By Zien, Hong Kong
When I was old enough to know better, I realized that I was an unpopular child. Since my childhood, all things I had met were disappointing and I would even fall down when walking. I felt I was really a person of bad luck. I often thought, “Why? Why is it always me to fall on evil days?” “Why do people live?” When I grew up, like a drowning man catching at a straw, I started to worship various idols, such as Guanyin Bodhisattva, Buddha, and many other idols which I didn’t even know their names. As long as people said worshiping something could keep me away from misfortune, I would worship it. However, nothing was changed in my life.
At the lowest point in my life, I got to know an elder who preached the of the to me. Before long, I went to the address he gave me and began to gather with brothers and sisters. Gradually, I came to know that the Lord Jesus is the only true God who created the heavens and the earth and all things, that man was created by Him, and that everything is controlled by Him. In August, 1998, I was baptized. At first, I took part in the meetings actively, but I didn’t have true knowledge of the Lord Jesus. Besides, I grew up in an environment lacking love from childhood. So, I couldn’t feel that “God is love, and we should love one another” at all, which is always preached in Christianity. Instead, I saw there was often jealousy and dispute among the believers: In the church, a sister’s child found a good job, yet a co-worker, out of jealousy, said repeatedly, “Why did your child find a good job but mine didn’t?” Even the serving ones particularly thought highly of those who had a high position in society. If someone overcome by sins sought help, he would be coldly refused. The pastor in our church was relatively famous in the Mainland. In his sermons, he testified many times how he had suffered and been imprisoned for 20 years for the Lord as well as his other deeds, but rarely spoke of God’s deeds. Therefore, many people revered him and followed him. Occasionally, some foreign famous and important people or the believers of nearby countries came to him attracted by his fame, which also became the capital he would often show off. I thought he was exalting and testifying himself, and not testifying God. I was stumbled by their actions. Half a year later, I left the Christian Church, and continued to live my own life…. However, unlike the life of worshiping the idols before, I always thought of the Lord during the following four years when I departed from Him. His status had never faded from my heart.
In December, 2002, I reached the lowest point of my life again. I felt depressed by failures in work and love. It is said that “man’s end is God’s beginning.” Just several days before my unemployment, I offered to join a Chinese home meeting where my colleague was. I had refused his invitation to the meeting many times, but this time I wanted to attend very much. Just in the evening of that day, I met a sister whose experience was similar to mine. She was from Hong Kong and came to the meeting for the first time. All of her sharing touched my heart and moved me. My heart drew close to the Lord. I knew this was His arrangement. The returning enabled me to truly feel that God is love. Though I had left Him, He never gave me up. The returning was a turning point of my spiritual life. Thank God!
After getting married in 2005, I often lived in the Mainland because I was unaccustomed to the life in Hong Kong. I didn’t settle down in Hong Kong until my daughter was born in 2012. During those years, I went to some churches: the Three-Self Church and the house churches in the Mainland; the Christian and Missionary Alliance, the Peaceful Gospel Church, the Baptist Church, the James Church, and the Pentecostal Church in Hong Kong. I found that though the names of them were different, they had a lot in common in their situations: The pastors and elders often think highly of this one and look down on that one, treating the believers according to their likes. And the condition of the believers is generally neither hot nor cold. Many of them believe nominally, they are frequently weak, and merely attend the meetings for blessings. In the meetings, the pastors and elders often share the messages repeatedly, with no new light. And they even have to pray many times and spend many days on preparation before they finish a sermon. As to whether the preaching is attractive, it all depends on whether the preacher is humorous, lively, or eloquent. If the preaching on the platform was dull, then the audience would snooze or leave early. Mostly, the preachers even write the intercession in advance, and then read it when praying…. Later I learnt that most pastors and elders working in the churches were elected by the believers or recruited. In order to keep their jobs, they tried their best to flatter the believers. And they even dared not to blame the believers who went against the Lord’s teaching. Even some sold gold joss paper and silver joss paper (ps: “Joss paper” is is used by Chinese for smoke sacrifices at religious and family celebrations, and gods are offered gold joss paper, while ancestors and ghosts get silver joss paper). But the pastors and elders didn’t dare to interfere, for fear of losing their status if they offended the believers. There was a believer whose unbelieving husband asked her to burn incense and worship Buddha every day. So she asked the pastor and elder whether she could continue worshiping the idol. Yet they told her that she could go on doing what her unbelieving family had demanded of her, and they even took the verse as an example, “In this thing the LORD pardon your servant, that when my master goes into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leans on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon your servant in this thing” (2Kings 5:18). However, I remembered a verse in the says: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). The pastors and elders viewed their interests as more important than God, fearing man rather than God. I wonder: Are they believers in God? Don’t they interpret the Bible according to their own will? Isn’t it obviously going against the Lord’s teaching? All their behaviors made my condition worse and worse. Gradually I fell into a state of having no light when reading the Bible and no enjoyment in meetings or prayers. For a long time, I was unwilling to read the Bible, and my spiritual condition sank into a low tide once more. I was longing for a church which could supply my spirit, so I kept praying for this.
