By Mily, United States
During my time believing in the Lord, I often heard the pastor say, “The Lord will soon come back, so we must vigilantly await Him. Now Eastern Lightning is testifying that the Lord has returned as a female. This simply isn’t possible! Thevery clearly records, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:17). What’s more, when the prayed, He called God in heaven His Father. In that case, God certainly is a male. So the testimony of Eastern Lightning that the Lord has returned as a female is false. Don’t listen to or believe it.” After hearing these words, I nodded my head in agreement, and I thought to myself, “Yes, this is so clearly written in the Bible. Even if the Lord has come back, He couldn’t be a woman!”
I had clung to this viewpoint until 2018. One day, when I was shopping, I met Sister Li, who had previously believed in the Lord in our church. We talked about a problem: Meetings were not as enjoyable as before, and most of them were simply going through the motions and for complying with rules, with the result that the spiritual life of believers was not being provided for. For this reason, I felt very helpless. One day some time later, the sister invited me to attend a small group meeting of her church. I thought, “It’s good to go and listen. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised.” I then happily agreed.
In the meeting, I saw a few brothers and sisters, who were dignified and decent and dressed simply and elegantly, and at first glance I felt as if they were believers in the Lord. I therefore became relaxed, and began to chat with them happily. Brother Chen first fellowshiped, “As we all know, it is already the last days now and the prophecies concerning the Lord’s return have basically all now been fulfilled. The day of the Lord’s coming is before us, so how should we welcome Him when He really returns?” I was taken aback by Brother Chen’s words, and I thought to myself, “Yes, I’ve known the day of the Lord’s return is upon us, but why have I not pondered this matter diligently?” Then, integrating the prophecies in the Bible, the brother fellowshiped with us about the Lord returning first in secret and then in public, how to distinguish between the trueand false Christs, what the wise virgins are and what the foolish virgins are, and much more. I gained sustenance from these topics and felt them to be fresh and new. I thought, “I’d never before heard such a good sermon!”
Brother Chen continued, “The Lord Jesus once said, ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come’ (John 16:12–13). From these words we can see that, when the Lord returns, He will utter words, because He will guide us to understand all the truth and tell us many things we don’t know. So, if we want to welcome Him, we must carefully listen to the voice of God. Only in this way will we be able to welcome the Lord.” Through Brother Chen’s fellowship, I understood that when the Lord returns, He will speak many new words, which is to say that He will do the work of “judgment must begin at the house of God” prophesied in the Bible, and cleanse and save man with the truth. In addition, he gave fellowship on many new topics and what he fellowshiped was in line with the Bible and facts. I understood what I had heard clearly. I felt I received more from this meeting than I had gained from hearing these years of the pastor’s sermons. As I had never listened to these sermons, I felt really excited and wonderful. I decided to continue attending this group meeting next time.
After a few days, I attended the group gathering again. During the meeting, Brother Chen shared a lot of content. After listening I felt what he fellowshiped was fresh and enjoyable. After the gathering ended, the brother said to me, “Sister, you can take this book home and read it. What I communicated is all from this book and every aspect of the truth is explained very clearly in it.” I happily accepted it and thought, “Brother Chen’s fellowship has been so clear. Could it be that this book states the truth in more detail?” At the time, because I hurried home, I did not see what type of book it was. That night, I took out the book, and with curiosity I turned to the last page to see which publishing house published it. At that moment, the words “PUBLISHED BY THE CHURCH OF ALMIGHTY GOD” clearly appeared before my eyes. I remembered how my pastor said that The Church of Almighty God is Eastern Lightning and that its believers were testifying that the Lord had returned in a female incarnation, which was impossible, and he also told us not to believe in it. Thinking of all this, I immediately felt panicky. I instinctively let go of the book, which fell onto my desk. I thought to myself, “It turns out that Brother Chen is a believer in Eastern Lightning. My pastor said Eastern Lightning believers bear witness that the Lord has returned in the form of a female. This is not at all in accordance with what we think of …” The more I thought about it, the more conflicted I felt and I didn’t know what I should do. I didn’t dare to read that book any more.
Later, Sister Li and Brother Chen invited me to meetings several times, but all I did was refuse. After a period of time, I felt empty and uneasy. I was quite nostalgic about the times I had meetings with them, and thought, “In fact, their sermons were excellent and accorded with the Bible, but I am unable to accept what they said about the Lord returning as a female. How could that be? I really don’t get it.” But then it occurred to me, “Why don’t I seek answers to my confusion with the brothers and sisters? If the Lord has really come back as a female but I don’t investigate, then won’t I miss the opportunity to welcome Him?” After a struggle with myself, I prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, should I study the way of Eastern Lightning? May You guide me! …” After my, I remembered the words of the Lord Jesus, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). From these words, I understood that the Lord required me to be a person who sought humbly, and that only such people could be enlightened by the Lord. After careful consideration, I decided to seek and understand this issue.
