25. After Comprehending the Truth of Discerning Between the True Christ and False Christs, I No Longer Blindly Put Up My Guard
By Xiangwang, Malaysia
From a young age I’ve followed along with my mother, a church deacon and Sunday school teacher, in believing in the Lord. I often attended gatherings and read the Bible with her and, as I got older, I moved from the children’s group into the teen group.
The pastor responsible for giving sermons to the teen group was a doctor of theology. He often told us that being a pastor was not easy and that without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it was very difficult to persevere in the work of the pastorship. We therefore idolized him, believing him to be one in whom God delighted and who received inspiration from the Holy Spirit. When he would preach to us, he would often use two verses from the Bible: “And then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ; or, see, he is there; believe him not: For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect” (Mark 13:21–22). He would tell us that there would be many false Christs appearing in the last days and would exhort us to always be careful and not just casually go and listen to other sermons. Especially for those of us who did not yet have a strong foundation in the Bible and whose statures were too small, he said it was best for us not to listen to, read or investigate any sermon preached by anyone from another denomination, so as to avoid being deceived.
Besides this, the pastor would also often mention certain churches that we absolutely had to avoid at all costs, including Eastern Lightning, and he related to us some of the negative publicity that was circulating about Eastern Lightning. When the members of my group heard this, they all said that they would avoid that church. The pastor would often preach to us that, as long as we often read the Bible, maintained our regular attendance at gatherings and regularly performed spiritual devotions, confessed and repented our sins to the Lord every day and kept a patient watch at all times, then when the Lord came we would be raptured into the heavenly kingdom. I strongly believed in what he said, didn’t dare to casually go listen to sermons preached in other churches, and acted in exact accordance with the pastor’s instructions. As such, I felt I had already secured a position among those awaiting the Lord’s return.
One day in August 2017, Brother Hu from our church suddenly came to visit me at school and said to me in a very earnest tone, “I’ve got something very important to tell you. It seems as though your mom and your sister are now believing in Eastern Lightning.” I was stunned when I heard this news, and I thought to myself: “Isn’t the pastor always exhorting us not to have anything to do with Eastern Lightning? How could my mom start believing in it?” Brother Hu then told me about some of the negative publicity surrounding Eastern Lightning, and the more I heard, the more afraid and panicked I became. I couldn’t stop thinking: “What can I do? What can I do?” Just then, Brother Hu said, “Hurry home and ask your mom if she really has started to believe in Eastern Lightning. But when you ask her, pretend that you don’t know anything. First listen to what she has to say, then give me a recording of your conversation.” Because I was afraid that my mom had gone astray, I agreed.
Sure enough, no sooner had I returned home than my mom told me that the Lord Jesus had returned as Almighty God and that, in the last days, Almighty God was expressing many words and was performing the work of judgment beginning from the house of God in order to purify and change man, and to save man utterly from the bonds of sin. She went on to say that this was the last stage of God’s work to save mankind and that, if we missed it, we would not have another chance to be saved. She said that she hoped I would also make haste to look into God’s work of the last days and attend a gathering with The Church of Almighty God. When she’d said this, I immediately thought of the negative publicity concerning Eastern Lightning that Brother Hu had told me about and felt a strong aversion to what she was saying. But in order to secretly record our conversation, I restrained my feelings and continued to listen to her.
The next day, my mom asked me to go online for a gathering with people from The Church of Almighty God, but I immediately cut her off and said, “Mom, I won’t attend their gatherings, and you shouldn’t attend them anymore either. You seem to be leaning more and more toward them.” My mom gently replied, “Since I’ve been attending gatherings and fellowshiping with brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God, I’ve gained new insight into and understanding of God’s words in the Bible, and I feel certain in my heart that their fellowships are filled with light and that they arise from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. What’s more, the words of Almighty God have resolved much of my confusion, and I am now absolutely certain that The Church of Almighty God definitely has the work of the Holy Spirit and that the words expressed by Almighty God are the truth….” At that point, my mind was filled with notions about Eastern Lightning and I simply couldn’t accept anything my mom said. Afterward, I went online to show my mom some of the negative publicity surrounding Eastern Lightning that Brother Hu had told me about, and I said, “You see, mom? It’s all stated very clearly here online, and our pastor often tells us not to look into Eastern Lightning as well. Please tell me you won’t have anything to do with them from now on.”
My mom didn’t look at the negative publicity, but just continued to speak patiently to me, saying, “My dear daughter, the Chinese Communist government is an atheist organization that despises the appearance and work of God and despises anyone who has a religious belief. In China, Protestantism and Catholicism are condemned by the CCP government as cults, and the Bible is condemned as being a cultist book, with countless copies burned or destroyed, and now it is even banned from being sold in China. Many Protestants and Catholics have been arrested, persecuted and imprisoned by the CCP government, and some have even been maimed or killed. International human rights groups and western nations have vehemently denounced the Chinese Communist government many times. Can you really believe the words of such a God-opposing satanic regime? Is it qualified to assess and condemn the appearance and work of God? And why don’t the pastors and elders allow us to look into God’s work of the last days? Do their actions conform to the Lord’s teachings? The Lord Jesus told us, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 5:3). We can see from the Lord’s words that the Lord wants us to be open-minded seekers who actively investigate when we hear someone testifying the Lord’s return, for only then can we welcome the return of the Lord. My dear daughter, as believers in the Lord, why is it that we listen to the opinions of other people but don’t heed the Lord’s words? If we believe what the pastor says and the negative publicity released by that satanic regime, and we become passive and guarded when hearing someone testifying the Lord’s return, does that accord with the Lord’s will? By doing so, aren’t we going against the Lord’s words? The Jewish believers at the time of Jesus did not seek or look into the Lord’s words and work, but instead blindly believed the rumors fabricated about the Lord by the Pharisees, and so they resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus and finally they crucified Him upon the cross and were thus punished by God. We must learn the lesson of the failure of the Jews and avoid missing our chance to welcome the Lord. It is prophesied many times in Revelation: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2, 3). From this verse we can see that, when the Lord returns, He will also express His words, and if we wish to welcome His return, then we must learn to listen to God’s voice. Only by reading and investigating the words of Almighty God will you know whether or not they are the voice of God.” Having said her piece, my mom picked up a book entitled Utterances of Christ of the Last Days and handed it to me.
I looked at the book in her hands but didn’t take it. Because I still couldn’t accept what she was saying, I just said, “I don’t want to read it,” then turned and went to my bedroom.
Sitting at my desk, I recovered my calm and reflected on what my mom had just said. I thought to myself: “What mom said actually wasn’t wrong. Eastern Lightning testifies that the Lord has returned, yet I have just blindly believed what the pastor says and believed the negative publicity put out about Eastern Lightning by the Chinese Communist government without having even read the words expressed by Almighty God. I suppose that was a rather arbitrary decision on my part. If Almighty God truly is the Lord Jesus returned and I refuse to accept Him, then I will miss my chance to welcome the Lord. But the pastor always preaches to us that false Christs will appear in the last days, and if I happen to go astray, won’t my belief in the Lord all be for nothing?” My heart swayed back and forth, and I just didn’t know whom to believe, so I called on the Lord: “O Lord! I’ve always yearned for Your return but now I’m afraid of being deceived by the false Christs that appear in the last days. O Lord! People from Eastern Lightning are now testifying that You have returned, so if You truly have returned as Almighty God, then I ask that You enlighten and guide me, and allow me to recognize Your voice.”
The next day, my mom encouraged me again to attend one of her gatherings. After some hesitation, I decided to go online and listen to what they had to say. When the gathering had just begun, I felt very agitated and I didn’t really listen to what the brothers and sisters were fellowshiping about. Later on, Brother Zhang gave fellowship about aspects of the truth such as God’s management plan to save mankind, the mystery of God’s three stages of work as well as the work of judgment God performs in the last days; my heart was drawn in and the more I listened, the fresher and newer it all felt. Although I had previously attended Bible study classes, the preachers had only talked about the miraculous nature of God’s work by mentioning the miracles He performed, or else talked about how saints of the past had obeyed God to accomplish God’s commissions, and so on. They had never once mentioned anything about God’s management plan to save mankind. Brother Zhang’s fellowship allowed me to gain some understanding regarding God’s work of managing mankind; these were all things I’d never before understood despite having read the Bible for so many years. By the time the gathering was over, I’d changed my mind. I decided that I would first investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days and that I would delete the recording I had made of my conversation with my mom.
