62. Almighty God Saved Me out of the Abyss of Sin
Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province
I was formerly a steward of the “Tambourines Playing and Dancing Church.” I began to lead a vagrant life at the age of 17, and by the age of 19, I had learned many fighting skills. In 1994, I got tuberculosis, and my wife deserted me, leaving me the child who was less than three years old. I sank into an utter despair, and attempted several times to commit suicide but was rescued. When I lost courage and came to a dead end, the Lord accepted me as His follower. Soon after I believed in the Lord, I was miraculously recovered. This gave me more faith and revived my hope for life. The meeting place was about two kilometers away from my home. I went to attend the service with my three-year-old child on my back, across the hills, in all weathers, and never missed a meeting. To repay the Lord’s grace, I was always zealous in pursuit. But later, things that appeared in the church puzzled me. The leaders had nothing fresh to preach, and the service wasn’t inspiring. The brothers and sisters received no new supply and gradually lost their faith and love. Later on, things became worse. The co-workers raised jealousy and strife, scrambled for power, and attacked and judged each other. The brothers and sisters had no love for each other, and abuse and fight often arose among them. The church attendance gradually dropped off. It reduced from about seventy or eighty to seven or eight. My zeal also grew cold, and I lapsed into the pleasure of sin.
At a meeting held in the latter half the year 1997, the leader said, “Take notice! I tell you an important thing. There appeared a sect called the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ They say God has come back in the flesh as a female. They are rampant, deceiving people everywhere. They are heretics, cultists. They are experts in deceiving and pestering. Once you make contact with them, you will be trapped and join them. You must be on guard against them. Don’t receive any stranger. Whoever disobeys will be expelled.” To ensure the church a protection against the “harm” from the “Eastern Lightning,” the leader held a “clean-up” meeting. Everyone must tell the church whoever they knew had received the people of “Eastern Lightning.” And they must swear before God never to contact the people of the “Eastern Lightning.” I obeyed the leader’s order and declared myself before the brothers and sisters, “If the people of the ‘Eastern Lightning’ come to my home, I will in no way be easy on them. They are my mortal enemy.” After that, the main topic of our meeting was hearsay about the “Lightning” and ways to resist the “Eastern Lightning.” And I myself began to resist Almighty God and fall into the abyss of sin.
In the summer of 1998, a sister came to my home and said to me, “God has returned in the flesh and done a new work.” Hearing this, I knew she was from the “Eastern Lightning.” So I stopped her and shouted at her, “We are not on the same path. Go away! At once!” The sister said mildly, “Brother, we both are believers in God. Please don’t be like this. Since we believe in God, we should believe with a clear mind. If we believe blindly, can we be saved?” Her words threw me into a rage, “I have read the Bible for years. Is there anything I don’t understand?” With that, I seized her arm and thrust her forward and roared, “Out!” Instantly, the sister was thrown to the ground in the yard and nearly fell into the well, with one of her arm hanging down the edge of the well. Slowly she got to her feet and dusted herself off. Seeing her shirt stained with blood, I was afraid that she would make a scene and put me in trouble. But she seemed not to mind it at all and still kept persuading me. I got furious and roared at her, “What a cheek! I tell you I won’t believe. Even if you talk until tomorrow morning, I won’t believe your nonsense. Out you go! Go out!” Just like this, I drove the sister away. She was wiping tears as she left.
After a few days, the sister came again. That day, I was heaping up the wheat-ricks in the field in front of my house, when I saw the sister coming toward my home. I hurriedly hid myself behind the wheat-ricks. I thought, “If she sees that I’m not in, she will leave soon.” But when I came out from behind the wheat-ricks half an hour later, I found her still waiting for me at my home. At the sight of me, she said to me with a smile, “Brother, why did you shun me?” I said gruffly, “What the hell do you want?” The sister said solemnly, “I just want to tell you that God has done a new work in the last days and the scroll prophesied in Revelation has been opened. Please read it!” “Shut up!” I flew into a rage at this, “I won’t accept your way. Don’t try to deceive me! I’ll let you go today as you are a woman. If you were a man, I would have knocked you down already. Go away!” “Brother,” the sister said sincerely, “God has really returned in the flesh and done a new work. Whether it’s true or not, you will know after you read the book.” She handed the book to me, and I kicked the book out of her hand. “Ouch!” the sister cried, tears rolling down her cheeks. Her hand was obviously wounded by my kick. She knelt on the ground with one hand holding the other arm and said to me with an expectant expression, “Brother, read it! After reading it, you won’t hate me anymore…” A while later, I saw her wrist swelled and became purple. Even so, my anger still didn’t subside. I mocked, “You are baser than a dog!” Then I gave her a kick on the lower back and threatened loudly, “Out! If I see you again, I will skin you!” I was simply like a beast without humanity at all and even said such words at that time.
