By Renshi, the United States
I was an ordinary Catholic, and from the time I was little, we three brothers and sisters followed our mother in believing in the Lord. After I married, every day, besides taking my son and daughter to school and picking them up, and looking after my family, I did things related to belief in God, such as saying daily Morning, Evening Prayer, and the rosary. After coming to America, on Sundays my mother and my elder sister and I, as we used to, would go to church to attend the service, worship theand worship the icon (sacred pictures), and hear Mass. In addition, every year we would join in the celebrations held on Easter Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas, and the like, as well as confess to the priests. We had lived such a life of believing in the Lord without almost any change since I was young.
Around the end of 2015, once when we went to the church for Sunday worship, my mother ran into a former fellow-believer who was in the same church with her when she was in mainland China. One day, this aunt brought several of her church friends to my home to preach the gospel of God’s kingdom. When I saw the book held in their hands was different from the Catholic Bible, I thought they had come to convert us to belief in Christianity, so I took a dislike to them. The aunt said: “The Age of Grace has passed. Now is the Age of Kingdom, and God has come and done new work, which is the work of judgment beginning with God’s house that is prophesied in the book of Revelation.” After listening to these words, in my heart I was full of opinions on that aunt. I thought: Are you not trying to convert us to Christianity? Especially at the time that I heard they called the Lord God, being not used to it, I began to debate with them, and my attitude toward them was not very friendly. After that, they no longer came and looked for us, and I also treated this matter as a small interlude and gradually forgot it.
In August, 2017, I felt my elder sister had changed somewhat: She often went out alone and her mental outlook got much better than before. Later, my mother also frequently went out with my elder sister and they asked me to stay at home to take care of children. I got the feeling that there was something they were not telling me. Especially when I found they often whispered to one another, I thought: Is there anything they cannot let me know? There were a lot of questions and confusions in my heart. Only later did they tell me they had believed in Almighty God, and it seemed that they were very serious. Hearing this news, I was very puzzled inside: Previously both my mother and sister were active and devout Catholics, but now why have they put their belief in Almighty God? Aren’t they betraying the Lord by believing another God? What is going on with these two? They are too hasty. Why have they become so different in only a few days?
One night, my mother and elder sister came to my room and discussed with me how they accepted Almighty God. They told me Almighty God is the name of the returned Lord, and tried to persuade me to investigate the work of the Lord’s second coming and to listen to their sermons. With a scowl, I didn’t say anything, and I wasn’t going to listen either. At the time, my sister said to me, “I can understand how you feel now, for my feeling was the same as yours when I heard that the Lord has returned and done new work. At that time, when the aunt brought several people along to preach the gospel to us, I didn’t carefully study it, because I was likewise afraid that my belief would be wrong. But I felt all that they fellowshiped made sense and was in line with, so since then, I kept praying to the Lord saying, ‘O Lord! If You has really returned, may You allow me to again meet the people who preach Your gospel.’ Later, I really met them.” After hearing her words, my heart was a little released. And I began to understand the reason why my sister accepted Almighty God’s work so quickly: Turns out that she has been seeking the guidance of the Lord.
In September, following my mother and my sister, I began to study the work of Almighty God. At first, because there was still some rejection remaining in my heart, and on top of that I’ve always been restless and outgoing, so it was a little difficult for me to keep sitting there properly and listening to the brother’s fellowship. Considering my mother and sister were there, I forced myself to listen carefully, but I actually didn’t accept his preaching and even felt some resistance in my heart. I thought: How come what he says is almost the same as what the aunt said before? Could it be that mom and sister are deceived? Later, with this puzzle, I came back home. After that, although I still lived in the way that I had been, praying, chanting scriptures, and going to Mass, yet my heart couldn’t calm down any more, like the water in the small pool having been stirred by someone with a branch. Though I didn’t easily accept the work of the return Lord Jesus, I started to think about what they fellowshiped and whether I should investigate it.
On a Lord’s day, when it was time for us to go to the church to attend service, my mother and sister showed no intention of starting. I thought to myself: You accept Almighty God and quit going to the church so soon? Alas! Even though you do not go, I will still go. And so I went to the church alone. If in the past, the Mass should have already begun. However, that day at the time that I entered the church, I was shocked: Without all the lights on, the room was a little dusky; on the bench sat a scattering of people, and the priest was not there. For around ten minutes I stood there, feeling very lost, and I thought: The church is really increasingly desolate. Could it be that as the believers in Almighty God said, the Lord has returned and done new work, and everyone who does not follow it will lose? And is the church becoming more and more desolate because the Lord’s work has moved? Later, after I returned home, I closed the door, and stood before the picture of the Lord Jesus and looked at it, praying to the Lord silently: “O Lord, have you truly become flesh in China and done new work? Is Almighty God witnessed by them really the name that you take when you return? O Lord! I ask You to guide me…” After the prayer, with a load off my mind, I breathed a sigh of relief and felt at ease.
