I Narrowly Miss Jesus Christ’s Salvation in the Last Days Because I Believe the Lies
By Li Shengmei, South Korea
When she heard the news of the Lord’s return, she wanted to seek and investigate God’s work of the last days in earnest, but she ended up being deceived by the CCP’s lies, and almost missed the Lord’s salvation in the last days. Subsequently, under the wondrous guidance of the Lord, she came to understand some truths, she saw through the CCP’s lies, and she welcomed the Lord’s return. What exactly did she go through on her journey to welcome the Lord? And how was she finally reunited with the Lord? Let’s read about her wonderful experiences together.
In August 2017, my back suddenly began to hurt, and the pain was getting worse and worse. I was afraid it would interfere with my service in the church, and so I went to a massage clinic for treatment. There it was that I met the missionary Brother Zheng. Brother Zheng had unique insights into biblical passages, and his fellowships about the Scriptures were very enlightening. Through listening to him give fellowship, I came to understand a little about such truths as how the prophecies in Revelation are to be fulfilled, and how to be a wise virgin in order to welcome the Lord. In just a few days, I understood more than I had in years of attending morning prayer meetings, and I thanked the Lord for arranging this for me from the bottom of my heart.
One day, Brother Zheng and I were chatting about the matter of the Lord’s return, when he told me happily that the Lord Jesus had returned already as Almighty God, the Christ of the last days. I was so excited by this news—I could never have even dreamed that I would be able to welcome the Lord’s return! Brother Zheng then showed me two videos, “The Origin and Development of The Church of Almighty God” and “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God.” From watching these videos, I found out that The Church of Almighty God arose from the appearance and work of the incarnation of God in the last days, that it was established by God Himself, and that it is personally led and shepherded by God Himself.
Brother Zheng then gave me fellowship, saying, “After we human beings were corrupted by Satan, God began to perform three stages of work in order to defeat Satan and to save us utterly: In the first stage, God took the name ‘Jehovah’ to perform the work of the Age of Law, He expressed His disposition of majesty and wrath, and He allowed people to know what sin was; in the second stage, God took the name ‘Jesus’ to perform the work of the Age of Grace, He expressed His disposition of lovingkindness and mercy, and He enjoined people to confess and repent their sins; in the third stage, God has taken the name ‘Almighty God’ to perform the work of the Age of Kingdom, He expresses His disposition of righteousness, majesty, judgment and imprecation, and He shows man the path to be free of sin. These three stages of work are done in different ages, the work in every age is different, and the disposition expressed by God in every age is different, but they are all works performed by the one God to save mankind. In the last days, God has once again returned in the flesh and, upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, He expresses all the truths that can enable man to attain salvation, and He performs the work of judgment beginning in God’s house. By keeping pace with God’s work of the last days, we are keeping pace with the footsteps of the Lamb and attending the feast of heaven.” After listening to Brother Zheng give fellowship on these mysteries of God’s work, I felt like his fellowship had come from the guidance of God, otherwise how else could he have understood so much? I also felt, from the bottom of my heart, that Almighty God could very well be the Lord Jesus returned, and so I decided to investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days.
I therefore went online and searched for the website of The Church of Almighty God, so that I might seek and investigate God’s work of the last days. When I typed in the words “The Church of Almighty God,” I saw many websites based in China. Out of curiosity, I clicked on one of them and, to my surprise, it was full of negative comments about The Church of Almighty God, with most of it being slander and condemnation leveled at The Church of Almighty God by the CCP government, saying that Almighty God causes people’s families to break up, and that Christians belonging to The Church of Almighty God abandon their families in order to preach the gospel, and so on. I was shocked to read these things, and I began to doubt whether Almighty God was the Lord Jesus returned after all. I was afraid of going astray in my faith and my heart was in turmoil. But then I thought about the videos made by The Church of Almighty God that I had watched and the fellowships given by Brother Zheng over the past few days, and I thought about how I had come to understand many truths and mysteries, and about how my spirit had felt very provided for. In particular, I thought that Almighty God’s work of judgment and chastisement in the last days was indeed what we corrupted human beings needed to be free from sin and to be purified. From the bottom of my heart, I could feel how authoritative and powerful Almighty God’s words were, as though they were the voice of God Himself; if there was a chance that Almighty God truly was the Lord returned and I didn’t investigate it, wouldn’t I then miss the Lord’s salvation in the last days? But what was I to do when faced with so much negative information? Should I continue looking into it? The more I thought about it, the more torn and flustered I felt, and I didn’t know how I was to make this decision.
