By Chen Jin
After I believed in the Lord, when I was among the brothers and sisters, we loved and helped each other like we were a big family. I felt particularly warm inside, as if a child who had wondered for years finally found his home. My life finally had its direction and motivation. So I attended the church meetings actively.
One day, the preacher said to us seriously, “Now, people from Eastern Lightning say that the Lord Jesus has returned. This is impossible! For the Bible says, ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Mat 24:23–24). These two verses are personally told by the Lord Jesus to us. Because there’ll be those who’ll come in the name of the Lord Jesus to deceive people, He’s afraid that we would be deceived. So He told us these words in advance. We must keep to the Lord’s way, and never walk the wrong way. Or we’ll regret for all our life.” I firmly believed these words of the preacher. Yes! What these two verses mean is so clear. If I meet someone preaching Eastern Lightning, I shall never receive them. I’ve believed in the Lord for so many years, so I must keep the Lord’s way. After that, although many brothers and sisters preached to me Almighty God’s gospel of the kingdom, I rejected them all.
One day, a neighbor asked if I could rent my front house to her relative, Sister Chang. I agreed. Sister Chang was mild and amiable. She went out early in the morning and went back late in the evening. Before long, when some sisters arrived at her house, they would make my house all nice and shipshape. Later, they preached gospel to me, and only then did I knew that they were from Eastern Lightning. So I turned a cold shoulder to them and I sometimes even hid from them. But no matter how I treated them, they still came to my house and helped me with my housework and preached the gospel to me. I observed in secret their words and deeds and manner of doing things. I found that their living out was pious. I could see that they lived out what was required by the Lord Jesus: They have patience and tolerance for others, and love others as themselves. By contrast, I could not live out the Lord’s requirements. So I often pondered within: If not for the Lord’s love, they wouldn’t have live out the Lord’s requirements. Is Eastern Lightning they believe in really the Lord’s coming? And why do some brothers and sisters who pursue actively go to believe in Eastern Lightning too? Has the Lord really returned? I’d better hear more of the sisters’ words next time, and see what it is all about.
A few days later, Sister Bai came to my home. I was reading the Bible then. She asked me, “Sister Xiao, we preached to you many times but you don’t accept. We don’t know how you think about God’s new work. Please speak what you think, and we can discuss it together.” I said to her defiantly, “You all say that the Lord Jesus has returned in the flesh to express words to do the new work. But Matthew 24:23–24 says, ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.’ So I think you pretend you come in the name of the Lord Jesus. Since I believe in the Lord, I should keep the Lord’s way and can’t follow you.” Sister Bai said smilingly, “In our belief in the Lord, it is normal that we’re afraid of being deceived by false Christs. For the Lord Jesus said that false Christs and false prophets will arise to deceive God’s chosen people in the last days, and He wants us to be careful. But He also told us the characteristics of false Christs and false prophets: They can imitate the work done by the Lord Jesus and show great signs and wonders to deceive people. The reason why the Lord Jesus told us this in advance is that He wants us to be cautious when treating the Lord’s return. But because we are afraid that we would be deceived, when we treat the Lord’s return, we don’t hear, don’t read, don’t contact, and wait alone and blindly, and thus we don’t accept God’s salvation in the last days. All these are surely not the Lord’s intention. The Lord Jesus we have longed for night and day has returned; that’s absolutely true. If we blindly think that all news preaching the Lord has returned is false, we’ll shut the door on the true God. Then we’ll be like the Pharisees who believed in God yet didn’t know God, and become someone who opposes God.” I said, “Every day we talk about the Pharisees who didn’t know God but crucified God, and we use them to warn ourselves. How could we be like the Pharisees who oppose God?” The sister said, “If we don’t want to repeat the mistake of the Pharisees, we have to know how to distinguish the true Christ from the false ones. Only after we understand the truth about how to distinguish the true Christ from the false ones and have knowledge of the substance of them will we know how to not lose our direction and miss the Lord’s salvation. To avoid being deceived, we first have to know what Christ is. Sister, could you please say what Christ is?” I thought to myself: “Everyone knows the answer to question. The Lord Jesus is Christ. You can’t stump me.” So I replied unhesitatingly, “The Lord Jesus is Christ.”