Afterward, when I again went to hear the preaching of the believers in God, my heart became at peace. That day, the brother said: “Today we are communicating the three stages of God’s work. Just assay, ‘The three stages of work are the inside story of God’s management of man, the advent of the gospel of the entire universe, the greatest mystery among all mankind … ’ Only if we know the three stages of God’s work, the greatest vision, can we know God’s work and stand witness in the various temptations of Satan.” Touched by his words, for the first time I wanted to go on listening to him. Then the brother switched on his computer and read several passages of God’s words: “The work of managing mankind is divided into three stages, which means that the work of saving mankind is divided into three stages. These three stages do not include the work of creating the world, but are rather the three stages of the work of the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and the Age of Kingdom.” “From the work of Jehovah to that of Jesus, and from the work of Jesus to that of this current stage, these three stages cover the entire breadth of God’s management, and are all the work of one Spirit. From when He created the world, God has always been managing mankind. He is the Beginning and the End, He is the First and the Last, and He is the One who begins an age and the One who brings the age to an end. The three stages of work, in different ages and different locations, are surely carried out by one Spirit. All those who separate these three stages oppose God.” “The work done at present has pushed forward the work of the Age of Grace; that is, the work in the entire six-thousand-year management plan has moved forward. Though the Age of Grace has ended, the work of God has progressed further. Why do I say time and again that this stage of work builds upon the Age of Grace and the Age of Law? This means that the work of this day is a continuation of the work done in the Age of Grace and an uplifting of that done in the Age of Law. The three stages are closely interconnected and linked one to the next. Why do I also say that this stage of work builds on that done by Jesus? If this stage did not build on the work done by Jesus, then in this stage the crucifixion, the work of redemption done previously, would still need to be carried out. This would be meaningless. Therefore, it is not that the work has completely finished, but that the age has moved forward, and the work has become even higher than before. It could be said that this stage of work is built on the foundation of the Age of Law and the rock of the work of Jesus. The work is built stage by stage, and this stage is not a new beginning. Only the combination of the three stages of work can be deemed the six-thousand-year management plan.”
This was the first time I’d heard such fresh topics as “The three stages are closely interconnected and linked one to the next” and “are all the work of one Spirit,” and I was deeply attracted by these words. I thought: According to the words, the three stages of work include the work of the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and the Age of Kingdom. Three stages of work? Why does God do three stages of work? And how does He carry them out? I was so excited and desired to understand this mystery.
Then, the brother opened a clear picture of the three stages of work on the computer screen and fellowshiped, “God’s six-thousand-year management plan of saving mankind can be divided into three stages, and these three stages of work don’t include the work of creation. Only after mankind was corrupted by Satan did God begin His management plan of saving man. The first stage is the work of the Old Testament Age of Law, the second stage is the work of the New Testament Age of Grace, and the third stage is the work of the Age of Kingdom. The three stages of work are different kinds of work performed by God in different ages. Although they have been carried out in different ages, the work of each is different, and in each age, the name by which God is called and the disposition God expresses is also different, yet it is all work done by one Spirit. They are closely linked one to the next, each stage goes higher and deeper than the last, and one stage less is not enough. In the Old Testament Age of Law, under the name of Jehovah, God expressed man-pitying, man-cursing disposition, issued commandments for man and set forth laws, and asked man to build the temple and the altar. The work done by Jehovah was to make man know his sins; it just represents one part of God’s work, and can only represent the Age of Law, but cannot represent the Age of Grace, much less the Age of Kingdom, the final age. In the New Testament Age of Grace, under the name of Jesus, God expressed loving and merciful disposition, and was crucified for the sake of redeeming humanity of their sins. Although we are no longer of sin because of the redemption of Jesus, our corrupt satanic dispositions haven’t been cast off and we still live in a sin-and-confess state. That’s why God has become flesh once again and uses the name of Almighty God to do the third stage of work—the Age of Kingdom. By expressing the truth, Almighty God judges and reveals our corrupt satanic dispositions, as well as points out to us a concrete path of breaking away from them. As long as we read God’s words and put God’s words into practice, we will be able to reflect on and know our own corruption through the revelations of God’s words; then by practicing the truth we will break free from the binds of sin, live out the likeness of a true man, and ultimately be led by God into a beautiful destination. The three stages of work are different kinds of work done by God in different ages in accordance with His management plan and the overall degree of man’s corruption; each stage of work is based on the previous stage of work, and each stage is an improved form from the previous stage. So when people accept Almighty God’s work in, this is not betraying the Lord Jesus, but instead is following the footsteps of God.”
