Learn to Discern the True Way From False Ones to Welcome the Lord

The Lord Is My Shepherd
17 min readJul 17, 2021

My name is Ma Yu and I’m an ordinary believer of a house church. In 1991, I started to believe in the Lord Jesus. At the beginning, I was full of enthusiasm in my faith, and so were my brothers and sisters. However, afterward, the situation of our church got increasingly worse. So I urgently longed for the Lord’s return, yet meanwhile I was very fearful. Because our preachers always said, “In the last days when the Lord comes back, more and more people will spread false ways. So, don’t listen to other sermons outside casually lest you be deceived for lack of discernment,” I was afraid I would be deceived for lacking discernment. What if I not only failed to welcome the Lord’s return but betrayed Him? What should I do?

On the Christmas day of 1998, Sister Xu and Sister Cheng came to my house. Then we talked together about the desolate situation and the difficulties of the church. After our communication of these things, Sister Cheng said to me, “Sister Ma, today, we came here to tell you that the Savior Jesus whom we’ve been awaiting has come back. He has expressed new words and done new work. This time, His name is Almighty God rather than Jesus. This fulfills the words of Revelation, ‘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). After hearing her words, I was both happy and afraid. What made me happy was that it was time for the Lord to come back, for the signs of the Lord’s return had appeared — the church was desolate and the disasters got increasingly greater everywhere. Yet, there were many people spreading false doctrine. If what I accepted was false, I would be thrown into the lake of fire and suffer eternal punishment. At the thought of that, I said to them, “Sisters, I daren’t believe what you said. Because our preachers often tell us that various false doctrines will appear when the Lord returns, and that we’ll be deceived if we’re the slightest bit careless.” After my words, Sister Xu fellowshiped to me, “Sister Ma, nowadays, all kinds of disasters occur frequently all over the world, such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, famines, and unceasing wars between nations. The world situation is volatile and unstable. All these phenomena show the last days have already arrived and that the prophecies of the Lord’s return have been fulfilled. Besides, the Lord told us to be wise virgins and vigilantly await Him to take us. So, we can’t, because of the appearance of false ways in the last days, guard against and reject all those who preach the Lord’s return. Isn’t that throwing the baby out with the bathwater? If so, we’ll never welcome the Lord’s return. The Bible has told us, ‘Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17). So, if wanting to welcome the Savior Jesus’ return, we should be clever virgins who can seek more and recognize the Lord’s voice. Take Peter and the Samaritan woman for an example. Because they had heard the Lord Jesus’s words, they recognized these were the words of God, and that the Lord Jesus’ preaching came from God. Then they followed the Lord Jesus. Similarly, in dealing with the Lord’s return, we should first seek in Almighty God’s words to see whether they are God’s voice and whether this way is the true way.”

After hearing Sister Xu’s words, I felt conflicted inside, not knowing whether to believe and accept the gospel of the Lord’s return they spread. At that time, I prayed silently in my heart, “O Lord, I know You’ll come back to receive us in the last days. Yet there are many people spreading false ways, and I lack the truth and can’t discern the true way from the false ones. So when the two sisters said You have come back and done new work, I daren’t accept it, for fear that it’s false. In case I take a wrong path, I’ll descend into hell and be punished. However, if You really have come back but I refuse it, am I not rejecting and resisting You? If so, I’ll suffer more severe punishment. O Lord, I feel very conflicted. Please guide and lead me.” Just then, I felt clear guidance within me. I thought about the following scripture: “‘For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind’” (2 Timothy 1:7). Because of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, I calmed down gradually, thinking inside: “Right. It’s God whom I believe in. With God there is no fear but strength and courage, and what God bestows on me is a strong and courageous heart. So, my fearful thoughts come from Satan. Satan frightens me into giving up seeking the gospel of the Lord’s return that the two sisters spread. Isn’t it that I have lost God in my faith? In that way, I would have no chance of meeting the Lord’s return, so that I would be cast into the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, and suffer eternal punishment. I can’t fall for Satan’s tricks.” With the guidance and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, I, just like being injected with cardiac stimulants, became strong immediately and had the courage to continue to seek.

Then I said to them, “Sisters, the Lord’s return is a big event. I’ve been longing for it throughout all my years of belief. Now, you told me the Lord has come back, I’m very excited. Yet meanwhile I feel very afraid, for I have no idea how to measure whether it’s the true way. Please fellowship what you base this claim on, that the way you preach is true.”

