By Li Yinghua, South Korea
InvestigatingOpened My Eyes
A few days later Brother Zhongcheng invited me to the church and only then did I know that it was called The Church of. He read many of Almighty God’s words for me and showed me the church’s website, which has videos of recitations of Almighty God’s words, choral videos, all sorts of videos of singing and dancing, gospel films, crosstalks, short sketches, and testimonies of personal experiences written by brothers and sisters—all these works bear witness to God. It really opened my eyes. Brother Zhongcheng also said that branches of The Church of Almighty God are being established in many countries all over the world and that Almighty God’s words have been translated into more than 20 languages so that those who hunger for God’s appearance from all over the world can get onto their site to seek and investigate. Seeing all this content, I felt that without God’s guidance there’s no way they could have produced so many great works bearing witness to God. I became even more certain that this church does have the Holy Spirit’s work and I really gave thanks to the Lord for guiding me to meet brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God. Brother Zhongcheng then said to me happily, “Sister, the Lord Jesus has already returned. He is the incarnate Almighty God and has expressed all truths in the last days to purify and fully save mankind. He’s done the step of work of judgment beginning with the house of God, bringing the Age of Grace to a close and beginning the Age of Kingdom. His words have unveiled all mysteries of the truth, such as mysteries of His six-thousand-year management plan and His three stages of work, the inside story and the essence of the Bible, how God will completely save humanity from Satan’s grasp, people’s destination and outcome after being fully saved and perfected, the beauty of the kingdom, and so on. Only if we keep up with the footsteps of the Lamb and read God’s current utterances can our starved souls be fed and watered, and can we gradually grow in our lives.”
Hearing that the Lord has already returned left me stunned, and I asked excitedly, “Really? The Lord has really returned?” Brother Zhongcheng responded joyfully, “He has—the Lord has returned!” In that moment my joy was immense. Even in my dreams I had never imagined that I’d be able to welcome the Lord’s return in my lifetime; I resolved to carefully read Almighty God’s words and spend time looking at The Church of Almighty God’s website.
Watching a Film and Understanding the Root of Churches’ Desolation
I later watched a gospel film on their website called Dawn Light. It contained fellowship on the truth that really drew me in. Sister Song Huizhen in the film had this fellowship: “The religious world has lost the Holy Spirit’s work, and is desolate, and the biggest reason is that its leaders don’t follow the Lord’s word or obey the Lord’s commandments. They’ve strayed from the Lord’s way, and so have been eliminated and abandoned by the Lord. Just like in the Age of Law, when the Jewish leaders did not obey Jehovah’s law or have hearts that revered God. They abided by human traditions and discarded God’s commandments, and completely departed from God’s way, so the temple became a desolate nest of thieves. Today, the pastors and elders of the religious world only preach biblical knowledge and theological doctrines. They are obsessed with religious rituals, yet never lead others in the practice or experience of the Lord’s word, and they never obey the Lord’s words and commandments, instead only following the traditions and doctrines of man. They have entirely departed from the way of the Lord, so today God has rejected and cursed them. This is the main reason the religious world has lost the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s just as the Lord Jesus said, ‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold’ (Matthew 24:12). But it is also because God has new work. God’s work has shifted. The Lord Jesus has returned, and on the basis of the work of redemption, He also does the work of judgment starting with God’s house, ushers in the Age of Kingdom, and concludes the Age of Grace. The focus of the Holy Spirit’s work has shifted to God’s work of judgment in the last days. Those who accept God’s new work will be nourished with the water of life that flows from the throne, and will receive the Holy Spirit’s work. But those who stop in religion and refuse to accept the work of Almighty God will lose the work of the Holy Spirit, and be lost in darkness. It’s just like late in the Age of Law, when the Lord Jesus began the work of redemption outside the temple that ushered in the Age of Grace. God’s work had shifted, it was no longer in the temple, and so the temple became desolate.”
