Grasping the Principles of Discerning the True Christ From False Christs, I Need No Longer Fear Being Deceived
On a Sunday morning, the sun just arose. I received my mom’s phone call while I was still sleeping.
“Minmin, are you going to church today?”
“I’m afraid I can’t go today. The final exams are coming and I have a lot of schoolwork to finish.”
“No matter how busy you are, you must pray to the Lord. Especially in a strange land, you must pray to Him more!”
Being Self-blamed After the Phone Call
I hung up and my drowsiness was gone. Thinking back to these years when, although I believed in the Lord, I had never adequately worshiped Him, I felt self-blamed in my heart …
When I was six years old, my little brother and I followed my mom in believing in the Lord Jesus. At that time, although I was too young to understand the sermons, I knew the first chapter in the Bible says that God is the Creator of all things. And it’s right that mankind believes in and worship God. From then on, we three attended the worship in the church together. Not long after, this was discovered by my grandpa, grandma and father, all of whom were unbelievers. They did their best to stop us believing in the Lord. However, they couldn’t stop my mom, so they took charge of me and my little brother and did not allow us to go to church. Because of their pressure, I didn’t dare to attend meetings every weekend afterward, and only on holidays could I seek the opportunity to sneak into the church to attend worship. In this secretive way, I reached my nineteenth birthday …
At the age of nineteen, I came to Australia to study. Getting rid of the obstruction of my family, I finally was free to worship God. However, I wasn’t happy for long. In the beginning, I visited several churches but felt none was proper: In some churches, when they worshiped God, everybody was reveling and dancing with many flashing and dusky lights, just like worldly people holding a concert. Some churches were far away from my home. … So I didn’t go to any of them again. It was not until two years later that I finally found a relatively suitable church. However, due to the heavy schoolwork, I had to find some time to go there. Thinking of this, I felt worried and ashamed in my heart, so I prayed and repented before the Lord.
The “War” After I Returned Home
In December 2017, the tense final exams were over and done with. I returned to my hometown in Malaysia and was reunited with my family. My mom happily told me that she had gotten acquainted with several sisters online who really loved the Lord, and that they had regular meetings to fellowship the Lord’s words together. Hearing her words, I felt it was very good to spend more time in the Lord’s presence. After several meetings, mom told me with excitement that the Lord Jesus has returned as the incarnate Almighty God, and that Almighty God has expressed a lot of words and performed the work of judgment beginning at the house of God in the last days. I was shocked by her words and immediately thought of the negative propaganda about The Church of Almighty God that I had read previously online. It said that they misused the name of the Lord Jesus and testified that the Lord Jesus had come back. Moreover, the Bible records that the Lord Jesus prophesied that false Christs would appear in the last days. I was afraid that my mom would take a wrong way, so I tried desperately to refute her. I said, “The Bible clearly records: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, 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’ (Mat 24:23–24). Therefore, whoever testifies the Lord’s return is a fraud, and we cannot believe it.”
Mom said, “Minmin, the last days is when false Christs arise, but it’s also the very time that the Lord returns. We cannot blindly condemn all those who preach the Lord’s second coming because of guarding against the deception of false Christs. Otherwise, we would easily miss the Lord’s return and even resist the Lord. Moreover, when reading the Bible, we cannot take meaning out of context. If we integrate them with the following two verses—‘Behold, I have told you before’ (Mat 24:25), and ‘For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be’ (Mat 24:27)—we can know that in fact the Lord Jesus said this to tell us: In the last days, He will come again through incarnation as the Son of man. By saying ‘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’ (Mat 24:24), the Lord Jesus is to tell us the deeds of false Christs and false prophets. They mainly deceive man by imitating God’s past work and showing signs and wonders. Therefore, those who can show supernatural things such as great signs and wonders are just the ones we should guard against. In addition, in the last days, when it comes to the matter of welcoming the second coming of the Lord, not only should we learn to discern the deceptions of false Christs, but even more we should be wise virgins and focus on hearing God’s voice. This is the only way we won’t miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s return and be raptured to His presence.”
My mom’s fellowship made me calm down a little. I thought to myself, “So the Lord Jesus’ intention in saying these words is to tell us that false Christs primarily rely on signs and wonders to deceive people. He doesn’t mean that anyone who preaches about the Lord’s return is a fraud.” But then I thought, “Even if what mom said makes sense, it still cannot prove that Almighty God is the return of the Lord.” Therefore, I still held on to my notions and refused to accept. Mom continued, “The Lord Jesus said: ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Mat 25:6). These words tell us that when we hear someone spreading the gospel of the Lord’s return, we should actively seek and investigate, and be wise virgins to welcome the Lord. If there is anything you don’t understand, you can speak out and we can seek together. If you blindly cling to your conceptions, it will be easy for you to resist the Lord.” Her words were reasonable, but I was in a very confused state of mind and wouldn’t listen to anything. I knew I had little knowledge of the Bible, so I was very afraid that I would take a wrong way because of having no discernment. I was much puzzled. All I could do was to keep praying and asking the Lord to give me wisdom and guide me to walk the way ahead.
In order to make me understand God’s work, mom would like the sisters to communicate with me, and they invited me to attend meetings and fellowship with them many times, but I rejected it all. Afterward, in every meeting, mom would purposely put the computer on speaker to let me listen and communicate with the sisters. But I was unwilling. As long as I saw her doing this, I would leave her side right away. I was so disobedient, but mom and the sisters still preached the gospel to me. Sometimes after the meeting, mom would message her gains to communicate with me, and the sisters would still send through my mom some words of God, movies and videos to me. However, I always closed my heart and never read or watched them.
An Unexpected Decision Became the Turning Point
One time, mom invited me to join their meeting group. I felt embarrassed to reject her and so I agreed. However, I thought to myself, “Even so, I won’t attend the meeting online anyway.” My attitude was so frigid, but the sisters still treated me with love. They frequently asked how I was doing, sent me some words of God, or wrote down their experiences to communicate with me. But I still didn’t read them at all. … Actually, sometimes I was very curious, thinking, “What power is it that gives them such great faith and love to preach the gospel to me? Why is it that mom’s condition becomes better and better and she is very active and longing to attend meetings? What do they talk about in meetings?” I had half a mind to know it. However, I was afraid that I would be deceived because of lacking discernment, so I said to myself, “I would better not join them because my stature is small.” Just like that, when my mom and I were locked in this kind of stalemate, the summer holidays slipped by.
In early March 2018, I returned to Australia and mom still attended meetings regularly as usual. One night, I tossed and turned and could not fall asleep. I knew my mom and the sisters would attend the meeting right away. Suddenly, there was a moving in my heart, making me eager to be online to see how they had the meeting, what the content was…. As I was thinking, my phone screen lighted up to remind me that mom and the sisters were communicating with each other in the meeting, so I decisively pressed the answer button. Because I had never intended to attend their gathering before, nor did I tell my mom that I would be online that night, the sisters were very happy and surprised when they saw me online. A sister asked me with concern, “It’s so late. Still not in bed? What made you join us?” I told her, “I’m free tonight. Out of curiosity, I’m online just for once to listen to your fellowship. Maybe, this is the moving of the Holy Spirit.”
The Gains From the Meeting and Fellowship
After hearing my words, she said gladly, “Thank God! Thank God! Man’s thoughts and ideas are in God’s hands. God’s deeds are so wondrous!” Then the meeting began, and Sister Bai posted a passage of God’s words: “Today, God has new work. You may not accept these words, they may feel odd to you, but I advise you not to reveal your naturalness, for only those who truly hunger and thirst for righteousness before God can obtain the truth, and only those who are truly devout can be enlightened and guided by God. Nothing will come of seeking the truth through quarreling. Only by seeking calmly can we obtain results. When I say that ‘Today, God has new work,’ I am referring to God’s return to flesh. Perhaps you do not mind these words, perhaps you despise them, or perhaps they are of great interest to you. Whatever the case, I hope that all those who truly yearn for the appearance of God can face this fact and give it careful consideration. It is best not to jump to conclusions. This is the way that wise people should act.”
Then she fellowshiped, “This passage of words is God’s exhortations for us. God observes our thoughts. He knows that when He comes to do His new work we cannot accept and are easy to judge and condemn it, so He exhorts us not to jump to conclusions. As true believers in God, we should have a heart that fears God, and whatever befalls us, we should seek humbly first. Only in this way can we have the opportunity to receive the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, can we be certain whether or not it’s God’s work. As the Lord Jesus said: ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened’ (Mat 7:7–8).”
I was very touched by the sister’s fellowship. Especially when I read the words “not to reveal your naturalness” and “not to jump to conclusions,” I felt as if God was speaking to me face to face: Am I not the one who doesn’t investigate but judge first? I felt these words come from God, have power, and are heart-shaking. So I continued to listen to their fellowship. Then a sister fellowshiped with me about the way for the Lord to return and the mystery of the coming of the Son of man. After hearing this, I felt astonished. All their fellowship was in line with the Bible, and they explained the Lord’s will very clearly and didn’t deviate from the Lord’s way. I was vaguely aware that it was wrong of me to resist and close myself previously. After that meeting, I continued to attend several meetings with them and they fellowshiped with me about the truths of God’s three stages of work, God’s work of judgment in the last days, and more other aspects. After hearing their fellowship, I felt very clear in my heart. I felt the work of Almighty God is extraordinary and that I should investigate carefully and couldn’t blindly reject it as I had done before.
The Way to Discern the True Christ From False Christs
Later, during a meeting with the sisters, I actively sought and said, “Through these days of fellowship with you, I indeed understand many truths that I didn’t understand before. But there’s a question that I would like to ask: The Lord Jesus prophesied that when He came again in the last days, false Christs would appear to deceive people. From this we can see that whether we can discern the true Christ from false ones will determine whether we can welcome His return and be raptured before God. So, please communicate with me: How should I discern the true Christ from false ones? And how should I affirm Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus?”
At this time, Sister Bai said, “Sister, you’ve raised some good questions. Now, since there will be many false Christs in the last days, people give much attention to the prevention of them. But they’re forgetting the last days is the time, the very time for the appearance of God, the time for the Lord Jesus to come back. If guarding against false Christs is all we focus on, without taking the initiative to seek God’s appearance or to investigate God’s work, then, truly it is pathetic for us. If we wish to welcome the Lord Jesus’ return, we must know how to discern the true Christ from false ones. This is directly related to the crucial question whether or not we can welcome the Lord’s return and be caught up. Concerning the matter of discerning the true Christ from false ones, first of all, we must recognize that God is always new and never old and does not repeat His work. When the Lord comes again in the last days, He will not heal the sick and cast out demons for man just like He did in the Age of Grace. Let’s read a passage of God’s words. God says: ‘If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, and can cast out demons, and heal the sick, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are Jesus who has come, then this would be the counterfeit of evil spirits, and their imitation of Jesus. Remember this! God does not repeat the same work. Jesus’ stage of work has already been completed, and God will never again undertake that stage of work. … If, during the last days, God still displayed signs and wonders, and still cast out demons and healed the sick—if He did exactly the same as Jesus—then God would be repeating the same work, and the work of Jesus would have no significance or value. Thus, God carries out one stage of work in every age. Once each stage of His work has been completed, it is soon imitated by evil spirits, and after Satan begins to follow on the heels of God, God changes to a different method; once God has completed a stage of His work, it is imitated by evil spirits. You must be clear about these things.’
“From God’s words we can clearly know that God does not repeat the same work. The work that God comes to do each time is the work of ushering in a new age and concluding the old age, and each time His way of working is different. For example, when the Lord Jesus came to do His work in the Age of Grace, He did not repeat the work that Jehovah God did in issuing laws, but carried out His work of redemption upon the foundation of the work in the Age of Law to redeem us from the law’s condemnation and curse, and thus ended the Age of Law and opened the Age of Grace. In the last days, Almighty God has come to end the Age of Grace and ushered in the Age of Kingdom. He is carrying out the work of judgment and purification on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, giving us all the truths we need to be cleansed and attain salvation, and resolving our corrupt disposition and sinful nature, so that we can be purified and fully gained by God. Thus, God’s management work of saving man will come to an end completely. So we can see that God’s work is always moving and progressing forward, always going higher and deeper at every step. In God’s work, there is never any repetition, and in each stage of work, God guides us in accordance with our demands and deficiencies. By contrast, false Christs can only imitate God’s work to deceive people after God finishes it, because they are unable to do any new and improved form of work, much less can they conclude the old age and open up a new age. Therefore, no matter how well false Christs imitate God, they can only do some simple and limited things regarded as supernatural by people to deceive them. They are incapable of imitating grand miracles like the Lord Jesus calming the wind and sea, feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, and bringing Lazarus back from the dead, because they do not possess the authority and substance of God. This is a fact. Moreover, the most basic key point to discern the true Christ from false Christs is that we must know the substance of Christ. Only thus can we thoroughly discern and reject all sorts of means of false Christs deceiving people.”
Sister Li said, “Yes. As we all know, the Lord Jesus is the incarnate Christ and Christ is the incarnate God. That is, the God in heaven takes on a flesh and becomes the Son of man to work in the world. Christ is real. He is not a vague or fictional God, but the practical God worthy for us to know, to rely on and to follow. It’s just like the Lord Jesus living vividly among us humans, working and leading man, shepherding man. In contrast, false Christs are just evil spirits claiming to be Christ. They are no more than deceivers. And most of them are possessed by evil spirits. Even if they are not actually possessed by evil spirits, they are very arrogant and unreasonable devils, and are without the slightest truth. People who follow them will become more and more corrupt. Let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says: ‘God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the substance of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but instead, the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh is not one that can be replaced by just any man, but one that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those fake Christs will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the substance of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself.’”
After we finished reading God’s words, Sister Li asked me what I understood. I said, “Through God’s words and your fellowship, I understand that Christ’s substance is God Himself. He is the truth, the way and the life. Only the One who can express the truth and God’s disposition and can do the work of saving all mankind is God Himself. All those who cannot express the truth are false, are false Christs, no matter how they say that they themselves are God.”
Sister Li said, “Thank God! Right. Just like in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus expressed the truth and did the work of redeeming all mankind, and it proves completely that Jesus Christ is the truth, the way and the life. In the last days, Almighty God comes to the world of us humans in the image of the Son of man. He has expressed millions of words and opened the scroll, revealing the mysteries of God’s managing mankind, displaying His main disposition that is righteous, and doing the judgment work in the last days. Now, Almighty God’s words have been translated into many languages and published on big websites, open to the whole of mankind. All people who truly believe in God, seek and examine the true way and love the truth have been returning one after another before the throne of Almighty God to accept the judgment, purification and perfection of God’s words, which is widely known, of course. The work of Almighty God in the last days has completely fulfilled the prophecy about the return of the Lord Jesus: ‘For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be’ (Mat 24:27). Almighty God’s work once again confirms that Christ is the truth, the way and the life. And the false Christs? They are evil spirits who fake Christ. They don’t have the substance of God, nor can they express the truth, nor can they do God’s work. So all they have to offer are fallacies and lies, which cannot convince others thoroughly but can only deceive those foolish and ignorant people. Even less do they dare put them on the Internet for all people to investigate. Therefore, people who proclaim themselves to be Christ but can only perform some signs and wonders to deceive people instead of expressing the truth are all false Christs.”
After hearing the sister’s fellowship, I said with excitement, “Sister, now I understand it’s the most exact way to discern the true Christ from false ones according to the principle that Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. Only the One who can do God’s work and express the truth is Christ. On the contrary, all those who claim themselves to be Christ but cannot express the truth are nothing but false Christs. And so, whether one is Christ cannot be decided according to who he is claimed to be but according to his work and words as well as his substance.”
Sister Bai said, “Thank God. It’s true. Whether one is Christ is not decided according to who he is claimed to be but according to his substance. As Almighty God’s words say: ‘There are some who are possessed by evil spirits and cry out vociferously, “I am God!” Yet, in the end, they are revealed , for they are wrong in what they represent. They represent Satan, and the Holy Spirit pays them no heed. However highly you exalt yourself or however strongly you cry out, you are still a created being and one that belongs to Satan. I never cry out, “I am God, I am the beloved Son of God!” But the work I do is God’s work. Need I shout? There is no need for exaltation. God does His own work Himself and does not need man to accord Him a status or give Him an honorific title: His work is sufficient to represent His identity and status. … You are unable to bring forth new paths or to represent the Spirit. You cannot express the work of the Spirit or the words that He speaks. You are unable to do the work of God Himself, and that of the Spirit you are unable to do. The wisdom, wonder, and unfathomability of God, and the entirety of the disposition by which God chastises man: all of these are beyond your capacity to express. So it would be useless to try to claim to be God; you would have only the name and none of the substance.’”
A Late Awakening
I fellowshiped, “Almighty God’s words are indeed the truth and God’s voice. They shock my heart once more, and make me feel that each of God’s words expresses God’s disposition. In the past, being foolish and ignorant, I always lived in the words of the Bible, so I refused to listen to or watch anything related to God’s new work and investigate God’s new work, and I nearly missed welcoming the Lord’s return. God showed mercy on me, moved me and led me out of my conceptions by arranging for sisters and my mom to fellowship with me and testify to me time and again, so that I’m fortunate to be raptured before God. Now I have understood the meaning of the words in the Bible: ‘My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge’ (Hos 4:6). ‘But fools die for want of wisdom” (Pro 10:21). On the issue of investigating the true way, I didn’t seek or investigate God’s words but lived in my own conceptions and imaginations as well as my delimitation of God based on the scriptures, thus resisting God all along. Isn’t that perishing as a result of my own ignorance?”
Seeing that I finally woke up, the two sisters and my mom all thanked God. They were happy for me and said unceasingly, “God’s sheep hear His voice.” I was also moved by God’s love and felt warm in my heart. Not knowing what to say to God, I could only silently praise Him.
Later, I formally partook in the church life of The Church of Almighty God, and enjoyed the pleasure of the Holy Spirit’s work. From Almighty God’s words, I receive the life supply and enjoy the rich banquet every day. I have totally ascertained that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, is Christ, and is the truth, the way and the life. Thank God! All the glory be to Almighty God!
- Extended Reading:
- Principle of Discerning False Christs