by Ann, United States
When I was still an eight-year-old child, I had joined the Jehovah’s Witnesses with my mother. There I heard many stories, such as that of Jonah, Job, Jeremiah, Noah, and Abraham…. Fascinated by these stories about God and man, I had a wonderful yearning for God in my young heart, which laid the foundation of my faith.
Every week, we attended meetings regularly and shared scriptures in our church, learning how to live out a good humanity, how to love one another, and so on. Also, to learn more s, my mom and I would fellowship together at home at least once a week. In this way, I was able to memorize many Bible verses that I liked, and what impressed me most was the vision John saw in Revelation, which says, “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:1-5). When reading these words, I couldn’t help wondering: What is the scroll that would be opened by God? Since it is recorded in Revelation, it shall happen in the last days; since it was sealed with seven seals, it was unknown to man; since here mentions that the Lamb alone is worthy to open it, this can only be done by Christ. Then how would the scroll be opened? And what’s written in it? In addition, I often heard people talk about the judgment of the last days in the church, then how would God judge man in the last days? Though unable to clearly tell the inner meaning of the verses, I always had an idea that in the last days something great would happen, and a sealed little scroll would be opened to us.
Through the years, I saw that the disasters across the world became ever more frequent and the people increasingly panicked and corrupt. In light of the great disasters and various signs of the last days mentioned in Revelation, I was more convinced in my heart that the last days have arrived, and the little scroll shall have been opened now. But how is it opened? If we are ignorant of its content as well as what God is doing now, then how can we prepare ourselves to face God’s judgment of mankind in the last days? To these questions, I then asked the brothers and sisters in the church. Their answers were: The little scroll will be opened bit by bit, as it has been sealed with seven seals. But as for what’s happened to it now, no one can tell clearly. Besides, in the last days, God will bind Satan for a thousand years to transform us, and then for another thousand years, He will release it to test us, and this is the judgment. Still, such replies could not solve my questions. Moreover, I saw that the believers all lived helplessly in the cycle of committing and confessing sins. One married pastor even had affairs with some sisters of our church for 10 years, which was eventually fully exposed. I couldn’t help but sigh: Why was the pastor also living such a fallen life? All the efforts that we made to study , and to practice loving others as ourselves and living out the normal humanity, how could they not stop us from sinning? Thinking back, two thousand years ago, the had successfully fulfilled His work of redeeming us by being nailed to the cross. Two thousand years later, however, we are still living in sin, unable to extricate ourselves. The day of the Lord being near at hand, will we go meet Him so? Something seemed to be amiss in that; yet I myself could not make it clear.
Then carrying all my confusion, I left the Jehovah’s Witnesses for a church of Pentecost. The pastors here would collect offerings two or three times in each worship service on the Lord’s day, and often invented various items to collect money. All the believers focused on pursuing material blessings, seeing signs and wonders, and receiving the so-called “Holy Spirit” as well as the spiritual gifts of tongues, prophecy, etc. A pastor wanted to lay his hand upon and pray for me, saying that he could give me the “Holy Spirit,” and that I would be cleansed once I received it. However, I saw that many of them who had gained the so-called “Holy Spirit” still sinned inevitably, for example, stealing offerings, developing an extramarital affair. Even those pastors with many so-called spiritual gifts also had illicit affairs with some sisters in the church. Therefore, I declined him. But anyway, I still asked him the questions that puzzled me, “Pastor, it’s now already the last days when, as the Bible mentions, the scroll is opened and God comes to judge man. So, what are they all about?” He replied, “The Lord’s coming to judge man means that when the Lord returns in the last days, all men will come before Him; then He will call the roll, and judge and test us one by one according to our actions and deeds.” His answer sounded somewhat unrealistic to me, because for my part, the judgment shouldn’t be that simple. While I had no idea of its true meaning either, I still felt that there must be a deeper meaning within it. Consider the fact that all people are now deeply caught up in sin; based on such actions, who can withstand God’s judgment? I was bewildered. Then, the pastor was kind of impatient and said, “These are all mysteries, and you don’t have to know.” So I raised no more questions, thinking: Truly, these are mysteries. But it is the last days now. If we still do not seek these great things God will do, then how can we prepare ourselves and face the judgment God shall do? At last, I left the church disappointed and then returned to the Jehovah’s Witnesses; still, there was no answer all the time.
