By Zhang Jie
One day, a sister from my original denomination notified me of a co-worker meeting, so I hurried to the meeting place by bike. After we met and greeted each other, Sister Ma Yan brought over by Sister Wang fellowshiped with us the reasons why the church today was so desolate. After hearing her fellowship, we felt it was all true and full of brightness: She had explained the root cause of the desolation within the church. We understood it very clearly and really gained spiritual sustenance.
Then, Sister Ma said, “The Lord Jesus we’ve longed for has returned. He has expressed millions of words, and has been carrying out the work of judgment starting from the house of God. This is the fulfillment of 1 Peter 4:17: ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.’ The returned Lord has concluded the work of the Age of Grace and has now begun the work of the Age of Kingdom …”
As soon as Sister Li heard this, she rose hastily and interrupted Sister Ma, yelling out, “Stop talking. We’re now in the last days, so we must be on guard against being deceived by false Christs, so we don’t listen to anyone at all who spreads the news of the Lord’s coming. Because the Lord Jesus said, ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is, 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. Behold, I have told you before’ (Matthew 24:23–25).” And she said to us, “Brothers and sisters, the Lord told us that in the last days false Christs will appear, and we must bear the Lord’s words in mind. Thus we must not listen to anyone who spreads the news of the Lord’s coming—this would be a betrayal of the Lord.” Then she said to Sister Ma Yan, “You are preaching that the Lord has returned. We don’t want to hear it. Go now!”
At that time, Sister Ma Yan said gently, “Sister, in 1 Peter 1:5 it says, ‘Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ And Revelation 14:6 says, ‘And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.’ The Lord long ago prophesied that in the last days the eternal gospel would be preached to people on the earth. Don’t we believe in the Lord just for looking forward toand gaining the Lord’s salvation in the last days? Now the Lord really has returned. If we refuse to investigate the gospel of the Lord’s return just because false Christs will appear to deceive people in the last days, won’t we shut the Lord out? Isn’t that just cutting off our nose to spite our face?” When I heard this, I felt a little stirred, and thought, “Could it be that what she is preaching is the eternal gospel? Has the Lord Jesus truly returned?”
Sister Ma continued, “The Bible says, ‘These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes’ (Revelation 14:4). The Lord asks us to be awake and wait for His return. Now the Lord has returned, and He is Christ of the last days—Almighty God. Accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days is not only not betraying the Lord, but is following the footsteps of the Lamb.”
No sooner were the words out of Sister Ma’s mouth than Sister Li, pointing at her, said angrily, “Get out of here now. We won’t hear it.”
At that moment, I stood up and asked, “Sister Ma, how do you prove that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus? In the Bible doesn’t it say in the last days false Christs will appear to deceive people?”
This is when Sister Li cut me off and said, “Don’t ask. You have not believed in the Lord for long, and have little spiritual stature. Even if you hear her, you are incapable of discerning. I have to be responsible for your lives and protect you.” Immediately afterward, she once again said to the two sisters from The Church of Almighty God brought by sister Wang fiercely, “Leave at once, if you do not go I will not be so polite!” Sister Ma Yan wanted to fellowship more, but Sister Li pushed and shoved to drive them away.
In addition, Sister Li warned us, saying, “From now on you are not allowed to entertain any strangers. Otherwise you will be expelled from the church. Tell me if they come again.”
Hearing this, I said to her, “Sister Li, you are a senior leader. You’ve believed in the Lord for a long time and understand the Bible well. What’s more, what we believe in is the true God so there’s no need to be afraid of them. You said that we have small stature and that you have to be responsible for our lives. If so, when hearing someone bearing witness to the return of the Lord, you should first seek and investigate. If the Lord Jesus really has returned, won’t we shut Him out?”
She replied, “I’m doing this for your own good. If I hadn’t driven them away, you would betray the Lord because of your little spiritual stature and lack of discernment. I can’t just stand by and watch while you leave the church.”
At that time, I really couldn’t understand why Sister Li drove away the sisters of The Church of Almighty God. I thought to myself, “The Bible says, ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares’ (Hebrews 13:2). The scripture clearly tells us that we should entertain strangers with love, but Sister Li doesn’t allow us to entertain any strangers. Isn’t she betraying the words of the Bible by acting like this? Sister Ma’s fellowship really did possess light, was all true, and could provide for our spiritual needs. Moreover, her living out was very good. Even if Sister Li treated her like that, she still fellowshiped with a loving heart. I think the way preached by her is probably actually from God. However, when hearing Sister Ma witnessing the Lord’s return, Sister Li, as a senior leader, not only didn’t seek or investigate, but directly drove them away. How could she possibly be someone who has an attitude of seeking humbly? She is like a totally different person to how she used to be when she stood behind the pulpit.”
That night, lying on the bed, I recalled what had happened that day and felt confused: “Sister Li said that, in the last days false Christs will appear, and therefore we must be cautious and careful lest we be deceived and betray the Lord, because if so, our faith will have been in vain. What should I do? If what Sister Ma preached really is the gospel of the Lord’s return and I refuse to investigate for fear of being deceived, won’t I miss the chance of welcoming the Lord? As a believer in the Lord, I long for His coming every day. Now there is finally someone preaching the Lord’s return, I can’t listen to Sister Li anymore. I must be responsible for my own life. Maybe I should go find Sister Ma to ask for clarification?” I was in such a dilemma and didn’t know what to do, so I cried out in my heart to the Lord, “O Lord! What am I supposed to do?” At that moment, the Lord’s words enlightened me, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you” (Luke 11:9). Yes! The Lord’s will is not that I hide behind closed doors, but that I can sincerely pray and seek. As long as I seek, I believe the Lord will lead me. Thinking of this, I sat up quickly and then knelt before the Lord to pray, “O Lord, today I heard that You have returned. I don’t know whether it is true. Lord, I know You are a faithful God. As long as we pray, You will enlighten us. If You really have come back, may You lead me to welcome Your return. In the name of the Lord Jesus. Amen!”
After praying, I remembered that in Matthew 15:14, it says, “They be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” The Lord’s words reminded me of the Pharisees of that time. When the Lord came to perform His work, they held on to their conceptions, and not only did they not seek or investigate, but actually led believers to condemn, resist, and reject the Lord Jesus. In the end, they met with God’s curses. So, as a co-worker in the church, I must be responsible for the lives of the brothers and sisters of the church. When hearing someone preaching the Lord’s return, I couldn’t directly refuse without seeking or investigating, because in this way I would not only lose the chance of welcoming the Lord’s return and ruin myself, but I would also ruin the lives of the brothers and sisters. I didn’t want to be a person who resisted God. When I thought of this, it was like a bright light illuminating my heart, and I decided to go find the sisters of The Church of Almighty God to seek and investigate.