When Sister Li invited me once more, I agreed. At the gathering I asked the brothers and sisters, “We all know that when the Lord Jesus began to perform His work, the Holy Spirit bore witness and said, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased’ (Matthew 3:17). Moreover, the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father in His prayer. Since God in heaven and the Lord Jesus have a father-son relationship, then God must be male. Why do you testify that the Lord has returned as a female?”
Smiling, Brother Chen said, “We used to also think the same way. We in general have this viewpoint on God’s gender in our belief in the Lord. So is this viewpoint actually correct? The words from Almighty God today explain it clearly. Let’s read God’s words. Almighty God says, ‘When Jesus called God in heaven by the name of Father as He prayed, this was done only from the perspective of a created man, only because the Spirit of God had put on an ordinary and normal flesh and had the exterior cover of a created being. Even if within Him was the Spirit of God, His exterior appearance was still that of an ordinary man; in other words, He had become the “Son of man” of which all men, including Jesus Himself, spoke. Given that He is called, He is a person (whether man or woman, in any case one with the exterior shell of a human being) born into a normal family of ordinary people. Therefore, Jesus calling God in heaven by the name of Father was the same as how you at first called Him Father; He did so from the perspective of a man of creation. Do you still remember the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus taught you to memorize? “Our Father in heaven….” He asked all man to call God in heaven by the name of Father. And since He too called Him Father, He did so from the perspective of one who stands on an equal footing with you all. Since you called God in heaven by the name of Father, this shows that Jesus saw Himself to be on equal footing with you, and as a man on earth chosen by God (that is, the ). If you call God “Father,” is this not because you are a created being? However great the authority of Jesus on earth, prior to the crucifixion, He was merely a Son of man, governed by the Holy Spirit (that is, God), and one of the earth’s created beings, for He had yet to complete His work. Therefore, His calling God in heaven Father was solely His humility and obedience.’ ‘There are still those who say, “Did not God expressly state that Jesus was His beloved Son?” Jesus is the beloved Son of God, in whom He is well pleased—this was certainly spoken by God Himself. That was God bearing witness to Himself, but merely from a different perspective, that of the Spirit in heaven bearing witness to His own incarnation. Jesus is His incarnation, not His Son in heaven. Do you understand? Do not the words of Jesus, “I am in the Father, and the Father in Me,” indicate that They are one Spirit? And is it not because of the incarnation that They were separated between heaven and earth? In reality, They are still one; no matter what, it is simply God bearing witness to Himself.’”
After that, Brother Chen gave fellowship, saying, “From the words of God, we can understand that the Lord Jesus prayed to the Spirit in heaven as the Father and the Spirit in heaven testified that the Lord Jesus was the beloved Son of God—there was a background to all of them. When the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father as He performed His work, He did so from the perspective of a created being, that is, ‘Father’ is the honorific for God’s Spirit in heaven by God in the flesh. And when God in heaven bore witness that the Lord Jesus was His beloved Son, He bore witness to the incarnate God from the perspective of the Spirit, and that was God bearing testimony to Himself. The relationship between Father and Son here refers not to the father-son relationship in our notions. In the beginning, people at that time didn’t know about God becoming flesh or accept the Lord Jesus as their Savior, so God bore witness to Himself in the flesh from the perspective of the Spirit—He called the Lord Jesus His beloved Son, in order to enable more people to receive the Lord’s salvation. The ‘Son’ refers to the incarnate God and it means that the Lord Jesus is a normal Son of man who was born into an average family, but it doesn’t refer to the Lord Jesus’ gender. In other words, Father and Son are of one Spirit. It was only because God incarnated as the Son of man to work and save man that the Lord called God in heaven Father from the perspective of a created being. It represents God’s humility and obedience. However, when the work of God incarnation was complete, there was no longer any Father and Son. Actually, God is Spirit in essence and doesn’t have a gender. In addition, God has never testified that He is male and there is no such record in the Bible. We deduce that God is male just based on a verse, but are we defining God relying on our own imaginations and notions?”
After hearing Brother Chen’s fellowship, I felt a bit shocked, thinking, “Oh, so because when God’s Spirit did His work in the flesh at first, no one knew Him, God bore witness to Himself in the flesh from the perspective of the Spirit. Then, the terms the Father and the Son came about. However, I’d been believing that they meant God was male. I indeed understood the verse according to my own notions and imaginings.” After understanding this aspect of the truth, my heart felt a little brighter. I then asked, “Why is it that God incarnated as male in the stage of work done by the Lord Jesus, yet God has incarnated as female in the work of the last days?”
