Most followers of the Lord Jesus Christ hear about the Eastern Lightning from their pastors, elders, or preachers, but in actuality no one knows where the Eastern Lightning came from. When it comes to the origin of the Eastern Lightning, everyone has their own opinion: Some people believe it is nothing more than a new denomination in Christianity, others decry it as “heresy” or an “evil cult.” People have these absurd ideas because they don’t know the work of God.
God’s work is forever moving forward. Man doesn’t recognize the principle that God’s work is always new and never old or that the purpose of God’s work is to save man, and what’s more, man has an arrogant and headstrong satanic disposition. That’s why each time God begins new work He will always be met with blasphemy, persecution, and accusations from the religious world that stubbornly clings to the old way. As for those who accept God’s new work and spread the true way, they are heaped with all manner of groundless accusations and foul names. The New Testament of the Bible recorded this truth: In order to save man from the risk of being punished for not being able to keep the law, God became flesh and began the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. At that time, when the Lord Jesus was doing His work in Judea performing many miracles—healing the sick and driving out demons—He bestowed upon the people bountiful graces and He expressed many truths, doing enough to prove that He was truly and completely God Himself, that He was the Messiah as foretold. But the Jewish chief priests and scribes and the Pharisees wouldn’t believe that He was their long-awaited Messiah, and instead slandered Him, judged Him, and convicted the Lord Jesus’ work as “heresy” and a “cult.” It was in Nazareth that the Lord Jesus was raised and began His work, and that is why they gave Him and all His followers the moniker of the “sect of the Nazarenes,” and accused the apostle Paul of being a ringleader (ref. Act 24:5). What does this tell us? Our brothers and sisters who believe in the Lord know that the Lord Jesus’ work in Judea was carried out wholly according to the management plan of God Himself in order to start the Age of Grace and begin the new work of redeeming man. No matter Jew or Gentile, Zealot or Sadducee, anyone truly thirsting for and seeking the true way could obtain absolution by following the Lord Jesus, the one true God. God never needed to nor did He ever establish any denomination, organization, or sect, let alone this “sect of the Nazarenes.” So, the heresy, that is this “sect of the Nazarenes,” is actually a rumor made up to attack and frame the Lord Jesus and condemn His work—a rumor fabricated by the chief priests and scribes and the Pharisees “serving” Jehovah God in the temple. Finally, it was under the deceit and control of these “people serving God” that the entire Jewish people took the Lord Jesus and nailed Him to a cross, offending God’s disposition and incurring God’s punishment, bringing about 2000 years of destruction to Israel.
In the same way, in order to enable man to escape from the cycle of committing sins only to confess them and then to continue on to sin again, to completely cast off the corrupt disposition of Satan, to dispose of his sinful nature and reach holiness, to truly attain God’s salvation, in the last days God has once again become incarnate and has expressed the truth to judge and chastise the corrupt mankind. With His new work, He is thoroughly purifying and saving man. Through the judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement of God’s words, the brothers and sisters who accept God’s gospel of the last days and who keep up with His new work see clearly that the Almighty God who gives these truths in the last days is the return of the Lord Jesus and from deep in their hearts they rejoice and praise, feeling deeply the awesome greatness of being raised up and of His salvation. So, to return God’s love, to allow even more people to be able to follow God’s footsteps and return to the house of God, they go out and tell the good news to all those who have been eagerly awaiting the return of the Lord Jesus. They tell them the Lord Jesus has already become flesh once again and returned to the world, to China in the East, ending the Age of Grace and bringing about the Age of Kingdom. He has begun a new, higher work of judging and cleansing man. They tell them God has now realized chapter 24 verse 27 of the Gospel of Matthew: “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” The truth God brought this time is even higher than before, uncovering the mysteries of His work from creation to the last days, taking all the truths of the cleansing and salvation of humanity and bestowing it upon man, and the brothers and sisters who truly believe in God, in droves they come to the light. And in the last days the time of God’s harvest work is short, the speed is fast, and, like a bolt of lightning, in the span of just over ten years the kingdom gospel of God has spread widely across the Chinese mainland and is expanding to all the countries and regions of the world. And yet, faced with God’s new work which does not accord with man’s notions, those arrogant and self-righteous people from various religious sects stubbornly cling to the old ways. They who cannot keep up with God’s new work not only do not seek or investigate the true way, but instead make a fuss about the biblical prophecy as told by the brothers and sisters who witness God’s work of the last days. They make wild accusations, judging and slandering the Church of Almighty God as the “Eastern Lightning Sect.” And in every way they do exactly as the Judaic religious circles did before, attacking, defaming, and condemning the Lord Jesus’ disciples and apostles as “the sect of the Nazarenes.” That they can oppose and attack God’s work of the last days like this, that they can stop people from following God’s footsteps and obeying His work, is that not exactly just as the Pharisees resisted and condemned Christ before? Is the essence of these actions not simply to hate the truth and blaspheme the Holy Spirit?