During our gathering on the third day, we discussed the difference between the wise virgins and the foolish virgins. Brother Zhang said, “The wise virgins are wise because they yearn for the appearance of God and know how to listen to God’s voice. They are intelligent, possess caliber, and they are people who love and seek the truth. Consequently, when they hear the news that the Lord has come, they actively seek and investigate—people like this cannot be deceived by false Christs. The foolish virgins do not love the truth, they pay no attention to listening to God’s voice, nor do they know how; they are confused and have no discernment and, concerning the coming of the Lord, they can only cling to their own notions and imaginings to resist and condemn God’s work. For example, some brothers and sisters don’t place importance on listening to the Lord’s words in their belief in Him, but instead they believe what the pastors and elders say. Whatever the pastors and elders say, that is what they believe and, although they believe in the Lord in name, in truth they follow and obey the pastors and elders. Then there are some brothers and sisters who focus solely on blindly guarding against false Christs, and they don’t seek or investigate even when they hear someone spreading the news of the Lord’s return—isn’t this like giving up eating for fear of choking? Are people like this capable of welcoming the Lord’s return?”
Brother Zhang’s words gave me a sudden burst of insight, and I thought, “That’s right! For such a long time now, I’ve believed in what my pastor preaches, and I haven’t looked into God’s work of the last days. If Almighty God truly is the Lord Jesus returned, then have I not been exposed as a foolish virgin? The Lord Jesus said, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you’ (Matthew 7:7). I’ve always looked forward to welcoming the Lord and now The Church of Almighty God is testifying that the Lord has returned. I should be a wise virgin and actively seek and investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days, for only that accords with God’s will.” And so, I decided to carry on looking into Almighty God’s work of the last days.
At a gathering the next day, I asked, “Brother, you fellowshiped yesterday that the key to being a wise virgin is to focus on listening to God’s voice. I feel like I now have a path to follow to investigate God’s work of the last days, but my pastor often says in his sermons that false Christs will appear in the last days to deceive people, so how should we discern between the true Christ and false Christs? I don’t understand this aspect of the truth, so I was wondering if you could share your fellowship with me?”
Brother Zhang said, “The question you’ve asked is crucial as it relates directly to whether or not we can welcome the Lord’s return. As long as we can understand the truth about discerning between the true Christ and false Christs, then no matter how false Christs may try to impersonate God, we will remain undeceived by them. In relation to how to discern between the true Christ and false Christs, the Lord says, ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:23–24). The Lord’s words tell us clearly that false Christs in the last days will mostly use signs and wonders to deceive people. Because false Christs are devoid of truth and their essence is that of evil spirits and demons, they can only imitate the past work of God and perform some simple signs and wonders, or else misinterpret the Bible to confound people with arcane theories. Only Christ is the truth, the way and the life, and only He can express the truth, show us the way and give us life. All who call themselves Christ but who cannot express the truth, are certainly false Christs and impostors, and this is the principle by which we can possess basic discrimination of false Christs.”
After listening to the brother’s fellowship, I carefully read this passage of Scripture again and then it suddenly all became clear: “Yes, it really does say in the Bible that false Christs will perform great signs and wonders to deceive people. So then how could those pastors who are so well-versed in the Bible not have seen this principle by which we can discern false Christs?”
Brother Zhang then sent over a passage of Almighty God’s words: “If, during the present day, there is to emerge a person who is able to display signs and wonders, cast out demons, heal the sick, and perform many miracles, and if this person claims that they are Jesus who has come, then this would be a counterfeit produced by evil spirits which imitate Jesus. Remember this! God does not repeat the same work. Jesus’ stage of work has already been completed, and God will never again undertake that stage of work. … If, during the last days, God still displayed signs and wonders, and still cast out demons and healed the sick—if He did exactly the same as Jesus—then God would be repeating the same work, and the work of Jesus would have no significance or value. Thus, God carries out one stage of work in every age. Once each stage of His work has been completed, it is soon imitated by evil spirits, and after Satan begins to follow on the heels of God, God changes to a different method. Once God has completed a stage of His work, it is imitated by evil spirits. You must be clear about this” (“Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Brother Zhang gave fellowship, saying, “We can see from the words of Almighty God that God is an ever new and never old God, and He has never done the same work twice. Each time God launches a new stage of work, He expresses new words and gives man new paths of practice. When the Lord Jesus came, for example, He did not repeat the work of promulgating the laws and commandments, but instead He used that work as a basis to perform the work of redeeming all mankind, and He gave the people of that time new ways to practice. For example, He taught people to confess and repent, to love their enemies, to learn to forgive, to love one another, and so on. Now Almighty God has come in the last days and He does not express the way of repentance all over again, but instead He uses the work of redemption as a basis upon which to perform the work of judging and purifying man through words. During this stage of work, God does not perform signs and wonders, but instead expresses His words practically in order to reveal our corrupt dispositions and to judge our unrighteousness. At the same time, God bestows on us all the truths we need to attain true salvation and He enables us to understand the path to dispositional change, through which we can cast off our corrupt dispositions and be led by God into His kingdom. The majority of false Christs, on the other hand, are possessed by evil spirits and are all exceptionally arrogant and absurd. They are unable to begin new ages, neither can they bring ages to an end, much less express the truth to show people the path to dispositional change. All they can do is imitate the past work of the Lord Jesus and perform a few simple signs and wonders to deceive people. However, as for the great miracles which the Lord Jesus performed, such as bringing the dead back to life and feeding five thousand with two fish and five loaves of bread, false Christs are simply unable to imitate these deeds, for only God possesses such authority and power, and false Christs could never achieve such things.”
Only through the brother’s fellowship did I come to understand that God’s work is ever new and never old, and false Christs are only capable of imitating God’s past work and performing a few simple signs and wonders. They are incapable, however, of doing God’s work, and as long as we understand the principles behind God’s work, then we will not be deceived. In the past, I had always been afraid of being deceived and so I’d dared not listen to any sermon given by Eastern Lightning, much less seek and investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days. Instead, I cloistered myself in the church, listened to sermons there and praised the Lord, thinking that was the safest way to go, and that I would be reunited with the Lord in the future. Thinking about it now, however, being so passive and guarded and not proactively seeking the Lord’s utterances in the last days had really made me prone to missing my chance to welcome the Lord.
Brother Zhang continued his fellowship, saying, “God is the truth, the way and the life, and besides discerning between the true Christ and false Christs by the principles of God’s work, we can also discern them by the essence of Christ.” At that point, Brother Zhang sent over a passage of God’s words: “God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the essence of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but also the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh cannot be supplanted by just any man, but is a flesh that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those who impersonate Christ will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the essence of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Brother Zhang went on with his fellowship, saying, “We can see from God’s words that Christ is the incarnation of the Spirit of God—He possesses a divine essence, He performs the work of God, He expresses the disposition of God, He can express the truth to supply and shepherd man at any time and in any place, and only Christ can perform the work of saving man. The Lord Jesus was Christ, for example, and His appearance and work brought the Age of Law to a close and began the Age of Grace. He also spoke His words to bestow mankind with the way of repentance, to enable them to know clearly God’s will and requirements and to give them a way to follow when difficulties arose. Through the words of the Lord Jesus, man understood how to pray to the Lord, how to get along with one another, how to forgive each other, and so on. Moreover, the Lord Jesus expressed His disposition of loving-kindness and mercy, He healed the sick, cast out demons and bestowed endless grace on man. Ultimately, He was crucified in order to redeem mankind, thus completing the work to redeem all mankind and saving us from the bonds and fetters of the law, as well as sparing us from the danger of being condemned and put to death for violating the law. These are just some of the things the Lord Jesus did, and no one else could have done them in His stead. From the work and words of the Lord Jesus, we can see that He is the truth, the way and the life. Similarly, God has once again become flesh in the last days and has ended the Age of Grace and begun the Age of Kingdom. He has uttered millions of words, He performs the work of judgment and purification, and He expresses the righteous disposition of God that is majestic, wrathful and unoffendable. The words spoken by Almighty God not only unveil the mystery of God’s entire management plan and the end and final destination of man, but they also expound in perfect clarity the truths we need to be purified and to attain true salvation according to our needs. For example, He explains how Satan corrupts man, the truth of man’s corruption at the hands of Satan, how God judges and purifies man’s corrupt dispositions, how man should believe in God and obey God, what kind of person God loves and what kind of person He detests and weeds out, how we should pursue in order to be made perfect by God, and so on. Through experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, we see clearly the essence and root of our corruption by Satan and we come to understand God’s righteous, holy and unoffendable disposition. We then cannot help but fall to the ground before God in true remorse, we become more and more reverential and obedient toward God and, gradually, we cast off our satanic corrupt dispositions, free ourselves from the bonds of sin and achieve the true salvation of God. The utterances and work of Almighty God bring us the truth, the way and the life—Almighty God is God Himself and He is Christ become flesh. False Christs do not possess the essence of God and they cannot express the truth, much less perform the work of saving mankind. They can only make specious pronouncements to deceive and harm people. When someone listens to them, they not only obtain no supply whatsoever, but furthermore, their hearts become darker and darker, sink lower and lower, they have nowhere to turn to, and they inevitably end up being devoured by Satan. Therefore, we are able to ascertain from God’s utterances, work and the disposition God expresses whether He is the incarnate Christ.”
