God’s Word Leads Step by Step to Victory
GOSPEL OF THE DESCENT OF THE KINGDOM
I was born in a Chinese Christian family, and my grandmother always used to take me tofor gatherings and to sing in praise of God when I was young…. After I grew up I obtained some grace of and experienced some of the Lord’s deeds, and I felt even more that the Lord is trustworthy. The Lord’s love for people is the truest, and the Lord’s word has authority and power and can give people hope. Whenever I would sing hymns, to the Lord, and read the word of the Lord, I would feel especially steady and tranquil in my heart. I came to the USA in 2007, and was baptized at church in October of 2010, when I began my service. At that time, my heart was impassioned. Because my house was far away from the church, I had to get up at 5:00 to take the subway there. But I felt a sweetness in my heart and that as long as I could satisfy God then suffering these hardships would be worth it. I took part in everything in the church, big or small, and I gained a lot of enlightenment from reading . But after a few years, without knowing why, when I listened to pastors I would doze off. I didn’t get any clear enlightenment from reading the Bible, and my spirit often sank down into weakness. When the pastor preached, I thought it was the same old cliches, without any new light. Every time I was at a gathering, as soon as it was over, the brothers and sisters would start chatting about things that had nothing to do with believing in the Lord. Some would be selling insurance, some would act as matchmakers, and still others talked about where they were going to go on vacation…. Seeing all this, I couldn’t help but be reminded of what was recorded in the Bible about how at the end of the Age of Law, when came to carry out His work, the Jews were doing business in the temple selling oxen and sheep and doves. When Jesus saw this, he overturned the moneychangers’ tables and the stools of those selling doves. He reprimanded them for having turned a temple for worshiping God into a den of thieves. Seeing the churches of today having become just like the temple was at that time was something that especially caused me to feel pain and helplessness in my heart. I was also perplexed and couldn’t understand how the church could have changed like this. For this reason, I would often come into the presence of God and lament bitterly, “Oh Lord! Where are You? The churches are already no longer churches, and most people just say they believe in You, but their hearts are actually very far from You. All that they do does not receive Your praise. Lord! Where are You? When will You come to receive us? …”
Just when I was in pain and perplexed, I came to know a sister who bore witness for me about’s work in . Through the fellowship about the word of Almighty God, I finally understood that the desolation of the church was because of an increase of things within it that went against the law. Mainly, it was that the pastors and elders were not carrying out the word of the Lord, not observing the commandments of the Lord, leading the believers to deviate from the way of the Lord, following along with worldly trends, shunning and betraying the Lord, and bringing about the hatred and loathing of the Lord. Another thing was that God had long since become to do a new stage of work, which is none other than the work of judging and cleansing people in the last days. Subsequently, through God having done a new work, the work of the has also transmitted from the church of the Age of Grace to the people keeping up with God’s new work. In the churches there is no work of the Holy Spirit anymore, so now there is every kind of appearance of disorder. The sisters went from speaking about the significance of God working to lead mankind in living their lives in the Age of Law of the Old Testament, to talking about the significance of the work of the in being crucified for the of mankind, and then to discussing the intended results of the judgment work of Almighty God in the last days for thoroughly cleansing and saving people. She spoke with remarkable thoroughness about each stage of God’s work, always on the basis of Scripture. After I heard this, I was convinced in both heart and mind, and right then and there I happily accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days. In August of 2012, I began to participate in the life of the church, and to fellowship about the word of God together with the brothers and sisters as well as to share knowledge of experience of God’s words. Gradually, the problem of my spirit being thirsty was resolved. In order to let more people be able to hear God’s voice quickly, and to return to the presence of the throne of God, after three months I began to preach the to the brothers and sisters of my original church. I never thought I would face attacks from my family members who were believers and from the pastors and preachers of the church. Fortunately, having the guidance of the word of God, I gradually triumphed over Satan’s temptations, and I stood the witness for God.
One day in January of 2013, I took Sister Liu ofto the house of a certain sister of my original church to spread the gospel to her. Just when we were fellowshiping, my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law suddenly stormed in from outside. My mother-in-law pointed to Sister Liu and abused her loudly, saying: “What did you come here for? Why did you come to our church to steal our sheep? …” I was intimidated by this spectacle that erupted all of a sudden, and I didn’t know how my mother-in-law who had been a believer for many years and was always good-natured and humble could have suddenly changed like this. To let Sister Liu continue to bear witness to the work of God in the last days to this sister, I hurriedly urged my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law to leave the sister’s house with me. After returning home, my mother-in-law angrily said to me: “If not for Sister So-and-so’s mother calling me on the phone today, I still wouldn’t know that you went to her house to spread the gospel! The preacher in our church and the other workers all say that if you believe in Almighty God then you have moved away from the Lord Jesus. Our pastors have believed in the Lord for decades, so wouldn’t they understand better than you? You are too young, and you don’t have life experience. You’ve been confused and led astray from the path!” When I heard my mother-in-law’s words, I remembered that I had seen during gatherings about the difference between following God and following man. Almighty God says: “For where there are the new words of God, there is the , and where there are the footsteps of God, there are the deeds of God. Where there is the expression of God, there is the appearance of God, and where there is the appearance of God, there exists the truth, the way, and the life” (“The Appearance of God Has Brought a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Those who do not understand the truth always follow others: If people say that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, then you, too, say it is the work of the Holy Spirit; if people say it is the work of an evil spirit, then you, too, become doubtful, or also say it is the work of an evil spirit. You always parrot the words of others, and are incapable of distinguishing anything by yourself, nor are you able to think for yourself. This is someone without a position, who is unable to differentiate—such a person is a worthless wretch!” (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The word of God tells us clearly that in following God one must look for the truth, that only God can express the truth, and that only those who have found the One expressing the truth have found God. I saw the words expressed by Almighty God, knew the three stages of God’s work in saving mankind, and the mysteries of God’s six-thousand-year management plan. I learned what incarnation is, as well as the work of judgment in the last days, the work of the Holy Spirit, Satan’s work, God’s work, man’s work, and so on. All these words are the truth, and what they all speak of is God’s own work and God’s will with respect to mankind. They are God teaching us how to distinguish and forsake Satan and turn back to God. None of these truths can be expressed by a person. From when I was young until I grew up, I heard many pastors and elders preach, and not one of them was able to express these mysteries and truths. I was certain that the words of Almighty God are the voice of God. Almighty God is that “Spirit of truth” who was to come, and I am not wrong in following Almighty God. The word of God also allowed me to understand that on the road of following God, one must have their own views and can’t be a confused and undiscriminating person. Especially in investigating the , one must not just go along with what people around him are saying, otherwise it is easy to follow others in resisting and betraying God, and to lose the opportunity to receive salvation. The early Jewish people, because they did not care about being discriminating and didn’t have their own viewpoints, blindly believed what they heard from the priests and Pharisees, and they resisted and accused the Lord Jesus and suffered the punishment of God. My mother-in-law had not read the word of Almighty God, and had not sought to investigate the work of Almighty God, but had blindly and obediently listened to the words of the pastor. Isn’t this following man? By doing this, my mother-in-law is resisting and betraying God! Thinking of this, I said at once to my mother-in-law, “Mom, I have gone through ardent investigation of the work of Almighty God in the last days, and I have confirmed from the word of Almighty God that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. Only then did I believe. In the Age of Law proclaimed the laws for people to follow in their lives; in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus was crucified to save mankind; and in the last days, Almighty God expresses the truth and does the work of judging and cleansing people. He thoroughly rescues people from sin, allows people to break out of the bondage of their sinful nature, obtains people, and in the end brings people into a beautiful destination. These three stages of work are different kinds of work done in three different ages by one God, but the objective of the work was all for the salvation of mankind. In accepting the work of Almighty God in the last days, I was catching up with the Lamb’s footsteps, and I have not left the Lord Jesus behind. It’s like when at first the Lord Jesus came for work—those people who followed the Lord were not betraying Jehovah, but were catching up with the pace of God’s work. It is the same today, when Almighty God is doing a stage of work that judgment begins with the on the basis of the work of the Lord Jesus. Accepting the work of God in the last days is catching up with pace of the newest stage of the work. How could it be betraying God? Mom, ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Rom 10:17). We can’t just blindly listen to and believe in the words of pastors, but must distinguish and investigate for ourselves, and only after that can we know what is true and what is false! Furthermore, at times when we do not understand, we must have hearts that revere God and not sin in our words, in order to avoid being like the Jews at that time in following the Pharisees and resisting God….” Just when I got to this point, my mother-in-law suddenly interrupted me and said, “Fine, enough! As early as 1997, I heard about The Church of Almighty God bearing witness that the Lord Jesus had already returned, and had done the work of judgment in the last days. But the pastors and elders all said this was untrue, and how couldn’t the priests and elders understand the Bible better than you? You shouldn’t believe anymore. If you persist in believing in Almighty God, we will sever relations, and my son will have to divorce you and you will have nothing but leaving the household….” My mother-in-law berated me loudly, and my sister-in-law was also there criticizing me. Since I felt afraid and bad, I continuously prayed to God: “God! You know my stature is small, and I am very scared right now in my heart. I am afraid that my mother-in-law will actually do the things she said. God! I am very weak, and I want You to give me more faith and strength, and let me be able to understand Your will, and to stand witness to You in this environment.” After praying, I felt a lot of peace in my heart, and I thought of the words in the Bible: “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Rev 14:4). I also thought of verses in the hymn of God’s word: “Do not be discouraged. Do not be weak. God will reveal everything to you. The road to the kingdom is not that smooth, nothing is that simple! Blessings won’t be gained easily. Everyone will endure bitter trials and hardships, or your love to God won’t be stronger and you will not have true love for God. Circumstances, even they are minor, everyone needs to get past. It’s just that they differ to some degree. Circumstances are God’s blessings. How many of you have often knelt before God and asked for His blessings?” (“Bitterness Is God’s Blessing” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). At that time, I understood that when these things befall me it is with God’s permission. God was testing me through the words of my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law, to see if I still had the faith to continue following God. The road to the kingdom is bumpy, but since I was firmly of the opinion that it was the right path, no matter what dangers and obstacles there might be I must carry on following God. This is a loyalty to God that a Christian must be held onto. Having understood God’s will, I was steadfast in my heart. I told myself: I can’t give up on pursuing the truth just because of some suffering of the flesh, and even more so I can’t miss the extremely rare opportunity for God’s salvation for the sake of harmony in my family. God’s word has given me faith, and I have established my will: No matter how my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law compel and obstruct me, I will never give up following God!