Like thousands upon thousands of followers of the Lord Jesus Christ, we also held on to the laws and commandments in the Bible, enjoyed the abundant grace from the Lord Jesus Christ, and had meetings, prayed, praised, and served in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, all of which were under the Lord’s care and keeping. We were often weak and often strong. We thought that we did everything according to the Lord’s teachings, and as a matter of course we thought that we had been walking on the path of doing the will of the heavenly Father. We expected the Lord Jesus’ coming again, expected the Lord Jesus’ glorious descent, expected the end of the life on earth, expected the appearing of the kingdom, and expected that everything would go as it was prophesied in Revelation: The Lord comes, bringing disasters, rewarding the good and punishing the evil, and rapturing all those who follow him and welcome his return to the air to meet with him. Whenever we thought of these, we could not but be overcome with emotion, being grateful that we were born in the end time and would have the fortune to see the Lord’s descent. Although we suffered persecutions, we would be repaid with “an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” What a blessing! All these expectations and the grace bestowed by the Lord caused us to watch and pray often and have meetings more often. Maybe next year, maybe tomorrow, or maybe at a nearer time people did not expect, the Lord would suddenly descend, appearing among a group of people who were waiting for him diligently. We vied with one another and no one wanted to be left behind, for the purpose that we could become the first group of people to see the Lord’s appearing and that we could become one of the raptured. For the coming of this day, we did not hesitate to spend our all. Some quit their jobs, some left their families, some gave up their marriages, and some even offered up all their savings. What a selfless consecration! Such sincerity and such faithfulness probably the saints in the past generations could not match! As the Lord will have compassion on whom he has compassion, and he will have mercy on whom he has mercy, we believed that such consecration and spending of ours had long been seen by the Lord. And our earnest prayer had reached the Lord’s ears. We believed that the Lord would repay our consecration. Furthermore, before the creation of the world God had graced us. The blessing and the promise God gave us could not be taken away by anyone. We all were planning for the future. We naturally took our consecration and spending as the counter and capital for being raptured to the air to meet with the Lord. Even more, we unhesitatingly put ourselves on the future throne, to rule over all nations and all peoples or to reign as kings, which was natural and right and was also something expected.
We looked down upon all those who were hostile to the Lord Jesus. They would all end up being destroyed. Wasn’t that all because they did not believe the Lord Jesus is the Savior? Of course sometimes we followed the Lord Jesus’ example and had mercy on the world. As they did not understand, we should tolerate and forgive them. We did everything according to what the Bible says, because anything that did not agree with the Bible was a heresy and a cult. Such a belief was deep-rooted in everyone’s heart. Our Lord was in the Bible, and not leaving the Bible meant not leaving the Lord. If we held to such a principle, we would be saved. We encouraged one another and sustained one another. In every meeting, we hoped that all that we did and spoke would be after the Lord’s heart and would be accepted by the Lord. Although the environment was very adverse, our hearts were full of joy. Thinking of the blessing that was within grasp, what could we not drop? What could we not bear to part with? All this was unspoken, and all this was searched by God’s eyes. Like all the other ordinary followers of the Lord Jesus, we, a handful of needy people lifted from the dunghill, dreamt a dream of being raptured, dreamt a dream of receiving blessings, and dreamt a dream of ruling over all nations. Our corruptions were thoroughly exposed to God’s eyes, and our desires and greed were condemned in God’s eyes. But all this happened so normally and so naturally that none of us doubted whether our expectations were right, much less did any one of us doubt the accuracy of all this we held on to. Who knew what God’s will was? As to what kind of way we were walking, we did not know to seek or to explore it, much less take an interest in it. This was because we only cared about whether we could be raptured, whether we could receive blessings, whether there was our place in the kingdom of heaven, and whether we had a share in the water of the river of life and in the fruit of the tree of life, and that was enough. Wasn’t our believing in the Lord and being his followers just for the purpose of obtaining these? Our sins had been forgiven, and we had repented; we had drunk the wine in the bitter cup and had borne the cross. Who could say that our price was not accepted by the Lord? Who could say that we had not prepared enough oil? We would not like to be the foolish virgins or be one of the abandoned. And even more we prayed often, asking the Lord to keep us from being deceived by false christs, because the Bible says: “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect—if that were possible” (Matthew 24: 2324). These verses in the Bible had been engraved in our heart, and we could recite them backward fluently. We took them as a priceless treasure, as life, and also as the proof as to whether we would be saved and raptured….
