I Have Drunk the Water of the River of Life

Yangwang    South Korea

I was brought up in a family with a Presbyterian background of three generations. From childhood, I went to church with my family, and after reaching adulthood, I was appointed to various posts in the church, such as deacon, church-keeper, accountant, and so forth. I have been looking up to God and gone through 70 years of my life journey.

On May 22, 2013, our church held a worship meeting of the WCC (World Council of Churches), which aimed to promote the ecumenical movement (A movement aimed at universal Christian unity) and religious pluralism (All pagans who do not believe in the Lord Jesus also have redemption). This movement advocated that all religions, including Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, groups which worship evil spirits, and so forth, should come together. They said that God is love, and that believers in Christianity, Buddhism, and any other groups which worship evil spirits can all receive salvation. Whatever they said, their ultimate aim was to promote unity among religions.

Because it was the leaders of our church that led us into the WCC, many believers took an indifferent attitude toward it. I was very sad about that. I thought their view totally violated the teachings in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18, “Be you not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship has righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Christ with Belial? or what part has he that believes with an infidel? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? for you are the temple of the living God; as God has said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Why come out from among them, and be you separate, said the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, said the Lord Almighty.” According to these verses in the Bible, the Buddhists and other idol worshipers worship evil spirits, having nothing to do with the belief in the Lord. How could they say that the idolaters can also be saved? How could the Christian Church be united with the idol-worshiping religions as one? I became aware that the church I was in had walked on the way of betraying God. I also saw that during each worship meeting, when the elders and the church-keepers who served in the church interceded for the church, they prayed what had been written out beforehand. I thought that a true prayer should be one that says the words within one’s heart to the Lord; even if a person only says one or two words, they should be said from his heart. For the Lord said: “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24). A prayer that recites the prepared words is not a true prayer and the Lord will not be pleased with such prayers. Besides, when a deacon was to be established, instead of following the teaching of the Bible to select the one who was grave, sober, faithful, and not covetous (see 1 Timothy 3:1-11), they chose the one who donated the most and had the greatest zeal. I saw the church leaders violated the Lord’s teachings at every turn; they led the believers with their own doctrines. I could not see the leading of the Lord in such a church, could not feel the work of the Holy Spirit or receive true supply of life. I was too disappointed to continue worshiping God in this church, so in May 2013, I left the Presbyterian Church.

After coming out of the Presbyterian Church, I, whose life used to center around the church life, lost the foundation. For a while I felt aimless and helpless, not knowing where to go. In order to find a church that obeyed the Lord’s teachings and could supply me with life, I turned to the Internet, listening to the sermons given by famous pastors both at home and abroad. I wandered for three months like that. During that period of time, I got in touch with a female preacher who had been a member of my former Presbyterian Church. She set up a church after finishing studying theology, but some time later, her church became so desolate that only she herself was left. I had meetings with her while listening to sermons on the Internet. However, whether the female preacher graduating from the seminary, or the famous pastors at home and abroad, none of their sermons could give me enjoyment or life supply. Therefore, I continued to search.

Three months later, I contacted a True Jesus church, whose doctrines I felt were relatively in accordance with the Bible. In this church, the pastor lived a simple and poor life and the believers had faith—these phenomena attracted me. So I began to take part in the church activities and served as accountant in one of its church groups. After some time, however, I found the worship meetings here began and concluded with praying in a tongue, and they regarded speaking in tongues as the only proof of having the work of the Holy Spirit and being saved. But I didn’t think so, because Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.” My comprehension of the verses was this: The orthodox faith should aim at understanding the Lord’s words and bearing nine kinds of fruit of the Holy Spirit in our daily life, which is the only proof of having the work of the Holy Spirit. Besides, in worship meetings, the pastor constantly repeated the platitudes without any new contents or light, and the majority of the believers dozed off when listening to the preaching. Such meetings were following procedures. The joy of worshiping the Lord couldn’t be seen, and most believers were negative and down. Faced with such desultory meetings, I thought: Will the Lord like such pro forma meetings? Will they be acceptable to the Lord? Are the meetings with the Lord’s presence? It seems that such meetings are men’s meetings without the presence of the Lord, which are full of formalities and rules and abandoned by the Lord. Then I thought of these words in Revelation: “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; … I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked” (Revelation 3:14-17). Was the situation of the church today not that of the church of the Laodiceans? Such a church couldn’t satisfy the needs in my spirit. I felt much empty and helpless. Looking back, I realized that the two churches I had been in were actually the same, where the believers kept rules summarized by men and the meetings were following procedure, and there was no work or leading of the Holy Spirit. At that time I only hoped that the Lord would return soon, and I often asked in my heart: Lord, when will You come back?

