When the Lord returns, how can we recognize His voice and welcome Him?
I was a Catholic nun in the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. Through attending meetings, I learned that thehad redeemed us through the salvation of the cross and that we had already been absolved of our sins and had been graced with salvation, so I believed I was someone who had a place in the kingdom of heaven.
Once when my elder sister came to the church to celebrate a religious festival, she told me that some believers in Eastern Lightning spread the gospel to her, witnessing that the Lord had already returned in the flesh and was doing His work of judgment beginning in God’s family to cleanse and transform mankind. They also gave her a book, which they said contained nothing but the utterances of the returned Lord. But I believed that the Lord had forgiven our sins through crucifixion, that as long as we confessed and repented to Him after committing sins, we would be able to enter the kingdom of heaven, and thus we didn’t need to accept the work of judgment and purification. Because my sister had just got in touch with the way of Eastern Lightning and didn’t understand very much, I then urged her to return that book to the people from Eastern Lightning and stop contacting them. After that, because I was busy preparing for the festival, I said no more to my sister.
Later, however, due to the temptation of worldly trends, parishioners in the church, one after another, went into the world pursuing money and fleshly enjoyments, becoming more and more indifferent toward the belief in God. Most of them didn’t go to attend the morning and evening service, except on the Lord’s day, and some even couldn’t keep the Lord’s Day and only celebrated the four religious festivals. Because of this, we nuns would often pray the Rosary, observe abstinence and fasting and do penance for them, and later we also began to have Stations of the Cross every night, in the hope that they could turn around and stop pursuing worldly things, but it was all to no avail.
Later, something happened that was even more unexpected. The church leaders and some nuns actually opened a supermarket together, busying themselves with doing business all day long. With the supermarket gradually making profits, the church leaders, nuns and believers began to struggle in jealousy for the sake of gaining more money, and there was no longer harmony or love among them. I myself also often had conflicts with my church friends, which sometimes would even cause days of stalemate between us. The Lord taught us that we should be forgiving and tolerant with others, yet I was unable to live this out. I often committed sins in the daytime and prayed to the Lord for forgiveness at night, and I also hated myself for not being able to love and tolerate my church friends. Being bound to the point of suffocation by those sins, I sometimes would wonder: Can I enter the kingdom of heaven by believing in the Lord this way?
One day, I went to a church friend’s house and found two middle-aged women there. After they left, I immediately asked my friend who they were and why they had come. She told me that they had come to preach the way of Eastern Lightning, and said the Lord had returned to the flesh and was doing the work of purifying and saving mankind. Upon hearing her talking about the Lord returning to the flesh and doing His work of saving mankind, I immediately retorted, “That’s impossible! What work can offer us a greater salvation than the Lord Jesus’ being crucified and giving up His life for us? The Lord has already taken on all of our sins, so that we are no longer sinners but are the sheep that the Lord bought back at a great price (that is, the redemption of His crucifixion), and we have become His people. Therefore, we have already been saved by His grace, and the Lord cannot possibly do another stage of salvation work when He returns.” But to my surprise, my elder sister came to my house half a month later and again told me that the Lord really had come back and was doing the work of judgment beginning from the house of God, and that He had expressed millions of words to cleanse and perfect people, which were the little scroll sealed with seven seals as mentioned in the Book of Revelation. Now the Lord has returned, she said. He has loosed the seven seals and opened the book, and is speaking words to do another stage of work to save mankind. When I heard my sister say this, I knew she had accepted Almighty God. At the same time, I also felt very curious: The salvation of the Lord Jesus’ cross has redeemed us, so why would the Lord carry out another stage of work to save mankind? What is this book all about? Why are there so many people who believe in and follow Almighty God? What on earth is going on here? I have to get to the bottom of it all.
Seeing I wasn’t saying anything, my sister said, “You can speak out any questions or thoughts you have.can help us solve all of them.” On hearing this, I asked straightforwardly, “In order to redeem us from sin, the Lord Jesus gave His own life and was personally crucified on the cross, so we have already been absolved of our sins and have been graced with salvation. I don’t think there is a greater redemption than this. So why do you say that the Lord still has to do more work?”
My sister replied, “In fact, the Lord never said those who have their sins forgiven can enter the kingdom of heaven. In, He requires that we get along peacefully with others and pursue being cleansed. Only those who have been cleansed of their sins are qualified to get into heaven and see the face of the Lord. Besides, we all know that the Lord Jesus did the work of redeeming mankind, which is taking on the sins of humanity through crucifixion and redeeming people who lived in sin. Because of this, we are no longer sinners and are able to come before the Lord and pray. But we have merely had our sins forgiven while the root of our sin is still within us, and as a result, we still frequently commit sins, resist God and betray Him. If we don’t resolve the root of our sin, we will never be able to attain purification and enter the heavenly kingdom. Let’s look at what Almighty God says.”
My sister then began to read: “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.”