Sister Cheng said to me, “Sister Ma, if wanting to discern whether it’s the true way, we should grasp the relevant principles. We can’t measure it based on our own imaginations. Otherwise, we’ll easily confuse the true way and the false way. Just like now, there are many fake notes in the market. However, if we master the ways of telling the real from the fake, we naturally won’t mix them up. Similarly, mastering the principles of discerning the true way from the false ones is very important for us, because it affects whether we believers in God can be saved. Knowing what we’re lacking, Almighty God tells us clearly about these principles. After reading His words, we’ll naturally know how to distinguish the true way from false ways.” With these words, she gave me the book The Word Appears in the Flesh. I took it and read, “What is the most basic principle in seeking the true way? You have to look at whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit in this way, whether or not these words are the expression of the truth, who is testified to, and what it can bring you. Distinguishing between the true way and the false way requires several aspects of basic knowledge, the most fundamental of which is to tell whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit. For the substance of man’s belief in God is the belief in the Spirit of God, and even his belief in God incarnate is because this flesh is the embodiment of the Spirit of God, which means that such belief is still the belief in the Spirit. There are differences between the Spirit and the flesh, but because this flesh comes from the Spirit, and is the Word become flesh, thus what man believes in is still the inherent substance of God. And so, in distinguishing whether or not it is the true way, above all you must look at whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit, after which you must look at whether or not there is the truth in this way. This truth is the life disposition of normal humanity, which is to say, that which was required of man when God created him in the beginning, namely, all of normal humanity (including human sense, insight, wisdom, and the basic knowledge of being man). That is, you need to look at whether or not this way can take man into a life of normal humanity, whether or not the truth that is spoken of is required according to the reality of normal humanity, whether or not this truth is practical and real, and whether or not it is most timely. If there is truth, then it is able to take man into normal and real experiences; man, furthermore, becomes ever more normal, man’s human sense becomes ever more complete, man’s life in the flesh and the spiritual life become ever more orderly, and man’s emotions become ever more normal. This is the second principle. There is one other principle, which is whether or not man has an increasing knowledge of God, whether or not experiencing such work and truth can inspire a love of God in him, and bring him ever closer to God. In this can be measured whether or not it is the true way. Most fundamental is whether this way is realistic rather than supernatural, and whether or not it is able to provide the life of man. If it conforms to these principles, the conclusion can be drawn that this way is the true way. … If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, man becomes ever more normal, and his humanity becomes ever more normal. Man has an increasing knowledge of his satanic corrupt disposition, and of the essence of man, and he has an ever greater longing for the truth. That is to say, the life of man grows and grows, and the corrupt disposition of man becomes capable of more and more changes — all of which is the meaning of God becoming the life of man. If a way is incapable of revealing those things that are the essence of man, is incapable of changing the disposition of man, and, moreover, is incapable of bringing him before God or giving him a true understanding of God, and even causes his humanity to become ever more lowly and his sense ever more abnormal, then this way must not be the true way, and it may be the work of an evil spirit, or the old way. In short, it cannot be the present work of the Holy Spirit. You have believed in God for all these years, yet you have no inkling of the principles for differentiating between the true way and the false way or for seeking the true way. Most people aren’t even interested in these matters; they merely go where the majority go, and repeat what the majority say. How is this someone who seeks the true way? And how can such people find the true way? If you grasp these several key principles, then whatever happens you will not be deceived.”

After I read God’s words, Sister Xu fellowshiped, “God’s words are very clear. The true way has three characteristics. First, it has the work of the Holy Spirit. Second, it contains the truth. It can show people ways of practice in the new age and allow them to gain the new supply of life, so that their life disposition can change more and more, they can cultivate love for God inside and get increasingly closer to God, and their humanity can become ever more normal. Third, it can make people have an increasing knowledge of God. Next, let’s communicate about these principles in details.”

