By Wei Na, Philippines
Dear brothers and sisters, I am Wei Na and I’d like to tell you how I welcomed the returned. Just like many brothers and sisters in the Lord, my greatest wish was to wait for the Lord to come and rapture me into the kingdom of heaven. However, in recent years, I felt I was very far away from the Lord; I was unable to feel the presence of the Lord even when attending worship in church and always felt drowsy when reading at home. In order to find a church with , I visited several other churches in succession, but the sermons of the pastors there were all the same old stuff—the biblical knowledge and theology—which failed to provide sustenance for my spiritual life. This left me feeling lost, empty and lonely. Therefore, I prayed to the Lord time after time.
Afterward, one day, I came across the website of The Church of Almighty God on Google. Out of curiosity, I opened the website and discovered that the content was very rich, with books of, hymns, movies, MVs, and so on. It really opened my eyes. In particular, Almighty God’s words benefited me a lot and excited me; the more I read these words, the more I felt encouraged. So, in the several days that followed, as long as I had time I would read Almighty God’s words, from which I understood many truths that I had never heard in my church. Thus, my relationship with the Lord gradually became closer, and I was always moved by the Holy Spirit and felt very fulfilled in my heart. I went back to the feeling of when I first started believing in the Lord.
After investigating on the website for two weeks, I established contact with The Church of Almighty God via the live chat. After that, the brothers and sisters of this church frequently fellowshiped to me about truths such as the method of the Lord’s return, what theare, how to recognize God’s voice, etc. Also, they explained to me why the religious churches have become so desolate. After hearing their fellowshiping, I came to know that it was because God has done a new work, the work of the Holy Spirit has shifted, and only by following God’s footsteps and reading God’s new words could we be supplied with the living water of life. I also understood why God worked through the Spirit in the Age of Law and worked as the incarnate flesh in the Age of Grace and the Age of Kingdom. And so on. Their fellowshiping resolved many questions of mine. After several meetings with them, I felt like a vagrant child who had returned to his home, and my heart felt very much at ease. Accordingly, I believed from the heart that this was the church I had been looking for.
Later, in a meeting, I was shocked when hearing a sister say that this time God has incarnated as a woman. I thought: “How can the Lord be a woman when He returns? We call the Lord ‘Heavenly Father’ in our prayers. Isn’t ‘Father’ male in gender? I can’t accept that God has incarnated as a woman.” I then said to the sister, “You are saying that the Lord Jesus has returned as a woman. This is impossible! Many passages of the Bible record that the Lord Jesus called God in heaven ‘Father’ and that God in heaven called the Lord Jesus ‘Son.’ Since They are Father and Son, doesn’t this imply that They are male? So when the Lord returns, He should be a male.”
After hearing what I said, Sister Lucy fellowshiped, “There is a context to the titles of Father and Son in the Bible, and the true meaning is different from the understanding based on our notions. Let’s read two passages of God’s words and then we’ll understand. God says, ‘When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had clothed Himself as an ordinary and normal man and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of an ordinary man; in other words, He had become the “Son of man” of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. Given that He is called, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a man of creation. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught you to memorize? “Our Father in heaven….” He asked all man to call God in heaven by the name of Father. And since He too called Him Father, He did so from the perspective of one who stands on an equal footing with you all.’ ‘There are still those who say, “Did not God expressly state that Jesus was His beloved Son?” “Jesus is the beloved Son of God, in whom He is well pleased” was certainly spoken by God Himself. That was God bearing witness to Himself, but merely from a different perspective, that of the Spirit in heaven bearing witness to His own incarnation. Jesus is His incarnation, not His Son in heaven. Do you understand? Do not the words of Jesus, “The Father is in Me and I am in the Father,” indicate that They are one Spirit? And is it not because of the incarnation that They were separated between heaven and earth? In reality, They are still one; no matter what, it is simply God bearing witness to Himself.’ It can be seen from God’s words that the Lord Jesus is God Himself and is God’s Spirit clothed in an ordinary and normal flesh and that He looks like us created humanity. When the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father as He prayed, He did so from the perspective of a created being, that is, from the perspective of the flesh; when God in heaven called the Lord Jesus His beloved Son, it was God testifying from a spiritual perspective that the Lord Jesus is —which has nothing to do with God’s gender, instead of testifying that the Lord Jesus is His Son. When God completes His work in the flesh, there will no longer be any Father and Son. Thus, we can’t define God as male just because the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father and God in heaven called the Lord Jesus Son.”
I was amazed to hear the sister’s fellowshiping. It turns out that the terms the Father and the Son in the Bible don’t refer to God being male. But I then thought of the first man God created being a male. Thereupon, I said, “Genesis 1:26 in the Bible records, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ Adam, the first man created by God, was a male, and we know from this verse that he was made in the image of God. This is sufficient to prove that God is a male.”
Sister Karina patiently fellowshiped, “Sister, it’s true that the first person God created was a male, but the Bible also says, ‘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). This verse tells us that God created both man and woman in His image, not only man. If we define that God is a male according to the fact that Adam, the first person created by God, was male, then how can we explain that God created females in His image? Doesn’t it contradict this verse? Actually, God’s essence is spirit and spirits are sexless. God incarnates in the form of a male or a female according to the needs of His work of salvation. And thus His incarnations are differentiated by sex. However, whether God incarnates as male or female, as long as He is the flesh that the Spirit of God wears, He is God Himself; His adopting the form of a woman basically does not affect God’s essence. This is why we should not rely on our notions and imaginations to delimit the gender of God incarnate.”
Though what Sister Karina fellowshiped was reasonable, it was very hard for me to accept that God has incarnated as a female, because this did not fit with my notions at all. I thought, “With regard to the Lord’s coming, I must think it over carefully. I can’t make a decision lightly before investigating it clearly. If I start believing wrongly, won’t my over twenty years of faith be wasted?” So, I silently prayed to God asking Him to guide me.
After the meeting, I searched online for The Church of Almighty God and saw some different opinions about the Lord returning as a female. As a result, I felt even more confused. During that period, the sisters from The Church of Almighty God always fellowshiped this aspect of the truth with me, but I still could not accept, so I decided to stop gathering with them. After that, I felt really uncomfortable. Thinking back to that period of time, when attending meetings with them, I did understand many truths that I had not previously understood and felt edified. Nevertheless, there was no way that I could accept the fact that the Lord has returned in the flesh as a female.
In the following days, I went back to my previous situation where my spirit felt parched, and my life was very empty, so I really missed interacting with the sisters from The Church of Almighty God. To be honest, though I could not accept that God’s second incarnation is female, I felt that every meeting with them was rewarding. Their fellowship was well grounded and conformed with the Bible. By giving up seeking and studying like this, wasn’t I too arbitrary? I thought carefully for a while and then decided to continue examining and understanding The Church of Almighty God. Thereafter, I secretly started to read the books of God’s word and the articles of testimony on its website.
One day, I saw a passage of God’s word, “Put your conceptions to one side! Stop and carefully read these words. If you yearn for the truth, God will enlighten you to understand His will and His words. Put aside your view of ‘impossible’! The more that people believe something is impossible, the more likely it is to occur, for the wisdom of God soars higher than the heavens, God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts, and the work of God transcends the limits of man’s thinking and conception. The more that something is impossible, the more there is the truth to be sought; the more that something is beyond the conception and imagination of man, the more it contains the will of God. Because no matter where God reveals Himself, God is still God, and His substance will never change because of the location or manner of His appearance.”
These words moved me deeply. Yes! When God’s work was out of line with my notions and imaginings, I held on to them instead of seeking, and thus refused to accept God’s work. Wasn’t I so arrogant in doing this? God is the Creator and has His own plans and ways when He does His work. As a created being, how could I fathom His work? The Bible records, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, said Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9). So, I could not blindly cling to my own conceptions and imaginings and I needed to continue to fellowship with the sisters.
Later, I initiated contact with Sister Lucy again and she got very excited and said, “Thanks to God’s enlightenment and guidance, you finally understand His will and return before Him again. This is truly God’s sheep hearing His voice. Sister, we’ve been constantly praying for you these days, asking God to guide you.” It warmed and moved my heart to hear this.
Then, I told her about my confusions, “The first time God was incarnated, He was male, but why does He adopt the form of a female this time instead of a male?”
