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Never Again Will I Delimit God to the Bible (Part 2)

By Ding Feng, China

I Seek the Truth, Let Go of My Misconceptions and Follow God

    Several days later, I was working at home when my wife brought over some sisters from The Church of Almighty God. I was just thinking of a way to avoid them when one of the sisters seemed to see what I was thinking, and she said to me, “Brother, if you want to know whether Almighty God really is the second coming of the Lord Jesus, you only have to listen to God’s words. The Lord Jesus said: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 5:3). The Lord Jesus tells us that we who humbly seek are praised by Him. The Lord Jesus has now returned, so if you refuse to listen to Him, won’t you then miss your chance to welcome His return?” Seeing them hold themselves in such an earnest and sincere manner, I felt very moved. I couldn’t help but think of the desolation in the religious world right now, where brothers and sisters were finding it hard to attend meetings regularly, whereas these sisters had such great faith and love. Eastern Lightning was also flourishing more and more and was known to almost every family—this was clearly not something that could have been achieved through human efforts alone! Thinking this, I decided to study in earnest Almighty God’s work of the last days. Continue reading “Never Again Will I Delimit God to the Bible (Part 2)”

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Never Again Will I Delimit God to the Bible (Part 1)

By Ding Feng, China

    Over the past few years, I have always toiled and busied myself in order to “protect the Bible and guard the flock,” yet I never expected that my wife, my mother and my father-in-law would be stolen away by Eastern Lightning, one after another. My wife also preached the way of Eastern Lightning to me, but I refused to accept it. In order to prove my loyalty to the Lord and, more importantly, to safeguard the Bible’s absolute authority, I took a devout oath before my brothers and sisters, saying, “God’s words and work are all recorded in the Bible and the Bible contains the whole truth. There are no words or work of God outside the Bible, and we must not betray the Bible no matter what!” In this way, I remained clinging to my own convictions, and I did not study the way of Eastern Lightning. Continue reading “Never Again Will I Delimit God to the Bible (Part 1)”

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Saved in a Different Way

By Huang Lin, China

    I used to be an ordinary believer in the Pentecostal Church, and ever since I started believing in the Lord I never once missed a meeting. In particular, it was now the time of the last days and the prophecies in the Bible about the Lord’s return had basically been fulfilled. The Lord would soon return, and so I attended meetings even more enthusiastically, eagerly looking forward to His return, lest I miss my chance to meet with the Lord. Continue reading “Saved in a Different Way”

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I Have Come Home (Part 1)

By Chu Keen Pong, Malaysia

God’s Wonderful Orchestration and Guidance

    I have believed in the Lord for more than ten years and served in the church for two years, then left the church to go abroad for work. I have been to many places including Singapore and have earned a lot of money, but in this existence in modern society, where the strong prey on the weak, and where people compete with and scheme against each other, where each person tries to outdo the other in treachery, I have faced innumerable complex interpersonal relations and was always on my guard against others. Continue reading “I Have Come Home (Part 1)”

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Coming Home (Part 2)

                                                       By Muyi, South Korea

    In this period, there was another brother named Yang who also investigated Almighty God’s work in the last days together with me. I had always had a careless and absent-minded attitude, but Brother Yang was earnest in his studies. Brother Yang said that he had rejected the gospel of Almighty God when people had preached it to him before but that hearing it again today must be an opportunity granted by God! He wanted to investigate it. Brother Yang saw that I was only interested in listening to the pastor’s words and not investigating with an open mind. He found a passage for me, which was Matthew 5:3–6: “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. … Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Reading the word of the Lord, I wondered: Why is it that I can’t seek tranquilly in the presence of the Lord? If the Lord were really to return by some chance, and I did not listen to Him or investigate it, would I not be left behind? I should also learn some humility, and I must not blindly come to conclusions based on my own imagination. Continue reading “Coming Home (Part 2)”

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Catholic Beliefs: I Have Welcomed the Lord’s Return

By Amy, USA

    “Meeting with the Lord is the greatest hope of all believers. By the grace of the Lord, I have welcomed the Lord’s return and I am full of gratitude to Him….” It’s nighttime, and the clear moonlight spills into the room through the window. Under the soft light of her lamp, Amy is quickly typing out her experience of welcoming the Lord’s return. Thinking of God’s love and salvation for her, Amy stands up and softly walks to the window and gazes out at the full moon, reminiscing on the past … Continue reading “Catholic Beliefs: I Have Welcomed the Lord’s Return”

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“Pigeon” Mail

Su Jie, China

    One day in 1999, after the meeting had ended, the pastor said to me, “Su Jie, here is a letter for you.” As soon as I saw it, I knew that it came from the church I established in Shandong. I took the letter and on the way home, I thought as I walked: This letter is so thick, could it be that they have encountered some difficulties? …

When I got home, I couldn’t wait to open the letter and saw that it said: “Sister Su, peace be with you in the Lord! I am writing to tell you some great news: The Lord Jesus our Savior whom we yearn for day and night has returned. He has already returned to the flesh in China and has done a step of work of judging and cleansing people through His words; He has ended the Age of Grace and started the Age of Kingdom…. I hope you can accept God’s new work and keep up with God’s footsteps. Whatever you do, do not miss God’s last days’ salvation.” Reading up to here, I felt surprised: They hadn’t actually encountered any difficulties but believed in Eastern Lightning! I was eager to know who wrote this letter and turned to the last page. I learned that the letter was written by Brother Meng and at the end of the letter were all the signatures of all the brothers and sisters of the church. After finishing reading the letter I was dumbfounded. I stared at it blankly for a while before I recovered and thought to myself: Eastern Lightning testifies that the Lord has returned and has stolen many good sheep and leading sheep from various denominations. I did not expect Brother Meng from Shandong church to believe in Eastern Lightning too. The brothers and sisters of this church had all been stolen by Eastern Lightning. What could be done? When I thought about this, I felt even more anxious. But it was too far to travel to Shandong and I was tied up with my work here. For the time being I could not go. Helpless, I could only cry and pray to the Lord: “Lord! These brothers and sisters have believed in You for a short time and their foundation is not yet stable. Please guard over them….”

