I Will No Longer Define the Gender of the Returned Lord by My Imagination
Max United States
In 1994, I was born in the United States. Both of my parents are Chinese, my mom is a typical strong woman and I love her so much. When I was a second grader in elementary school, my parents took me to China to learn Chinese. At that time, I began to know the Lord . I still remember one day in 2004 when I got home from school, I found there was a guest, a priest from the United States, whom my mom introduced to me. I was very delighted. Because I knew that my mom had already believed in the for a period of time. Before she burnt incense and worshiped Buddha at every festival. But, since she had faith in the Lord, I no longer had to bear the smell of the burning paper money. Just on that day, this American priest told me stories about the Lord Jesus. Soon afterward, I was brought to our bathroom. Before I could react, with a plop, my head was pressed into the bath and then dragged out instantly by the priest. Simultaneously, my mom and the priest said to me, “Welcome to the embrace of Jesus. We’re all the lost sheep of God.” In such an inexplicable way, I walked into the new start of my life, but I was pretty joyful within. After that, I would attend the worship in the church and listen to the priest tell stories and read the verses every Sunday, feeling very happy.
In 2008, I came back to study in the United States, with my dad accompanying me throughout the study. During this period, I always adhered to attending the meetings in the church. It was not until I graduated from the high school in 2012 that my dad bought me an air ticket and asked me to visit my mom in China. Before my departure, he sat down and talked much with me sincerely. He told me that my mom had already believed in the in China. And he hoped that when I returned to China, I could have a talk with my mom and persuade her to leave it. Yet as a high school graduate, I did not listen to the one-sided statements of my dad. Later I searched the Internet for the information of the Eastern Lightning, trying to find out what kind of church it was on earth. Unexpectedly, all that I found were the slanders and condemnations against the Eastern Lightning Church by the CCP government and the religious pastors and elders. Worried about my mom, I returned to China to see how she was going recently. To my surprise, after my arrival, I found that she was normal in everything, her care and love for me remained unchanged, and particularly her love for God became greater than before. So I was relieved somewhat from my worry about her.
During my stay in China, my mom, just as expected, mentioned the Church, the Eastern Lightning. She said to me, “The Lord Jesus has come back and has done a stage of work of the Age of Kingdom in China. …” From her words, I comprehended that this time, the Lord Jesus has been incarnated to work as a female. I, as I remember, was then taken aback because such a saying was completely different from what I had heard when believing in the Lord Jesus abroad. The priests always preached Jehovah was the Holy Father and that the Lord Jesus was the Holy Son. Given that they were called the Father and the Son, then they were both male. What’s more, all the portraits of Jesus hung in churches as well as the Lord Jesus that was crucified were all male. Thus in my conception, God was male. But my mom said that the Lord Jesus has returned and is female, which was really unacceptable to me. Then I said to her, “The Lord Jesus was a male. How can He become a female when He comes again?” Mom told me, “God’s substance is Spirit, so God is actually genderless. It is simply for the sake of the work that He takes different genders. …” However, since the perspectives imbued by the priest came to me first and stood entrenched, whatever my mom said, I just wouldn’t take them in.
Several days later, my mom proposed taking me to the gathering. Although I didn’t acknowledge the Church, I still went along with her out of my respect for her. I still remember an aunt from northeastern China saying then, “It’s already the last days now and the Lord Jesus has long returned to flesh among man and done the work of the Age of Kingdom. Nowadays, there is no work of the in the churches of the Age of Grace. They are generally left in a state of desolation. …” Yet I just didn’t listen to her at all, because at that time I firmly believed that what she said had no connection with my question. I insisted that the Lord Jesus was a male and would come back as a male as well. When I left China, I was still puzzled inside: How can the Lord Jesus return as a female? I thought that my mom had taken the wrong way, but I could only for her, “Oh, the Lord Jesus! I’m afraid that my mom has gone astray. May You lead her back to Your embrace! Amen!”