In November 1999, a young brother came to preach the gospel to me and gave me a book. The next day, before I had handed the book to the church, he came again. I sent my child to call the leader. After the leader arrived, I gave him the book, the tape, and the hymn book the young brother brought with him. A few days later, the brother came again and persuaded me, “Uncle, God doesn’t look at man’s transgressions. If you are willing to turn to Him, He will still give you an opportunity. Today, you are not rejecting me or a book but God Himself…” His constant mention of God in speaking enraged me, and I ferociously gave him two smacks across the face. All at once blood trickled from the corner of his mouth and his eyelids swelled badly. Despite this, he insisted that he should tell me about God’s new work. Yet I drove him out of my house relentlessly.
In August 2002, an elderly sister over sixty years old came to my home to preach God’s gospel of the last days. Upon hearing what she said, I said angrily, “You want to deceive me to believe your way? That’s impossible! Go away!” She persuaded me earnestly and patiently, but I said rudely, “Out! I won’t beat you as you are an old lady. If you were an old man or a young man, I would have kicked you out already!” The elderly sister shed tears. She knelt on one knee (there seemed to be something wrong with her other leg), holding the book of God’s word in her trembling hands, and said to me sincerely, “Brother, please read it! The book is the word from God’s mouth. Will you please read it for only two or three days before you return it to me?” I was exasperated at this and threw her to the ground. My 11-year-old child couldn’t bear it and said to me, “Dad, the granny has cried. Just take the book!” I roared at him, “You little whelp, what do you know?” So saying, I kicked him to the ground. The elderly sister struggled to her feet and pulled my child to her waist, and they held together and cried. I was still stone-hearted and not moved. In the end the elderly sister had to leave my home in tears.
After that, the brothers and sisters who preached Almighty God’s gospel of the last days came to my home more than twenty times, but I rejected them savagely every time.
Just when I resisted Almighty God’s new work beyond reason and humanity, God arranged a wonderful opportunity for me to listen to the testimony of His new work. Through that, God’s word conquered me and brought me to His throne, freeing me from the abyss of evil.
In May 2003, I went to visit a friend out of town. There, I met a sister. We began to talk about belief in God. I was on guard against her and thought to myself, “If your talk matches up with the Bible, I will listen, but if it’s beyond the Bible, I will leave at once.” The sister told me that after the fall of man, God began His plan of saving mankind, and that God’s work progresses forward all the time, and He does His work by ages, stages, and steps. She also fellowshipped about the true story behind the work in the Age of Law and in the Age of Grace and their substance. Her fellowship matched up with the Bible, and there wasn’t any misinterpretation. And I had never heard of such fellowship since I believed in God. It broadened my horizon and enlightened my mind. But when she said that the Lord had returned, my countenance fell and I retorted angrily, “The Bible doesn’t mention at all that God will return in the flesh again. God is male. How could He be female? Believers in God should take the Bible as the principle. The Bible says that Jesus will come with clouds. If you can make it clear, I will believe. Or else, I will never believe.” The sister was composed and calm and said to me mildly, “Brother, don’t be impatient. Let’s calm down and fellowship quietly. God will help us to solve all puzzles.” As I was at my friend’s home, I had to continue to listen with patience. The sister said, “The Pharisees at that time were versed in the Scripture, but they resisted God and suffered God’s punishment in the end. That’s mainly because they failed to follow God’s new work. They measured Jesus against the Scripture. The Scripture says that a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, but they thought that Mary wasn’t a virgin since she had a husband. The Scripture says that Messiah would come to take the government, but Jesus came, and He was born in a manger. It also says that He will deliver His people from sin, but Jesus Himself was nailed on the cross. In their eyes, all these went against the Scripture and didn’t fit their notions. So the Pharisees crucified the merciful Jesus according to the literal meaning of the scriptures. Today, it’s also the time for the age to turn. We are awaiting the return of Jesus and the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies. We imagine that Jesus will suddenly come with clouds in the Jewish image on a day of great joy, but we don’t know that God’s work is always new and never old, God doesn’t repeat His work, and He doesn’t do His work according to man’s notions or imaginations. Today, God didn’t appear to all people with clouds in the form of the Spirit. Rather, He was incarnated into the world in a hidden way and has done a new work. In the Bible, it has been prophesied that God will return in the flesh in the last days. In Luke 17:24-25 the Lord said, ‘For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and again be rejected of this generation.’ Does the ‘Son of man’ mean the Spirit of God or the incarnate God? Why can’t Jehovah be called the Son of man? How could the Spirit suffer? How could He be rejected? So, the ‘Son of man’ doesn’t refer to the Spirit of God but the incarnate God. Moreover, ‘again’ means the second time. So, it clearly shows that God will become flesh to work when He returns. In Matthew 24:3-5, it says false Christs will come forth to deceive people in the last days. They are called ‘false Christs,’ it means some men have passed themselves as Christ. If the true God came in Spirit form not in the flesh, He couldn’t be called Christ. And He wouldn’t prophesy the false Christs and the occurrences of deception in the last days. That is to say, if there isn’t a true Christ, there won’t be counterfeits. If there are counterfeits, there must be a true Christ. By saying that false Christs would come forth in the last days, Jesus hinted to His disciples that He would become flesh again when He returned.” The sister’s fellowship rendered me speechless. Then she read me another passage of God’s word: “The only reason that the incarnate God has come into the flesh is because of the needs of corrupt man. It is because of the needs of man but not of God, and all His sacrifices and sufferings are for the sake of mankind, and not for the benefit of God Himself. There are no pros and cons or rewards for God; He shall not reap some future harvest, but that which was originally owed to Him. All that He does and sacrifices for mankind is not so that He might gain great rewards, but purely for the sake of mankind. Though God’s work in the flesh involves many unimaginable difficulties, the effects that it ultimately achieves far exceed those of the work done directly by the Spirit. The work of the flesh entails much hardship, and the flesh cannot possess the same great identity as the Spirit, cannot carry out the same supernatural deeds as the Spirit, much less can He possess the same authority as the Spirit. Yet the substance of the work done by this unremarkable flesh is far superior to that of the work done directly by the Spirit, and this flesh Himself is the answer to all of man’s needs. For those to be saved, the use value of the Spirit is far inferior to that of the flesh: The work of the Spirit is able to cover the entire universe, across all mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans, yet the work of the flesh more effectively relates to every person with whom He has contact. What’s more, God’s flesh with tangible form can better be understood and trusted by man, and can further deepen man’s knowledge of God, and can leave upon man a more profound impression of the actual deeds of God. The work of the Spirit is shrouded in mystery, it is difficult for mortal beings to fathom, and even harder for them to see, and so they can only rely on hollow imaginings. The work of the flesh, however, is normal, and based on reality, and possessed of rich wisdom, and is a fact that can be beheld by the physical eye of man; man can personally experience the wisdom of the work of God, and has no need to employ his bountiful imagination. This is the accuracy and real value of the work of God in the flesh. The Spirit can only do things that are invisible to man and difficult for him to imagine, for example the enlightenment of the Spirit, the moving of the Spirit, and the guidance of the Spirit, but for man who has a mind, these do not provide any clear meaning. They only provide a moving, or a broad meaning, and cannot give an instruction with words. The work of God in the flesh, however, is greatly different: It has accurate guidance of words, has clear will, and has clear required goals. And so man does not need to grope around, or employ his imagination, much less make guesses. This is the clarity of the work in the flesh, and its great difference from the work of the Spirit. The work of the Spirit is only suitable in a limited scope, and cannot replace the work of the flesh. The work of the flesh gives man far more exact and necessary goals and far more real, valuable knowledge than the work of the Spirit. The work that is of greatest value to corrupt man is that which provides accurate words, clear goals to pursue, and which can be seen and touched. Only realistic work and timely guidance are suited to man’s tastes, and only real work can save man from his corrupt and depraved disposition. This can only be achieved by the incarnate God; only the incarnate God can save man from his formerly corrupt and depraved disposition.” (from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Incarnated in the ‘Flesh’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) After hearing these words, I believed that God should really come into the flesh and knew that God chooses the way of His work, whether in the form of the Spirit or in the form of the flesh, according to the need of His work and the need of corrupt mankind, and that man shouldn’t restrict God’s work senselessly. And I also understood the necessity and significance of God’s incarnation. The notion I held that God would never become flesh again was completely dissolved.