Over thousands of years, the living went, with their expectations and with their dreams; whether they had gone to the kingdom of heaven, no one really knew. The dead came again, forgetting the stories that had happened, and still followed the teachings and the paths of the forefathers. This had been so year after year and day after day. No one knew whether our Lord Jesus, our God, truly accepted all that we did. We were only expecting a result and were only guessing what was going to happen. However, God kept silent all the time, never appearing to us and never speaking to us. So we unscrupulously judged God’s will and God’s disposition according to the Bible and according to miraculous signs. We got used to God’s silence, got used to judging the right and wrong of our doings by our mindset, got used to replacing God’s requirements for us with our knowledge, notions, and ethics, got used to enjoying God’s grace, got used to God being an everpresent help to us, got used to stretching out our hand to demand from God in everything and ordering God about, got used to observing regulations without paying attention to how the Holy Spirit led, and even more got used to the days of ourselves being our own Lord. We believed in such a God whom we had never met. What his disposition is like, what he has and is, what his image is like, whether we could recognize him when he came, and so on, all these were unimportant. What was important was that we had him in our heart and we were all waiting for him. It was enough that we could imagine what he was like. We appreciated our belief, we treasured our spirituality, and we considered everything as dung and trod all things underfoot, because we were believers of the glorious Lord; even if there were thousands of mountains and waters, and difficulties and dangers, they could not hinder our footsteps of following the Lord. Whenever we sang “the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 22: 1-5), our heart overflowed with infinite joy and satisfaction, and our eyes shed tears. Thank the Lord’s choosing and thank the Lord’s graciousness, that we can receive a hundred times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life. If you let us die now, we will not have any complaint. Lord, come quickly! For the reason that we have been eagerly expecting you and that we have given up everything for your sake, do not delay one more minute or second.
God kept silent and never appeared to us, but his work had never stopped. He searched the whole earth and ruled over all things, watching man’s every word and deed, every act and move. He carried on his management in a planned and step-by-step way, quiet and not earthshaking. However, his footsteps approached mankind step by step, and with the suddenness of thunderbolt he spread out his judgment seat in the universe; along with it his throne came down among us. What a majestic scene that was! What a grand and solemn sight that was! The Spirit, like a dove and also like a roaring lion, came among us. He is wisdom; he is righteousness and majesty. With authority and laden with lovingkindness and mercy, he quietly descended among us. No one was aware of his coming, and no one welcomed his coming; much less did anyone know what he was going to do. Man lived his life as usual, a usual heart and usual days. God lived among us like an ordinary person, as the least of the followers, a common believer. He had his own pursuit, had his own goal, and even more had divinity that an ordinary man did not have. No one noticed the existence of his divinity, and no one perceived the difference between his substance and man’s. We lived with him, without any restraint or fear, because in our eyes he was only a small believer. Our every act and move was in his eyes, and our thoughts and ideas were thoroughly exposed before him. No one had an interest in his existence, and no one had any imagination about the function he performed; much less did anyone have any doubt about his identity. We just continued our pursuit, seeming to have nothing to do with him….By chance, the Holy Spirit expressed a piece of word “through” him. Although we felt it was very sudden, we believed that it was the utterance from God. We all readily accepted it as from God. For no matter who the person expressing the word was, as long as it was from the Holy Spirit, we should accept and could not reject it. The next utterance might be expressed through me, or through you, or through someone else. No matter who the person was, it was God’s graciousness. But no matter who the person was, we could not worship him. This was because he could in no way be God, and we would by no means choose such an ordinary person as our God. How lofty and how honorable our God is! Could he be replaced by a small person? Furthermore, we all were expecting God to come to rapture us back to the kingdom of heaven. Could such a small person be adequate to such an important and hard task? If the Lord came again, he would surely come on the white cloud, seen by all men. How glorious it would be! How could he quietly conceal himself among a group of ordinary people?
