I Finally Heard God’s Voice
By David, Venezuela
I had a lot of different jobs when I was young. I was the payroll supervisor for the state government of Sucre, Venezuela. I had to handle payroll issues and lots of people’s demands every day. I had also been a human resources officer for the legislative council, and for a time, I taught a class on computers at a night school for adults. All of my positions had one thing in common—direct contact with lots of people. Work was my daily focus, and though I was pretty busy, my life was always very peaceful. When the pandemic hit unexpectedly, I couldn’t interact with others and my income couldn’t even cover half the cost of my food. My life slid into crisis. I needed to stand in line to buy food, and there was a 3-day line to buy gas. At that time, I looked to the Lord’s words to find comfort. My neighbor was also a believer, and whenever we ran into each other we’d talk about how all these disasters had been prophesied in the Bible, and that mankind’s evil and corruption were the source of all these catastrophes. We were in the last days, and the Bible prophesied that the Lord Jesus would return to judge us at this time, so we had to return to God’s side to gain His protection and salvation. Every day, I prayed to God for wisdom and to guide me. I wanted to know God, and I needed to find Him, because God’s word was the only way I could find comfort, stop sinning, and become someone who brings God joy. So I opened up a Bible and asked God to enlighten me. I read the Book of Psalms and the Book of Proverbs as well as the Lord Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, but I still didn’t find the path I should take. I felt really lost and my financial troubles were becoming more and more acute. My life was descending into crisis and I couldn’t provide for my family. When my daughter had needs, I wasn’t able to help her. I was really sad, and all I could do was comfort her by saying that these hardships were temporary, but even I didn’t believe that. Sadness took hold of my heart. I didn’t know what to do. I wanted to emigrate, to leave this country and look for some other solution, but I couldn’t get all the documents I needed or a passport because of the pandemic. Everything was becoming more and more difficult for me. Just then, my wife said she didn’t want to stay with me anymore. That was the very last straw for me. I felt like I was about to collapse, that life had no meaning anymore. I became clinically depressed—I was in a lot of pain. I’d often wash my face with tears and I had many sleepless nights. The only way I could get a little peace was to pray to God.
Then one day, I got a message on WhatsApp. A sister invited me to join a Christian class to listen to God’s word, and asked me if I wanted to study it. I said I did, and she added me to a study group. When I had the chance to hear Almighty God’s words, I felt like this was God’s answer to my prayers. I was drawn in by Almighty God’s authoritative utterances, and these words resolved lots of doubts and notions I had. I learned that God had already returned and was doing new work. This had a huge impact on me. Amidst my surprise, joy, and curiosity, I learned about God’s 6,000-year management plan and His three stages of work to save mankind, that He takes on a different name in each age (Jehovah, Jesus, and Almighty God), and the meaning of the work He does in each age. Almighty God’s words appealed to me—I was so happy. I wanted to learn more truths and share them with others, so I happily shared the gospel with my neighbors, telling them the Lord Jesus has returned. I thought that any believer hearing God’s gospel of the last days would rejoice, seek the truth, and happily accept the gospel. But it was the exact opposite. They asked me, “None of this is in the Bible, where did you get this from?” I’d tell them, “I learned about it from an online study group, and I’ve just started studying it, so my knowledge is limited, but Almighty God’s words have really drawn me in.” They told me to be careful, and that lots of false Christs will arise in the last days. Then they sent me a couple of Bible verses: “And then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ; or, see, He is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take you heed: behold, I have foretold you all things” (Mark 13:21–23). They said I was looking into a false religion, and that in the technologically advanced world of the 21st century, if the Lord Jesus returned, He’d surely display a great miracle that would rock the entire globe, but nothing like that had happened yet. Also, the Lord Jesus hadn’t appeared and healed the sick, raised the dead, and so on, so that meant the Lord hadn’t returned yet. When I heard them say that, my heart was filled with doubts. I was afraid of betraying the Lord Jesus. I was worried about being deceived and following a false Christ. At the time I was still convinced that the Lord Jesus would return on the clouds and sit on a great white throne judging each person according to their sins, but the gospel sharers said God had become flesh and was uttering words to judge our sins. All these things created internal conflict for me and made me even more uneasy. Though I was really looking forward to our evening sermon and felt like I wanted to keep investigating this, but what my neighbors said had penetrated my heart, so I was feeling guarded. When the sermon started, I decided to leave the group.