I later met my pastor’s wife and told her all about it. She advised me not to look into The Church of Almighty God and she sent me several pieces of information in which the CCP condemned The Church of Almighty God, which caused me to get even more confused and upset. I thought it over again and again, but I was still afraid of going astray, and so I messaged Brother Zheng to tell him that I was not going to continue looking into The Church of Almighty God for the time being. Brother Zheng respected my decision, and he enjoined me to seek the Lord’s will. I did not know why, but when I decided to stop looking into Almighty God’s work of the last days, I suddenly felt an indescribable sense of loss.
Over the next three months, I attended every meeting at my church. The pastor, however, only ever said the same old things, none of us derived any enjoyment from his sermons, and my spirit just felt increasingly dark and dejected. At that time, the church was in a constant state of chaos due to financial difficulties. The pastor and all the deacons were arguing endlessly about money matters, and one time, two deacons even came to blows because of it. Seeing the pastor and deacons not paying any attention to whether the spiritual lives of the congregation were progressing or not, and were just bickering over money and position, I felt very down and I didn’t understand why something like this could happen to the church, or how the brothers and sisters could be so increasingly lacking in compassion. Whenever something like this happened, I would think about when I used to attend meetings and fellowship with Brother Zheng. Brother Zheng was a very pious character, whose fellowships were always enlightening and who had the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and I gained a lot by listening to him. Could it be that the Almighty God whom Brother Zheng testified to was indeed the Lord Jesus returned? But if so, what was all the negative propaganda put out about The Church of Almighty God by the CCP all about? Feeling helpless, all I could do was pray to the Lord: “O Lord! I feel so lost right now and I’m afraid of going astray and being abandoned by You. If Almighty God truly is You who have returned, then I ask You to guide me back before You….”
One day in December 2017, Sister Jin and I arranged to meet at the home of Sister Qin, who had just come from China, in order to study the Bible. Sister Qin was very well-versed in the Bible; whether on the Four Gospels or the Book of Revelation, she always gave enlightening fellowships, and I enjoyed listening to her. We got to discussing belief in God in China, and Sister Qin said, “There is no freedom of belief in China. Especially in recent years, the CCP government’s persecution of Christians has gotten worse and worse. Not only does it disseminate lies online to slander Christians, but it has also closed down many house churches. Many pastors have been arrested, many congregations have been disbanded, and there have also been many churches and crosses that have been demolished. The CCP government’s persecution of religious belief has elicited a lot of concern and strong condemnation from global human rights organizations.” This came as a great surprise to me. I’d never realized that the Lord’s way was so persecuted in China—it must be so difficult to believe in the Lord in China! Sister Qin went on, saying, “The true way has always suffered persecution. The persecution suffered by The Church of Almighty God in China is the worst of all, but the church has grown very quickly. Almighty God’s kingdom gospel has spread to many foreign countries, and more and more people have accepted God’s gospel of the last days, which fulfills the words ‘what’s of God will increase and what’s of man will decrease.’” What came as an even greater surprise to me was that Sister Qin said that while she was in China, a friend had testified to her of Almighty God’s work of the last days and that she had already been looking into it for some time now, and she had been searching for The Church of Almighty God since arriving in Korea. When I heard her say this, I thought: “I no longer dared to investigate The Church of Almighty God after I heard the negative propaganda from the CCP, and yet Sister Qin still wants to seek and investigate it. The Lord Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 5:3). I gave up looking into it, and this is not how an open-minded seeker behaves. Should I keep investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days? Was my meeting with these two sisters today guided by the Lord?” And so, I told them about how I had previously investigated The Church of Almighty God and seen the lies on the Internet. Sister Jin said, “Don’t we believers in the Lord long to welcome Him? It’s now so difficult to come across someone preaching the Lord Jesus’ return, so we should first find out all about it. We mustn’t blindly believe those lies on the Internet. If there is a chance that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned and we refuse to investigate it, then our regrets will be too late if we then miss our chance to welcome the coming of the Lord!” Sister Qin then asked me to go along with them to The Church of Almighty God. After listening to the two sisters, I felt that this was the Lord giving me a second chance, and I knew I could not miss this chance again! Afterward, I got in touch with Brother Zheng, and I decided to investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days.
