24. I Have Received Almighty God’s Great Salvation
Chengde City, Hebei Province
I was formerly a senior co-worker of the Three Grades of Servants Church. In 1995, I gave up my study and left home and stepped onto the way of serving the Lord. In the Three Grades of Servants Church, there was a requirement for every co-worker: Since you have left home, you must not go back or write to or call your family. At that time, there was only one thought in my mind: The severer the requirements are and the more sufferings one has to endure, the more it proves that it is the true way. Only the Three Grades of Servants Church is the true way, and the others are false ones. If one leaves the Three Grades of Servants Church, he cannot be saved. So, I was resolved to serve God all my life and follow the “servant” appointed by God to the end.
Since 1996, the servant and the leaders of all levels had often said in meetings, “Now, the ‘Eastern Lightning’ followers are very rampant, and they kill people and set fire and do all kinds of evil deeds. We should protect the brothers and sisters from being deceived. Tell them not to receive any stranger.” So, I went to the churches and said to the brothers and sisters, “Never have contact with the followers of the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ They do all kinds of evil deeds. If you refuse to accept their way, they will kill you. That spirit is powerful! Once you talk with them, you will be controlled by them. They are ‘that man of sin’ and ‘the son of perdition’ mentioned in the Bible who takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God. They are following a false Christ and are deceivers. The Lord Jesus was crucified and bled His precious blood for us, and we should have conscience and hold to His name. As the saying goes, a dutiful son often comes from a poor family, and a loyal official is revealed at the time of national crisis. Now is just the time. We must hold fast to the true way and wait for rapture. The Three Grades of Servants Church is appointed by God, and one cannot be saved if he leaves the Three Grades of Servants Church.” As these words were from the servant, I believed them without any doubt and hated the “Eastern Lightning” followers bitterly. In every prayer I asked the Lord to cut off the “Eastern Lightning” followers lest more people be deceived by them. Once, a sister from the city of Xingtai told me that someone gave her a book, which was named The Trumpet of the Truth, and she dared not read it, and she asked me what she should do with it. I said, “Didn’t you hear what the servant said? The book is poisonous. Burn it right away.” And I also told her, “You should firmly believe in Jesus and the servant. Even if your parents join in the ‘Eastern Lightning,’ you should break off with them. From now on, any co-worker who has been transferred to another place shouldn’t be received unless he is accompanied by a local co-worker.” Just like that, I, ignorant of the facts, sealed off the church and resisted God together with the servant. In 1998, the servant and many leaders were arrested and put into prison, and the church was in chaos. But that didn’t slow down my pace of resisting the work of Almighty God. Seeing the chaotic state of the church, I made a resolution then: I’ll be a “dutiful son” at the time of family poverty and a “loyal official” at the time of national crisis, and even if I might die, I will be loyal to the servant to the end.
At the end of 1999, many co-workers of the church in my hometown led the brothers and sisters and accepted the work of Almighty God. The leader above sent me back home to investigate the situation and make a convert of those who had followed Almighty God. Unexpectedly, the salvation of Almighty God came upon me through this opportunity.
It had been four years since I saw my parents last. So, when they saw me back, they were very happy and kept saying that God answered their prayers. Then they brought home a sister to fellowship with me about God’s three stages of work. Only at that time did I know that my parents had actually accepted Almighty God. My anger quickly took over me at that time, and I said to my mother, “How come you are so conscienceless? The servant is in prison now, and the church is at the time of crisis. But you betrayed the servant and joined in the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ Have you forgotten the resolution you made before the servant at that time?” Then, no matter what they said, I turned a deaf ear to it and just prayed silently in my heart, “O Lord, may You bind them, so that I won’t be deceived by them. I will be a ‘dutiful son’ at the time of family poverty and a ‘loyal official’ at the time of national crisis…” Seeing that I didn’t make any response, the sister was so anxious that she knelt down and prayed alone, “O Almighty God, the sister acts this way because she doesn’t understand Your intention of saving man. May You enlighten her. O Almighty God, You know that I’m too ignorant to explain clearly the three stages of work You have done. I’m unwilling to hinder the sister from accepting the true way because of my ignorance…” Hearing her tearful prayer, I was moved very much, feeling that her prayer was very real and sincere. By comparison, my prayer was just like saying the line, very dull. But thinking of the “earnest instruction” the servant gave us in the meetings, I was hardened inwardly again, “All this is your mask. Even if you wail out of life, you deserve it. Want to cheat me? No way!” My mother also begged me in tears to make the decision after hearing first. Yet that didn’t touch my hardened heart in the slightest. I pointed at my mother and said fiercely, “Don’t pretend; quit playacting. Li XX, you are a traitor. If you say any more, I will break off my relationship with you. You go your way, and I’ll go mine. You can just forget that I have been your daughter. Otherwise, I will keep guard at the door with a knife and kill any of them who come.” I actually said such words to my mother at that time. I had simply lost humanity and had no sense at all. After that, I boarded in the church and began a crazier resistance. At that time, the “Eastern Lightning” was like a plague in my mind and must be exterminated. So, every day I went to “persuade” the brothers and sisters who had accepted Almighty God and attempted to drag them back to the presence of the servant. But all my effort ended in failure. Facing the situation, I felt at a loss, “O Lord, they were never so zealous when they followed the servant, but now they have such great strength in following Almighty God. What is it all about? …” In May 1999, the leader above me came to preach Almighty God’s work to me. It didn’t occur to me that my leader had also actually accepted Almighty God. I was so angry that I went to the home of one of my classmates and refused to see anyone. After a period of time, I quieted my heart and began to think about what had happened and asked God to enlighten and guide me because I didn’t know how to walk the future way. Later, the leader who had accepted Almighty God called me and told me that she wanted to see me. I agreed as I thought that we were best friends in the Three Grades of Servants Church and I would just go and listen first. On July 14, I met her and several sisters who had accepted Almighty God. It was the first time that I fellowshipped with them openly without any resistance. After I stayed with them for several days, I found that they were not at all as frightening or malicious as the servant said. Instead, I found something precious from their speeches and manners. That was the “love” between the brothers and sisters which I had not tasted in the Three Grades of Servants Church. In my years of service, I saw that the co-workers were united apparently but separate at heart, intriguing against one another, having jealousy and strife, and scrambling for power and position, and when you rested for a few days because of illness, others even said that you were indulging in ease and comfort, not to mention to get some comfort from others when you were in sorrow. So, in my heart, I was already numb to the “love” between the brothers and sisters, and I didn’t know what the mutual love was, much less trust in anyone. I always presented myself as stern to conceal my inner loneliness and emptiness. However, in contact with them, when I watched their behavior and listened to their open-hearted fellowship, there was a stir in my heart, “Don’t people say that anyone who doesn’t accept the ‘Eastern Lightning’ will be killed by them? Why do they always fellowship with me friendly without any anger no matter how I treat them or what unpleasant words I say or what a long face I pull? It’s said that the followers of the ‘Eastern Lightning’ are devils, but why do they have so much love? Are they making a pretense? It’s impossible. One can pretend to have anything but love, because only God is love and only God has love. Could it be that what people say is a rumor?” Gradually, the hostility for them in my heart was lessened, and I began to listen to their fellowship.
The sister said, “In seeking the truth, we cannot obtain results through arguing and disputing but should seek calmly and peaceably. In Revelation 3:20, the Lord said: ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.’ This means that when the Lord comes, He will stand at the door and knock. If we close the door tight, won’t we shut the Lord out? Then how can we receive the truth from God? Now there are over two thousand denominations in the world, and each of them says that what they hold to is the true way and only the people of their denomination can be saved in the future. And they do not have contact with each other and don’t receive those from other denominations. Do you think that we can see the returned Jesus by doing so?” Ah yes, why haven’t I considered those before? I somewhat began to regret having said the word “never receive any stranger” to the brothers and sisters at the beginning. When the sister said that God had done a new work again, I refuted, “God will not do any new work, and He never said so.” The sister continued, “In Isaiah 40:12-15, it says, ‘Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or being his counselor has taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and showed to him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he takes up the isles as a very little thing.’ What do you think man is before God? Just as Almighty God says: ‘“God” and “man” cannot be spoken of as equals. His substance and His work are most unfathomable and incomprehensible to man. If God does not personally do His work and speak His words in the world of man, then man would never be able to understand the will of God, and even those who have devoted their entire life to God would be incapable of gaining His approval. Without God’s work, no matter how good man’s doing, it will count for nothing, for the thoughts of God shall always be higher than the thoughts of man, and the wisdom of God is unfathomable to man. And so I say that those who “clearly see” God and His work are ineffectual, they are all arrogant and ignorant. Man should not define the work of God; moreover, man cannot define the work of God. In the eyes of God, man is smaller than an ant, so how can man fathom God’s work? Those who are constantly saying, “God does not work in this or that way” or “God is like this or that”—are they not all arrogant? We should all know that people, who are of the flesh, have all been corrupted by Satan. It is their nature to oppose God, and they are not on a parity with God, much less can they offer counsel for the work of God. How God guides man is the work of God Himself. Man should submit, and should not hold such and such a view, for man is but dust. Since we try to seek God, we should not superimpose our ideas on the work of God for God’s consideration, least of all should we employ our corrupt disposition to deliberately try to oppose the work of God. Would that not make us antichrists? How could such people say that they believe in God? Since we believe that there is a God, and since we wish to satisfy Him and to see Him, we should seek the way of truth, and should look for a way to be compatible with God. We should not stand in stiff-necked opposition to God; what good could come of such actions?’ (from “Preface” to The Word Appears in the Flesh) Why will the scribes and Pharisees suffer seven woes in the end though believing in God, as is recorded in the Bible? Wasn’t it by their imagination that they nailed the Lord onto the cross with the Old Testament? Wasn’t that the result of their circumscribing God’s work willfully? One should wait to see how the prophecy is fulfilled, but should not interpret it willfully. The scribes and Pharisees nailed the Lord onto the cross according to their understanding of the prophecy while disregarding the facts. Will we repeat the mistake of the Pharisees today? Aren’t we afraid? Don’t hold to the letters. We should see whether the way preached is beneficial to us and whether it is our need.” Reading the word of Almighty God, I felt that every word was directed at me and was very convincing. Little by little, I was attracted by the word of Almighty God.
Then she told me the process of the woman of Samaria knowing Jesus. It was written in John 4:6-30, “Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. There comes a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus said to her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away to the city to buy meat.) Then said the woman of Samaria to him, How is it that you, being a Jew, ask drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that said to you, Give me to drink; you would have asked of him, and he would have given you living water. The woman said to him, Sir, you have nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from where then have you that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said to her, Whoever drinks of this water shall thirst again: But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman said to him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come here to draw. Jesus said to her, Go, call your husband, and come here. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said to her, You have well said, I have no husband: For you have had five husbands; and he whom you now have is not your husband: in that said you truly. The woman said to him, Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. The woman said to him, I know that Messias comes, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus said to her, I that speak to you am he. And on this came his disciples, and marveled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seek you? or, Why talk you with her? The woman then left her water pot, and went her way into the city, and said to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? Then they went out of the city, and came to him.” The sister said, “Why did the woman of Samaria go to draw water at noon? And why was it that she met Jesus at that time? Because it was the hottest time and also the time when she would meet fewest people. She didn’t want to meet people because she knew that she was not good and felt ashamed in the heart. She knew herself but had no way to be transformed. The Lord said He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The sick needed the patient, so the Lord appeared to her. This means that the more one knows his own deficiencies and has a thirsting and seeking heart, the more he will receive God’s work and see God’s appearing. Jesus’ talking with the woman of Samaria was most discordant with people’s notions at that time, because the historic background of that time was that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans. When Jesus asked the woman of Samaria, she didn’t turn away because He was a Jew, whom she didn’t know. Rather, she answered Jesus very politely and also opened her heart and told Jesus what she thought. Through talking with Jesus, she had an increasingly deeper knowledge of Jesus. This can be seen from the addresses, ‘Sir,’ ‘prophet,’ and ‘Christ,’ by which she called Jesus. At first, seeing Jesus’ appearance, she called Him Sir. When Jesus said that He had the living water, as she didn’t want to come so far to draw water, she then asked Jesus to give her the living water. According to her understanding, the living water Jesus spoke of was the water for drinking. But no matter what intent she had, as she was willing to seek, God bestowed to her on the condition that she had to call her husband here. What Jesus asked was just her privacy, yet in order to get the living water, she was very honest and didn’t conceal herself, and said, ‘I have no husband.’ While saying this, she felt surprised at how this Jewish man could be so clear about her privacy. Then she knew Jesus as ‘prophet’ from as ‘Sir.’ At this point, she no longer sought the temporary fleshly satisfaction but began to seek the way of life. She asked Jesus about the subject that the Jews and the Samaritans argued at that time and wanted to know which was right. But Jesus said, the hour comes, when you shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father, and the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth, but the salvation is of the Jews. After hearing what Jesus said, the woman was certain that Jesus was the coming ‘Christ,’ because she knew that when God came, He would open a new way and bring new practices and all that people needed. When the woman gained the new way, she left her water pot, that is, the old things she held fast to, and went to testify Jesus. The woman of Samaria came to know God through God’s words and work, not by imagination. This was her way of knowing God. Today, we should not believe the rumors blindly but should discern from His work and word whether He is the incarnate Christ.” Hearing this, I was struck dumb with surprise. I had read these verses so many times but found nothing special, but that day, after they were explained by the sister, they were so fresh and clear. Only then did I know the true meaning of these scriptures. And a sudden start came to my heart: Ah, hasn’t what they preach unlocked the mysteries in the Bible? Could it be that the way is the true way? So, I decided to continue to listen.
Then the sister asked me, “What do you think God is?” Hearing this simple and profound question, I didn’t know how to answer it, but outwardly I tried to conceal myself, pulling a long face and ignoring her question. The sister was not impatient but said to me with a smile, “I was also a preacher in the past. Every day I held the Bible and talked boastfully on the platform, thinking that I was very rich. But one day when I saw the explanation of the question in the word of Almighty God, I suddenly woke up and realized that I had believed in God foolishly for years.” We turned to the piece of God’s word “When It Comes to ‘God,’ What Is Your Understanding,” in which Almighty God says: “People have believed in God for a long time, yet most of them have no understanding of this word ‘God.’ They merely follow along in a muddle. They have no clue as to why exactly man should believe in God or what God is exactly. If people know only to believe in and follow God, but not what God is, nor do they understand God, then is this not the biggest joke in the world? Even though people have witnessed many heavenly mysteries by now and have heard of much profound ‘knowledge’ that man had never grasped before, they are in the dark on many of the most elementary, as-yet uncontemplated truths. Some people might say, ‘We have believed in God for many years. How could we not know what God is? Does this not belittle us?’ But in reality, although everyone is following Me today, no one has any understanding of all this current work. They let go of even the plainest and easiest of questions, let alone this most complex question of ‘God.’ You should know that those questions that you brush aside and are unable to discover are the ones you most should understand, for you know only to follow the crowd, paying no attention and giving no care to what you should be equipping yourself with. Do you truly know why you should have faith in God? Do you really know what ‘God’ is? Do you truly know what ‘man’ is? As a ‘man who has faith in God,’ if you fail to understand these things, do you not lose the dignity of a believer of God? My work today is this: to have people understand their essence, understand all that I do, and know the true face of God—this is the closing act of My management plan, the last stage of My work. … Among men, I was the Spirit that they could not see, the Spirit that they could never come into contact with. Because of My three stages of work on earth (creation of the world, redemption, and destruction), I appear in their midst at different times (never publicly) to do My work among men. The first time I came among men was during the Age of Redemption. Of course I came among the Jewish family; therefore the first to see ‘God’ coming to earth were the Jewish people. The reason I did this work personally was because I wanted to use My incarnate flesh as a sin offering in My redemption work. So the first to see Me were the Jews of the Age of Grace. That was the first time I worked in the flesh. In the Age of Kingdom, My work is to conquer and perfect, so I again do shepherding work in the flesh. This is My second time working in the flesh. In the last two stages of work, what people come into contact with is no longer the invisible, untouchable Spirit, but a person who is the Spirit actualized as flesh. Thus in the eyes of man, I again become a person with none of the look and feel of God. Moreover, the God that people see is not only male, but also female, which is most astounding and puzzling to them. Time and time again, My extraordinary work shatters old beliefs held for many, many years. People are stunned! The so-called ‘God’ is not only the Holy Spirit, that Spirit, the sevenfold intensified Spirit, the all-encompassing Spirit, but also a person, an ordinary person, an exceptionally common person. God is not only male, but also female. They are similar in that They are both born to humans, and dissimilar in that one is conceived by the Holy Spirit and the other is born to a human but derived directly from the Spirit. They are similar in that both incarnate fleshes of God carry out God the Father’s work, and dissimilar in that one does the work of redemption and the other does the work of conquering. Both represent God the Father, but one is the Lord of redemption filled with loving kindness and mercy, and the other is the God of righteousness filled with wrath and judgment. One is the supreme Commander to launch the redemption work, and the other is the righteous God to accomplish the work of conquering. One is the Beginning, the other the End. One is sinless flesh, the other is flesh that completes the redemption, continues the work, and is never of sin. Both are the same Spirit, but They dwell in different fleshes and are born in different places. And They are separated by several thousand years. Yet all Their work is mutually complementary, never conflictual, and can be spoken of in the same breath. Both are people, but one is a baby boy and the other is an infant girl. For all these many years, what people have seen is not only the Spirit and not only a man, a male, but also many things that do not jibe with human notions, and thus they are never able to fully fathom Me. They keep half believing and half doubting Me, as if I do exist and yet am also an illusory dream. That is why to this day, people still do not know what God is. Can you really sum Me up in one simple sentence? Do you truly dare to say ‘Jesus is none other than God, and God is none other than Jesus’? Are you really so bold as to say ‘God is none other than the Spirit, and the Spirit is none other than God’? Are you comfortable saying ‘God is just a person clothed in flesh’? Do you truly have the courage to assert ‘The image of Jesus is simply the great image of God?’ Are you able to thoroughly explain God’s disposition and image on the strength of your gift for words? Do you really dare to say ‘God created male only, not female, after His own image’? If you say this, then no female would be among My selected and much less would females be a kind within humankind. Now do you truly know what God is? Is God a human? Is God a Spirit? Is God really a male? Can only Jesus complete the work I want to do? If you choose only one of the above to sum up My essence, then you would be an exceedingly ignorant faithful believer. If I work as incarnate flesh once and only once, might you define Me? Can you really understand Me thoroughly with one look? Can you really sum Me up completely thanks just to what you have been exposed to during your lifetime? And if in My two incarnations I do similar work, how would you perceive Me? Might you leave Me forever nailed to the cross? Can God be as simple as you say?” After reading this passage of God’s word, I was enlightened in the heart, thinking, “God is really so unfathomable. The word is so clear and with authority and is absolutely the word God speaks.” At this point, there was not any resistance in my heart, and my doubts within were all cleared away. I believed that this was the true way and made a resolution inwardly: I will testify God’s new work to those who are still in darkness and repay God with my love.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is my experience, the experience of a person who resisted and blasphemed God yet has received the great salvation of Almighty God. God is innocent, and in order to save mankind, He has been incarnated twice and has suffered all man’s rejections and slanders. Recalling that I disturbed God’s work everywhere and hindered many brothers and sisters from coming before Almighty God, I am remorseful for my resistance and hate myself for being blind and ignorant, and I even more thank Almighty God for not treating me according to my resistance but giving me a great salvation. I sincerely advise every brother and sister not to resist Almighty God anymore. The rumors of slandering Almighty God that spread in all denominations and sects are things fabricated by those who harbor evil intentions. The hearsay is something untrue, and you have to go to investigate and experience to find out the facts. Almighty God has brought the truth, the way, and the life, and the work of judgment has begun with the family of God and is drawing to an end. Just take this opportunity and come before the throne of Almighty God to enjoy God’s judgment! Only Almighty God can make your long-cherished wish in believing in God come true. Brothers and sisters, repent and keep up with the pace of God’s newest work!