After hearing God’s words and the brother’s fellowship, my heart brightened up. I came to know: The three stages of work are actually all carried out by one God; it is just that when the age changed, both God’s work and His name changed with it. Additionally, God’s work in the Age of Kingdom is built upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus’s work done in the Age of Grace, and is a new and higher work. I thought what the brother fellowshiped made a lot of sense, and I had never heard these mysteries. I also knew that believing in Almighty God is not betraying the Lord Jesus and believing in another God, but it is keeping up with the new work of the Lord and receiving Him. At this time, I no longer felt it was tiring to always sit and listen to the sermons.
The brother also fellowshiped, “In the last days,has expressed the truth, revealed to us all the mysteries of God’s 6,000-year management plan, disclosed to us all the mysteries of the work of Jehovah and Lord Jesus, and of the work of Almighty God in the last days, and also has told us the destination and end of mankind. Those people who love the truth and can hear God’s voice will return before God’s throne, and through the pursuit of the truth, they will be purified; while those people who do not love the truth and refuse to accept Almighty God will be exposed and eliminated. In this way God practically separates man according to their kind, and finally rewards the good and punishes the wicked. The work of God’s entire management plan is personally carried out by God Himself, moreover, the work of defeating Satan and purifying and perfecting man in the last days is also done by He Himself. And no man can perform the work that God will carry out.
Next, the brother read another two passages of God’s words to us: “If you have a clear knowledge of the three stages of work—which is to say, of God’s entire plan of management—and if you can fully correlate the previous two stages of God’s work with the present stage, and can see that it is work done by one God, then you will have no firmer foundation. The three stages of work were done by one God; this is the greatest vision, and is the only path to knowing God. The three stages of work could only have been done by God Himself, and no man could do such work on His behalf—which is to say that only God Himself could have done His own work from the beginning until today.” “Only those who know and appreciate the three stages of work can fully and accurately know God. At the very least, they will not define God as the God of the Israelites, or the Jews, and will not see Him as a God who will be forever nailed to the cross for the sake of man. If you only come to know God from one stage of His work, then your knowledge is too, too little. Your knowledge is but a drop in the ocean. If not, why would many of the religious old guard nail God to the cross alive? Is it not because man confines God within certain parameters?”
Having finished reading God’s words, the brother continued to fellowship, “Knowing the three stages of work, the greatest vision, is the only way for us to know God. If we do not know the three stages of God’s work, or only know God from one stage of His work and stick to our old knowledge of God, then we will easily become the Pharisees who oppose God. Just because of this reason, many pastors and elders in the whole religious world are resisting and condemning the work of Almighty God. Without knowing the vision of the three stages of God’s work, it will be easy for us to follow the religious pastors and elders to judge and condemn God’s work. If we do this, then we are resisting God; the nature of this is very serious. If that were the case, we would never have the chance of salvation anymore.”
After listening to the brother’s fellowship, I came to realize: In case I don’t know the three stages of God’s work and accept God’s new work of the Age of Kingdom, then won’t my faith in the Lord for all these years has been in vain? I will not only not receive the Lord’s praise but will become the one who believes in the Lord yet resists Him. No, I must put aside my notions and imaginations, and accept Almighty God’s work of the last days.
Afterward, I began to consciously read God’s words and attend meetings. Gradually, I came to understand some truths. Although I had not accepted Almighty God’s gospel of kingdom for very long, yet I felt that during this time I learned more than I had in my twenty plus years of faith in the Lord. Through having meetings and watching and The Church of Almighty God’s gospel movies, I no longer doubted the new work of God. Instead, I had gained a closer relationship with God, feeling more and more free and liberated, and was certain that the incarnate Almighty God who expresses the truth is the return of the Lord Jesus whom I had worshiped since childhood. Now I happily live in God’s house, gather and fulfill my duty with my family as well as brothers and sisters, and have felt the joy that comes from having God with me. Thank Almighty God for allowing me to catch the last train in the Age of Kingdom. All glory be to Almighty God!
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