Lucy said with a smile, “Sister, I also used to believe that since the Lord Jesus was a male, His second coming would be a male too, which conforms to our notions. However, God has His own plan for His work. As for this, let’s read two passages of God’s word. God says, ‘Each stage of work done by God has its own practical significance. Back then, when Jesus came, He was male, but when God comes this time, He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for the sake of His work, and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit comes, He can take on any kind of flesh at will and that flesh can represent Him. Whether male or female, it can represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus had appeared as a female when He came, in other words, if an infant girl, and not a boy, had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If such had been the case, then the present stage of work would have to be completed by a male instead, but the work would be completed all the same. The work done in either stage is equally significant; neither stage of work is repeated nor conflicts with the other. … If in this stage He did not become flesh in order personally to do work for man to witness, man would forever hold on to the notion that God is only male, not female.’ ‘If God came into the flesh only 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. Men would then hold that God is of the same gender as men, that God is the head of men—but what then 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 not one woman would be saved. 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.’”
After reading God’s words, the sister said in fellowship, “God’s words tell us that every stage of work performed by God has practical significance. In the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus came to work, He was male; in, when the Lord returns, He is female. This allows us to see that God created both man and woman for His work and that God doesn’t have a gender. Whether God incarnates as a male or a female, as long as He is the incarnate flesh of the Spirit of God, then He is God Himself. If God only incarnated as a man, we would define Him as male, as the God of males, and would never believe Him to be the God of females. In the last days, God becomes the flesh as a female in order to counter our conceptions and eliminate our absurd idea ‘God can only incarnate as a man.’ It can be seen from this that God can become both male and female, that God is not only the God of men but also the God of women, and that He not only saves men but also saves women. Therefore, it’s so very meaningful that God comes into flesh as a female. God is so wise and wondrous!”
After listening to her fellowshiping, I said with excitement, “By you fellowshiping in this way, I now understand. God incarnating as a female this time is significant. It is in order to resolve our conceptions and imaginings about God. This has shattered my conception of ‘God can only incarnate as a male,’ and allowed me to no longer delimit God. God’s work is so wise and almighty!”
“Yes! God choosing different genders the two times He incarnates has significance. What gender God takes depends on the needs of His work. From this, we can see the wisdom and almightiness of His work,” Sister Karina sighed with emotion.
Thank God! Through their fellowshiping, I felt a lot more enlightened and I was willing to continue to seek and study God’s new work.
Later, I saw a passage from God’s word, “External appearance does not determine substance; what’s more, the work of God has never conformed with the conceptions of man. Did not the outward appearance of Jesus conflict with the conceptions of man? Were not His appearance and dress unable to provide any clues as to His true identity? Was not the reason why the earliest Pharisees opposed Jesus because they merely looked at His external appearance, and did not take to heart the words that He spoke? It is My hope that the brothers and sisters who seek the appearance of God will not repeat the tragedy of history. You must not become the Pharisees of modern times and nail God to the cross again. You should carefully consider how to welcome the return of God, and should have a clear mind of how to be someone who submits to the truth.” After reading God’s words, I understood that, regardless of what God looks like or what form God takes to perform His work, it is not important. God incarnate is a holy flesh and can express truth and do His work of saving men. Facing such a big event as the return of the Lord, I should have humbly sought and investigated it, but I had rejected God’s new work because I had held on to my own conceptions and imaginings, determining that God’s incarnation must be a male and couldn’t be a female. I didn’t even realize that I had embarked on the path of resisting God. I was too foolish and muddleheaded! Recalling two thousand years ago, the Pharisees resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus and even crucified Him, offending God’s disposition. Was this not because the incarnated Lord Jesus did not accord with their notions and imaginings? Thinking about myself, if it hadn’t been for God’s mercy and grace, enlightening me with His words and setting up the sisters to patiently fellowship with me, I would have been eliminated by God due to resisting Him by holding on to my conceptions and imaginations. Realizing all this, I thought: “I can no longer rebel against God, and I must accept the truth and follow the footsteps of the Lamb.” As a result, I prayed silently in my heart, “Dear God! May You forgive my ignorance and foolishness. Because I stubbornly clung to my notions and imaginings and didn’t seek the truth, I almost lost Your salvation. Now I’m willing to put aside my notions and repent to You.”
Later on, through a period of examining God’s work in the last days, I confirmed that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. Thinking of how God guided me to welcome His appearance and hear His voice, I feel that I really am fortunate. Now, I have formally joined The Church of Almighty God and have started to live the church life. Thanks be to Almighty God! All the glory be to God!
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