A Lost Sheep Has Returned Home

By Xunqiu, Japan

After getting married, I needed to face a new home environment. In order to protect my relationships with my husband’s family, I spoke and acted cautiously every day, fearing that I would make mistakes. So, I felt a lot of pressure in my heart. At that time, when I saw the believers in the Lord in my village lived with much joy, I just couldn’t figure that out: Why are they so delighted? Out of curiosity, I also went to the church to attend a meeting. In the meeting, a sister told me: “The Lord Jesus is a God who is full of lovingkindness and mercy. He loves others more than Himself; He is meek and lowly and is by our side at any time; moreover, He is the lamp to our feet and the light to our path. No matter what difficulties we have, we can tell Him and He will hear our prayers.” Hearing these words, I was moved very much and I felt warm and at ease as if I had found a true friend. I even more felt that God’s compassionate and loving disposition was so wonderful especially when I saw the Lord’s words “Take my yoke on you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and you shall find rest to your souls” (Matthew 11:29). And I rather longed for following His words, so I prayed to the Lord, saying I wanted to imitate Him. Afterward, when interacting with my husband’s family, I tried my best to be a humble person, forbear and forgive them. Gradually, my relationship with them became more and more harmonious. My mother-in-law said I was closer than her daughter. What she said made me very happy within my heart. Thank God. It was God’s word that guided me to the correct direction. I had to follow the Lord carefully.

In 2008, a rare magnitude 8.2 earthquake struck China’s Wenchuan County. This sudden massive earthquake made me feel particularly scared and helpless. That was the first time that I had sensed the frailty of life. During a meeting, the pastor said to us, “Brothers and sisters, don’t be afraid. The Bible says: ‘And as he sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of your coming, and of the end of the world?’ (Matthew 24:3). And ‘For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places’ (Matthew 24:7). Now, disasters are getting bigger and bigger, which shows that the days of God’s coming are imminent. We must watch and wait, uphold the Lord’s teachings and be ready to welcome the Lord that descends with the clouds to bring us into the kingdom of heaven at every moment.” And then, he also described to us how wonderful the kingdom of heaven was, in which there was no war, no disaster and no tears … After learning that one day in the future I would be brought into the heavenly kingdom by the Lord, I was very excited inside, my faith to follow the Lord was bigger and I had a new hope in my life.

Several years had gone by in the blink of an eye, and the Lord had still not come. However, the church had changed some: The young sisters in our church all worked away from their home in succession. The people left were all the illiterate aged ones. Listening to the pastor’s explaining the Bible repeatedly together with them every day, I felt I had no progress in spirit. Moreover, when I encountered difficulties and prayed to the Lord, I had no moving in my heart as before. I felt the church didn’t have the Lord’s presence. For fear that I would be forsaken by the Lord, I decided to go out to seek a church in which the Holy Spirit was at work. However, after I successively visited several churches, the situations I saw in these churches were the same as my church. I felt miserable, so I prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, where exactly are You? I beg You not to hide Your face from us. We really quite need You!” Although I often obsessively called upon the Lord just like this, I still couldn’t feel the Lord’s response. Thus, I felt more and more listless within my heart.

In a flash, a few years had passed. Some things happened to my family: My sister-in-law always had a problem with me and was always nitpicking at me. I felt very awful, but my husband required me to yield to her, which made me even more feel wronged. Thinking that the Lord required us to be meek and lowly, I strived not to argue. However, over time, I had more and more sufferings inside, thinking to myself: When will this come to an end if things keep that up? It is very clear that she purposely finds fault with me but my husband requires me to forbear. It is too hard. At that time, I always gazed to the sky and cried out to the Lord, “O Lord. Although I have kept Your words on appearance, I felt a deep sense of pain in my heart. O Lord, when could such days come to an end? Have You forgotten me?”

On New Year’s Day 2017, I came to Japan to work. Because it was an unfamiliar life and my language was not the same as the native language, when I dragged my exhausted body to my dormitory every night, I even more felt lonely in my heart. Every time this happened, I would come before the Lord and tell Him my difficulties within my heart. I prayed to God time and time again, hoping that I could find a church to worship Him together with brothers and sisters in the foreign country. Thank the Lord for hearing my prayers. Once, in chatting, I learned that there was a senior who was also a believer in the Lord in my unit, so I said to him that I wanted to attend the meetings together with him and his brothers and sisters. Later, the senior arranged for me to attend their online meetings.

