I Found the Root Cause of the Church’s Desolation
I Accepted the Lord’s Salvation by Chance
I believed in the Lord by chance when I was 11 years old. After my father knew it, he opposed me strongly, saying that he was the head of the family so that I needed to obtain his permission before I could have faith, and he didn’t allow me to go to the church. After that, I did not go to church anymore, but I still prayed to the Lord every day, and the Lord heard my prayers and responded to me in different ways.
At that time, I didn’t get on with my elder brother and younger sister, and my parents always vented their anger on us when they quarreled with each other. I had no true friend, so I could only pour out my sadness to the Lord, and the Lord often comforted my wounded heart, making me feel assured and peaceful. Once, I was sad when my mother scolded me, feeling that I was so lonely and that no one truly loved me, and I even thought of death. While I was heartbroken, the Lord Jesus comforted me, making me remember the scenes of the past: When I was a child, my father took me to buy something I liked, grandma was very fond of me, grandpa always gave me something delicious to eat, and so on, which made me give up the thought of death. I felt the Lord was so kind and that only He knew my suffering and could comfort my broken heart. The Lord was just like my bosom friend, and in Him, I tasted love. When I was 21 years old, I was baptized in the church. After that, I joined the church choir and attended Bible study meetings actively, and later became the librarian and treasurer of the church. I performed Christian dramas during festivals, and also went to the hospital to preach the gospel to the patients.
The Elder Who Had Two Faces
I worked in the elder’s shop in these two years and saw some things which made me pretty confused. Once, when the telephone rang, the elder asked me to answer the phone and charged me, “If there is someone calling me, just tell him I’m out.” I hurried to answer the phone without much thinking, but after I replied according to the elder’s words, I felt so guilty for telling a lie. And I was also very angry that the elder clearly knew that it didn’t match the Lord’s requirement to tell lies but still asked me to do so. Did it conform to the Lord’s will? Later, I found that the elder read the Bible just because he needed to give a sermon the next day, otherwise he would read the newspaper or other books. At the usual times, I seldom saw him read the Bible or ponder how to solve the problems of the believers. In the church he was congenial and kind to the believers, but at home he was arrogant toward his wife and always spoke in a commanding tone. His wife often complained and poured out her grievances to me. And I also saw him drink with unbelievers. I thought: The elder acts one way to the believers’ faces and another behind their backs. Is this the manner a Christian should have? Such living out is entirely not in line with saintly propriety.
The Phenomena in the Church Made Me Confused
Once, a foreign pastor came to our church to preach for two days and fellowshiped a lot about how to solve the problems of marriage, such as how we should deal with marital problems, how the young should choose a marriage partner, and what attitude they should take toward marriage. … The pastor was just like a marriage counselor. I thought: Isn’t the pastor following the viewpoints and preferences of the unbelievers to preach? Is such preaching after the Lord’s will? Shouldn’t the pastor preach to us how to know God?
The pastors and elders of our church also whistled the same tune in their preachings. The sermons they often gave were about offerings, and they said that making offerings was storing up treasure in heaven and that the Lord would accept our offerings and give us rich blessings as well. Every time I attended the courses of the church, the teacher also repeated the same sentences over and over again and the most frequent words were: “Oh Lord, may You show mercy to us, treat us with grace, and forgive our sins….” I was a bit bored with them in my heart and thought of what the Lord Jesus said in Matthew 17:17, “O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?” Given that we ourselves could not bear the repeated prayer like this, how much less could God, the Most High? We prayed in this way every day but did not practice the Lord’s word. Could the Lord be pleased with us? Would He work among us? All these phenomena and problems that occurred in the church made me puzzled. I didn’t know why the church became like this and no one could fellowship clearly to me. So I could only put my confusion into the bottom of my heart and often sought the Lord, asking Him to lead me to understand.
The Words That Shook My Heart
In June 2017, a sister called Enhui friended me on Facebook. She actively chatted with me and shared with me the life of the country in which she lived. When I was fretting over the preparation for the church drama, she happened to have experience in this aspect, so she offered to help me. We also studied the Bible and shared our knowledge together, and we often had good talks with each other. Later, because I had some emotional problems in my life, Enhui introduced to me Sister Lili who once helped her with her emotional problems. We began to study the Bible, and communicate together at the beginning of July. Sister Lili shared with me her similar experience and told me how she walked free by relying on God, which made me know that only what God gave man was good. And she guided me to seek God’s will as well. I liked to chat with them very much, for I got great help in my spirit through such communications.