After listening to this passage of Almighty God’s words, I fell silent, feeling that it really revealed the actual situation of us believers. I thought of how most of the believers were following the evil trends of the world, how they were toiling and rushing about for the sake of money with the result that they were unable to attend the daily morning and evening services or keep the Lord’s Day. Even the church leaders and nuns were engaged in managing a supermarket and fought with each other for money. And I myself also often had jealous disputes with other nuns and schemed against them. Sometimes when encountering things not to my liking, I would even lose my temper with them and lecture them based on my arrogant disposition. Although I confessed these sins to God, I would still repeat the same sins when meeting with similar situations. I was constantly living in a cycle of committing sins in the daytime and confessing them at night, and had never undergone any change. It seemed that if the root of sin was not eradicated, we would never be able to break free from the binds of sin. We did indeed need God to do a step of work to eliminate our sins and purify us.
Then my sister went on to say: “Let’s read another passage of Almighty God’s words, and then we’ll understand better. Almighty God says, ‘Those who are impure are not permitted to enter into the kingdom, those who are impure are not permitted to besmirch the holy ground. Though you may have done much work, and have worked for many years, in the end if you are still deplorably filthy—it is intolerable to the law of Heaven that you wish to enter My kingdom! From the foundation of the world until today, never have I offered easy access to My kingdom to those who curry favor with Me. This is a heavenly rule, and no one can break it!’ From this we can see that if we cannot live out the Lord’s requirements, then we are not people whose sins are cleansed and thus cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. This is determined by God’s righteous disposition. Therefore, in order to further save us mankind, God is performing another stage of work of purifying and perfecting people with words, so that we can thoroughly break free from the binds and restrictions of our sins, no longer live in an endless cycle of committing sins and confessing them, and finally become people who have obtained dispositional transformation and who are able to truly obey God and be compatible with God. On the contrary, if God didn’t perform this work when He returns, then no matter how we pray, fast, toil, or do penance, we wouldn’t be able to achieve freedom from sin, nor would we be able to resolve the sinful nature within us. From this it can be seen how necessary God’s work of purifying and changing man’s old disposition is. This stage of work by Almighty God just fulfills the prophecies of the Lord Jesus in the Bible, ‘I have yet many things to say to you: but you cannot bear them now. But when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will teach you all truth. For he shall not speak of himself; but what things soever he shall hear, he shall speak; and the things that are to come, he shall shew you’ (John 16:12–13), and ‘For the time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17). These truths expressed by Almighty God today are the utterances of the Holy Spirit, the utterances God speaks to the entire human race, which are to lead us to enter into all truth and allow us to be purified through the truth.”
After listening to my sister’s fellowship, I came to understand that there is great significance in God’s work of saving, purifying and perfecting man in the last days. So I said, “Before, I thought that we have been forgiven our sins and saved by grace since the Lord Jesus redeemed us from sin. But now through listening to God’s words and your fellowship, I came to know that this point of view is incorrect. If God didn’t utter words when He returns, we humans would always live in sin and wouldn’t be able to be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven.” “So,” asked my sister, “would you like to read the words expressed by Almighty God and investigate His work of the last days?” “Yes.” I replied. “Today after hearing these words of Almighty God, I feel they are really wonderful and practical, which made my heart enlightened, so I’m willing to investigate and read His words.” Hearing what I said, my sister was very delighted, and she left the book to me and asked me to read it frequently.
Since I got the book of God’s word from my sister, I began to hungrily read it. As I was reading the chapter “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word,” I saw this passage, “Though the word ‘word’ is simple and ordinary, the word from the mouth of the incarnate God shakes up the entire universe; it transforms man’s heart, notions, and old disposition, and the way the whole world used to appear. Through the ages, only the God of today works in this manner, and only He speaks thus and comes to save man thus. From this time forward, man lives under the guidance of the word, shepherded and supplied by the word. All humanity has come to live in the world of the word, within the curses and the blessings of God’s word, and there are even more human beings who have come to live under the judgment and chastisement of the word. These words and this work are all for the sake of man’s salvation, for the sake of fulfilling, and for the sake of changing the original appearance of the world of old creation. God created the world with the word, leads men from all over the universe with the word, and again conquers and saves them with the word. Finally, He shall use the word to bring the entire world of old to an end. Only then is the management plan wholly complete.” Reading these words brought light to my heart, and I thought, “At the beginning, God created the heavens and earth and all things through His word. In John 1:1 it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,” which means God created the world with word. And in the last days, God also uses the word to do the work of concluding the age, completely save us humans from sin, allow us to be purified and changed, and in the end bring us into a wonderful destination. Here it says God used the word to create the world and that He shall also use the word to conclude the world—it seems that Almighty God and God share the same source, so Almighty God is probably the appearance of God.”
Later, I read many more words of Almighty God and came to understand many truths such as the truth of the three stages of God’s work, the truth relating to, the mystery of the incarnation, and so on. Through reading these words, I was able to verify that Almighty God is the appearance of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah returned in the flesh, that He is the Almighty who was, who is, and who will be forever, and that He is my Lord, my God! I was so excited that tears streamed down my face, and I fell to my knees and prayed: “O Almighty God! You are my Lord! You are the Lord whom I pray to day and night and whom I believe in and rely on. But because I was so arrogant and lacking in knowledge of You, I once resisted You and even prevented my sister from accepting Your work. I was really too blind, ignorant and unreasonable! You, however, didn’t look at my ignorance but used my sister to spread the gospel to me time and again, so that I could receive Your return and accept the judgment and chastisement of Your words. I give thanks to You!”