In the meeting, when brothers and sisters asked me what my life in Japan was like and whether I had any difficulties, I felt especially warm inside. Right after that, we started talking about the Bible. A sister said, “In all my years of faith in the Lord Jesus, despite knowing that the Lord Jesus is God’s incarnation, I don’t understand the truth of the incarnation. If the Lord’s appearance in the second coming is similar to how the Lord Jesus was incarnated as the Son of man to do His work, how should we recognize the Lord Jesus and greet His coming?” Hearing this, Brother Wu fellowshiped with us, “When the Lord Jesus came to do work, He was born into a carpenter’s family. His food, clothing, housing and transportation were the same as normal people and He also grew up as normal people. This is God’s normal humanity. Later, when the Lord Jesus began to perform His ministry, He started to perform miracles: feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, making the blind see, making cripples walk, resurrecting the dead and so forth. From these things done by the Lord Jesus, we have recognized that He is God. So, although God incarnate looks just the same as us normal people in outward appearance, His substance is God. He is God’s Spirit coming in the flesh and this flesh has normal humanity and complete divinity. Therefore, if we want to know Christ, we have to investigate His work and word to see if that which He expresses is God’s own voice, if the words He expresses are manifestations of God’s disposition and all that God has and is, and see if the truth that He expresses and His work can save mankind. Only then can we know, accept, and obey Christ.” Brother Wu’s fellowship made me feel fresh and it was something that I had never heard of in the past. He continued fellowshiping, “However, when God came to do the work of the Age of Grace, the Pharisees didn’t know God’s work and didn’t acknowledge that the Lord Jesus was the incarnate God Himself. So, they nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross along with the Roman government. What’s their outcome in the end?” I shook my head and said I didn’t know. At that moment, Sister Cao coming to attend the meeting together with us said, “The Pharisees were cursed by God for resisting God and what came upon them was that Israel was subjugated.” Then, everyone talked about their own understanding. Hearing their fellowship, I thought: Why do they understand so much? In the past, the pastors and elders had never fellowshiped these truths. Having the meeting with them satisfied me much and made me feel very delighted as if I had again found the feeling of believing in the Lord at first. I waited for the next meeting with full expectation.

In the second meeting, Brother Wu asked me, “Are you longing for the Lord’s return?” I answered, “Of course! I look forward to the Lord’s arrival every day and it has been so many years.” He asked me again, “Then when will the Lord come?” I said bluntly and quickly, “It is soon. God’s words are all being fulfilled. So, God will be back soon. We have to vigilantly wait.” He smiled and said, “Yes. We should be the wise virgins to vigilantly wait.” However, referring to the Lord’s return, I had some concerns. Thus, I said, “In fact, I feel very confused in my heart. I sense that I just keep the Lord’s words on the outside because when I practiced His words, my heart was full of grievances and complaints, not readily practicing His words at all. I think the Lord will not be pleased in me.” After hearing what I said, he fellowshiped, “Now, we are all in such a situation: Although we know the Lord’s demands, we are unable to practice them. And we are still being bound by sin, living a life of sinning and confessing.” And then, he gave me a vivid parable: “Our sins are just like Chinese chives which will grow again after cutting them once. It is just because the source of our sins has not been removed.” Hearing this, I asked him, “Then, can people like us enter the kingdom of heaven and face the Lord on earth?” He sent me a passage of word, “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity”). Looking at these words, I was very upset within as if I was stuck by needles. I thought: Do these words not refer to me? I am filthy, selfish and despicable, and moreover I haven’t been purified. Then, can I, such a corrupt man, enter the heavenly kingdom? Is that I think of how to get into the kingdom of heaven every day really my own wishful thinking? Are all of these I am looking forward to just a dream?