If Almighty God did not speak His word and unveil the mysteries, then we would never truly understand what is meant by the prophecy “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west.” Almighty God says: “When all people take heed, when all things are renewed and revived, when every person submits to God without qualms, and is willing to shoulder the heavy responsibility of God’s burden—this is when the eastern lightning issues forth, illuminating all from the East to the West, terrifying all of earth with the arrival of this light; and at this moment, God once again begins His new life. … Which is to say, in the world’s East, from when testimony to God Himself begins, to when He begins to work, to when divinity begins to wield sovereign power across the earth—this is the glowing shaft of the eastern lightning, which has ever shone out to the whole universe. When the countries on earth become the kingdom of Christ is when the whole universe is illuminated. Now is the time when the eastern lightning issues forth: God incarnate begins to work, and, furthermore, speaks directly in divinity. It can be said that when God begins to speak on earth is when the eastern lightning comes forth. More precisely, when living water flows from the throne—when the utterances from the throne begin—is precisely when the utterances of the sevenfold Spirit formally begin” (“Interpretation of the Twelfth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Throughout the universe I am doing My work, and in the East, thunderous crashes issue forth endlessly, shaking all denominations and sects. It is My voice that has led all men into the present. I shall cause all men to be conquered by My voice, to fall into this stream, and submit before Me, for I have long since reclaimed My glory from all the earth and issued it forth anew in the East. Who does not long to see My glory? Who does not anxiously await My return? Who does not thirst for My reappearance? Who does not pine for My loveliness? Who would not come to the light? Who would not look upon the richness of Canaan? Who does not long for the return of the Redeemer? Who does not adore the Great Almighty? My voice shall spread throughout the earth; I wish, facing My chosen people, to speak more words to them. Like the mighty thunders that shake the mountains and rivers, I speak My words to the whole universe and to mankind. Hence the words in My mouth have become man’s treasure, and all men cherish My words. The lightning flashes from the East all the way to the West. My words are such that man is loath to give them up and at the same time finds them unfathomable, but rejoices in them all the more. Like a newborn infant, all men are glad and joyful, celebrating My coming. By means of My voice, I shall bring all men before Me. Thenceforth, I shall formally enter into the race of men so that they will come to worship Me. With the glory that I radiate and the words in My mouth, I shall make it such that all men come before Me and see that the lightning flashes from the East … For I have long since been resurrected, and have departed from mankind’s midst, and then reappeared with glory among men. I am He who was worshiped countless ages before now, and I am also the infant forsaken by the Israelites countless ages before now. Moreover, I am the all-glorious Almighty God of the present age!” (“The Seven Thunders Peal—Prophesying That the Gospel of the Kingdom Shall Spread Throughout the Universe” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From the words of Almighty God we can see that God’s work and word of the last days are the lightning that shines forth from the East. The “lightning” is the great light, meaning the word of God, God’s way of judgment and chastisement in the last days. The phrase “comes out of the east” means coming from China, and “shines even to the west” means arriving in the West. Finally, “so shall also the coming of the Son of man be” refers to God becoming flesh and first revealing Himself and starting His work in China in the East. There He makes a group of people who truly know God, and they are the overcomers as prophesied in the Book of Revelation. Then through these people, the gospel of the last days will spread to the West, so that all may receive God’s salvation of the last days. This has now been achieved and is a fact that can be seen by everyone! The lightning of the East (that is, God’s work of judgment during the last days in China) can allow us to receive all the love and salvation that God bestows upon man, can allow us to know the true face of God, and gives rise in us true reverence and worship of God. Just like a bolt of lightning, God’s word gives man light and hope. All those who accept the lightning of the East—God’s work of the last days—they can all bear witness to this.
Now, reading this, I believe you all have a clear answer to the question of what the origin of the Eastern Lightning is. God is the Creator of the heavens and earth and all things. Because man was corrupted by Satan, God started His work of saving man. God wishes to have all the people in the universe see His deeds, that all faiths will become one, worshiping the Creator. Then He will let all those who truly seek God’s appearance and follow His footsteps achieve purity and attain salvation. He will take these people who are after God’s heart into the kingdom to rest with Him. So, each and every of our brothers and sisters who truly believe in God and eagerly await the Lord Jesus’ return should set aside their religious notions and study the true way. Do not heed rumors, blindly opposing the true way, as it will end in the loss of God’s salvation in the last days. We must keep apace of the steps of God’s work, following God’s footsteps closely. This is the only way we can obtain His salvation in the end and be brought by God into His kingdom.