7. I Shed Remorseful Tears Before the Almighty God
I. Having Listened to the Rumors and Believed the Lies, I Blindly Resisted God;
For “Guarding the Church” and “Defending the Way,” I Shut Out the Lord.
Shenyang City, Liaoning Province
In 1999, a copy of the material called The Inside Story of the Eastern Lightning was circulated from some other church to our church. It said that “the Eastern Lightning” was a cult and a heresy, that their book contained a magic drug, and that once one read it, he would be bewitched. It said that those people had evil spirits in them, and that once one listened to their fellowship, he would be deceived into joining them. It also said that “the Eastern Lightning” was an underworld organization, that if one joined it, he couldn’t withdraw, and that those who had withdrawn either had their legs broken or their noses cut off. I swallowed everything in that material without thinking and publicized it wildly. Besides, I established in the church the rules to guard against “the Lightning”: No one is allowed to have contact with “the Eastern Lightning,” or listen to their fellowship, or read their books. If any outside believer comes, bring him to the church, and no one is allowed to receive him privately. Any violator must offer a sincere prayer of repentance. He will be disciplined or excommunicated according to how deeply he has been “poisoned.” The outside believers can only listen and not preach.
At that time, Sister Wang in our church accepted “the Eastern Lightning.” I forced her to offer a prayer of repentance, but she refused. So, I drove her out of the church and did not allow her to attend meetings anymore. Under my pressure, Sister Zhang, when her elder sister traveled more than forty li to preach God’s end-time gospel to her, was so frightened that she hid herself and did not dare to serve her sister even a meal. Afterward, I still forced her to offer a prayer of repentance. This made her feel so wronged that she could not speak but only shed tears silently. Later, two out-of-town sisters came to my home and said to me, “The Lord has come. Woe to those who do not accept…” I said contemptuously, “The Lord has come? Have you seen him? Woe to whom? I think that a great disaster is hanging over your head!” With these words, I drove them out. After that, of nearly one hundred people who preached the end-time gospel to me, some were brushed aside by me, some were angrily rebuked by me, some received violent pushes, mockeries, and taunts, even teases and humiliations from me, and still some were driven away by my threat to call the police.
By 2000, our church had completely lost the normal church life. Guarding against “the Lightning” and talking about the “rumors about the Lightning” occupied most of the meeting time, and there was no supply of the word of life at all. The more we guarded against “the Lightning,” the smaller the number in the church became. The brothers and sisters became weaker and weaker, and there were more and more people who dozed during sermons. The leaders committed sexual immorality and were engaged in disputes, and the brothers and sisters intrigued against one another and formed factions among themselves. The church had already fallen apart. In the autumn of 2001, though I frenziedly resisted “the Eastern Lightning” and stepped up efforts to seal the church, more than half of the people in our church, including my wife and my sister-in-law, accepted “the Eastern Lightning” behind my back. Only I was kept in the dark. When I knew the truth, “flowers had fallen off” and I could do nothing. Even so, I still frenziedly shouted a slogan: “Even if I am the only one left, I will not accept ‘the Eastern Lightning’!” At that time, I knew that the church had completely lost the working of the Holy Spirit. When preaching, we depended solely on the strength of the flesh, and when singing, we only sang sad songs like “The Desolation of God’s Temple.” The atmosphere was so dead. Many times, I knelt down before the Lord, wept bitterly, and prayed to him to revive the church, but I got no “answer.” Then, I fell into deep thinking: “What is ‘Lightning’? Is it really like what is said in the rumors? Wherein is it ‘cultish’? Wherein is it ‘heretical’? It doesn’t matter that I cannot go to heaven, but what about so many brothers and sisters? The Lord says that the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Now, of the Lord’s sheep, some have returned to the world, some have joined ‘the Lightning,’ and the rest have become so passive and weak that they cannot pick themselves up. If this continues, how can I give an account to the Lord when he comes? To get the Lord’s sheep back and to stop the brothers and sisters from being ‘deceived,’ even if I have to climb up the mountain of swords or plunge into the sea of flames, I will venture into it. I must ‘personally go into the tiger’s den’ to bring the whole thing to light.”
II. By Listening to the Fellowship and Asking for Evidence, I Saw Through the Trick; Through Reading God’s Word, I Solved the Riddle and Regained the Salvation.
In April 2002, I took the initiative to greet the people of “the Eastern Lightning” and invited them to my home for a fellowship. The one who fellowshipped with me was Sister Jiao, who was once in our church. She fellowshipped about the three stages of God’s work, beginning with the fact that God’s six-thousand-year management plan is divided into three ages. And she said, “In each age, the place God works in, the people God works on, the way of God’s working, and the nature God expresses are all different, but no matter how God works, the purpose of his work does not change, and it is always for saving mankind….” Honestly speaking, Sister Jiao fellowshipped for more than two hours, yet my mind was almost a blank and I did not take her words to heart at all. In the end, before she finished her fellowship, I said, “Stop here. I accept! Just give me the book.” In fact, I wanted to read the book not for the purpose of seeking the truth but to see whether it contained a magic drug. Sister Jiao gave me a book called Judgment Begins from the House of God. I read several pages, and she asked me what I felt about it. To be honest, at that time I was neither moved nor shocked but thought to myself, “It doesn’t seem to be God’s word at all!” So I squeezed out a word: “It does not seem to be as enjoyable as the Bible.” Sister Jiao said, “You still have many notions inside. You have to drop yourself and sincerely ask God to inspire you and enlighten you. God searches minds and hearts. If you don’t have a right attitude and intent when reading God’s word, the Holy Spirit will not move you.” I did not take her words to heart but only nodded mindlessly. However, although I did not take in much of the content of that fellowship, I found a big issue—the facts did not agree with the publicity material. So I started to doubt that material, The Inside Story of the Eastern Lightning. “The material says: The book of ‘the Eastern Lightning’ contains a magic drug, and once one reads it, he will be bewitched. Those people have evil spirits in them, and once one listens to their fellowship, he will be deceived into joining them. Well, today I personally listen to their fellowship and personally read the book of ‘the Eastern Lightning,’ but how come I’m not bewitched? How come I’m not controlled by them or deceived into joining them once I listen? The material also says: ‘The Eastern Lightning’ is an underworld organization. If one joins it, he cannot withdraw. Those who have withdrawn either have their legs broken or their noses cut off. However, there are also some brothers and sisters around me who once accepted ‘the Eastern Lightning’ and were won back by me afterward, and I have not seen that they lost their limbs or noses because of leaving ‘the Eastern Lightning.’ Besides, ‘the Eastern Lightning’ has been preached in China for many years. If what the material says were true, wouldn’t there be thousands upon thousands of ‘victims’ throughout China? If that were the case, could they not report them to the police? Then how could the news media ignore such major appalling cases? How come we have never heard or seen the radio or TV coverage of them?” After much thought, I gradually realized that what the material said were all lies of cheats, words of demons. Today, as I look back to those lies, I find that they are not very clever and can be seen through as long as one gives them some thoughts and pays more attention to realities. However, the small inferior tricks that the cheats performed cheated me for as long as four years, so that I almost went to hell with the cheats and became fuel in the lake of fire.
The fact I had personally experienced made me much more awake. The three-stage work that Sister Jiao fellowshipped about recurred to me, scene after scene. I began to feel that her fellowship was reasonable, yet I still felt unassured. So, I asked the Lord for evidence. I prayed, “O Lord Jesus! I am an ordinary mortal like a maggot or a worm. I don’t know you, much less understand your intention; but I do not dare to resist you anymore. Today I accept the third stage of your work and your new name the Almighty. If it is wrong for me to accept, then let me die within three days with my body bursting open like Judas, so that my death can prove that this is not your work, and can also make those ‘deceived’ turn back.” After the prayer, I wrote a note to state this matter. However, three days passed, and nothing happened. Then, I started to read God’s word seriously.
I righted my mentality and came before God to enjoy God’s word with fear and admiration. When I read this piece of God’s word, “The ‘Savior’ Has Already Returned on the ‘White Cloud,’” tears blurred my eyes. God says: “I was once called Jehovah, and I was once called Messiah by people. And people once called me the Savior Jesus out of love for me. Today, I am no longer Jehovah or Jesus whom people knew before but the God who has returned in the end time and who will end the age and the God Godself who arises from the ends of the earth filled with all my nature and full of authority, honor, and glory. People have never contacted or known me and never known my nature. From the creation of the world until today, no one has ever seen me. This is the God who appears to people in the end time and yet who is hidden among them, living among them true and real, like the burning sun and the flaming fire, full of power and filled with authority. No one and no thing will not be judged in my word. No one and no thing will not be purified by the burning fire. In the end, all nations will be blessed because of my word and will be crushed because of my word. I will make all people in the end time see that I am the returned Savior and I am the Almighty God who conquers all mankind. And I will make all people see that I was once man’s sin offering, but in the end time I become the fire of the burning sun that burns all things and the Sun of righteousness that reveals all things. This is my work in the end time.” Later, I also read these words of God: “‘God’ and ‘man’ cannot be mentioned in the same breath. His substance and his work are most unfathomable to man and most incomprehensible to man. If God does not personally work and speak among men, man can by no means understand God’s will. In that case, even those who dedicate their whole life to God cannot receive God’s approval. If God does not work, no matter how well man may work, it is in vain, because God’s thoughts are always higher than man’s thoughts and God’s wisdom cannot be fathomed by any man. So, I say that all those who ‘see through’ God and God’s work are incapable ones and arrogant and ignorant men. Man should not limit God’s work. Besides, man cannot limit God’s work. Man is even smaller than an ant in God’s eyes. How could he fathom God’s work? Aren’t all those who repeatedly say, ‘God does not work like this. God does not work like that’ and ‘God is like this. God is like that,’ the ones who speak arrogant words? We all should know that fleshly men are all ones corrupted by satan and they resist God by nature and cannot be equal with God, much less give counsel on God’s work. It is God’s own work how he leads man. Man should just obey and should not have this or that kind of opinion, because man is only dust.” “Yes! How can man fathom the things of God? How can man see through God’s work? Who can be God’s counselor? But today, I, a person smaller than an ant, have the audacity to condemn God’s work at will. I am too devoid of self-knowledge!” God’s words made me feel too ashamed to show my face.
The Almighty God is precisely the returned Jesus. Only after reading God’s word and personally experiencing these facts was I convinced in heart and in mouth.
When I came before God and recalled my past, I hated myself all the more. I asked myself why I blindly condemned God’s end-time work without seeking, why I expected God’s return every day but was so blind and foolish, why I believed in God yet resisted God, why I trusted in myself so much and was so arrogant, and why I, who had believed in God and served God for many years, became a Pharisee infamous throughout history. I felt grief-stricken and extremely remorseful, but I could not get the answers. Later, God’s word untied the knot in my heart and caused me to know myself. God’s word says: “Do you want to know the root of the Pharisees’ resisting Jesus? Do you want to know the substance of the Pharisees? They were full of fancies about Messiah. And they only believed that Messiah would come but did not pursue the truth of life. So they are still waiting for Messiah today, because they do not know the way of life and do not know what is the way of truth. As they are so foolish and so ignorant, do you think that they will receive God’s blessing? Can they see Messiah? They resisted Jesus, because they did not know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s working, because they did not know the way of truth from Jesus’ mouth, and even more because they did not know Messiah. Because they had never seen Messiah or stayed with Messiah, they all made the mistake of holding onto the name of Messiah vainly but resisting the substance of Messiah unscrupulously. And the substance of these Pharisees is stubborn, arrogant, and disobedient to the truth. The principle of their believing in God is: Regardless of how high is the way you preach or how great is your authority, as long as you are not called Messiah, you are not Christ. Isn’t their such viewpoint very absurd and very ridiculous? Let me ask you again, ‘You do not have any knowledge about Jesus, so won’t you very easily repeat the mistake the Pharisees made at that time? ...’” Yes, I frenziedly resisted God’s end-time work without seeking or investigating it. I readily believed the lies of cheats without fellowshipping with any believer in the Almighty God face to face. I held on to “justification through faith” and did not seek the direction of the Holy Spirit’s working although our church had become so desolate, disunited, and devoid of the working of the Holy Spirit. I firmly believed “as long as you are not called Jesus, you are not Christ,” but I never knew God’s substance and even regarded myself as one who was most after God’s heart and most worthy of being taken up to the third heaven by God to receive the reward. I was so foolish, stubborn, arrogant, and disobedient to the truth; how could I not resist God? How could I know God’s present work? God! In the past, I spoke at random and condemned your work at will on the platform. I was so poor and blind that I did not know you are the returned Jesus and thus slandered and blasphemed you. God! I abused, mocked, and humiliated the brothers and sisters who preached the end-time salvation, but they bore it silently. They were the Abel who was killed, the Jacob who was persecuted, and the Isaac who was offered up, while I was the Cain who killed, the Esau who persecuted his brother, and the Ishmael who was like a wild donkey. I bitterly hate my past but cannot make up for it. I only hope that brothers and sisters can gain revelation from my personal experience. May brothers and sisters take warning from my past and not repeat my mistake anymore. God’s word says: “Jesus’ coming again is a great salvation to those who can accept the truth, but it is a mark of being condemned to those who cannot accept the truth. You should choose your own path. Do not do things of blaspheming the Holy Spirit and rejecting the truth. Do not be ignorant and arrogant people. You should be ones who obey the guidance of the Holy Spirit and thirst for and seek the truth. Only this will be good to you. I advise that you should walk the path of believing in God carefully and cautiously. Do not make judgments casually, much less believe in God casually and carelessly. You should know that a believer in God should at least have a meek heart and a heart of fearing God. Those who hear the truth but sneer at it are all foolish and ignorant people. Those who hear the truth but casually make judgments about it or condemn it are all arrogant people. Every believer in Jesus is not qualified to curse or condemn others. You all should be ones who have sense and accept the truth.”
Dear brothers and sisters, I once went into “the Eastern Lightning” to taste personally, for fear that I would take the wrong way and lead the brothers and sisters into a ditch, and thus be unable to give an account to the Lord. I also once asked the Lord for evidence. Before the facts I personally experienced and before the Almighty God’s word like a sharp two-edged sword, I saw clearly that “the Eastern Lightning” I had frenziedly resisted for four years was actually my long-expected Savior Jesus. Coming out of notions and deceptions, I am desperately anxious to tell all the brothers and sisters who are sincerely expecting the Lord’s return this real fact, this great good news: The Savior Jesus has indeed come to the world! My dearly beloved brothers and sisters! Do not believe those lies of cheats anymore. If we hand our lives over to the makers of lies and rumors, won’t we ruin our lives? If we do not drop our notions immediately, won’t we fall right into the scheme of the evil one and fall into the darkness and thus miss the last chance to be saved by God? Brothers and sisters, time is so short. There is only a little left. Wake up quickly! How pitiful it is to be cast away!