The brother continued to fellowship, “God is faithful. He will not abandon us. As a matter of fact, there are three stages in God’s work of saving us. In the Age of Law, God’s use of Moses to decree laws let people understand what sin was and how to keep the law so that they could not sin. By the end of the Age of Law, because we people were corrupted by Satan more and more deeply, it was very difficult for us people to keep the law. Thus, we people were facing the danger of being condemned and put to death by the law. For the sake of saving us, God became flesh for the first time to be nailed to the cross for us and did the work of absolution. Because of the Lord’s redemption, our sins are forgiven. But the root of our sins still remains within us, we still continually sin. So, if we want to thoroughly remove the root of our sins, we need God to come again to do the work of removing the root of our sins. Only then can we be purified and qualified to see the Lord’s face.”

Hearing what the brother fellowshiped, I suddenly became clear-headed: I always feel that I am unfit to see the Lord but I don’t know how to change. Now, I understand: Turns out that only after the sinful nature of us is cast away, and we are changed and purified by God, can we see the Lord’s face. Oh, God is too wisdom. I felt that a heavy stone had fallen from my heart all at once. Thus, I asked the brother, “How does the Lord remove the root of our sins within us?” He answered, “Actually, God has already been incarnated as the image of the Son of man and has returned. He speaks words and does His work of judgment and chastisement, that is, the work of judgment beginning at the house of God said in the Bible.” When I heard the brother said the Lord has come and moreover He is God incarnate, I was suddenly shocked. Later, I was even unable to listen to the brother’s following fellowship no matter what he said. I started to feel shaken inside: I have longed for the Lord’s coming for so many years in China but I still haven’t welcomed His return. Now, you tell me the Lord has already come. How could that be? In addition, the Bible clearly records that God will come as He departed. The Lord Jesus left upon a cloud, so how could He become flesh when He comes? My heart was full of confusion and I couldn’t quiet myself any more. Therefore, I hurried to pray to God, “O God, now the brother is testifying that You have returned and moreover have been incarnated to do Your work. Can I accept it? What should I do? I beg You to enlighten me and guide me.”

The following several days, I felt very confused: So many years, I haven’t found a church that has the work of the Holy Spirit at all times. Now I have just found the feeling that I am back home and my heart also has just had some peace, but I was told that the Lord has already been incarnated and has come back. Facing such a big matter, I don’t know what I should do. One evening, when it was over eight o’clock, the brother invited me to attend a meeting again but I didn’t know whether I should attend or not. In helplessness, I came before the Lord and prayed to Him: “O Lord. I don’t know whether what they said is true or false. If You really come, may You enlighten me and guide me. If what they said is false, may You protect me for my stature is still small and I have no ability to discern the affairs.” After praying, my heart was quite at peace. So, I made up my mind: Anyway, that they bear witness to the Lord’s return is what I have been waiting for all the time. I don’t want to lose the chance. Whether it is a blessing or disaster, I am willing to entrust it to God. May God stand guard by my side and give me the discernment. After making up my mind, I was online to attend the meeting with Brother Wu and others.

In the meeting, I said to Brother Wu, “The Bible says, ‘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 left upon a cloud, and He will come as He departed. But why do you testify that God has been incarnated and has come back?” Brother Wu said, “In actuality, in the last days, the Lord’s return is first in the flesh and in secret and only after will He appear publicly in His spiritual body. There are many verses in the Bible that prophesy that the Lord will come secretly, such as ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame’ (Revelation 16:15), and ‘Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not’ (Luke 12:40). Here, ‘As a thief’ means that the Lord will come secretly. During the stage where God comes in secret to do His work, we can see that in outward appearance God looks like just a normal and ordinary human and none can recognize that He is God. However, when God works and speaks, the wise virgins can recognize the Lord’s voice according to the truth expressed by Him while those who don’t love the truth will treat God as an ordinary person and will persecute and condemn Him. Thus, the true and false believers will be separated by God’s work, which is to say, the work of separating the wheat from the tares said by the Lord Jesus. If the Lord Jesus directly appeared openly on the clouds, then no one would dare to resist Him. Actually, God’s secret work is chiefly to purify and perfect those who follow the footsteps of God and make a group of overcomers. Then, God will send down the catastrophe to refine those who don’t accept God’s work. After the catastrophe, He will descend on a cloud and openly appear to all peoples, and those who never turn to God can only weep and gnash their teeth when God appears. That is, it is said in the Book of Revelation, ‘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. Even so, Amen’ (Revelation 1:7). So, that God is first hidden and then open is the wisdom of God in His work and it is for the sake of perfecting those who truly believe in God and is also for the purpose of punishing those who resist God. This is the work of rewarding the good and punishing the evil done by God.” Only after hearing the brother’s fellowship did I understand: The prophecies about the return of the Lord in the Bible are not just the “descend with the clouds” and there are also many prophecies like that the Lord will come as a thief and work secretly. I have read these Bible verses before, but why did I not understand their meanings? It turns out that God’s descending in secret is in order to perfect men and eliminate men. God doing work in this way is indeed too wise.