Brother Chen shared another passage of Almighty God’s words with me, “Each stage of work done by God has its own practical significance. Back then, when Jesus came, He was male, and when God comes this time, He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for the sake of His work, and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit comes, He can take on any flesh He pleases, and that flesh can represent Him; whether male or female, it can represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus had appeared as a female when He came, in other words, if an infant girl, and not a boy, had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If that had been the case, then the present stage of work would have to be completed by a male instead, but the work would be completed all the same. The work done in either stage is equally significant; neither stage of work is repeated, nor does it conflict with the other. At the time, Jesus, in doing His work, was called the only Son, and ‘Son’ implies the male gender. Why is the only Son not mentioned in this current stage? Because the requirements of the work have necessitated a change in gender from that of Jesus. With God there is no distinction of gender. He does His work as He wishes, and in doing His work He is not subject to any restrictions, but is especially free. Yet every stage of work has its own practical significance. God became flesh twice, and it is self-evident that His incarnation during the last days is the final time. He has come to make known all His deeds. If in this stage He did not become flesh in order personally to do work for man to witness, man would forever cling to the notion that God is only male, not female.”
After reading God’s words, Brother Chen fellowshiped with a smile, “Through God’s words, we can know that, whether or not God incarnates as male or female, it has significance, and it’s all for the sake of His work and is to remove our notions that delimit Him. In fact, God’s essence is spirit, without gender distinction, and He only takes different genders when He becomes incarnate flesh to do the work of salvation. Whether God incarnates as a man or a woman, as long as He is the flesh that God wears, then He represents God Himself and can complete the work God is going to do. For example, at that time the Lord Jesus did His work in male form and He was crucified, completing His work of redeeming mankind. If God incarnate had worked in female form, the work of redemption would have been completed all the same. So, whether the flesh that God wears is a man or a woman, the results of God’s work will not be affected at all. In the Age of Grace God worked in male form, and if in the last days the Lord Jesus had returned still in male form, we would have forever defined God as male, so much so that we would have mistakenly thought He was only the God of men, not of women. If this were the case, we would not see God’s righteousness. In the last days God became flesh as a female, for it is to attack our conceptions, to eliminate our biased, fallacious understanding of God. It also allows us to know that God is not only the God of men, but also of women, and that He is the God of all created beings. From these we can see how significant God incarnating as a female in the last days is, and how righteous God’s disposition is. Regarding the gender of God’s incarnation, we arbitrarily delimit God based on our own notions and imaginations. Doesn’t this show that we are too arrogant and irrational? God is so wonderful and unfathomable and His work cannot be imagined by us humans. In our approach to the Lord’s return, we should hold a heart of humble seeking and only in this way will we be able to easily obtain God’s enlightenment and guidance.”
After hearing this, I came to understand that God chose a different gender the two times He has incarnated so as to keep us from delimiting Him, to change our erroneous understanding of Him and to prevent us from opposing Him because of our notions. God really is so very wise! I thought of how I had thought God was male in the past just because the Lord Jesus called God in heaven Father and God in heaven called the Lord Jesus His beloved Son. Plus, pastors and elders also often said so, and thus I became even more certain that what I thought was right. If Almighty God hadn’t opened these mysteries to us, I could never have understood them even if I spent all my life believing in the Lord. I saw that I judged the gender of God and delimited the image of God according to the literal meaning of the verse—this was really so foolish, ignorant, arrogant and irrational. I had resisted God but I did not know it.
When returning home after the meeting, I felt like I was dreaming and I didn’t dare to believe that I had really welcomed the Lord. However, through those meetings I confirmed from my heart that the words of Almighty God are the truth and God’s voice. At that moment, recalling my behaviors when I first heard the news of the Lord’s return, my heart was filled with regret. So, I silently prayed a prayer of repentance to God, “O God! I had been too arrogant and unreasonable. I almost missed Your return because of my own notions and imaginings. Thank You for showing me Your mercy and grace and for giving me the chance to hear Your words again. I am willing to be a person who humbly seeks and takes heed to listen to Your words. Amen!”
After a period of investigating, I determined that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. So, I accepted theof the kingdom of Almighty God and began living a fresh and lively church life. My heart became brighter and brighter.
In what seems like the blink of an eye, I have accepted Almighty God’s gospel of kingdom for a year. By reading Almighty God’s words, I have understood what genuine faith in God is, had a deeper understanding of my corrupt disposition, gained more and more knowledge of God’s sovereignty as well as God’s love, and known how to live out a life of value and meaning. I feel that what I have gained now is far more than I have gained in ten years from the religious community. Now I occasionally recall my experience of welcoming the Lord’s return, and every time I think of it, my heart is filled with fear, and at the same time full of gratitude. Thanks be to God for leading me to return before Him!