By Shunfu, Japan
In 2002 my aunt shared with me the Lord Jesus’ gospel. After knowing that the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross for the sake of redeeming mankind, I was very moved and felt that the Lord’s love for us was so great, so I, with my aunt, prayed to the Lord to make a resolution to follow and rely on Him all our life. Afterward, I often read the Bible, prayed, sang hymns and spoke to the Lord from my heart, which made me feel very peaceful within as if I had entered a world without clamor.
In 2008 I came to a Japanese church to attend meetings. Meanwhile, I helped the pastor and the preacher build a Chinese church in Nagoya and I also became a co-worker of that church. At that time, the pastor was the authority of the whole church, and everyone venerated him very much. However, I admired the preacher more because she had much understanding of the Bible, enthusiastically spent for the Lord all the time and was very spiritual. A year later, because of my work I was transferred to another city. Not long after, I heard that the pastor had misappropriated the church funds. At this, the pastor of the headquarters decided to expel him from the church.I was extremely disappointed in my heart after knowing this, because I had never thought that the pastor would do such things. At last, I chose to leave this heartrending church.
Later, I followed the preacher to Osaka and we built a new church. The preacher gave the church to another preacher. Because the new preacher’s sermons couldn’t edify us or solve our problems in our life, we all became weak and negative and our faith grew colder and colder. That brothers and sisters came to the church to attend meetings was either for the sake of introducing a potential marriage partner to their children or for looking for work and some others came in order to freeload. At that time, I felt the church had become a place to trade just like the temple at the end of the Age of Law. Because I couldn’t gain the provision of life, I, helpless, was forced to leave this church. But, no matter what problems I encountered, I would still directly consult the preacher of the previous church. Afterward, I also went to many other churches, but their desolate situations were all the same. Facing everything before my eyes, I felt a deep sense of pain within, and often cried out to the Lord in my heart, “O Lord! Where exactly are You?”
On Christmas Day of 2015, when I took part in a parent-child activity with my child, I got acquainted with Sister Keqiu in the Lord. Afterward, we constantly shared our own experiences of believing in the Lord with each other. Hearing her sharing, I felt that it was very enlightening and I gained a lot. Every time I encountered difficulties and problems, she would patiently fellowship with me and resolve my practical problems. I was so glad that I could fellowship and share together with her. Later, we discussed the situation of the church. She fellowshiped with me, “At the end of the Age of Law, a temple that originally shined with the glory of Jehovah God became a den of thieves. This was mainly because the Jewish religious leaders didn’t abide by Jehovah God’s laws, and didn’t fear God in their hearts. They abided by men’s traditions, and rejected God’s commandments. They completely departed from the way of God, and so they lost the work of the Holy Spirit. But another reason was that God had been incarnated to do the work of redeeming mankind in the Age of Grace. God’s work had changed. All those who accepted the Lord Jesus’ redemptive work received the work of the Holy Spirit, but those who rejected and resisted the work of the Lord Jesus were eliminated by God’s work, and fell into dark desolation. Let’s take a look at all religious pastors and elders. They go their own way and don’t follow God’s commandments. They often primarily interpret the Bible and all they focus on are biblical knowledge and theological theories, drowning people in biblical theology, taking them away from God, and turning churches into places of religious ritual. Moreover, they treat their duties as access to status and income. Because these pastors and elders have chosen their own path, and no longer follow God’s way, the work of the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn, and the religious venues have been abandoned. But also, it’s because the Lord Jesus has returned to flesh, and begun the work of judgment in the last days beginning with the house of God. Almighty God expresses all the truth to purify all who accept His work of the last days, and the work of the Holy Spirit also turns to His work of the last days. Those who accept Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days will receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and receive the provision and watering of the living water of life, while those who refuse to accept God’s work of the last days are left in dark desolation. This fulfills a prophecy 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. So two or three cities wandered to one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have you not returned to me, said Jehovah” (Amos 4:7-8).
