By Xiaoya, Canada
Hearing the sister say that the Lord Jesus has come back and done a new work, I was shocked then: Has the Lord returned? What the sister spoke of was something that I had never heard but was quite practical. Moreover, I heard for the first time that someone could explain the source of the desolation of the churches so clearly; even the pastors could not make it. Her words made me know that the reason why the churches became desolate was that God has done a new work and we had fallen behind since we were still attending meetings in the churches. Then I recalled what the Bible says, “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). If it is really God’s new work, only if I hurry up and follow it can I receive the work of the Holy Spirit. However, in our hurry to leave for home, we had to bid good-bye for a little while. When the time came to part, we exchanged our telephone numbers and agreed on keeping in touch later. On the way home, I kept thinking of the matter that the sister had talked to me concerning the Lord’s return, as well as their behavior. Although it was our first meeting, their enthusiasm made me feel that they were no strangers to me. Thus I decided to investigate God’s new work carefully.
After the start of the new school semester, Sister Chen Wei gave me a call and made an appointment to have a face-to-face talk with me. I agreed readily. In my contact with the brothers and sisters, I felt they had saintly decency in their words and actions, living out a good humanity, being quite devout to God, behaving honestly, and being concerned about and caring for me just like my family. From the bottom of my heart, I realized it was out of God’s love. Hence I told them my puzzle, “Now the whole religious world has lost the Holy Spirit’s work and fallen into darkness. If Almighty God is really thewho has come for His new work, then only by hurrying up and following the footsteps of the Lamb can we receive the Holy Spirit’s work, right?” Then the sisters shared God’s words with me, which had my thirsty heart nourished and made me have more understanding of God’s work as well. One of them read two passages of God’s words for me, “The work done at present has pushed forward the work of the Age of Grace; that is, the work in the entire six-thousand-year management plan has moved forward. Though the Age of Grace has ended, the work of God has progressed further. Why do I say time and again that this stage of work builds upon the Age of Grace and the Age of Law? This means that the work of this day is a continuation of the work done in the Age of Grace and an uplifting of that done in the Age of Law. The three stages are closely interconnected and linked one to the next.” “After the work of Jehovah, Jesus became flesh to do His work amongst man. His work was not carried out in isolation, but built upon the work of Jehovah. It was work for a new age after God had concluded the Age of Law. Similarly, after the work of Jesus ended, God still continued His work for the next age, because the entire management of God is always progressing forward. When the old age passes, it will be replaced by a new age, and once the old work has been completed, a new work will continue the management of God. This incarnation is God’s second incarnation following the completion of Jesus’ work. Of course, this incarnation does not occur independently, but is the third stage of work after the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. … Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and this work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.” Then the sister fellowshiped, “In the beginning, God created the ancestors of mankind, Adam and Eve. At that time, He did not carry out His management work among man. Later on, since our ancestors ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and thereby committed sins, then God started His work of saving mankind, accordingly bringing the three stages of the work of the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and the Age of Kingdom. These three stages of work are in closely connected links and each of them is carried out upon the foundation of the previous stage. For example, in the Age of Law, Jehovah God led His new-born mankind to live on earth through issuing laws and commandments. If people abided by the laws, they would be blessed by God; if they offended them, they could atone for their sins by offering sacrifice. However, in the late phase of the Age of Law, people could no longer keep the laws, but rather were overwhelmed by sins, unable to break free from the bondage of sin; thus people all faced the danger of being executed by the laws. Then according to the needs of mankind, God carried out the work of the Age of Grace. He was incarnated the first time to be nailed to the cross for redeeming mankind. From then on, as long as people believed in and relied on the Lord Jesus, prayed in the name of Him, confessed and repented their sins, they would be forgiven of their sins and not be condemned to death by the laws anymore. Yet as the root of their sin hasn’t been solved, people are still living in the fallen cycle of sinning by day and confessing at night. The Bible says, ‘For the wages of sin is death’ (Romans 6:23). So, in order to save man thoroughly, God does a work in the Age of Kingdom to remove sin on the basis of the Lord Jesus’ redemptive work. He becomes flesh once again to judge man through His expression of words, making us see the truth about our corruption by Satan, so that we can break away from sin, attain the transformation in our disposition, and thus receive His salvation in the end. God is always new and never old. Every time when He does a stage of new work, He will bring man new ways of practice. Only by keeping up with His new work can man receive the personal guidance of Him. Whereas, as for those who don’t follow God’s new work but hold on His former work, they have no higher practice and cannot receive the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the basic reason why the whole religious world is desolate while there is the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church of Almighty God.” The sister’s fellowship enabled me to have more knowledge of God’s three stages of work and realize more clearly that only by closely following the footsteps of His work can we man receive His guidance and be saved by Him in the end. Such an understanding was something that I had never heard before in my years of believing in the Lord in religion. Listening to the fellowship of the sisters from the Church of Almighty God, I gained a lot and got much released in spirit.
I am quite grateful to God for having chosen me in the last days. What made me more gratified was that my mother also accepted Almighty God’s work before long. Now, our whole family have followed the footsteps of the Lamb and returned to our original condition of believing in the Lord. Fervent in our hearts, we follow God with the utmost confidence. We read God’s words, pursue the truth and salvation, living in the joy of being led by Him. Thanks be to God! All the glory goes to Almighty God!
Part One: Why Have the Churches Become Desolate? (I)