Afterward, I got a publication of the Jehovah’s Witnesses specifically on Revelation. I had ever tried to read and comprehend the book. However, at least 4 years had passed and I found myself still unable to get the answers from it, because even though they had summed up some verses, they could not explain their implied meanings. Seeing that the prophecies concerning the last days being fulfilled, yet I failed to learn what God is doing and how I should prepare myself, my heart was in so much pain and fraught with anxiety. I knew that there was no Holy Spirit’s work in the church and I was just observing church services. I went there empty and returned again empty, with nothing to fill my heart. I felt myself walking in circles all along, and no answer was found. Later, I no longer went to the church persistently but occasionally just to keep my family and children aware of God’s existence. We could listen to their talk about believing in God there, but received no supply at all. I felt totally worn out. I could only cry to God constantly, “O God! Where are You? What are You doing now? Today, I can see, is already the last days. I know the scroll has been opened since so many prophecies in Revelation have been fulfilled. But God, the churches have become ever more chaotic and we are still committing sins. Besides, I have so many questions and confusion. O God! I don’t know what to say … I just have a deep sensation that I need You so badly. Please help me! Help me! I don’t wanna get lost and I cannot but seek You.…”
When I turned to God and sought for His help, I called to mind the word in the Bible, “seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). I was confirmed in my heart that God had prepared the way for me. Before, I once posted on my page of Facebook the word, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10). One day in June, 2016, I found on Facebook that a brother named Danny liked my post, and sent me a friend request. In order to find out who he was, I hence opened his timeline. No sooner had I read his posts than I sighed, “Oh, my God! I seem to have found the truth.” I had no idea of what had happened; it was like having found what I had been seeking all my life. What he posted was totally different from those messages of other churches which provided no light; rather, these words have much truth and light within to be sought, fresh and new. They are all about what are happening presently and what God is doing now, rather than history. I was shocked. Thus I accepted his friend request, and later learned that he was a preacher of God’s kingdom gospel of the last days. Then we fellowshiped about how some prophecies concerning the last days had been fulfilled. He also sent me some hymns and words, such as “God Is Seeking Your Heart and Your Spirit” and “If I Were Not Saved by God.” I couldn’t refrain from sighing, “O my God! These words and hymns are my spiritual bread. They are exactly what I’ve been always seeking.”
Since the moment I started discussing with Brother Danny, I had realized that the words he sent over are full of authority and power, some of them with God’s majesty and righteousness, and some with God’s blessings and promises to us. I was excited and joyful, and couldn’t help asking, “Brother, Thank you so much! These words are so good. Where are they from?” He said, “They are the utterances of God Himself.” What he said greatly excited me: God’s utterances? What’s going on? God speaks? What else has He spoken? I felt a wave of amazement and expectation, as if I had seen the light. Then he added, “Thank God for enlightening you! God has come to do His work on earth and expressed the words to judge and purify man in the last days. I know a sister who has more knowledge of God’s work of the last days. If you like, I can invite her to have a meeting and fellowship with us about it as well as how the little scroll prophesied in Revelation is opened.” I agreed gladly, as these were what I had been seeking. Moreover, from the words I had read so far, I knew there are more truths here worthwhile to seek.
Then, through Brother Danny, I got to know Sister Flora and we fellowshiped on Facebook. I asked her, “Based on the various signs we have been given, I have a sense that the last days have come. At this time, as the Bible prophesies, God is going to do great things. However, I’ve asked many people, but none could tell clearly what God will do in the last days.” She answered, “Thank God! Now is indeed the last days. God has come among man to express the truth and done a stage of work of judging, chastising, purifying, and perfecting man.” Surprised, I thought: The work of judgment and chastisement? Purify and perfect man? Although I didn’t quite understand it, I felt her preaching worth seeking. After that, she read me two passages of God’s words, which say, “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 refinement, man can cast away his corruption and be made pure. … Though man has been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it is only considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with man’s transgressions. However, when man lives in the flesh and he has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing the corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sin and forgiveness. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. As such, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it would not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has corrupt disposition” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”). “The sins of man were forgiven because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live in the old, corrupt satanic disposition. As such, man must be completely saved from the corrupt satanic disposition so that the sinful nature of man is completely cast away and never again develops, thus allowing the disposition of man to be changed. This requires man to understand the path of growth in life, the way of life, and the way to change his disposition. It also needs man to act in accordance with this path so that the disposition of man can gradually be changed and he can live under the shining of the light, and that he can do all things in accord with the will of God, cast away the corrupt satanic disposition, and break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”). I had never heard these words before. So I said in my heart: All I need to do now is to seek humbly and to know more of God as well as His new work.