Tag Archives: Gospel

What a Winding Path I Had Walked!

As a child of a cadre, I was raised carefully by my parents and familylived a comfortable life. My mother told me that when I was very young, a fortune teller said that I would be blessed in the future according to my auspicious time of birth. So I believed in fate and also believed that there was an Old Man in the Sky. When I grew up, one time a classmate said to me, “There is a fortune teller here. What he says is fairly accurate. We may as well go there and do fortune telling.” So, we went to have our fortunes told. I’d like to know the profession of my future husband, whether my marriage would be happy, and what my future life would be like. Nonetheless, the fortune teller did not tell me the profession of my future husband. Instead, he told me that it would be better for me to marry a man two or four years older than me, that I would have a beautiful marriage in the future, and that there would not be much hardship ahead of me, which offered me reassurance and filled my heart with great pleasure. In the twinkling of an eye, I reached the marriage age. Instead of pairing off with a man two or four years older than me, I married one five years older.

After marriage, my husband and I lived a happy life, and his business thrived, making him the richest man among the locals. I thought: That fortune teller is really accurate. Though I did not marry someone two or four years apart in age, my marriage is pretty satisfying. Carried away by this happiness, I believed that I would grow old with my husband and live in bliss for the rest of my life. Just when I was immersed in happiness, however, something unfortunate came upon me. My husband had an affair due to constant business travel and actually asked for a divorce, which led to the collapse of my sweet family. Faced with the lavishly decorated house daily, I felt a void in my heart, and waves of desolation swept over me. I was afflicted with depression and pain, but could not find a person to pour out my heart. I longed deep down to meet a Savior to deliver me from the abyss of misery. Continue reading

These Words Are So Precious!

Recollection of the Past

Wake up, brothers! Wake up, sisters! My day will not delay. Time is life. Seizing time is rescuing life! The time will not be far distant! If you fail the college entrance examination, you can retake courses again and again. But My day will not delay. Remember! Remember! This is My good admonition. The end of the world has been revealed before your eyes. The great disasters will come soon. Is your life important or your sleep and your eating, drinking, and clothing important? It is the time to think it over! No more doubt. You dare not be serious!

… I am your Savior! I am your Almighty! Watch, watch! Time once missed will never return. Remember! Never is there medicine to cure regret in the world! What should I say to you? Are My words not worthy for you to ponder carefully again and again?” (“The Thirtieth Utterance” of Christ’s Initial Expressions and Testimonies in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Whenever I read these God’s words, a feeling of gratefulness for God will emerge inside me. In retrospect, when my aunt came to preach the kingdom gospel of Almighty God to me, I thought that belief in God was old people’s business while young people needed to bear and raise children, make money to support their family and thus didn’t have time to believe in God. So, I rejected the salvation of God many times. I had held such a view until one year later. At that moment, I got ill and was hospitalized. Then I delivered my baby before his due date and his life was at stake. In despair, I cried out to God. God cared for and protected my baby, and saved his life. God’s love brought me before Him, allowing me to know that there is no age limit for belief in God, that it is heaven’s law and earth’s principle to believe in God and worship God, and that as a created being, one should worship the Creator. From God’s words, I even more see that only God is responsible for man’s life, and that God’s words are precious, are the truth, and point out the right way and direction of human life for man. Continue reading

Feeling Sweetness for Standing Witness

I was a believer of the Head Covering Church. One day in 2008, Sister Li in my church paid a call on me. She sang a hymn “Follow Closely,” “… The kingdom exercise is led by God; all His people are joyful in heart. …” I felt so good about this song, for it was the most pleasant song I had ever heard. She said to me, “Sister, the Lord Jesus who we have long yearned for has come back and become flesh descending in China to do His work in a hidden way. This fulfills the very prophecies in the Bible, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6) and ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame’ (Revelation 16:15) and the Lord God said, ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty’ (Revelation 1:8). Sister, we know the Lord Jesus prophesied He would descend in secret to save us. Now the prophecies are totally fulfilled. Today, Almighty God is the coming of the Lord Jesus. He has expressed all the truth of judging and purifying man.” Sister Li also read several pieces of God’s words to me, “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’,” “The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation,” and “Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life.” I felt that these words are extraordinary, possessing power and authority. I expressed my willingness to seek and investigate carefully. Later, Sister Li often came to my home and read God’s words to me. After a period of seeking and investigation, I was fully convinced that all that Almighty God proclaims is the truth and God’s utterance. Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. So I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days happily. Continue reading