I experienced God’s grace again in August, 2016. A sister in our church introduced me to the brothers and sisters from the Church of Almighty God. Together we continually searched the Bible for nearly two weeks on many aspects, such as God’s names and works both in the Old and the New Testament age, the way of the Lord Jesus’ return and His work, His Judgment, separating sheep from goats and wheat from tares, etc. Such communication gave me the enjoyment I had never had before. I was very satisfied in spirit. After a whole day’s sharing, I didn’t find it boring in the slightest, but was eager for the meeting next day. During the fellowship for about two weeks, the brothers and sisters testified to me the name of Almighty God and that the Lord Jesus has come back, doing the work of judgment and purification in the last days on the foundation of the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. At that time I struggled in my heart and didn’t know whether I should continue to listen or not, afraid of going onto a wrong way due to my ignorance. However, the investigation and communication during these days weren’t away from the Bible and were well-founded in all respects. If they just said the Lord has come back without any proof, it was definitely unbelievable, but the prophecies of the Lord’s return, the way of His return, and the work to do, as well as His new name all have biblical evidence. Thinking of this, I decided to keep investigating.
At the end of the meeting, the sister of the Church of Almighty God said she had a book of God’s word, “The Eternal Gospel—the Kingdom Salvation Has Come.” She asked me if I would like to read it. I accepted without any hesitation. After I returned home, I read the book whenever I had time. The more I read, the more I couldn’t put it down, and the more desperate I was to read more. The words in the book are too wonderful! I felt none of the human beings could write these words. Man’s writings are usually one-sided, adulterated, theoretical, and with personal experiences, but in this book I saw authority, power, majesty, and wrath between the lines including the revelation of man’s corrupt nature and the mysteries of God’s work. So I was sure except for God Himself, no one could write such words.
