By Qiaoyun, Singapore
Dear brothers and sisters, have you ever felt confused like me? These years, churches are getting more desolate, and many people’s faith is becoming colder and colder. We have looked everywhere for a church with the Holy Spirit’s work, but the result is always disappointing. Today, I’d like to share my own experience with you.
In 1997, from a fortuitous opportunity I made the acquaintance of a Christian, and on her recommendation I went to the church. At first, the brothers and sisters were all cordial to me, which made me feel the warmth of home. Through listening to messages, I understood many mysteries that I had not understood before, knowing that man is created by God, that all things originate from God, and that it’s God who gives us the breath and created the living environment for us. I wanted to understand more of the way of life provided by thein so that I could become someone truly worshiping the Lord. So I began to attend meetings in the church. In December of 1997, I was baptized. Since then, no matter how tired I was after work, I would persist in gathering. At that time, there were many people in the church attending meetings, and the brothers and sisters were all very active in gatherings. At every gathering, all of us would listen quietly to the preaching of the pastor, and felt especially fulfilled in our spirit. Besides, the brothers and sisters were very loving; no matter who had difficulties, we would do our best to help them. In my daily life, when I encountered troubles, I would pray to the Lord. I felt that belief in God was so good and had peace and joy in my heart.
However, a few years later, I obviously felt that the condition of the church was different from what it was in the former time. There were fewer and fewer people worshiping in the church, and we were not so active and enthusiastic as we were before. Most of the people who came to meetings would chat on Facebook or play games with their phones, or chat with others, or doze off; they had no inclination to listen to the preaching of the pastor at all. Having lived such a church life for several years, I was somewhat weary of it. In addition, the sermons the pastor preached had no illumination; after hearing them, we didn’t feel enjoyment, and our difficulties and problems in life couldn’t be resolved at all. Since there was no illumination when the pastor interpreted the Bible, I wanted to get some help from my sisters. However, every time I asked them some questions, they always seemed to be anxious and left even before I had finished speaking. I felt very disappointed, but the original hopes of my faith in the Lord didn’t change: I still hoped to become a true believer in the Lord and enter the kingdom of heaven in the future.
Since my wish to pursue the knowledge of the Lord couldn’t be fulfilled in the church, I intended to find another church. After having prayed to the Lord several times, I left the previous church and went to another church. Although there were more people in that church, the sermons of the pastor were the same old platitudes, and after the gathering, people in the church all engaged in chatting about eating, drinking, and leisure activities and no one talked about the issues of belief in the Lord at all. Seeing that this church was no different than the previous one, I again felt disappointed and no longer went there. Later, I went to other churches, and found that the situations of these churches were almost the same. I felt weary in body and mind, and had no confidence to find other churches. Gradually I began to drift along. I devoted myself to work and spent my spare time in eating, drinking, and carousing with my friends. I treated my job as a kind of sustenance, and when I was swamped with work, I no longer prayed unless something unpleasant befell me in the work or I was ill. After a period of time, I felt that I was further and further away from the Lord and felt very uneasy. I wanted to find someone to have fellowship with but was unable to find one. I was extremely miserable inside, so I returned to the previous church in 2011, only to find the condition of the church was still the same as before without any improvement. In order to recover the faith of brothers and sisters, the church arranged a tour; those who hadn’t come to the church for a long time all took part in it actively. However, this situation didn’t last long. After the activity, they didn’t come to the church anymore. Furthermore, I saw that everyone including me was living in a vicious cycle of sinning and repenting. I followed the worldly trend and clung to the pleasures of the flesh; I had prayed to the Lord that I would be loving and tolerant toward others, but I was unable to put it into practice. That time was the most painful period of my life. Every night I felt dark and empty in my spirit, feeling an inexpressible fear and piercing pain in my heart. I thought: I don’t want to leave the church, but there is nothing worth my lingering here; I haven’t seen the Lord’s leading and have no peace in the spirit; I listen to preaching in the church while living under the conditions of sinning and repenting in my daily life; even if I don’t leave the church, what significance does it have then? Every night I would pray to the Lord, “O Lord, what should I do? It’s merely a form of ceremony even if I go to church, but if I don’t go to church, I have no peace then. O Lord, I feel as if I am wavering at the crossroads and don’t know where to go. O Lord, where are you? Have you really left our church and abandoned us?”
Man’s end is God’s beginning. In June of 2017, I made the acquaintance of Brother Lin, who was very zealous and had a unique perspective on the Bible. Every time when we fellowshiped together, I always gained a lot. Later, at a meeting with Brother Lin and the others, I told them all the pain in my heart: “These years, I have found four churches, where there is no enlightenment or illumination in sermons; the faith of the brothers and sisters has grown cold; they all concern themselves with eating, drinking, and the pursuit of pleasure, behaving like non-believers, and they don’t have the work of the Holy Spirit at all. It is the same with me. I always live in a state of sinning and confessing and can’t feel the Lord’s presence, and I’m at a loss what to do, which annoys me so much.”