On the arranged day, Sister Qin and I arrived early at The Church of Almighty God, and we were warmly welcomed by the brothers and sisters. One of the sisters played the gospel movie My Dream of the Heavenly Kingdom for me. The movie was about a Korean, Pastor Song, who yearned for the Lord’s coming, and when he hears that Eastern Lightning in China is testifying that the Lord Jesus has returned already, he travels to China to investigate the true way. After many setbacks, Pastor Song at last reads the words of Almighty God, but just as he is about to seek and investigate further after recognizing Almighty God’s words to be the voice of God, he is arrested out of the blue by the CCP government and repatriated to South Korea. After that, a chance opportunity allows Pastor Song to find online the gospel website of The Church of Almighty God, and he once again makes contact with the church. Through the fellowships and testimonies given by the brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God, Pastor Song becomes absolutely certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned, and he gladly accepts Almighty God’s work of the last days. After watching this movie, I was filled with emotion, and said, “It’s so hard to believe in God in China, and every believer risks their own lives in doing so! But why does the CCP government have to persecute Christians so much? And they say that Christians belonging to The Church of Almighty God abandon their families to go preach the gospel, which causes the breakup of their families—what’s the truth of all this?”
The sister patiently gave fellowship, and said, “Sister, this is a crucial question you’ve raised. Once we have seen through to the essence of the CCP, we can no longer be deceived by the CCP’s lies. We all know that the CCP is an atheist regime that has never acknowledged the existence of God; its slogan is to annihilate all religious belief and create China as an atheist zone. In order to consolidate its dictatorial rule, the CCP simply forbids people from believing in God and following the right path. It always denies God and publicly resists and condemns God, and these actions are determined by its evil essence. So why does the CCP want to condemn and persecute Christians so much? First, let’s take a look at what the words of Almighty God reveal. Almighty God said, ‘Satan builds its reputation through deceiving people, and often establishes itself as a vanguard and role model of righteousness. Under false pretenses of safeguarding righteousness, it harms people, devours their souls, and uses all sorts of means to benumb, deceive and incite man. Its goal is to make man approve of and go along with its evil conduct, to make man join it in opposing God’s authority and sovereignty. However, when one sees through its schemes and plots and sees through to its vile features, and when one does not wish to continue to be trampled upon and fooled by it or to continue slaving away for it, or to be punished and destroyed alongside it, then Satan changes its previously saintly features and tears off its false mask to reveal its true face, which is evil, vicious, ugly and savage. It would love nothing more than to exterminate all those who refuse to follow it and who oppose its evil forces’ (‘God Himself, the Unique II’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
The sister then gave fellowship. “Almighty God’s words expose the essence of the CCP and reveal the CCP to be a gang of Satan’s demons who act contrary to heaven and who frantically oppose God. Ever since it came to power, the CCP has relied on lies and violence to maintain its rule; it proclaims to other countries that China has freedom of religious belief, but privately it constantly indoctrinates the Chinese people with atheism, evolutionism and materialism, so that the people of China deny the existence of God from a young age. The CCP harbors an intense hatred for the truth and for God and it is hostile to Christians. It has always hated and loathed Christians and Catholics most of all, and it has enacted one campaign of oppression and arrests after another, hoping to ban religious beliefs altogether and to build China as an atheist zone. Ever since Almighty God—Christ of the last days—appeared and began His work in 1991, all true believers in the Lord from all religions and denominations have heard the words expressed by Almighty God and have become certain that they are the voice of God. One by one, they have turned to Almighty God, and they preach and bear witness to Almighty God’s kingdom gospel. In no more than twenty-odd years, Almighty God’s work of the last days has become widespread throughout the whole of mainland China, and various foreign countries have successively established churches to Almighty God. The CCP sees that Almighty God’s words can conquer people, and it is afraid that people will follow Almighty God and thereby come to understand the CCP’s evil essence and reject it. In this way, its vain hope to control the people forever and its savage ambition to dominate the world will be utterly destroyed. So as to maintain its dictatorial rule, the CCP frantically oppresses and persecutes The Church of Almighty God, and it arrests Christians. It even goes so far as to fabricate all manner of lies online to slander and discredit The Church of Almighty God, hoping to deceive and trick people, so that everyone believes its lies and fallacies and goes along with it in its denial, hatred and defiance of God’s work of the last days. Due to the wild oppression and persecution enacted by the CCP government, many Christians have been illegally imprisoned and have suffered cruel tortures, with some even having been persecuted to death. There are also many Christians who, to avoid being arrested by the CCP, have fled their homes. Their families have broken up and they cannot return to their homes, and some have even been forced to flee abroad. It is the cruel persecution of the CCP that has led to the breakup of many Christian families, and yet it places the blame on its victims, saying that Christians’ families have broken up due to their belief in God and their preaching of the gospel—is this not a blatant distortion of the facts and turning the truth on its head? Sister, if we have no discernment of the God-defying demonic essence of the CCP, then when it comes to welcoming the Lord’s return, we will be likely to believe the CCP’s lies and we will doubt God’s work, and thus our chance to attain true salvation will be ruined. And wouldn’t that mean falling foul of Satan’s cunning schemes?”
After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I suddenly saw the light. “So it isn’t that the Christians of The Church of Almighty God abandon their families,” I thought, “but instead it is because the CCP persecutes and arrests them that they have no choice but to flee their homes and live as vagabonds. The CCP is the arch criminal responsible for breaking up the families of Christians, and yet it makes up lies, saying that belief in Almighty God leads to the breakup of families. The CCP truly is so evil and shameless!”
The sister then continued with her fellowship. “Almighty God appears and works in the last days, expressing all the truths that can allow mankind to attain true salvation, judging and exposing our corruption so that we may be free of sin, and He leads us into the kingdom of God. The Christians belonging to The Church of Almighty God understand some truths from God’s words and we know the painstaking efforts God makes to save man. So as to enable even more people to attain God’s salvation in the last days, just like the disciples and apostles who preached Jesus’ gospel two thousand years ago, we give up our families and all worldly things to preach God’s kingdom gospel wherever we go. This is entirely in accordance with the truth, and it is a good and righteous deed most in keeping with the will of God and most commendable to God! For, as the Lord Jesus said in the Age of Grace: ‘Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature’ (Mark 16:15). ‘Whoever he be of you that forsakes not all that he has, he cannot be My disciple’ (Luke 14:33). Think about it: If it hadn’t been for Jesus’ disciples and apostles preaching and bearing witness to the Lord’s gospel wherever they went, who among us would have been able to attain the Lord Jesus’ salvation? Now, the Lord Jesus has returned, and He is speaking His utterances to save man. If every brother and sister who accepted God’s work of the last days stayed at home to believe in God and never went anywhere to spread God’s kingdom gospel, would their actions accord with God’s will? And then how would we have the chance to attain God’s salvation of the last days? It can be said that, by giving up their family and all physical pleasures to preach and bear witness to God’s gospel of the salvation of man, a Christian is thereby putting the Lord’s words into practice, and this is a positive thing. Every true believer in God would approve of and accept this kind of behavior, and they would take such a person as someone to emulate. What’s more, no democratic nation would condemn them but would, on the contrary, be highly supportive and approving of this kind of behavior of devoting and expending oneself for the Lord. The CCP, however, frantically makes up lies to slander and judge Christians who leave their homes to preach the gospel, and it condemns Christians who preach the gospel in their belief in God, saying that they abandon their families and that they cause the breakup of their families. By doing this, the CCP is turning the truth on its head and confusing people as to what is right and wrong, and it is a heretical fallacy of the Devil Satan to deceive people! The CCP wantonly attacks, condemns and arrests Christians, and this is absolute proof that the CCP is indeed a satanic regime, and the essence of the CCP is that of a group of Satan’s demons which defy and hate God! The true way has always suffered persecution, and the more a way is persecuted and rejected, the more certain it is that it is the true way, which precisely fulfills the Lord Jesus’ words: ‘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). Sister, when we encounter the CCP’s lies during our investigation of the true way, this is when God is testing our faith. If we become doubtful and fearful of God because of the CCP’s lies, so much so that we don’t dare to investigate the true way, then we will lose our chance to welcome the Lord’s return and attain the salvation of God!”
