Learning How to Discern the True Christ and False Ones, I Have Welcomed the Lord’s Return
In June 2011, I became a believer of the Lord Jesus. During meetings, Elder Zhang, standing at the pulpit, often said with emphasis, “Brothers and sisters, the Lord, ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not’ (Mat 24:23). Now it is the last days. The apocalypse is coming. All those who preach the Lord Jesus has returned are fraudulent. No matter what they preach, do not believe them, or receive them, much less treat them in a friendly way.” At that moment, I thought: False Christs will appear in the last days to deceive people? If so, I had better listen to the elder. I’ll have meetings in the church and be well versed in the Bible, lest I be deceived. After that, I insisted on reading the Bible every day, believing that as long as I read more verses, I would be able to avoid being deceived and gain the approval of God then.
One day in 2014, a classmate of mine came to my home with a radiant smile. She said, “Today, I have a piece of good news to tell you. The Lord Jesus has returned, and He is Almighty God. He has performed a new stage of work on the foundation of the work of the Age of Grace, expressing the truth to judge and purify man’s corrupt disposition, and deliver us from sin thoroughly.” I could not help but be stunned after hearing this because I was reminded of the words of Elder Zhang, “All those who preach the Lord Jesus has returned are fraudulent.” Could it be that … I didn’t dare to think more. With this in my mind, I didn’t want to listen more. But, I was afraid that it would affect our harmony, and we might be estranged from one another, so I stood up and intended to cook. However, she still fellowshiped with me patiently. Not a little could I listen to her because I felt conflicted. Seeing my attitude, she said earnestly, “Almighty God is really and truly theof the Lord Jesus. You ought to conduct a thorough investigation of the work of Almighty God in the last days because it relates to whether we can be saved or not.” I was a little moved by her sincere words, but at the thought of Elder Zhang’s words, I felt a sense of hesitation and thus answered perfunctorily, “Okay.” Then, I turned around to cook. My classmate had no choice but to leave.
Later, once at a co-worker meeting, Pastor Li, standing at the pulpit and waving his arm, said arrogantly, “Brothers and sisters, now we are in the last days. Deception from false Christs occurs in the religious circles of various countries. Even in our church, many believers lack discernment, causing them to be deceived into following false Christs. This has just fulfilled the Lord Jesus’ prophecy, ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not’ (Mat 24:23). All news preaching the Lord has returned is false. We can’t believe it….” After hearing Pastor Li’s words, I didn’t dare to stop having meetings in the slightest, and I read the Bible more carefully, with a deep fear that I would be deceived one day and thus couldn’t be raptured and brought into the kingdom of heaven.
Afterward, I knew my husband had an affair, so we divorced. During that time, I felt miserable and weak. Moreover, the pastor and elder couldn’t speak of any new illumination in the meetings. Even some believers who were pretty enthusiastic before didn’t come to meetings, and some co-workers returned to the world to make money. Gradually, I felt distant from God.
In October 2016, I couldn’t go to work because my legs ached. During my recuperation, I suddenly thought of the following verse in the Bible, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is” (Heb 10:25). Then I began to seek a church around my home. Coincidentally, once, when I went to the hospital to buy medicine, I heard a song of praising God, “Jesus loves you, Jesus loves you. It’s the greatest blessing that we can receive His love for you and me. … Jesus saves you. …” Immediately, a warm feeling rushed into my heart. I realized that it was the Lord Jesus who was calling me, and then I followed the singing and found “The Happy Church”. I thought: The churches in our area became more and more desolate; the brothers and sisters had lost their original love and faith; the preachers had nothing to preach about. Today, I would listen to sermons in the grand church, and I wondered whether the pastor here could preach something new and whether my parched spirit could obtain nourishment. With great expectations, I attended the meeting. After spending a whole morning listening to the pastor’s sermon, I felt I was not moved by the Holy Spirit at all, nor did I understand anything. I prayed to God silently in my heart, “Lord, where are You? Why can’t I feel Your presence? The pastor merely followed ceremony in his sermons, and I received nothing. O Lord! I feel very thirsty in my spirit. May You water my heart….”
