Believing in God or Power?
I had some understanding aboutafter believing in the . However, influenced by the social trends, I naturally formed this viewpoint: Before I gave an opinion about any matter or judged whether it was right or not, I would first see how the famous people or authorities commented on it, and then would follow the direction of their opinions. And I thought I was right, and that it was relatively safe to do this like many others did. Even in the matters of belief in God, such as in distinguishing the true way from false ways, I also did the same.
I remember when my mother first preached to me the work of Almighty God inand said, “Our longed-for Lord Jesus has returned.” My first reaction was: Can this be true? My mother is a country woman, and doesn’t have knowledge or insight. Now she believes in Almighty God and tells me that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, and she is even enthusiastic about it; perhaps my mother is muddled and has no discernment. The churches for the believers in the Lord Jesus are many, and they are so big and so grand. Preachers there are those who graduated from seminaries and experienced pastors who have preached for many years. How could we meet the Lord when He hasn’t even told them? It’s simply a fantasy! Besides, if the Lord Jesus has really returned, the pastors and elders, who have served the Lord for many years, should have known it, so why don’t they? If Almighty God is really the returned Lord Jesus, why don’t the pastors and elders acknowledge it? I couldn’t figure it out. So, although I felt that what my mother said was in accord with the truth when she testified to me the return of the Lord Jesus, I still remained skeptical and was unable to accept it fully. Later, my mother brought a sister to my home to fellowship with me, and I explained my confusion to her.
Searching for the Answer
I asked the sister, “You say that the Lord Jesus has returned to flesh and done a new work; if so, I would assume those pastors and elders in the churches who have served the Lord for many years should have already known it. So why do they not acknowledge it when you preach to them?”
The sister fellowshiped, “As we know, God’s substance is righteousness, and all those who seek God sincerely will receive His enlightenment. We all know this fact: Throughout the ages, every time when God started a new work, He first revealed it to those who were simple and able to put aside their conceptions to accept His new work, whereas He hid Himself from those who clung to the old conceptions and were arrogant and self-right. The Lord Jesus said: ‘I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them to babes’ (Matthew 11:25). ‘And whoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted’ (Matthew 23:12). ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. … Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled’ (Matthew 5:3, 6). From these verses we can see that God loves those who can humble themselves and are willing to seek the truth and obey Him. In the Age of Law, people were all longing for the coming of the Messiah. According to man’s conceptions, the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees who served God and preached the law of Jehovah everyday must know it first when the Messiah came. However, when the Lord Jesus came, God first revealed it to the Magi from the east and the shepherds. Those chief priests, scribes and Pharisees stubbornly held on to their own conceptions and rejected the Lord because He wasn’t called the Messiah. They were the blind ones who didn’t know God, and so in the end they nailed the Lord Jesus onto the cross, committing a heinous crime. God is righteous and doesn’t show favoritism toward anyone. Every one of us can obtain the enlightenment of God as long as he has a humble and obedient heart and can put aside his own conceptions.
