By Titus Chu Keen Pong, Malaysia
God’s Wonderful Orchestration and Leadership
My Chinese isn’t very good, but I know there is a Chinese idiom “Misfortune may be an actual blessing.” It means that on the surface something looks like a bad thing but in fact it’s a good thing.
In early 2017, I lost my mobile phone and had to buy a new one. It seemed like a bad thing, but I never expected that it was the new phone that brought a favorable turn to my life.
I had believed in the Lord for ten more years and ever served the Lord in the church for two years. Afterward, I left the church and went out to make money. I had been to many places, including Singapore. Eventually, I earned much money and fully tasted the life of revelry. But in this real society where the law of the jungle prevails, I always guarded against others, so did they. Ah! Because of this, I couldn’t find a feeling of ease at the bottom of my heart but felt exhausted in this kind of life. Only the notebook with me could give me some reassurances because in it there were some extracts from the Bible. Sometimes I would also read the Bible to fill the emptiness of my heart. Although I hadn’t gone to the church to attend gatherings in years, I had had a thought in my heart since last year that I wanted to find a church to serve the Lord well. Subsequently, I employed my spare time in visiting a lot of churches in Malaysia, but I always went gladly and returned disappointedly. I always felt there was something missing in my heart but I couldn’t clearly describe what it was. In this contradiction, I moved into another extremism — playing games and watching movies on the Internet. Sometimes I even played games online all night, or watched movies one after another, so that my sleep was very abnormal. In the beginning when I did these things, I could have a little consciousness that the Lord disliked me doing like this, but gradually, I was becoming hardened to them …
Right at this time, I lost my mobile phone. Originally I complained very much in my heart, because a lot of information on my mobile phone was missing and I had to find them back and log in my Facebook once again. … Alas!
One day at the end of February, after logging on to my Facebook, I unconsciously clicked through an English Facebook and saw one post. Besides some scriptures, on it there were some other words out of the Bible, which greatly excited me and attracted my heart. On the following days, I kept noticing this Facebook and after spending some time looking up some words, I finally finished reading the words on that post which interested me. It was only after reading them that I came to know that they mainly interpreted one of the Lord Jesus’ words in the Bible: “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mat 7:21). After reading these interpretations, I felt they were quite special and also could give me enlightenment and light. However, because I didn’t add the poster as my friend, I couldn’t read more even though I wanted. Through the timeline I learned this Facebook friend is a sister. Her name is Susan and she comes from South Korea. Thereupon, I sent a friend request to her, but maybe she was not on line at that time, so she didn’t add me immediately. After two days, I successfully added another Chinese Facebook friend, whose name is Qi Fei. She is a Christian and comes from South Korea too. Through hearing her talk about some experiences of believing in the Lord, I felt she talked very well. And I didn’t expect that Susan is Qi Fei’s good friend, so Susan and I added each other as good friends at that time. By reading their posts and chatting with them sometimes, I felt they understood a lot the things about believing in God.
Thinking back, when I didn’t lose my mobile phone, I often played games and watched movies in my spare time. During this period, through chatting with them about the Bible or something in my daily life, I felt the way they helped me solve my troubles was very special, and that what they said was quite reasonable and insightful. Through the experience of my life, I could see that they are different from others because when getting along with them I felt relaxed in my heart and most importantly, I didn’t need to guard against them and could treat them as my intimate friends who I could open my heart to. Gradually, the way of my life got some transformation. Later I found out that losing my mobile phone looked like a bad thing from the outside but was actually a good thing. It restrained me from living the degenerate life of playing games and watching movies. Look back again: Even my original thought of wanting to serve the Lord well was out of the Holy Spirit’s leading, out of God’s orchestration and arrangement. It was God that saved me step by step and led me back to His presence again.
Finding Out the Answer to a Problem
About a week later, that was, on the evening of March 11, after logging onto Facebook, I saw Susan was on line. I chatted with her about something at my work first, and later I told her the wish in my heart that I wanted to find a church to serve and that I would like to hear her advice. Sister Susan said everything is arranged and ruled by God, so I should pray to God more about this matter. God has His time for all things, so I should learn to wait and obey. After that she also talked about the current situation of many churches: The preachers had nothing worthy to preach; in some churches almost no one attended gatherings; at some places, although there were many believers, they basically talked about making money and introduced business to each other, and so on. She said that actually these were the manifestations that the church was desolate without the work of the Holy Spirit. I felt real empathy for what she said. When I previously served in the church, I had seen the co-workers schemed with each other, slandered each other, took over each other’s business, and even committed adultery. Seeing these scenes, I felt distressed and very indignant. At that time, I also asked the pastor and several co-workers how they looked upon these things, but none of them could explain them clearly. So I didn’t expect that the problem that had confused me for a long time was solved by Sister Susan. I felt happy beyond description in my heart.