Then, Brother Wu sent me several passages of God’s words, “God’s saving of man is not done directly through the means of the Spirit or as the Spirit, for His Spirit can neither be touched nor seen by man, and cannot be approached by man. If He tried to save man directly in the manner of the Spirit, man would be unable to receive His salvation. And if not for God putting on the outward form of a created man, they would be unable to receive this salvation. For man can in no way approach Him, much like how none could go near the cloud of Jehovah. Only by becoming a man of creation, that is, putting His word into the flesh He will become, can He personally work the word into all who follow Him. Only then can man hear for himself His word, see His word, and receive His word, then through this be fully saved (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”).

The work of the flesh more effectively relates to every person with whom He has contact. What’s more, God’s flesh with tangible form can better be understood and trusted by man, and can further deepen man’s knowledge of God, and can leave upon man a more profound impression of the actual deeds of God. The work of the Spirit is shrouded in mystery, it is difficult for mortal beings to fathom, and even harder for them to see, and so they can only rely on hollow imaginings. The work of the flesh, however, is normal, and based on reality, and possessed of rich wisdom, and is a fact that can be beheld by the physical eye of man; man can personally experience the wisdom of the work of God, and has no need to employ his bountiful imagination. This is the accuracy and real value of the work of God in the flesh. The Spirit can only do things that are invisible to man and difficult for him to imagine, for example the enlightenment of the Spirit, the moving of the Spirit, and the guidance of the Spirit, but for man who has a mind, these do not provide any clear meaning. They only provide a moving, or a broad meaning, and cannot give an instruction with words. The work of God in the flesh, however, is greatly different: It has accurate guidance of words, has clear will, and has clear required goals. And so man does not need to grope around, or employ his imagination, much less make guesses. This is the clarity of the work in the flesh, and its great difference from the work of the Spirit. … The work that is of greatest value to corrupt man is that which provides accurate words, clear goals to pursue, and which can be seen and touched. Only realistic work and timely guidance are suited to man’s tastes, and only real work can save man from his corrupt and depraved disposition. This can only be achieved by the incarnate God; only the incarnate God can save man from his formerly corrupt and depraved disposition (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh”).

The corrupt disposition and rebellion and resistance of man are exposed when he sees Christ, and the rebellion and resistance exposed on such occasion are more absolute and complete than on any other. It is because Christ is the Son of man and possesses normal humanity that man neither honors nor respects Him. It is because God lives in the flesh that the rebellion of man is brought to light thoroughly and vividly. So I say that the coming of Christ has unearthed all the rebellion of mankind and has thrown the nature of mankind into sharp relief. This is called ‘luring a tiger down the mountain’ and ‘luring a wolf out of the cave’” (“Those Incompatible With Christ Are Surely Opponents of God”).