After returning to the United States, I continued worshiping in the church. But gradually I found that the priest just sang the same old tunes in most of his sermons or gave special sermons about offerings. Receiving no real shepherding in their lives, most of the believers dozed off when they came to the meeting and fewer and fewer showed up. When it came to 2014, a great change occurred in my church. It was closed down as the priest embezzled its funds and bought a house in another state. All these matters I saw greatly disappointed me. Just at this time, my classmate took me to worship in their church which was much larger than ours. Every Sunday when the priest preached a sermon, I would always seat myself on the second floor. Still, I saw many people sleeping and even sometimes I myself would drift off to sleep. In an attempt to perk up the brothers and sisters, the priest would often deliberately lift his voice, yet was unable to enact the slightest change in the status quo. It reminded me that in the former church, the priest appropriated the church donations for private house and could not deliver any sermon to supply the believers with spiritual life. With no provision, the brothers and sisters just came to sleep at the meetings. Now, so was this church. Were the churches really desolate? All of a sudden, I recalled that when I returned to China in 2012, my mom and the aunt from northeastern China had told me about God’s work in the Age of Kingdom. They said that God has already stopped working in the churches of the Age of Grace and that only by keeping up with God’s work of the Age of Kingdom can one gain the work of the Holy Spirit. Just at the very moment, for the first time, I asked myself in the heart: Has God indeed come back?
In the blink of an eye, it was the end of 2015. Learning of my mom’s visit to my brother in San Francisco, I went to meet her there by air. Once again, she spoke of the Eastern Lightning, the return of the Lord Jesus, and asked me to watch many films of the Church of and read many of Almighty . This time, I did not resist so much as before. That, I thought, was mainly because I had seen too many desolate scenes in churches in these two years, and thus was able to calm down for a careful thought about whether God has really come back. At that time, my mom read me God’s words regarding the gender of God, which impressed me deeply, and meanwhile, dispelled the confusion that I had all along about why the Lord Jesus has come back as a female. Almighty God says, “Each stage of work done by God has a real significance. When Jesus arrived, He was male, and this time He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for His work and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit arrives, He can take on any flesh at will and the flesh represents Him. Be it male or female, both represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. If Jesus arrived and appeared as a female, in other words, if an infant girl, not a boy, was to be conceived by the Holy Spirit, that stage of work would have been completed all the same. If so, this stage of work would have to be completed instead by a male and the work would then be completed all the same. The work done in both stages is significant; no work is repeated or conflicts with each other. … If in this stage He did not become flesh to personally do work for man to witness, man would forever hold on to the notion that God is only male, not female” (“The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the ” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “God’s wisdom, God’s wondrousness, God’s righteousness, and God’s majesty shall never change. His substance and what He has and is shall never change. His work, however, is always progressing forward, always going deeper, for God is always new and never old. … If God was only incarnated as a male, people would define Him as male, as the God of men, and would never believe Him to be the God of women. Then, men would believe that God is of the same gender as men, that God is the head of men—and what of women? This is unfair; is it not preferential treatment? If this were the case, then all those whom God saved would be men like Him, and there would be no salvation for women. When God created mankind, He created Adam and He created Eve. He did not create only Adam, but made both male and female in His image. God is not only the God of men, He is also the God of women” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading God’s words, the knot in my heart seemed to be untied immediately and I felt it was true from my heart. In the very beginning, God created both Adam and Eve, and man and woman are originally equal. Then why can’t God return in a female image? Moreover, God’s substance is Spirit, so He can absolutely come to work among man by any form. Regardless of what gender is, it is God’s freedom and He has the right to decide the work He is to do, because He is the Ruler of all things, the . Yet I deemed that God could merely be a male before, which indeed delimited God and revealed that I was really too arrogant.
As I read more and more God’s words, I thoroughly gave up my notion against the fact that God incarnate has come to work as a female this time, and I could accept that God has returned to do a new work. But, I wasn’t one hundred percent certain about Almighty God’s work. Because I had seen the negative statements against on the Internet before, I harbored a few misgivings inside. I thought to myself: I have to investigate what kind of church the Church of Almighty God is on earth. Then, from February of 2016, with an attitude of investigation, I began to have meetings with the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God on the Internet formally. At the same time, I prayed to God for the ability to know right from wrong.