However, it was just this ordinary person hiding among men who was doing the new work of saving us. He did not explain anything to us or tell us his intention in coming, but just did the work he intended to do, according to his plan and steps. He uttered his voice and spoke words more and more frequently, from comfort, exhortation, warning, and admonition to rebuke and discipline, from a soft and amiable tone to severe and majestic wording, making us feel great mercy and also shake with fear. All his words hit the secrets hidden in the depth of our heart, and his words pierced our heart and pierced our spirit, causing us to have no place to hide ourselves and causing us to be terribly ashamed. We began to doubt whether the God in this person’s heart really loved us and what he actually wanted to do. Perhaps, we could be raptured only after undergoing these sufferings? We were contemplating in our heart … for the future destination and for the future destiny. Still, none of us believed that God had put on a flesh and been working among us. Although he had accompanied us for a long time and although he had spoken many words to us face to face, we were still not willing to accept such an ordinary person as our future God, much less willing to commit our future and destiny to the control of this small person. We enjoyed unfailing supply of living water from him, and through him we lived a life of being face to face with God. We only thanked the Lord Jesus in heaven for his graciousness, but never paid attention to the feelings of this ordinary person with divinity. He still humbly hid in the flesh, doing the work and expressing his heart’s voice, as if he did not feel mankind’s rejection of him, and as if he would forever forgive man’s immaturity and ignorance and forever tolerate man’s irreverent attitude toward him.
Unconsciously, we were led by this small person into one working step of God after another. We experienced countless trials and countless chastenings and also experienced the test of death. We came to know God’s righteous and majestic disposition, enjoyed God’s lovingkindness and mercy, tasted God’s great power and wisdom, saw God’s loveliness, and saw God’s eager intention to save man. In this ordinary person’s words, we knew God’s disposition and God’s substance, understood God’s will, knew man’s nature and substance, and saw the way to be saved and perfected. His word made us die and also made us resurrect; his word made us comforted and also made us feel terribly guilty and indebted; his word gave us joy and peace and also caused us extreme pain. Sometimes we were like a lamb in his hands, for him to slaughter as he wished; sometimes we were like the apple of his eye, enjoying his tender love; sometimes we were like his enemies, being burned into ashes in his eyes by his wrath. We were human beings saved by him, we were maggots in his eyes, and we were the lost sheep he thought day and night to find. He had mercy on us, he loathed us, he lifted us, he comforted and exhorted us, he guided us, he inspired us, and he chastened and disciplined us and even cursed us. He had been worrying about us day and night and caring for and keeping us day and night, never leaving our side. For our sake, he devoted all his painstaking care and paid all the price. In the words of this small and ordinary flesh, we enjoyed God’s everything and saw the destination God bestowed to us. Even so, our vanity still worked in our heart, and we still could not take the initiative to accept such a person as our God willingly. Although he brought us a lot of manna and a lot of enjoyable things, “the Lord’s place” in our heart could not be replaced by these things. We honored this person’s special status and special position very reluctantly. As long as he did not ask us to acknowledge him to be God, we would never initiatively acknowledge him to be the God who was to come but who had worked among us for a long time.
God continued his utterance, admonishing us in various ways and from many angles as to what we should do, and meanwhile expressing his heart’s voice. His word, with life power, gave us the way we should walk and also made us apprehend what is the truth. We began to be attracted by his word, and we began to pay attention to the tone and the way of his speaking and also began to subconsciously care about this inconspicuous person’s heart’s voice. He worked his heart out for us, he lost his sleep and appetite for us, he wept for us, he sighed for us, and he moaned in sickness for us. For the sake of our destination and for the sake of our salvation, he endured humiliations. Our numbness and our disobedience made his heart weep and bleed. What he is and has like this is that which an ordinary person does not have, and is that which no corrupt man possesses or can reach. He has the tolerance and patience a common person does not have, and his love no created being possesses. Except for him, no one could know what we thought, no one could know our nature and substance like the back of his hand, no one could judge mankind’s disobedience and corruption, and no one could speak to us and work on us like this on behalf of the God in heaven; except for him, no one possessed God’s authority, God’s wisdom, and God’s dignity, and God’s disposition and what God has and is were thoroughly expressed in him; except for him, no one could show us the way and bring us the light; except for him, no one could disclose the mysteries God had never made known from the creation of the world until today; except for him, no one could save us from satan’s bondage and from our corrupt disposition. He represented God; he expressed God’s heart’s voice, God’s charges, and God’s words of judgment to all mankind. He opened a new age and a new era, brought the new heaven and new earth and a new work, brought us hope, ended our life of living in vagueness, and made our whole person thoroughly see the way to be saved. He conquered our whole being and gained our heart. From that moment, our heart became conscious, and our spirit seemed to be revived: Who actually is this ordinary person, this small person, this person who lives among us and has been rejected by us for a long time? Isn’t he exactly the Lord Jesus whom we have been thinking of and expecting day and night? It is he! It is exactly he! He is our God! He is the truth, the way, and the life! He has made us regenerated, made us see the light, and made our heart no longer wander. We returned to God’s family, we returned before God’s throne, and we were face to face with God, seeing God’s countenance and seeing the way ahead. At that point, our heart had been completely conquered by him, and we no longer doubted his identity, no longer resisted his work and word, and prostrated our whole being before him. We only wished to follow God’s footsteps all our life and only wished to be perfected by him, repay his graciousness, repay his love for us, obey his manipulation and arrangement, cooperate with his work, and do all that we can to complete his commission.