“In the end of the last days, the returned Lord Jesus—Almighty God—has done the work of judgment beginning with the house of God by expressing the words. After the religious leaders learned that God has returned to flesh and done a new work, only a few of them who thirsted for and sought the truth received God’s illumination and enlightenment and followed the work of Almighty God in the last days. But the brothers and sisters who truly believed in the Lord could put aside their own conceptions, so that most of them recognized God’s voice after hearing the utterances of Almighty God, and returned before the throne of God. Just as the Lord Jesus said: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’ (John 10:27). And Almighty God says: ‘Some impulsively believe that wherever the Holy Spirit is at work, there God appears. Or else they believe that wherever there are spiritual figures, there God appears. Or else they believe that wherever there are people of high reputation, there God appears. For the moment, let us leave aside whether such beliefs are right or wrong. To explain such a question, we must first have a clear objective: We are searching for the footprints of God. We are not seeking spiritual figures, much less are we pursuing figures of renown; we are pursuing the footprints of God. For this reason, since we are searching for the footprints of God, it behooves us to search for God’s will, for the words of God, for His utterances—because wherever there are new words spoken by God, the voice of God is there, and wherever there are the footsteps of God, God’s deeds are there. Wherever there is the expression of God, there God appears, and wherever God appears, there the truth, the way, and the life exist. In seeking God’s footprints, you have ignored the words “God is the truth, the way, and the life.” And so, many people, even when they receive the truth, do not believe that they have found God’s footprints, and still less do they acknowledge the appearance of God. What a grave mistake! The appearance of God cannot be reconciled with man’s notions, still less can God appear at the behest of man. God makes His own choices and His own plans when He does His work; moreover, He has His own objectives and His own methods. Whatever work He does, He has no need to discuss it with man or seek his advice, much less to notify each and every person of His work. This is the disposition of God, which should, moreover, be recognized by everyone. If you desire to witness the appearance of God, to follow God’s footsteps, then you must first walk away from your own notions. You must not demand that God do this or that, much less should you place Him within your own confines and limit Him to your own notions. Instead, you should ask how you are to seek God’s footprints, how you are to accept God’s appearance, and how you are to submit to the new work of God: This is what man should do. Since man is not the truth, and is not possessed of the truth, he should seek, accept, and obey’ (“The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From these words of Almighty God, we know that God won’t carry out His work according to our conceptions and imaginations, but instead He does it based on His own plan. He won’t appear to those famous people or spiritual figures who have status and reputation, but to those who are humble and seek the truth. As a believer in God, we should seekas well as the words presently spoken by God, for where there are the words of God, there are the footsteps of God; where there’s the appearance of God, there’s the truth, the way, and the life. If we wish to follow the footprints of the Lamb, we should put aside our own conceptions to seek and obey God’s work.”
Obeying the Judgment
Through the sister’s fellowship, I understood that God’s work is principled, and that He does not do it according to our human conceptions and imaginations. As created beings, we should obey God’s work and seek His appearance. Then I read the words of Almighty God. I saw: “Some people do not rejoice in the truth, much less judgment. Instead, they rejoice in power and riches; such people are called power seekers. They search only for those denominations in the world with influence, and they search only for pastors and teachers that come from seminaries. Though they have accepted the way of truth, they are only half-believing; they are incapable of giving all of their hearts and minds, their mouths speak of expending themselves for God, but their eyes are focused on the great pastors and teachers, and they do not sparea second glance. Their hearts are fixated upon fame, fortune, and glory. They think it out of the question that such a meager person could be capable of conquering so many, that one so unremarkable could perfect man. They think it out of the question that these nobodies among the dust and dunghills are the people chosen by God. They believe that if such people were the objects of , then heaven and earth would be turned upside down, and all people would laugh themselves silly. They believe that if God chose such nobodies to be perfected, then those great men would become God Himself. Their perspectives are tainted with unbelief; more than not believing, they are simply preposterous beasts. For they value only status, prestige, and power, and they esteem only large groups and denominations. They have not the slightest regard for those led by Christ; they are simply traitors who have turned their backs on Christ, on truth, and on life.” “What you admire is not the humility of Christ, but those false shepherds of prominent standing. You do not adore the loveliness or wisdom of Christ, but those libertines who wallow in the filth of the world. You laugh at the pain of Christ who has no place to lay His head, but you admire those corpses that hunt for offerings and live in debauchery. You are not willing to suffer alongside Christ, but you gladly throw yourself into the arms of those reckless antichrists, though they only supply you with flesh, words, and control. Even now, your heart still turns toward them, toward their reputation, toward their status, toward their influence. And yet you continue to hold an attitude whereby you find the work of Christ hard to swallow and you are unwilling to accept it. This is why I say that you lack the faith to acknowledge Christ” (“Are You a True Believer in God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words disclosed my mistaken viewpoint of discerning the true way from false ways. I have always believed that any denomination that has great influence and reputation is the true way. What I admired in my heart was their reputation, their status, as well as their power, and my belief in God was not really for seeking the way of truth. Whenever I saw the pastors’ and elders’ pious behavior, my admiration for them rose within. I felt that they had a lofty virtue worthy of respect and they must be most approved by God, and sometimes I even felt honored to have a word with them. However, I could not discern whether there was the truth in their living out and revelations, whether they were transformed in their life disposition after years of believing in God, whether they knew God, and whether they could lead me onto the right path of believing in God. I was so foolish that I only judged people from the outside and could not discern their essence. This showed that I did not , but believed in fame, status, and power in my heart. I was too foolish and blind!
Finding the Way
Afterward, I understood the principles by which to determine the true way through reading Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says: “In distinguishing whether or not it is the true way, above all you must look at whether or not it has the work of the Holy Spirit, after which you must look at whether or not there is truth in this way. The truth is the life disposition of normal humanity, which is to say, that which was required of man when God created him in the beginning, namely, normal humanity in its entirety (including human sense, insight, wisdom, and the basic knowledge of being man). That is, you need to look at whether or not this way can lead people into a life of normal humanity, whether or not the truth that is spoken of is required according to the reality of normal humanity, whether or not this truth is practical and real, and whether or not it is most timely. If there is truth, then it is able to lead people into normal and real experiences; people, furthermore, become ever more normal, their human sense becomes ever more complete, their life in the flesh and the spiritual life become ever more orderly, and their emotions become ever more normal. This is the second principle. There is one other principle, which is whether or not people have an increasing knowledge of God, and whether or not experiencing such work and truth can inspire a love of God in them and bring them ever closer to God. In this it can be measured whether or not this way is the true way. Most fundamental is whether this way is realistic rather than supernatural, and whether or not it is able to provide for the life of man. If it conforms to these principles, the conclusion can be drawn that this way is the true way” (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I saw that if it is God’s own work, there must be the work of the Holy Spirit as well as the expression of the truth in it, and moreover, it can cause man to know God better. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus was incarnated and accomplished the work of redeeming mankind through crucifixion, and also expressed His disposition of mercy and loving kindness as well as the truth that the people in the Age of Grace should practice, so that people received bountiful grace and blessings, and the followers of the Lord all had a knowledge of His disposition and great power. Therefore, the saints in the past ages spread the gospel in persecution and tribulation and many of them were even martyred for the Lord, which was all the result achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit. In the last days, Almighty God has expressed all the truth for man to know God and be saved, disclosing all the mysteries of God’s management plan, like the purpose of God’s six thousand years of management, God’s working principles, the inner truths of God’s three stages of work, man’s future destination, etc. The work and word of Almighty God has shaken every denomination and group. Under the leadership of the work of the Holy Spirit, God’s kingdom gospel has spread all over mainland China. Nowand word are made public on the Internet for people from every country and place across the world to seek and investigate. Almighty God expresses His disposition dominated by righteousness, does the work of judgment and purification, and accomplishes His work of purifying and saving man in the last days. From the movies and videos produced by The Church of Almighty God, we see that the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God have experienced God’s judgment and chastisement, and thus their humanity, sense, and living out have become ever more normal, their corrupt dispositions have become fewer and fewer, they have more and more knowledge of God, and their natural expression of the life of worshiping and obeying God is real and touching. This is completely the result achieved by the Holy Spirit. Thus I was certain that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, is the truth and the true way! Thank God for His guidance! Through His words I understood that as believers in God, we should keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and should not give up on food for fear of choking and sit still waiting for death. The way of life is obtained through seeking, investigating and experiencing practically. Thank God! If it hadn’t been for the enlightenment and guidance of Almighty God’s words, I would still be trapped by the false viewpoint and thus lose God’s salvation. All the glory be to Almighty God!