Then I became more anxious, and I kept searching on the Internet. Whenever I had time, I would search the Internet by the key words relating to God’s appearing such as “the voice of God,” “the footsteps of God,” and so on, in the hope of finding the news about the return of the Lord and the church that could supply me with life. On the morning of January 27, 2016, I tapped in some words—I forgot what words I had typed in. When I clicked on a video, I heard a passage of amazing words: “My kingdom is forming over the whole universe, and My throne is seizing the hearts of trillions of people. With the angels’ assistance, My great accomplishment will soon be brought to successful completion. All the masses of My sons and My people, anxiously await My return, anticipating My reuniting with them, never to be separated again. How could all the populace of My kingdom not run around in celebration with each other over My being together with them? Could this be a costless reunion? I am honorable in the eyes of everyone, I am proclaimed in everyone’s words. When I return, I will conquer all enemy forces even more.” Although I could not fully understand these words, I realized they meant that God’s kingdom is to form over the whole universe, God’s people are to return before Him, and the forces of Satan are to be conquered. I felt these words carried God’s authority and could not be spoken by any man, so I pricked up my ears. At first I was lying on my stomach in bed because of the cold weather, but as I listened I involuntarily rose and knelt. I went on listening: “The time has come! I want to put My work in motion, I want to reign supreme among man! I am returning! I am leaving! This is what everyone is anticipating, what they are hoping for. I want to let everyone see the arrival of My day and joyfully welcome the coming of My day!” And I asked myself anxiously: Where are these words actually from? Then I saw on the computer screen these words “from The Word Appears in the Flesh.” I instantly called up two Christian bookstores, asking whether they sold this book, but got the same reply: No. I was disappointed, when suddenly I caught sight of the telephone number at the end of the video. Immediately I dialed the number and a sister answered it. I knew from her that this book could not be bought with money. I told her that I must get this book, so we appointed to meet at a certain time.

On February 5, 2016, it was freezing cold, and two sisters (a Chinese and a Korean interpreter) came to my house. I invited them in to have a talk. They asked me about how I knew the book The Word Appears in the Flesh, why I was eager to read this book, and my journey of believing in God. I told them what I had experienced in believing in God. Then with the assistance of the interpreter, the Chinese sister told me that the Lord Jesus has already come back and that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. She also told me, “Now only by praying in the name of Almighty God can we follow the footsteps of the Lamb, can our life receive supply. Almighty God, the returned Lord Jesus, has already carried out on earth a stage of work of judgment starting from the House of God, that is, the work in the Age of Kingdom. He has expressed new words and disclosed all the mysteries in the Bible. Only by keeping up with God’s new work of the last days can our life be nourished and our thirsty spirit be watered….” Listening to her words, I was quite astonished: Has the Lord really come back?! Is Almighty God the Lord Jesus whom I have been expecting eagerly? Although I knew the Lord Jesus would return, I dared not fully accept Almighty God whom they testified to be the returned Lord Jesus. But then another thought hit me: In the past, the Pharisees had been waiting for the coming of the Messiah, but when the Lord Jesus came to work, they didn’t recognize Him as the Messiah. They resisted the true God, in the end falling into God’s punishment. I have warned myself many times before that I should never resist the Lord Jesus like the Pharisees when He comes back. Additionally, when the Lord Jesus was born, the prophet Simeon and the prophetess Anna recognized Him as the One the Scripture prophesied. They had been serving God devoutly, and expecting the Savior in the prophecies to descend. So because of their piety, they met the Lord before their death (see Luke 2:25-38). I always envy them and hope to be able to recognize and accept the returned Lord Jesus like them. So, when they proposed to pray together in the name of Almighty God after their fellowship, I hesitated for a moment and then agreed. After our prayer, the sister handed the book to me. She emphasized that all the words in the book are God’s personal utterances, and are very important for us to be saved and gain life, and she told me that I should read them in earnest. When they left, I said goodbye to them reluctantly and watched them go.

After that, I began to read Almighty God’s words and attend meetings with brothers and sisters from the Church of Almighty God on the Internet. I heard many new utterances and new songs, which watered my life and moreover made me certain that this was the church I had been seeking for and the church that had the work of the Holy Spirit. I first read these words of God: “True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). I said “Amen” to them in my heart. Looking back on my belief, I had been simply contented with the redemption of the Lord Jesus, but ignorant of the true meaning of belief in God. Now these words made me enlightened. Brief as they are, they explain the true meaning of belief in God thoroughly. Such words can only be spoken by God, and will become the motivation of my faith. I later saw some words of Almighty God exposing man’s true condition of being corrupted. And compared with Hebrews 4:12 in the Bible, “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,” I had a stronger sense that they were indeed God’s words, for only God can thoroughly dissect our corruption, and only God can look into our thoughts and ideas. Apart from these, I understood many verses in the Bible that I hadn’t understood before through reading Almighty God’s words. The words expressed by God—the living water of life—nourished my life just like a good rain after a long drought. In addition, I was supplied in the spirit through fellowshiping about God’s words together with my brothers and sisters. When I saw all my brothers and sisters were spreading God’s kingdom gospel with great confidence and performing their duty actively, my faith was inspired. If it was not the true way, why were they so zealous in preaching the gospel? The more I investigated, the fewer the doubts in my heart were. I couldn’t deny that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. Indeed there is the work of the Holy Spirit here and the Church of Almighty God is the true church. Almighty God’s words enabled me to taste what the Lord Jesus said: “But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). I didn’t have to search around for the church with the work of the Holy Spirit any more.

