101. Even If I Am Cut into Pieces, I Can Never Make Up For My Great Indebtedness to Almighty God
Shangqiu City, Henan Province
I was formerly a preacher of the “Three-Self” sect. At the beginning of 1999, when Almighty God’s work of the last days was spread to our place, our leader immediately called a meeting and warned us, “The ‘Eastern Lightning’ is a deceitful and false way. They go to various denominations and sects to preach some fallacies and heresies, saying that the Lord has come back and has done a new work, that the Bible is already outdated, and so on. Now even many elders and pastors have been deceived. We must not become an apostate! …” To resist the invasion of the “Eastern Lightning,” we also discussed and formulated five precautionary measures, such as, no receiving strangers, no listening to other ways without permission, setting up precaution teams to guard the church, and so on. After the meeting, I rushed to different meeting places without a stop to communicate the “spirit of the meeting.” And I fabricated rumors, saying, “Believers in Almighty God tempt people by using sexual appeal. Anyone who accepts their way will be confined for life and lose freedom! …” I also organized the believers to pray to curse the “Eastern Lightning” at a fixed time both in the morning and in the evening. Just like that, I frenziedly resisted Almighty God’s work of the last days.
In February 1999, when I heard that a deputy preacher had accepted God’s new work, I immediately went to his home and rebuked him right to his face. In order to make him an example to warn others, I took him as a typical person to criticize at a meeting. I forced him to confess to the Lord on the platform, and ordered him to write a guarantee that he would never believe in Almighty God. Only after that did I let him go. One day in late February, a sister brought me a book of God’s word and asked me to read it. I said arrogantly, “Who will read your book? All that goes beyond the Bible is a fallacy and heresy!” Saying that, I snatched the book from her, tore it in half, threw it to the ground, and stomped hard on it. And I roared ferociously, “I’ll see whether you’ll come again to deceive me.” The sister cried and tried to take the torn book of God’s word from under my feet, but I forcibly drove her out without mercy. A few days later, a brother brought a tape recorder with a tape of God’s word in it and wanted me to listen to it. Before he opened it, I snatched the tape recorder from him in a rage like a beast and threw it forcefully at the wall. “You?” exclaimed the brother, tears gushing out. But I still didn’t stop. I drew the magnetic belt out of the broken machine pulling and tearing it fiercely like crazy. The brother was so pained at my savage act, yet he prayed for God to forgive my sin in tears. Even so, I, being so hardened, drove him out rudely.
By March 1999, the gospel of the last days of Almighty God had spread rapidly like fire in our area. Brothers and sisters had accepted the new work group by group, and my resistance had reached the peak accordingly. Every day I busied myself going to different villages to “persuade” and “redeem,” being run off my feet and drained of all my energies, and in the end, I simply boarded in the church. However, I still failed to change the situation. I was really puzzled, unable to figure it out: I’ve been so busy running about everywhere, but why is the church falling apart day by day? Later, I went to visit an elderly pastor I admired most (because I often heard him talk about how to guard against the “Eastern Lightning”). I believed that he could surely solve my puzzle. Unexpectedly, he was dumb from illness and was confined to bed. My slim hope was shattered. The situation in the church became even worse later on: The deacon in charge of finance fought with the accountant of the church because of 100 yuan when settling accounts, and they even broke tables and chairs in the fight; several days later, the accountant bought a motor four-wheeler with the church money; in the same month, the preacher from the upper level even smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol at meals without scruples… What was more frightening were things happened in the nearby churches: Elder Chen in a neighboring village wantonly condemned, blasphemed, and slandered Almighty God’s work in preaching on a Sunday, and when he stepped off the platform, he fell down and broke his arm, which was severely fractured; Sister Li, the accountant of a church in the village behind ours, drove the several sisters who had accepted God’s new work out of the church and insulted them, and she made a bet, saying, “If Almighty God you believe in were the true God, let me die at noon!” And then, on the noon of the next day when she was quarrelling with her aunt, she choked with anger and really died in the end. Her own oath was exactly fulfilled. The leader of another church also worked hard in sealing off the church at usual times, but his daughter had her leg fractured when she worked away from home. Moreover, disasters also happened to my family at the recent period: My son who was in junior high had pustules all over his body; once, I ran my car into a block of stone and nearly ended in tragedy… Thinking of those, I shuddered with horror. “People around me all suffered disasters. Will I be the next one who encounters a disaster?” After that, I was absent-minded all day and thought to myself, “In the past, we were all accompanied with the Lord’s grace, peace and joy. Why doesn’t the Lord Jesus keep us now? Why do disasters fall right upon us, who are ‘sincerely loyal’ to the Lord? Could it be that the ‘Eastern Lightning’ we are resisting is the true God? Otherwise, who can have those disasters befall us? Who can take man’s life away from God’s hand?” Later, I thought of the words in the Bible: The work of men will come to nothing; the work of God cannot be overthrown. I compared the situations of the churches: Although we wildly resisted God’s work of the last days, the gospel of the “Eastern Lightning” spread rapidly like fire, and more and more brothers and sisters turned to Almighty God’s name; but our churches were desolate, corrupt, and declining, and were going to fall apart. “Could it be that the ‘Eastern Lightning’ is indeed the true God? …” Thinking of that, I trembled with fear. “If it is really so, haven’t I become a wicked person who resists God? I…” I couldn’t help regretting that I had made judgments abruptly without seeking and done things too rashly and without consideration, simply without any likeness of a believer in God. “Ay, it’s too late to regret.” So, I secretly made up my mind that if anyone came to preach the gospel again, I must hear it carefully.
