64. Without Almighty God, I Would Not Be Alive Today

Zhang Xuelou

Chifeng City, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

I was formerly a church leader in the Pentecostal Church and also a person who disobeyed and resisted Almighty God. As I had no discernment and firmly believed the rumors and the elder’s adverse words, and considered the “Eastern Lightning” a “heresy,” a “cult,” I resisted and blasphemed it desperately. It was not until I received God’s punishment and was confined to bed with serious illness that I was awakened. If God had not disciplined me so severely, I would still have been fooled and blinded by the rumors and have long died somewhere. It was the truth expressed by Almighty God in the last days that opened my spiritual eyes and aroused my heart of deep sleep, so that I prostrated myself in the light of God.

One day in April 1999, the elder called an emergency co-workers’ meeting, in which he told us, “Now there’s a sect called the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ It is a ‘heresy,’ a ‘cult.’ They said that God has done a new work. You mustn’t believe them, nor have contact with them. Their preaching is very high. Once you hear it, you will join them. Once you join them, you can’t withdraw. If you withdraw, they will cut off your nose, gouge out your eyes, or break your arms or legs.” After hearing the elder’s words, I, as if receiving a royal edict, faithfully told them to the brothers and sisters wherever I went, and I warned the brothers and sisters again and again, “No one can receive outsiders without my permission.”

In May of that year, a sister in our church came to my home and said to me, “I have good news to tell you. God has come to do a new work. Two brothers are at Sister X’s home now. Their preaching is very good. You might as well go listen to it!” Hearing this, I was very angry and rebuked her, “How can you receive outsiders arbitrarily without permission? Have you forgotten the church rules?” Then I hurried to Sister X’s home. As soon as I entered the room, I asked the two brothers fiercely, “You are so impertinent. How can you come to the brothers’ and sisters’ home and talk nonsense without our permission? How do you know that God has come to do a new work? Does God only reveal to you and not to us?” They didn’t mind my attitude at all and said calmly, “Sister, cool down. Let’s sit down and have a fellowship, shall we?” I thought, “I’ll never be deceived by you.” But on second thought, I decided, “OK, let me hear what they actually preach about so that I can collect some evidence for the brothers and sisters to gain discernment.” One brother fellowshipped, “The people of Nineveh were saved because they listened to Jonah’s words and repented. Lot survived because he received two angels. The whole household of Rahab the harlot were saved because she received two spies. Weren’t they all saved because they received and listened to strangers’ words? Why is it wrong to receive ‘strangers’ today? Hebrews13:2 says, ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.’ You don’t allow others to receive strangers; doesn’t it go against the teaching of the Bible?” The brother’s apparently simple but sharp words made me speechless. Then he continued to fellowship about the present condition of the churches. He said, “Now in the churches, co-workers raise envy and strife, scramble for power, form cliques, and exclude and judge each other; in the meetings there is nothing to preach and the brothers and sisters can’t receive the life supply, so that they have become passive and weak, and their faith and love grow cold. Think back to the days at the end of the Age of Law. When the Lord Jesus came to do the work, the people of Israel no longer feared God, and they offered the blind and lame oxen and sheep for sacrifice. They couldn’t keep the law and received no discipline when committing sins. But they didn’t know that the Holy Spirit’s work had changed. They still blindly held to the work Jehovah had done in the temple and failed to keep up with Jesus’ work of that time. So, they had no work of the Holy Spirit, received no life supply, and had no way to go. As a result, they were all in a desolate state.” I thought what he said was quite reasonable. And he continued, “The desolation of the churches today is the same as in those days. God’s work has advanced further. God has done a new work, bringing the Age of Kingdom. In the last days, Almighty God does the conquering, perfecting, and purifying work by His word, that is, the work of removing sins. Now is the time for harvest. God has unlocked the scroll personally, which is what the Holy Spirit says to the churches. Do you want to read it?” At this, I suddenly remembered the elder’s word, “There’s a cult, whose preaching is very high. They can recite the Bible very fluently, and they have a book.” Then I was sure that they were from the “Eastern Lightning.” I didn’t want to say anything more to them, so I made an excuse and left the sister’s home. I hastened to tell this to two other co-workers. After hearing it, they at once rushed to the sister’s home to drive them and threatened to report them to the police. As a result, we drove the two brothers out of the sister’s home and dragged back the more than ten brothers and sisters. After that, I became more strict in sealing off the church. I often reminded and warned every believer in meetings, “No one can receive the ‘Eastern Lightning’ or listen to their preaching. If anyone disobeys, he will be expelled from the church.”

