Why does God allow setbacks or failures? How should we trust God in difficult times and thus keep our faith in God? Read this article to find the answers.
Distinguish the True Christ From the False Ones-Welcome the Second Coming of Jesus
In May of 1990, a friend preached the gospel of the Lord Jesus to my wife and me because of our long-term living with sickness. After accepting His salvation, we attended meetings actively and pursued zealously. And before long, we all became well. From then on, we had more faith to sacrifice and spend for the Lord.
On one evening of May 2008, I returned home from factory to attend meeting. When I arrived home, my wife told me: “The Lord Jesus we have yearned for so long has come back. Tonight, a brother is coming to testify about God’s new work for us.” At her words, I said seriously: “The senior preacher often emphasize that it is the last days and there will be many false Christs to deceive us. So we must be cautious of those preaching God’s work in the last days. Did you forget it? You often preach to brothers and sisters that we shouldn’t accept other ways easily, how could you let the stranger come to our home to preach God’s new work? The Lord: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:23-24). The Lord Jesus has reminded us clearly that false Christs and false prophets would deceive us in the last days. How could you forget it? So foolish you are!”
After hearing my complaints, my wife counseled me very calmly: “It’s true that there will be false Christs appearing in the last days to deceive people. But if we don’t hear or contact all preaching God’s work in the last days absolutely, how could we possibly meet the returned Lord? Having believed in the Lord for many years, we have been looking forward to the Lord’s return every day. Since someone has come to preach that the Lord has come back, we should take the initiative to seek and investigate it. Only by doing so can we welcome the return of the Lord!”
When I heard my wife’s advice, I said impatiently: “Stop it! Go to cook dinner! There is a meeting tonight!” Seeing my firm attitude, my wife didn’t say any other words. Yet I couldn’t calm down and I thought: How could my wife be so impetuous? The Lord’s coming is a great matter. Without discussing with me, she allowed the preacher to come to our home. If what he preaches isn’t the return of the Lord Jesus, won’t we be betraying the Lord? What should I do? That’s it! I must tell them not to come again. Thus we won’t be betrayers of the Lord! But then I changed my mind and thought: It is not correct either. The Bible also says, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares” (Hebrews 13:2). Ah! Forget it! I’d better listen first.
When the evening for meeting came and we just finished our prayers, Sister Wang in our church came to our home with a brother. As soon as they came in, Sister Wang introduced the brother to us happily: “Brothers and sisters, we have believed in the Lord and been waiting for the Lord’s return for many years. Now the Lord Jesus has already come back. Today I invite Brother Li to fellowship God’s work in the last days with us.” At the same time, Brother Li was greeting us with a smile. After Sister Wang’s words, brothers and sisters began to discuss with each other. I was so unhappy but greeted them reluctantly and asked them to sit down.
Brother Li said smilingly: “Brothers and Sisters, thank God! We can get together tonight, this is prepared by God! As we all know, now is already the last days, and the biblical prophecies of the Lord’s return have been fulfilled one after another. What do you think of the subject of the return of the Lord?”
Being somewhat unhappy, I said: “There is no doubt that the Lord will return in the last days. But in the terms of the coming of the Lord, the Lord Jesus reminded us, ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:23-24). The Lord Jesus told us clearly that false Christs and false prophets would come to deceive people during the last days. Then we should be careful and cautious lest we should be betrayers of the Lord. What’s more, there are a few persons having followed false Christs. So we must be careful and cautious in preparing for the return of the Lord. The only thing we can do is awaiting the Lord to come and take us to the kingdom of heaven.”
Sister Zhang said: “It’s true! Certainly we should be cautious in preparing for the Lord’s return. Because the Lord Jesus said, ‘And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many’ (Matthew 24:10-11). From the Lord’s words, we can know that in the last days many believers in the Lord will be offended and betray one another. Also, there will be false prophets deceiving people. So we can’t be hasty, we’d better be careful and cautious.”
