Happily Welcoming the Lord’s Return: The Blessing Brought by Browsing Facebook
By Zhihui, United States
It had now been over ten years since I began to follow the Lord Jesus. I was not as passionate as when I believed in the Lord before, and added to that, I had to work many hours in a restaurant and lived far away from the church, with the result that I failed to go to church to give worship very often. Later, my temper changed for the worse: I often argued with others over petty little things at work; especially when I worked harder and more than others but my boss scolded me because there was something wrong with our work, I couldn’t help but lose my temper and quarrel with him. After that, when I thought of how the Lord requires us to be tolerant, patient, and love others as ourselves, but I not only didn’t bring glory to the Lord but shamed His name, I felt miserable and indebted to Him. Particularly as I saw disasters growing ever worse and that many prophecies of the Lord’s return are basically fulfilled, my heart became filled with fear. I thought: “I sin and confess every day and have lost all semblance of a Christian — the Lord certainly won’t like me. Besides, I don’t attend gatherings now, and as time goes on it’s very easy for me to become sunk into the evil world and controlled by Satan. If things carry on this way, when the Lord returns, won’t I be destroyed in the disasters like the unbelievers?” For this reason, I often prayed to the Lord about my state and read the postings of my friends on Facebook, in the hope that I could have fellowship with the brothers and sisters who pursued the truth on the Internet.
In November 2018, while I was browsing Facebook, I added several believers in the Lord as my friends. After that, whenever we had the time, we would gather together to fellowship on the Bible. Brother Qu from Italy was quite familiar with the Bible and his fellowship was really illuminating, which gave me spiritual pleasure. After a period of gathering with the brothers and sisters, I came to understand such aspects of the truth as what the wise virgins are and what the foolish virgins are, what incarnation is, what Christ is, how to discern the true Christ from the false, and much more. Finally, Brother Qu told us that the Lord Jesus has returned and He is the incarnate Almighty God, and that the truths we had understood were all gained from the words expressed by Almighty God. Hearing what he said made me both surprised and happy. I felt from my heart that Almighty God’s words are the truth and have unveiled the mysteries in the Bible; His words allowed me to understand many truths I hadn’t understood before. Afterward, I started attending online gatherings with them.
Immediately following that, I told the news of the Lord’s returning to perform new work to one of my colleagues. He, however, said with a look of scorn: “That’s impossible! In John 19:30, the Lord Jesus said on the cross ‘It is finished,’ and it indicated that God’s work of saving man was already completed. How can He do any new work? Have you listened to the sermons of Eastern Lightning? What they are saying is wrong….” Hearing his words, I began to have doubts. Thereupon, I immediately sought answers from several prestigious Facebook believers, and they all replied: “The Lord Jesus said Himself: ‘It is finished;’ He could not possibly return to do any new work. Why do you ask this? Are you contacting believers in Almighty God? I heard that they know the Bible very well and even the pastors don’t dare to debate with them. How could you, who don’t understand the Bible, dare to contact them? Leave them right away, do not have any contact with them again.” After seeing these words, I opened the Bible and carefully read the verses. I thought: “Yes, the Lord Jesus did say ‘It is finished’ moments before He took His last breath, so how can He still need to become the Son of man to perform new work? Could what those brothers and sisters say be false? But their fellowships are filled with light, and after gathering together with them for so long, I’ve indeed understood many mysteries about the Bible that I didn’t understand before and I feel great enjoyment within my heart. No, I need to keep gathering with them, look into it and then decide.” However, in the middle of confusions, I didn’t fellowship actively like before during the following gatherings, and didn’t even watch the videos and movies the brothers and sisters sent to me. After the brothers and sisters found that I was not the same as before, they proactively contacted me, and I then told them my confusion.
Sister Anna said: “Sister, based on the Lord Jesus’ words on the cross ‘It is finished,’ you believe that God’s work to save mankind was finished, that as long as we believers confess our sins and repent to the Lord, then our sins will be absolved and we will immediately be raised up into the heavenly kingdom when the Lord returns, and that He won’t do any new work. Is this in line with the truth? Let’s think about something. If the Lord Jesus’ saying ‘It is finished’ meant that God’s work to save mankind was totally finished, then would the biblical prophecies be fulfilled? ‘And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come’ (Revelation 14:6–7). ‘He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:48). ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come’ (John 16:12–13). How would they be fulfilled? These prophecies clearly tell us that in the last days the everlasting gospel will be preached to the people of the world, and that the Lord Jesus will come again and express the truth, doing a stage of work to judge and purify mankind. If it was how we think it that God’s work to save mankind was completed and that the Lord would not come to perform new work, wouldn’t these prophecies come to naught? So, such understanding doesn’t tally with the Lord’s words, and doesn’t tally with the reality of God’s work. Let’s read a couple of passages of Almighty God’s words to help clarify this point. Sister, why don’t you read them?”
I read: “As man sees it, God’s crucifixion had already concluded the work of God’s incarnation, redeemed all of mankind, and allowed Him to seize the key to Hades. Everyone thinks God’s work has been fully accomplished. In fact, from God’s perspective, only a small part of His work had been accomplished. All He had done was to redeem mankind; He had not conquered mankind, let alone changed man’s satanic countenance. That is why God says, ‘Although My incarnate flesh went through the pain of death, that was not the whole goal of My incarnation. Jesus is My beloved Son and was nailed to the cross for Me, but He did not exhaustively conclude My work. He only did a portion of it.’” “For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of mankind sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even though the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition.”