I wrote a message on WhatsApp about my reason for leaving the group, explaining my concerns, that I was worried about being deceived by a false Christ, and I included the Bible verses my neighbors had sent me. Just as soon as I was about to send that message and leave the group, I suddenly got a notification that my cellphone had no charge and was turning off. I was surprised, because I always charged my phone before gatherings, so why was the battery suddenly dead? But my mind was still made up. I told myself, how could there be no great wonders if Christ had returned? I plugged my phone in again and decided to send the message when my phone had a minimal charge. When the battery got to 5%, I turned on my phone and saw some Bible verses that had been sent out to the group. I read them out of curiosity: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears My voice, and opens 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 brothers and sisters fellowshiped, “We can see from the word of God that when the Lord returns, He’ll knock on the door, and call out to His sheep with His words. Whether we can welcome the Lord mostly depends on whether we hear His voice. We have to be able to hear the Lord’s voice to open the door and welcome Him, and to sup with Him. So if you hear someone bear witness that the Lord has returned, don’t close the door or be afraid of being duped, but be a wise virgin—focusing on listening for the Lord’s voice is key.” Then I saw a sister had sent a passage of Almighty God’s words to the group. “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 a counterfeit produced by evil spirits which imitate 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. … In the notions of man, God must always display signs and wonders, must always heal the sick and cast out demons, and must always be just like Jesus. Yet this time, God is not like that at all. 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” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Knowing God’s Work Today). I was struck dumb by Almighty God’s words and the others’ fellowship. They contained all the answers I’d been wanting. I told myself that this was completely true. God is always new, never old, and He always does new work. He wouldn’t repeat His old work. The Lord Jesus didn’t repeat the work of the Age of Law, so why would God do the same work as the Age of Grace when He returns? Almighty God has now come and begun a new age, and He is doing the new work of the Age of Kingdom. This work has never been done before. Almighty God even warned us, “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 a counterfeit produced by evil spirits which imitate Jesus.” Only evil spirits imitate God’s past work, and pretend to be God performing miracles to lead people astray. This was really enlightening for me. I learned how to discern false Christs and the real reason God doesn’t display signs and wonders in the Age of Kingdom. In the last days, God performs the work of judging, cleansing, and saving mankind by expressing truths, leading man into His kingdom. Once I understood that, I continued attending the gatherings.
Later, I read another passage of Almighty God’s words. “No one who believes in Jesus is qualified to curse or condemn others. You should all be someone with sense and who accepts the truth. Perhaps, having heard the way of truth and having read the word of life, you believe that only one in 10,000 of these words are in line with your convictions and the Bible, and then you should continue to seek in that 10,000th of these words. I still advise you to be humble, to not be over-confident, and to not exalt yourself too highly. With your heart holding such meager reverence for God, you will gain greater light. If you carefully examine and repeatedly contemplate these words, you shall understand whether or not they are the truth, and whether or not they are life. Perhaps, having only read a few sentences, some people will blindly condemn these words, saying, ‘This is nothing more than some enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,’ or, ‘This is a false Christ come to deceive people.’ Those who say such things are blinded by ignorance! You understand too little of the work and wisdom of God, and I advise you to start again from scratch! You must not blindly condemn the words expressed by God because of the appearance of false Christs during the last days, and you must not be someone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit because you fear deception. Would that not be a great pity? If, after much examination, you still believe that these words are not the truth, are not the way, and are not the expression of God, then you shall ultimately be punished, and you shall be without blessings. If you cannot accept such truth spoken so plainly and so clearly, then are you not unfit for God’s salvation? Are you not someone who is not blessed enough to return before the throne of God? Think about it! Do not be rash and impetuous, and do not treat belief in God as a game. Think for the sake of your destination, for the sake of your prospects, for the sake of your life, and do not play yourself. Can you accept these words?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. By the Time You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus, God Will Have Made Heaven and Earth Anew). I understood from God’s words that we have to be just like the wise virgins regarding God’s return in the last days, not rashly deny the appearance of Christ. Just because false Christs will appear in the last days doesn’t mean we can blindly reject and condemn God’s new work and the words He speaks. We need to learn to listen for God’s voice, and to investigate God’s work with an attitude of humbly seeking. That’s the only way to hear God’s voice and welcome the Lord. Otherwise, we’ll lose God’s salvation. Just as Almighty God says, “Do not be rash and impetuous, and do not treat belief in God as a game. Think for the sake of your destination, for the sake of your prospects, for the sake of your life, and do not play yourself. Can you accept these words?” Almighty God’s words showed me that when the mistaken views my neighbors shared prevented me from investigating Almighty God’s work, I was rash in my acceptance. I didn’t try to gain a deeper understanding of The Church of Almighty God or seek others within The Church of Almighty God to answer my questions. I just impulsively decided to leave the group and stop looking into the true way. My impulsiveness nearly cost me God’s salvation in the last days. Then I knew I couldn’t succumb to impulsiveness in the face of confusions and doubts, or rashly pass judgment, and that I had to be cautious, pray to God and seek the truth at all times. I had to treat God’s words with respect and seek humbly so I could recognize God’s voice through His guidance, and welcome the Lord’s return. Eating and drinking Almighty God’s words every day gave me a deeper understanding of the Bible, and so I became certain that this was the appearance and work of God in the last days, and I accepted Almighty God without hesitation.
One day, I read another two passages of Almighty God’s words. “It is not difficult to inquire into such a thing, but it requires each of us to know this one truth: He who is God incarnate shall possess the essence of God, and He who is God incarnate shall possess the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He intends to do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon him, and point the way for him. Flesh that does not have the essence of God is decidedly not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. If man intends to inquire into whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, then he must corroborate this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, to corroborate whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, one must discriminate on the basis of His essence. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key lies in His essence (His work, His utterances, His disposition, and many other aspects), rather than external appearance. If man scrutinizes only His external appearance, and as a result overlooks His essence, this shows that man is benighted and ignorant” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface). “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 essence 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 essence of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself. In this way, if you truly wish to seek the way of life, you must first acknowledge it is by coming to earth that God performs the work of bestowing the way of life unto man, and you must acknowledge it is during the last days that He comes to earth to bestow the way of life unto man. This is not the past; it is happening today” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life). I learned from God’s words that we can’t judge by appearances to tell the true Christ from false ones, and that we have to look at their essence, that is, to determine by seeing if they can do God’s work and express God’s words and disposition. God has become flesh, He is expressing truths, and is doing His work. All that He reveals is what God has and is—it is entirely God’s disposition, and the work He does can save people. These are all things that no human possesses or can achieve. Therefore, the most accurate way to determine if someone is Christ is by looking at whether they can do God’s work and express God’s words and disposition. During that time of investigating Almighty God’s work and reading His word, on top of seeing the love for man revealed through Almighty God’s words, I also saw God’s righteousness, wrath, and majesty. His words are like a sharp sword, cutting open the corruption inside our hearts, exposing our God-resisting satanic nature. We can directly see our inner corruption through His words, as well as the path we must take in our faith. By putting His words into practice, we can gradually resolve our corrupt dispositions and live out normal humanity. Almighty God’s words reveal so many mysteries of the truth and allow us to learn about His 6,000-year management plan to save mankind. These things can’t be found in the Bible or in any religion. These are all mysteries of the truth God is unveiling for mankind in the last days, and are all things people haven’t heard or seen before. Apart from God, no other person or great figure can express the truth and save humanity. Only God incarnate can express the truth do the work of judging and cleansing man, and bring us the way, the truth, and the life. I confirmed from Almighty God’s words that He is Christ of the last days, the God who created the heavens, the earth, and all things, the God who issued the law to guide man’s life on earth, the God who was crucified to redeem all of humanity, and even more, the God who has returned in the last days to save us from our sins. Without a doubt, God is the Beginning and the End, and Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. Those false Christs are imposters who will fall sooner or later because they can’t express the truth, they aren’t capable of doing God’s new work, and they can’t guide people to cast off corruption and be saved. All they can do is imitate God’s past work to mislead and corrupt people. Now, Christ of the last days, Almighty God, is expressing the truth and doing the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. He is cleansing and transforming people’s corruption, and saving mankind from sin. Almighty God’s work and words fully prove that He is the appearance of the true God. That is beyond doubt.