Brother Li said: “Brothers and sisters, as we prepare for the coming of the Lord, it is right for us to have a careful and cautious heart. But we should be clear about the Lord’s Jesus’s intention in these words. If we think the meaning of these words is to let us guard against false Christs and not seek and investigate the work of true Christ, it is not after the Lord’s will. Because the Lord Jesus once said: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me’ (Revelation 3:20). From these words, we can know that the Lord requires us to know how to identify the voice of God. And the one who hears God’s voice and opens the door can sup with Him. Now, Almighty God, the return of the Lord Jesus in the last days, has expressed truth and carried out a stage of judgment and chastisement work. It is the Lord that is knocking at our doors. Only after we have understood how to discern the true Christ from false Ones, and dispelled the fear of being deceived by false Christs at root, can we not be deceived by false Christs.”
Sister Wang said: “Yeah! If we don’t want to be deceived by false Christs, we have to distinguish the differences between the true Christ and false Christs. In this way, regardless of how cunning the false Christs are, and how many brilliant impersonations of God they do, we won’t be deceived.”
Hearing that, I thought: What they are saying is kind of reasonable. Someone once preached Almighty God’s work in the last days to us many times. But being scared of being deceived, I closed my heart tightly and dared not listen. Today, Brother Li preaches that only those who can discern true Christ from many false ones cannot be deceived. Then how exactly should I distinguish them? I’d better listen more, and see what they will fellowship.
My wife said: “As a matter of fact, there was someone preaching Almighty God’s work in the last days to us before. But being afraid of being deceived by false Christs, we dared not listen. And we just waited for the Lord to receive us. However, how many years have passed, we have not seen the Lord’s appearance. It turns out that guarding passively is also not right. Yet we can’t distinguish the differences between the true Christ and the false. So, we want Brother Li to fellowship the truth with us about how to recognize the true Christ. It is of the utmost importance to us in investigating the true way.”
Brother Li said with a slight smile: “Brothers and sisters, the question you raised is critical. It involves the major issue of us believers in the Lord—whether we can welcome the return of the Lord. If we don’t understand this aspect of the truth, and are deceived by false Christs, it will be in vain even if we follow God for life. Actually, if we want to differentiate between the true Christ and the false, we must first understand what Christ is. Let me read a passage of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says: ‘God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the substance of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but instead, the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh is not one that can be replaced by just any man, but one that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those fake Christs will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the substance of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself’ (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From Almighty God’s words, we can see that Christ is the incarnate God. That is to say, the incarnate God is Christ. So, to distinguish the true Christ from the false ones, we should first know the substance of Christ. There are substantial differences between the true Christ and false ones. And the primary ones are as follows: First, God’s incarnation flesh is a particular flesh, and is His own flesh. God’s incarnate flesh is entirely different from the flesh of man. And this flesh has never been corrupted by Satan. Second, it is Christ that can bring His work to be done, end the old age and usher in a new age, and bring the ways to practice to people. Just as when the Lord Jesus came, in order to redeem mankind, He personally became flesh, was crucified for mankind and redeemed man back by His blood. From then on, man’s sins were forgiven. While, neither can the false Christs conclude the old age and usher in a new age, nor can they do God’s work. They can only and imitate some work God did. Third, Christ become flesh can supply the life of people, express word to supply what people need for their life, and replenish people’s deficiencies. Just as the word the Lord became flesh expressed, all of them were in accordance with people’s needs at that time. For example: “love others as ourselves, love our enemies”, “be tolerant and patient, forgive others seventy times seven times”, and so on. We are keeping His teachings until this day. While the false Christs can’t express the truth, nor do they supply what people need for their life. And the false Christs have no truth but evil in their essence, much less supply the life of people. So the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by us man, but is determined by God’s substance. If He is Christ, He is able to express truth to supply people, and bring people hope and light. If he is evil spirit, what he reveals is indeed evil, and it is to afflict and devour people.”
