By Zhen’ai, Canada
In 2015, I accepted the Lord Jesus’ gospel when I worked in Canada. I remember it was my first time to go to the church for meetings, and the brothers and sisters greeted me warmly and shook my hand, which made me feel very warm. Especially, when pastors preached that the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross for the sake of rescuing mankind from the hands of Satan, I was moved by the Lord Jesus’ love and effort for man. And then I thought I was so blessed to believe in the Lord, so I determined to follow Him all my life. From then on, I went to church to attend Sunday worship service every week, went to Sunday school, read the Bible, and was baptized after half a year.
Time passes quickly. Disasters all around the world are getting bigger and bigger. We all felt the day of the Lord was near. And pastors often told us: “‘This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven’ (Acts 1:11). The Lord Jesus left on clouds, so He will return on clouds then. This is the promise that the Lord gave us. It won’t change. We will be raptured into the kingdom of heaven when He returns. So we should be constantly watchful and waiting.” I was taking the words of pastors to heart and waiting for the Lord to descend upon the clouds to take us into the kingdom of heaven.
Afterward, I always met with something frustrating in the work. The employer made excessive demands of me, which made me undertake much pressure. After I went home, my family couldn’t understand me, and we were always bickering over some trivial matters. One time, while I was frying food in the kitchen, my mother was standing next to me and said: “You should put this vegetable and that seasoning first. …” I was annoyed that she told me how to cook, and then I said unpleasantly: “I know how to fry and needn’t your advice.” My mother said: “I’m saying this for your own good. Is it worth getting angry over this? You are a believer in the lord. But how can you even be annoyed over such a small matter.” Hearing her words, I said nothing but thought she was nagging and boring. After that, I regretted my deeds. How did I speak to my mother with anger? I didn’t have the likeness of a Christian! Then I came before the Lord to pray and repent. However, I still lost my temper when I met such a thing next time.
I thought I could gain comfort by going to the church to listen to sermons. But the sermons of pastors couldn’t solve my problem either. On the contrary, the more I listened the more I felt dry, and I felt that it did not benefit me spiritually. After the worship service, the brothers and sisters came together for selling products to each other or talking about their own affairs and children. What’s more, even some brothers wanted to stand for Parliament, and then they went to the church to solicit votes. I saw most brothers and sisters went to the church not for truly worshiping the Lord but for their own purpose and interest. I couldn’t help losing heart at the condition of the church. And then on account of moving to other place, I went to a local church. But the condition of the church was the same and I gained nothing after one gathering, Therefore, I gradually went to church less. Yet, emptiness of the soul caused me to feel more and more sad and lonely, so I fervently hoped to attain the Lord’s aid. Even sometimes I looked up at the white clouds in the sky and thought: Which cloud will the Lord come with? If He comes with clouds to receive us soon, I won’t need to live in pain and depression.
In March of 2017, when I had cafe with Sister Mo of the church, I met Brother Peter by chance. I saw that Brother Peter received the Bible purely by talking and the experiences he talked about were practical. I could be edified by his fellowship. From his speech and behavior, I believed he was a true believer. Then we exchanged the contact information. Over the next couple of days, I frequently consulted Brother Peter and every time his explanation could benefit me.
One time, Brother Peter invited us to attend the Bible study, and then I met Sister Jane and Lucy. During the period of attending the Bible study, I referred to the condition of the church. After hearing my words, Sister Jane said: “Why is the church in a state of widespread desolation now? Let’s think back to the time of the end of the Age of Law. The temple, once so full of Jehovah’s glory, became a place where believers exchanged money and sold oxen, sheep and doves, became a den of thieves. Worse still, the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees didn’t hold to God’s laws, didn’t follow Jehovah God’s teachings and didn’t have Jehovah God’s disciplining. This is because there was no work of the Holy Spirit in the temple, and the Lord Jesus did His new work.” Then Sister Lucy continued saying: “If we want to measure whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit in a church, we should evaluate it according to whether we can attain the provision of life and keep gaining a new understanding of God. If we just listen to some letters and rules, have no new understanding of God and can’t resolve the practical problems, then there will be no work of the Holy Spirit.” After hearing the fellowship of the sisters, I thought: That’s right. We listen to pastors in the church, but we can’t obtain a new light or feel gratified. Besides, the believers’ lives don’t receive any supply, so we are thirsty in spirit and even the church becomes a place of trade. Now I understand that this is because there is no work of the Holy Spirit in the temple. I feel the fellowship of the two sisters, which is enlightening, makes my heart enlightened. Such a Bible study meeting is very helpful toward me, so I should consult them more.