Prophecies of the Lord’s Return in the Bible
Unconsciously, we began to discuss the topic on the various disasters and wars today. Judging from the current situation that calamities are occurring everywhere in every country and that wars between countries are on the verge of breaking out, I thought that now the prophecies of the Lord’s return in the Bible had basically been fulfilled, so the Lord should be coming back. Thinking of this, I remembered at noon I encountered a believer online who said that the Lord had been back since 1991. I was very doubtful about this, so I couldn’t help asking Susan about it. She asked my opinion of it. I said, “That’s impossible. When the Lord comes back, He must descend on a cloud for all to see. But so far there’s been no evidence that God comes with clouds. How can they say the Lord has already returned?
Susan replied: “Brother, you are familiar with the Bible. If you carefully study the Bible, I believe you will surely be able to find out the answer. As a matter of fact, there are a lot of sayings with regard to the prophecies of the Lord’s return. We can see from the Bible that the prophecies of the Lord’s return can mainly be divided into two types: One type foretells the Lord’s arrival upon a cloud in public, witnessed by all, just like you said just now; the other predicts the Lord’s coming in secret, known by only a group of people, just like the Lord Jesus said: ‘Behold, I come as a thief’ (Rev 16:15), ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Mat 25:6). The words ‘as a thief’ and ‘And at midnight there was a cry made’ mean coming quietly and silently. No one knows it, since there is no sound in heaven, nor does the earth shake; not everyone is able to see it, but only a minority of people who can recognize the Lord’s voice can welcome Him. These prophecies all foretell that the Lord arrives in secret. If we only hold on to the prophecies of the Lord descending with the clouds in public, but ignore the prophecies of the Lord coming in secret, is this right? In that case, are we going to miss the chance to hear the Lord’s voice and meet Him and be brought into the kingdom of heaven?”
I was stumped by the questions Susan asked. I read these two scriptures again and again and thought: Are there contradictions in the Bible? No. No. No! How could it be? But there are indeed two ways of the return of the Lord predicted in the Bible. How can this be explained? In perplexity, I asked her to continue. She said: “From the Bible’s prophecies, we can see that there are two ways in which the Lord returns: One way is to come in secret; the other is to appear in public. Now God has become flesh and come to the world. From His appearance alone, He looks like an ordinary and normal person. Just like the incarnate Lord Jesus: He looks just like an ordinary Son of man from the outside, He has normal humanity, and He eats, drinks, sleeps and walks like a normal man, living among man. This is a secret for us humans, so no one can tell that He is God, no one knows His true identity. Only after the Son of man begins to work and speak can those — who are able to hear God’s voice through His word and work — recognize He is the Lord. This just fulfills the word of the Lord Jesus: ‘My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me’ (Jhn 10:27). Conversely, those who cannot distinguish God’s voice will certainly treat the incarnate God as an ordinary person, denying, rejecting, even opposing, condemning, and blaspheming the Christ of the last days. Just as when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, He seemed like an ordinary and normal man in outward appearance, so most people denied, resisted and condemned Him, while only a few people, through His word and work, were able to recognize Him as the incarnate Christ and the appearance of God, so that they followed the Lord Jesus and received His salvation.” After hearing this, I thought it made a lot of sense, for it was indeed the case when the Lord Jesus did His work. But then I recalled that the Revelation says the Lord will come with clouds in public, and that our pastors and elders also interpreted it like this. Upon thinking of this, I presumptuously asked Susan: “The Lord Jesus said Himself that He would descend with clouds. How could He come through incarnation? Can you deny the word in the Bible?”
Sister Susan said, “As long as you carefully study the Bible, then you will find there are many scriptures that definitely prophesied that the second coming of the Lord is the incarnation.” Then I found some of the scriptures according to her words, and read: “Be you therefore ready also: for the Son of man comes at an hour when you think not” (Luk 12:40). “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luk 17:24–25).
After I finished reading the scriptures, Sister Susan said: “All of these prophecies speak of the coming of the Son of man or the descending of the Son of man. The phrase ‘the Son of man’ refers to One who is born to a human being and has normal humanity. So the Spirit can’t be called the Son of man. For instance, because Jehovah God is Spirit, He cannot be called ‘the Son of man.’ Some people have seen angels, angels are also spiritual beings, so they cannot be called the Son of man. All those that have the appearance of man but are composed of spiritual bodies cannot be called ‘the Son of man.’ The incarnate Lord Jesus was called the Son of man, Christ, because He was the incarnate flesh of God’s Spirit, was the Spirit realized within the flesh and so became an ordinary and normal man, living in the company of other men. The Lord Jesus was the Son of man and the flesh of God incarnate, so when He said He would come still as the Son of man, it means He will come in His identity as the flesh and the Son of man, not the identity as the Spirit. So the Lord Jesus’ words of His return refer to His coming back in the flesh. In addition, another scripture says: ‘But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.’ This proves even more explicitly that when the Lord comes again, He comes by becoming flesh. Consider this: If the Lord didn’t come in fleshly form but rather as a spiritual body appearing to us, He certainly wouldn’t experience any suffering, much less be rejected by this generation again. Who would dare to reject the Spirit of God? Who could make God’s Spirit suffer? In this way, would it not be self-evident whether the Lord returns in the form of the flesh or the Spirit?”