After a period of observation, I discover that in every meeting, brothers and sisters do read God’s words and fellowship about God’s will. Besides, in Almighty God’s words, there are His requirements that man ought to live out a normal humanity, and man should pursue the truth to receive God’s salvation. In none of the fellowships, man is asked to do evil. What’s more, from brothers and sisters’ conversations, I can see that they truly care about and help each other. Man’s behavior and conduct can be judged from his words and viewpoints expressed. Through my contact with the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God, I have felt that they are not like what the rumors say on the Internet at all. On the contrary, in the meetings, I have sensed that there is the work of the Holy Spirit. Brothers and sisters are vigorous in pursuing the truth, and the experiences they fellowship about have the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, benefiting others a lot. Each time I attend the meeting, I reap some harvest, which I could not experience in the former churches. Facts speak louder than words. Before the facts, the rumors collapse by themselves.
Afterward, in a meeting, I told the sister who was watering me the rumors against the Church of Almighty God crafted by the CCP government and the religious pastors and elders I once saw on the Internet, for I didn’t understand why the Church of Almighty God with the work of the Holy Spirit was objected by them. Then the sister fellowshiped with me about the truth in this aspect. She said, “Concerning the Internet rumors, we first need to see through why the CCP government and the religious pastors and elders attack and judge God’s work and condemn the Church of Almighty God in this way. It is primarily because Satan is unwilling to admit defeat and wants to possess and control people permanently. Just as Satan enticed and deceived Eve in the beginning, it intends to make people deny God’s words, stray far from and betray God, and finally come under its dominion. Let us then consider another thing. When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees of the religious world all saw the miracles and signs performed by Jesus, and were aware that these couldn’t be done by an ordinary man. Yet they not only didn’t investigate God’s work, but slandered the Lord Jesus, saying that He cast out devils by the prince of the devils. Ultimately, they even joined forces with the Roman government to nail Jesus to the cross. And after He was resurrected, they still bribed the guard and fabricated a rumor saying that Jesus was not risen. In the last days, Satan’s forces clearly know that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, because what’s of God will increase and what’s of man will decrease. Almighty God’s kingdom gospel has been made known to every household in Mainland China, and nowadays, the name of Almighty God has been completely spread to all countries around the world, and God has gained a group of people. Under the guidance of God’s words, this group of people all have gained some discernment about Satan’s forces and all begin to pursue the truth and walk the right path of life. However, Satan can’t bring itself to quit, thus it starts to engage in the last throes of its death struggle. The religious world and the satanic CCP regime join hands once again to resist and judge God’s work, attempting to take advantage of the Internet and media to smear and make rumors against the Church of Almighty God wantonly and to deceive those who have no truth and discernment, so that man will shrink from investigating Almighty God’s work due to the rumors. In this way, Satan will attain its purpose of controlling mankind forever. Just as what the Bible says, ‘the whole world lies in wickedness’ (1 John 5:19). So, Almighty God admonishes us, ‘When you have undergone experiences, you will be able to differentiate many things—you will be able to distinguish between good and evil, between righteousness and wickedness, between what is of flesh and blood and what is of the truth. You should be able to distinguish between all these things, and in so doing, no matter the circumstances, you will never be lost. Only this is your real stature. Knowing the work of God is no simple matter: You should have standards and an objective in your pursuit, you should know how to seek the true way, and how to measure whether or not it is the true way, and whether or not it is the work of God’ (‘Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). When we think about the background of the Lord Jesus’ work and measure these things according to the truths, it’s not difficult to see through Satan’s sinister motives.”
After hearing the sister’s fellowship, I had some discernment and knowledge of Satan’s tricks and gained the knowledge of Satan’s substance of resistance to God. Furthermore, I realized that in the face of various rumors, only when man investigates and understands the Church of Almighty God practically can he discern between right and wrong. If he only listens to one-sided statements and doesn’t measure them according to the truth, then he will be deceived by the rumors spread by the CCP and the religious pastors and elders, thereby missing the opportunity of knowing God’s work. Thank Almighty God for guiding me to understand these truths, so that I can ascertain that Almighty God is precisely the returned Lord Jesus, follow God’s footsteps and meet the coming of the Lord. Thank God! Amen!