Sister Xu continued saying, “The first aspect of weighing the true way is to see if it has the work of the Holy Spirit. John 1:1–2 says: ‘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.’ Since the Word is God, this means the true way comes from God. Namely, God’s work is the true way. The reason why people believe in and follow God incarnate is that this flesh is the embodiment of God’s Spirit, and that what He does is the work of the Holy Spirit and is confirmed by the Holy Spirit. Just like when the Lord Jesus did His work, He seemed like an ordinary and normal man in outward appearance, but His work and words were full of authority and power. For example, He just said, ‘Lazarus, come forth.’ Then Lazarus, having been dead for four days, actually came out of the tomb. Seeing this, all people present were shocked and knew that the Lord Jesus could command man’s life and death. After this miracle spread, a lot of people came to follow the Lord Jesus. Furthermore, the Lord Jesus observed the depths of people’s heart and could reveal their innermost secrets. When He exposed the Samaritan woman’s secret — her having five husbands, she immediately recognized the Lord Jesus was the coming Messiah. Then she left the water pot to spread the news that she had met the coming Messiah. After hearing this, many people followed the Lord Jesus. Because His work contained the Holy Spirit’s work and was upheld by the Holy Spirit, more and more people became His followers.

“Today, Almighty God has come, expressed His words to judge and cleanse man, and provided man with new life supply. From Almighty God’s words, those who have accepted His work can gain the provision of spiritual life. After understanding God’s will, they can put down physical enjoyment and actively go everywhere to spread the kingdom gospel. No matter how fiercely the Chinese government persecutes them, and no matter how the antichrist forces of various religious denominations prevent, refuse, beat, curse or humiliate them, with the guidance of God’s words, they’re willing to endure any suffering and continue as always preaching the kingdom gospel of Almighty God. The true believers from various denominations have, one after another, come under Almighty God’s name. The kingdom gospel of God is expanding outward like surging waves, and churches of Almighty God are springing up like mushrooms all over the country and city. Just as Almighty God says, ‘The kingdom is expanding in humanity’s midst, it is forming in humanity’s midst, it is standing up in humanity’s midst; there is no force that can destroy My kingdom.’ Isn’t this the direct effect of the work of the Holy Spirit? Let’s look at the brothers and sisters of The Church of the Almighty God. Though they come from different denominations, they can live together in harmony. The church life is brimming with vitality. Every time they gather, they are all able to receive new provisions from Almighty God’s words, and recognize their own corruption and deficiencies. From this, we can see that The Church of Almighty God has the work of the Holy Spirit. As for the various religious denominations who have not kept up with God’s new work, they are jealous and confrontational, and form factions, with the result that churches disintegrate and no shepherd waters the flock. This proves that such churches already lack the Holy Spirit’s work. Because The Church of the Almighty God contains the work of the Holy Spirit, it appears full of vitality, while various religious denominations are desolate owning to losing the work of the Holy Spirit. Compare them, we’ll know which is the true way.”

Sister Cheng communicated, “The second aspect of weighing the true way is to see if it has the expression of the truth, indicates to people the way of practice in the new age and provides them with the new supply of life, so that their life disposition undergoes more and more changes and their humanity becomes more and more normal. We all know that God is the truth, the way and the life. In every new stage of His work, He shows people the path of practice in the new age through expressing the truth, and brings them supply of life, so that they can believe in God more practically, gradually live out a normal humanity, and return to the original likeness when God created man. This is an obvious characteristic of the true way. Just as when the Lord Jesus performed His work, He issued forth many truths for people in the Age of Grace to put into practice, and taught them to love others as themselves, to bear the cross, to be humble and patient, to deny themselves, to forgive others seventy times seven times, to worship God with heart and with honesty, and so on. Through the teachings of the Lord Jesus, all true believers can have some changes in their outward behavior.

“In God’s work of the last days, Almighty God expresses many aspects of truths. This includes the truths of understanding God’s work and the truths about how to practice and enter during the new age, such as how God does His judgement work, how mankind has developed to today, what the future destination of mankind is, loving God is the only way to truly believe in God, how to serve in accordance with God’s will, and so on. This is what we urgently need in the last days. God also shows us the direction ahead in the new age. From the words of Almighty God, we can know what faith in God is, what the correct perspective for believing in God is, how to be honest, how to fulfill our duties loyally, the significance of performing our duties. Therefore, we gain the most real provisions of life, and have the most accurate and practical ways of pursuing the truth, knowing how to be real humans and what path we should walk, and getting rid of the vague belief.”

