71. Almighty God’s Word Awakened My Heart
Anshan City, Liaoning Province
My name is Liu Feng. I had been a deacon of a branch of the True Jesus Church.
It is Almighty God’s great grace and mercy that I can have today. According to my past doings, I didn’t deserve God’s salvation but only His curse. I condemned and blasphemed God’s new work of the last days, and shadowed and spied on its preachers, attempting to stop the spreading of Almighty God’s gospel and put all those preachers to death. However, God didn’t treat me according to my evils but saved me to the utmost. So that, I, who had bitterly struggled in evils, returned to God’s family at last.
In May 1998, we several deacons of the branch went to inspect the work of the churches and were told that a sister was drawn away by the preachers of the “Lightning” and refused to come back despite much exhortation. After a discussion, we decided to send people to spy and go to catch the preachers of the “Lightning” once they came. A wicked plan was thus worked out. And the leading sheep instructed us, “Be careful when you meet the preachers of the ‘Lightning.’ Don’t read their books, or you’ll be deceived. Once you are taken in, you can’t get out. Don’t talk with them face to face. Once their eyes catch yours, you’ll be drawn in by them. They preach a false way. We shouldn’t believe it…”
I, as a deacon of the branch, lost no time to convey those words to the brothers and sisters without missing anything, and stressed again and again, “The True Jesus Church is the only ark in which we can be saved. In 1999, the Lord will surely come. We shall never leave the True Jesus Church.” I also stepped up efforts to “care for” the brothers and sisters, and warned them whenever I saw them, “Don’t receive outsiders. Don’t accept the ‘Eastern Lightning.’” Soon, I became an arch-criminal of resisting God’s new work. To defend the True Jesus Church, I spared no effort. I sent people to spy on and shadow those preachers of Almighty God’s new work of the last days. I thought that I was most faithful to God by doing so.
Soon, I was informed by one who spied that the people of the “Lightning” went to a sister’s house. We immediately acted and resolved to catch them. Sitting in the car, I was very happy, thinking, “It is really a great honor and pride that I can charge forward in stopping the disturbance of the ‘heresy!’” I kept praying in my heart, asking God to curse the preachers of the “Eastern Lightning” and destroy all of them lest the lambs be deceived and the church suffer loss… However, we missed them when we arrived there. I felt it was a great pity!
Later, each time we went to catch them, we failed, ending up with a waste of much money and effort. Hearing that they all were very capable, I wanted to see for myself what they looked like and how capable they were, but I never met them. In early 2000, as the upper leaders’ word “the Lord will surely come in 1999” failed, the church fell into a chaotic state. We went to ask the elder about it, but he said, “You are to blame for believing so sincerely!” So, I lost faith in the word “the True Jesus Church is the only ark in which we can be saved,” and led some people to leave it. During that period, I felt dry in spirit and distressed in heart, so I began to engage in business. Even so, I still blasphemed and resisted Almighty God’s new work of the last days.
One day in August 2001, a sister in our church, suspected of having accepted the “Eastern Lightning,” came to my store with a stranger. I was sure that they were followers of the “Eastern Lightning.” I thought to myself, “I heard before that you are all capable. I didn’t manage to catch you even personally. Today, you come to me yourselves. Well, let me compete with you and see how capable you are.” After I made such a decision, I prayed God to keep me from being “deceived” and help me contend for the true way. To prevail over them, I purposely said in a loud voice in our fellowship, and interposed before the sister finished her words. Seeing this, the sister said to me with a smile, “We cannot obtain the truth by arguing and disputing. Having the truth, one can travel all over the world; having no truth, one cannot take a single step. Let’s start from Matthew, shall we?” I knew I was in the wrong, thinking, “I let you say first, and then I can find a handle.” So I nodded my agreement. The sister asked me, “At the beginning of Matthew it is recorded Jesus’ genealogy. Can Jesus have a genealogy?” Her question reminded me of the word “Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit.” Then I suddenly realized that it was the genealogy of Joseph! I was very shocked, thinking, “I have believed in Jesus so many years. How come I never found this obvious secret? I wanted to calm down and listen to her fellowship so as to find a handle. Yet only one question of hers swayed my mind. They are really capable. O God! What should I do? … Their way is so powerful. I shouldn’t continue to talk with them.” So, I didn’t take in anything of what they said, and began to be unreasonable with them. And I said viciously, “You are disguised as angles of light. The Lord Jesus is too merciful to you. According to your words and doings, you should have long been destroyed and cast into the bottomless pit, never to come out of it…” Then I began to blaspheme Almighty God again, saying vicious words as I wished. In the end, I said fiercely, “If it were not for the sake of XX, I would have already called the police.” With that, I began to drive them away. The sister took out a book of God’s word tearfully and said to me earnestly, “Sister, you can make an investigation and see whether it is God’s word. Don’t believe the rumors anymore, or you’ll lose the opportunity to be saved by God…” Leaving the book to me, they left in tears. However, I was very happy since I thought I had prevailed over them.