After listening to the words of Almighty God and the brother’s fellowship, I thoroughly understood the truth of how to discern between the true Christ and false Christs. Only Christ is the truth, the way and the life, and only Christ can express the truth and perform the work of God Himself. All who call themselves Christ but who are incapable of expressing the truth and who cannot perform the work of saving man are false Christs. I had finally found the way forward and was no longer blindly guarded and passive for fear of being deceived by false Christs. Thanks be to God!
After that, Brother Zhang gave me fellowship on other truths, such as the mystery of the incarnation, the difference between God’s work and the work of man, the inside story of the Bible, and more. The more I listened, the more satiated I felt, and I looked forward every day to attending gatherings with the brothers and sisters. Each time a gathering ended, my mother and I would discuss the new light we had attained through the gathering, and slowly, I came to have some understanding of God’s work of the last days. After a period of seeking and investigating, I became certain that Almighty God was indeed the Lord Jesus returned. I then began to spread the gospel and to tell the news of the Lord’s return to even more people who longed for the appearance of God.
Later, my mom and I went to our old church to attend Friday worship. After the assembly was over, to our surprise, the pastor began to play a video that laid false charges against The Church of Almighty God. When I saw the fabricated rumors and the slander they’d leveled against The Church of Almighty God, I became angry, and I thought: “The Church of Almighty God is nothing like they say at all. They’ve had no contact with The Church of Almighty God and neither have they investigated God’s work of the last days. How can they so baselessly and arbitrarily judge the work of God?”
After the video was over, the pastor, two deacons and two church council members asked my mom and me to stay behind. The pastor asked us, “Are you two now believers in Almighty God?” We replied, “Yes.”
The moment we said this, one of the deacons suddenly sprang to his feet and, pointing at my mom, said ferociously, “So you now believe in Almighty God? From tomorrow, you are no longer permitted to teach Sunday school. Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll come to your home and take back the church’s money.”
My mom said, “You can take it whenever you like.”
The pastor asked angrily, “The entire religious world resists and condemns The Church of Almighty God. Why would you persist in having contact with them?”
My mom retorted, saying, “Pastor, does the religious world possess the truth? Did the Lord Jesus ever say that only by following the religious world can we welcome the Lord? When the Lord Jesus appeared and performed His work all those years ago, the Jewish leaders not only refused to seek or investigate His work themselves, but they also stopped believers from accepting it, and even made up rumors about the Lord Jesus, frantically resisting, judging and blaspheming Him. In the end, they offended God’s disposition and were thus cursed and punished by God. If we go by what you say, that any way the religious world resists and condemns is not the true way, then would that not mean that you are denying even the work of the Lord Jesus? You refuse to seek or investigate God’s work of the last days because the religious world resists and condemns The Church of Almighty God—does this accord with the Lord’s words? As the pastor and deacons of the church, why do you just arbitrarily condemn and judge Almighty God’s work of the last days without even bothering to look into it? Through reading many of Almighty God’s words, by seeing that Almighty God’s words are the truth and that they are the voice of God, we have become certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned.” To my surprise, they showed a contemptuous disregard for what my mom had said and didn’t accept it at all.
My mom opened an app on her phone and read Almighty God’s words to them. One of the church council members then spoke very arrogantly and made some blasphemous comments about Almighty God. My mom said angrily, “You are so unbelievably arrogant. These words are the truth—can you not recognize it? Can you not understand the voice of God when you hear it? Are you really God’s sheep?”