The Love of God’s Salvation for Mankind

There is a feeling of guilt that wells up in my heart every time I see these words of God: “The biggest problem with man is that he thinks of nothing but his fate and prospects, that he idolizes them. Man pursues God for the sake of his fate and prospects; he does not worship God because of his love for Him. And so, in the conquest of man, man’s selfishness, greed and the things that most obstruct his worship of God must all be eliminated. In doing so, the effects of man’s conquest will be achieved. As a result, in the earliest conquest of man it is necessary to first purge the wild ambitions and most grievous weaknesses of man, and, through this, to reveal man’s love of God, and change his knowledge of human life, his view of God, and the meaning of his existence. In this way, man’s love of God is cleansed, which is to say, man’s heart is conquered” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It has only been through time and time again of God’s judgment and chastisement that I have finally come to my senses and recognized that what God requires is mankind’s single-minded, pure love, and that it is right and proper for all creations to seek to love God and fulfill their duty. I also recognized that when people are no longer constrained by their future destiny and are able to live for God, the work of conquest on them will bear fruit. However, when I was working as a leader, I wasn’t putting my effort into pursuing the truth; I was always ruled by thoughts of my future destiny. Because of this, I would often undergo refinement to the point that I became negative, and this was not only a loss within my own life, but it also damaged my work in the house of God. However, God didn’t deal with me based on my transgressions. He gave me many opportunities to repent. There was the judgment and chastisement as well as the bitter refinements from God’s words, the sustenance, comfort, support, and shepherding from His words, the Holy Spirit leading me, enlightening me, and illuminating the path for me time and time again—only through these things was I able to step by step break free from Satan’s snare, not lose my way, and embark on the proper path in life. When I reflect on God’s salvation of me, the past is very vivid.

I was born in the countryside. I had three sisters, and because my father townwas subject to the traditional idea of perpetuating the family line, he preferred to be fined for having more children than the law allowed rather than not have a son. Because the issue of preferring boys over girls is very serious in the countryside, any household that doesn’t have a son is considered to have their family line cut off. This was the thing that saddened my father the most, and my parents argued about it frequently. There were threats of divorce several times and my father was often breaking things. I was always hoping for the day that my parents wouldn’t fight anymore. I remember one time when my cousin yelled at me “Your family line is broken!” because of some petty issue. I didn’t say anything when I heard those heart-rending words. From that time on, Satan’s poisons of “who says girls aren’t as good as boys,” “family prestige,” and “getting ahead” gained a deep hold in the depths of my soul. I developed a secret ambition: I’m the eldest daughter in the family, and I’ll strive to gain recognition for my parents. One day I’ll show that even though my parents don’t have a son, having a daughter is even better. Continue reading

Listen! Who Is Speaking?