Once, Lili sent a passage of words to Enhui and me. The words say, “I was once known as Jehovah. I was also called the Messiah, and people once called Me Jesus the Savior with love and esteem. Today, however, I am no longer the Jehovah or Jesus that people knew in times past; I am the God who has returned in the last days, the God who shall bring the age to an end. I am the God Himself that rises up from the end of the earth, replete with My entire disposition, and full of authority, honor, and glory. People have never engaged with Me, never known Me, and have always been ignorant of My disposition. From the creation of the world until today, not one person has seen Me. This is the God who appears to man in the last days but is hidden among man. He resides among man, true and real, like the burning sun and the blazing flame, filled with power and brimming with authority. There is not a single person or thing that shall not be judged by My words, and not a single person or thing that shall not be purified through the burning of fire. Eventually, all nations shall be blessed because of My words, and also smashed to pieces because of My words. In this way, all people during the last days shall see that I am the Savior returned, and that I am the Almighty God that conquers all of mankind. And all shall see that I was once the sin offering for man, but that in the last days I also become the flames of the sun that incinerate all things, as well as the Sun of righteousness that reveals all things. This is My work in the last days. I took this name and am possessed of this disposition so that all people may see that I am a righteous God, the burning sun, the blazing flame, and so that all may worship Me, the one true God, and so that they may see My true face: I am not only the God of the Israelites, and I am not just the Redeemer; I am the God of all creatures throughout the heavens and the earth and the seas” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’”). While reading these words, I felt they had authority and power and could not be spoken by man. I believed it was God speaking to us directly. I was so excited at that moment and immediately asked Sister Lili where she got these words. She said these words were copied from the website of The Church of Almighty God. After this, I decided to investigate The Church of Almighty God, and later I made the acquaintance of Sister Shinian through Sister Lili.
The Problems That Had Puzzled Me for So Long Were Solved
While chatting with Sister Shinian, I told her the phenomena in our church as well as my confusion. Then she asked me to watch a marvelous episode, Looking Into the Cause for the Church’s Desolation, in the movie entitled Blessed Are the Poor in Spirit. In the movie, a preacher from The Church of Almighty God said, “Speaking of this question, let us recall the desolation of the temple at the end of the Age of Law. We all know that, originally, the temple was full of God’s glory. In the temple, the priests served Jehovah reverently. And none of them dared do it as they wanted. Otherwise, they would be burned with fire from the roof of the temple. But later, the priests offered lame sacrifices. People exchanged money and sold oxen, sheep and doves in the temple. Why didn’t God’s discipline and punishment come upon them? It’s because God had left the temple quietly and started a stage of new work outside the temple. When the new work started, God no longer upheld the old work. So the Holy Spirit no longer worked in the temple, but upheld the work of Jesus. At the time, the followers of the Lord Jesus all enjoyed the joy and peace brought by the working of the Holy Spirit. They had the new way to practice and received the supply of the living water of life. But the Judaic priests, the Pharisees, and the people who held on to the law and didn’t accept Jesus lost God’s discipline and punishment for not having the working of the Holy Spirit anymore. They no longer had reverence of God in their hearts. As a result, the temple became ‘a den of thieves.’ Just as the Bible says, ‘Behold, the days come, said the Lord Jehovah, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of Jehovah’ (Amos 8:11). Similarly, the real reason for the desolation of today is that God has left the churches of the Age of Grace and started a stage of new work. God’s eager heart is that we can come out of the desolate city as soon as possible and keep pace with God’s work. Almighty God says, ‘God will accomplish this fact: He will make all people throughout the universe come before Him and worship the God on earth, and His work in other places will cease, and people will be forced to seek the true way. It will be like Joseph: Everyone came to him for food, and bowed down to him, for he had things to eat. In order to avoid famine, people will be forced to seek the true way. The entire religious community will suffer severe famine, and only the God of today is the wellspring of living water, possessed of the ever-flowing wellspring provided for the enjoyment of man, and people will come and depend on Him’ (“The Millennial Kingdom Has Arrived”). From God’s words, we can know clearly: Now God has taken back the working of the Holy Spirit from the church of the Age of Redemption. He does all His work on those who keep pace with His footsteps. So they get the abundant supply of God and the watering of the words of life, and they are satisfied in spirit. All of the other churches have been suffering a famine. For that, they must come to seek the true way and keep pace with God’s footprints, lest they fall into darkness and lose the salvation from God.”
