Out of a Dying Church and Into a True Church (Part 2)
By Yangwang, South Korea
On February 5, 2016, two sisters, one from China and her Korean interpreter, braved the cold weather to come to my house. They asked me how I had heard about the book, and made an effort to understand my interest in reading the book as well as my own journey of faith. Once I had told them my story, the Chinese sister told me with the help of the interpreter that the Lord Jesus has already returned, that He is , Christ of the last days. She also shared this fellowship with me: “Almighty God, the returned Lord Jesus has done the step of work of judgment beginning with the house of God, that is, the work of the Age of Kingdom. He has expressed millions of words, unveiling many mysteries, telling us many things such as the inside story of His 6,000-year management plan, the mysteries of the three stages of His work, how people can free themselves from sin and be cleansed by God, as well as what mankind’s outcome and final destination will be. Only if we pray in Almighty God’s name and accept His new work will we be able to follow the footsteps of the Lamb and be nurtured in our lives. Only then will our parched souls be fed and watered….” I was astounded to hear her say this. I thought, “The Lord has really come back? Almighty God is the Lord Jesus we’ve been longing for?” Although I knew that the Lord Jesus would return, I wasn’t entirely able to accept the Almighty God that they bore witness to. But then I thought of the Pharisees who were always waiting for the coming of the Messiah, but when the Lord Jesus came to work, they refused to acknowledge Him. Not only did they fail to seek and investigate the Lord Jesus’ appearance and work, but they madly condemned and blasphemed Him, ultimately nailing Him to the cross. As a result of their opposition to God they became subject to God’s punishment. I had cautioned myself so many times that no matter what, I couldn’t be like the Pharisees when the Lord , resisting the Lord—that would be making the same mistake as them. It then occurred to me that when the Lord Jesus was born, the prophets Simon and Anna recognized Him as the coming Messiah. They had always been pious people who served God and had been longing for the coming of the Redeemer. Because of their piety, they saw the Lord during their lifetimes (see Luke 2:25–38). I’ve always really admired them and have wanted to be like them when the Lord Jesus returns, recognizing and accepting His . Upon hearing word of the Lord Jesus’ return, why wouldn’t I seek and investigate it? So, after these two sisters wrapped up their fellowship and they led me to pray in the name of Almighty God, I hesitated for a split second before joining them in prayer. That sister then handed the book to me and emphasized that everything within it had all been personally uttered by God, and was critical for attaining full and life itself. She said I should certainly read it with a serious attitude. As they were getting ready to go, I reluctantly said goodbye, then watched them as they walked away.
I started reading God’s words after that, and by getting online and having gatherings with brothers and sisters from, I heard even more of God’s new words and many new songs of the kingdom. All of these words opened my eyes to so many truths and when I encountered an issue I found I had a path of practice. My parched spiritual life was really being watered and my relationship with God became so much closer. This made me even more certain that The Church of Almighty God is the church with the Holy Spirit’s work that I had been looking for. I read these words from God: “True means the following: On the basis of the belief that God holds sovereignty over all things, one experiences His words and His work, purges one’s corrupt disposition, satisfies the will of God, and comes to know God. Only a journey of this kind may be called ‘faith in God’” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). I said an “Amen” to these within my heart, and thought back on my own experiences in my belief. I had just naively been complacent with the grace of the Lord Jesus’ redemption, thinking that having gatherings, praying, reading the Scripture, and doing work for the Lord were equivalent to having faith. I really didn’t understand the true meaning of faith. Reading those words was really illuminating for me—I realized that having faith requires undergoing God’s work and words so that our corrupt dispositions can be changed and we can gain the truth, and this way we can come to know God. Only going through this kind of process is having faith in God. Just these few, concise words fully explained the true meaning of faith and pointed me toward my future path of belief in God. Only God could utter such words. I later read some of Almighty God’s words exposing the truth of our corruption as humans. For example, He revealed that we work and expend ourselves not because we love God and want to satisfy Him, but in the hope of exchanging that for the blessings of the kingdom of heaven and to conduct transactions with God. In addition, we are arrogant and self-assured, lacking fear of God. The moment His work isn’t in line with our notions or what we imagine, we arbitrarily judge and condemn it. This can be compared with the Hebrews 4:12: “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Reading this, I felt even more that the words expressed by Almighty God truly are God’s words, because only God can scrutinize the depths of human hearts, inspect our thoughts