To remove my puzzle about God’s being incarnated as a female this time, the sister read me some relevant words of God. God says: “If God was only incarnated as a male, people would define Him as male, as the God of men, and would never believe Him to be the God of women. Then, men would believe that God is of the same gender as men, that God is the head of men—and what of women? This is unfair; is it not preferential treatment? If this were the case, then all those whom God saved would be men like Him, and there would be no salvation for women. When God created mankind, He created Adam and He created Eve. He did not create only Adam, but made both male and female in His image. God is not only the God of men, He is also the God of women.” (from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) “Each stage of work done by God has a real significance. When Jesus arrived, He was male, and this time He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for His work and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit arrives, He can take on any flesh at will and the flesh represents Him. Be it male or female, both represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh.” (from “The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) Facing the truth, I bowed my head at last and realized my arrogance and disobedience. I hated myself for being so self-right that I had held fast to the letters of the Bible and resisted the true God. I regretted that I had been so blind and ignorant that I condemned God’s work without seeking while expecting God’s return. I hated myself for being so heartless that I made rampant and unforgivable resistance and revilement against God. Recalling the evil deeds what I had done during the five years of resisting God, I was heartbroken with remorse. “Even if God cut me into pieces, it will be perfectly justified.” The more I thought, the more I felt condemned. I burst into tears and knelt on the floor and prayed, “O God! I have owed You a lot and grieved You too much. You sent the brothers and sisters to preach Your gospel to me again and again, but I struck them all without distinction of sex or age. A true believer can never do such evil doings, and even those unbelievers aren’t as savage and brute as I am. O God, I’m devoid of humanity, sense, and conscience, and I’m a muddle-headed one and a beast. I have committed a heinous sin and can never be forgiven. According to what I have done to You, I should deserve to be punished by You, to suffer severe punishment in the lake of fire. Yet You didn’t remember my transgressions and punish me but gave me the opportunity to be saved. O God, how can I, a great sinner, repay Your great grace of salvation for me? Even if I work for You as an ox, I cannot atone for what I have owed You. I’m resolved to turn from my evil way and commit the rest of my life to You. No matter how You treat me, I will spend myself for You at any sacrifice to repay Your great grace and love.”
If I hadn’t been cared for or kept by God on my past tortuous path, I would have long died somewhere. Thinking of God’s love, I’m filled with gratitude and remorse, tears rolling down my face. More than five months have passed since I accepted God’s new work. I’m being led by Almighty God and pursuing to live out a worthy and meaningful life. Almighty God’s judging and purifying words make me know more about my corruption and be renewed and transformed increasingly. My acquaintances all say that I’ve become a quite different person. Encouraged by God’s love, I’m cooperating with great confidence in the spreading of God’s kingdom gospel, performing the duty as a created man. Thank God for giving me the opportunity of repenting and making a fresh start. I’m exposing my evil doings to the light, hoping that more brothers and sisters who are deceived by rumors will see the truth clearly and return to God’s family earlier to receive God’s salvation of the last days. Here is my appeal to brothers and sisters of all denominations: Don’t believe the rumors anymore, or else you will be trapped in Satan’s scheme and forfeit your good destiny. God’s gospel in Mainland China is drawing to an end, and His work will be accomplished soon. Don’t be stiff-necked and resist God like me. Please accept God’s work as soon as possible! If you miss the golden opportunity, you will be heartbroken with regret. God says: “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit. I advise you to tread the path of belief in God with care. Do not jump to conclusions; what’s more, do not be casual and carefree in your belief in God. You should know that, at the very least, those who believe in God should be humble and reverential.” (from “When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) “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?” “What you should understand is this: 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.” (from “Christ Does the Work of Judgment with the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh)