The Origin of Eastern Lightning’s Prosperity
The mention of Eastern Lightning perplexes many brothers and sisters in the Lord: Why is it that as the religious community as a whole becomes increasingly desolate and degenerate, as each denomination becomes increasingly guarded and conservative in condemning and banishing Eastern Lightning, not only does Eastern Lightning not become desolate or ebb, but surges like an unstoppable, billowing wave, sweeping across mainland China, and now that it has even expanded beyond China’s borders to foreign countries and regions, and is being accepted by more and more people worldwide? Faced with this fact, the religious people are thoroughly puzzled, while in fact the reason is quite simple: What the various denominations call Eastern Lightning is the returned Savior Jesus of the last days, riding down from the heavens upon a “white cloud”; it is the practical God Himself, who has returned to flesh! For this reason, despite the fact that every denomination in the world resists, attacks, or condemns God incarnate of the last days or His work, there is no person or force that can ever obstruct or suppress what He wishes to achieve. God’s authority, power, and His almightiness and wisdom are unsurpassable by any force of Satan.
Many people believe that anything condemned by religious leaders and the ruling party can’t be the true way, but does this viewpoint accord with the truth? Think back to the Age of Grace when God was incarnated as the Lord Jesus to begin His new work in Judea. From start to finish He was condemned, resisted, and persecuted by the Jewish chief priests, scribes and Pharisees. They judged the Lord Jesus for being the son of a carpenter, tried to find all kinds of accusations against Him, and spoke blasphemy that He cast out demons with the help of the demon king. They did everything they could to put the Lord Jesus to death. In the end, they colluded with Rome to have the Lord Jesus captured, and they nailed the merciful Lord Jesus to the cross. Even upon the resurrection and ascension to heaven of the Lord Jesus, they still fabricated all sorts of rumors, as well as framed and slandered John, Paul, and the other apostles and disciples, calling them “the sect of the Nazarenes,” “heretics” and “cultists.” They did everything possible to hunt down and persecute the disciples of the Lord Jesus. But God’s wisdom always exploits and builds upon the tricks of Satan; how could His work be obstructed or destroyed by Satan? God used the wanton persecution and expulsion of Judaism and the Roman Empire to compel the disciples to flee to many nations, thereby spreading the salvation of the Lord Jesus far and wide, to the ends of the earth. Brothers and sisters, let us consider: The Jewish leaders and the Roman government wildly resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus and His work. Could that have been because the Lord Jesus was not the true God? Could it have been because the Lord Jesus wasn’t bringing the true way? Could it have been because what the disciples and apostles of the Lord Jesus were spreading wasn’t God’s salvation? Could it be that what the religious leaders and the Roman government abandoned and resisted wasn’t God’s way? Could it be that the true way is determined by religious leaders and political authorities? We are all aware that if this was God’s work, even if the religious community and the entire world opposed it and forsook it, God’s work cannot be denied; there are no exceptions. The Lord Jesus said: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that does evil hates the light, neither comes to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved” (John 3:19-20). “If the world hate you, you know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). “This is an evil generation” (Luke 11:29). In 1 John 5:19, it says, “The whole world lies in wickedness.” After mankind was corrupted by Satan, he fell to the point that he despises and hates the truth, and becomes an enemy of God. The whole world is completely controlled by Satan, and the entire religious community has long been controlled by hypocritical Pharisees and by antichrists. All is ruled by Satan. Therefore, when the incarnate God appears to do His work, it is inevitable that religious leaders and satanic powers will rise up to condemn and resist God and His work. Obviously, it is wrong and absurd to evaluate the truth by whether religious leaders or satanic regimes condemn it!
Now, in these last days, God has once again become flesh in China—the staunch bastion of atheism, the very nest of the great red dragon—to carry out His work of judgment beginning from His house. God issues forth truths to judge and cleanse mankind, the purpose being to save man completely from the dark influence of Satan, and finally, the saved will be brought into God’s kingdom by Him and enter rest together with God. However, the historical tragedy of Jewish resistance to the Lord Jesus is being enacted once again. As God does His new work of the last days which strikes back against the notions of people from the various denominations, they do not welcome the return of the Lord Jesus. Instead, they spread all manner of heresies and fallacies. They attack and slander God incarnate, condemning His work as an “evil cult” or “heresy.” They even go so far as to collude with the Chinese Communist government to persecute and arrest those who spread the gospel of God in the last days. Their deeds are no different than those of the Jewish religious community that once framed and persecuted the Lord Jesus. This fact has completely fulfilled the prophecy of the Lord Jesus, “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luke 17:24-25). God has been incarnated twice amongst man to speak and work, to redeem mankind and save mankind, and both times has suffered the condemnation, blasphemy, and resistance of religious leaders and ruling regimes; this fact alone is enough to prove that the true way has been persecuted since ancient times. The more the way is true and the more it is the appearance and work of God, the more it suffers the rejection and condemnation of religious leaders and satanic regimes. The clever can determine from the unscrupulous persecution and condemnation of Almighty God and His work of the last days by the pastors and elders of the religious world and the CCP government whether or not it is the true way, and thereby make the wise choice.
So, since Eastern Lightning is the true way, why is it opposed by the religious leaders? There are primarily two reasons for this: 1.) People do not understand the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work and they have no understanding of the phrase, “God’s work always moves forward.” They merely measure God’s new work based on their biblical knowledge and religious notions and what God did in the past. If they don’t agree with what they see, then they will consider God’s new work “heretical” or “cultic.” 2.) Because the satanic nature of mankind is to despise and hate the truth. These religious leaders fear isolation and rejection after their believers read Almighty God’s word, understand the truth, and return to Almighty God, so to ensure their permanent control of the religious world and protect their own status and livelihoods, they wildly condemn and resist Almighty God. Thus, the reason all of His new work encounters opposition from people is not because of any error in God’s new work, nor due to any error in His way. Instead, it is because people do not understand God’s work and because they despise and hate the truth. It would be preposterous and ridiculous if people judged that this is not the true way merely because the religious leaders oppose and forsake God’s new work. It would be to people’s eternal detriment if they lose God’s salvation in the last days as a result of this, an irredeemable and undoubtable mortal error.
How exactly, then, do we differentiate between the true way and the false way? God’s word gives us the principles by which we can differentiate. Almighty God says: “Knowing the work of God is no simple matter: You should have standards and an objective in your pursuit, you should know how to seek the true way, and how to measure whether or not it is the true way, and whether or not it is the work of God. What is the most basic principle in seeking the true way? You have to look at whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit, whether or not these words are the expression of the truth, who is testified to, and what it can bring you. Distinguishing between the true way and the false way requires several aspects of basic knowledge, the most fundamental of which is to tell whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit. For the substance of man’s belief in God is the belief in the Spirit of God, and even his belief in God incarnate is because this flesh is the embodiment of the Spirit of God, which means that such belief is still the belief in the Spirit. There are differences between the Spirit and the flesh, but because this flesh comes from the Spirit, and is the Word become flesh, thus what man believes in is still the inherent substance of God. And so, 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. This truth is the life disposition of normal humanity, which is to say, that which was required of man when God created him in the beginning, namely, all of normal humanity (including human sense, insight, wisdom, and the basic knowledge of being man). That is, you need to look at whether or not this way takes man into a life of normal humanity, whether or not the truth that is spoken of is required according to the reality of normal humanity, whether or not this truth is practical and real, and whether or not it is most timely. 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” (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). There are primarily three things from Almighty God’s words that we should realize to distinguish whether something is the true way:
First, we must look to see if it contains the work of the Holy Spirit, which is a crucial point. If it is the true way, then it is the work of God Himself, which means it must contain the work of the Holy Spirit. The reason people believe in God incarnate is because this flesh is the embodiment of God’s Spirit, so all that He does is the work of the Holy Spirit and bears the confirmation of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, people believe in Him and follow Him. This is just as when the Lord Jesus performed His work: Even though on the surface it might have appeared that He was a common and ordinary person, through His word and His work man saw the work of the Holy Spirit. This is because all of mankind could see that the words and work of the Lord Jesus are full of authority and power. He could make a blind man see or a paralyzed person walk and heal lepers. He could use five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five thousand people. He could even raise the dead. He could see deep into the hearts of men and expose their darkest secrets. Furthermore, He could tell the mysteries of heaven to mankind. After people followed Him, they gained peace and joy in their hearts. The reason people followed the Lord Jesus and recognized that He was the Messiah is because all that He does is the work of the Holy Spirit. We can see that as long as it is the true way, it will contain the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, when considering whether something is the true way, we must first look to see whether it contains the work of the Holy Spirit.
The second aspect that we should weigh when considering whether something is the true way is to see whether it contains the truth and if it can gradually change a person’s life disposition to make their humanity progressively more normal. We all know that God is the truth, the way, and the life, and that every new stage of His work is based on the truth that God issues forth to man, which indicates the path of practice in the new age. God ensures man has the supplies he needs for life, so that he can gradually live out a normal humanity, and so that he gradually returns to the original likeness of when God created man. This is an obvious characteristic of the true way. It is just as when the Lord Jesus began His work in the Age of Grace. At that time, He issued forth many truths for the people to put into practice, and taught them to love others as they love themselves, to bear the cross, to deny themselves, and to forgive others seventy times seven times. The Lord Jesus bade the people worship God in spirit and truth. Every true believer could achieve some change in their outward conduct through the teachings of the Lord Jesus. Through the Lord Jesus, they could conduct themselves with humility and patience, and thereby possess some likeness of a normal person. Therefore, as long as it is the true way, there will be an expression of truth. This, in turn, will make one’s humanity and sense become more and more normal, and he will appear more how a real person should be.
The third aspect we must consider in pondering the true way is to see whether this way gives people an increasing knowledge of God and whether it inspires a love of God in them and brings them ever closer to God. We all know that since it is the true way, it is the work of God Himself, and that His work inevitably issues forth His disposition as well as all that God has and is. When people experience God’s work, they naturally arrive at a genuine understanding of God, thereby creating a loving heart for God within them. This is just as in the Age of Law, when Jehovah God issued forth laws to guide the lives of the people on earth. From their experience with His work, they recognized that Jehovah God is the one true God. Furthermore, they recognized God’s majesty and wrath and that His disposition must not be offended, which created within them a reverent heart for God. In the Age of Grace, God incarnate came to earth to do a stage of work to redeem mankind. Through their experience with the Lord Jesus’ work, the people recognized God’s loving and merciful disposition. The people also saw that God was not only a Spirit but He could also take the humble human form, and that He could perform miracles, cure disease and cast out demons…. And all this work that the Lord Jesus did made the people come to a new understanding of God, which inspired an adoration of God within the hearts of people. Therefore, if it is the true way, it will make people understand more about God and inspire greater understanding about God’s disposition.
Even though God’s work moves ever forward, as long as it is the work of God Himself and the true way, it will certainly possess and express the three aforementioned attributes. That is to say, the true way will certainly contain the work of the Holy Spirit, issue forth the truth, and will make people gain a greater understanding of God and bring them closer to Him. Therefore, if we differentiate the true way through weighing these three standards, we will be able to distinguish what is true and false, so we can keep pace with God’s current work in a timely manner, gain the truth, the way, and the life, and as well gain God’s greater promises and blessings.
In these last days, God is performing new work again, which involves issuing His words to do His work of judgment and cleansing upon corrupt mankind. This work is done according to His plan and is based on the actual needs of the people of the last days. It is a new, higher work based on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work. If we seek and study carefully with a quiet heart, we can see that this stage of God’s new work not only contains the Holy Spirit’s work, but moreover issues forth the truth and can allow us to have a more genuine, comprehensive, and practical understanding of God’s disposition and all that God has and is. Below, we shall fellowship about our experiences and understanding of God’s work in the last days based on these previously discussed three standards for evaluating the true way.
First, the true way contains the work of the Holy Spirit. Almighty God has come and established the Age of Kingdom, performed new work of judgment beginning with God’s house, issued forth His word to judge and cleanse people, and supplied mankind with the new provisions for life. The faithful among every denomination have, one by one, returned to Almighty God under His name. No matter how man resisted or what obstructions appeared, God’s gospel of the last days still has surged forth like waves of the ocean and spread throughout all of mainland China. All peoples are streaming to the holy mountain in a joyous celebration. Although we all came from different denominations, we are nonetheless able to live in harmony together and help one another. There are no cliques here and the church life is brimming with vitality. The brothers and sisters here feel that our meetings are never enough, and there are hymns to sing and enjoy and prayers that enlighten us. Every time we gather we are all able to receive new provisions from Almighty God’s word, we can recognize our own shortcomings, and from God’s word we find the path to practice. We can coexist normally and love each other in accordance with God’s word. When we encounter different views, we are all able to put aside our own views and listen attentively to other people’s ideas. When corruption is exposed, we are able to reflect and analyze ourselves based on God’s word. When we do things that harm the church’s interest, we have the courage to face the truth of the facts and accept pruning and dealing, and we yield to the authority of the truths of God’s words in the Church; our brothers and sisters are brimming with faith, can bear God’s commission with devotion, and let go of fleshly pleasures for the work of spreading God’s kingdom gospel with all our hearts. Regardless of how we are treated by the various denominations, or whether we are rejected, persecuted, beaten, or cursed, we are willing to bear any hardship and we continue as always carrying out God’s will and preaching the gospel of Almighty God of the last days. Today, God’s chosen people have experienced God’s judgment and chastisement for several years, their life dispositions have changed to various degrees, and many of God’s chosen people have written out articles and hymns documenting the true experience of what they have gained through their own experience of God’s work and uploaded them to the Internet to testify God, many of which have been adapted into films and videos. These articles, hymns, and films testify the true change in the life disposition of God’s chosen people, and they testify God’s chosen people’s understanding of the truth and sincere knowledge of God. They are the testimonies of overcomers. Is the ever-increasing amount of such testimony not the effect of God’s work of judgment and chastisement? Without the work of the Holy Spirit, who could achieve such results? One can see Almighty God’s authority and power from the experiences and testimonies of our brothers and sisters. Almighty God’s work contains the work of the Holy Spirit. Yet for the various denominations who have not kept up with God’s new work, those who preach have no sermons, the believers are negative and weak, and their faith is cold. They are envious and confrontational, form cliques, and while they may be doing the same work, it is not for the same reasons. This is enough to prove that the religious community already lacks the work of the Holy Spirit. Because The Church of Almighty God contains the work of the Holy Spirit, it therefore appears so full of vitality, while the various denominations are bleak, desolate, and have lost the work of the Holy Spirit, standing in a stark contrast with The Church of Almighty God. Therefore, it is self-evident which is the true way and which is the old way.
Second, the true way contains the truth, can indicate to people the path of practice in the new age, and can allow people to gain new provisions for life. Their life disposition undergoes more and more change and their humanity becomes more and more normal. In His work of the last days, Almighty God issues forth many truths in many different fields. These include truths about understanding the work of God and also truths of how to practice and enter during the new age. For example, these include: the purpose of God’s management; the principles behind His work; the inside truths of God’s work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace; how God does His work of judgment; the significance of God becoming flesh; how mankind has developed to the present day; how Satan corrupts mankind; how God saves mankind; what mankind’s future destination will be like; what the end will be like for different kinds of people; what views believers should have; how to perform one’s duty faithfully; how to be an honest person; how man ought to live out the normal humanity; how to serve God in a way that meets His intentions; and how to attain true obedience to and love for God. Almighty God’s issuance of these truths allows people to have a much better understanding of God’s work and His disposition, as well as allows them a better understanding of their nature and substance and the fact of their corruption. Furthermore, these truths allow people to clearly see the path they must follow to change their disposition. Through experiencing Almighty God’s judgment and chastisement, people come to finally understand the mixed-up aspects of their old faith, and recognize that even though they have received God’s redemption and ample grace, they nonetheless still deeply long to scheme for greater physical pleasure and material blessings from God and to achieve their fortunes and dreams through God. Furthermore, even though they rush about working for God, they are doing it for the sake of being blessed and crowned. They do this in the name of personal fame and gain. They do not do these things to fulfill their duty as a created being. No matter how much grace or how many blessings people gain from God, if anything God does fails in some tiny way to meet their notions, they immediately resist and complain to God. They even go so far as being publicly antagonistic to God, or even abandon God. People long ago lost their original conscience and ability for rational thought in God’s presence. People were so corrupted by Satan that they have completely lost their human semblance. The truths issued forth by Almighty God allow people to have a true understanding of their own corruption and show them that they are selfish, despicable, and lacking in humanity. At the same time, they come to understand the significance of God’s work of salvation that is done upon them, as well as God’s thoughtful, kind intentions and painstaking effort and price paid to save man. People’s spirits thereby begin to awaken bit by bit and their conscience and ability to think rationally begin to be restored day by day. People no longer seek to satisfy their own flesh and no longer make deals with God. Instead, they only seek to satisfy God’s intentions and offer up to God everything they have. In this way, people, as created beings, gradually regain a normal relationship with the Creator. They become more and more loving toward God, more submissive and more worshipful, and finally they start looking more like man should. In short, Almighty God gives us the truths that we so urgently need to understand to attain salvation in our faith in God. He shows us the direction of the path in the new age, and He allows us to gain the most real provisions that we need for life. All of this proves that Almighty God’s way is the true way.
Third, the true way gives man a new and practical understanding about God, and enables man to love God increasingly. Brothers and sisters, if you can personally read the words of Almighty God and actually get in touch with those who have accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days, it is not difficult to discover that the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God have gained new knowledge and a more nuanced understanding about God through the manner in which they seek Almighty God’s truths. Through experiencing Almighty God’s judgment and chastisement, people understand God’s righteous disposition and see that God’s inherent disposition not only contains love and mercy, but also majesty and wrath, and His disposition tolerates no offense by mankind. Through experiencing Almighty God’s work, people see that God saves mankind not only by expressing the truth to judge him, but also by arranging all kinds of situations and environments to reveal people, and finally using disasters to refine and purify people. At the same time, people also see how God reveals the antichrists, evildoers, and unbelievers in the church, and how God maneuvers the great red dragon to do service for the perfection of His chosen people. Thus people gain some practical knowledge about God’s almightiness, wisdom, wondrousness and unfathomableness. Furthermore, they also gain a more practical understanding about God’s kind intentions in saving mankind, His genuine love toward mankind, and His substance of holiness and beauty. Experiencing Almighty God’s work and word helps resolve many misconceptions people have had about God and helps them realize that God is not only God of the Israelites, but also God of all the nations of the Gentiles, and the God of all created beings. People also understand that God’s work is always new and never old and is bound by no rules. In many ways, people see that there are many loveable aspects of God, that God’s love for mankind is great and practical, after which genuine love for God is produced in their hearts, they desire to pursue the truth, and they strive with all their strength to fulfill their duty as created beings and satisfy God. From this, we know that Almighty God’s work and words of the last days can give man a deeper understanding about God than was possible during the Age of Grace; it is an understanding that is more practical as well as more comprehensive. The relationship between God and man grows closer as man’s understanding of God deepens. Only God’s own work can have this effect, and only God Himself can issue forth to mankind His disposition and all that He has and is. It is without a doubt that Almighty God’s way is the true way.
In summary, Eastern Lightning, which has been resisted and condemned by the religious leaders, is the Lord Jesus, who has returned to flesh in the last days—it is the unique God Himself. Therefore, no matter how the various denominations resist and attack it, and no matter how the CCP government fabricates rumors to condemn and frame it, they have not been able to obstruct in the slightest the expansion of God’s work in the last days. In only twenty years or so, the kingdom gospel of Almighty God has spread throughout the whole of mainland China. God’s word and God’s name have spread to hundreds of millions of households. Among various denominations, those who pursue the truth and truly want God have returned to Almighty God. Millions of people are enjoying the word of God, receiving God’s judgment, cleansing, salvation and perfection, and praising God’s wonderful deeds. God has made a group of overcomers in China and has gained a group of people who are of one heart and one mind with Him. God’s work will conclude soon with His glorification and it moves rapidly from the East—China—to the western world, and The Church of Almighty God has established branches in dozens of countries, which is the complete fulfillment of the prophecy of the Lord Jesus: “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” (Matthew 24:27). My spiritual colleagues, quickly put down your imagined notions and seek instead to hear God’s voice, please come before God in earnest: Almighty God awaits your return!