Hearing her fellowship, I came to understand that the reason why the churches were desolate was because the work of the Holy Spirit has been transferred and Almighty God has spoken words and done His work of judgment beginning at the house of God. At that moment, I felt very excited after hearing the news of the Lord’s return. After that, she also fellowshiped with me about God’s management plan to save mankind and the inside story and essence of God’s three-stage work. She also fellowshiped, “That God does every stage of work is all based on the needs of us corrupt mankind and each stage is a deeper and higher work than the last which is built upon the foundation of the last. Only the three stages of work are God’s entire management work.” The more I heard, the more I agreed with what she said. When the meeting came to an end, she said to me, “Every time God comes to do a new work, He will suffer the disturbance of satanic forces. Just as when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the Jewish Pharisees joined forces with the Roman government to nail Him to the cross. Today, Almighty God has come to do His judgment work of the last days, and similarly, He suffers the atheist CCP government’s and religious community’s condemnation and resistance and is rejected by this era. In fact, the atheist CCP regime and the majority of religious leaders are all satanic forces that hate God and the truth, which can be confirmed through what happened with the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus. So, as long as it is the true way, it will surely suffer the rejection and condemnation of atheist regimes and religious community. We must see through the darkness and evil in the world and know God’s work. Otherwise, we will also follow the herd to condemn and resist God, causing us to offend God’s disposition.” After hearing this, I signified my approval.
Though her fellowship was completely irrefutable, for a moment I still had some doubts. Thinking that I myself read the Bible less than the preacher of the previous church did, I contacted her. After knowing what happened to me, she said, “She believes in Eastern Lightning. Don’t believe what she said or contact her anymore. Only recently, the Eastern Lightning people have stolen away all good sheep in our church. The believers in our church are all painstakingly preached to by us and are shepherded by us. But they came to steal our sheep.” Hearing the nervous voice of the preacher on the phone, I became scared inside: If my beliefs are mistaken, what should I do? Will the Lord not want me? I felt very confused and sad inside, and was immediately caught in a dilemma. I thought to myself: “The preacher has worked for the Lord for many years and she is familiar with the Bible and understands more Bible knowledge than I do, so she should know better than me. But Sister Keqiu’s fellowship is also reasonable and fair, and moreover, the Lord’s return is a very important matter. Who on earth should I listen to?” I thought of some words said by the Lord Jesus, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). Therefore, I decided to pray to God and ask Him to lead me and let me know what exactly I should do. When I was praying, I suddenly thought of how the preacher said that Eastern Lightning people had stolen away all their good sheep, and then I was very puzzled: How could she say brothers and sisters are her sheep? Clearly we believers are the Lord’s sheep. At this point, I also recalled some of the things that the pastor and the preacher had done in the past: The pastor of the headquarters was arrogant and he exalted his own name and testified to himself. Even we, these ordinary believers, could distinguish that he had no work of the Holy Spirit, but the preacher venerated and revered him very much. What was going on here? What’s more, although the preacher understood more Bible knowledge than me, her sermons lacked the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and were all some stale theories which couldn’t solve our real problems at all. However, the truth Sister Keqiu shared with me not only explained my doubts about and problems with the Bible, but also allowed me to gain much understanding of God’s work. In addition, when I contacted the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, I saw they spoke rationally and humbly and that in the meetings, they liked reading God’s words and fellowshiping about their own experience and knowledge of God’s words, and how God’s words reversed their own viewpoints about things and changed their own corrupt dispositions. And in these things I saw that The Church of Almighty God had the work of the Holy Spirit. Afterward, through praying and seeking many times, I decided to continue to investigate The Church of Almighty God regardless of the preacher’s obstructions.
