Hearing God’s Voice Carefully, I Return to God’s Family
In August, 2012, my son was in hospital, and I was there to take care of him. During this period, under the Lord’s wondrous arrangement, I got acquainted with a preacher in the hospital. He enthusiastically preached the gospel of the Lord to me, and also told me many deeds of the. He told me that when the Lord came to work, though His work was met with every possible kind of resistance, He still worked to save man, and even was crucified for the sake of redeeming mankind. Hearing that, I was moved by the Lord Jesus’ great love, and thereupon accepted Him as my Savior. Then I began to go to church to listen to sermons. For the sake of knowing more about the Lord Jesus, not only did I attend classes, but I often read the Bible and spiritual books, and even got on the internet to listen to some pastors’ sermons so as to equip myself. At that time, I was very fervent and striving, and my heart was always full of peace and joy.
One day in 2013, I encountered several persons who preached the gospel to me on the street. Learning that they were sisters in the Lord, I warmly invited them to my house to share the Bible together with me. After some time, two of them testified to me that the Lord Jesus had already returned. When I heard their words, a scripture immediately occurred to my mind: “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). I thought: The Lord has power, so when He returns He will descend with great glory on clouds, and be seen by all. If God has really returned, why haven’t we seen Him? Additionally, what they said is different from my theological knowledge. At the moment, I began to guard against them and had no desire to continue sharing and communicating with them. But it was not polite to ask them to leave, so I could only pretend to listen to their sharing. Finally, they gave me a book called Judgment Begins With the House of God, and told me to read it when I had time. But as I had little spiritual stature, I was afraid of being deceived, and thus I decided to bring the book to my church and show it to the preacher. The preacher flicked through the book, and then she kept shaking her head and said to me, “Do not read this book any more. It is altogether impossible that there is a new scroll.” After hearing this, I thought to myself: The preacher graduated with a theology degree and shepherds the church; she must know the Bible better than me. So I listened to the preacher and returned the book, and from then on, I no longer gathered with them.
As time went by, unknowingly, my faith in the Lord began to diminish and my love got colder and colder. Especially when I saw the scriptures: “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14) and “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21), I felt uneasy and afraid: I’m not able to love my enemies or those whom I dislike, how could I get along with others in harmony? It’s even less likely I could attain sanctity. Thus, how could I be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven? Then I told my confusion to the preacher. She said to me, “The Lord Jesus’ crucifixion on the cross has forgiven our sins. As long as we believe in the Lord we will definitely be saved. Just as the Bible says: ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness’” (1 John 1:9). What she said puzzled me more: I live every day in the situation of sinning in the day and confessing at night, will the righteous and holy God take me into the kingdom of heaven? My confusion failed to be solved, my spirit was also weak, and every time I was unable to overcome the entanglement of my sinful nature. Sometimes, I prayed to the Lord with tears and weeping, “O Lord, I cannot feel Your presence. And I feel more and more pain and darkness in my spirit. O Lord, please do not forsake me!” Later, fewer and fewer brothers and sisters in our church attended meetings. And the pastors, elders, and preachers had nothing to say, but often preached about donation. From them we couldn’t receive the supply of the spiritual life. Besides, in order to increase the number of people in our church, the pastors and elders held activities in the community, held dinner parties, organized trips, offered manual training, and so on. The church was simply not a place where we worshiped God, but instead became a community center. Feeling disheartened, I left the church and went to join another.
In October, 2017, I came across a sister in the Lord. After then we often gathered together and talked about our difficulties in our life and problems in believing in God. I felt we always had endless words to say. Afterward, through the sister, I met several other sisters who were also believers in God, and then we studied the Bible together. I found that their meetings were very special and what’s more, they had unique understanding of and perspectives on the Bible. I gained a lot from having meetings with them. After a period of gathering and sharing with them, I understood: The reason why the temple became desolate in the latter days of the Age of Law was because God had carried out a new work andhad moved. Only by accepting the Lord’s new work could people enjoy peace and joy. Similarly, now the church is desolate because it doesn’t have the work of the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit’s work has shifted. In addition, the sisters also interpreted to me the stories in the Bible, such as the story of Nineveh. Their unique insights made me have a path into practicing the Lord’s words as well as understand what the true confession of sins and repentance was, and meanwhile also allowed me to see God’s tenderness toward man. The more I heard, the more I was enlightened and my spirit was released. After that, once I had time I would gather with the sisters.
One day, at a meeting, Sister Yang fellowshiped with me about the three stages of God’s work. She said, “In the Age of Law, Jehovah God issued the law and guided the life of mankind, so that people knew they should worship God and knew what sin was. But at the end of the Age of Law, mankind became more and more deeply corrupted and often violated the laws and offended Jehovah God, facing the risk of being condemned and put to death because of their violations. So, according to the needs of mankind, God became flesh and was crucified for the sake of mankind, and redeemed man from his sinfulness, enabling man to come before God to pray, confess and repent, be forgiven for his sins, and live under the riches of God’s grace and blessings. However, accepting the redemption from the Lord does not mean that we are without sin, for our sinful nature still remains and we still often sin and oppose God. Can sinners like us be raptured into the kingdom of heaven?” I thought for a while, and felt what the sister said was true: We are really in this kind of condition. How can people who live in sin receive the Lord’s praise?
Sister Yang continued to fellowship, “In order to thoroughly resolve the problem of our sins, God has again become flesh, and on the foundation of the redemption work of the Lord Jesus, He has expressed all the truths that can save and purify mankind, expunging mankind’s sinful nature, causing us to stop rebelling against and opposing God, and enabling us to obey and worship God. Ultimately He will lead us into a beautiful destination. Only then is God’s work of salvation of mankind complete. Just as God’s words say: ‘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 in a continuous thread the entire gamut of God’s management, and they are all the work of one Spirit. Since the creation of the world, God has always been at work 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 unmistakably the work of one Spirit. All those who separate these three stages stand in opposition to God.’”