Before, I was clinging to my notions. I thought God would judge man’s sins from a great white throne in the sky in the last days, but then through gathering and reading God’s words, this notion of mine was corrected. That’s because I learned how God purifies people through His judgment work in the last days. I saw that the Lord Jesus 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). “Sanctify them through Your truth: Your word is truth” (John 17:17). “And if any man hears My words, and believes not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47–48). One day, I read this in Almighty God’s words. “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt essence within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as through refinement, man can purge away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)). “Christ of the last days uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the substance of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the substance of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. All these different methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced about God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt essence and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the essence of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth). I learned that God is doing the judgment work of the last days by incarnating Himself and expressing truths to transform and save mankind. Almighty God has already spoken, revealing man’s satanic nature that includes things like arrogance, craftiness, and evil. He has also revealed man’s selfishness and greed, and has allowed people to see the truth of their corruption through the judgment of His words, to hate themselves, repent to God, and to achieve reverence for and submission to God. The only way to resolve man’s satanic nature is through Almighty God’s judgment work in the last days. No human could do that. At that moment I realized that if God judged each person from a great white throne in the sky, no one among all of humanity, corrupted by Satan, would have a chance at salvation. That’s because all mankind is enveloped by Satan’s corruption. Although through the salvation of the Lord Jesus’ cross, we’ve been redeemed and our sins are forgiven, we are still sinners. We go through the cycle of sinning and confessing over and over. If we don’t experience judgment, our corruption can’t be cleansed, and ultimately, we’ll be condemned and cast out by God. Only by being directly judged and exposed by God’s words can we truly know ourselves and be purified of corruption. Just as Almighty God says, “All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as through refinement, man can purge away his corruption and be made pure.”
I read a passage of Almighty God’s words in a gathering once that really stirred up feelings in me. “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! You always repeat the words of others: Today it is said that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, but there is a probability that one day someone will say it is not the work of the Holy Spirit, and that it is in fact nothing but the deeds of man—yet you cannot discern this, and when you witness it being said by others, you say the same thing. It is actually the work of the Holy Spirit, but you say it is the work of man; have you not become one of those who blaspheme against the work of the Holy Spirit? In this, have you not opposed God because you cannot differentiate?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God). God’s words warned us against blindly listening to others’ guidance when investigating the true way, and evaluating God’s work based on human notions and imaginings. This can lead us away from the Lord’s way, and ultimately get us rejected and cast out by God, losing us our chance at salvation. This sad reality is something that could happen to any one of us. I felt ashamed of how foolish and impulsive I’d been. How was it that even after hearing the voice of God and feeling that these words contained authority and truth, I was still influenced by my neighbors, and led astray by what they said? My foolishness almost made me leave The Church of Almighty God, miss welcoming the Lord Jesus’ return, and ruin my chance at salvation! My blindness and ignorance could have had such terrible consequences for me! I understood that I have to be a wise virgin at all times. When we hear God’s voice, we can’t doubt about it. We must pray from the heart and ask God to enlighten and guide us, and not blindly listen to others, because we’re all created beings and we don’t possess the truth. We have to follow God’s words at all times, just like Peter heard the Lord Jesus’ words and then followed the Lord. Thinking back on my former foolishness and ignorance, I prayed to Almighty God, asking Him to forgive me for my mistakes. I felt ready to accept Almighty God, and the judgment and salvation of His words.
Since then, I’ve been reading Almighty God’s words every day. When I’m weak, I ask God for faith and strength, so I don’t stumble and fall. With God’s guidance and help, I’ve now overcome my depression and become a positive person. I also have a new job. I feel this is all thanks to God’s wondrous arrangements. Gradually, my life has improved quite a bit. Most importantly, I can eat and drink of Almighty God’s words every day and gather and fellowship with others. Now I’ve started sharing the gospel and bearing witness to God’s words, helping more true believers who thirst for the true way hear God’s voice and accept His salvation of the last days.
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