Through God’s words, I came to know the essence of the religious world and the roots of its desolation. God’s words say: “Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. Today, all those who follow the actual words of God are in the stream of the Holy Spirit…. ‘Following the work of the Holy Spirit’ means understanding the will of God today, being able to act in accordance with the present requirements of God, being able to obey and follow the God of today, and entering in accordance with the newest utterances of God. Only this is someone who follows the work of the Holy Spirit and is in the stream of the Holy Spirit” (“Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Not so for the people who do not accept the new work: They are outside the stream of the Holy Spirit, and the discipline and reproach of the Holy Spirit do not apply to them. All day, these people live within the flesh, they live within their minds, and all that they do is according to the doctrine produced by the analysis and research of their own brains. It is not the requirements of the Holy Spirit’s new work, much less is it cooperation with God. Those who do not accept the new work of God are bereft of the presence of God, and, moreover, devoid of the blessings and protection of God. Most of their words and actions hold to the past requirements of the Holy Spirit’s work; they are doctrine, not truth. Such doctrine and regulation are sufficient to prove that the only thing that brings them together is religion; they are not the chosen ones, or the objects of God’s work. The assembly of all those among them can only be called a grand congress of religion, and cannot be called a church. This is an unalterable fact” (“God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words made me realize: Because they don’t accept God’s new work, both my former Presbyterian Church and the True Jesus Church where I once stayed, have been cast behind by the stream of the Holy Spirit and become religion, and are no longer the churches of God. Besides, the Presbyterian Church has joined the World Council of Churches to achieve unification with the Buddhism and factions worshiping evil spirits, and the True Jesus Church takes speaking in tongues as the proof of being filled with the Holy Spirit and being saved—such practices as these are actually doctrines produced by the research of men’s brains; such way as the religious leaders lead has deviated from the Lord’s teachings and violated the Lord’s will; and such churches can never please the Lord and have been abandoned by God. Thus, people worshiping God there can’t receive God’s guidance, and they are thirsty and hungry in the spirit. Almighty God also says: “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 starving, 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” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “I regard the universe in its entirety and see that[a] it is an opportune time for My work, so I journey to and fro to do My new work in man. … I will do the work of the entire universe and perform great work, revealing all My glory and all My deeds to man in the last days. I shall show My full countenance of glory to those who have awaited Me for many years, to those who have longed for Me to come upon a white cloud, to Israel that has longed for Me to once again appear, and to all mankind who persecute Me, so that all will know that I have long ago taken away My glory and brought it to the East. It is not in Judea, for the last days have already come!” (“The Seven Thunders Peal—Prophesying That the Kingdom Gospel Shall Spread Throughout the Universe” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The Lord Jesus has returned to flesh and done a new work, and accordingly, the work of the Holy Spirit has turned to God’s work of the last days. The religious circles have totally lost the work of the Holy Spirit and those who remain in the religious venues have fallen into a dark desolation. This is the same as when the incarnate Lord Jesus carried out the work of redemption outside the temple in the end of the Age of Law. The temple was desolate then because God’s work had taken one step forward upon the foundation of the work in the Age of Law and the focus of God’s work had been transferred to the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. I then thought of the words of Jehovah God in Amos 8:11, “Behold, the days come … that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” And I completely understood why my life was not supplied when I was in the two churches and listened to sermons of many famous pastors, but after listening to the words of Almighty God, my spirit was revived. All of this is because God has done a new work and the work of the Holy Spirit has moved. Whichever church doesn’t follow God’s present work will lie in ruins, and whichever church follows the footsteps of the Lamb can drink the living water from the ever-flowing wellspring God bestowed on us.

The more I thought, the more I felt I was truly blessed. God didn’t forsake me. He allowed me to meet His return in my lifetime so that my thirsty spirit was nourished by His utterances in the new age. Almighty God says: “The way of life is not something that can be possessed by just anyone, nor is it easily obtainable by all. That is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, there is no way of life without God Himself, and so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life. From when He created the world, God has done much work involving the vitality of life, has done much work that brings life to man, and has paid a great price so that man might gain life, for God Himself is eternal life, and God Himself is the way by which man is resurrected” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words are the way of eternal life, and His words, like the ever-flowing wellspring of living water, are inexhaustible and limitless. Just as what 1 Corinthians 13:9-12 said, “For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face….” These verses have been fulfilled by God’s work of the last days. Almighty God’s words have completed our incomplete knowledge, and through reading His words, my life is supplied, and I enjoy the satisfaction which I have never had. I no longer seek, no longer hesitate, no longer look around, and no longer become restless. Now I’m receiving Almighty God’s personal work and guidance, and I feel secure and peaceful in my spirit, which makes me feel immeasurable joy. I sincerely offer my thanks and praise to Almighty God. I am willing to forever worship Almighty God who deserves glory and honor. May all the glory be to God!