Seeing that helped me understand why the religious world has become more and more desolate; aside from failing to keep up with God’s new work, another primary reason is that the pastors and elders do not adhere to the way of the Lord. They don’t lead people to practice and experience the Lord’s words or share fellowship on His will, but instead constantly show off so that people will adulate and look up to them. They’re not bringing believers before God, but instead bringing them before themselves. This is entirely a departure from the Lord’s way and as a result, the Lord has cast them aside. I compared to the behavior of pastors and elders that I had encountered: I had seen that though they served the Lord they were not considerate of His will, but instead struggled for name and gain in the church, elevating and bearing witness to themselves. In gatherings they seldomly talked about the Lord’s words in the Bible, but instead just focused on theological doctrines or the experiences and understandings of spiritual personages. How could serving God that way gain the Lord’s approval? As I thought through this I felt that Sister Song’s fellowship in the movie was simply wonderful.
God’s Will Is Within the Desolation of the Churches
As I continued watching, I saw Sister Song read a few passages of God’s words. “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 is suffering 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 [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).). “All of God’s work in the entire universe has focused on this group of people. He has devoted all His efforts to you and sacrificed all for you; He has reclaimed and given to you all the work of the Spirit throughout the universe. That is why I say, you are the fortunate. Moreover, He has shifted His glory from Israel, His chosen people, to you, in order to make the purpose of His plan fully manifest through you group of people. Therefore, you are those who will receive the inheritance of God, and even more the heirs of God’s glory” (“Is the Work of God So Simple as Man Imagines?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “I regard the universe in its entirety and see that
Sister Wang Yun, another character in the film, went on to share this fellowship: “God has made the religious world desolate, which actually is part of God’s plan, and demonstrates God’s wisdom and almightiness. The hunger in religion makes those who truly believe in God and love the truth leave religion, seek the footsteps of God’s work, seek the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches, and seek the appearance of God’s work. That way, all those who hear the voice of God and accept and obey Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days are the wise virgins, and will be raised up before God’s throne. These people will eat at the feast of the Lamb, and will be nourished with the water of life that flows from the throne. Their original confidence and love will return. All will learn to ponder over God’s word, practice God’s word, and experience God’s word, become those who understand truth, and gain entry into reality. When people understand truth and truly know God, they can revere and obey God, and thereby obtain new life from God! It’s just as God says: ‘All of God’s work in the entire universe has focused on this group of people.’ God wants to bring all those who truly believe in God and love the truth before Him and make them those after God’s heart, those who He truly gains, while those religious organizations and people who don’t accept Almighty God’s work will lose the work of the Holy Spirit. They will all be rejected and eliminated by God, and finally destroyed, without question! That way, from the church, all the wheat is separated from the tares, the good servants from the evil, and the true believers from the false. This is God’s wisdom and almightiness!”
Hearing Almighty God’s words and the sisters’ fellowship brightened my heart. I realized that God is using the desolation of the religious world to push those who truly believe in God and long for His appearance out of religious venues to seek God’s new work, while also exposing those who do not hear God’s voice and refuse to investigate His work of the last days. This fulfills the prophecies that in the last days, the Lord Jesus will do the work of separating the sheep from the goats, the wheat from the tares, and the wise virgins from the foolish virgins. God really is so wise and so practical! I give thanks that God didn’t abandon me, but led me to come before Him and hear His voice, allowing me to gain the watering and sustenance of God’s living waters. I am truly so blessed! I couldn’t hold back my thanks and praises offered up to God.
With the Sustenance of the Living Waters My Soul Is No Longer Thirsty
With The Church of Almighty God, we read Almighty God’s words in every gathering. Through fellowship from brothers and sisters I’ve started to understand many aspects of the truth such as the purpose and significance of God’s three stages of work, how God judges and cleanses people in the last days, and how He determines people’s outcomes. Through Almighty God’s authoritative words I genuinely experienced that God really and truly has come among us and opened up His last stage of the work of salvation. I verified within my heart that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. With the watering and sustenance of God’s words I came to understand truths I hadn’t understood over many years of believing in the Lord, and now when I encounter issues I have a path of practice. My soul is no longer thirsty. I have truly experienced that only God’s words are spiritual bread for our lives, and only they can provide us with the truth and point us onto the path. Just as Almighty God’s words say, “The way of life is not something that can be possessed by just anyone, nor is it easily obtainable by all. That is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, there is no way of life without God Himself, 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). I give thanks to God for bringing me into His house, allowing me to gain the watering and sustenance of His words, and to savor the peace and joy of having God with me!
a. The original text does not contain the phrase “see that.”