Spiritual Warfare Testimonies | I Have Welcomed the Lord’s Return (Part 2)
Spiritual Warfare Testimonies | I Have Welcomed the Lord’s Return (Part 2)
Later, when I read The Scroll Opened by the Lamb, a book of Almighty God’s word, I saw that the word of Almighty God reveals many mysteries, such as the three stages of work carried out by God to save mankind, the work of His judgment in the last days, the beauty of His kingdom, and so on, which gave me a deeper understanding of God’s work. My parched spirit felt quenched, and the more I read this book the more I loved it. I had used to get up at 5:30 a.m., but after I received my copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb, I started getting up at 4:30 a.m. to read the word of Almighty God and ponder over His words, and my spirit felt such contentment. One morning, as I was reading the chapter “Are You a True Believer in God?” I felt a tremendous stirring in my heart. Almighty God is the God who scrutinizes people’s innermost hearts, and He has exposed our corrupt nature that we could never know by ourselves, thus I became able to see the truth of my corruption by Satan.
This was especially true when I read these words of Almighty God: “In any case, I say that all those who do not value the truth are nonbelievers and traitors to the truth. Such men shall never receive the approval of Christ. … You should understand that God does not belong to the world nor any one person, but to all those who truly believe in Him, all those who worship Him, and all those who are devoted and faithful to Him.” While I contemplated these words, I kept asking myself: Am I someone who truly believes in God? Do I esteem the truth? What have I esteemed over these past years of my belief in the Lord? I thought about how I was the same as the majority of the brothers and sisters: Externally, I read the Bible and attended meetings, but I paid no attention to experiencing or practicing the word of the Lord; rather, I esteemed the sermons preached by pastors and the literal meaning of the scriptures in the Bible. I put unquestioning faith in the biblical knowledge and theological doctrines preached by the pastors. I never thought about whether or not what they preached actually had any truth in it, or whether or not it conformed to the will of the Lord, and I certainly never used the Lord’s words to examine and measure what they were saying. We believers just believed whatever they preached. Thinking about it now, I realized how foolish and ignorant I’d been to have blindly idolized people! I thought back over the sermons given by the pastors and elders. They either gave sermons on giving offerings or about guarding against other denominations and sealing off the church, or they would just preach about the same old things that they’d been preaching about for years. There was no new illumination, no new enlightenment, they had absolutely nothing to provide us with, they couldn’t solve the problem of the barrenness in our spirits, and they certainly couldn’t solve the desolation in the church. This led to the brothers and sisters just going through the motions when they participated in meetings. During meetings some would chat, some would doze off, and some would play games on their phones. I had lived in this dark and desolate church, but I had not known to seek God’s will, nor had I known to seek the work of the Holy Spirit. Apparently, I was not someone who sought the truth or who truly believed in God at all. Almighty God says: “[A]ll those who do not value the truth are nonbelievers.” “God does not belong to the world nor any one person, but to all those who truly believe in Him, all those who worship Him.” These words were so real, and they made me suddenly think about the Lord Jesus’ words: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). I understood then that God is the truth, that God carries out His work in order to give man the truth, the way and the life, and that the people who truly believe in God pay attention to seeking the truth and obtaining the truth. As a believer in God, I had not been paying attention to seeking the truth, so had I not been all muddled up in my faith? If this was the way I believed in God, then how could I ever have received God’s approval? The words of Almighty God benefited me so greatly! The more I read the word of Almighty God, the more I felt that I was lacking in so many ways. And so, except for when I had to work, I spent all of my spare time reading the word of Almighty God. From the bottom of my heart I felt sure that this was the true way. But I still felt perplexed by these words spoken by the Lord Jesus: “Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect” (Matthew 24:23–24). I didn’t know what the inner meaning to these words was, so I decided to seek about it when Sister Zhu and the others came again.
Sister Zhu and the other brother and sister came by my house at the time we had arranged, and I said to Sister Zhang, “These past few days I’ve been reading a lot from the word of Almighty God, and I feel that every word spoken by Almighty God is the truth, and that it is really what I need. Before, Sister Zhu tried again and again to invite me to look into the work of Almighty God, but because my pastors had preached about how false Christs would appear in the last days to deceive people, I refused to look into the true way, and now I truly regret it. However, I still feel confused about this, so I would like to seek with you. The Lord Jesus said: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:23–24). How do you all understand these words?”
Sister Zhang said, “Thanks be to God, and may He lead us in this fellowship. As for the question that you have raised, first we must understand what the purpose was for the Lord Jesus saying these words, and what He meant when He said them. The Lord Jesus told us that, when He returned, He would become flesh again as Christ, as the Son of man, and in this passage the Lord said that false Christs would also appear, showing signs and wonders to deceive people. That is to say, the next time that God appears in the flesh, these false Christs will also appear. From this, we can see that the Lord said these words in order to tell us that we must develop discernment to prevent us from being deceived by these false Christs. He did not say these words so that we would refuse to listen to anyone who spreads the good news of the Lord’s arrival and always close our doors to them. It would be a mistake to act like this, and it would be a total misunderstanding of the Lord’s intention. The Lord Jesus prophesied: ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me’ (Revelation 3:20). ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me’ (John 10:27). The Lord’s words make it very clear that when the Lord returns, He will use His voice to call God’s sheep, and through His voice God’s sheep will recognize Him and return to Him. That is to say, whether or not we are able to welcome the Lord’s return crucially depends on whether or not we are able to recognize God’s voice. If we do not make an effort to listen to God’s voice, and constantly refuse those who spread the gospel of the Lord’s return, then wouldn’t we be prone to shutting the door on the Lord and locking Him out? From the words of the Lord we see that the distinguishing characteristic of false Christs is the ability to work signs and perform miracles, emulating the work that the Lord Jesus has performed in the past and working some signs and wonders, like healing the sick and casting out demons, in order to deceive man. However, false Christs are the embodiment of evil spirits, so regardless of what kind of signs they work, they cannot express any truth. This is incontrovertible. The words of Almighty God make the expressions and substance of false Christs abundantly clear. Let us look at several passages from the word of Almighty God and you will understand. Almighty God says: ‘If in the last days a “God” the same as Jesus appeared, one who healed the sick, cast out demons, and was crucified for man, that “God,” though identical to the description of God in the Bible and easy for man to accept, would not, in its essence, be the flesh worn by the Spirit of God, but by an evil spirit. For it is the principle of God’s work never to repeat what He has already completed. And so the work of God’s second incarnation is different from the work of the first’ (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, cast out demons, heal the sick, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are Jesus who has come, then this would be the counterfeit of evil spirits, and their imitation of Jesus. Remember this! God does not repeat the same work. Jesus’ stage of work has already been completed, and God will never again undertake that stage of work. … If, during the last days, God still displayed signs and wonders, and still cast out demons and healed the sick — if He did exactly the same as Jesus — then God would be repeating the same work, and the work of Jesus would have no significance or value. Thus, God carries out one stage of work in every age. Once each stage of His work has been completed, it is soon imitated by evil spirits, and after Satan begins to follow on the heels of God, God changes to a different method. Once God has completed a stage of His work, it is imitated by evil spirits. You must be clear about this’ (“Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words make it very clear that false Christs are all evil spirits posing as Christ. Even though they call themselves God, they do not possess the least bit of truth and certainly cannot carry out God’s work, since they do not have the substance of Christ. All they can do is follow on the heels of God to imitate the work that the Lord Jesus has already carried out in order to deceive people. False Christs will never be able to bring the truth or a new path of practice to people. Everyone knows that all the knockoff products in this world are made by copying real products. False Christs are just the same. They heal the sick and cast out demons and perform some simple miracles to deceive people by copying the work carried out by the Lord Jesus, but there’s no way false Christs could perform such miracles as bringing the dead back to life and feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. So, anyone who calls themselves Christ, who says they are the Lord Jesus returned and who displays signs and wonders and heals the sick and casts out demons, these people are without a doubt false Christs deceiving people. However, Christ is the incarnation of God Himself, He is the Spirit of God realized in the flesh, He has normal humanity and complete divinity, and He is absolutely God Himself. Almighty God says: ‘God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the substance of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but also the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh cannot be supplanted by just any man, but is a flesh that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those who impersonate Christ will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the substance of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself’ (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). So, only Christ can carry out God’s own work, only Christ can express the truth, and only Christ can express God’s disposition and provide for man and shepherd man. Only Christ can carry out the work of redeeming and saving mankind, only He can bring an end to the old age and usher in the new. What’s more, God’s work is always new and never old, and God never repeats the same work. Therefore, every time Christ comes to carry out work He will always bring new work, expressing God’s disposition and what He has and is. When the Lord Jesus came to carry out work, for example, He ended the Age of Law and ushered in the Age of Grace, He delivered the sermons that enabled people to confess their sins and repent, and He taught people to love their enemies, to be humble, to be patient and to forgive others. These were just some of the things the Lord Jesus did. The Lord Jesus revealed to man God’s loving and merciful disposition. Similarly, Almighty God has come in the last days, and He has ended the Age of Grace and ushered in the Age of Kingdom. He is carrying out the work of judging man and cleansing man with His words on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, giving us all the truths we need to be cleansed and to attain salvation, showing us the path to rid ourselves of sin and attain salvation, and expressing the righteous, majestic and wrathful disposition of God. Through the work and words of Almighty God, we are entirely able to recognize that Almighty God is God incarnate and that He is God Himself appearing among mankind in the last days.”
After listening to God’s words and the fellowship given by this sister, I felt like I had awoken from a dream, and I finally understood how to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs. This made me feel both happy and ashamed, as I saw how pitiful I was to be without the truth. I thought about how I had time and again refused God’s work of the last days, and realized that it had been because I’d been afraid of being deceived by false Christs, with the result that I rejected the true Christ like someone not eating for fear of choking. When the Lord returned and knocked on my door, I had refused to listen to the voice of God, time and again shutting the door on the Lord. But God did not give up on saving me, but instead He moved these brothers and sisters to come to my home to spread the gospel. God really had never left me — God’s love really is so great! Because I’d believed what my pastors had said, I’d decided that everyone who bore witness for the returned Lord was preaching a false Christ. I had misunderstood the word of the Lord, and I had rejected, condemned and resisted Almighty God, and I had also believed that the notions I clung to were right — I had been so ridiculous! If I hadn’t read the word of Almighty God and listened to the fellowships of these brothers and sisters on the differences between the true Christ and false Christs, then I would have never been able to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs, and I would have only been deceived by what the pastors and elders said. I would have followed the pastors and elders in their resistance and refusal of God’s arrival, and would thereby have lost this extremely rare opportunity to attain God’s salvation. As I thought about this, I said to Sister Zhu and the others, “Through reading the word of Almighty God and listening to your fellowships, I now know how to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs. Now I am convinced that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned, and I am willing to accept the work of Almighty God in the last days.”
After I began to participate in the church life, I saw that the brothers and sisters understood many truths, and that I was so lacking compared to them. I thought to myself: “I must have Sister Zhu and the rest of them fellowship with me more on the word of God and help me so that I will more quickly understand the truth.” I discussed this with Sister Zhu, asking her if we could turn my home into a meeting place, and she agreed right away. After that, we gathered together every week to read the word of God and fellowship about the truth. I gradually came to have more and more knowledge of the words of God and to understand more and more truths. I could feel from the bottom of my heart that these words were the expressions of the truth. In that moment, I thought about the words the Lord Jesus had said: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). I felt all the more moved, and I saw that these words of the Lord had all come to pass. The word of Almighty God is “what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). Almighty God is in the process of guiding man to understand and gain entry into all truths. Only by accepting God’s work in the last days and only by accepting the truths expressed by God can one be cleansed, attain salvation and become someone who is after God’s heart. It was the word of Almighty God that brought me back to the house of God and that brought me before the throne of God. Now, every day I have God’s words to provide for me and guide me, and I feel peaceful and joyful, at ease and filled with light. I wish to do all that I can to pursue the truth and follow Almighty God to the very end!
Source From: The Church of Almighty God