One day, when I chatted with an auntie, a neighbor of mine, I knew she also believed in the Lord Jesus. So, I felt very happy. Afterward, as soon as I was free, I would visit her. Once, when I went to visit her, I happened to see her and several people watching a movie. They enthusiastically greeted me by saying, “You’ve come at the right time. Come and watch the movie.” I saw that in the movie, two brothers were debating about a question regarding the Bible. When I was going to figure it out, I suddenly saw the words “The Church of Almighty God” in the movie. I thought: Can it be that they are believers in Almighty God? Then I was reminded of the words of the pastor and elder in our church so I gave rise to feelings of resistance. A brother seemed to read my mind and said to me with a smile, “Go on watching, and we can fellowship when it finishes.” The auntie said similar words. At that time, I was all at sixes and sevens, not knowing whether I should go on watching. Just at that moment, I heard someone in the video reading, “The work of this day is a continuation of the work done in the Age of Grace and an advance over that done in the Age of Law. The three stages are tightly interconnected and each link in the chain is closely tied to the next.” After watching the movie, the brother fellowshiped with me about the truth of God’s three stages of work, and said that there are three stages of work in God’s six-thousand-year management plan: the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and the Age of Kingdom in the last days. … His fellowship made sense, which was something I had never heard of in the churches. If God Himself hadn’t revealed these mysteries, who would have been able to see them? Through a day’s fellowship, I felt that Almighty God seems to be the return of the Lord Jesus, but I was not completely certain about that.
In the evening, I prayed to the Lord, “O Lord, that brother fellowshiped that Almighty God is Your second coming. I got a lot out of it. But I’m still not sure whether or not Almighty God is the true God and whether or not He is Your return. May You guide me to seek and investigate Almighty God’s work. Amen!” After praying, I thought of the words of the Lord Jesus, “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” (Jhn 16:12–13). I thought to myself: The Lord Jesus says that He will speak and work and guide us to understand all the truth when He returns. Now I have heard the words of Almighty God and known His six-thousand-year management plan, which is the truth I didn’t understand previously. At that moment, I remembered that my classmate had preached the gospel to me before. She said Almighty God is the true God, and asked me to examine the work of Almighty God carefully. However, I was afraid of embarking on the wrong path, so I refused to accept the kingdom gospel. I pondered: After hearing that brother’s fellowship, I feel that his fellowship has the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and also has new light, which is something that I have never heard of and seen before. After believing in Almighty God, he has really understood a lot. Could it be that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus? But just then, I recalled that in that co-workers meeting, Pastor Li said that all news preaching the Lord had returned was false and told us not to believe. Whom should I listen to on earth? At last, after praying and seeking, I determined to investigate whether Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus on earth.
On the third day, I went to the auntie’s home again. I asked the brother, “The Bible recorded, ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not’ (Mat 24:23). In the past time, when we had meetings in the church, the pastor and elder said that everyone who preached the coming of God was preaching a false Christ, and they always asked us to cling to the biblical prophecies in case we were deceived by false Christs in the last days. But through your fellowship about God’s three stages of work, I feel enlightened. I also feel that your fellowship has the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. But I don’t understand the truth about how to discern false Christs and what false Christs are. Today, I hope you can fellowship with me about them.”
After hearing what I said, the brother replied with a smile, “God’s words have already revealed the means of false Christs’ and false prophets’ deceiving people. Let’s read God’s words. 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 the sick, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are Jesus who has come, 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 the sick 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 the sick—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.’
“‘If a man calls himself God yet is unable to express the being of divinity, do the work of God Himself, or represent God, he is undoubtedly not God, for he has not the essence of God, and that which God can inherently achieve does not exist within him.’
“‘Apart from Christ, those who falsely claim to be Christ do not have His qualities. When juxtaposed against the arrogant and self-exalting disposition of those false Christs, it becomes apparent what manner of flesh is truly Christ. The more false they are, the more such false Christs show off themselves, and the more capable they are of working signs and wonders to deceive man. False Christs do not have the qualities of God; Christ is not tainted by any element belonging to false Christs.’