Being a preacher of the Three Grades of Servants Church, I felt quite helpless when seeing that fewer and fewer brothers and sisters came to the meetings. I had prayed to the Lord countless times, asking Him to strengthen the faith of the brothers and sisters, but the desolation of our church didn’t change at all, and even I myself was mired in weakness. … One day, when I was doing the housework, two coworkers of our church, Brother Wang and Brother Lin, came. Seeing them, I was happy and let them into the room. After an exchange of greetings, Brother Wang said, “Sister Zhou, how is your spiritual condition?” I gave a sigh and said, “Don’t mention it. I’m weak and have nothing to preach in the meetings. The brothers and sisters are also passive and weak, and there are only a few left in the church.” At this, they looked at each other, and Brother Lin said, “Sister Zhou, do you know why we are no longer able to preach, and why there are only a few believers left in the church?” Hearing that, I thought, “This is just what I want to know. Do they know the reason?” So I asked quickly, “Why?” Brother Wang said, “Because the Lord has come back and become flesh for the second time to speak and carry out new work. Many brothers and sisters have accepted the work of God in the Age of Kingdom and lived in the stream of the present work of the Holy Spirit, and their condition is growing better. We also should hurry up and follow God’s footsteps!” His words reminded me of what the senior coworkers had said, “If anyone preaches that God has carried out new work and expressed new words, that is departure from the Bible. Departure from the Bible is not belief in God, but is deviation from the Lord’s way, and is apostasy.” As I thought of that, I said gravely, “Haven’t the senior coworkers often taught us that departure from the Bible is not the belief in God? You should have remembered it. Departure from the Bible is departure from the Lord’s way. You are so bold to preach that to me.” As I spoke, I got up. At the time, Brother Lin said, “Take it easy, Sister Zhou. We know you are a true believer of God and pursue hard, so we preach God’s new work to you. You should examine it carefully, and not miss this opportunity! …” I raised my hand before he finished his speaking, and said, “Stop! Stop! Don’t talk about it anymore. Apart from the Bible, I believe in nothing. You gave up the Lord’s way, but I will hold it fast.” Seeing me obstinately refuse to listen, they had to leave. After that, they came a few times, but I gave them the cold shoulder.

One day, Brother Wang and Brother Lin came with two sisters. At that time, I was in the room picking over beans, and my husband was working outside the house. He let them into the room. At the sight of them, my heart skipped a beat, “You came again and also brought along two helpers.” They entered the room and greeted me. Then they began to fellowship with my husband. I was dreadfully worried, thinking, “What they preach departs from the Bible. I must keep watch over my husband lest he be tempted by them.” I wanted to drive them away, but I was afraid that my husband would get annoyed, so I had to keep silent. I didn’t take in anything they preached, while he kept nodding his head, saying, “Yes, it’s right. That’s it. That’s it. It sounds reasonable. What you are saying is great!” Seeing him so attracted by their preaching, I got furious and said sarcastically with my finger pointing at him, “Is it really right? How much have you read the Bible? How many days have you believed in God? Did you rely on God? You said ‘right, right, right;’ how much have you understood?” My rude words and manner brought the room into complete silence. They looked at one another, and my husband said to me at once, “Knock it off! Let’s listen first. It is good for us. How could you know whether it is right or not without hearing it?” Knowing that I couldn’t stop him, I moved the beans back and forth angrily to make noises, thinking in a fit of pique, “Want to listen! I won’t let you hear anything. I must disturb you!” However, my act didn’t disturb my husband from hearing their fellowship at all, and instead, he talked with them happily while listening. After some time, my husband said to me joyfully, “Xiaoli, God has truly come back! The words in this book are personally spoken by God. They are so wonderful! Xiaoli, go and prepare the dinner.” I cast him an angry look and said, “You cook if you like. I have no time.” Later, my husband and Brother Lin cooked the dinner. After the meal, they gave him a book, some tapes, and a hymn book, and then left. I couldn’t bear it anymore and said to my husband, “The senior coworkers said many times that believers in God can’t depart from the Bible. Departure from the Bible is not the belief in God. Have you forgotten it? You have no stand at all!” But my husband said calmly, “What they preached doesn’t depart from the Bible but goes higher on the basis of the Bible. And moreover, God’s new work they preached has fulfilled the words in the Bible. As you see, there are only a few people left in our church. You also need to investigate it quickly.” Hearing his words, I responded crossly, “What do you know? Departure from the Bible means betraying God. You don’t hold on to the Bible, but I will keep to it.”

the-word-appears-in-the-flesh

From then on, every day my husband would read the book given by Brother Lin whenever he had time. One early morning, at about three o’clock, my husband got up and began to read the book. I, half awake, heard him reading: “… could it be that you have forgotten…? Have you really forgotten…?” (“How Peter Came to Know Jesus” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I was annoyed at his reading aloud, thinking, “You got up so early and have disturbed my sleep!” After a little while, I dimly heard: “… because before Jesus was crucified He had said to him: ‘I am not of this world, and you too are not of this world” (“How Peter Came to Know Jesus” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “It’s so strange that this book mentions the Lord Jesus! Did I mishear? I thought. Then I clearly heard: “… have you forgotten? … have you forgotten?” (“How Peter Came to Know Jesus” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). At that moment, my heart was moved, and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I said to myself, “Who has said that? O God, is it You who is speaking to me? These words seem to be said to me by You. How gentle they are!” And then I thought, “I must get up quickly to cook the meal, and after breakfast I will read that book and see what it says about and whether it departs from the Bible.”