Brother Wu fellowshiped, “Through the fellowship above, we have known that this time God speaking words and doing His work of judgment and chastisement is primarily to perfect and purify those who truly believe in God and meanwhile to eliminate and punish those who resist God. Thus, in the end all mankind will be classified according to their kind. In order to achieve the effect of such work, God has to clothe Himself in a flesh which is as ordinary as people. Only in this way can our corrupt disposition and notions and imaginations of God be exposed because of God’s normality and reality. Just as during the Age of Grace, the Jews didn’t know that the Lord Jesus was God incarnate, so they thought that the Lord Jesus was the son of a carpenter, and then they looked down on and rejected Him. Because they didn’t seek the truth, their conceptions and illusions naturally came into plain view. The work done by God in the last days is the work of judgment and chastisement. Firstly, it is in order to save and purify man; at the same time it is also for the sake of exposing and eliminating man. Those who truly love the truth can understand and change themselves in the revelation of God while those who naturally resist God and don’t accept the truth will reveal their disobedience because of the incarnation of God and finally they will be punished by God for their evil acts. In this way, the effect of separating man according to their kind will be achieved. If God appeared in His spiritual body, who would dare to condemn and resist Him and how could the good and evil servants be revealed? Therefore, only the incarnation of God can reveal, perfect and eliminate man. Secondly, God’s Spirit seems unfathomably mysterious to us and God’s Spirit will make it more difficult for us to interact with God and know Him. Instead, the incarnate flesh of God is able to be with us from morning till night and is able to do work amongst us face to face. In this way, it will be easy to bring us closer to God, so that we can better understand God’s disposition and all that God has and is. Just as in the Age of Grace, God became flesh, appeared and worked as the Son of man. So, those followers of the Lord could eat and live with Him, catch fish together with Him and listen to the His spreading the gospel of the kingdom of heaven atop the mountain. Through the interaction with God, people felt the Lord’s compassion and mercy, thus developing a heart that loved the Lord. At last, because of God incarnate, God is able to use man’s language to clearly tell us His will and demands. It’s like during the Age of Grace, Peter asked the Lord Jesus, ‘Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?’ (Matthew 18:21). ‘Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven’ (Matthew 18:22). In this way, we can avoid our deviation of practicing and can more directly understand God’s requirements. Now, we have been corrupted by Satan and our actions are full of the corrupt disposition of Satan and the poison of Satan, which all disobey and resist God and all go against God’s will. Therefore, if we want to achieve dispositional change to satisfy God’s will, we must have God’s clear words as our guidance. Only God incarnate is able to express His words to supply us and make up for our deficiencies, anytime and anywhere. If it were the utterances of the Spirit, we would be unable to accurately understand God’s will. So, that God chooses to become flesh to do the work of judging, chastising and purifying us corrupt humans is completely based on our needs and is His greater love and salvation for us humans.”

Finishing hearing his fellowship, I was moved so much. It turned out that God incarnate actually has such a great significance. At that time, I came to truly experience how important God incarnate is for us to know God. Afterward, I asked him again, “Are these all God’s words? What else has God said?” He answered, “The incarnate Almighty God has expressed millions of words. Apart from this book, The Word Appears in the Flesh, there are still many expressions of God. These words have very clearly explained God’s management plan to save us, God’s disposition and all that God has and is. As long as we read God’s words, we will understand more God’s intentions. Saints throughout the ages didn’t hear these utterances of God, but we in this generation have heard. How blessed we are!” After hearing the brother said like this, I couldn’t describe how excited I was. I felt that I myself was really not fit to receive God’s such a great salvation.

After the meeting had ended, the brother sent me many videos of the Church of Almighty God. I watched them one by one. The truths fellowshiped about in these videos were very clear and they gradually removed the knots in my heart. Especially, when I watched the sequel to the movie “The Mystery Of Godliness: The Sequel”, I cried as I watched. Seeing that when brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God preached the gospel, many brothers and sisters of the religious world were reluctant to seek and investigate because of holding on to the Bible, I have seen that God’s saving man is really too hard. At the same time, I have also seen that I was really so arrogant that I defined God’s work according to my own notions and imaginations. Watching the videos and listening to the words of God’s judgment and chastisement, I sensed that these words were spoken to me. They made my heart feel hurt and they were very harsh, but I felt very carefree and happy in my heart. I felt that I was unfit to personally accept the judgment of God’s word. This is God’s exaltation.

Now, it has been five months since I accepted Almighty God’s work. Through reading God’s word, I even more deeply experienced the practical significance of God incarnate doing His work and I truly experienced the practical love of God incarnate for us. I have seen that God incarnate has suffered the persecution and condemnation of all of corrupt mankind, but He is still quietly expressing words and working to save us, just as the Lord Jesus loved us and was nailed to the cross for us. God’s love for us is unremitting and has never changed.

From: Grow in Christ

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