Question 31: In the Book of Zechariah in the Bible, it is prophesied: “And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east….” The Lord’s return will most certainly be on the Mount of Olives in Judea, and yet you testify that the Lord Jesus has already returned, appearing and working in China. China is an atheist nation and it is the darkest, most backward nation which defies God most severely, so how can the Lord’s return be in China? We really cannot figure this out, so please answer this for us.
It has been nearly two thousand years since the Lord Jesus walked out of Judea. Now the last days have arrived, and all kinds of famines, plagues, earthquakes, floods and droughts are appearing more frequently, more widely and more intensively. Various nations around the world are volatile and unstable, with terrorist activities, ethnic conflicts, and all kinds of wars occurring constantly. In religious circles, all churches have fallen in the dark because they have lost the work of the Holy Spirit. There is jealousy and strife between co-workers, and the faith and love of many brothers and sisters have grown cold. False prophets and antichrists are also appearing one after the other all over the world. Brothers and sisters, this heap of facts is sufficient to explain that the prophecy of the Lord’s return has already been fulfilled. So just where did the Lord Jesus descend? Almost all people who look forward to the Lord’s return think that the Lord Jesus would descend at the Mount of Olives in Judea because of the prophecy in Zechariah 14: “And his feet shall stand in that day on the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.” However, God’s work of the last days has gone beyond everyone’s imagination and broken through everyone’s notions. God chose a most filthy, most corrupt and dark, atheist country like China as the site of His work of the last days. This indeed does not conform with our notions and has also made everyone quite bewildered. So why did God become flesh in China? Let’s communicate about this aspect of the truth.
The first time God became flesh, all people who were waiting for the Messiah thought Christ would be born in a palace. However, nobody expected that the great, noble and supreme God would be humbly born in a manger. Such an arrival of Jesus Christ was beyond everyone’s imagination and shattered everyone’s notions. In the last days of these times, God became flesh to work in China, once again going beyond everyone’s imaginings and once again smashing everyone’s notions. Some brothers and sisters are unable to accept this reality. They believe God is the God of the Israelites, so God could not possibly become flesh to work in another country, and moreover could not possibly descend in China. Man has such notions because God once performed His work of the Age of Law in Israel, and the Lord Jesus also performed His work of the Age of Grace in Judea. As both of these stages of work were performed in Israel, we think that God must be the God of the Israelites and that He could not possibly descend in a Gentile country, and moreover could not possibly work in China. Please think about this carefully, everyone. Just because the first two stages of God’s work were performed in Israel, does that prove that God is only the God of the Israelites and not the God of the Gentiles? Can we say God loves only the Israelites and hates the Gentiles? The Lord Jesus’ precious blood redeemed the Israelites, but didn’t it also redeem all mankind? We should know that God is not just the God of the Israelites. God is also the God of all mankind. God had the authority to perform the work of the Age of Law in Israel. He also had the authority to perform the work of the Age of Grace in Judea, and even more He has the authority to perform His conquest and judgment work of the last days in China. This is because God is the Ruler of the heavens and earth and all things, the God of all creatures. God became flesh to work in China in order to use this actual fact to break our notions and make us realize that God is not just the God of the Israelites, but is also the God of all mankind. God has the authority to perform the work in His plans in any country and among any people He chooses. Almighty God says: “He led the Israelites and was born in Judea, and He is also born in a Gentile land. Is not all His work for the whole of the mankind that He created? Does He love Israelites a hundred fold and loathe Gentiles a thousand fold? Is that not your notion? … If you still maintain that God is the God of Israelites only, and still maintain that the house of David in Israel is the origin of God’s birth and that no nation other than Israel is qualified to ‘produce’ God, and even less is any Gentile family able to personally receive Jehovah’s work—if you still think this way, then does that not make you an obstinate holdout? … You also have never thought about how God could personally descend in a Gentile land. He ought to descend on Mount Sinai or the Mount of Olives and appear to Israelites. Are not Gentiles (that is, people outside of Israel) all objects of His loathing? How could He personally work among them? All these are the deep-rooted notions that you have developed over many years. The purpose of conquering you today is to smash these notions of yours. You thereby have seen God personally appearing among you—not on Mount Sinai or on the Mount of Olives, but among people whom He has never led in the past” (“The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “I left Judea and do My work among the Gentiles because I am not merely the God of the people of Israel, but the God of all creatures. I appear among the Gentiles during the last days because I am not only Jehovah, the God of the people of Israel, but, moreover, because I am the Creator of all My chosen ones among the Gentiles. I not only created Israel, Egypt, and Lebanon, but also created all the Gentile nations beyond Israel. And because of this, I am the Lord of all creatures” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through Almighty God’s words we can recognize that God is not just the God of the Israelites but also the God of all mankind. If God had descended again in Judea to do His work in the last days, then we would forever delimit God in our notions and think that He is the God of the Israelites and cannot possibly work in a Gentile country. Therefore, God became flesh to work in China so as to save all mankind from their notions and imaginings and to make all mankind realize that God is not just the God of the people of Israel but also the God of all mankind. God is not the personal property of any nation; God has the authority to perform His planned work in any country and among any people. Regardless of where God works, it is all for the sake of His work and also to better save all mankind. Do we still think that God can only descend in Judea and can’t descend in China? Can we still say God can’t possibly work in China?