Afterward, the brothers and sisters fellowshiped a key question with me, i.e. the reason why so many churches I had gone to are more and more desolate, brothers and sisters lose faith and love, preachers feel lost and don’t know what to talk about, and the entire religious community lose the work of the Holy Spirit. The sister read two passages for me, “We all know that now is the late period of the last days. The Lord Jesus once prophesied: ‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold’ (Matthew 24:12). Now iniquity in the religion is more and more prevalent. Religious leaders don’t abide by the Lord’s commandments; instead they hold onto men’s traditions, and only preach biblical knowledge to show off and testify themselves, but not to testify or exalt God at all. They’ve completely departed from the Lord’s way. Therefore they have been rejected and eliminated by God. This is main reason why the religious world has lost the work of the Holy Spirit. In addition, the Lord Jesus has returned to flesh and begun the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. As of the last days, Almighty God has expressed all the truths of saving mankind to purify all who accept His work of the last days, the work of the Holy Spirit has been transferred to this work of God. Those who accept Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days have received the work of the Holy Spirit, supplied and watered with the living water of life. God will make the people who return before His throne overcomers, and make them the ones who are of one mind with Him. However, those, who still stay in the religious place and refuse to accept God’s work of the last days, have fallen into a dark desolation. This fulfills the prophecy in the Bible: ‘And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered to one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have you not returned to me, said the LORD’ (Amos 4:7-8). Here, ‘one piece was rained on’ refers to churches that accept and obey God’s work of judgment in the last days. As they have accepted God’s current words, they have enjoyed the provision and watering of the living water of life that flows from the throne. ‘And the piece whereupon it rained not withered’ refers to the religious pastors and leaders who refuse to practice the Lord’s words and disobey His commandments. They reject, resist, and condemn Almighty God’s work of the last days, so that the religious world is rejected and cursed by God, completely lose the work of the Holy Spirit, have no provision of the living water of life, and become trapped in desolation. Just like at the end of the Age of Law, when the temple, once so full of Jehovah’s glory, became desolate. The Jewish people didn’t hold to religious laws. Priests made improper sacrifices. The temple became a place of trade, a den of thieves. Why did this happen? Primarily because the Jewish religious leaders didn’t abide by Jehovah’s laws and didn’t fear God in their hearts. They abided by men’s traditions, but rejected God’s commandments. They departed completely from the way of God and lost the work of the Holy Spirit. Another reason was that God had been incarnated to do the work of redeeming mankind in the Age of Grace. God’s work had changed. All those who accepted the Lord Jesus’ redemptive work received the work of the Holy Spirit, and had a new way to practice, but those who rejected and resisted the work of the Lord Jesus were eliminated by God’s work and fell into a dark desolation.”
“God’s purpose in making the religious world suffer famine is to force those who truly believe in Him and love the truth to walk out of religion to search for the footsteps of God’s work, for what the Spirit says to the churches, and for God’s appearance and His work. Those who hear God’s voice, accept and obey Almighty God’s work of judgment of the last days are clever virgins, the people raptured to His throne. These people have attended the feast of the Lamb, and enjoyed the provision of the living water of life that flows from the throne. Their former faith and love have been recovered. They all train to eat and drink God’s words and to practice and experience God’s words in order to realize the truth and enter into the reality. When people understand the truth and have true knowledge of God, they will fear and obey God. Then they will get new life from God! Any religious group or individual who doesn’t accept Almighty God’s work will be abandoned and eliminated by God, having no work of the Holy Spirit. This is completely beyond doubt! Let’s read Almighty God’s words: ‘God will accomplish this fact: He will make all people throughout the universe come before Him, and worship the God on earth, and His work in other places will cease, and people will be forced to seek the true way. It will be like Joseph: Everyone came to him for food, and bowed down to him, for he had things to eat. In order to avoid famine people will be forced to seek the true way. The entire religious community is suffering severe famine, and only the God of today is the wellspring of living water, possessed of the ever-flowing wellspring provided for the enjoyment of man, and people will come and depend on Him’ (“The Millennial Kingdom Has Arrived”).”
Hearing these explanations, I finally understood the reason for the desolation of the religious world. Just as when the Lord Jesus started to do His work, God’s Spirit no longer worked in the temple. The Holy Spirit’s work was transferred to the disciples and believers who followed . The religious leaders departed completely from , and all their deeds were hated by God, so the Lord Jesus didn’t work in the temple; instead He preached in the wilderness. So is the last stage of work. When Almighty God began to do His work on earth, the Holy Spirit didn’t work in religion anymore. If I want to receive the work of the Holy Spirit and gain the watering of the living water of life, the most important thing now is to spare no efforts to seek and investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days. Only when I keep pace with God’s new work, will my spiritual darkness be solved at the root.
I sincerely thank Almighty God for getting me back again. The Bible says: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 3:22). Actually it refers to God’s utterance in the last days. God expresses words in the last days to look for His lambs. I’m lucky to be one of them and be brought back to God’s home by my shepherd. All the glory, authority, and honor be to the supreme Almighty God! Amen!