Then Sister Xu fellowshiped, “The third aspect of weighing the true way is to see whether it can make people know more of God, inspire their love for God, and bring them ever closer to God. The true way can bring people before God. After experiencing God’s work, they can naturally attain a true knowledge of God, and therefore develop love for God. Just like in the Age of Law, Jehovah God issued laws to guide people’s lives on earth. Through experiencing His work, they recognized that Jehovah God is the one true God. Moreover, they recognized God’s unoffendable disposition of majesty and curse, thus having reverence for God. In the Age of Grace, God was incarnated on earth to do a stage of work of redeeming mankind. Through their experience with His work, the followers saw that God was at once a Spirit yet could also become incarnated as man, and moreover, they saw that God was full of love and mercy, bestowed endless blessings upon people and even was nailed to the cross to redeem them. As a result, they came to a new knowledge of God, and felt adoration for God. Therefore, many disciples and apostles of the Lord Jesus could sacrifice their lives for the Lord.

“Nowadays, through experiencing Almighty God’s work and words, we come to know that God’s inherent disposition is primarily righteous and it contains not only love and mercy, but also majesty, wrath, burning and cursing. God’s words expose all our disobedience and corruption, and thus we know God’s righteousness is unoffendable and His holiness is undefilable. Through experiencing Almighty God’s work and words, we see how God saves man step by step, how God uses His wisdom to defeat Satan, and thereby we gain some practical knowledge about God’s almightiness, wisdom, and wondrous deeds. Meanwhile, we also gain a more practical understanding about God’s good intentions of saving mankind, His true love toward mankind and His benevolent essence. Thus, we no longer misunderstand, guard against, alienate or barter with God. Instead, we develop love and reverence for God in our hearts. It is the work of Almighty God that brings us closer to God.”

After listening to the two sisters’ communication, I became clear immediately. I couldn’t help thinking: “I finally know how to discern between the true way and the false way, and I will no longer worry about being duped. These years, because of not understanding this aspect of the truth, I’m always afraid of being deceived by the false way.” After thinking of this, I said with certainty to these sisters, “From your fellowship, I’m clear about how to discern the true way from the false way. These years, I’ve heard many preachers’ sermons. They only told us to guard against the false way, but no one could tell us so clearly about how to distinguish between the true way and the false way. Today, your communication benefits me greatly in spirit. I must investigate this way properly.” After hearing my words, the two sisters looked at each other and smiled, saying, “Thanks be to God!”

We communicated the whole day. Before leaving, they left a book for me to investigate. After they went away, I thought: “They communicated so clearly about the principles of differentiating between the true way and the false way. I must see carefully what else this book tells about. Are these words truly expressed by the returned Lord?” I opened the book and immediately saw these words, “You may have opened this book for the purpose of research, or with the intention to accept; whatever your attitude, I hope that you will read it to the end, and will not put it aside easily. Perhaps, after reading these words, your attitude will change, but that depends on how motivated you are, and how easily you take things to heart.” After reading these words, I was shocked at once, thinking inside: “Aren’t these words talking all about me? How can they know I read this book for the purpose of deliberation and study? How can they speak out the thoughts deep in my heart?” While pondering, I saw another passage of words, “No one can fathom the nature of man except Me…. I am the almighty God, and would I not understand something so simple? I am able to penetrate your blood and your flesh to see your intentions. It is not hard for Me to fathom man’s nature, but people try to be smart alecks, thinking that no one but themselves knows their intentions. Don’t they know that the almighty God exists within the heavens and earth and all things?” At that moment, I felt that God was right by my side and saw clearly my every thought and idea. These words, just like a sharp sword, cut open my heart, and thoroughly exposed the thoughts deep inside me. I couldn’t help thinking: “These words indeed come from the Holy Spirit, for only the Holy Spirit can search all things and thoroughly reveal our human inner thoughts, thus making our satanic nature exposed in the light. Just as the Book of the Hebrews says, ‘For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened to the eyes of him with whom we have to do’ (Hebrews 4:12–13). It seems that the words in the book The Word Appears in the Flesh are exactly the words of God, the utterance of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, apart from God, who can see through man’s heart?”

After a month of investigation, I understood a lot, and enjoyed the guidance of the Holy Spirit’s work, thus ascertaining that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. Thank Almighty God for bringing me back to God’s family! All the glory be to Almighty God!

From: Grow in Christ

» Extended Reading:

Prophecies of the Lord’s return have been fulfilled. How should we discern the true Christ from false Christs and thus successfully welcome the Lord? Click here to join our discussion.

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