Having finished the breakfast, my husband went to read the book. I thought, “Why didn’t he ask me to read it together with him?” I stood at the door for quite a while, but he immersed himself in the book and didn’t notice me at all. I walked in the kitchen back and forth restlessly, anxious to see what was written in the book. I looked into the room, and he was still absorbed in reading the book. I really wanted to go into the room and read that book with him. But I thought to myself, “I have refused the gospel preached by the brothers and sisters many times. If I ask him to let me read the book, would he rebuke me? If so, how embarrassed I would be!” At the thought of that, I pulled my head backward. I paced up and down in the outer room slowly, and when I remembered the words my husband read in the early morning, I grew more anxious, thinking, “I must go in to see what this book talks about.” So I walked to the door, but retreated again. Like a cat on hot bricks, I didn’t know what to do. At last, I steeled myself and thought, “Well, if he rebukes me, let him do it. I shouldn’t have rejected the gospel so stubbornly and have turned a deaf ear to his advice.” I got up the courage and walked into the room, and said embarrassedly, “Let’s read together!” He raised his head, showing a surprised look, and said joyfully, “OK! Come! Let’s read it together.” I was much moved, as he didn’t rebuke me as I had expected. My uneasiness now vanished. I was so happy and began to read the book with my husband. But what we read were not the words I overheard in the early morning. Just then my husband went out, and I hurriedly turned the pages back. I found the very words I wanted! I read these words aloud with joy:the-lord-jesus-appears-to-peter-when-he-is-in-agony_Peter was greatly encouraged by Jesus’ words, because before Jesus was crucified He had said to him: ‘I am not of this world, and you too are not of this world.’ Later, when Peter reached a point of great pain, Jesus reminded him: ‘Peter, have you forgotten? I am not of the world, and it was only for My work that I departed earlier. You too are not of the world, have you forgotten? I have told you twice, do you not remember?’ Peter heard Him and said: ‘I have not forgotten!’ Jesus then said: ‘You once spent a happy time gathered with Me in heaven and a period of time by My side. You miss Me, and I miss you. Although the creatures are not worth mentioning in My eyes, how can I not love one who is innocent and lovable? Have you forgotten My promise? You must accept My commission on earth; you must fulfill the task that I entrusted you with. One day I will certainly lead you to be by My side’” (“How Peter Came to Know Jesus” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I read these words over and over again. The more I read, the more I felt these words didn’t deviate from the Bible. I wondered why the senior leaders said the message was departure from the Bible that God has come back and done new work and spoken new words, and why they said that departure from the Bible meant departure from the Lord’s way. I prayed in my heart, “O God, what is all this about? May You enlighten me and guide me, so that I can understand Your will.”