Later, I searched through the Bible and put pen to paper to write the first letter back to them. In the letter I said: “Brothers and sisters, in Jesus Christ, I advise you to be wary. Paul said: ‘I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel to you than that you have received, let him be accursed’ (Gal 1:6-9). Brothers and sisters, I only just managed to bring you before the Lord. Why did you betray the Lord so quickly? Your stature is too small to be able to listen to other ways! You must listen to me because what I spread to you is the true way. Only the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior. You must hold on to His way forever….” Only after I finished writing and looked at the eight-page letter did I feel at ease and thought to myself: I wrote all that I should write, checked all of the scriptures that I should check and wrote all the words of advice and encouragement that I should. I believe that after they read this, they will certainly reply to me and acknowledge their mistake.

Two weeks later, I received a reply which said: “… Sister Su, we cannot not speak of all that we have seen and heard because Almighty God whom we believe in is the returned Lord Jesus. We are keeping the truth and moving forward and have not betrayed the Lord, but are following in the Lord’s footsteps. ‘I marvel that you are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ ’ (Gal 1:6-7). There is a background to these words that Paul spoke. We just need to study the Bible and we can know that ‘another gospel’ that Paul spoke of then referred to the Pharisees asking people to keep to Jehovah’s laws, not the people of the last days spreading the gospel of the kingdom which witnesses the Lord returning to the flesh and doing His work of judgment starting with God’s family. When Paul wrote this letter to the Galatian churches, there was no one at all who preached the gospel of God’s kingdom. Therefore, the ‘another gospel’ that Paul spoke of does not refer to the Lord returning and doing His judgment work of the last days starting with God’s family. This step of judgment work that the Lord has come again to do fulfills the prophecies of the Book of Revelation: ‘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, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come’ (Rev 14:6-7). Here ‘everlasting gospel’ refers to the gospel of the kingdom. Moreover, this last salvation was long ago revealed by the Holy Spirit to the disciples of the Lord Jesus. As Peter said: ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1Pe 4:17). ‘Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1Pe 1:5). Sister Su, isn’t the return of the Lord what we believers yearn for? Now the Lord has indeed returned, we must be humble and seek. We must not be like the Pharisees in their treatment of the Lord Jesus, God’s first incarnation and blindly use knowledge of the Bible and notions and imagination to determine God’s new work, condemn and resist the Lord because of the Lord Jesus not obeying the law and crucify the Lord. The Pharisees just believed in Jehovah God, but they did not accept the incarnation of Jehovah God—the Lord Jesus’ work, and ultimately they were condemned and cursed by the Lord. Isn’t this bloody lesson worthy of our reflection? The Lord Jesus is our Savior and no one can deny it. But if we only accept the Lord Jesus yet do not accept the return of the Lord, are we not the same as the Pharisees? Have we not then become people who believe in God yet resist God? Furthermore, Sister Su, we cannot listen to what you say because you preached the Lord’s gospel to us. We believe in God. Peter and the other apostles once said, ‘We ought to obey God rather than men’ (Act 5:29). We can listen to man even less regarding dealing with the coming of the Lord. We have already determined that the word of Almighty God is the voice of God. We hope that you can look into it too.”

I was very angry and very unconvinced when reading what was written in the letter and hurriedly took the Bible Guide out and flipped to the introduction to the Galatians. I looked closely and was so surprised: This really was true! The “another gospel” that Paul spoke of really referred to the Pharisees making people keep to Jehovah’s law and did not refer to the Lord’s work of judgment starting with God’s family upon His return. How had I never noticed that there was this background to this verse for so many years? No wonder they were unconvinced. But thinking about it another way, even if what I said was wrong, that cannot prove that what they preach is the return of the Lord. I read the letter again from start to finish and the more I read it, the angrier I got. I did not expect that they would dare to strike me and dare to say I was a Pharisee. I hate the Pharisees the most. How could I resist the Lord like the Pharisees? I’ve worked hard for so many years, working day and night for the believers. How could you not know? The more I thought about it, the more uncomfortable I felt and I thought: “No, how can I be refuted by these few new believers? How many times have I read the Bible? I don’t believe that I cannot win you over!”

So I put pen to paper and wrote a second letter back to them and said: “Brothers and sisters, may peace be with you in the Lord’s grace! I felt extremely upset to read the letter you sent. I’m not asking you to listen to me. You really do not understand my intention. I am afraid of you leaving the way of the Lord Jesus. Because the Lord Jesus said: ‘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). Paul also said: ‘Now we beseech you, brothers, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together to him, That you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means’ (2Ts 2:1-3). Dear brothers and sisters, I advise you in the name of the Lord Jesus that there will be dangerous days ahead, and that you should not believe all those who preach of the Lord’s coming. We must be especially careful and bear the Lord’s words in mind, lest we take the wrong path and displease the Lord!”

 

    Two weeks later they sent me another letter, which said: “Sister Su, there is nothing wrong with the scriptures you found for us, but we must be clear about the true meaning of the Lord Jesus saying these words and not misunderstand the Lord’s intentions. The Lord Jesus clearly told us that false Christs would appear when the Lord comes in the last days and that false Christs pass themselves off using the Lord’s name and show miracles to deceive people. By saying this, the Lord is telling us to distinguish, but that’s not to say that all those who preach of the Lord’s coming are all false. If, as you say, all those who preach of the coming of the Lord are false and we must guard against them and reject them, then isn’t it very easy for us to shut out the Lord Jesus who has returned to flesh? Because the Lord said He will come again. Obviously, such views are clearly not in line with the Lord’s intentions. With regards how to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs, we have transcribed a passage of the words of Almighty God for you and hope that you will take a good look. Almighty God said: ‘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’ (‘Knowing God’s Work Today’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s work is real. Every step of His work is based on the needs of corrupt mankind, to redeem and save people. Thus, God’s work cannot be fixed and unchangeable. God’s work is often new, not old and never repeated. Just as the work that God did in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace was two steps and different work, when the last days come, God has already done one step of work of judging and cleansing people through His words based on mankind’s needs. This is a step of work of thoroughly purifying and saving people. It is newer, higher and more realistic than previous work. We can see the truths that God utters from every step of God’s work and can see the wisdom, authority and power of God’s work. But false Christs are possessed by evil spirits and do not possess the essence of God. They have no truths at all and so false Christs cannot express truths. Nor can they express God’s almightiness, wisdom and God’s disposition. It can be seen that false Christs cannot do God’s work at all. False Christs can only imitate the work that the Lord Jesus has already done, healing the sick, casting out demons and showing some ordinary miracles to pretend to be Christ in order to deceive people. Sister, we should receive the words of the Lord purely, and we cannot misinterpret the Lord’s meaning, let alone refrain from doing something for fear of a possible risk because false Christs appear in the last days and not even study the work of the Lord’s return….”

Brothers and sisters’ fellowship in the letter is well-founded, but I have absolutely no intention of seeking and trying to figure it out. I only care about whether or not they accept the scriptures I found for them and whether they have turned back to the Lord. Looking back on these two debates by letter, it did not persuade them at all. On the contrary, I let them refute me until I had completely lost face. I hurriedly prayed to the Lord and then took the Bible and all of my spiritual books and put them on the bed. I kept looking through them, wanting to find a basis for refuting them. At this time, there was no other voice in the room, just the sound of me turning the pages of the book. Without me noticing, night came and I had still not found anything. I was so tired that I sighed deeply and thought: It’s really not easy to reply to this letter. I could only pick up the pen and write: “Brothers and sisters, reading your letter made me feel that you are no longer those cute little lambs. You do not even listen to my words and insist on leaving the Lord’s way. And you even refute me so. I think that what you do will sadden the Lord. I am very sad too. May the Lord Jesus move you and may this letter enable you to turn back soon. Amen!”

Lord Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep”    Two weeks later, I received their reply again, but to my disappointment, they did not turn back because of my love and encouragement. On the contrary, they severely and categorically said: “Sister Su, you preached the Lord’s gospel to us, that is true, but we should thank the Lord for this because it was God who got us, these separated sheep, back through you. You were just a servant caring for the flock. The Lord Jesus is our true shepherd. As the Lord Jesus said: ‘I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine’ (Jhn 10:14). The Lord entrusts sheep to every person who works for the Lord. People’s responsibility is just to look after them and when the Lord returns they should return the flock to Him. Sister Su, we all know the parable of the ‘evil gardener’ which the Lord spoke of in the Bible. In order to forcibly occupy the estate, those evil gardeners hit the servants who came to collect the fruit and when the master sent his son, they killed the son to occupy the estate. When the master returns, how would he deal with these evil gardeners? We must not be evil servants. Now the Lord has already come back, we should hand the Lord’s sheep over to the Lord. This is the sense that we should have.”

This letter really surprised me. I thought to myself: How can they understand so much in an instant? It had only been two years since I had returned to Shandong to establish the church. When I left they were still in a “baby” state. I did not expect them to accept Eastern Lightning in only a few months and for their words to be so powerful, for them to find Bible chapters to refute me that were just right and for them to refute me in a way that left me speechless. At this moment I was bitterly disappointed and felt that these brothers and sisters had become obsessed with following Eastern Lightning and that they did not intend to turn back at all. I knew that I was unable to persuade them to return. I felt completely weak and feeble and reluctantly sent them a fourth letter, in which I said: “Suit yourselves. According to biblical records, since ancient times, that which stems from God must prosper and that which stems from man must be defeated. … do not write to me again either. I hope that you can keep your confidence and love in Jesus Christ.”

Since I rejected God’s last days’ work that the brothers and sisters of Shandong church preached to me, my spirit had become darker and weaker and my condition had deteriorated. Even though I often fasted and prayed and reflected on how I had sinned against the Lord, I could never grasp the Lord’s intentions and I felt like the Lord was not with me. During this period of time, pastors and elders set me up in order to vie for the dedication fund and pushed me out of the church. I was particularly miserable and didn’t know where to go. I often went to the river and sang “Lord, You Are My Closest Friend” whilst crying. I hoped that the Lord would come back soon and save me from my woes.

One day six months later, whilst I was cooking lunch, I heard my mother-in-law call my name outside my door. I answered the door and saw a slender young woman with delicate features behind my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law said: “This little sister has come to see you. She had an address but couldn’t find you, so went to the church. Hearing her say that she needed to urgently see you, I quickly brought her over.” I looked at this sister carefully and thought to myself: Why do I not appear to know her? The little sister saw me and quickly came to pull my hand and said excitedly: “So you are Sister Su. I found you after all!” I was dumbfounded by her actions and looked at her in surprise and asked: “Who are you? I don’t appear to have met you before?” The little sister excitedly said to me: “Sister, my surname is Wang. It was Brother Meng and Sister Zhao from Shandong who introduced you to me. Brother Meng and the others wrote a letter to The Church of Almighty God here and told us to think of a way to find you, no matter what. They entrusted us to preach God’s gospel of the kingdom to you because they are too busy and there really wasn’t time for them to come in person. I do not know how many people have passed on this letter, but it was passed on to us after many others. I came here to inquire many times. It wasn’t easy to find you …” Speaking up to here, the little sister sobbed and put the letter into my hands. I took the letter and saw that it said: “Sister Su believes in the Lord sincerely. Please, you have to find her and preach God’s gospel of the kingdom to her….” Reading these words warmed my heart and my tears could not stop flowing. My mother-in-law was moved and said: “It really is thanks to the Lord! This really is the love of the Lord!” Looking at the kind and sincere little sister, I thought back to the moving words in the letter and could feel the urgent intentions of the brothers and sisters to preach the gospel of the Lord’s return to me. My spiritual intuition told me that this love came from God. Because only God cherishes every soul in this way and cares about every person who truly believes in God. Therefore, I decided that this time I would seek and study the last days’ work of Almighty God. I could no longer refuse. I enthusiastically said to the little sister: “Sister, come and sit inside.” The little sister nodded happily, her eyes still shining with tears.

After eating, I called my co-worker Sister Zhang over too. My husband heard that we were going to fellowship and asked for time off work too. The little sister warmly asked: “Sister, in Brother Meng’s letter they said that they had written several letters to you, to preach God’s last days’ work to you but that you didn’t accept it. I wonder if you have any thoughts on this? Sister, if you have any difficulties, please come out with them and we will fellowship and seek together.” I said: “Since you have asked this question, I will open up and talk to you. In the past I was afraid of being taken in by false Christs that appear during the last days and so kept to ‘all those who preach of the Lord’s coming are all false’ and therefore I never studied Almighty God’s last days’ work. Later, I thought about what Brother Meng and the others said in their letter and felt it is justified. Because false Christs appear in the last days, we blindly reject the gospel of the Lord’s return. It really is a case of being put off easily by a slight risk. However, not being able to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs really will not do when greeting the Lord’s return. You came today, so please give us fellowship on this aspect.” Sister Zhang, my husband and my mother-in-law also nodded their heads in agreement.

 

Then, the little sister read a passage of God’s words to us, where Almighty God said: “To study such a thing is not difficult, but requires each of us to know this truth: He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the substance of God, and He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He must do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon man, and show man the way. Flesh that does not contain the substance of God is surely not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance. If man sees only His external appearance, and overlooks His substance, then that shows the ignorance and naivety of man” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading God’s words, the little sister said in fellowship: “We can see from the word of Almighty God that when distinguishing between the true Christ and false Christs, the most important thing is to distinguish from the essence. That is, from their work, words and disposition. The Lord Jesus once said: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’ (Jhn 14:6). It is thus clear that since God becomes flesh, He can express the truth and do God’s own work, He can also express God’s own disposition and all that He has and is. Just as in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus expressed many truths, expressed a disposition that is mainly mercy and love, and completed the work of redeeming the whole of mankind, from the Lord Jesus’ work, words and the disposition He expressed, we can be sure that Jesus Christ is the truth, the way, and the life and is God incarnate Himself. This lets us see that only the One who can express truths and do God’s last days’ judgment work is the manifestation of Christ of the last days. Now Almighty God has come and expressed all of the truths that purify and save man and has done the last days’ work of judging and chastising people. Almighty God’s words reveal the true situation, nature and essence of mankind being corrupted by Satan and tell people all aspects of the truth such as what salvation is, what changes to disposition are and what the path to changes to disposition is, as well as mankind’s future destination and what the ending will be for all kinds of people. Moreover, Almighty God has also revealed the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan and the mystery of incarnation, and expressed God’s original disposition, essence, and everything that He has and is. Provided we diligently read God’s words, we will be able to see that the words spoken by Almighty God are the voice of the Holy Spirit, God’s way of judgment in the last days. Almighty God’s last days’ work has fulfilled the prophecies in the Bible, such as, ‘Judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1Pe 4:17). ‘The Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth’ (Jhn 16:13). And ‘He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (Jhn 12:48). The truths that Almighty God has expressed, the work of judging, chastising and purifying people that He has done and the mainly righteous disposition that Almighty God has expressed fully confirm that Christ is the truth, the way and the life and that Almighty God is the manifestation of Christ of the last days. But false Christs do not possess the essence of God. Most of them are possessed by evil spirits or are extremely arrogant, unreasonable demons and evil spirits that can neither express truths to supply people nor do judgment work to purify people. They can only deceive those foolish, ignorant, confused people who seek bread to satisfy hunger by showing them simple signs and wonders. Therefore, it is very easy for us to distinguish between the true Christ and false Christs by this one principle: ‘Christ is the truth, the way, and the life,’ which is completely in accordance with God’s intentions.”

 

Listening to the sister’s fellowship, I couldn’t stop pondering: I have believed in the Lord for so many years but never heard this aspect before. Today Almighty God’s words spoke of distinguishing between the true Christ and false Christs so thoroughly, it seems as though the word of Almighty God really might be the voice of the Holy Spirit. Lord! I have always anxiously awaited Your return, but these last years I have just looked to guarding against false Christs and have hardly had any heart to seek. I have never studied You returning to do the last days’ judgment work as The Church of Almighty God has testified and I blindly resisted and condemned. Lord, did I really shut You out? Thinking of this, my heart quivered and I felt a little flustered and could no longer sit still, so I got up and went into the kitchen to pretend to pour a glass of water, trying to calm my emotions down a little. As I poured the water, I pondered: The little sister is very young, yet her fellowship of the truth is so real. The brothers and sisters of Shandong church also progressed so fast after accepting the work of Almighty God. Their acceptance of the Bible and knowledge of God’s work were much greater than mine. This way could make people understand the truth and make people have knowledge of God’s work. Is this not God’s work? Thinking of this, I felt both excited and remorseful. I recalled my circumstances when I wrote the letter to brothers and sisters in Shandong. With one stroke of the pen I taught the brothers and sisters a lesson in a frenzied tone and in my approach to the Lord’s return, not only did I not seek the truth and accept the brothers and sisters’ fellowship, but on the contrary I vigorously refuted and rejected it and considered myself the master of truth, making brothers and sisters all listen to me. I also thought that I was doing my utmost to defend the true way. I hadn’t considered that I was resisting God. So am I not a modern-day Pharisee? At this point, I felt like I had been soaked from head to foot by cold water and felt aching and weak all over. Both of my hands trembled uncontrollably and I kept replaying the scenes of me resisting God in my mind…. I could no longer control myself and wept uncontrollably. I hated myself for being too arrogant and too blind. After a while, I wiped my tears and carried the water into the room. The little sister looked at me and asked with concern: “Sister, can you accept our fellowship like this?” I sighed and reproachfully said: “After listening to Almighty God’s words and your fellowship just now, I feel that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. I have looked forward to the Lord’s return every day but did not expect that now the Lord has returned, I would actually act out the role of the Pharisees. I have really done great evil! I resisted God …” At this time, I was crying so much I could not speak.

Later, after a period of studying the word of Almighty God, Sister Zhang, my mother-in-law, my husband and I were completely settled on Almighty God being the returned Lord Jesus. I was so unusually excited that I excitedly sent brothers and sisters in Shandong a fifth letter: “Dear brothers and sisters! Thanks be to God that through your preaching to me God’s gospel of the kingdom many times, I have now accepted Almighty God’s last days’ work and have become a member of The Church of Almighty God. Although I accepted later than you, I do not want to be left behind and I am going to rouse myself to catch up….” At this moment, my heart seemed to have flown back to Shandong with the letter to be intimately united with my brothers and sisters there. Thanks be to God for His love!

Article

Meeting the Lord Again

Jianding, USA

    I was born into a Catholic family, and from an early age my mother taught me to read the Bible. At the time, the Chinese Communist Party was re-building the nation after the civil war, and as the CCP was suppressing all religions, I was 20 years old before I finally got the chance to go to church and listen to sermons. The priest often said to us: “We Catholics must properly confess our sins and repent. We must do good, not evil, and always go to Mass. During the last daysthe Lord is going to come and judge everyone and send people to heaven or to hell according to how they have acted and behaved on earth. The biggest sinners will be punished in hell eternally, whereas those who commit minor sins can still go to heaven as long as they confess their sins to the Lord and repent. Anyone who doesn’t believe in the Lord will never get to heaven, no matter how good they are.” Whenever I heard this, I always congratulated myself for having the good fortune to be a member of the Catholic congregation from birth. I’d always tell myself to pursue hard, attend Mass more, and confess sins and repent to the Lord more, and that way I’d go to heaven and not suffer in hell. So that’s when I developed the determination to go to church and participate in Mass regularly. At that time, the priest also told us that in 2000 the Lord would return, and this news made us all very excited. So we all began to pursue earnestly, waiting for the Lord’s return. But the year 2000 came and went and we didn’t see any sign of the Lord’s return. Many in our congregation lost their faith, and fewer and fewer people attended church for Mass. I also felt a sense of loss, but I still felt that my faith in the Lord wouldn’t be shaken, no matter what others did. That was mainly because there had been many times when I’d been in danger and the Lord had protected me and made the danger disappear. Without the Lord’s protection I’d have died long ago, so I wasn’t going to be so ungrateful as to lose faith in the Lord.

Meeting the Lord Again

    In the following years I heard from people around me that the USA was “heaven on earth,” and so a strong desire to come here grew in me. In December 2014 my whole family and I immigrated to the U.S., but the reality of life here was nothing like the beautiful picture I’d painted in my mind. At first, everything in the U.S. seemed unfamiliar and we didn’t know anyone. The environment and climate were very different from what I was used to in China, and my body soon began to complain. I often felt weak and listless, but the doctors in the hospital couldn’t find anything wrong with me. I was at my wit’s end, so I started praying even more sincerely to the Lord, hoping that the Lord would protect me. I prayed more and began looking for a church where I could do Mass and eventually found a church for Chinese Christians. But after going to the church a few times I discovered that it wasn’t much different from what was going on in everyday society: Members of the congregation were superficially friendly but their interactions were governed by power and money. Faced with this kind of situation in the church, I became very disappointed. I thought to myself: “Oh Lord, when will You return? When You return, good people will be separated from wicked people and the world will be cleansed.” Although I still kept on going to Mass I was never able to feel God’s presence in the church, and this made me disappointed and depressed and affected my faith in the Lord. But then one day in July 2015, when I was working out of state, I got a phone call from my wife. She said to me excitedly: “The Lord has returned. He is expressing words and doing the work of judgment of the last days! Hurry back so that we can accept God’s new work together.” On hearing this, I couldn’t help but be a bit suspicious: The Lord has returned? How is that possible? When the Lord returns to judge the world the good people will be separated from the bad people. But right now the good and the bad are still mixed together, so why is my wife saying that the Lord has returned? Has my wife joined another denomination? We’ve been Catholics for most of our lives, there’s no way we’re going to deviate now! So I hurriedly finished off the job I was doing and returned home.

    When I got home I asked my wife: “How do you know that the Lord has returned? You haven’t deviated from our Catholic beliefs, have you? You’re saying that the Lord has returned to do the work of judgment, but right now the good people and the bad people are still mixed together so how can the Lord have already returned? We can look forward to the Lord’s return, but we can’t be disloyal to Him!” My wife listened to me and then patiently replied: “Don’t get so agitated. I only just found out myself about the Lord’s return. At present, The Church of Almighty God is bearing witness to the Lord’s return and Almighty God is expressing truths to do the work of judgment that has begun in God’s house. I’m not clear about the specifics of what’s happening, but I’ve been reading online a lot of the words that Almighty God has expressed and I’m sure that they are all the voice of God. The Lord once said: ‘My sheep hear my voice: and I know them, and they follow me’ (Jhn 10:27). We can find out whether Almighty God is the returned Lord by going to The Church of Almighty God to investigate, right?” What my wife said sounded reasonable, and the Lord’s return to do the work of judgment is something that is predicted in the Bible, so there was no harm in me going along with her to the church to take a look and then I could make up my mind.

Meeting the Lord Again

    To this end, my wife and I arranged to visit the home of one of the members of The Church of Almighty God, a man known as Brother Zhang. Brother Wang and Sister Li, and some other fellow Catholics also came. Seeing that I had plenty of company greatly put my mind at ease. After a little polite chit-chat we all sat down and I asked the brothers and sisters this: “Regarding the return of the Lord my understanding is this: When the Lord returns to do the work of judgment, the good people will be separated from the wicked people. Then the good people will be accepted into heaven by the Lord and will meet Him, while the wicked will be sent to hell and punished. You say that the Lord has returned and He is doing the work of judgment, so how come we haven’t seen any of these things happening?” Brother Wang replied: “Brother, my viewpoint used to be the same as yours in that I also believed the Lord’s return meant that good people would be separated from wicked people, that good people would live in heaven eternally and the wicked would be punished, and that if we didn’t see this happen then that proved that the Lord hadn’t returned. But after reading Almighty God’s words I realized that is only our notions and imaginings and isn’t the actual way that God works. How God undertakes the work of judgment in the last days is something that God alone plans and organizes. God’s wisdom is higher than the heavens, and in God’s eyes humans are as small as a speck of dust, so how can we fathom God’s work? In the Bible it says: ‘Who hath forwarded the spirit of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor, and hath taught him? … Behold the Gentiles are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the smallest grain of a balance: behold the islands are as a little dust’ (Isa 40:13, 15). Every one of us uses our brains to think, so we can speculate about God’s work as we like but God never does His work according to our imaginings. If we use our imaginings to set parameters for God’s work then aren’t we behaving extremely arrogantly? So, how does God do His work of judgment? How does He separate the good from the wicked? Let’s read several passages of Almighty God’s words to help us understand. Almighty God said: ‘The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it should naturally be done by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead. Because judgment is the conquering of the human race through the truth…. That is to say, in the last days, Christ shall use the truth to teach men around the earth and make all truths known to them. This is God’s work of judgment’ (‘Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘The last days have already arrived. All things in creation will be classed according to their kind, and divided into different categories based on their nature. This is the moment when God reveals humanity’s outcome and their destination. If people do not undergo chastisement and judgment, then there will be no way of exposing their disobedience and unrighteousness. Only through chastisement and judgment can the outcome of all creation be revealed. Man only shows his true colors when he is chastised and judged. Evil shall be put with evil, good with good, and all humanity shall be classified according to their kind. Through chastisement and judgment, the outcome of all creation will be revealed, so that the evil may be punished and the good rewarded, and all people become subject to the dominion of God. All this work must be achieved through righteous chastisement and judgment. Because man’s corruption has reached its peak and his disobedience become exceedingly severe, only God’s righteous disposition, one that is principally compounded of chastisement and judgment and is revealed during the last days, can fully transform and complete man. Only this disposition can expose evil and thus severely punish all the unrighteous’ (‘The Vision of God’s Work (3)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘My purpose in doing the work of conquest is not solely to conquer for the sake of conquest, but to conquer so as to reveal righteousness and unrighteousness, to obtain proof for the punishment of man, to condemn the wicked, and even more, to conquer for the sake of perfecting those who willingly obey. In the end, all will be separated according to kind, and all the ones who are perfected have their thoughts and ideas filled with obedience. This is the work to be completed in the end. But those who are filled with rebellious ways will be punished, sent to burn in the fires and become the object of eternal curse’ (‘Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). We have the idea that God’s work of judgment is directly to separate the wheat from the tares, the goats from the sheep, the good servants from the wicked servants, in other words, separating the good people from the wicked and putting each with its own kind. But if we think about it, there are at present over 2 billion Christians around the world—and they all say they have true faith in God and love God—so how are we to distinguish good from bad, righteous from evil? If God determines that you are good and that I’m evil, I definitely won’t go along with it because I’ll feel that I’m also a good person. If God determines that I’m good and that someone else is evil, they definitely won’t go along with it. So how on earth are we supposed to know who is good and who is evil? We can’t, because we humans don’t have the principles or standards to gauge this. If God were to gauge us like this we certainly wouldn’t submit and would have notions about it, such as thinking that God was unfair and unjust. So how could the work of putting each with its own kind thus proceed? The Lord that returns during the last days is Christ of the last days—Almighty God—who uses truths to do the work of judgment. For all Christians, revealing who are the wheat, who are the tares, who are the goats, who are the sheep, who are the good servants, who are the wicked servants, who are the wise virgins, who are the foolish virgins, is all done by using truths. God’s words reveal everyone, and the wise virgins are those who truly believe in God and love the truth. When they hear that someone is testifying to God’s coming they go out to welcome it and actively investigate God’s words and God’s work. They recognize God’s voice and accept God’s work of the last days, and in the end they gain purification and salvation through God’s judgment. During great catastrophes they have God’s protection and are able to survive, and finally are taken into God’s kingdom. By contrast, because the foolish virgins do not love the truth, because they insist on holding onto their own notions and imaginings or believing in rumors, because they don’t seek or investigate God’s work of the last days—and some of them even follow religious leaders in resisting and condemning God and refusing God’s salvation of the last days—they will be revealed as evildoers by God’s work of the last days and will be eliminated. Their fate will be to suffer punishments during the great catastrophes. From this, we can see that God’s work of putting each with its own kind during the last days is not done according to our notions and imaginings. Instead, God uses the method of judgment to do the work of revealing people, and the final result is that everyone is thoroughly revealed and put with their own kind according to whether they accept the truth or resist the truth. Isn’t this exactly God’s wisdom, God’s fairness, God’s righteousness?”