After watching the film, the sister fellowshiped, “If we have the knowledge of the reason for the temple’s desolation in the Age of Law, then we’ll also understand the cause for the church’s desolation now. Thinking back to the time when the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the priests, scribes, and Pharisees held on to the old practices, condemned the Lord Jesus’ work according to the laws of the Old Testament, resisted Him crazily, and cast Him out of the temple. They even condemned Him saying that the Lord Jesus’ work of healing the sick and casting out demons was casting out devils by Beelzebub the prince of the devils, blaspheming the Holy Spirit’s work without remorse, reproach, or discipline. They also disobeyed God’s commandments, offered lame sacrifices to cheat God, and changed the temple into a den of thieves where people sold oxen, sheep, and doves and exchanged money, yet showed no signs of repentance. They focused on learning theological knowledge and theories, liked to give speeches and work outside, pretended to be devout in front of the believers to make people adore them. But in secret, they resisted and judged the work of the Lord Jesus, and tried to find all kinds of accusations against the Lord Jesus, so as to deceive and shackle people. In them we see no work of the Holy Spirit. This is just like the phenomena in the religious church now: When the brothers and sisters commit sins, they receive no discipline; when the elder shows two faces, treats his family arrogantly, and tells lies and drinks, he doesn’t feel guilt; and even when some pastors and elders steal offerings, they still feel no discipline; they all live in the condition of committing sin by day and confessing sin by night, and have long ago lost the Holy Spirit’s work. This fulfills what the Bible says, ‘And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold’ (Matthew 24:12).”
I said with hesitation, “The pastors and elders speak nicely during the preaching but do not practice the Lord’s teachings, and show two faces to the believers. Are these all iniquities?” Sister Shinian said with a smile, “Yes. It is just because these iniquities abounded that the Spirit of God forsook the churches. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, the pastors can only solve problems by human methods. They follow the social trends to preach, help believers deal with marital affairs, repeat some old preachings, or adopt methods like strengthening training, organizing trips, and holding dinner parties to detain the believers, which looks lively outwardly, but the believers feel weary in their life and spirit and cannot obtain supply. So, what they have done has no confirmation of the Holy Spirit’s work. In contrast, The Church of Almighty God has developed rapidly in little more than twenty years. The brothers and sisters of various denominations who believe in the Lord truly all come to investigate Almighty God’s work and have returned to God’s home. They read and practice God’s word, experience God’s work, treat people with love, and have great faith in God. No matter what setbacks or failures they encounter, they never leave God. All of these are the manifestations of the Holy Spirit’s work, which just fulfills the words ‘What is of God will increase; what’s of man will decrease.’ It can be seen that only The Church of Almighty God is the church with the Holy Spirit’s work and Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. Almighty God’s word is what is said in Revelation 2:7, ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ Only by keeping pace with the footsteps of the Lamb and accepting the watering and supply of Almighty God’s word can we receive the work of the Holy Spirit.”
Through the sister’s fellowship, I completely understood the reason for the desolation in our church. For one thing, because iniquity abounded, God has forsaken such kind of churches; for another thing, God has come to do a new work of judgment and purification with the word, so the Holy Spirit does not uphold the past work anymore, and thus the religion has fallen into the desolate situation. I also saw through many problems which I could not understand before, knowing that in the church without the Holy Spirit’s work, what the pastors and elders preached were all man’s doctrines and notions, and that no matter how hard I pursued or how actively I attended the church worship, courses, and Bible study meetings, I could not obtain new light. Because the problems that had puzzled me for a long time were finally solved, I felt enlightened and released so much in my heart.
Through constant fellowship, I was certain that Almighty God was the second coming of the Lord Jesus. After that, I actively attended the meetings and read Almighty God’s word, gaining supply and watering in my life and spirit. Thank Almighty God for letting me hear His voice through the internet so that I could be lifted before His throne unknowingly and keep pace with the footsteps of the Lamb.
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