Once, a sister came to my home and tried to persuade me to investigate Almighty God’s new work of the last days. But whatever she said, I was not moved. Seeing me so stubborn, she knelt down and implored me in tears, “Sister! For the good of you and of so many brothers and sisters in the church, please investigate it! If you don’t seize this opportunity, you’ll have no time!” I said fiercely, “Save your sweet talk! Don’t pretend here. I’ll never be deceived by you.” At that time, my unbelieving husband couldn’t put up with it, and he said to me indignantly, “How can you be so inhumane? Are you a believer in God?” But I still drove her out pitilessly. The sister left, wiping her tears.

On another occasion, I saw the two sisters who had once preached Almighty God’s gospel of the last days to me walk into a sister’s home. At once I called two co-workers, and we together rushed into the sister’s home. I shook with rage and shouted to them, “What the hell do you want to do? I’m just about to reckon with you. You are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Get out quickly! There’s no space for you here. If you don’t go, I’ll tell the police to arrest you!” I booted them out like mad.

After that, the brothers and sisters who preached God’s gospel of the last days came to my home four times. When seeing them, I just closed the door and shouted in the yard, “Go away! How could you get such a cheek? Go away! Go away quickly!”

One early morning in June, two brothers came to my home. Seeing them, I immediately knew they were the people of the “Eastern Lightning.” I flew into a rage and shouted to them, “Are you from the ‘Eastern Lightning?’ You get out at once! Whatever you say, I won’t listen. Get out quickly!” My husband watched and couldn’t stand it, saying, “Aren’t you all believers in the Lord? You can talk calmly. Why do you shout?” I turned to him and roared, “What do you know? They’re ‘cultists.’ They keep pestering me like mangy dogs.” Then I went into the kitchen and clattered the spoons and pots. But they still didn’t go. So I took the lock and pretended to lock the door to drive them away. At that time, one brother said earnestly with tears in his eyes, “Sister, we came here with no other purpose but just want to tell you God’s new work. Please let us finish our words. If what we say is right, you can listen; if wrong, we won’t force you.” I said angrily, “Don’t talk nonsense. Whatever you say, I won’t listen.” The two brothers left my home reluctantly with tears in their eyes. Watching their receding figures, I couldn’t calm down, thinking, “For what do they come to my home again and again? Why do they have such great love? They can endure any jeer and abuse silently. Only God has such great love. Could it be that their strength really comes from God?” But the elder’s words resounded in my ears again, “They’re controlled by a kind of ‘evil spirit,’ and you mustn’t fall into their trap. Never be soft on them, and be sure to look after the house carefully for the Lord.” So my heart became hardened again.

Just when I resisted Almighty God’s new work of the last days most frenziedly, God’s punishment came upon me.

On the afternoon of June 24, when I was standing in the yard, suddenly my heart felt ill and everything went black, and I fainted. My husband hurriedly drove me to the hospital. I was diagnosed as having myocardial ischemia, and my blood pressure was 60/40mmHg. The doctor at once put me on a drip. Lying in the hospital bed, I felt very dizzy and didn’t dare to open my eyes. I ate and drank nothing for seven days and kept vomiting. I was tortured half to death and lived in hell. I was given infusion for seven days, but my blood pressure didn’t rise at all. On the eighth day, my arms were swollen like legs. The doctor had to give a jab in my leg, but my legs were swollen and thick as purlins and the skin became black. The doctor was baffled by it, and he said he had never seen such a symptom and couldn’t diagnose it. He advised me to go to Shenyang or go to see a witch doctor. For a good while, I didn’t know what to do, thinking, “Now I’m finished. I must have a fatal illness.”