Before long, a brother came to preach the gospel to me. This time I quieted my heart and listened to his fellowship carefully. The brother fellowshipped all the way from Genesis to Revelation, telling me in detail God’s six-thousand-year management plan. And I knew that God does His work by ages and by stages, and His work is never repeated and is discordant with man’s notions, but every stage of His work is done according to man’s needs. Then, regarding my notion that “all that goes beyond the Bible is a fallacy and heresy, the brother read me some words of God: “The Bible is a history book. If during the Age of Grace you were to eat and drink the Old Testament, practicing the requirements of the Old Testament age, then Jesus would forsake you, condemn you. If you had tried to impose the Old Testament on Jesus’ work, you would have been called a Pharisee. And so today, if you eat and drink and practice the Old and New Testaments, then the God of today will condemn you; you cannot keep pace with the work of the Holy Spirit today. If you eat the Old and New Testaments, then you are one outside the stream of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ day, He led the Jews and all those who followed Him according to the work of the Holy Spirit in Him. He did not look to the Bible for evidence, but spoke as His work dictated. He did not concern Himself with what the Bible said, did not lead His followers down a path found in the Bible. From the very beginning, He preached the way of repentance, and the word ‘repentance’ was not mentioned at all in all the prophecies in the Old Testament. Not only did He not follow the Bible, He brought forth a new path and did a new work. He did not make reference to the Bible when He preached, and the miracles He worked—healing the sick, casting out demons—had never been performed by men during the Age of Law. No one in the Age of Law did the work He did, taught those lessons, had that authority. He simply did His new work, though many people condemned Him, even crucified Him, by using the Bible. His work went beyond the Old Testament; if that had not been the case, why would they have nailed Him to the cross? Was it not because His teachings, His power to cure the sick and cast out demons, had never been recorded in the Old Testament? The work of Jesus was to bring forth a new path; He did not deliberately set out to ‘wage war’ against the Bible or abolish the Old Testament, but simply performed His ministry, bringing the new work to those who thirsted for Him and sought Him out. He was not trying to explain the Old Testament or defend its work. Carrying on the Age of Law was not His goal, for He did not care in the least whether His work was grounded in the Bible, but simply did the job that He needed to do. So He did not attempt to explain the Old Testament prophecies, did not base His work on words spoken in the Old Testament Age of Law. He did not concern Himself with what the Old Testament said, whether it accorded with His own work, did not care how other people saw His work or condemned His work. He simply kept on doing the job He needed to do, though many people condemned Him, invoking the words of the Old Testament prophets. In people’s eyes His work was not based on a shred of evidence, and in many ways it ran counter to what was recorded in the Bible. Were they not grossly in the wrong? Must God’s work obey any rules? Does He need to follow the words of prophets? Which is greater, the Bible or God? Why must God’s work be in line with the Bible? Is it really not within His right to stand above the Bible? Can He not depart from it and do other work? Why did Jesus and His disciples not observe the Sabbath? If He was to observe the Sabbath, to practice the commandments of the Old Testament, then why, after His coming, did He not observe the Sabbath, but washed others’ feet and covered His head, broke bread and drank wine? Were these commandments mentioned in the Old Testament? If Jesus was to adhere to the Old Testament, why did He break these rules? You must know which came first, God, or the Bible? As He is the Lord of the Sabbath, can’t He also be the Lord of the Bible?” (from “Concerning the Bible (1) in The Word Appear in the Flesh”) God’s words, like a sharp double-edged sword, pierced through my numb heart. I completely woke up, “Ah, yes! Haven’t I actually confined God within the Bible by holding that ‘all that goes beyond the Bible is a fallacy and heresy’? Haven’t I condemned God by the Bible? I never thought that I would actually