By Lily, the United States
A Chance Encounter in the Church
On a Sunday in March 2017, a sister of our church dragged an aunt passing by the church to attend our meeting, and I happened to know that she was my fellow villager through her introduction. It was the first time that I met a person from my hometown since I came to America three years ago, and moreover, she was a sister in the Lord. I fell into her arms and cried at once. After that, we always spent time together and we treated each other as family. And later the aunt recommended Brother Liu to study the Bible with us.
I remembered when we had our first Bible study, Brother Liu communicated with us about the work God had done in the Old Testament era and the New Testament era. After hearing that, I felt it was very fresh, and it allowed me to gain some new knowledge about God’s work. Because, in normal times, sermons I heard in the church were more about love, faith, and tolerance, but few about the knowledge of God’s work. I felt this fellowship was special, as it was what I didn’t understand before, and I had gained a lot after hearing that.
The Scroll Has Been Opened, and theHas Come Back
Continually, Brother Liu communicated about the meaning of the verse, “… holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). He said thatis making us get rid of sin and reach holiness. Only such people can enter the heavenly kingdom. He studied the related Bible verses: “But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:15–16). “These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:4–5). He also provided examples and said: “God is holy, so God requires us to be holy. And the first fruits made by God are all without blemish. This is the standard of entering the heavenly kingdom. But now, we all haven’t reached that, we often sin and constantly betray the Lord’s teachings. For example, God told us to first seek for God’s kingdom and His righteousness, but we often pray to God for material blessings and family peace, which is totally adverse to God’s will. Also, in our life, we would only praise God when we encountered some good things, but we were able to complain about God and misunderstand God as soon as something bad befell us. In addition, in dealings with others, if something had to do with our own benefits, we often told lies or dealt with them depending on our hot blood.”
The brother read a passage of God’s words: “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity”). After hearing these words, I was completely convinced because these manifestations were exactly that of mine in life. Even though our sin had been forgiven by the Lord Jesus, I couldn’t achieve not sinning. I haven’t reached holiness, so how can I? Afterward, the brother showed us a movie clip “Does Salvation Mean Final Salvation?” I clearly saw that God is holy, and He will never bring a man with filthiness all over to His kingdom. Just accepting the name of is not enough for us to enter the heavenly kingdom, we must also cast away our corrupt disposition.
Through several fellowships I came to know that the Lord Jesus has already come back, and He is Almighty God who is carrying out the judgment work of the last days. I eagerly wanted to read more of God’s words. Before I left, Brother Liu gave me a copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb, which gave me extreme joy. On my way home, I read it eagerly. I felt that Almighty God’s words are powerful, and meanwhile I saw that it exposes many corrupt truths of man’s realistic life, and that it also tells us how we should seek. The contents included in it are really too abundant!
Rumors Struck, the Lord’s Will Must Be Sought
One day, I picked up The Scroll Opened by the Lamb to read. Because I wanted to know more about the Church of Almighty God, then I searched “the Church of Almighty God” on the internet. Unexpectedly, there were so many words of slandering and attacking Almighty God, and they said that the Church of Almighty God was an underworld organization. I was stunned at once. How could it be this way?
Immediately, I felt a little scared and directly called the aunt: “Aunt, I just searched The Church of Almighty God, and something’s not right.” After the aunt knew what had happened, she said: “We shouldn’t decide before we make it clear, much less say the blasphemous and slanderous words. Let’s ask Brother Liu to explain to us.” I agreed on my lips, but in my heart, I determined not to see Brother Liu anymore. Later on, when the Brother phoned me, I didn’t answer it and when he sent me messages, I didn’t reply too. I was driven to distraction by this matter every day. For a while I thought about the brother’s communication about “… holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” and felt it was very reasonable; for a while I thought about the negative information on the Internet; for a while I remembered the words in The Scroll Opened by the Lamb, feeling that they are extreme realistic. I turned it over in my mind and considered, feeling that my head was spinning, but I was still unclear about how to treat it. At last, I had to pray to the Lord: O Lord, You know my present situation, I really hope that what I seek is the truth, but I don’t have discernment, what should I do? Lord, I hope I can find the answer when I go to church this Sunday.
The Lord’s Wondrous Orchestrations Made Me Have a Direction
The next evening, I went home by bus after work. After I got off the bus, a foreigner suddenly shouted “Excuse me!” behind me. I didn’t notice whom he shouted to, just caring about walking home quickly. But he still shouted loudly “Excuse me!” I looked back and then he said: “Do you know the Lord Jesus? He has come back! Are you going to church tomorrow?” “Yes.” I replied. And then, he opened his phone’s Bible app and turned to Revelation 22:17, reading: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that hears say, Come. And let him that is thirsty come. And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” He also told me that the Lord comes from the East. Listening to his words, I felt very puzzled: Brother Liu told me that the Lord has come back, but before I figured it out, a foreigner came to tell me the matter of the Lord’s return. What is really going on? Back at home, I immediately prayed to the Lord: “O Lord, my mind is really in turmoil. I know now is the end of the last days, and I also believe that You will come again, but have You truly come back? Why do I meet those who preached to me theof the Lord’s return? Lord, may You keep me and make sure I seek the way that is compatible with the truth. May You help me and lead me.”
Sunday is coming soon. Before going to the church, I prayed to the Lord again, hoping that pastors could solve my confusion. That day, I was the first one to arrive at the church. When a pastor came, I asked: “Pastor, how should we interpret the verse ‘… holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). We often live in the cycle of sinning and repenting, if we can’t reach holiness, can we still see the Lord’s face?” The pastor explained: “It does not mean that we can’t see the Lord’s face if we are not holy. As long as one accepts Jesus, he can enter the heavenly kingdom.” The pastor also reminded me to take precaution against being misled by others’ expositions. “I see.” I replied. But I obviously felt that what the pastor said was unpersuasive, while what Brother Liu said was more in line with God’s will. I agreed with the word that if a man is not holy, he can never see the Lord’s face.
Through these two things, I decided to continue my investigation of Almighty God’s work, seeing whether Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. Since I had listened to the communication of Brother Liu before and had also read so many words of Almighty God, I felt that they were very realistic, so I couldn’t deny all God’s words just because a little rumor on the Internet. If I miss God’s salvation of the last days, then the one who suffers loss is only myself! And so, holding all kinds of questions in my thoughts, I began to have meetings with Brother Liu and others again.