With mirthless smiles, they stared at us haughtily. The pastor then said arrogantly, “The One we wait for is the Lord Jesus who has nail wounds in His hands and who comes with the appearance of a Jew. Apart from the Lord Jesus, we won’t accept anything, even if what Almighty God expresses is the truth.” Seeing how stubborn they were being, my mom and I gave up trying to talk to them. I saw that their behavior was exactly the same as that of the Pharisees who had resisted the Lord Jesus; they believed in God but they didn’t seek the truth, nor did they focus on listening for God’s voice. Instead, they were just arrogant and conceited, they stubbornly clung to their own notions and imaginings and they arbitrarily judged and resisted God’s work—they were indeed the ones who appeared to serve God but who actually resisted Him.
The pastor then threatened us, saying, “We’ll give you one month to reconsider. If you still persist in your belief in Almighty God in a month’s time, I’ll expel you from our church.”
I said indignantly, “No need to wait a month. Just expel us now. Having spent this time seeking and investigating God’s work of the last days, we’re already certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned. We have finally heard God’s voice, so even if you don’t expel us, we won’t be coming back to attend assemblies in this church anyway.”
The pastor lowered his voice and said slyly, “That won’t do. If we expel you now, what will the brothers and sisters think of us? They’ll say that we expelled you just for attending some gatherings online, and then we’ll look totally heartless. In a month’s time, we’ll tell the brothers and sisters in our church that we’ve gone to great lengths to counsel you and have given you more than enough time to reconsider, but in the end you persisted in believing in Almighty God and decided to leave the church, and only then did we expel you.”
Hearing the pastor say this, I felt disgusted, and I didn’t want to say one more word to them. I then started to walk out, pulling my mom along with me. Just as we were leaving, the pastor gave us a warning: “It’s up to you whether you believe in Almighty God or not, but I won’t allow you to have any contact with the brothers and sisters in our church anymore.”
When we left the church, it was already past one in the morning. As I thought back over what had just happened, I just couldn’t believe that the pastor, the preacher whom we’d always venerated for his morality and virtue could behave in this way. Just then, God’s words came to mind: “There are those who read the Bible in grand churches and recite it all day long, yet not one among them understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one among them is able to know God; still less can any one among them accord with God’s will. They are all worthless, vile people, each standing on high to lecture God. They willfully oppose God even as they carry His banner. Claiming faith in God, still they eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such people are devils that devour the soul of man, head demons that deliberately get in the way of those trying to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks impeding those who seek God. They may appear of ‘sound constitution,’ but how are their followers to know that they are none other than antichrists who lead people to stand against God? How are their followers to know that they are living devils dedicated to the devouring of human souls?” (“All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
I’d always thought that the pastors and elders were servants of the Lord and that they should have the best understanding of the Bible and be most in accord with God’s will. I’d always thought that, when the Lord returned, they would definitely be able to welcome the Lord. I never would have imagined that when the pastor heard the news of the Lord’s return, not only would he not seek or investigate it, but he would also become so arrogant and self-righteous, stubbornly clinging to his notions and imaginings, and that he would judge and condemn both God and God’s work of the last days. He was completely lacking in a God-fearing heart, so much so that under the guise of “protecting the flock,” he obstructed and stopped believers from investigating God’s work of the last days just for the sake of maintaining his own status and livelihood. For those believers who did accept God’s work of the last days, the pastors and elders resorted to intimidating them with threats of expulsion from the church and even made the other brothers and sisters in their church reject them so that they wouldn’t be able to preach the gospel to their brothers and sisters. How sinister and malicious they were! In order to maintain their positions and livelihoods, the Pharisees at the time of Jesus wildly resisted and condemned the Lord and crucified Him upon the cross. The pastors and elders of today have exactly the same essence as the Pharisees—they are the antichrists who have been exposed by God’s work of the last days, and they are the demons who devour the souls of man. At that moment, I finally understood completely that when someone believes in God without knowing God and His work, then no matter how much they appear to suffer or how much they appear to expend themselves, they will always resist God and offend God’s disposition by relying on their arrogant and conceited satanic dispositions.
At that moment, I couldn’t help but express thanks and praise to God in my heart. Thinking back, I had been deceived by the sanctimonious appearance of the pastors and elders and had always idolized them, followed and obeyed them. When it came to the matter of welcoming the Lord, I had even gone along with them and resisted God. God exposing them for what they were allowed me to see, at last, the truth-hating, God-hating demonic essence of the pastors and elders, and I was then able to pass through the labyrinth they had set out for me and welcome the return of the Lord. I truly give thanks to God for saving me, and I wish to pursue the truth in earnest on the path of faith in God so that I may repay God’s love!