    After listening to Almighty God’s words and Brother Wang’s fellowship, I recalled what the priest in our church had said about “When the Lord comes good people will be separated from the bad people” and realized that this notion is just too vague, too impractical, and doesn’t match the reality of God’s work at all. We all live in sin, we continuously commit sins and repent without being able to escape from this cycle, so who are the truly good people? When the Lord returns, if we haven’t been cleansed of our sins, will we be allowed to enter the kingdom of heaven? Thinking of this was like turning on a light in my heart, and I thanked the Lord for His leadership. My visit hadn’t been in vain, because now I understood that God distinguishes good from evil according to how people treat the truth. In other words, people are good or evil depending on whether or not they accept and obey the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, and this is God’s righteousness being wholly manifested. God employs words and work to separate the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, the wise virgins from the foolish virgins, the true believers from the fake believers, and the lovers of the truth from the haters of the truth. God is so incredibly wise! However, I also recalled the priest saying that when the Lord returns to judge people He does it one by one, and each individual’s sins are also listed and judged one by one, before He decides if the individual will go to heaven or to hell. But now Almighty God is saying that God’s work of judgment of the last days is being done through His words, so just how are these words being used to judge people?

    So I raised this question with the group and Brother Zhang answered it by reading two passages of Almighty God’s words to me: “Some believe that God may sometime come to earth and appear to man, whereupon He shall personally judge the whole of mankind, testing them one by one without anyone being omitted. Those who think in this way do not know this stage of work of incarnation. God does not judge man one by one, and does not test man one by one; to do thus would not be the work of judgment. Is not the corruption of all mankind the same? Is not the substance of man all the same? What is judged is mankind’s corrupt substance, man’s substance corrupted by Satan, and all the sins of man. God does not judge the trifling and insignificant faults of man. … but judges the unrighteousness of the whole of mankind—man’s opposition to God, for example, or man’s irreverence against Him, or disturbance of the work of God, and so on. What is judged is mankind’s substance of opposition to God, and this work is the work of conquest of the last days” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

    Brother Zhang then fellowshiped this with me: “We have the notion that during God’s work of judgment of the last days He will call each and every person to come before His white throne and then will judge them. Every person will have to kneel on the ground and then confess to every single one of their sins committed throughout their lifetime. Then God will decide whether each person will go to heaven or to hell depending upon the severity of their sins. We think that God judges people according to sins such as physically or verbally abusing people, not being filial to parents, stealing and robbing, etc. But in fact God’s work of judgment of the last days is not concerned with these external behaviors or character flaws that we have but instead is aimed at judging mankind’s satanic nature of resisting God and each of the corrupt dispositions. These include our arrogance and self-conceit, our crookedness and craftiness, our selfishness and baseness, our greed and evil, etc. We also have many viewpoints that are not compatible with God, many outdated religious notions and feudal thinking. These things are all sources of our resistance to God. They are problems that are common to all of corrupt mankind, and so are the things that God’s work of judgment aims to purify and transform. So, the words that God expresses reveal mankind’s nature and essence and every corrupt person on earth is a part of this, without exception. Or to put it another way, God’s words are directed at the whole of mankind and so there is no need to judge people individually. By reading the words of Almighty God and accepting the judgment and chastisement of God’s words we can understand many truths and clearly see our nature, substance, and real situation of our being corrupted by Satan. Doing this will also allow us to recognize God’s righteous disposition and develop hearts that revere God and despise ourselves so that we’ll be willing to betray our flesh and practice truths. In this way, our corrupt satanic disposition will gradually be purified and our viewpoints and outlook on life will also change. When we start to live by God’s words, when we cease to oppose and resist God and instead really obey and revere God and shun evil, then we will gain God’s salvation and become people who are compatible with God’s intentions. This is the actual situation with, and purpose of, God expressing truths to do the work of judgment during the last days.”

Meeting the Lord Again

    After listening to Brother Zhang’s fellowship, I came to feel that God’s work of judgment is just so practical and based in reality! I was able to accept what he said, and it resonated with me deep in my heart. Yes, people are arrogant, they seek fame and fortune and status, and they live in their various corrupt dispositions. God uses the judgment of His words to rid us of all of the filth and corruption inside of us. Our nature of resisting God is thus resolved and our corrupt disposition is transformed, and we become truly good people. Looking at it this way, I could see that this idea that the priest talked about of people being judged individually and sins being judged one by one when the Lord returns to judge mankind is just human notions and imaginings and has nothing to do with the way God actually does His work. Almighty God’s words really do contain truths; they really are the voice of God! What I heard on that day made me decide to thoroughly examine the work of Almighty God.

    During my investigations, I watched a number of gospel movies produced by The Church of Almighty God, including The Days of Noah Have Come, The Mystery of Godliness, and Caught the Last Train, as well as some hymn videos of God’s word such as How Important God’s Love for Man Is. I also read a lot of Almighty God’s words and listened to the brothers and sisters fellowshiping about all aspects of the truth. This helped me to verify that Almighty God is indeed the returned Lord Jesus! Almighty God is the one true God and is the returned Lord that we have been waiting for! I was so happy to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days.

