By Qiu Guo
Childhood dreams were sprinkled across the star-twinkling night sky. The Lord led me forward, His warm hand holding mine tightly. Looking up into the sky, I called out in my heart, “Lord! You told me You will come again. I remember Your promise. I’m waiting for You, waiting for You to take me to beautiful heaven.”
In my dreams, I often sang extolling heaven’s beauty, “And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like to clear glass. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. … And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there” (Revelation 21:18-19, 23-25).
I knew it was You who created heaven’s beauty. My heart was cheerful. My heart was leaping. Hand in hand and side by side, my sisters and I ran on the spiritual road.
In spring, treading on the green grass, I watered the young seedlings according to Your words and praised Your glory together with other brothers and sisters.
In summer, under the scorching sun, we ran around to preach the . When storms raged, guided by Your words, we overcame the weakness of our flesh and continued toiling and laboring.
In autumn, fruits were in abundance. The numbers of our church kept increasing. Nourished by Your words, they grew well.
In winter, facing the jeers and slander of the worldly people, I bore Your cross, resolute and unwavering.
Rushing and busying about, and suffering and hardships could not dampen the expectation in my heart. Oh, Lord! It was Your promise that gave me inexhaustible strength.
Yearning! Waiting! You would come soon! I longed desperately for You to rapture me into heaven.
After so long a wait, the day You promised finally arrived. But why could I not find any trace of You? Oh, Lord! Where are You? Could it be that You have already forgotten me? Oh, Lord! Have You ever observed the present situation of the church? Have You ever noticed my weakness?
Oh, Lord! Previously, I often met You in spirit and dreams, but now I feel so far away from You. I feel spiritually weak and feeble. Please show me the way forward and guide me.
I waited and yearned anxiously, with no idea of when You would come to take me to beautiful heaven so that I could leave where I sojourned and stay by Your side forever.
One special day, a sister came to me, her face full of smiles. I was led into a farmhouse, where a melodious song wafted into my ears. It went,
“Accompaniment: Ah … ah … ah … ah … ah … ah … ah … ah….
The almighty true God, the King on the throne, rules over the entire universe entire universe, facing all nations and all peoples. God’s glory shines throughout the world. … This is the holy trumpet, holy trumpet has sounded! Listen attentively: How sweet the sound is! Utterance from the throne! Declaring to all nations and all peoples. The time has come. It’s the end of the last days. Management plan of God has come to its end. God’s kingdom has appeared publicly on earth. Nations of the world have turned into . Nations of the world have turned into kingdom of God. … Peoples will swarm into kingdom of God, kingdom of God, kingdom of God” (“God’s Kingdom Has Appeared on Earth” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs).
I was puzzled and amazed: Why is the song so melodious? Why is it so enjoyable and pleasant? Can it be that the Lord has heard my prayers and come to take me to heaven? But I heard something like this, “God’s kingdom has appeared publicly on earth. … Peoples will swarm into kingdom of God….”
No! No! I shook my head: God’s kingdom cannot be on earth! The Lord will come to take me to heaven, where gold covers the ground and the walls are made of pearls and agates. My home is in heaven….
In hesitation and bewilderment, I halted my steps. The warm and enthusiastic greetings finally detained me. Before the several strange faces, I expressed the perplexity in my heart: “Why will the Lord not lead me into heaven, which is built with pearls and agates and whose ground is covered with gold, when He comes?”
A brother explained softly and patiently, “In fact, man’s destination prepared by God is on earth. Do you remember that it was in the Garden of Eden on earth that our ancestors Adam and Eve lived? God used to go there to converse with them….”
“No! The Lord’s promise will not fall through. He will never leave me on earth to be trampled by Satan at its will.”
The brother went on saying, “The Lord’s promise never fails. Just because man is of flesh and blood and has been deeply corrupted by Satan, God becomes flesh again on earth and utters His words to purify and transform man’s corrupt satanic disposition. Only after man has been purified can he be qualified to enter God’s kingdom. …
God says, ‘the arrival of the Millennial Kingdom on earth is the arrival of God’s words on earth. New Jerusalem’s descent from heaven is the arrival of God’s words to live among man, to accompany man’s every action, and all his inmost thoughts. This is also the fact that God will accomplish, and the wonderful scene of the Millennial Kingdom’ (‘The Millennial Kingdom Has Arrived’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
Then he read more words of God, which constantly struck my heart. I felt puzzled and the brother continued fellowshiping with me patiently in detail …
Deep into the night, I lay awake tossing and turning. My dream of heaven over years actually was a vague belief. At that moment, Almighty God’s words resounded in my mind, “Man’s place of rest is on earth, and God’s place of rest is in heaven. While man rests, he will worship God and also live upon earth, and while God rests, He will lead the remaining portion of humanity; He will lead them from heaven, not from earth. God will still be the Spirit, while man will still be flesh. God and man both have their different respective manners of resting. While God rests, He will come and appear among man; while man rests, he will be led by God to visit heaven and also to enjoy life in heaven” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Oh, God! I come to the realization. What You promised me is true. The work of chastisement and judgment You come to do in the flesh is to purify and change my corrupt satanic disposition. You use Your words to guide all my life and lead the direction of my progress. I know the heaven in my dreams is on earth. Now You will take up Your sovereign power on earth, and guide us personally to break free from Satan’s bondage and enter the wonderful world on earth akin to heaven that You have prepared for us.