In the following course of investigating, the preacher called me again. She asked me whether I had contacted the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God again. I answered, “Yes. I am investigating The Church of Almighty God.” She said, “Why are you so confused? What Eastern Lightning preaches is that Christ is female. How is this possible? The Lord Jesus is a male, and so in the last days, He will surely also return as a male. You don’t have much understanding of the Bible. I advise you not to be trapped too deeply or your regret will be unspeakable when the time comes.” Hearing what she said, I became lost in confusion again, I thought: “No matter how the preacher’s behaviors don’t accord with the Lord’s will, she is more familiar with the Bible than me. This is a fact. Could it be that my beliefs are really mistaken?” Just as I was wavering, the preacher dropped her voice and persuaded me again, “That I am patiently and kindly urging you like this is all for your own benefit.” Then, she mentioned many rumors that vilified The Church of Almighty God and also threatened, “Don’t contribute in doing evil.” After hanging up the phone, I instantly fell into distress. Her seemingly well-intentioned persuasions were like a pot of cold water being poured on me so I was greatly disheartened. I didn’t know what I should do. But the Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). These words encouraged me and allowed me to have a heart to continue to seek and study. Hence, I made up my mind to figure out this problem.
Afterward, I contacted the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God and asked them questions about God’s gender. After hearing my questions, a brother fellowshiped with me, “God’s essence is spirit. Spirits are not differentiated into genders. Regardless of whether God incarnate is male or female, as long as He is the incarnate flesh of God’s Spirit, He is Christ and God Himself. Additionally, whatever God does has meaning. God absolutely does not do things that do not have meaning or value. With regard to this question, let’s first look at what is recorded in Genesis, ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them’ (Genesis 1:27). From this verse we can see in the beginning, God created man and woman in His image. That is to say, God can take the image of a male and can also take the image of a female.” Right after that, he let me read two passages of God’s words, “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. At the time of His work, Jesus was called the only Son, which indicates the male gender. Then why is the only Son not mentioned in this stage? This is because the needs of the work have necessitated a change to the gender different from that of Jesus. With God there is no distinction of gender. His work is done as He wishes and is not subject to any restrictions, particularly free, but every stage has a real significance. God became flesh twice, and it goes without saying that His incarnation in the last days is the last time. He has come to reveal all His deeds. 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”).
“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. In every age God assumes a new name, in every age He does new work, and in every age He allows His creatures to see His new will and new disposition. If people do not see the expression of God’s new disposition in the new age, would they not forever nail Him to the cross? And by doing so, would they not define God? 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)”).
This brother said, “From God’s words we understand that God is spirit and that God is not differentiated into genders. That God chooses different genders in different ages is based on the needs of His work. The age changes, the work differs, and God’s gender also differs. If God appeared as a female in the Age of Grace, the work of redemption would be completed all the same. Then, God’s image in the last days would be that of a male. Thus, that God chose to embody different genders the two times He was incarnated has also made whole the meaning of His creation of man and woman. Besides, there is God’s wisdom behind His choosing different genders. If God incarnated as a male in the Age of Grace as well as this time—still expressing words as a male, then we would believe that God can only be a male. Meanwhile, we would look down on women because we would define God as male. If God only incarnates as a male, it is too unfair to women. So, God can incarnate either as a male or a female. This can even more demonstrate God’s righteousness. At the same time, by doing so, He dispels our fallacious belief that God can only incarnate as a male and allows us to know that God is almighty and man is unable to fathom God’s wisdom. Furthermore, we also have to understand that God’s essence is spirit and that gender only applies to mankind. Only when God incarnates can He have a gender, and when the work of God incarnate has finished, He will no longer be differentiated by gender. Therefore, God’s work is far from what we can imagine. The more we think that something is impossible, the more it contains God’s good will. As a created being, we cannot use our own conceptions and imaginations to define God, for this will offend God’s disposition.”
The brother continued fellowshiping, “Matthew 6:9 records: ‘After this manner therefore pray you: Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name.’ Before, we always used ‘Father’ in the verse which records the Lord Jesus teaching His disciples to pray, to define the God of the high heavens as our heavenly Father. We think that since God is the heavenly Father, then He must be male. As a matter of fact, ‘Father’ is only the honorific for the God of the high heavens given by God’s incarnation from the perspective of man.” His fellowship had thoroughly enlightened my heart: That God once again becomes flesh but as a female is consistent with the Bible. Meanwhile, I also knew that God can incarnate either as a male or a female, and that God doesn’t have a gender. Thinking of how I believed in God for many years, I didn’t know God and always relied on my own conceptions and imagination to believe in God. Moreover, I blindly went along with the masses. Whatever the pastor and the preacher said, I would believe. I had never put my mind to inspecting Eastern Lightning. I really was too foolish and ignorant. Thanks be to the Lord. Through that day’s fellowship, my notions about God returning as a female were thoroughly extinguished.
Afterward, I understood that in the past, when the preacher was in China, some brothers and sisters had preached the gospel of Almighty God to her, but she refused to seek the truth and only blindly held on to her own conceptions, so she missed God’s salvation. About this matter, I was very confused, so I asked a sister of The Church of Almighty God, “On the outside, the spiritual life of the religious preacher and pastor is greater than ours, so they should be able to see that all words expressed by Almighty God are truth. But why do they not only not seek or study Almighty God’s work in the last days, but also obstruct us from seeking and studying it in every aspect?” After hearing what I said, she found a passage of God’s word for me: “Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of ‘robust flesh,’ how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour?” (“All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God”). She fellowshiped, “The religious pastors don’t seek or inspect Almighty God’s work in the last days. On the one hand, it is because their nature is arrogant and they don’t obey the truth. They believe in God on the outside but actually they believe in themselves. If God’s work doesn’t conform with their notions, they will refuse it. They define God within their own conceptions and imaginings, and within the literal words of the Bible. No matter how profound and correct God’s preachings are, or how much authority or power His words have, they still condemn and oppose them, which shows that they don’t have a heart that reveres God at all. They also don’t seek the truth but only wait for God to give them revelations. They simply have a very inflated view of themselves. On the other hand, it is because they cherish their status too much. In order to protect their own status and livelihood, even though they know Eastern Lightning is the true way, they refuse Eastern Lightning. They are just like what the Pharisees were; they fully knew that when the Lord Jesus did His work, He expressed many truths, displayed many miracles, gave people abundant grace and demonstrated God’s authority and power. But when they saw that the Lord Jesus’ work shocked Judaism, they knew: If the Lord Jesus continued to do His work, more and more people would surely follow Him; by then, Judaism would fall. So, for the sake of protecting their own positions and meal-tickets, they paid off soldiers to bear false witness and say the Lord Jesus had not been resurrected. When the disciples and the apostles spread and testified to the gospel of the Lord Jesus, the Pharisees frantically resisted and persecuted them. They wanted to ban the Lord Jesus’ work to obtain their ambitions of permanently controlling the religious community. The Pharisees believed in God in name only. In reality, they resisted God and hated the truth. Their arrogance and bluster and their hatred of the Lord Jesus exposed their ambitions and their God-hating antichrist nature. In fact, as long as religious leaders read more of Almighty God’s words, they can recognize that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus from His words and work. However, they not only don’t seek or study God’s work in the last days with a heart that reveres God, but do their utmost to prevent people from seeking and investigating the true way in order to obtain their ambitions of controlling and caging people forever, causing them to lose God’s salvation forever. They are soul-eating demons and are all antichrists exposed by the work of God in the last days.”
Only after reading Almighty God’s words and hearing this sister’s fellowship did I gain some discernment about the essence of the pastor and the preacher: It turned out that the preacher I comparatively trusted in and looked up to all the time was an antichrist who resisted God. She tried to block me from seeking and investigating the work of Almighty God in the last days over and over, and did everything possible to disturb me, not wanting me to come before God. Moreover, she also put on a manner of caring about me, but I didn’t know how to distinguish, so I nearly fell for her tricks. I saw that these religious leaders were really too insidious and cunning. At the same time, I also understood that what God likes are people who humbly seek the truth, but not people who become arrogant and hurl criticism at God’s work because they believe they have understood the Bible. So I need to learn to put myself aside and seek humbly and cannot slam the door shut on the true way because of my own arrogance and ignorance. Afterward, through attending meetings, eating and drinking the word of God, and listening to brothers and sisters sharing their experiences and testimonies, I saw that the words expressed by Almighty God are all the truth and what we have to possess to get rid of our corrupt disposition and obtain eternal life. Hence, I followed the footsteps of the Lamb closely and accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days.
From: Grow in Christ