When I heard this, I was stunned, and my heart raced and could not calm down any more. I thought to myself: Are they believers in Almighty God? In 2013, I once encountered several sisters from The Church of Almighty God. Could it be that I meet the believers of the church once again? During the rest of the meeting, I was absent-minded, almost closing my ears to their fellowship. After the meeting, with a guarded and suspicious heart, I returned home. That night, I could not calm down, feeling joyful yet afraid. I rejoiced at the news that the Lord Jesus has returned, but meanwhile, I was afraid of getting my faith wrong. In the fierce battle, I prayed to God and asked Him to guide and lead me. After the prayer, unknowingly my heart began to feel peace, and I thought: I have been longing for the return of the Lord. Today, since the sisters of The Church of Almighty God testify to me about God’s work of, I cannot treat it so carelessly, for the return of the Lord is an important thing. If Almighty God is really the Lord Jesus’ appearance, and if I keep refusing God’s work of the last days when the Lord knocks on my door time after time, then I am opposing God! No, I cannot refuse to seek and investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days because of fear, much less heed and trust only one side. Otherwise, I will become the foolish virgin, who will not welcome the return of the Lord and be abandoned by Him. At the thought of this, I made up my mind that I must treat seriously Almighty God’s work of the last days.
In the next meeting, I said to the sister, “You testify that God has become flesh to do a new stage of work, but I am unable to accept it yet. 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.’ This proves that when the Lord returns He will descend on a cloud with great glory, and by then everyone will see Him.” After listening to my words, the sister smiled and said, “In many parts of the Bible it is predicted that the Lord will come upon clouds with power and great glory. This is true. But there are even more prophecies of the Lord’s secret descent in the Bible. For example, ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ (Revelation 16:15). ‘Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think notcomes’ (Matthew 24:44). ‘But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father’ (Mark 13:32). As we see, there are two ways in which the Lord returns: one way is in secret, and the other is in public. That’s to say, in the last days, the Lord will first become flesh and arrive in secret to perform His judgment, cleansing, and salvation work. When a group of overcomers are made, God’s work in secret will be finished, and God will send down the great disasters and start to reward good and punish evil. By then the prophecies of the Lord’s public descent on earth will be fulfilled. Just as the Bible says: ‘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). In fact, when the incarnate God comes to the world to do the work of judgment in the last days, to man, He appears in secret. This is because the incarnate God has a normal and ordinary appearance, and no one can tell that He is God. Only when the Son of man begins to work and speak do those who can recognize His voice come to know Him; those who fail to distinguish His voice will surely treat Him as a regular person, denying and rejecting Him. Just as when the Lord Jesus became flesh to do His work, from the outside He looked just like an ordinary, normal person, so most people denied, opposed, and condemned Him, while some, through the work and word of the Lord Jesus, recognized Him as the incarnate , the appearance of God. In theory, when man sees that the Lord descends with the clouds to appear before all mankind, they should be overjoyed, yet why shall they wail?’ This is because when God openly appears, the salvation work of God’s incarnation during His secret descent among man will already be complete, and God will have begun His work of rewarding good and punishing evil. At that time, all those who refused to accept God’s secret work will have completely lost the opportunity for . Those people who pierced Him, which is to say, those who opposed and condemned Christ of the last days, Almighty God, will beat their chests, weep and gnash their teeth as a result of seeing that Almighty God whom they resisted and condemned is precisely the returned Lord Jesus.”
After hearing the sister’s words, I came to understand: There are actually two ways in which the Lord returns. One way is to become flesh and arrive in secret and the other is to openly descend with the clouds. The work of the Lord coming in secret is to save those who truly believe in Him. And when God finally appears in public, He will do the work of rewarding the good and punishing the wicked. By then, tares and wheat, goats and sheep—all will be classed according to their kind. God’s work is too wise! Only at this time had I awaken to sudden awareness: The Lord prophesied, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). It means that when someone preaches to us the gospel of the Lord’s return, we should come out to welcome the Lord; if we reject it, not focusing on hearing God’s voice, then we will lose His salvation.
Later, I read another passage of God’s words: “Many people may not care what I say, but I still want to tell every so-called saint who follows Jesus that, when you see Jesus descend from the heaven upon a white cloud with your own eyes, this will be the public appearance of the Sun of righteousness. Perhaps that will be a time of great excitement for you, yet you should know that the time when you witness Jesus descend from the heaven is also the time when you go down to hell to be punished. That will be the time of the end of God’s management plan and it will be when God rewards the good and punishes the wicked.” After finishing reading God’s words, I felt fortunate for me that I could hear the voice of God once again and accept His salvation of the last days. Thank God for His mercy and grace for me. I determined to follow God properly and repay His love.
Now when I recall that the sisters preached Almighty God’s gospel of kingdom to me in 2013, I realize that this was God’s sovereignty and arrangement. But it’s just that I did not seek the truth and instead stubbornly clung to my conceptions when faced with God’s new work, thus rejecting God’s salvation. God’s work does not accord with our notions. If we treat it according to our conceptions and imaginations, we will oppose God. From this it can be seen that as believers in God, it is extremely important for us to have a heart of seeking the truth and fearing God. Nowadays, I attend gatherings and read God’s words with my brothers and sisters, and my heart becomes more and more filled with enjoyment. I also have felt Almighty God’s words are the truth and the voice of God. Thank God’s salvation for allowing me to follow the footsteps of the Lamb and attend the feast. Today, four years later, I have finally returned to God’s family. All glory be to Almighty God!
- Extended Reading:
- An Accidental Meeting at Subway: I Welcomed the Coming of Jesus Christ