In the twinkling of an eye, the time came to the winter in 2005. My husband had nothing to do and stayed at home. One day, my husband wasn’t at home. A strange man, aged 40-odd, came to my home and said to me: “Elder sister, I heard that your husband is a good boiler worker and also can install boiler tube, so I’d like for him to work with us.” After hearing it, I felt very happy in my heart, thinking: The new year is around the corner, and we need a lot of money in many things. If my husband can do this work, he can earn some money to help cover the expense of our family. So I readily agreed. The next day, my husband went to the place the man said to work. At night, my husband came back and said the work was quite good. I felt very happy and asked him to continue working there properly.
After a few days, I found my husband was not the same as before. Previously, he was a real male chauvinist at home; he not only didn’t help me do the housework, but gestured to all of me. However, since he did the work, he not only could actively help me do some housework, but often talked about the Lord’s coming in my ears. One day, he asked me: “You say, when the Lord comes, can we really be raptured to the air to meet the Lord?” I answered firmly: “It’s the word in the Bible, so it couldn’t be wrong.” Unexpectedly, my husband said: “It is indeed the word in the Bible, this is not wrong. But it isn’t the prophecy spoken by the; it’s the word of Paul, and Paul can’t represent the Lord! Since we believe in the Lord, we should listen to the Lord’s word, and shouldn’t blindly worship man’s word. Moreover, the heaven is God’s throne and the earth is God’s footstool. Can the heaven be the place we should stay in? We are creatures; besides, our sin hasn’t been cleansed. How can sinners like us have the qualification to go to heaven? How can we be worthy of seeing God’s face?” Hearing that my husband’s word is similar to what the previous sister fellowshiped, I couldn’t help guessing: Can it be that someone talked to my husband about the Lord’s return? Or, how can he speak out such insightful words? So I asked in puzzlement: “Why is your word today not the same as before?” He said: “Brother Jiao of our church is working in the same place with me. He fellowshiped to me about the Lord’s return; I thought what he said is reasonable and is in line with the Bible. You say, shall we properly seek and investigate it? If we keep holding our conceptions and imaginations not to hear, read, or seek, what if we miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s coming?” After hearing my husband’s word, I didn’t say anything, thinking: My husband’s word is reasonable. If I keep neither hearing nor seeking, how can I know whether the Lord has come back? This time, I can’t refuse blindly.
Another few days later, my husband talked to me about the Lord’s coming again. He said: “How will the Lord come to work? How can we human fathom it? Think back to the age when the Lord Jesus came to work. The chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees determined that God’s name was called Messiah according to their notions and imaginations. And because the Lord Jesus’ work didn’t fit their notions, they finally nailed God to the cross, suffering God’s punishment and forever losing. We can’t follow in the footsteps of the Pharisees. Our conceptions and imaginations are not in accordance with the Lord’s will. I feel that we’d better seek properly. Tomorrow I will bring Brother Jiao and a sister to our home. Let’s listen carefully and then determine whether we accept Almighty God’s work of the last days.” After he finished his words, I doubted whether he had accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. Then I thought: My husband isn’t a man without his own mind. He often preached and worked outside in the past, and had more knowledge than me about the Bible. In addition, he has a big change in his living out. His word is becoming more and more insightful, and his understanding about the Bible is full of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenments. If this is not the result achieved by the Holy Spirit’s work, who can achieve it by his own ability? At this time, I was suddenly awakened a little: Since my husband lost the Holy Spirit’s work, he not only was dry when preaching, but also became weak; however, now, not only is he full of faith, but also his fellowship is full of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenments, and his living out also has changed. Is it because my husband listened to the preachings of The Church of Almighty God that he has so many changes? If it is so, I also should investigate practically. Or if I really miss the chance to welcome the Lord’s return, won’t I regret it for the rest of my life? So, I agreed that he would bring Brother Jiao to our home tomorrow. Then, I prayed to the Lord earnestly: “O Lord, now the believers of Eastern Lightning are testifying that You have come back. Hearing this news, I felt very thrilled. Lord, have You really come back? You know I’m immature and ignorant. Please give me a clear heart and let me have discernment on the things about Your coming and be able to make a wise choice.”
On the second day, my husband didn’t go to work; he directly brought Brother Jiao and a sister to our home. After greeting them, I eagerly wanted to let them talk about the things of being captured to the air to meet the Lord. I asked: “Paul said, ‘Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord’ (1Ts 4:17). Over so many years, according to Paul’s word, we have been waiting for the Lord Jesus to return and take us into the air to meet Him, and then we will live in heaven. But now you testify that the Lord has come back; if so, then why are we still on earth and have not been raptured?” After hearing my words, the sister fellowshiped with patience: “In fact, the ‘rapture’ doesn’t mean that we are taken from the earth to the heaven as we have imagined. It means that when God comes again to earth to speak and work, we can hear God’s voice and rise up to follow God and obey God’s work of the last days. This is the true meaning of being raptured before God’s throne. Those who can recognize Lord’s voice, find the truth from Almighty , and accept the truth to return to Almighty God are wise virgins. These who can understand and accept the truth and understand God’s voice are the ones that have truly received . Nowadays, the returned Lord Jesus, Almighty God, has become flesh to express word and has done a stage of work of judgment through His word in the last days. This stage of work is the most key stage of God’s work of saving man. Only through keeping up with God’s new work and accepting God’s judgment and chastisement can we have our sins cleansed, achieve being compatible with God, and be raptured to God’s kingdom. If we don’t accept Almighty God’s work of the last days, our sinful nature can’t be resolved, and we can never be raptured to God’s kingdom. Just as Almighty God says, ‘Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God. If you do not seek the way of life provided by Christ of the last days, then you shall never gain the approval of Jesus, and shall never be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven, for you are both a puppet and prisoner of history’ (‘Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of ’).”
After I heard these words, I was suddenly brightened and thought: These words have such authority. Besides God, who can guard the entrance to the kingdom of heaven? Besides God, who can decide man’s outcome? It seems that the “rapture” I believed in the past belongs to my own conceptions and imaginations. It turns out that the true rapture refers to accepting God’s work of the last days, not taking man from a low place to a high place. Such fellowship was very realistic.
Subsequently, Brother Jiao read God’s word for us: “God has God’s destination, and man has man’s destination. While resting, God will continue to guide all of humanity in their lives upon earth. While in God’s light, man will worship the one true God in heaven. … When humanity enters into rest, it means that man has become a true creation; humanity will worship God from upon the earth and have normal human lives. People will no longer be disobedient to God or resist God; they will return to the original life of Adam and Eve. These are the respective lives and destinations of God and humanity after they enter into rest. Satan’s defeat is an inevitable trend in the war between God and Satan. In this way, God’s entering into rest after the completion of His management work and man’s complete salvation and entrance into rest likewise become inevitable trends. Man’s place of rest is on earth, and God’s place of rest is in heaven. While man rests, he will worship God and also live upon earth, and while God rests, He will lead the remaining portion of humanity; He will lead them from heaven, not from earth” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together”).
After finishing reading, Brother Jiao fellowshiped, “From God’s word, we can see God’s destination is different from man’s. God’s place of rest is in heaven, while man’s final place of rest is on earth, where we will enjoy a life as if living in heaven. This is the harmonious and beautiful life God has prepared for man, and also is what God will achieve in the end. Revelation 21:2–3 says, ‘And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.’ And Revelation 11:15 says, ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.’ These prophecies refer to ‘the tabernacle of God is with men,’ ‘new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven,’ and ‘The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ.’ These absolutely prove that God will establish His kingdom on earth and live with man on earth. The kingdoms in this world will become the Christ’s kingdom. The final result that God’s management plan of saving mankind will achieve is to establish God’s kingdom on earth. So we should put aside our own conceptions and imaginations to accept God’s work of the last days.”
The more I heard the fellowship of the brother, the more I felt enjoyment in my heart. I remembered the Lord’s prayer the sister once read for me in that summer: “Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, Your will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Mat 6:9–10). The Lord’s word clearly told us that in the end God will let us worship God on earth, not in heaven. In the beginning, God created Adam with the dust, and He led man to live a carefree life on earth. Eventually, man will still normally worship God on earth. This is practical and realistic. Thinking of this, I put aside my own conceptions to listen to their fellowship. Afterward, they testified the truth such as the three stages of God’s work, the mystery of God’s incarnation, and other aspects of truth. Through practically seeking and investigating, I totally confirmed that Almighty God is precisely the return of the Lord Jesus, so I was willing to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days.
The moment my husband and I took over the book of The Word Appears in the Flesh, I was very remorseful. I thought: Like the Pharisees, I had held my own conceptions and imaginations and repeatedly refused to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days for several years. But God didn’t punish me; instead, He used brothers and sisters to preachto me and let me have the opportunity to be raptured before God’s throne and enjoy the supply of living water of God’ word. This really is God’s love! Thank Almighty God for His salvation so that I have been finally raptured before God’s throne and welcomed the Lord’s return.
Part One: Returning to God, I Finally Realized My Dream of Being Raptured (I)
By Luo Lan, China
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