Sister Bai said smilingly, “Let’s see what God’s words say about it, ‘God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the substance of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but instead, the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh is not one that can be replaced by just any man, but one that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those fake Christs will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the substance of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself.’ From these words we know that Christ is the flesh donned by the Spirit of God, and the incarnate God is called Christ. So, Christ is not the Son of God in heaven, or a man on earth whom God raises up to do His work, but is God’s Spirit realized in the flesh, and is God’s own flesh. And this flesh cannot be replaced by anyone. That is to say, when God’s Spirit puts on the flesh to become man, no matter which country He was born into, or what gender He is, He is Christ. God’s flesh and Spirit are one, and are inseparable. This flesh is the expresser of the work of God’s Spirit on earth; what God has and is is expressed through this flesh. We can know the essence of Christ through God’s expression, and thereby distinguish the true Christ from the false ones.” Hearing what she said, I thought: Yes! I’ve believed in God for so many years, but I merely know that the Lord Jesus is called Christ. It turns out that only God’s Spirit clothed in flesh can be called Christ. Their sermon is high, indeed. I’d better listen more.
The sister saw that I kept silent, so she continued, “‘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. If man sees only His external appearance, and overlooks His substance, then that shows the ignorance and naivety of man. External appearance does not determine substance; what’s more, the work of God has never conformed with the conceptions of man. Did not the outward appearance of Jesus conflict with the conceptions of man? Were not His appearance and dress unable to provide any clues as to His true identity?’ From God’s words, we can know that since God incarnates Himself as Christ, there will be an expression of the truth, the disclosing of the mysteries, the work of concluding the old age and starting a new one. And of course, the truths God expresses are inexhaustible. Through the truths expressed by His incarnation in the last days, God reveals His six-thousand-year management plan, and the inside story, the true fact, and the methods of working, and the aim of His entire work of management, and the mysteries of the incarnation, and so on. At the same time, He also makes public His almightiness, wisdom, righteousness, holiness, and the disposition that doesn’t tolerate man’s offense. The truths He expresses can better resolve all kinds of our notions toward God and our deviant and erroneous knowledge and practices, enabling us to come to a pure acceptance and knowledge, and to have a newer and more precise knowledge of God. What’s more, in His words, He brings man the direction of the new age, and a new way of practice, and He can thoroughly save mankind and bring mankind into an appropriate destination. For He is the truth, the way, and the life. The work done by true God cannot be possessed and replaced by anyone.
Hearing the sister’s fellowship, I said, “Sister Bai’s words make sense. The Bible records, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God’ (Jhn 1:1–2). Just as what you have fellowshiped, the essence of God is the truth, the way, and the life. And what does the Word refer to? From this verse, we can see that the Word refers to God’s word, and just the verse says, ‘the Word was God, and the Word was with God’. So, when God becomes flesh, that is, the Word becomes flesh, there must be God’s utterances, as well as His work. As it is by expressing His words that God tells us about the substance of Christ and His work, and what Christ has and is. And only God can open the new age and conclude the old age. It can be seen that the Lord has truly done a work of the word in the last days.”
Sister Bai said happily, “Well said, sister. Let’s read another passage of God’s words.” She read, “You cannot bring forth new paths or represent the Spirit. You cannot express the work of the Spirit or the words that He speaks. You cannot do the work of God Himself or that of the Spirit. You cannot express the wisdom, wonder, and unfathomableness of God, or all the disposition by which God chastises man. So your repeated claims to be God do not matter; you have only the name and none of the substance. God Himself has come, but none recognize Him, yet He continues on in His work and does so in representation of the Spirit. Whether you call Him man or God, the Lord or Christ, or call Her sister, it is all right. But the work He does is that of the Spirit and represents the work of God Himself. He does not care about the name by which man calls Him. Can that name determine His work? Regardless of what you call Him, from the perspective of God, He is the incarnate flesh of the Spirit of God; He represents the Spirit and is approved by Him. You cannot make way for a new age, and you cannot bring the old to an end and cannot usher in a new age or do new work. Therefore, you cannot be called God!” “If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to displays signs and wonders, and can cast out demons, and heal, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are the coming of Jesus, then this would be the counterfeit of evil spirits, and their imitation of Jesus. Remember this! God does not repeat the same work. Jesus’ stage of work has already been completed, and God will never again undertake that stage of work. The work of God is irreconcilable with the conceptions of man; for example, the Old Testament foretold the coming of a Messiah, but it turned out that Jesus came, so it would be wrong for another Messiah to come again. Jesus has already come once, and it would be wrong if Jesus were to come again this time. There is one name for every age, and each name is characterized by the age. In the conceptions of man, God must always display signs and wonders, must always heal and cast out demons, and must always be just like Jesus, yet this time God is not like that at all.”
Then the sister fellowshiped, “From God’s words we can see that those fake Christs are unable to do God’s work at all. They cannot bring an end to the old age, or open a new age, but only imitate the work done by the Lord Jesus, healing the sick, casting out demons, and performing many miracles. They cannot express truths to save man. The Bible records, ‘For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nothing. After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed. And now I say to you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nothing: But if it be of God, you cannot overthrow it; lest haply you be found even to fight against God’ (Act 5:36–39). Those fake Christs keep claiming themselves to be God, but the Holy Spirit doesn’t uphold them. Therefore, regardless of how false Christs claim themselves to be God, it is useless, for what is of man, and what is of Satan won’t stand and last long. Since the beginning of Almighty God’s work in the last days in China, there arise many false Christs coming to deceive people, who claim themselves to be the return of the Lord Jesus, such as, Hua Xuehe of the Spirit-Spirit Sect (a poor translation of Ling-ling Jiao), Wu Yangming of the Established King sect, Ji Zhongjie of the Third Redemption sect, and so on. They pretend they come in the name of the Lord Jesus and imitate Him to perform miracles so as to deceive people. Their deeds fulfill the Lord Jesus’ prophecy: False Christs will perform miracles to deceive people. They are believers in the Lord, but they claim themselves to be Christ, and the reason why they go so far as to speak such unreasonable nonsense is that they are in essence possessed by the evil spirits. Because they don’t have truth at all, they cannot express God’s words, but only talk of knowledge and theory which satisfy man’s notions and imaginations, or misinterpret the mysteries, or do supernatural things to deceive people. So they’ll sooner or later collapse. From this we can see that what is true will never become false, and what is false will never become true. All these depend on whether we can seek with our heart.” Hearing Sister Bai’s fellowship, I thought: Her fellowship has truth in it and can make me understand easily. Even my preachers and pastors cannot explain the manifestation of false Christs, let alone explain them so clearly. I’d better investigate it carefully. The Lord’s coming, after all, is not a small thing. I shouldn’t miss it. It will influence my life or death. When I thought of this, I said, “Sister Bai, I think your words are true. But I need to investigate it. Could you please leave this book to me? I can read it then.” Sister said happily, “Okay! You can read it later and if you have something that you don’t understand, we can fellowship about it together.”
After a period of seeking and investigation, I understand many truths and mysteries that I didn’t understand in the past. These words cannot be spoken by any man. The more I read God’s words, the more I feel moved, feeling that God is right by my side talking to me. I feel overjoyed, and make certain that this is the return of the Lord Jesus. I have finally welcomed the Lord!
Source: Grow in Christ — The Second Coming of Christ
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