We must know that all of God’s work is principled. God chooses the site of His work based on the needs of the work. The site of His work God chooses in each age is always representative and also most meaningful. That is to say, the chosen location and chosen object of each stage of His work are determined in accordance with the needs of the work. For instance, in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus chose to work in Judea. On the one hand, it was because among all mankind, only the Israelites worshiped God. Only they were God’s chosen people and only they were people who looked forward to the Messiah’s arrival. On the other hand, the Israelites were the only people Jehovah God had guided with His law. They knew that transgressing the law was to sin, and that if they violated the commandments they would be subject to God’s punishment. Therefore, they were the only ones who had hearts that revered God and feared God. Due to the constraints of the law, they were, among all humans, the least corrupted, and God’s redemptive work was the most meaningful when performed on them. Why is it that the work of redemption is the most meaningful only when performed on the least corrupted people? It’s because if even the least corrupted people need to be redeemed by God, then other more corrupted people would need to be redeemed by God even more. All God has to do is redeem the people of Israel, and it would be equivalent to redeeming all of mankind. Therefore, God’s choice to perform His redemptive work in Judea is representative and also most meaningful. It was determined completely in accordance with the requirements of God’s work and was not randomly decided.
We should now understand that God chooses the most representative site to work based on the requirements of the work so as to achieve the best results. Accordingly, where would performing God’s work of the last days be most representative and most meaningful? To understand this question, we must first understand what work God has to do in the last days. Brothers and sisters, in the last days, God has to do the work of conquering and judging all mankind, to thoroughly defeat Satan and take mankind to a glorious destination. So based on the requirements of the work, the object of God’s work of conquest in the last days must be the archetype of all of corrupt mankind. This is because if God just conquers the most corrupted people among mankind, it would be equivalent to conquering all of mankind. Therefore, God has to choose the most representative site to perform His conquest work in the last days. Only China best conforms with the conditions required by God’s work in the last days. This is because in the whole universe, only Chinese people are the most corrupted, the most backward, and their resistance to God is most serious. Chinese people have believed in God for the shortest period of time, and all they do is kowtow, burn incense, burn paper money and pray to Buddha, and worship idols. Chinese people don’t have human rights and are born lowly; their character is low, and they are evil and debauched, numb and dull-witted, vulgar and decadent. They are full of Satan’s disposition, making them the archetype of corrupt mankind. Chinese people’s thinking is unenlightened, while their living habits and social environment are very backward. China has the most people of any nation who worship idols and engage in sorcery, as well as having the most temples—it is practically a home for filthy spirits. Everybody also knows that China is the darkest, most atheist country, the one most unwilling to admit the existence of God. It is the lair of the great red dragon, full of the spilt blood of saints. Tens of thousands of western missionaries were martyred in China during the late Qing Dynasty. Countless missionaries have also suffered all kinds of humiliation and pain in modern China, being driven out of the country and having their churches sealed up, demolished or burned down. Especially in the decades of rule by the demonic, atheist Communist Party, countless Christians have been detained and killed by the Communist government, causing tens of thousands of families to be torn apart and destroyed. And while the government vigorously promotes atheism it also allows so-called religious freedom on the surface, but cruelly persecutes Christians in secret, planning to drive out and exterminate all believers of God. In the past, countless Christians were martyred in China for spreading the gospel. Today, there are still many brothers and sisters who have fallen in the clutches of the CCP government and are currently suffering from callous and inhumane devastation. This significant amount of facts is sufficient to prove that China is the world’s darkest, most corrupt and most God-resisting nation. Therefore, it is extremely meaningful for God to perform His conquest and judgment work in China. Performing His judgment work in China can best bring out God’s almightiness and wisdom and can best cause Satan to fail and be thoroughly humiliated. The testimonies gained by God working in China are the most resounding, and the glory gained by God working in China is also the greatest. If those corrupted most deeply by Satan are conquered by God, then it goes without saying that people in places across the rest of the universe who are less corrupted will also be conquered. Therefore, God chose China based on the needs of His conquest work. God choosing China as the first stop of His conquest work of the last days is representative and also the most meaningful. If God’s conquest work in China succeeds, it means God’s conquest work in the entire universe has also succeeded.
Almighty God says: “Once those in the darkest of all places have been conquered, it goes without saying that it will also be so everywhere else. As such, only the work of conquest in China carries meaningful symbolism. China embodies all forces of darkness, and the people of China represent all those who are of the flesh, of Satan, and of flesh and blood. It is the Chinese people who have been most corrupted by the great red dragon, who have the strongest opposition to God, whose humanity is most base and impure, and so they are the archetype of all corrupt humanity. … It is in the people of China that corruption, impurity, unrighteousness, opposition, and rebelliousness are manifested most completely and revealed in all their varied forms. On the one hand, they are of poor caliber, and on the other, their lives and mindset are backward, and their habits, social environment, family of birth—all are poor and the most backward. Their status, too, is low. The work in this place is symbolic, and after this test work has been carried out in its entirety, His subsequent work will go much better. If this step of work can be completed, then the subsequent work goes without saying. Once this step of work has been accomplished, great success will have been fully achieved, and the work of conquest throughout the entire universe will have come to a complete end. In fact, once the work among you has been successful, this will be equivalent to the success throughout the entire universe. This is the significance of why I have you act as a model and specimen. Rebelliousness, opposition, impurity, unrighteousness—all are found in these people, and in them is represented all the rebelliousness of mankind. They are really something. Thus, they are held up as the epitome of conquest, and once they have been conquered they will naturally become a specimen and model for others” (“The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words make us understand that the work of conquest God performs in China is a pilot project. Once the pilot work is comprehensively completed, His future work becomes much easier. If God’s work in China succeeds, it means that God’s work in the entire universe has also succeeded. Through this, we can see that God’s decision to perform His conquest and judgment work in China is so very meaningful.
If we want to seek the true appearance of God, we must put aside all of our notions. We cannot restrict God’s footsteps to a limited range, thinking that God could not possibly work in such a country or among such a race of people. We should put aside narrow national concepts and our “impossible” arguments, because God is the God of all creation and the God of all mankind. God’s choice of location for His work of the last days has meaning, and moreover His good intentions lie therein. As creatures, we should be rational and obey God’s work, and should not insert our own conceptions and views into God’s work for God’s reference. This is something God would absolutely not tolerate. Almighty God says: “Regardless of whether you are American, British, or any other nationality, you should step beyond your own confines, should surpass yourself, and should view the work of God as a creature of God. In this way, you shall not place constraints on the footprints of God. Because, today, many people conceive it to be impossible that God will appear in a certain country or nation. How profound is the significance of God’s work, and how important is the appearance of God! How can they be measured by the conception and thinking of man? And so I say, you should break through the conceptions of your nationality or ethnicity when you seek the appearance of God. In this way, you shall not be constrained by your own conceptions; in this way, you will be qualified to welcome the appearance of God. Otherwise, you shall always be in the darkness, and shall never gain the approval of God.
“God is the God of all mankind. He does not make Himself the private property of any country or nation, and does the work of His plan unconstrained by any form, country, or nation. Perhaps you have never imagined this form, or perhaps you deny its existence, or perhaps the country or nation in which God appears is discriminated against and the least developed on earth. Yet God has His wisdom. With His power and through His truth and disposition He has truly gained a group of people who are of one mind with Him. And He has gained a group of people that He wanted to make: a group conquered by Him, who endure agonizing trials and all manner of persecution and can follow Him to the very end. The objective of God’s appearance free from the constraints of any form or country is for Him to be able to complete the work of His plan. For example, when God became flesh in Judea, His aim was to complete the work of crucifixion to redeem all mankind. Yet the Jews believed that it was impossible for God to do this, and they thought it impossible that God could become flesh and assume the form of the Lord Jesus. Their ‘impossible’ became the basis by which they condemned and opposed God, and ultimately led to the destruction of Israel. Today, many people have committed a similar error. They wantonly proclaim the imminent appearance of God, yet also condemn His appearance; their ‘impossible’ once more confines the appearance of God within the limits of their imagination. … Put your conceptions to one side! Stop and carefully read these 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. The disposition of God remains the same regardless of where His footprints are. No matter where the footprints of God are, He is the God of all mankind. For example, the Lord Jesus is not only the God of Israelites, but is also the God of all people in Asia, Europe, and America, and even more the only God in the entire universe. So let us seek God’s will and discover His appearance from His utterances, and follow His footprints! God is the truth, the way, and the life. His words and His appearance exist concurrently, and His disposition and footprints shall always be accessible to mankind. Dear brothers and sisters, I hope that you can see the appearance of God in these words, and will begin to follow His footprints toward a new age, and into a beautiful new heaven and new earth prepared for those who await the appearance of God” (“The Appearance of God Has Brought a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
We should put aside our own imaginings and conceptions to seek the true appearance of God and welcome His arrival! Otherwise, we will always be in the darkness and never be able to gain God’s approval. Brothers and sisters, we should recognize that no matter where God works, God is still God. We cannot deny God’s essence or His arrival just because the location or method of His work changes. We should seek God’s intentions from His utterances to discover the appearance of God and follow His footsteps!
from Collection of the Sermons of the Kingdom Gospel
Someone might even say: “Then why is God appearing to you? Why does He not appear to us? Why is God appearing in China, why not appearing in some country in the West?” What is wrong with men’s thoughts like this? Does God have to ask for the opinions of man regarding where He should appear and perform work? Does He have to ask for the opinions of God’s elects from all nations, “Let us all cast a vote, and whichever place should have the most votes, I shall appear there to perform My work”? (No.) Why does He not? If He does, wouldn’t it be great? Let God also hear the voice of the masses, and have a democratic election. Is this appropriate? (No.) Why is this not appropriate? If man must have such demands, what mistakes has man made? Man is too irrational, man is too arrogant! You want to be the strategist of God? What you mean to say is that God must first consult your opinions regarding God’s work and where God should appear. Man, the created, saying such things, what disposition is this? Is this not arrogance and conceit? Man cannot say things that are too arrogant, for this is irrational, and he will not be blessed by God! Why was Abraham blessed by God? He said: “Oh God, I am nothing but dust!” It means: “I am nothing. I am a man, but in front of God, I am nothing but dust.” He humbled himself. He knew what the position of man was before God, he knew what man was, therefore he said such things before God, which showed that Abraham was a man who revered God. In the eyes of Abraham, God is supreme, God is noble, while we men are mere dust before God. We cannot even compare with ants. We are not entitled to put forth any conditions to God, to have any extravagant demands, or have any excessive desire for God. Therefore, God appeared to Abraham, God had demands of him, and God worked on him. Indeed, Abraham lived up to God’s expectations and God’s will. No matter what God’s demands were of him, he obeyed, thereby in the end he received the blessings from the Creator. What are we before God? How do we compare with Abraham? Do we dare compare ourselves with Abraham? Why don’t we dare? The entirety of mankind has been corrupted by Satan. Abraham should have also been one of them, yet we are unable to see much corruption in Abraham’s prayers and the ways that he dealt with things. Look at the things that he said, the things that he did. He was so rational, had so much humanity. We cannot compare with him! Abraham, if I were to compare with him, I would be too far behind, I can’t even begin to compare with him. I cannot compare. We can’t compare with Job either. We live in the last days, most deeply corrupted by Satan—there is no doubt about this. Therefore, before God, we men must be equipped with the necessary reason. In regard to God’s appearance and God’s work, we must only obey, we must only seek; we must not have any extravagant desire or any unreasonable expectations.
from Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (Series 132)
“Among all matters and all things, God’s righteous disposition, that is, God’s wrath and God’s mercy, can be revealed at any time and any place.” God’s righteous disposition is not only expressed on mankind, it is also revealed among all matters and all things. It is expressed at all times and in all places in His treatment of various ethnicities and races of men, not just in the treatment of God’s chosen people. The Gentiles are also included, as well as all animals and humans on every planet in the entire universe. God’s disposition can be seen by everyone, it is vivid and real. Perhaps there are some people who are particularly narrow-minded who always think: “God carries out His work here where we are, He is our God, He does not care about the Gentiles, He does not rule over other countries and other ethnicities, He does not guide them.” Are these words valid? (They are invalid.) Whenever some people see that people from other nations also bear witness to God, they get the notion that “He is our God, how could you bear witness to Him? God does not care about you!” This kind of thinking is that of unenlightened “women with bound feet.” Isn’t this how the Israelites of the past thought too? “Jehovah God is our God, the God of the Israelites, you do not have the right to pray in His name, He is not your God.” Is this statement true? (It is not.) God negates their notions, “I do not just carry out My work among you, I also turn to the Gentiles, for I am the God of the entire human race, I am the God of the entire universe, how could I only guide you?” So, God has appeared in China in the last days. Think about it, God’s Spirit has descended from heaven and has become flesh in China, to which some people say: “China is a poor nation, how could the true God appear there? We are a rich nation, we ought to have the appearance of the true God here. Since God descends to China and the Chinese believe in that God, then we as foreigners will not believe in Him.” Is this a valid statement to make? (It is invalid.) What problem does this illustrate? Man’s narrow-mindedness, prejudice, and childishness do not conform to the truth even a tiny bit. Other people see Chinese people bear witness to the appearance of the true God and they think, “If it were Americans who are bearing witness to the appearance of the true God, then I would believe it; if it were the Israelites who are bearing witness to the appearance of the true God, then again, I would believe it; but, if it is the Chinese who are bearing witness to the appearance of the true God, I will not believe it. That is impossible.” This is a fallacy. Do you think that the country that God appears in is based on your will? Are you in charge? Do you want to have control over God? Who do you think you are?
from “Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word ‘God Himself, the Unique II’ (XXII)” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (XII)