Sister Anna continued her fellowship: “We can know from the words of Almighty God that when the Lord Jesus said, ‘It is finished’ on the cross He meant that His work of redemption in the Age of Grace was finished, and not that the work of God’s salvation of mankind was totally finished. In actuality, the completion of the work of the Age of Grace only meant that a small part of God’s management plan to save mankind was accomplished, because what the Lord Jesus did was the work of redemption. He redeemed mankind from the domain of Satan, so as long as we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior, confess and repent to Him, then our sins can be forgiven, and we are no longer condemned by the law. This is the true meaning of being saved. However, after we believe in the Lord, though we appear to behave quite well and no longer commit obvious sins, Satan’s corrupt disposition remains deeply rooted within us, and we haven’t completely shaken off the shackles of sin and are still slaves to the cycle of sinning in the daytime and confessing them at night. For example, in our interactions with others we frequently lose our tempers and don’t show tolerance or patience toward them; when someone threatens our interests then we hate them; we also follow social trends, lust for riches and covet carnal pleasure. The list goes on. If we don’t resolve these corrupt dispositions, we will still sin and resist God. We all know God is holy and that those who are not purified cannot see God. So, in order to entirely save mankind from Satan’s grasp and rid us of our corrupt disposition, God has once again incarnated to do the further work of thoroughly judging and purifying mankind.”
Later, Sister Anna sent me some more passages of God’s words for me to read. I read: “Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering; He did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and they shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.” “By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt essence within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as through refinement, man can purge away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification. In truth, this stage is that of conquest as well as the second stage in the work of salvation.”
After I read these words, Sister Anna fellowshiped: “God’s management plan for the salvation of mankind is for the sake of thoroughly saving mankind from Satan’s dominion and allowing us to cast off the bonds of our satanic and corrupt dispositions and be purified so that we will be able to bask in the blessings bestowed by God. Therefore, in order to enable us to achieve full salvation and perfection, Christ of the last days, Almighty God, based on our needs, performs a stage of work of judgment beginning in God’s house on the foundation of the work of redemption of the Lord Jesus, expressing many words that can judge and cleanse us mankind, such as The Mystery of the Incarnation (1) to The Mystery of the Incarnation (4), Concerning the Bible (1) to Concerning the Bible (4), The Work in the Age of Law, The True Story Behind the Work of the Age of Redemption, You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day, The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word, All Is Achieved by the Word of God, Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh, Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God, etc. These truths are the expression of God’s life, and even more so they are a revelation of His disposition. Through reading these words, we can know the reality that we have been corrupted by Satan, our satanic nature which resists God, and what will be the result of failing to achieve transformation and be cleansed. We can also gain understanding of God’s holy and righteous disposition, what kind of person God loves and what kind of person He hates, so that we begin to despise ourselves and be willing to forsake our flesh and practice the truth. This being so, we can gradually generate true obedience and fear toward God. Only when we are completely free from the bondage and control of sin and achieve dispositional change through God’s judgment and chastisement can we be brought into the heavenly kingdom by God, and that is when God’s work to save mankind is completely finished. This is confirmation of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation: ‘And He that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And He said to me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And He said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End’ (Revelation 21:5–6).”
Hearing this, my heart was suddenly filled with light. I instantly opened the Bible and saw that these prophecies had already been recorded in the Book of Revelation, which had been fulfilled. I felt enormously excited by all this, saying happily: “These prophecies become true! It turns out that this is how God’s work will be finished. Oh, God’s words truly are authoritative! None of God’s sentences fail to come about, and everything He says will come true. Thank God! Now I’ve understood the meaning of ‘It is finished’ spoken by the Lord Jesus. It only meant that the Lord Jesus’ work of redeeming mankind through crucifixion was finished, but not that God’s entire management plan to save mankind was completed. I think of how I sin a lot now, often haggle or fuss with others, and reveal my hot-headedness in interactions with them, which can’t glorify God. Like this, I indeed fall short of being completely saved by God. It seems that if I want to cast off my corruption I must accept God’s work of judging and purifying mankind in the last days.”
Sister Anna then fellowshiped about some more truths with me, and I happily accepted God’s work of the last days. In the days that followed, every day I read Almighty God’s words and saw all kinds of works that bear witness to God such as films, sketches, crosstalks, musicals, MVs and videos on The Church of Almighty God’s website. The more I saw, the more excited I felt. I marveled that God’s work should have reached an unprecedented event. It is truly that things that come from God must be prosperous! In particular, when I saw the musical Every Nation Worships the Practical God, which ends with all brothers and sisters rising from their seats and shouting loudly: “The kingdom has descended!” and “God has returned,” I felt incredibly excited and overcome with emotion, thinking: “Today I can welcome the Lord Jesus’ return, and accept the work of God’s second incarnation. This truly is a huge blessing! This is really God’s mercy and grace!”
I have now been believing in Almighty God for about six months. I’ve understood some truths by reading Almighty God’s words and experiencing church life, and I’ve known that the best way for me to repay God’s love is preaching the gospel and bringing those who thirst for God’s appearance and long for God’s salvation before God. So, I actively engage myself in preaching the gospel. Thanks be to God.