After returning home, I lay in bed thinking over and over, “O Lord! Why do I get such a serious illness? Before, every time I was ill, I prayed and would be healed at once. But why don’t You heal me this time? Don’t You want me anymore? Or have I offended You? Please save me!” Suddenly I remembered the scenes of my contact with the people of the ‘Eastern Lightning’ and driving them away. “Could it be that the ‘Eastern Lightning’ is the true way? Have I offended God by driving them away and abusing them? Am I punished for resisting God?” When I told this to my husband, he said, “I think it’s retribution. You see, those people are so kind!” At that moment I was terrified and fearful, and I prayed to God silently, “O God! You know my illness. If the ‘Eastern Lightning’ is the true way, is Your work, please reveal it to me. If they are right, please let me see them again; if not, please never let me see them.” God answered my prayer. On the early morning before I was going to Shenyang to see a doctor (the day after I came back from the hospital), the two sisters who preached Almighty God’s gospel of the last days came to my home. Seeing them, I seemed to see my savior. I was very excited and tears blurred my eyes. The two sisters were also so excited that they shed tears unceasingly. We all couldn’t speak. It was as if we were relatives who met again after a long separation. A warm feeling came over me, and God’s love linked our heart together. After a while, we all calmed down. One sister took out the book of God’s word, and she turned to “Preface” and read these words: “Today, God has new work. You may not accept these words, they may feel odd to you, but I advise you not to reveal your nature, for only those who truly hunger and thirst for righteousness before God can obtain the truth, and only those who are truly devout can be enlightened and guided by God. Nothing will come of seeking the truth through quarreling. Only by seeking calmly can we obtain results. When I say that ‘Today, God has new work once more,’ I am referring to God’s return to flesh. Perhaps you do not mind these words, perhaps you despise them, or perhaps they are of great interest to you. Whatever the case, I hope that all those who truly yearn for the appearance of God can face this fact and give it careful consideration. It is best not to jump to conclusions. This is the way that wise people should act.” “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. Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and began the work of chastisement and judgment, which brought man to a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.” Hearing God’s words, I had mixed feelings, and my tears kept flowing down. Every word of God captured my heart, guiding me patiently like a loving mother, which made me understand why God returned in the flesh to do the new work and know that God had truly come to the world.

God’s word is really good medicine that can save life. All at once my illness seemed to be healed much. Then the sisters sang the hymn “O God How Should I Requite You” to me: “1. When counting God’s grace I shed floods of tears; Before opening my mouth I choke with sobs, choke with sobs. When I’m faint with hunger, You bring delicacies to nourish me. O God! O God! O God! O God! When I’m trembling with cold, You give Your warmth to me. 2. When I’m sorrowful and dispirited, with Your hand You wipe tears from my cheeks…. O God! O God! O God! O God! When I’m poor and miserable, You bestow mercy to console me. 3. When I’m lonely and hesitant, with kind words You comfort me, comfort me. When I’m eaten up with diseases, You make panaceas for me. O God! O God! O God! O God! When I’m self-important and arrogant, Your rod never departs from me…. 6. Thousands of words I bear in my heart. I’m longing to see You, my heart going with You, my heart going with You. God’s grace is as weighty as mountains, and cannot be bought or repaid with life. O God! O God! O God! O God! Your grace is as countless as waters, and cannot be fathomed or described with words.” After hearing the song, I was already choked with sobs, and I couldn’t express my gratitude to God in words. Only at that time did I understand that the coming of illness was God’s love. Because I believed the rumors, I resisted Almighty God and almost lost my life. Today it was through the illness that God brought me before Him. It was God who gave me the second life. Without Almighty God, I would not be alive today. I hated myself for my being blind and ignorant, lacking discernment, following others, which caused me to blindly condemn and blaspheme God’s work and become a Pharisee who hindered people from accepting the true way and the foremost of sinners who resisted God. Although I had committed such a heinous sin, God didn’t curse me according to my evil deeds but sent the brothers and sisters to preach the gospel to me again and again. “O God!Such a person like me, who deserves to be cursed, is really unworthy of Your love and Your paying so much price for saving me. Your salvation is so great that I cannot repay it even if I offer my everything. O God! I’m willing to repent and start a new life. I will bring the brothers and sisters deeply blinded by rumors before You even at the cost of my life to repay Your love.”

Five days later after I accepted Almighty God’s new work, I was completely healed, which gave my whole family a great surprise and joy. Because of this, my unbelieving husband and son also followed Almighty God. By now I have followed Almighty God for over four years. In my experience, I have seen God’s love and experienced how hard God’s work on earth is. I earnestly appeal to the brothers and sisters who haven’t accepted Almighty God’s new work to wake up quickly! Don’t live in the dark and be deceived by the cheaters’ lies. Many people around us have had contact with the “Eastern Lightning” followers and listened to their fellowship. Who of them have lost nose or eyes, or have broken arms or legs? If there were really such things, wouldn’t they have long been exposed by the media? Let’s look at the living out of the brothers and sisters who believe in Almighty God. They are meek and humble, and have forbearance and love. Only the fruit they bear is the fruit of the Holy Spirit. “Words are but wind, but seeing is believing.” The facts have been placed before us. Don’t persist in your error or resist God like me. The facts of God’s work will scotch the rumors. When the day of God appearing publicly comes, all is too late. Now there’s still a little time left. Quickly seek! “Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time. He is watching by your side, waiting for you to turn back. He is waiting for the day your memory suddenly recovers….” (from “The Sighing of the Almighty” in The Word Appears in the Flesh)

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