29. Returning Justice to the Truth

Pan Jie

Taiyuan City, Shaanxi Province

I was formerly an elder of the Local Church. Because I held on to my arrogant and erroneous views and because I was deceived by the rumors, I developed a great hatred for the Almighty God and collected materials to attack the work of God many times. However, God did not remember my monstrous sins, but spared me with his great patience and love and led me onto the right path of human life. Thinking back to what I did in the past, I feel extremely ashamed, regretful, and grieved, and abhor myself for being so conscienceless and treasonous. Even if I dedicate my life today, I cannot repay the almighty true God’s salvation. In order that more brothers and sisters who are deceived by the rumors can turn to the Almighty God as soon as possible, here I am willing to truly “expose” my evil deeds of resisting God, so as to return justice to the truth.

In December 1997, when I was in Taiyuan City, Shanxi Province, I received a letter from my family unexpectedly. It said, “On the evening of the fourteenth when we were having a meeting, in came old Sister Wang of our church together with several unfamiliar sisters. At first we didn’t know they were of ‘the Eastern Lightning,’ but when they spoke, they showed their true colors. They said that Jesus had already returned on the white cloud, with the name of the Almighty God and as a female. They also said that the Bible was outdated and asked us to read their book, The Word Appears in the Flesh. …” After I read the letter, a wave of anger surged up in my heart. “I have heard that this ‘cult’ is best at deceiving people. If anyone doesn’t believe in their God, they will cut off his ears, gouge out his eyes, or break his legs. I have never thought that this heresy or cult should have been preached to our church today. ‘When a wolf comes, the shepherd has the duty to protect the flock.’ I have to hurry home to seal the church, set it in order, and eliminate the poisonous influences of ‘the Eastern Lightning.’ This is the crucial time the Lord Jesus tests me and is also the time for me to be faithful to him and dedicate my love to him!” Thinking of that, I “devoutly” bowed my head and prayed to Jesus Christ, “O loving Savior! We expect you to come on the white cloud every day, but why does there appear a female christ who comes not on the white cloud? He who comes not on the white cloud is false and is counterfeit. Lord! Curse those people of ‘the Eastern Lightning’ and protect your pure church. …”

On the morning of December 17, I could not wait to take a train back home. When I got home, the first thing I did was to find out the details of “the Eastern Lightning” disturbing our church and ask for the whereabouts of those three women who were driven out of the church that night. I was determined to investigate “the Eastern Lightning” thoroughly and destroy its “base.” At that time, Sister Li of our church vividly told me in detail about what had happened after those three were driven out of the church. She said, “After they were driven out of the church by us, they sneaked into Sister Xiao’s home. Learning that, we got very angry. So we seven or eight people went to Xiao’s home together. At that time, it was about twelve o’clock at night. They had all gone to bed, and the door was propped shut with a stick. Brother Jiao ‘loved’ the Lord very much. Even though he was over seventy, he kicked the door open with a crash. Then we swarmed into the room. I turned on the light, and saw the three in their underwear. We rushed at them recklessly and pulled them off the kang. But they were quite obstinate and did not beg us for mercy. Brother Jiao poked their noses with his finger and burst out, ‘Cheek! You are satans and devils. What you preach is heresy. You are fierce wolves in sheep’s clothing.’ They were all thick-skinned and simply refused to say a word. However, I saw that their eyes reddened a bit and their tears almost fell. Pooh! Satans also could cry. Who would pity them? Who would feel sympathy for them? They got what they deserved. They shouldn’t have preached ‘the Eastern Lightning’ at such a young age. …” At this, I sighed with emotion: “I really admire Brother Jiao for his ‘absolute sincerity’ and ‘faithfulness’ to Jesus and his being able to stand the testimony for the Lord at the crucial moment. It’s really hard to find such a person who loves the Lord so much. Our church needs more people like him.” At this moment, I could not but feel very proud that our church had such a person.

“What happened then?” I asked eagerly.

“Brother Jiao’s anger was still not slaked after he cursed them. Thus he roared at them, ‘Get out! You satans and devils, get out!’ We echoed his words loudly. So, they had no choice but to leave in tears. …”

Hearing that those three preachers of “the Eastern Lightning” came to such an end, I felt very pleased and satisfied. I also asked the Lord to curse them, so that they would get out of our church and never come to disturb us again.

After New Year’s Day in 1998, I sped up sealing the churches. Whenever I went to a church to preach, I emphasized these five steps: Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection, ascension, and coming again. And I especially stressed that when the Lord came the second time, he would come down from heaven on a white cloud and that the believers would be caught up in the air to meet him. I proclaimed, “‘The Eastern Lightning’ says that Jesus has returned in the flesh and has published a book to judge the churches. Obviously, it runs counter to the Bible, denies Jesus’ coming again, and rebels against Jesus. We can never accept these ridiculous arguments outside the Bible. …” I also frightened the brothers and sisters by saying, “Do not listen to that stuff of ‘the Eastern Lightning’ or fellowship with them. If you don’t believe me, you can have a try. After you fellowship with them or listen to their preaching for an hour, you will forget the Bible, hymns, and Jesus completely. Just as an ET alien brainwashes the people on earth, so they will make you forget everything and even become a vegetable. Because this is the ‘work of an evil spirit,’ you will then believe in their God in spite of yourself.”

In March 1998, I went to Chengdu City with a brother, but I still did not forget to attack “the Eastern Lightning” there. One day, I found in Heavenly Wind an article that attacked “the Eastern Lightning.” Although I did not like the publications from China Christian Council and Three-Self Patriotic Committee, this article was quite to my liking. It said that the little scroll of “the Eastern Lightning” was full of wrong characters, which even ran to over four hundred in one piece. That surprised me very much and even more strengthened my confidence to resist “the Eastern Lightning.” From then on, I was convinced that the people of “the Eastern Lightning” must be some uneducated inferiors and that “the Eastern Lightning” could only deceive those vulgar and ignorant ones.

Several days later, I got acquainted with old Brother Hatch, an American who was teaching in Chengdu City. He served as a temporary elder in a church there. In our conversation, we spoke of the issue about Jesus’ return. Because I was certain about the conclusion that “Jesus will definitely come on the cloud when he returns,” I talked an awful lot about it. However, Brother Hatch just looked at me, shook his head contemptuously, and smiled. I was very surprised. “Doesn’t he believe in the Bible? Could he also be of ‘the Eastern Lightning’?” He seemed to have read my mind. He said calmly and seriously, “In the U.S., our pastor told us that when Jesus returned, he would come down from heaven on a big white horse together with the armies of heaven.” I was unconvinced and asked in return, “Is there any biblical basis for it?” “Yes!” he said unhurriedly. “It’s recorded clearly in Revelation 19:11-16. We Americans believe it and are waiting for Jesus to come the second time on a big white horse. …” Only then did I remember those verses in Revelation. For a moment, I did not know how to answer him. I involuntarily sighed with feeling, “With such a little Bible knowledge and so few ideas which I considered ‘brilliant,’ I even want to journey north and south.” I couldn’t help blushing up to my ears. That conversation left a deep impression on my mind and also taught me a lesson. After that, the final conclusion that “Jesus will definitely come on the cloud when he returns” began to sway in my heart.

After I went back home, I paid special attention to collecting the picture books on Jesus’ second coming and also studied the Bible in detail, trying to get from them the right answer to in what way Jesus would come again. Shortly afterward, I saw in a “picture-story book” a colored picture of Jesus’ second coming. In the picture, Jesus sat on the throne with a golden crown on his head and came in blazing fire. On the bottom were some small words: “This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 2 Thessalonians 1:7…” Then, I became even more confused. “When Jesus comes the second time, will he come on the cloud, return on a white horse, or appear in blazing fire? There is only one Jesus; how could there be so many different ways in which he will come? Every believer has the same Bible, and every way has its biblical basis. Which way is correct? Which viewpoint should I hold on to?” The more I studied, the more confused I became. I fell into a dilemma and seemed to have entered into a maze. I tried to free myself from this distress through studying the Bible, but such distress was exactly caused by the several different statements in the Bible. How could the Bible console me? Although I did not give up the hope of seeing the white cloud, the belief that “Jesus will definitely come on the cloud when he returns,” which had been unassailable in my heart for more than twenty years, was very shaky now. However, I did not give up resisting and counterattacking “the Eastern Lightning” because of that. Although I did not know what was written in the little scroll of “the Eastern Lightning,” I firmly believed that they were purely a “cult” and were Jesus’ “enemies” and “betrayers.”

During the two years between 1998 and 2000, I not only resisted and excluded “the Eastern Lightning” in the churches, but also collected the materials everywhere that slandered “the Eastern Lightning.” I thought that once I had those materials, I would gain an insight into that “cult” through them. Of the materials I collected, some refuted “the Eastern Lightning” from the angle of the Bible, and some were written by those who had withdrawn from “the Eastern Lightning.” However, after I finished reading and examining those materials, I was disappointed, because I found that the adverse material written by one who had withdrawn from “the Eastern Lightning” was a sheer “counterfeit.” It simply put the instances of sin and the doctrines of the false christ “the Established King” on “the Eastern Lightning.” Those various slanderous materials contradicted each other, gave different versions of events, and were full of holes. For example, of the two materials brought by Wang X from Chendu City, one said that so-and-so was in Shandong Province, and the other said in Henan Province. Besides, of another two materials, one said that this way was spread to China from the U.S. and was a trick with an ulterior motive, and that there was no such a person at all, and the other said that The Word Appears in the Flesh was concocted by over ten authors who lived in different countries in the world and that their purpose was to play to the gallery and to fool Chinese people. Of these materials that gave different versions of events and that contradicted each other, which one should I believe? I blamed in my heart those who printed and distributed the materials, thinking, “How can they treat the ‘cult’ so lightly and carelessly?” I really hoped that one day I could read a material that exposed the true face of “the Eastern Lightning.”

In August 2000, I went to Xi’an to preach the “sound truth” of our Local Church to the Holy Spirit Work Church. Elder Yu there together with other eight co-workers listened to my preaching. I preached mainly on how to build up the “Local Church,” and it lasted for two days altogether. Those brothers and sisters all listened very carefully and also took detailed notes. I felt very satisfied. On that day, there came a sister surnamed Zhang. She was the relative of one of the co-workers and often preached and shepherded the churches in other places. She was willing to attend our meeting at that time. We were all very happy, and I in particular was more than happy. Because I had finished what I wanted to preach, I pushed the boat with the current and asked this new comer Sister Zhang to preach about something. The brothers and sisters agreed with me and kept asking her to fellowship a little about her new light. Then she began to preach. To my surprise, her interpretation of the Bible was so specific, clear, and accurate, and included some rare originalities. For example, she summarized what was called “Christ” in just one sentence. I remembered that when teacher Kim from Korea (who had graduated from a theological school in the U.S., studied theology for seven years, and obtained a master’s degree in theology) gave lectures to us in Xi’an, he quoted over ten verses from the New and Old Testaments and fellowshipped for quite a while but still did not make clear what was called “Christ.” But the sister made it clear in just one sentence. She said, “God’s incarnated flesh is called Christ.” For another example, when the power of God, that of satan, and that of man were spoken of, my interpretation of them was lengthy though I had some knowledge of them, but she summarized them in just one sentence again. She said, “God is almighty, satan is mighty, and man is powerless.” She preached far better than I did. I admired her, but also envied her. I really wondered who her teacher was.

The more she preached, the deeper her preaching went. A string of new words came out of her mouth: the direction of the Holy Spirit’s working, man is the embodiment of satan, God’s six-thousand-year management plan, God has laid bare his holy arms to mankind, and corrupt mankind needs the salvation of God…. These words and sentences were what I had never heard before and were so exciting. As she preached, my heart leaped, rejoiced, or thrilled. Even the “soundest theology” was much inferior to the way she preached, and it was something that could not be found in any ancient and modern theological textbook.