One day, Sister Li of the church gave me a call and asked why I didn’t go to the church for meetings. Then I told her I attended the Bible study in a house church. Hearing that, she said in surprise: “A house church? Pastors often tell us not to listen to the sermons from other churches. In addition, the preachers of a house church are not be trained in seminaries and their sermons are not higher than pastors’. So you’d better not go there.” I said: “I have attended the Bible study with them for several times, and their fellowships benefit me a lot.” But Sister Li still constantly tried to persuade me not to go there to listen to sermons. After hanging up the telephone, I felt a little worried in my heart. Sisters Lucy and other sister fellowshiped well, but I wondered whether I should listen to their sermons. I told my anxiety to Sister Mo, and then she said: “I think the fellowships of Sister Lucy and other sister are full of light and of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination, and are good for our life, so we should listen to them. Pastors are trained in seminaries, but do they understand the Lord’s will? Do their fellowships have enlightenment? We believe in God, and can’t only listen to and believe people’s words.” Sister Mo’s words were quite reasonable, so I determined to continue attending the Bible study with them.
When we read the Bible and attended the meeting, Sister Jane and Lucy integrated the Bible and fellowshiped about the topic about who are successful and who are failures in their belief in God. Sister Jane said: “The Pharisees in the Age of Law were familiar with the Bible and served Jehovah God in the temple. But when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, they crazily blasphemed and opposed Him because His work didn’t accord with their notions, and finally nailed Him to the cross, which caused them to incur God’s punishment. We can understand from the failure of the Pharisees: As regards the thing about welcoming the Lord Jesus’ return, we can’t arbitrarily delineate God’s work based upon our conceptions and illusions, much less can we listen to someone. Instead, we should pray and seek for the Lord’s will, and moreover learn to distinguish, being wise virgins. In that case, we won’t miss the chance to welcome the Lord’s return.” Through the two sisters’ fellowships, I had the way to practice about the thing of welcoming the Lord’s return. I should learn to listen to God’s voice, which was in line with the Lord’s intention. By discussing together, I gradually had less suspicion and vigilance.
One day, Sister Lucy showed us a video. The atmosphere of brothers and sisters dancing and singing to praise God in the video infected me. So I felt very happy and released. However, my mood changed from happy to nervous as soon as I saw these words “Almighty God,” and heard the news in the video that the Lord has returned and been incarnated to express His words and do His work of judging and cleansing men. I thought: Has the Lord returned? It is impossible. Pastors often tell us that the Lord left on clouds and will come again with clouds. I said to the sister: “The Bible says, ‘Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven’(Acts 1:11). The Lord will return the same way He left. Since He left on clouds, shouldn’t He return with clouds? This is the promise that the Lord gave us, but why do you testify that the Lord has returned in the flesh?”
Sister Lucy said: “Sister, as regards the prophecy of the Lord’s returning, in the Bible, there is not only the prophecy about the Lord appearing publicly by descending with the clouds, but also the prophecy about the Lord coming in secret. Matthew 25:6, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him.’ ‘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). ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ (Revelation 16:15). Saying ‘the Lord comes as a thief’ means that the Lord will quietly and secretly come when nobody knows. Besides, from the passage of scripture ‘I stand at the door, and knock,’ we see that the Lord Jesus’ returning certainly means that God incarnate does His work secretly. Only God incarnate as the Son of man can knock on the door. If the Lord were to appear to man in the form of His spiritual body, it wouldn’t be said to be knocking. In addition, if we see the Lord appears to man publicly with clouds, we will all drop to the ground to receive Him. So there are two ways in which He would return: in secret and in public. Now is when Almighty God is working in secret and expressing the truth to save us. Almighty God is expressing His words to judge, purify and perfect mankind. At this point, we will certainly not see the Lord appearing in public atop clouds. After a group of overcomers have been made on earth, God’s secret work will have ended, and then God will appear openly before all the nations of earth, and this will fulfill the words in Scripture: ‘And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory’ (Matthew 24:30). ‘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). We should be happy and excited to see that the Lord descends on clouds to appear before all the nations of earth, but why will we weep? It is because God will begin His work of rewarding good and punishing evil after His secret work. Those people, who don’t seek God’s work but condemn and resist Almighty God during the period of God’s secret work, will weep, gnash their teeth and beat their chests when they see Almighty God resisted by them is the appearance of the Lord Jesus.”
By the sister’s fellowship, I understood that there are two ways in which the Lord Jesus comes. At first, He descends in secret to express His words, to do the work of judgment beginning with God’s family, to purify us and to save us from the bondage of sin. Secondly, God openly comes with clouds to do the work of rewarding good and punishing evil. Finally Sister Jane gave a book called Kingdom Salvation to Sister Mo and me each and let us take them home to read.
After going home, I couldn’t wait to read the words of God, and the more I read, the more I felt these words carry authority and power. I felt they seem to have the same source as the Lord Jesus’ words, and they shocked my heart. I saw God’s words: “Man believes that, following the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven upon a white cloud, and took His place at the Most High’s right hand. Man conceives that similarly, Jesus shall descend, again upon a white cloud (this cloud refers to the cloud that Jesus rode upon when He returned to heaven), among those who have desperately yearned for Him for thousands of years, and that He shall bear the image and clothes of the Jews. After appearing to man, He shall bestow food upon them, and cause living water to gush forth for them, and shall live among man, full of grace and love, living and real. And so on. Yet Jesus the Savior did not do this; He did the opposite of what man conceived. He did not arrive among those who had yearned for His return, and did not appear to all men while riding upon the white cloud. He has already arrived, but man does not know Him, and remains ignorant of His arrival. Man is only aimlessly awaiting Him, unaware that He has already descended upon a ‘white cloud’ (the cloud which is His Spirit, His words, and His entire disposition and all that He is), and is now among a group of overcomers that He will make during the last days.” Having believed in the Lord for all these years, I was thinking that the clouds with which the Lord would come mean the white clouds in the sky. And many believers for thousands of years have been gazing toward the heavens and waiting for the Lord appearing. Now after reading the words of Almighty God, I understood the clouds don’t refer to the white clouds in our imaginations, but to God’s spirit, God’s words, all of the disposition of God and all that He is. That is to say, God appears to us with His words, His disposition and all that He is in the last days. Seeing that, I couldn’t help exclaiming: God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts and He doesn’t do His work according to our imagination. Thank God! If God’s words didn’t reveal the mystery, I would not see it.
At a gathering, we saw a film Song of Victory released by Sister Jane. Then Sister Zheng read a passage of God’s words to us: “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. … For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition.” Sister Zheng fellowshiped: “God’s words tell us clearly. In the Age of Grace, our sins were forgiven for believing in the Lord, but our sinful nature has already taken root deep inside us, becoming our life. Then we couldn’t help but to sin and resist God. Therefore, the work of judgment in the last days is the work targeted at the satanic nature inside us corrupted mankind. We think back to the fact that those saints throughout history all paid the price of suffering and subdued their bodies, and wanted to escape the bondage and control of sin, but none of them could escape it to be someone who truly obeys God. It was because there was no God’s judgment and chastisement, so our satanic disposition was unable to be cleansed and our life disposition was unable to change. Hence we must go through God’s judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, and trials and refining, and then our satanic nature can be thoroughly resolved and cleansed.” At that moment, I came to sudden awareness: The reason why we always live under the situation of sinning and repenting without release is that the root of our sin hasn’t been resolved, so if we want to free from the bondage of sin, only by accepting the work of judgment of God incarnate can we be cleansed.
Through a period of investigation, I certainly made sure Almighty God is the appearance of the Lord Jesus. Thank God. I will read God’s words more, practice according to God’s words. I must catch the incredibly rare opportunity to seek the truth. All the glory be to Almighty God!