Afterward, the sister came to preach to me several more times, but every time I refused her coldly. During that time, outwardly I pretended to be strong, but inside my heart I felt darker and darker. Recalling the past walk and facing the present plight, I felt very distressed. In great sorrow, I came before God and prayed, “O Lord, why is it so hard to believe in God? I can’t discern which way is true and which is false. O Lord! I will stand with You, but where are You now? May You show me the true way…”
On November 30, 2001, a brother (who was the former director of the supervision committee of the head church) came to my store to preach God’s new work of the last days to me. I said angrily, “Even you come to deceive me? I was deceived by the True Jesus Church so much that I can’t even live on. As the saying goes, ‘He that has been bitten by a serpent is afraid of a rope.’ Now I’m afraid even at the sight of a grass-blade.’ It doesn’t matter if I alone take the wrong way, but if so many brothers and sisters in the church are led astray, I can’t bear the responsibility! We used to go catch those of the ‘Lightning’ together, and you also greatly stressed that the ‘Lightning’ was a false way. How come you are also ‘deceived’?” The brother looked ashamed and said, “Ay! I was too foolish before. I blindly believed the rumors. I believed in God but didn’t know God. Because I was afraid of taking a wrong way, I resisted the ‘Lightning’ blindly and became Satan’s accomplice. I had never thought that I would resist the true God. When I think of this, I feel very remorseful. We were hindering and disrupting God’s management, and that was an evil deed. How could we succeed?” He also said, “When Jesus preached His way, Paul did his utmost to resist and oppose Him. After the Lord’s crucifixion and ascension, he persecuted more frenziedly and even arrested the Lord’s disciples. He thought that the way the Lord Jesus preached was beyond the Scripture and Jehovah’s law and was a false way, a heresy, so he dared to slander, blaspheme, and persecute it boldly. Later, on his way to Damascus, he fell after receiving the light and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why persecute you me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you persecute….’” (Acts 9:3-5) It was God’s personal appearing that made him believe that Jesus he persecuted was God. And only after that did he turn around to preach the Lord Jesus’ salvation of the cross. He also testified before the governor, saying, ‘But this I confess to you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.’ (Acts 24:14) Today we preach that Almighty God has done a new work in the last days. Isn’t it the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies that the books of the prophets and Revelation record? But people think that Almighty God’s way is beyond the Bible and Jesus’ teachings, so they dare not accept. Actually, no denomination or person has the true way, and only God can bring the true way. The work of the last days, that is, the work of the Age of Kingdom, is the third stage of God’s work that followed the work of the Age of Law and the work of the Age of Grace. It is done by the same God who did the first two, and is to save men corrupted by Satan through judging and purifying them with the word…”
The brother fellowshipped with me for a day. Although it sounded reasonable, the door of my heart was closed all along. In the end I said to him, “No matter how reasonable your words are and how true the way is, I won’t accept it easily. Today, you give me the book, and I will take it for the sake of our friendship. But it doesn’t prove that I believe in the ‘Lightning.’ I have to investigate before making a decision.”