“God’s words tell us that His work is always new and never old, and that He never does the same work. Just like when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, He didn’t repeat the work in the Age of Law, but performed the next stage of His work of redeeming mankind on the foundation of the work done in the Age of Law. Almighty God of the last days has come to do the work. He also didn’t repeat the Lord Jesus’s work of the redemption of mankind; instead, He ends the Age of Grace and begins the Age of Kingdom. He speaks words to perform the work of purifying, saving and perfecting man, thoroughly resolving man’s sinful nature and corrupt disposition, saving man from the influence of Satan, and making man gained by God in the end. This shows that God never repeats His work, but instead His work is always moving forward and always going higher and deeper at every step. Conversely, the essence of false Christs is evil spirits. They can’t do the work of God, and they can only imitate some simple work that God has done after God’s work. Some false Christs have now emerged in various places in succession, such as Hua Xuehe of the Spirit-Spirit Sect (a poor translation of Ling-ling Jiao), Wu Yangming of the Established King sect, Ji Zhongjie of the Third Redemption sect, and so on. They don’t possess the substance of God, and they are incapable of expressing the truth and doing the work of bestowing life and the truth upon man at all. They can only imitate some simple work that the Lord Jesus has done and perform simple signs to deceive those foolish and ignorant people. However, major signs such as the Lord Jesus resurrecting the dead and feeding 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish could never be done by false Christs. Their deeds are the fulfillment of the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, ‘For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders’ (Mat 24:24).
“In addition, everything that false Christs reveal is their satanic nature of arrogance. They don’t possess any divine substance, but they exalt themselves, show themselves off, even claim themselves to be God and let people treat them as God. They don’t possess any normal sense, and they are precisely evil spirits. God allows false Christs to appear so that we can truly distinguish and forsake them and at the same time, we can have real understanding of God’s work, which is God’s wisdom and wondrous deeds.”
Through the fellowship of the brother, I understood: God’s work is always new and never old, and God will not repeat His work. He did not come to perform signs and wonders this time. False Christs possess no divine substance, so they are incapable of doing the work of God and can only imitate some simple work that God has done. If there is to emerge a person who can heal the sick, cast out demons, and manifest miracles, he must be a false Christ. The brother’s fellowship solved my confusion, so I felt very happy.
Afterward, a sister from The Church of Almighty God came to have a meeting with me. She fellowshiped with me about how to know the substance of God. God’s words say, “To study such a thing is not difficult, but requires each of us to know this truth: He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the substance of God, and He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He must do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon man, and show man the way. Flesh that does not contain the substance of God is surely not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining [a] whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance. If man sees only His external appearance, and overlooks His substance, then that shows the ignorance and naivety of man.” After reading this passage of words, she fellowshiped, “From God’s words, we can see that we should know God from His substance, rather than external appearance; that is, we should know God from His work, His disposition, and His words. God is the truth, the way and the life. Every time God becomes flesh, He does the work of starting a new age, brings forth one stage of the work He must do, and expresses God’s disposition and what He has and is. Just like when the Lord Jesus came to work, He concluded the Age of Law and opened up the Age of Grace, He saved mankind from the cross, He expressed the way of repentance, He taught people to love their enemies, to forgive others, and to be tolerant and patient, and so on. We have felt the Lord Jesus’ compassionate and loving disposition in the Age of Grace. Likewise, in the final age, Almighty God comes to conclude the Age of Grace and initiate the Age of Kingdom. He is carrying out a stage of the work of judgment and purification on the basis of the redemptive work. And He has expressed millions of words, and told us all the truths that we humans need to gain salvation. Through eating and drinking God’s words and experiencing God’s work, we have found the way to be free from sins, no longer suffer the bondage of sin, and have our life dispositions transformed and we have also seen God’s righteous disposition. From the work and word of Almighty God, we can absolutely confirm that Almighty God is God’s incarnate, and that He is God Himself appearing among men in the last days.”
Through fellowshiping about God’s words with the sister in our gathering, I finally understood what false Christs are, confirmed that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus and returned to Almighty God’s family. After accepting Almighty God’s work, I have understood many truths which I didn’t understand in the religious world, and many puzzling problems have been solved. I have enjoyed the pleasure of the Holy Spirit’s work in Almighty God’s family. I thank God for saving me time and time again from my heart. All the glory be to Almighty God!
a. The original text reads “as for.”
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