Afterward, I read these words of Almighty God: “For many years, people’s traditional means of belief (that of Christianity, one of the world’s three major religions) has been to read the Bible; departure from the Bible is not the belief in the Lord, departure from the Bible is an evil cult, and heresy, and even when people read other books, the foundation of these books must be the explanation of the Bible. Which is to say, if you say you believe in the Lord, then you must read the Bible, you must eat and drink the Bible, and outside the Bible you must not worship any book that does not involve the Bible. If you do, then you are betraying God. From the time when there was the Bible, people’s belief in the Lord has been the belief in the Bible. Instead of saying people believe in the Lord, it is better to say they believe in the Bible; rather than saying they have begun reading the Bible, it is better to say they have begun believing in the Bible; and rather than saying they have returned before the Lord, it would be better to say they have returned before the Bible. In this way, people worship the Bible as if it were God, as if it were their lifeblood and losing it would be the same as losing their life. People see the Bible as being as high as God, and there are even those who see it as higher than God” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words touched my heart. “Am I not like what God’s words say? Looking back, I have been holding to the Bible like this since I began to believe in the Lord. I see the Bible as my lifeblood. Every time after I read it, I would put it on a high place so that my children couldn’t touch it. I consider it above everything else, and even think that departure from the Bible means betraying the Lord. But, is it wrong?” I read on with a seeking heart, from “Concerning the Bible (1)” to “Concerning the Bible (4).” The more I read, the more I became enlightened. Almighty God’s words made me completely understand this: Actually, the Bible is nothing more than a historical record of God’s work, a testament of the previous two stages of God’s work. The Old Testament records Jehovah’s work from the time of creation until the end of the Age of Law, and the New Testament records the Lord Jesus’ work in the Age of Grace. God’s work is always new and never old, and is ceaselessly progressing onward. Today God has done a new stage of work outside the Bible—the work of the Age of Kingdom, which is the last stage of work of God’s salvation for man. These three stages of work are done by one God. Then I thought, “That’s right! God is so almighty, so wise; it is impossible for Him to have just done the limited work recorded in the Bible. Besides, I have personally seen from Almighty God’s word that God’s word and work in the last days do not deny the Bible but go higher and deeper on the basis of the work of the Age of Law and the Age of Grace recorded in the Bible, and are in line with man’s actual needs all the more.” God’s word says: “You need to understand why you can no longer read the Bible, why there is another work outside the Bible, and why God has begun another, greater work outside the Bible, rather than seeking a newer, more detailed practice within its pages—you must understand all of these things. You need to understand how the old and the new work differ. Though you don’t read the Bible, you have to be able to analyze it. Otherwise you will still worship the Bible, and thus you can hardly enter into the new work and achieve change. Now that there is a higher way, why study the obsolete and lower way? Now that there is new word, new work, why live in the old history record? The new word can supply you; it shows that this is new work. The old records cannot sate you, cannot satisfy your present desires; it proves that they are history, not today’s work. The highest way is the newest work. And when there is new work, the old way, no matter how high, becomes history to be recalled by men. No matter how valuable it is as a reference, it is still an old way. The old way is history, even if recorded in the holy book. The new way is reality, even if it is not mentioned on a single page of the holy book. This way can save you and transform you, for it is the work of the Holy Spirit” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading these words, I suddenly came to understand why I grew increasingly passive in spirit although I held to the Bible all the time and why the brothers and sisters became ever weak and even stopped attending the meetings although they didn’t depart from the Bible under my leading; why those brothers and sisters who accepted the kingdom gospel of Almighty God were, however, full of faith, and no matter how I treated them, they were not disheartened but kept coming to preach the gospel to me again and again. The reason was this: I have held to the old way and have long lost the work of the Holy Spirit; whereas the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God are guided by the new way and watered by God’s new words, thereby gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. This is how the new way and the old way differ.

At that time, I had a mixed feeling of happiness and sadness. I was happy because although I was so disobedient and resistant to Him, God not only didn’t abandon me but also allowed me to hear His voice through a special way—letting my husband read His words to me. That was really God’s love for me. And I was sad because every time the brothers and sisters came from afar to preach the gospel to me, I ignored them, and I even spoke cold words when they fellowshiped with my husband. Thinking of this, I felt remorseful and couldn’t help shedding tears. I knelt down and prayed to God, “O Almighty God, I know I am wrong. I’m willing to give up the Bible, keep up with Your new work, and listen to Your words in the new age. I won’t oppose You and ruin my life because of clinging to my notions and imaginations. O God, I’m resolved to cooperate with You and bring those true believers in You to Your house, so as to make up for my indebtedness to You. Thank God! May all the glory be to Almighty God!”