Meeting the Lord Again

    Since believing in Almighty God I’ve often been getting together with the brothers and sisters or listening to sermons with them, and now every day I feel happy and feel that I’m gaining spiritual sustenance. I’m enjoying the comfort that comes from the work of the Holy Spirit, and I’m starting to understand more and more truths. In The Church of Almighty God, the brothers and sisters are all familiar and honest with each other, and nobody tries to deceive anyone else or keeps their guard up. Everybody is simple, open and sincere, and even when they reveal their corrupt dispositions they are each able to know themselves through God’s words and seek truths to resolve their corrupt dispositions. To me, they are true Christian brothers and sisters. What especially impresses me are the hymn videos, music videos, dance and song videos, gospel movies, etc. produced by The Church of Almighty God, which all hold the truth in the highest esteem and bear witness to God and God’s work of the last days. The purpose of all these productions is to help people to submit to God, worship God, and the church really does feel like a place where God does His work! What I’ve seen, heard, and experienced is proof for my heart that The Church of Almighty God is a true church where God personally nurtures and shepherds His flock. The fact that I’ve been able to enter God’s house and live a life face-to-face with God means that I’ve been exceptionally exalted by God. I really am so fortunate! Thank You, Almighty God!

Almighty God's Word, Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh—The Way to Know God

Job’s Love of the Way of God Surpasses All Else

Next, let us read the scriptures of the second time that Job was tempted.

  1. Satan Once More Tempts Job (Sore Boils Break Out Across Job’s Body)

a. The Words Spoken by God

(Job 2:3) And the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? and still he holds fast his integrity, although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause.

(Job 2:6) And the LORD said to Satan, Behold, he is in your hand; but save his life.

b. The Words Spoken by Satan

(Job 2:4-5) And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yes, all that a man has will he give for his life. But put forth your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse you to your face.

c. How Job Deals With the Trial

(Job 2:9-10) Then said his wife to him, Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die. But he said to her, You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

(Job 3:3) Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived.

Job’s Love of the Way of God Surpasses All Else

The Scriptures document the words between God and Satan as follows: “And the LORD said to Satan, Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that fears God, and eschews evil? and still he holds fast his integrity, although you moved me against him, to destroy him without cause” (Job 2:3). In this exchange, God repeats the same question to Satan. It is a question that shows us Jehovah God’s affirmative assessment of what was demonstrated and lived out by Job during the first trial, and one that is no different to God’s assessment of Job before he had undergone Satan’s temptation. Which is to say, before the temptation came upon him, in God’s eyes Job was perfect, and thus God protected him and his family, and blessed him; he was worthy to be blessed in God’s eyes. After the temptation, Job did not sin with his lips because he had lost his property and his children, but continued to praise the name of Jehovah. His actual conduct made God applaud him, and give him full marks. For in the eyes of Job, his offspring or his assets were not enough to make him renounce God. God’s place in his heart, in other words, could not be replaced by his children or any piece of property. During Job’s first temptation, he showed God that his love for Him and his love for the way of fearing God and shunning evil surpassed all else. It’s merely that this trial gave Job the experience of receiving a reward from Jehovah God and having his property and children taken away by Him.

For Job, this was a true experience that washed his soul clean, it was a baptism of life that fulfilled his existence, and, what’s more, it was a sumptuous feast that tested his obedience to, and fear of God. This temptation transformed Job’s standing from that of a rich man to someone who had nothing, and it also allowed him to experience Satan’s abuse of mankind. His destitution did not cause him to loathe Satan; rather, in Satan’s vile acts he saw Satan’s ugliness and contemptibility, as well as Satan’s enmity and rebellion toward God, and this better encouraged him to forever hold firm to the way of fearing God and shunning evil. He swore that he would never forsake God and turn his back on the way of God because of external factors such as property, children or kinfolk, nor would he ever be a slave to Satan, property, or any person; apart from Jehovah God, no one could be his Lord, or his God. Such were the aspirations of Job. On the other face of the temptation, Job had also acquired something: He had gained great riches amid the trials given unto him by God.

Job’s Love of the Way of God Surpasses All Else

During his life over the previous several decades, Job had beheld the deeds of Jehovah and gained Jehovah God’s blessings for him. They were blessings that left him feeling enormously uneasy and indebted, for he believed that he had not done anything for God, yet had been bequeathed with such great blessings and had enjoyed so much grace. For this reason, in his heart he often prayed, hoping that he would be able to repay God, hoping that he would have the opportunity to bear testimony to God’s deeds and greatness, and hoping that God would put his obedience to the test, and, moreover, that his faith could be purified, until his obedience and his faith gained God’s approval. And when the trial came upon Job, he believed that God had heard his prayers. Job cherished this opportunity more than anything else, and thus he didn’t dare treat it lightly, for his greatest lifelong wish could be realized. The arrival of this opportunity meant that his obedience and fear of God could be put to the test, and could be made pure. Moreover, it meant that Job had a chance to gain God’s approval, thus bringing him closer to God. During the trial, such faith and pursuit allowed him to become more perfect, and to gain a greater understanding of God’s will. Job also became more grateful for God’s blessings and graces, in his heart he poured greater praise on the deeds of God, and he was more fearful and reverent of God, and longed more for God’s loveliness, greatness, and holiness. At this time, though Job was still one who feared God and shunned evil in the eyes of God, with regard to his experiences, Job’s faith and knowledge had come on in leaps and bounds: His faith had increased, his obedience had gained a foothold, and his fear of God had become more profound. Though this trial transformed Job’s spirit and life, such a transformation did not satisfy Job, nor did it slow his progress onward. At the same time as calculating what he had gained from this trial, and considering his own deficiencies, he quietly prayed, waiting for the next trial to come upon him, because he yearned for his faith, obedience, and fear of God to be elevated during the next trial of God.

God observes the inmost thoughts of man and all that man says and does. Job’s thoughts reached the ears of Jehovah God, and God listened to his prayers, and in this way God’s next trial for Job arrived as expected.

from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II”