Having known my difficulties and confusion, Brother Lin fellowshiped with me: “Now, the whole of the world of religion is a widespread desolation, devoid of the work of the Holy Spirit, and many people’s faith and love have turned cold—this has already become an accepted fact. What exactly is the primary cause of the desolation in the world of religion? About this question, let us first look back a moment at why the temple became desolate in the latter days of the Age of Law. If we are able to understand thoroughly the cause of the church’s desolation in the Age of Law, then the confusion in our heart will be released. In the latter days of the Age of Law, the temple which was once so full of Jehovah’s glory became desolate; Jewish people didn’t hold to religious laws; priests made improper sacrifices, and the temple became a place of trade, a den of thieves. It is primarily because the Jewish religious leaders didn’t abide by Jehovah’s laws or have a heart that reveres God. They abided by men’s traditions but rejected God’s commandments, completely strayed from the way of God and lost the work of the Holy Spirit. That the Jewish leaders didn’t keep God’s commandments, walked their own path and went against God is the main reason that directly resulted in the desolation of the temple. Another reason was that God’s work had already been transferred. God had left the temple and had been incarnated to do the work of redeeming mankind in the Age of Grace. Since God had carried out a new stage of work, the Holy Spirit no longer upheld the old work. When the Lord Jesus had started His work of redemption, He initiated the Age of Grace and concluded the Age of Law. Only those who accepted the Lord Jesus had the Holy Spirit’s work and the Lord’s guidance and received the provision of the living water of life, being steadfast, peaceful, and joyful in spirit, while those who remained in the temple, rejected and even resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus, were naturally forsaken by the work of God. Now we come to today’s religious pastors and elders. They mainly preach Bible knowledge and theological theories in the church and always interpret the Bible to flaunt themselves and show themselves off so that others worship them; they do not follow the words or commandments of the Lord Jesus and fail to keep the Lord’s way. They seldom preach about life entry and don’t lead people to know the Lord, only talking about how they suffer for the Lord to be worshiped by others. As a result, all the believers have strayed from the Lord’s way; even though they have believed in the Lord for many years, they have no knowledge of Him and no reverence for Him and have completely strayed from His words, becoming people who believe in the Lord but don’t know Him, and who are able to resist and betray Him. The leaders of the religious world have completely strayed from the Lord’s way, with the result that the religious world has lost the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s blessings. It’s also because God’s work has been transferred. Actually, the Lord Jesus has already returned as the incarnate. He has performed the work of judgment beginning at the house of God on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, establishing the Age of Kingdom and ending the Age of Grace, and the core of the work of the Holy Spirit has been transferred into God’s work of judgment in the last days. God has become flesh and come among man again, expressing the truths that can save and purify mankind. These words are all the truths that can make us break away from the bondage of sin and achieve salvation. Therefore, only if we accept the work of Almighty God in the last days can we enjoy the supply of the living water of life that flows from God’s throne. This completely fulfills the prophecy in the Bible: ‘And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered’ (Amos 4:7).”
Brother Lin continued to fellowship: “From this verse we can understand that the ‘one city’ in ‘to rain on one city’ refers to the church where God incarnate appears and does His work, and ‘another city’ in ‘not to rain on another city’ naturally refers to the world of religion which doesn’t comply with God’s words or follow God’s commandments but denies, resists, and condemns the manifestation and work of God incarnate. God causes famine to befall the world of religion in order to force those within religion who sincerelyand love the truth to leave religion, to search for the footsteps of God’s work, to search for the words spoken by the Holy Spirit to the churches, and to seek the appearance and work of God. All those who hear the voice of God and accept and obey Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days are the wise virgins and are those who are raptured before God’s throne. They are all attending the wedding feast of the Lamb and enjoying the supply of the living water of life flowing from God’s throne; their original faith and love have been renewed, and they are training in eating and drinking God’s words, practicing and experiencing His words to achieve an understanding of the truth and an entry into reality. When these people understand the truth and have true knowledge of God, they will then be able to revere God and obey Him, and in this way, they will obtain a new life from God. All those religious organizations or individuals that don’t accept the work of Almighty God are detested and eliminated by God, and are devoid of the work of the Holy Spirit.”
When hearing Brother Lin say that God has carried out His new work, I was immediately on my guard and thought, “Why have I never heard of God’s judgment work in the last days? What is going on here? But his communication conforms with the facts. Thinking about the current situation of the church: The brothers and sisters are not concerned with the issue of faith in the Lord; when attending meetings, they are always dozing off or playing with the cellphones, and gathering is merely a case of going through the formalities. This is simply a kind of religious belief. Isn’t this the manifestation of the desolation in the church? Has God really done a new work? It seems that I should seek more on this issue; I can’t deny and reject God’s word based upon my own conceptions and imaginations. But I still can’t accept that God is to do the work of judgment by the word. If God really does the work of judgment, then won’t I be condemned?
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