Source: https://www.findshepherd.com/listen-who-is-speaking.html

Deliverance From the Desperate Straits

In the early 1980s, I was in my 30s and worked in a construction company. As I was young, strong, and honest and had a perfect mastery of building technology, I believed that I would surely be able to accomplish something in the company and live a life better than others’ as long as I was conscientious in my work. I worked in this company for several years, but I was puzzled that although my behavior was faultless and my technical level was unquestionable, my efforts were not approved, for my grade on the pay scale had always been Grade III, which was far from Grade VI, the top of the pay scale of the company for the staff. Seeing my junior workmates inferior to me in technical level were all promoted on the pay scale, I felt so confused. Later, a workmate who was on good terms with me gave me advice with a smile, “The most important thing for you to do in this company is to have a close relationship with the manager. At least you should show regard for him at every festival and at New Year.” When I knew this, I felt very annoyed, for I disliked those bootlickers and detested those who didn’t labor but could be promoted on the pay scale by fair means or foul. But in order to establish myself in the company, I had to adapt to this hidden rule. At New Year, I showed my “regard” for the manager of our company, and he immediately promoted me to foreman.

After I became a foreman, I took the responsibility of the job more seriously. I exercised a close supervision over and gave strict instruction in the building of the projects and the construction quality, send-giftand cared for the safety of the team members all the time. My behavior and technical instruction won the approval of all the team members. So I thought that the company would approve of me and put me in an important position because of my endeavors. However, the reality countered my conception, for the reappointment of a person as foreman in the company was determined by the value of the gift that he sent to the manager. So, as I had experienced such a rule of survival last time, I complied with it again in order to continue to survive in the company. I gained a profound understanding of the real meaning of the phase “survival of the fittest in natural selection.” Continue reading

Seek and You Shall Find

I was born into an ordinary peasant family. I believed in the Lord Jesus because of illness at the age of 49. prayAs I read in the Bible that the Lord could make the dumb speak and the paralytic walk, I often prayed to Him and asked Him to heal my illness. Unknowingly, my heart disease was healed, and I was getting stronger by the day. I thought, “So many people have spent a lot of money on their heart disease but to no avail. Mine is healed thanks to the power of the Lord. I must follow Him firmly.” At that time, I had a great faith. Unable to afford the carfares, I, together with several sisters, got up early and walked to attend meetings, and I was never absent regardless of wind or rain. When I had time, I also went out to preach the gospel to repay the Lord’s love for me.

Several years passed in a flash. Then, gradually I found that every time we came to the meetings, Brother Shi, the preacher, always gave us messages on Genesis. He preached repeatedly on what God made on the first day, on the second day … on the sixth day. In the afternoon, the elder would teach us to recite the Bible verses. He also asked us to recite some verses at home. He said that only by doing so could we remember the words of the Lord and have eternal life. After returning home, I recited the verses every day. Sometimes for fear of failing to recite them in the meetings, I even wrote them on my hands to have a look at them at times of forgetting. However, I still failed to recite them when the elder asked me to do so in the meetings. The other brothers and sisters were the same with me. As time went on, we believers began to feel bored and said it was useless and very tiring to recite the Bible verses. Everyone complained. Once, in a meeting, Brother Shi, the preacher, walked onto the pulpit, and he started to preach on Genesis again. My heart sank at what he preached, and I thought, “Why can’t he preach something new? Every time I gain nothing after a whole day of meeting. I have left a pile of work undone at home and sometimes cannot cook in time for my husband. All I wish is to understand and gain something here, but I don’t gain anything.” As I thought of this, I really couldn’t bear it anymore. So I nerved myself to walk up to the pulpit and asked Brother Shi if he could preach something deeper. He said with his head down, “Auntie, to be honest, I can preach nothing more than this; otherwise, would I not have given a deeper preaching?” I felt so bad to hear his words, but I could do nothing other than go back to my seat. Thus, the meeting attendance gradually dropped off. Whenever I looked at the empty gathering place, I felt so awful. I came before the Lord and prayed tearfully, “O Lord! Why is the church like this now? Why have we completely lost our former enthusiasm? I don’t know where the brothers and sisters have gone. Besides, the preacher is unable to deliver good sermons. Have You forsaken us? O Lord! Where are You? Please guide me!” After the prayer, I suddenly remembered the hymn “Many Crowd the Savior’s Kingdom.” I thought, “Have those brothers and sisters who are absent from the meetings all entered the kingdom?” This thought made me somewhat anxious. So I began to ask where those brothers and sisters had gone, but nobody could give me the answer. Continue reading