become a Pharisee who resisted God after believing in God for years! And I even regarded myself as ‘utterly loyal’ to God. I’m really blind and ignorant.” Thinking of those, I knelt down with a flop on the floor and cried with regret: O Almighty God! I blindly condemned and blasphemed Your work, fabricated and spread rumors to seal off the church, and disturbed the brothers and sisters who had accepted Your work and prevented them from coming before You; I’m really a true evil servant, a scum even worse than beasts. You sent the brothers and sisters to preach the gospel to me many times, but I regarded Your salvation as the deception of a false Christ, and drove them away by various means. I even destroyed the tape of Your words and tore the book of Your personal utterance, which is even more intolerable to You. I committed the monstrous crime of blaspheming the Holy Spirit. I’m really an unpardonably wicked sinner, an antichrist true to the name! According to what I have done, I should have long been cursed and cast into the eighteenth hell, never to be reincarnated. But You didn’t treat me according to my evil deeds, and still tolerated me with Your great love. Faced with such abundant grace of Yours, I’m ashamed and deeply remorseful! O Almighty God! Even if I’m cut into pieces, I can never make up for my great indebtedness to You. I’m unwilling to speak any smooth words anymore. I only wish to repent and make a fresh start and consecrate my everything to You. I will do my utmost to cooperate with You to bring those brothers and sisters whom I have bound and more of those who are still groping in darkness before You to comfort Your heart!
After I came to the family of Almighty God, I was attracted by the pleasant scene before my eyes: Brothers and sisters sang hymns and praised together to their hearts’ content and fellowshipped about the truth in a released and free way. There wasn’t any sign of being confined at all. Either at meetings or in daily association, they were all well-behaved: Brothers sat on one side, and sisters on the other, and they all spoke and behaved properly and decently. Moreover, in the fourth decree of Ten Administrative Decrees God’s Chosen People Must Keep, Almighty God says: “Man has corrupt disposition and even more has emotion. So, in the service in coordination, two people of different sexes are forbidden to coordinate alone. If discovered, they shall be expelled, no matter who they are.” From this it can be seen that God hates man’s evil and corruption, so He has issued the administrative decrees to make strict requirements of all His followers, which fully embodies His disposition of being righteous, holy, and not tolerating man’s offense. In retrospect, those slanders I fabricated, such as “they tempt people with sexual appeal,” and “you will be confined for life if you refuse to accept it,” were all blasphemies against God and smears against the true way. I didn’t know how many brothers and sisters had been blinded by me. I really committed a crime for which even death cannot atone! I thank Almighty God that I’m given this opportunity to redeem my sin. I’m willing to make known to everyone my evil deeds so as to make up for my sin. Dear brothers and sisters, you may bitterly hate and disdain me for my evil deeds of resisting God, or you may sigh with emotion or feel glad for my accepting God’s salvation. Anyhow, I sincerely advise those who are still being blinded by various rumors to draw a lesson from me and stop believing those rumors and stop resisting God’s new work. If you seek and investigate Almighty God’s work with a meek heart, you will receive God’s salvation of the last days. Otherwise, what awaits us will be the great disaster rare throughout thousands of years. Almighty God warns us: “None know that the repeated reminders and exhortations of God are because in His hand is prepared an unprecedented disaster, one that will be unbearable for the flesh and spirit of man. This disaster is not merely a punishment of the flesh but of the spirit as well. You must know this: when the plan of God is made void and when His reminders and exhortations beget no response, what anger will He unleash? This will be like nothing that has heretofore been experienced or heard by any creation. And so I say, this disaster is unprecedented and it will never be repeated. This is because only one creation and one salvation are within the plan of God. This is the first time and also the last.” (from “God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh)