38. The Chastisement and Judgment of Almighty God Awakened Me
Huainan City, Anhui Province
“When the waters swallow men whole, God saves them from the stagnant waters…. When men disobey God, God causes them to know Him in their disobedience. … How many times have people seen God’s hands and seen God’s kind countenance and smiling face; and how many times have they seen God’s majesty, seen God’s, God’s wrath. Though humanity has never known God, God does not seize upon their weakness to ‘make unnecessary trouble.’ Experiencing humanity’s hardships, God thus sympathizes with man’s weakness. It is only in response to men’s disobedience, their ingratitude, that God metes out chastisements in varying degrees. Rather than putting humans to death, God allows them to repent and make a fresh start; when men suffer famine, God wrests them from death.” Whenever I hear this hymn about God’s love, I cannot help remembering my yesterday, and my heart swells with gratitude. Although those things happened three years ago, how can I forget that it was Almighty God who through His love saved me, a once disobedient and blind person?
I was formerly a believer in the Local Church. When I first believed in the Lord, the condition of the church was fairly good. However, since 1995, the church had been going downhill: The Leaders formed factions, and the believers raised envy and strife. Gradually, guarding against the “heresies and cults” became the main subject of the leaders’ preachings. They said that the “Eastern Lightning” was most terrible and that its followers specially drew the “overcomers” from the Local Church. And they also said that the “Eastern Lightning” was a “cult” and a “mafia,” and that once you joined in it, if you wanted to withdraw, they would cut your nose off, gouge your eyes out, break your legs, and so on. Moreover, they forbade the believers to receive outsiders, and said that if they found anyone receive a stranger, they would expel him. Every one of us was so frightened as to tremble with fear. From then on, whenever those who preached the gospel of the last days came to my house, I would revile them or drive them away, and I even humiliated them with words offensive to the ear and stoned them or poured filthy water on them. At the beginning, I was afraid that I would sin against the Lord by doing so. But later, after I heard the leaders say that doing so was not sinning but “safeguarding” the true way, my conscience gradually became numb. However, what puzzled me most was this: Although the leaders and I resisted so seriously and sealed off the church so tightly, some brothers and sisters of strong faith still accepted Almighty God one after another, some of whom were even the leaders of other churches. During that period, the preachings in the church were only about “guarding against the false Christ, fighting the false Christ, or offering money,” and there was not at all the supply of the living water of life in them. Seeing such a condition, some brothers and sisters returned to the world. From then on, the number in the church gradually decreased, and the conduct of the believers became worse day by day. I could not but begin to ponder, “Can we enter the kingdom if we go on believing like this? Can we be the specimens and models of the ‘overcomers’?” Just when I lost sight of the road sign and was so perplexed as not to know what to do in my spiritual journey, two brothers who preached the gospel of the last days came to my house again. Thank God for His guidance! I broke the rule and received them this time, because in my many contacts with them, I found that their doings were just opposite to the slanders our leaders had spoken against them, and I had never seen this group of people break anyone’s legs or gouge out anyone’s eyes. On the contrary, we believers in Jesus drove them with cudgels and kicked and beat them. But they never retaliated when beaten or reviled by us. Their living out was a hundred times better than ours.
During their fellowship, the brothers told me straight that Almighty God is the very Lord Jesus who has returned in the flesh, and they also testified God’s three stages of work to me in detail. All that they said agreed with the Bible, and furthermore, they told me many mysteries I had never known. They also took out the book of God’s word and read “Preface” to me, in which God says: “After the work of Jehovah, Jesus became flesh to do His work amongst man. His work was not carried out in isolation, but built upon the work of Jehovah. It was work for a new age after God had concluded the Age of Law. Similarly, after the work of Jesus ended, God still continued His work for the next age, because the entire management of God is always progressing forward. When the old age passes, it will be replaced by a new age, and once the old work has been completed, a new work will continue the management of God. This incarnation is God’s second incarnation following the completion of Jesus’ work. Of course, this incarnation does not occur independently, but is the third stage of work after the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. Each new stage of God’s work always brings a new beginning and a new age. So too are there corresponding changes in the disposition of God, in His way of working, in the location of His work, and in His name. No wonder, then, that it is difficult for man to accept the work of God in the new age. But regardless of how He is opposed by man, God is always doing His work, and is always leading the whole of mankind forward. When Jesus came into the world of man, He brought the Age of Grace and ended the Age of Law. During the last days, God once more became flesh, and when He became flesh this time, the Age of Grace ended and the Age of Kingdom began. All those who accept the second incarnation of God will be led into the Age of Kingdom, and be able to personally accept the guidance of God.” God’s words were new and fresh to me and made me see that any stage of God’s work is not independent or unchanging, but rather it is closely linked to the previous one, and God’s work always advances. I thanked God that He enlightened me to understand this: When God was incarnated the first time, His name was not Jehovah or Messiah, but Jesus. Every time God opens a new age, His name and His work will be changed. When God is incarnated this time, He opens another new age, and His name is changed to the Almighty. This fulfills the prophecies in many scriptures, such as, Revelation 1:8, which goes, “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty,” and Revelation 4:8, which says, “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” I really regretted having been so foolish and blind as not to know that Almighty God whom I had resisted, condemned, and blasphemed for many years was the only true God and the Lord Jesus who had reappeared! At that moment, a feeling of regret that I accepted Him too late welled up in my heart. I looked at the two brothers and considered, “I drove them away many times, but they are still so kind and affable to me and don’t mind what I did to them at all.” As I thought of this, I couldn’t help shedding tears of remorse…
After accepting Almighty God, I felt that my years of hope were realized at last. With joy, I told this great good news to the leader of my former church, thinking, “She will certainly accept it with great joy.” Little did I expect that she not only refused to accept it, but on the contrary she cried and shouted, insisting that I should promise her to turn back. She said that I had been fooled by the followers of the “Eastern Lightning” and that the book I read was written by a man of the greatest learning and was not God’s word, and she asked me to make a clean break with the believers in Almighty God. At her words, I wavered. I thought that she was after all a leader and was more mature than me in life and knew more than me, and perhaps what she said was right, so I promised her lightly that I wouldn’t believe it anymore. Seeing that I truly turned back, she asked me to kneel down before the Lord and confess my sin, and she also asked me to give her the book. Thank God for His keeping! I didn’t listen to her on this, because I thought, “Since I won’t believe anymore, I should return the book to them; why should you keep their book?”
Unexpectedly, on the third night after the leader left, I got a sudden pain in my abdomen. I hurried to the bathroom, and to my surprise, what I passed was all blood. My husband, who was a doctor, hastily gave me an injection and some medicine, and I kept calling on the name of Jesus. I thought I would get well soon, but contrary to my wish, the pain not only didn’t grow easier, but became more unbearable. I had to empty my bowels once about every five minutes, and I couldn’t even get up from the toilet seat. At that time, little did I think that I was being disciplined and chastised by God for rejecting the name of Almighty God, and I just kept praying to Jesus, “O Lord! I shouldn’t have heard the message preached by the two brothers. Please forgive my sin and heal me!” However, the more I prayed in this way, the severer pain I had in my abdomen, and the more blood I passed. No matter what treatment my husband gave me, it was of no avail. I cried out and screamed in pain, and all my family were so worried as to flutter about and be at a loss what to do. I almost spent all that night in the bathroom. In the end, my family had to take me to a big hospital for treatment. However, it was still ineffective, and the acute pain caused me to just wish to sink into the ground. I was tormented so much that I was utterly exhausted and felt weak and limp all over and couldn’t even stand. Just when I was pained to the extent of wishing to die, I suddenly realized: Can it be that I have really resisted God? And God has truly come to the world and done a new work and opened a new age? Otherwise, why didn’t it work when I called on the name of Jesus? Thinking of this, I immediately began to cry out to Almighty God, “O Almighty God! I’m wrong. I shouldn’t have listened to man’s word and denied and rejected Your name and refused Your love. Please have mercy on me and save my life for the sake of my ignorance! From now on I will never doubt You or leave You.” After I prayed with weeping and tears, a miracle really happened. The pain in my abdomen gradually grew easier, and the bleeding gradually stopped. A few hours later, I got well completely. All my family were greatly happy to see me recovered. However, only I myself knew in my heart that it was Almighty God who had rescued me and it was the loving hand of Almighty God that had taken me back from the verge of death. Although I was weak and feeble because I had passed too much blood, my heart and spirit had been awakened by the chastisement and smiting of Almighty God, so that I realized that only Almighty God is our true support today. It was really that “what you lose on the swings you gain on the roundabouts.” After I got back home, I picked up the book of God’s word again. As I read it, every word and every piece were so sweet to me, and I felt just like a new-born baby sucking the milk of its mother. When I read the words “What you admire is not the humility of Christ, but those false shepherds of prominent standing,” I felt extremely ashamed. “So I was an out-and-out coward who looks up to men! I always listened to the leaders’ words and did everything they told me to do; could I be counted as a believer in God? Almighty God, whom I have slandered and resisted for many years, is precisely the true Shepherd who bestows to me the truth, the way, and the life, while the leaders whom I have looked up to and obeyed are the false shepherds who will lead me to destruction and are the devils that will devour the souls of people. Ay! I have believed in God for many years, but I still have not got on the right track of the spiritual journey, and I had no discernment and was always deceived by men and went astray. It is really lamentable and sad! If Almighty God had not called me and saved me with all effort, I could never have come before God’s throne. Thank Almighty God that His chastisement and judgment have awakened my numb and ignorant heart!”
Dear brothers and sisters, the above is my personal experience and is a most true testimony. I sincerely hope that you can learn a lesson from my having no mind of my own. Don’t look up to men anymore. The leaders’ words of resisting Almighty God are all their fabrications and slanders. They are not the facts at all! Instead, they are an invisible net which hinders the believers from seeking the true way! They preach about nothing but “guarding against the false Christ and fighting the false Christ” all day, and they forcibly occupy the pulpits and control the churches, so that the thirsty believers cannot receive the supply of the living water of life that flows out of God’s throne. Spiritual brothers and sisters, it’s time to turn back! Almighty God is expecting and waiting eagerly for us, hoping that we can return soon to freely take the living water of life He has prepared for us. Do you know these? Let’s hear some words of God: “… the Almighty has been watching there, awaiting your return all along. He longs bitterly, waiting for a response without an answer. His watching is priceless and is for the heart and the spirit of humans. Perhaps this watching is indefinite, and perhaps this watching is at its end. But you should know exactly where your heart and soul are now.”
Spiritual brothers and sisters, now disasters are arising everywhere, plagues are spreading, and the situation of the world is unsettled. All these indicate that God’s work is about to end. If you don’t wake up now, when will you do so? It is true that “God desires all men to be saved and not one to perish,” but you should know that there is a limit to God’s patience and God has a time limit for it! At that time, Noah preached for one hundred and twenty years, but no one believed him. When the time came, God destroyed all the unbelievers mercilessly with a flood. Just as God says: “The work of God never waits for any that cannot keep pace with God, and the righteous disposition of God shows no mercy to any man.” “The great trend of God’s work is unstoppable. He will not repeat the work of judgment again for the sake of your ‘merits,’ and you will sorely regret losing such a good opportunity. If you do not believe My words, then just wait for that great white throne in the sky to ‘pass judgment’ upon you! You must know that all of the Israelites spurned and denied Jesus, yet the fact of Jesus’ redemption of mankind still spread to the ends of the universe. Is this not the fact that God has long ago fulfilled? If you are still awaiting Jesus to take you up to heaven, then I say that you are an obstinate piece of deadwood. Jesus will not acknowledge a false believer such as you who is disloyal to the truth and seeks only blessings. On the contrary, He will show no mercy in casting you into the lake of fire to burn for tens of thousands of years.” This is the expression of God’s righteous disposition. Dear brothers and sisters, will you still hesitate, wander, and sit still waiting for death after hearing such heartfelt calls of God and His righteous and majestic judgment? When the fire of Almighty God’s wrath is poured down, even if you cut to pieces the leaders you look up to, that will not save you. On that day, even if you beat your breast and lament to heaven and knock your head on earth, that will not change your end, and you will only be left in the great disasters weeping in remorse and gnashing your teeth. Brothers and sisters, while there is still a little time now, come quickly and call upon Almighty God and abide under the shadow of the Almighty! He will surely protect us with His mighty arm from being afflicted by the disasters of the last days, and He has prepared a great feast and is waiting for us to come and enjoy it! Come quickly!