What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
A Lost Sheep Has Returned to the Side of the Shepherd – Return to God
By Xinjing, Malaysia
Ever since I have any memory, my parents have been doing odd jobs and worship in the temple. I once asked my mom, “What kind of god do you believe in?” She said, “I don’t know, yet I have to worship because this has been handed down through generations.” I thought: If she herself doesn’t know what she worships, what’s the meaning of her worship? Therefore, I think my mom is blindly worshiping. Afterward, I grew up gradually, and began to search for my own belief. At that time, I had a middle school classmate who was a. After graduation from middle school, she invited me to attend a preaching meeting, and I accepted her invitation happily. At the preaching meeting, I heard the pastor read the following scripture: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I was deeply touched, feeling is so great that He has bestowed mankind His Son in order that they could gain eternal life through Him. Therefore, after the preaching meeting, I asked the pastor to for me and decided to return to the Lord. After believing in the Lord, I was eager to read the . Gradually, I understood some biblical knowledge, and began to serve in the English church service.
But later, I saw believers in the church paid too much attention to speaking in tongues, and they said I was not of their category because I couldn’t speak in tongues. However, I found what they pursued was not practicing the Lord’s words in the Bible. As a result, I left that church a year later. After experiencing a stroke, I went to a Baptist church, which providing Chinese and English services. After I attended meetings for a period of time, I found the believers there also didn’t keep the Lord’s teachings. The Lord demanded us to love each other, have humility and patience, be tolerant and merciful to others. However, what I saw was that the brothers and sisters in the English group were against those in the Chinese group, the co-workers of the two groups often had disputes while having meetings, and common believers would judge the upper leaders behind their backs, and many factions were formed in the church. I was greatly disappointed to see all of these things. Although people believe in God on the lips, they violate the Lord’s teachings, isn’t this exactly what the Lord says “This people … honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me”? Are there any differences between such acts and those of the unbelievers? I didn’t feel the Lord’s presence there at all, therefore, after two years, I left there in hopelessness and sadness.
After leaving that church, I stayed at home for five years. During that period, I became cold in the faith, and was weak in the spirit, hardly praying or reading scriptures. Without any spiritual devotion, I was passive to the extreme, and the last hope was that I didn’t deny the Lord in my heart. Moreover, the saddest thing to me was that since I left the church, nobody, whether the leaders or the co-workers of the church, had ever visited me, and only one sister wrote a letter to me. The church should be home to believers, a place full of the Lord’s love, and the duty of the pastors and co-workers should be caring for and shepherding the believers to keep them from lost, and the brothers and sisters should show care and concern for each other. But I didn’t know why the church had become worse than the society and there was no love in it at all. I felt rather lonely in my heart.
One day in July, 2008, when I worked in the company, four robbers suddenly broke into my office, and they hit me on the hand and head fiercely with a wooden stick, and had robbed my belongings there. At that time, my head was broken, my arms were wounded, and the blood on the head just dropped on one of my favorite spiritual books named “God’s love.” After that, I lived in constant fear for half a year, the scenes when I was beaten often appeared in my mind. I thought: Is it because I didn’t go to church all the time that I don’t have the Lord’s keeping anymore? Therefore, I returned to that Baptist church while my arms were still banded with gauze. When I came into the church, the brothers and sisters were singing hymns, I heard one lyric from a song “I live on in Your grace….” At that moment, I cried and thought in my mind: Yes! O Lord, owing to Your grace, I’m still alive, I would like to return to the church. However, after returning to the church, I still felt disappointed. Except two sisters who had known me for a long time gave me greetings, nobody else, including leaders, co-workers, and other members, expressed their happiness for my returning to the church. But no matter how others treated me, I knew that I returned for following the Lord. In view of this, I decided to stay in the church, and later began to do the serving of collecting offerings, reading scriptures, and reception. I saw that many people served in the church, but only talked about the Lord’s teachings on the lips, nobody had put them into practice. Usually, while the pastor is preaching on the pulpit, people sitting in the congregation would just do their own things, such as sleeping, playing the cellphones, or chatting with others etc. I thought: Isn’t going to church for listening to the Lord’s words? How could things have become like this? As time passed, I also became cold in the heart. Each time I read scriptures on the pulpit, my heart wasn’t touched and couldn’t feel any light, as if I were reading a common book. I was very thirsty in spirit. In facing of the growing desolation of the church, I had no solution. In that period, I was robbed once on my way to the church service, and later I found that I had uterine fibroids and might get uterine cancer if things became worse. I often cried out to the Lord in those difficulties and pains, “Oh, Lord! Where are You?” But I couldn’t get the Lord’s response at all.
In July, 2016, I met Brother Bowman on Facebook, and he shared with me afilm entitled Awakening From the Dream. I knew from the film that the heroine was a church co-worker and she was determined to labor hard for the Lord from her childhood, waiting the Lord to rapture her into the heavenly home. Later, she met the brothers and sisters of the Church of , heard the news that the Lord has already returned, and also learnt that God has done the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. At first, she held on to her own notions and didn’t accept it, and later, the witnesses read Almighty and fellowshiped with her their knowledge of God’s words. She finally found her notions and imaginations were wrong, and therefore she gave up her notions and accepted God’s end-time work. After seeing the film, I thought Almighty God’s words and the fellowship of the witnesses were both very practical, and I had a little knowledge of what the film testifies—Almighty God is the returned incarnate Lord . However, I was still not certain that the has returned and done a stage of new work, for I was afraid of going astray and offending the Lord. In my hesitation, I saw another article shared by Brother Bowman, in which were listed some examples of ancient saints and prophets who forgot or gained God’s blessings. What most impressed me was the citation of Isaiah Chapter 43 Verses 18-19: Thus said the LORD … Remember you not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. When I read the Bible before, each time I read these verses, I would be attracted by them without knowing why. And I often thought: O Lord! What kind of new thing will You do on earth? But I didn’t find out the answer all the time. Now it seemed to be clear to me that this new thing is God’s judgment work in the last days, which is completely new, and has never been done by God before. I thought: Those unpleasant things happened to me have passed by, and I need to stand up again and investigate God’s new work. Reading the verse at the end of the article: “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth to those things which are before…” (Philippians 3:13), I was greatly moved, I said in my heart, “O Lord! You are right, I’m willing to forget the past and rouse myself again. If Almighty God is really Your second coming, I’m willing to be a person who can “follow the Lamb wherever he goes.”
The next day, I met Brother Yang on Facebook, we communicated the work God did before in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, and talked about the desolate scenes in the church of the Age of Grace and my hard experiences these years. Brother Yang sent me a passage of Almighty God’s words: “Mankind, who left the supply of life from the Almighty, does not know why they exist, and yet fears death. There is no support, no help, but mankind is still reluctant to close their eyes, braving it all, drags out an ignoble existence in this world in bodies without the consciousness of souls. You live like such, with no hope; he exists like such, with no aim. There is only the Holy One in the legend who will come to save those who moan in suffering and long desperately for His arrival. This belief cannot be realized so far in the people who are unconscious. However, the people still yearn for it so. The Almighty has mercy on these people who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time” (“The Sighing of the Almighty”). I was touched by God’s words. These words are like the calling of a gentle loving mother, who has been hoping I can understand God’s heart, and eagerly expecting me to truly rely on Him. At that moment, tears were filled with my eyes. I said in my heart: “O God! Without your leading, I can’t feel any support. Just like an orphan, I don’t know where the direction to proceed forward is. I’m more like a body without soul, living hopelessly in this world. O God! Looking back on these years, though I have been serving in the church, I only saw jealousy and strife, and couldn’t feel any love among believers, and neither could I feel Your presence! God! Only You know my inner hardship, and only You have mercy and love for people. I’d like to sincerely rely on You.” From that moment, I undoubtedly believe this is the voice of God, and am willing to know more about Almighty God.
In the following days, Brother Yang gradually sent me many words of Almighty God, including words about knowing God’s work, knowing God’s sovereignty and authority, revealing the actual fact of man’s corruption, and about the destination and outcome of mankind and so on. These various kinds of words are abundant, and they give my life unprecedented watering and supply, and I could heartily enjoy the richness from God just as if I came to the beautiful land of Canaan. When I have meetings with the brothers and sisters of the church of Almighty God, whether singing hymns, praying, reading God’s words or fellowshiping about the truth, I feel the presence of the work of the; and no matter what difficulties I have, the brothers and sisters would help and support me with God’s words and their own experiences, which give me more faith to follow God.
One day, I read from Almighty God’s words: “but in fact, God’s work in them ceased long ago, and the work of the Holy Spirit is absent from them. The work of God was long since transferred to another group of people, a group on whom He intends to complete His new work. Because those in religion are incapable of accepting God’s new work, and only hold to the old work of the past, thus God has forsaken these people, and does His new work on the people who accept this new work. These are people who cooperate in His new work, and only in this way can His management be accomplished” (The Millennial Kingdom Has Arrived). “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”). When I read these passages, I was suddenly enlightened, and couldn’t help recalling my experiences in the religious church: Co-workers raised jealousy and strife against each other, the believers judged each other, the preachers weren’t responsible for the flock’s life, the believers slept in meetings, and I didn’t feel a bit of fresh light even when reading scriptures. All of these are because God has stopped doing work in the church of the Age of Grace, He has started to do a stage of new work on earth, and the work of the Holy Spirit has moved. Thinking of the time I have spent together with brothers and sisters of the church of Almighty God, I see that my heart is often touched by God’s words, and the experiences of the brothers and sisters have also given me much encouragement and help. This makes me no longer feel thirsty in spirit and my heart no longer feel lonely and lost, all of which are the results achieved by the work of the Holy spirit! At this moment, I am further certain that Almighty God is the unique God Himself, and only when we return before Almighty God can we get satisfied in our life. Thinking about this, I strengthened my resolution to follow Almighty God.
When I went to attend the meeting in the religious church, I resigned from my serving position to the pastor. The moment I walked out of the church building, I really felt relaxed in my heart, for I knew there is no leading or working of the Holy Spirit there anymore. Only if we accept the end-time work of Almighty God and the watering and shepherding of God’s present words can we get full supply and have a more and more normal relationship with God. Looking back on the course of my growing up, I thank God! It is Almighty God that has led me to keep up with God’s new work. Like a lost sheep, I have returned to the side of the Shepherd and have been led by Him to the green pastures and the side of the stream. I feel unprecedentedly liberated in my spirit. All the glory and praise be to Almighty God!