The course of being conquered by God was like a martial art contest.
God’s word hit our vital spots in all respects, making us sad and afraid. He disclosed our notions, disclosed our imaginations, and disclosed our corrupt disposition. From our every word and deed, every act and move, to our every thought and idea, our nature and substance was exposed in his word, making us tremble with fear and too ashamed to show our face. Our conduct and actions, our intents and purposes, and even our corrupt dispositions that we ourselves had never discovered, he told us them all, causing us to feel torn to pieces and even more feel utterly convinced. He judged our resistance against him and chastised our blasphemy and condemnation against him, so that we felt that in his eyes we were good for nothing and we were living satans. Our hopes were shattered, we no longer dared to have any extravagant demand or intent on him, and even our dreams came to naught overnight. This was a fact that none of us had expected or could accept. For a time, our heart lost its balance, and we did not know how to continue the way ahead and did not know how to continue our “belief.” It seemed as if our belief returned to its original point, and as if we had never “met and known” the Lord Jesus. All this before our eyes made us bewildered and made us hesitate. We were disheartened, we were disappointed, and we had uncontrollable anger and humiliation deep in our heart. We tried to give vent to them and tried to look for another way out, and even more we tried to continue to wait for our Savior Jesus, to pour out our heart to him. Although sometimes we were neither humble nor haughty outwardly, we felt a sense of loss in our heart that we had never had; although sometimes we appeared to be quite calm outwardly, our heart was in great torment like a tempestuous sea. His judgment and chastisement took away all our dreams and all our hopes, which caused us to no longer have extravagant hopes or be willing to believe that he was our Savior and he could save us; his judgment and chastisement caused a deep gulf between us and him, which even none of us desired to cross; his judgment and chastisement caused us, for the first time in our life, to suffer such great frustration and humiliation; his judgment and chastisement caused us to truly feel God’s intolerance of man’s offense and God’s honor, and by contrast, we were so low and so filthy; his judgment and chastisement caused us, for the first time, to realize our arrogance and self-conceit, and realize that man can never be on an equal footing with God or be mentioned in the same breath with God; his judgment and chastisement caused us to desire to no longer live in such corrupt disposition, to break free from such nature and substance as soon as possible, and to no longer be loathed and detested by him; his judgment and chastisement caused us to willingly obey and listen to his word and no longer disobey his manipulation and arrangement; his judgment and chastisement once again gave us the desire to survive and made us willingly accept him as our Savior…. We came out of the conquering work, coming out of the hell and coming out of the valley of the shadow of death…. Almighty God has gained us, this group of people! He has overcome satan and defeated all his enemies!
We are such a group of ordinary people with the corrupt satanic disposition, are people predestined by God before the ages, and are needy ones lifted by God from the dunghill. We have ever rejected God and condemned God, but we have been conquered by God. We have received life and received the way of eternal life from God. Whether at the ends of the earth or whether in persecution and tribulation, we cannot leave the salvation of Almighty God. For he is our Creator and is our only redemption!
God’s love flows continuously like a spring, bestowed to you, to me, and to him, bestowed to all who genuinely seek the truth and wait for God’s appearing.
God’s work never ceases, like the sun and the moon alternating, done on you, on me, and on him, done on all who keep up with God’s footsteps and accept God’s judgment and chastisement.
Expressed on March 23, 2010