When I heard this, I thought: “Yes, if the disciples and apostles of Jesus hadn’t given up everything and left their homes to preach the gospel, then we wouldn’t have been able to receive the Lord’s gospel. The brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God leaving home and family to travel to various countries to spread God’s kingdom gospel is exactly the same as when the disciples and apostles of Jesus and the missionaries of that time gave up everything and went into all lands of the earth to spread the Lord Jesus’ gospel—this is a good and righteous deed, and it is worth emulating. And yet the CCP falsely accuses Christians who preach the gospel as abandoning their families—this really is a distortion of the facts!” Once I had seen clearly the truth about the CCP’s lies, from the bottom of my heart I let go of all my misunderstandings and apprehensions about The Church of Almighty God, and I wished to continue looking into Almighty God’s work of the last days.
Later, while I was attending another meeting at The Church of Almighty God, one of the sisters read to me a passage from Sermons and Fellowship which benefited me a great deal. It went: “In examining the true way, examining God’s appearance and work, why do you believe the words of Satan the devil? This is a problem. When you examine the work of God, you need to examine His utterances and see if these words of God are the voice of God, if they are the truth and the work of God. Then look at whether the Holy Spirit’s work is in The Church of Almighty God. What have these people achieved after many years of faith? Do they have any knowledge of God? Have there been any changes in their life disposition? Have the toxins of Satan been cleansed? You need to examine these things. …
“… If you confirm that it is the truth and the voice of God, then you can be certain it is God’s appearance and work. If you are certain about that, when Satan once again says negative, contrary things, will you still believe them? Who is it that you really believe in? Do you believe that the word of God is the truth, or that the word of Satan is the truth? This is the choice that man faces. … When people make a choice, they should first and foremost choose the truth. I will accept whoever possesses the truth. I will accept whoever can express the truth to save me, cleanse me and perfect me. If you cannot express the truth to cleanse me, if you cannot save me, then everything you say is nonsense and I won’t listen to a word of it. Listening to you is of no use. Isn’t that the case?” (Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life, Volume 142).
After listening to this passage of fellowship, I felt ashamed of myself. When it comes to investigating the Lord’s return, we should pay most attention to hearing the voice of God. I had clearly heard the utterances of Almighty God, and I knew about God’s three stages of work and His management plan to save mankind, I had acknowledged that Almighty God’s words are the truth and that they are possessed of power and authority, and yet I had not kept to God’s words, but had instead believed the lies and rumors of the CCP, and I had gone back to my old church. Had it not been for God’s guidance and leadership, I would have come very close to missing out on God’s salvation in the last days. It was by the mercy and kindness of God that I was able to have the chance to continue investigating God’s work of the last days. Through reading Almighty God’s words and listening to the fellowships given by the brothers and sisters, I came to have discernment of the CCP’s evil essence, I dropped my guard, I sought and investigated the true way, I kept pace with the footsteps of the Lamb, and I was filled with gratitude toward God. I later watched some more testimonial videos of brothers and sisters who had undergone persecution at the hands of the CCP, and the testimonies they bore and the determination they showed as they still refused to give up the truth despite facing the cruel persecution of the CCP government caused me to have great admiration for them, and my faith to follow Almighty God was strengthened even further.
On February 10, 2018, I formally joined The Church of Almighty God and I felt an excitement I’d never felt before. Through attending meetings at The Church of Almighty God, I truly experienced an entirely new church life that was totally different from that in my old church. The words expressed by Almighty God are rich and bountiful; when I read God’s words, I often enjoy the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, my life and my spirit are provided for, and I feel like I now have support and hope in life. That I have been able to welcome the return of the Lord Jesus in the last days is due to God raising me up and gracing me, and I am so thankful to God for saving me. Now, all I wish is to earnestly equip myself with the truth and make haste to testify of God’s work of the last days to all those who yearn for the Lord’s coming but who have been deceived by the CCP’s lies. I wish to do this so that they too might see the CCP’s God-defying true colors, see through Satan’s cunning schemes, and investigate God’s work of the last days without being subject to any obstruction, and so that they might attain God’s salvation in the last days!