and could not surpass him. In times past, when it was said that man was woman’s head, this was directed at Adam and Eve, who had been beguiled by the serpent—not at man and woman as they had been created by Jehovah in the beginning. … Jehovah said to woman, “Your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you.” He spoke thus only so that humankind (that is, both man and woman) might live normal lives under the dominion of Jehovah, and so that the lives of humankind might have a structure, and not fall out of their proper order. Therefore, Jehovah made appropriate rules for how man and woman should act, though this was only in regard to all the created beings living on the earth, and bore no relation to God’s incarnate flesh. How could God be the same as His created beings? His words were directed only toward the humankind of His creation; it was in order for humankind to live normal lives that He established rules for man and woman. In the beginning, when Jehovah created humankind, He made two kinds of human being, both male and female; and so there is the division of male and female in His incarnate fleshes. He did not decide His work based on the words He spoke to Adam and Eve. The two times He has become flesh have been determined entirely according to His thinking at the time He first created humankind; that is, He has completed the work of His two incarnations based on the male and the female before they were corrupted. … Surely it cannot be that the maleness of Jesus proves He is the head of all women but not of all men? Is He not the King of all the Jews (including both men and women)? He is God Himself, not just the head of woman but the head of man as well. He is the Lord of all creatures and the head of all creatures. How could you determine the maleness of Jesus to be the symbol of the head of woman? Would this not be blasphemy? Jesus is a male who has not been corrupted. He is God; He is Christ; He is the Lord. How could He be a male like Adam who was corrupted? Jesus is the flesh worn by the most holy Spirit of God. How could you say He is a God who possesses the maleness of Adam? In that case, would not all of God’s work have been wrong? Would Jehovah have been able to incorporate within Jesus the maleness of Adam who was beguiled by the serpent? Is not the incarnation of the present time another instance of the work of God incarnate, who is different in gender from Jesus but like Him in nature? Do you still dare say that God incarnate could not be female, because woman was the first to be beguiled by the serpent? Do you still dare say that, as woman is the most unclean and the source of the corruption of humankind, God could not possibly become flesh as a female? Do you dare to persist in saying that “woman shall always obey man and may never manifest or directly represent God”? You did not understand in the past, but can you now go on blaspheming the work of God, especially the incarnate flesh of God?’”
After reading God’s words, the brother continued to fellowship, “Almighty God has opened this mystery to us. In fact, the Bible verses that ‘Your desire shall be to your husband’ and ‘the head of the woman is the man’ were the requirements God made of Adam and Eve after they fell into sin, and were so that the lives of mankind on earth might have a structure. They were the things that we created humanity should abide by and were completely unrelated to the incarnate God. We, however, require the incarnate God to abide by the words God spoke to Adam and Eve after their corruption by Satan, thinking that women are the origin of human corruption and are cursed by God, that they should be under the control of men and are not qualified to hold power, and that the second coming of God couldn’t possibly be a woman. Besides, we also apply the idea ‘the head of the woman is the man and women cannot hold power’ to the incarnate God. Doesn’t this prove that we humans are too arrogant and irrational? Isn’t this blaspheming God? Actually, from the revelations in God’s words we can know that the flesh that God wears hasn’t been corrupted by Satan, and that it possesses the essence of God’s divinity and represents God Himself. Take the incarnate Lord Jesus for example. He is not only the head of men, but of women, and even more so of all creatures. Similarly, although this time God is a female in this body, He is still the head of all creatures, the God of all mankind. Our belief that the head of the woman is the man and that the coming of God must be a man is purely our notions and imagination and is at odds with God’s will.”
Through listening to God’s words and the brother’s fellowship, my heart felt brightened. Excitedly, I said, “Now I understand. It turns out that God’s word that ‘Your desire shall be to your husband, and he shall rule over you’ was targeted at us corrupt mankind, not at the incarnate God, and it was in order that we humans could live orderly lives on earth that God made such rules. Before, I blindly listened to the pastor and believed that the head of woman was man. I thought the woman was tempted by Satan to sin and thus was unclean and low, and that God despised women and couldn’t possibly incarnate as a woman. Now I see that I misunderstood God’s will and that all these things were actually our notions and imaginings. If it hadn’t been for Almighty God’s words revealing this mystery, I would resist and blaspheme God based on my notions and imagination without even realizing it!”
The Significance of God Incarnating as a Woman
Both my cousin and the brother nodded happily. The brother said, “Thanks be to God! God is wise and all of His work exceeds our imagination. If we are able to seek the truth in regard to our notions, it will bring joy to God. In fact, both male and female are created beings in God’s eyes and there is no distinction of superiority and inferiority amongst them. Let’s read a verse of the Scriptures and we will understand this better. In Genesis 1:27 it says: ‘So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.’ This verse clearly tells us that God created both male and female in His own image, and it doesn’t say that He only created male and didn’t create female. Therefore, if we delimit God as male, doesn’t it contradict this verse? God is the Lord of creation, and no matter what gender His incarnation takes, it has significance. As for why it is that God has returned in the last days in female form to do His work, Almighty God’s word has opened up this mystery. Let’s read a passage and we’ll understand.
“Almighty God says: ‘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. … 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 brother then fellowshiped, “Sister, aren’t God’s words very clear? God is inherently Spirit with no distinction of gender, and only because of the needs of His salvation work does He clothe Himself in flesh and take on the form of a man or a woman. But no matter what gender God adopts to do His work, His essence does not change and the One who works is still God Himself. Back then, the Lord Jesus came to do His work as a man. If, at that time, He had incarnated as a female, He would still have been able to complete the work of redemption. From this it can be seen that the work God does is entirely liberated and free and that He is not constrained by gender. Besides, God has incarnated as a woman this time to thoroughly resolve our notions and imaginings about Him. Since we all know that God worked as a male the first time He came incarnate, we have been holding the notion that God is male. God incarnating as a woman in the last days therefore strongly counters this notion we have, dispels our erroneous understanding of God, and allows us to see that the incarnation of God can be both male and female, so that we will no longer define God as male and can better know Him. It can be seen that God’s incarnation this time doing the work of saving man as a female is so very meaningful!”
Through God’s words and the brother’s fellowship, I came to further understand that God is inherently Spirit and that it is for the sake of saving us mankind that He incarnates to do His work. The first time God was incarnated, He embodied the identity of a man, and if He returned still in the form of a man, we would then define God as male and as the God of men. “It turns out that God incarnating as a woman has such great significance,” I thought. “If it hadn’t been for Almighty God revealing this mystery, I would never have come to understand it. Before, I had no discernment and blindly believed whatever the pastor said. Fortunately, God’s salvation of the last days came upon me and removed my notions. Thanks be to God!”
Thinking of this, I said happily, “Thank Almighty God! Now I completely understand. The Lord Jesus, whom I have yearned for, has now returned as the incarnate Almighty God. I must share this great news with my brothers and sisters in the church so that they can follow the footsteps of God’s work as soon as possible!” Hearing this, the brother and my cousin nodded their heads in excitement, and we then knelt down and offered up a prayer of gratitude to God together …
Editor’s Note: The greatest longing for us Christians is to receive the Lord’s appearance. Regardless of what notions we may harbor, as long as we investigate with an open mind and call out to the Lord, He will lead us to recognize His voice. Just as the Lord Jesus promised us, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7).