Hearing God’s words and his fellowship, I couldn’t help but feel shocked. I thought: Having believed in the Lord for many years, I only called the Lord, but I have never known what Christ is. Today, Almighty God’s words have interpreted clearly what Christ is. So the incarnate God is Christ. And he fellowshiped the truth about how to tell the true Christ from the false ones so clearly. Why haven’t I known before? It shows that Almighty God’s word is out of the ordinary!
Brother Li continued his fellowship: “In fact, pertaining to how to distinguish the false Christs, the Lord Jesus has told us the manifestations of false Christs’ deception of people long ago.”
Upon hearing this, I looked up at Brother Li instantly and thought: The Lord Jesus has told us? Why haven’t I known? I have read the Bible many times, but why haven’t I found it?
Brother Li looked at me and said smilingly, “The Lord Jesus said: ‘For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:24). The words of the Lord show us that false Christs and false prophets mainly rely on performing signs and wonders to deceive people. That is to say, any that claim to be Christ and show many signs and wonders in the last days are surely the false Christs. This is the primary manifestation of false Christs’ deception of people. The Lord Jesus reminded us not to follow them because of the signs and wonders they show. From these, we can know that the Lord will never show signs and wonders again when He returns. But it doesn’t mean that all those who preach the Knowing God’s Work Today”). From Almighty God’s words, we can know that God doesn’t repeat the same work! Just as when the Lord Jesus came to work, the Age of Grace was begun and the Age of Law was ended. And He did the work of redeeming all of mankind and saved man from sin. In the last days, Almighty God has come and brought to the end the Age of Grace and opened up the Age of Kingdom. Instead of repeating the work that has been done by the Lord Jesus, He has carried out the work that is uplifted and deepened on the basis of the Lord Jesus’s redemption work, expressed the truth to save man and resolve the root of man’s sinning and man’s satanic corrupt disposition thoroughly, so that man can be saved completely out of Satan’s influence of darkness and be gained by God. While both the false Christs and false prophets are the evil spirits claiming to be Christ. They are incapable of doing the work of starting a new age and concluding the old age. Also, they have no truth within them and can’t express the truth. What they can do only are imitating the work the Lord Jesus has carried out and showing some supernatural signs and wonders to deceive those who lack recognition. Yet like the signs and wonders showed by the Lord Jesus, such as bringing Lazarus back from the dead, feeding five thousand with just five loaves of bread and two fish or rebuking the wind and sea, the false Christs and the evil spirits are not able to imitate them at all. And those are totally beyond them. The essence of the false Christs is wicked, ugly and base, they are evil spirits, and they have no the reality of truth at all, so they deceive man only by showing signs and wonders. And sometimes they admonish man and deceive man by imitating the tones of God’s words and simple words once spoken by God. These are their habitual tricks. So we should learn to discern in case of being deceived.”of the Lord are testifying false Christs. We can’t twist the Lord’s words and fall into Satan’s trap. The Lord Jesus has told us the false Christs’ characteristics. Then let’s have a look at what Almighty God says about this! Almighty God says: ‘If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, and can cast out demons, and heal, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are the coming of Jesus, then this would be the counterfeit of evil spirits, and their imitation of Jesus. Remember this! God does not repeat the same work. Jesus’ stage of work has already been completed, and God will never again undertake that stage of work. … In the conceptions of man, God must always display signs and wonders, must always heal and cast out demons, and must always be just like Jesus, yet this time God is not like that at all. If, during the last days, God still displayed signs and wonders, and still cast out demons and healed—if He did exactly the same as Jesus—then God would be repeating the same work, and the work of Jesus would have no significance or value. Thus, God carries out one stage of work in every age. Once each stage of His work has been completed, it is soon imitated by evil spirits, and after Satan begins to follow on the heels of God, God changes to a different method; once God has completed a stage of His work, it is imitated by evil spirits. You must be clear about these things’ (“
Brothers and sisters were talking in a low voice …
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