After the brother left, I immediately prayed before God, “O Lord! May You enlighten me and give me spiritual eyes and lead me to read the book. If it is the true way, I will accept it and hand the brothers and sisters over to You. If not, I will continue to wait for You…” Then I picked up the book and began to read. At first, I didn’t feel it was special. But the more I read it, the more I felt it was good. God’s six-thousand-year management plan and His purpose of saving mankind were clear to me all at once. I had believed in God for so many years, but what I had known was less than what I knew after reading the book for such a short time. After reading through the book of God’s word, I finally came to realize the secret of why people “couldn’t get out” after reading God’s word, as was said in the adverse materials. That was because God’s word is the expression of the truth. Who would give up the truth after gaining it? The leading sheep’s word “When you talk with them (the believers in Almighty God) face to face, once their eyes catch yours, you’ll be drawn in by them” was purely a fabrication and slander. I had unreasonably argued with them face to face many times before but wasn’t “drawn in” by them. I could accept the new work of Almighty God and be subdued all because His word conquered me. It was the great light of God’s word that made me fall down. Before the facts, I saw through the lead sheep’s words again. They were lies to bind people, and were an enormous obstacle that hindered us from gaining the true way. I also knew that it was very right and proper that a believer in God should follow God but not follow men.
Finally, I understood from God’s word what the true way was. I found the true way and had the key for discerning whether a way was true or false and would never be fooled and deceived by men. God says: “… in distinguishing whether or not it is the true way, above all you must look at whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit, after which you must look at whether or not there is the truth in this way.” “If there is truth, then it is able to take man into normal and real experiences; man, furthermore, becomes ever more normal, man’s human sense becomes ever more complete, man’s life in the flesh and the spiritual life become ever more orderly, and man’s emotions become ever more normal. This is the second principle. There is one other principle, which is whether or not man has an increasing knowledge of God, whether or not experiencing such work and truth can inspire a love of God in him, and bring him ever closer to God. In this can be measured whether or not it is the true way. Most fundamental is whether this way is realistic rather than supernatural, and whether or not it is able to provide the life of man. If it conforms to these principles, the conclusion can be drawn that this way is the true way.” “God does not repeat His work, He does not do work that is not realistic, He does not make excessive requirements of man, and He does not do work that is beyond the sense of man. All the work He does is within the scope of man’s normal sense, and does not exceed the sense of normal humanity, and His work is according to man’s normal requirements. If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, man becomes ever more normal, and his humanity becomes ever more normal. Man has an increasing knowledge of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan, and of the essence of man, and he has an ever greater longing for the truth. Which is to say, the life of man grows and grows, and the corrupt disposition of man becomes capable of more and more changes—all of which is the meaning of God becoming the life of man. If a way is incapable of revealing those things that are the essence of man, is incapable of changing the disposition of man, and, moreover, is incapable of bringing him before God or give him a true understanding of God, and even causes his humanity to become ever more lowly and his sense ever more abnormal, then this way must not be the true way, and it may be the work of an evil spirit, or the old way. In short, it cannot be the present work of the Holy Spirit.” (from “Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh)
Almighty God’s words removed the notions that had bound me for so long and dispelled the doubt and fear that I had harbored about Almighty God’s new work of the last days for a long time. From then on, I was certain about the book. It was the little scroll prophesied in Revelation, the truth expressed by the incarnate Almighty God Himself in the last days, and the personal word that the Spirit said to the churches. At that time, I woke up and realized that all my past doings were resistance against Almighty God and all my words were blasphemy against Almighty God. I bitterly hated my ignorance and regretted my evil deeds. I felt terribly ashamed that I had become an antichrist because of my blind trust in the rumors. I was torn with regret and shame and beat my breast and gave myself hard slaps in the face. I knelt before God and sobbed, “O God! I should be cursed. I believed in You but I didn’t know You and followed men. I pushed away Your saving hand so many times. I even slandered, blasphemed, and condemned You and persecuted Your believers. O God! I did such evil deeds, but You still tolerate me like this. Even if I die for You and work for You like an ox, I won’t make up for my indebtedness to You! …”
Dear brothers and sisters, I hope my failure can be a warning to you. It was because I was poor, pitiful, and blind that I resisted Almighty God’s work on me and lost many opportunities to be saved and nearly fell into the eternal chastisement weeping through gritted teeth forever. Today, Almighty God’s work in Mainland China is drawing to an end. I want to cry loudly: Brothers and sisters, don’t be bound by the lies anymore. You should be responsible for your life! Don’t follow any man while believing in God. Only Almighty God can bring us the way of eternal life. Don’t forget the word in Revelation: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” God will judge and reap in the last days, and now is the time for judgment and reaping!