and ideas, and know just what we are thinking, and only God can so precisely dissect the truth of our corruption. In addition, so many of Almighty God’s words opened up the mysteries to many Bible passages I had never understood before, such as what “being raptured” really means, what the judgment of the last days is, plus the mystery of the Son of man. In addition, when having fellowship on God’s words with brothers and sisters I really gained spiritual sustenance—it was the rain after a long drought in my life. I was being nourished and watered by the words uttered by Almighty God. I also saw that brothers and sisters spread the of God’s kingdom with absolute faith and enthusiastically performed their duties, which, in turn, aroused my own faith. I figured, if Almighty God’s work of the last days wasn’t the true way, where would the brothers’ and sisters’ incredible energy for spreading the gospel be coming from? This was entirely the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s work. The more I looked into it, the fewer doubts remained in my heart. I determined that Almighty God really is the returned Lord Jesus, and that this is the church with the Holy Spirit’s work. The Church of Almighty God is the ! By reading Almighty God’s words I personally experienced the meaning behind what the Lord Jesus said, “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). It turns out, only Christ of the last days has the spring of living waters, and now I have finally found the source of this spring of life. I no longer need to go everywhere searching for a church with the Holy Spirit’s work.
I also gained some understanding of the essence of the religious world as well as the root of its desolation by reading Almighty God’s words. God’s words say: “Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. … Service that is divorced from the present utterances of the Holy Spirit is service that is of the flesh, and of notions, and it is impossible for it to be in accordance with. If people live among religious notions, then they are unable to do anything that is fit for God’s will, and even though they serve God, they serve in the midst of their imaginings and notions, and are totally incapable of serving in accordance with the will of God” (“Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Not so for the people who do not accept the new work: They are outside the stream of the Holy Spirit, and the discipline and reproach of the Holy Spirit do not apply to them. All day, these people live within the flesh, they live within their minds, and all that they do is according to the doctrine produced by the analysis and research of their own brains. This is not what is required by the Holy Spirit’s new work, much less is it cooperation with God. Those who do not accept the new work of God are bereft of the presence of God, and, moreover, devoid of the blessings and protection of God. Most of their words and actions hold to the past requirements of the Holy Spirit’s work; they are doctrine, not truth. Such doctrine and regulation are sufficient to prove that the gathering together of these people is nothing but religion; they are not the chosen ones, or the objects of God’s work. The assembly of all those among them can only be called a grand congress of religion, and cannot be called a church. This is an unalterable fact” (“God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I came to understand from God’s words that in my previous church and all the other ones I tried out, since they hadn’t accepted God’s new work, they were lagging behind the Holy Spirit’s work and were nothing but a religion—they were no longer churches of God. I also saw that when those churches’ pastors and elders preached, they just focused on interpreting knowledge and doctrine from the Bible, and they were constantly elevating and bearing witness to themselves. They bragged about how much they had suffered and what a great price they had paid. They didn’t elevate or bear witness to God, nor did they lead people to put God’s words into practice and really experience them. On top of all that, they chose deacons based on their own whims; they thought they were filled by the Holy Spirit by speaking in tongues and believed this to be proof of having been saved by God. In fact, all of these things just come from the pondering, the analysis people do in their heads, from their notions and imaginations. That kind of guidance from religious leaders diverges from the Lord’s teachings and violates His will. They’re waving the flag of faith in the Lord, but they do not hold to His way or uphold His commandments. Instead, they take the notions and imaginings from their own heads as the truth, arrogantly relying on their own ideas, being arbitrary and arrogant. The path that they are on is entirely contrary to the path of the Lord. People like that aren’t really believers in the Lord, and a congregation of them does not constitute a church. Rather, it’s just a denomination or a religious group, but God has departed from these kinds of religious groups and these kinds of people—He does not show Himself to them. This is why believers cannot obtain God’s leadership in places like that. They will only be spiritually parched and famished, unable to gain any sustenance whatsoever. If they don’t seek and investigate God’s work of the last days and accept the Lord Jesus’ return, but instead continue to believe within the confines of those churches, ultimately they will be unable to welcome the Lord’s return or gain His approval.
Almighty God also said: “God will accomplish this fact: He will make all people throughout the universe come before Him and worship the God on earth, and His work in other places will cease, and people will be forced to seek the true way. It will be like Joseph: Everyone came to him for food, and bowed down to him, for he had things to eat. In order to avoid famine, people will be forced to seek the true way. The entire religious community will suffer severe famine, and only the God of today is the wellspring of living water, possessed of the ever-flowing wellspring provided for the enjoyment of man, and people will come and depend on Him” (“The Millennial Kingdom Has Arrived” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “I regard the universe in its entirety and see that[a] it is an opportune time for My work, so I hurry back and forth, doing My new work upon man. … I shall work upon the entire universe and I shall perform great work, revealing all My glory and all My deeds to man in the last days. I shall show My glorious countenance in its fullness to those who have waited many years for Me, to those who have longed for Me to come upon a white cloud, to Israel that has longed for Me to appear once again, and to all mankind who persecute Me, so that all will know that I have long ago taken away My glory and brought it to the East, so that it is no longer in Judea. For the last days have already come!” (“The Seven Thunders Peal—Prophesying That the Gospel of the Kingdom Shall Spread Throughout the Universe” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). By reading God’s words I came to understand that the Lord Jesus has returned in the flesh in the last days to do new work, opening up the Age of the Kingdom and calling a close to the Age of Grace, so the work of the Holy Spirit has shifted accordingly to God’s work of the last days. The religious world has completely lost the Holy Spirit’s work, and those who are stuck within a religious environment have also fallen into darkness and desolation. It’s just like the latter part of the Age of Law when the Lord Jesus incarnate was doing a higher stage work outside of the temple. That concluded the Age of Law and began the Age of Grace, and God’s work shifted to the work of redemption for the Age of Grace. The temple then became desolate, and those that only upheld the work of Jehovah God but refused to accept the Lord Jesus’ work all fell into darkness and had no path to take. This then made me think of Amos 8:11 in the Bible: “Behold, the days come, said the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah.” Then I fully understood why I had been running to and fro to different churches and had listened to the sermons of so many famous pastors, yet still had gained no sustenance for my life, while hearing Almighty God’s words was a drink of water for my parched spirit. It turns out, that was all because God has done new work; the Holy Spirit’s work has shifted. The Holy Spirit is now only supporting the work done in the name of Almighty God, and no matter how well the work from the Lord Jesus’ stage of work is done, it will not meet with God’s approval. I give thanks to God for leading me to follow the footsteps of the Lamb so that I am able to keep up with God’s current work. I am thankful that I can drink of the water of life God has bestowed upon me!
I am thankful that God has not cast me aside, that He has allowed me to welcome the Lord Jesus’ return during my lifetime. I am also thankful that He has given me the sustenance of all these words and has bestowed so many truths upon me, nourishing my parched spirit. The more I think about it the more blessed I feel! It also reminds me of these words from God: “The way of life is not something that anyone can possess, nor is it something anyone can attain easily. This is because life can only come from God, which is to say, onlypossesses the substance of life, and only God Himself has the way of life. And so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God is the source of life for all things—His words are the way, the truth, and the life, providing rich sustenance for us. They continuously feed us and water us and resolve every single one of our problems. They are inexhaustible and limitless. The more of the truth we understand, the more at peace we are, the brighter our hearts are, and the closer we grow to God. This is all the fruit of accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days. Thanks be to Almighty God!
a. The original text does not contain the phrase “see that.”