I looked at the words “the Son of man,” “first … and,” and felt astonished. Although I had ever pondered over the question about the Son of man, I just could not figure it out. What Sister Susan said exactly solved my doubt and put me in high spirits. But since it was too late, we had to say good night to each other and go off line. That night, I felt so excited that I couldn’t get to sleep until late. Thinking that over these years of believing in the Lord I had never heard such good fellowship and preaching, I felt very shocked, and just couldn’t express how brightened and enjoyable I felt in my heart.
The Lord Has Returned
The next day, on March 12, I was harboring vague expectation and inexpressible excitement in my heart the whole day. The night before Susan fellowshiped with me about the Son of man and Incarnation. Although I could connect them, and by reasoning I knew that the Lord Jesus is the incarnate Christ, I really wanted to know the answers to the questions: what is incarnation, what is Christ, on what basis we confirm that God has become flesh…. However, Susan and I both had work to do in the daytime so that we only had the spare time at night. Hence, I quite wished time could run faster.
At last the evening came. After we were online, I raised my first question: What is incarnation? Sister Susan sent some sections of the word to me and let me read it. Thus, I read: “The meaning of incarnation is that God appears in the flesh, and He comes to work among man of His creation in the image of a flesh. So, for God to be incarnated, He must first be flesh, flesh with normal humanity; this, at the very least, must be true. In fact, the implication of God’s incarnation is that God lives and works in the flesh, God in His very essence becomes flesh, becomes a man” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “The incarnate God is called Christ, and Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God. This flesh is unlike any man that is of the flesh. This difference is because Christ is not of flesh and blood but is the incarnation of the Spirit. He has both a normal humanity and a complete divinity. His divinity is not possessed by any man. His normal humanity sustains all His normal activities in the flesh, while His divinity carries out the work of God Himself” (“The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the substance of God, and He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He must do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon man, and show man the way. Flesh that does not contain the substance of God is surely not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining[a] whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). After I finished reading, I thought that these words clearly elucidated the mystery of incarnation. Their definition of Christ as “The incarnate God is called Christ” was especially simple and clear and really wonderful! Even though I had believed in the Lord above ten years, I just knew that Jesus is Christ but did not all along understand this aspect of the truth and mystery — why it is that Jesus is Christ. Only through these sections of the word she sent to me today did I understand that the incarnation of God is called Christ, that Christ is God’s incarnate flesh. I carefully pondered these words, and the more I pondered them, the more I was enlightened …
Later, Sister Susan told me that this is the word of Almighty God, that God’s word is the truth, and that only God Himself can express such word. When she mentioned the two words of Almighty God, I was a bit shocked but not too unexpected because I had guessed before that she might be a member of The Church of Almighty God. I had also seen a few rumors about this church on the Internet, but as a Christian, I thought I should have a heart of fearing God. Before I became clear about the truth of the whole matter, I should not draw conclusions lightly on anything lest I might sin with my mouth and offend God. Moreover, in the past few days I was mulling over this: I have talked online with Sister Susan several times; though I didn’t see her appearance, the truth that she fellowshiped could solve my puzzlement. Judging by these last conversations and her online posts that I have read, I think she and Qi Fei are quite sincere, gentle, and kind, and their fellowship has allowed me to gain so much. In the Bible it’s said that we can know trees by their fruits, and every good tree bears good fruit and a bad tree bears bad fruit. As a result, during the contact with Sister Susan and Sister Qi Fei, I had already put aside the doubt and guard in my heart. Thereupon, I asked Sister Susan to continue her fellowship.
Sister Susan said: “Since it is God’s incarnation, there will be God’s expression. That is to say, God will make the utterances of His word. The incarnate God in the last days is mainly for the purpose of expressing truth to judge, purify, and save mankind. All those that can hear the returned Lord Jesus’ voice and seek and accept Him are the wise virgins who will go with Him to the wedding feast. This fulfills the prophecy of the Lord Jesus: ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Mat 25:6). The wise virgins hear the Lord’s voice and come to greet Him; unknowingly, they are raptured by the Lord before the throne to come face to face with Him. They accept God’s judgment, purification, and perfection in the last days and through the judgment by God’s words, they have experienced purification and change of their corrupt disposition and are perfected by God into overcomers before disaster falls. Now is the stage where Almighty God comes in secret to do His work to save and perfect mankind. When a group of overcomers have been made, the work of God’s incarnation and secret descent among man is complete. At this time, the calamities will visit upon earth, God will punish the wicked while rewarding the good and then openly appear to all nations and all peoples. That will then fulfill the prophecy of the Lord’s public descent on earth in Revelation 1:7: ‘Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.’ Logically speaking, when man sees the Lord appearing to all peoples in public atop clouds, they should be overjoyed, and yet this scripture says that all kindreds of the earth shall wail. Why is this? This is because when God finally appears in public, the salvation work of God’s incarnation during His secret descent among man will already be complete and God will have started His work of rewarding the good and punishing the evil. Then, all those that rejected God’s secret work will have completely lost the chance to be saved. Those that pierced Him, which is to say, those that resisted and condemned Christ of the last days, Almighty God, how could they not beat their breasts in despair, wail and grind their teeth, knowing that the One they resisted and condemned is the second coming of the Lord Jesus? So that’s how the scene of ‘all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him’ will appear.”
After I listened to the sister’s fellowship, the satisfying and excited feeling reappeared in my heart. Originally, in the sect I did not understand these scriptures at all; I just understood them in accordance with their literal meaning, thinking that the Lord would openly descend with the clouds when He returned. Now I finally saw that God first descended in secret to do the work of judging and saving mankind; after God made a group of overcomers, He would appear publicly to all nations and all peoples. If we thought as before that the Lord would return by descending in public upon a cloud so that people could all see Him, then when that day came, it was the right time when we went to hell, because the work of God saving mankind would have been complete then. Oh! Thanks to the Lord’s leading, in this period of time, through Sister Susan’s fellowship, I understood a lot.
Afterward, the sister asked me whether I was willing to accept Almighty God as my Savior. When she asked me for the first time, I gave no answer. When she asked me again, however, an ineffable feeling touched my heart and my eyes moistened with tears, I then answered in earnest: “Yes, I do!” Having said this word, I felt like a prodigal who had wandered outside for so long and finally returned to the warm home. My heart was joyful and at ease in particular …
Disturbance of the Pastor
After I accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days, I forwarded some posts of Sister Susan. Soon after this, five or six of my Facebook friends sent me messages to tell me to be careful. They also sent me a few websites attacking, condemning, and smearing The Church of Almighty God. I knew that this was Satan’s disturbance so I was not influenced in my heart. The following day, when I was online, a pastor started a conversation and talked a little with me, and then he asked me: “Have you believed in Almighty God? Why did you believe in Almighty God?” Having heard this, I was very angry and asked in reply: “God’s sheep listen to God’s voice. From Almighty God’s word, I have recognized the voice of God and that all the words expressed by Almighty God are the truth. Why can’t I believe in Almighty God? Why!” He might be unexpected that I could retort him so that he did not reply for a while. Upon this, I continued asking him: “Pastor, have you examined the work of Almighty God in the last days? Have you read the word of Almighty God? As a pastor, why did you judge and condemn it at will without seeking and investigating?” I never thought he could only hem and haw for a bit and then get offline in a hurry. His embarrassed situation made me unspeakably happy, and I tasted a kind of pleasure of overcoming the temptation of Satan. In fact, all that I did was apply some questions that I had discussed with Susan and other sisters, and say a little about my knowledge of the word of Almighty God. I didn’t expect that the true pastor should be stumped by my questions. This slight experience gave me great confidence. Thank God!
So far more than five months have passed. Through attending gatherings and reading God’s word, I have understood many aspects of the truth, for example, what incarnation is, what kind of person can enter into the kingdom of heaven, and so forth. During the time, I was disturbed by many rumors that pastors and elders spread and sometimes became passive and weak because of being unable to see through Satan’s scheme, but God was always with me. Through God’s word read by sisters and the truth they patiently fellowshiped, I became confident again, and could have some discernment of people and events from the perspective of the truth. Looking back, I can feel that I became stronger every time when I picked myself up after staggering and tottering. God’s word is right; I could come before Almighty God — this was arranged by God long ago, so I should move ahead calmly. After I returned to God’s family, the first song I learned was the hymn of life experience “Walking on the Right Way of Human Life”: “My everything is from God and is completely God’s grace. God bestowed life and brought me up; it is right and proper to repay God. My fate is in God’s hands and I can’t control my life or death. The true human life is to strive hard and live to satisfy God. …”
Thank God! It is really nice to return home! Now, not only do I write posts on the internet to spread and bear testimony to the word of Almighty God, I also preach the gospel. I am willing to do my best to perform my duty, and repay God’s love!