However, on the third day of her preaching, I suddenly realized that she was of “the Eastern Lightning,” because she said that Jesus had returned in the flesh the second time and had judged the churches, opened the little scroll, and started the third stage of God’s work. It was really that enemies were bound to meet on a narrow road! I had never thought that I would meet “the Eastern Lightning” I hated most on such an occasion. I could by no means believe that such a high way and such incisive views came from “the Eastern Lightning.” How could the low and vulgar “little scroll,” which was full of wrong characters, have such high-level words? I doubted if there was something wrong with my auditory nerves. “Have I heard wrong? No, I haven’t. She clearly repeats that God has been incarnated the second time as a female and has begun his work of judgment in Mainland China.” Instantly, all those most powerful “weapons” that were used to resist “the Eastern Lightning” in ordinary days, such as those “well-rounded” materials that refuted “the Eastern Lightning,” those rumors that said “the Eastern Lightning” was vulgar and coarse, and my notion that “the Eastern Lightning” could only fool those ignorant and uneducated people, and so on, turned into a pile of rubbish. I realized that it was no easy task to confute “the Eastern Lightning.” I had to give it further consideration. Otherwise, I would only end up with a fiasco. Without broad and profound theological theory, Bible knowledge, and literary attainments, I could not confute “the Eastern Lightning.” At this time, I saw that other brothers and sisters had every intention of accepting “the Eastern Lightning,” because they listened attentively and raised questions from time to time, and Sister Zhang answered them all. “Alas! They shouldn’t be blamed. On such an occasion, even the heart of a stone man will be melted somewhat, and even I myself have been attracted by what she has preached. I should blame myself for not listening to Brother Li of the Praise Church in Zhengzhou City, Henan Province. He said that at no time should we listen to the way of ‘the Eastern Lightning,’ and that if we did so, we would become vegetables and believe in their God. To say that we would become vegetables is a lie, but to say that we would believe in their God is a fact.” Seeing that those brothers and sisters were about to be drawn in by “the Eastern Lightning,” I felt extremely grieved and prayed to the Lord Jesus secretly in tears, asking him to keep them. If it had been in the past, I would have called Sister Zhang a devil or a satan, but now I found it so hard to open my mouth. And I knew that to do so could only court defeat, because the brothers and sisters would not take sides with me, but would say that I was an unreasonable barbarian. Thus, I not only could not save their lives, but on the contrary, I would do them harm and cause them to be better disposed to “the Eastern Lightning” and accept this “cult.” “Since ‘the Eastern Lightning’ can preach such a high doctrine, I absolutely cannot look down upon them. Now I should be refined in manner and convince them by reasoning. I have to wait until I find some mistakes in Sister Zhang’s preaching before I retort upon her on just grounds. Then I can succeed at one stroke and rescue these brothers and sisters so that they will follow the Lord Jesus Christ with conviction in heart and in mouth and not be taken in by ‘the Eastern Lightning’ anymore.”

However, my plan came to nothing. Sister Zhang’s preaching was simply perfect and unassailable, without any hole or handle for me to grasp. And she asked me from time to time whether there was anything in her preaching that needed to be corrected or supplemented. I hemmed and hawed and could not give anything, yet I was still unconvinced and my face looked very unpleasant. However, she did not mind my reaction in the slightest and just continued her preaching. As she preached, my heart went up and down. Sometimes I was extremely moved, and sometimes I shed tears of sorrow…. Suddenly, I woke up and caught my breath. “How can I sit here meekly and listen to her preaching without saying a word? What she preaches is ‘the Eastern Lightning,’ purely a ‘cult’! Besides, how can I, a dignified man, allow myself to be defeated by a weak woman?” I was unwilling to be defeated in this way, but I found it hard to refute her, because she had more and richer knowledge than me. The way she preached was not somewhat higher than the “way” I preached, but they were as far apart as heaven and earth. Seeing that other brothers and sisters had all been “bewitched” by her preaching and had turned to “the Eastern Lightning,” I hit upon a plan: “Why not pretend to accept the way and cheat her out of the little scroll—The Word Appears in the Flesh—which she mentioned in her preaching? Then I can follow the vine to get the melon. I will from this book know more about “the Eastern Lightning,” and search for contradictions, grasp handles, and use them as breakthrough points in refuting ‘the Eastern Lightning.’ I can certainly gain more conclusive and reliable evidence by doing so than by reading those false materials attacking ‘the Eastern Lightning,’ which are full of holes and in which one thing is confused with another. Perhaps one day I can write a ‘true material’ that exposes the true face of ‘the Eastern Lightning’ through my on-site investigation, so as to save those who have been ‘deceived’ and arouse the churches.” Thinking of that, I was even more eager to get The Word Appears in the Flesh. I thought to myself, “It is this book that has taken so many souls and lives. Now I’d like to see what ‘treasures’ are hidden in this book.” At this time, the conversation I had with old Brother Hatch in Chengdu City, the rumors and slanders that attacked “the Eastern Lightning” from various sects and denominations, a pile of materials that confusingly attacked “the Eastern Lightning,” in which way Jesus would come the second time, and so on, flashed before my eyes. I had not found the answers to them in three years. Although I was “fascinated” by the Bible, I was still like a lost sheep and could not find a practical way. Now three years had passed; these problems should be brought to an end. So, I pretended to accept the way Sister Zhang preached with other brothers and sisters. I thought to myself, “When the time is ripe, I will make use of the mistakes of ‘the Eastern Lightning’ to strike back at her, so that ‘the Eastern Lightning’ will fall into my trap.” But Sister Zhang in no way knew that I was “playacting.” After her preaching, she handed to me with both hands a book called The Word Appears in the Flesh. Then, she left.

I looked at the book with scornful eyes. For my own purpose, I opened the book casually, turned to the table of contents, and found a piece of word that I wanted to read: “The ‘Savior’ Has Already Returned on the ‘White Cloud.’” I read it through carefully. Immediately, the doubts in my mind were dispelled by the words in it. God’s word says: “Over thousands of years, people have been expecting that they can see the coming of the Savior, expecting that they can see the Savior Jesus himself come on the white cloud to be among them who have been thirsting after and expecting him for thousands of years. And people have been expecting that the Savior will return and meet with them again, expecting that the Savior Jesus who has been parted with them for thousands of years will return again and still do the redemptive work he did among the Jews, having mercy on man, loving man, forgiving and bearing man’s sins, and even bearing all man’s transgressions and saving man from sins. What people have been expecting is that the Savior Jesus will still be man’s lovable and dear and venerable Savior, never getting angry with man or rebuking man but forgiving and bearing all man’s sins, and even dying on the cross again for man. Since Jesus left, his disciples and all the saints saved through his name have been eagerly longing for him and expecting him like this. All those who are saved by Jesus Christ through grace in the Age of the Grace have been expecting that the Savior Jesus will come among men on the white cloud and appear to all men on a day of great joy in the end time. Of course, this is also what all those who accept the name of Jesus the Savior today are expecting. All those in the entire universe who know the salvation of Jesus the Savior are ‘eagerly expecting’ that Jesus Christ will suddenly come, ‘fulfilling’ the word he said when he was on earth: ‘As I will go, so will I come.’ People all believe this: After Jesus was crucified and resurrected, he returned to the right hand of the Most High in heaven on a white cloud. Likewise, he will come still on the white cloud (the white cloud refers to the cloud on which he returned to heaven), in the Jewish image and in Jewish garment, to be among mankind who have been eagerly expecting him for thousands of years, and after appearing to them he will bestow food to them, pour out the living water to them, and live among them full of grace and love, true and real, all of which are what they believe in their notions. However, Jesus the Savior did not do so. What he did was just contrary to man’s notions. He did not come among those who had been eagerly expecting him to return and did not appear to all men on the ‘white cloud.’ He has already come, but people do not recognize him and do not know that. They are just waiting for him aimlessly. Little do they know that he has already come on the white cloud (the white cloud refers to his Spirit, his word, all his nature, and all that he is) to be among a group of people whom he will make overcomers in the end time!” Then I understood that when Jesus returned the second time, he did not come on the physical white cloud in the sky, nor return on a white horse, even less appear in blazing fire, but returned in the flesh with the words expressed by him, all his nature, and all that he is to judge the churches. My heart was deeply moved by this piece of word. In the book I not only did not find a hole that I wanted to find, but did not even find a wrong character. Instead, I found the answers to many unresolved questions that had hidden in my heart for many years. Then I realized that it was an unusual book. I could hardly believe that even I myself was also “taken in” by “the Eastern Lightning.” The plan that I would wait for the opportunity to turn against it fell through before this piece of word.

Then I turned to the piece of word “Knowing the Three Stages of Works Is the Way to Know God.” The radiance of life that it emitted lighted up my heart, so that I came out of my limited knowledge area, knew the three stages of works of God’s managing mankind for six thousand years, and knew the mysteries of God’s saving mankind. God’s word says: “The three stages of works are the center of the entire management. God’s nature and God’s being are expressed in the three stages of works. Those who do not know the three stages of God’s work cannot know the ways of God’s expressing his nature, will not know God’s wisdom in working, and will not know the many different ways of his saving man and his intention for all mankind. The three stages of works are a complete expression of the work of saving mankind. Those who do not know the three stages of works will not know the various ways and principles of the Holy Spirit’s working. Those who can only rigidly observe the regulations left from one stage of work are all the ones who restrict God to regulations and who believe in vagueness. Such people are all the ones who cannot receive God’s salvation. Only the three stages of God’s works can fully express all God’s nature, fully express God’s intention of saving all mankind, and express the whole course of saving all mankind. These are the evidence of defeating satan and gaining mankind, the evidence of God’s triumphing, and the expression of all God’s nature. Those who know one of the three stages of works will only know a part of God’s nature. Knowing this only one stage of work, people will easily form regulations in their notions and will easily limit God, replacing all God’s nature with one part of God’s nature and having a lot of human imaginations and rigidly restricting God’s nature, his being, his wisdom, and his principles of working to a limited scope, thinking that God will forever be the same as he was once and can never change for eternity.” “The center of the three stages of works is God’s salvation of man, but the work of salvation includes several ways of working and ways of God’s expressing his nature. This is hardest for people to discover and difficult for them to understand. Such things as the divisions of the ages, the changes in the works, the changes in the places to work in, and the changes in the people to work on are all included in the three stages of works. Especially the different ways of the Holy Spirit’s working and the changes in God’s nature, image, name, and identity, or in other aspects are all in the three stages of works. One stage of work can only represent one part and can only be limited to one scope, and there cannot be the divisions of the ages or the changes in the works, to say nothing of the other aspects. This is a very obvious fact.” After I read those words, I bowed my head. Recalling that I always, from the angle of the work of the Age of the Grace, measured and circumscribed God’s entire work according to one stage of God’s work, I felt that I was really a shortsighted arrogant person. However, I had thought of myself as a profoundly learned, erudite, and well-informed person and thus criticized, judged, attacked, and slandered God’s new work. How foolish and detestable I was! How treasonous I was!

In the following days, I ate and drank God’s word with great eagerness. I particularly reread through “The Disclosure of Mysteries” twice. God’s word made me convinced in heart and in mouth, and I came to know my vileness and insignificance. It also caused me to involuntarily praise God’s wonderful deeds and unfathomable abundance. My heart was convinced by the truth expressed by the Almighty God, and even I myself could hardly believe that. I read this book originally for the purpose of knowing more about the inside of “the Eastern Lightning” and preparing to write a material to attack it, yet to my great surprise, I not only did not get anything on it, but the truth of life expressed in the book deeply attracted me like a strong magnetic field. Only then did I realize that this book was not written by a human being but was God’s judgment on us in the end time and was what the Holy Spirit said to the churches, because no man could do God’s work in his stead and no man could speak such words. Those words were not miracles but surpassed miracles. I felt extremely excited. “I have never dreamt that my long-expected wish should have finally come true today: Jesus has already returned in the flesh on the white cloud and has sat on the glorious throne, the judgment has begun with the family of God, and God has already begun the third stage of his work of saving mankind!” Then, my hands with which I held the book could not help trembling, and I began to feel how weighty this book was.

From then on, I loved The Word Appears in the Flesh, the book of the Holy Spirit’s utterance and word, so much that I could not bear to part with it. It took me three months to finish reading it. Every word of God, like a sharp two-edged sword, pierced me to the heart. My corrupt nature of disobedience, that of arrogance, and that of self-rightness were disclosed thoroughly by God’s righteous and majestic words one by one, which made me feel too ashamed to show my face. In the judging and disclosing of God’s word, I saw that this was God’s love for all mankind. After I followed the Almighty God, through three years of my personal experiences, I have not only given up the counterattack dagger-axe completely, but also taken up the “weapon” of the truth to fight the “spiritual warfare” against various rumors and fallacies, because I have seen that God has indeed come to the world and it is only that people do not know him nor accept him. The wish that I wanted to write some materials that reflected the true face of “the Eastern Lightning” three years ago has come true today after my on-site investigation. Here, I only wish to use the facts that I have personally experienced to let those brothers and sisters who have no knowledge of “the Eastern Lightning” know it afresh and see through the shamefulness of those rumors, and to return justice to the truth!

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