Disturbances From the “May 28” Rumor (Part 1)
My mother is a devout Christian. Ever since I was old enough to understand things, she would often tell me stories about the Lord Jesus, telling me that the Lord Jesus is the only true God. When I was 13 years old I went with my mom to church. At that time I really enjoyed listening to the pastors’ sermons, and I had a great deal of faith. I would actively participate in every fellowship. But I gradually discovered that there was no illumination in the sermons preached by the pastors. They always repeated some theories and knowledge of the Bible or some theological theories, and as time went on I didn’t receive the least bit of pleasure from listening to their sermons, nor did I feel I was being provided with life. Therefore, I started going to fellowships less and less frequently.
The First Time I Heard This Rumor a Shadow Was Cast Over My Heart
After graduating I went to France, and I thought to myself: “The situation in overseas churches certainly must be better than the situation in churches back home.” So, I set out right away in search of a church. When I went to a Chinese church, I discovered that the sermons they preached were virtually the same as those preached back home, and they had nothing new to say. Sometime after the church invited some American pastors to preach sermons, but they too spoke with no illumination. In order to rejuvenate the church, the pastors and elders even organized an outing for us believers to go on, using sightseeing and entertainment to spark the enthusiasm of the believers, thereby consolidating their outward power and fame. As I saw that this was how the church was, I felt very disappointed, and for lack of a better option all I could do was leave it. After this, my elder sister took me to go to another church, and to my surprise the situation in this church was even worse. The believers were all scrambling for fame and wealth. Disputes and fights broke out within the church until ultimately the police had to be called in to break them up. After witnessing these scenes I never wanted to go to a church again.
One day, as I was stepping into my sister’s home, she ran up to me saying: “Have you heard? There is an Eastern Lightning church that has popped up, and they are preaching very lofty sermons, focusing on ‘stealing’ the good sheep from the churches. I’ve heard that many good sheep and their shepherds from all denominations have accepted Eastern Lightning, and that all over they are spreading the word and bearing witness to the return of Lord Jesus. I even heard that once you start believing in Eastern Lightning, you can’t get out, that if you want to leave they will gouge out your eyes, cut off your nose and rob you of your wealth.” My sister warned me again and again, telling me that I must be careful and that I must protect myself against Eastern Lightning. When I got back home my husband also shared with me some negative publicity on Eastern Lightning that he had found on the Internet. In particular there was the May 28 Murder Case in a McDonald’s in Zhaoyuan, Shandong that CCTV was reporting on. After hearing about this I felt even more frightened, and after that moment Eastern Lightning had cast a shadow over my heart.
Deceived by Rumors, I Stopped My Mother From Believing in Eastern Lightning
One evening, I suddenly received a phone call from my brother back home telling me that our mother believed in Eastern Lightning. I was shocked by this news: This couldn’t be true, could it? How could mom believe in Eastern Lightning? I thought about the rumors that I had heard, and I worried that something would happen to mom. For several nights I tossed and turned, unable to sleep. I thought to myself: “This isn’t okay! I must stop my mom, I cannot let her believe in Eastern Lightning.” But every time that I gave my mom a call and told her about the Eastern Lightning rumors that were on the Internet, she would immediately hang up the phone. I had no way of persuading her. After that my brother and I talked things over and decided that he would follow our mom and stop her from believing in Eastern Lightning. However, it didn’t matter what method he used, it was of no use, our mother didn’t waver at all in her faith. There being no other option, my brothers and sisters and I talked it over and decided we would threaten our mom one final time: If she continued to believe in Eastern Lightning then we were all going to abandon her. To our surprise, she was firm in her approach, and insisted on believing in Eastern Lightning. In March 2017, my elder sister and I decided to go back home and bring our mom to France, thinking that if we did this we could get her to stop believing in Almighty God. But unexpectedly, she wasn’t willing to come even though we succeeded in applying for her visa, so my sister and I scrambled around like cats on a hot tin roof as we tried to figure out what we could do to get our mom to come out. Finally, we thought of a last resort: We would trick our mom into coming to France to practice her faith in Eastern Lightning here. To our surprise this trick actually worked, and our mom sure enough agreed to it. However, she made us agree to one condition. I thought to myself: “As long as it gets mom to France I’d agree to ten conditions, let alone one.” Afterward, I discovered that her condition was that she hoped that my sister and I would look into God’s work in the last days. In order to trick our mom into coming to France I had no choice but to pretend to agree to this, but I thought to myself: “Humph! There’s no way I will look into that! So long as we get her to France then we will have the means to stop her.” And so our mom agreed to come with us to France since she was under the impression that we had genuinely agreed to her request.
Our mother hadn’t been in France for a week before she told us that she had gotten in touch with a sister from the church and had even scheduled a time to meet face-to-face. I thought to myself: “They really do move quickly. We just arrived and they’ve gotten in touch, what should we do? Do we actually let mom meet them or not? If we tell her she can’t see them she certainly will not agree to it; if we tell her she can see them then that will dash our hopes in stopping her from believing in Eastern Lightning.” I ended up deciding that I would go together with my mom, but to my surprise I was met with great resistance from my husband, my sister and her husband. Upon our decision not to bring mom to go meet them, she angrily said: “Why do you insist on believing in the lies made up by the CCP? What is the CCP? It is an atheistic political party, and ever since it’s been in power it’s been continuously suppressing and outlawing religious believers, and it has designated Christianity as an evil cult, calling the Holy Bible the work of an evil cult, frantically making arrests and persecuting Christians all over the place, which has resulted in many Christians being imprisoned and tortured to the point where they are critically injured or even die. Have you forgotten about these historical facts? The CCP has always resisted God and been the enemy of God, it hates the word of God and the truth, it hates those who believe in the true God and walk down the right path, and in order to obstruct people from believing in God it commits all kinds of evils like starting rumors, smearing people’s names and framing and trapping them. Could it be that you aren’t even able to discern this? Could it be that I as your mother could toss my own sons and daughters into the fiery pit? I came to France in order to have you all believe in Almighty God here, follow God’s work in the last days, and receive the opportunity to attain God’s full salvation. The Lord Jesus once prophesied that He would return, and now The Lord Jesus has returned, coming in the flesh as Almighty God. Almighty God has expressed millions of words, and based on the work of redemption carried out by the Lord Jesus, He has been carrying out the work of judgment in the last days starting from the house of God, to thoroughly cleanse and gain all of us who have been deeply corrupted by Satan and bring us into God’s kingdom. This is an extremely rare opportunity! Why do you only listen to rumors without seeking and looking into the work and word of Almighty God? Has our faith in the Lord these many years not been in order to welcome the return of the Lord? If you do not allow me to go see this sister from The Church of Almighty God then buy me a plane ticket now, I’m going home!” Upon seeing my mom be so firm in her approach and hearing her speak words of such understanding and insight, we were all left speechless. However, we still did not compromise. We were unwilling to take our mom to go see the sister. For the next several days, no matter how we tried to cheer up our mom, no matter where we took her or what we bought her, she didn’t show the least bit of enthusiasm. All day long she was so down that she wouldn’t even eat food. Seeing our mom not wanting to eat or drink like this made me very uncomfortable. I thought about how our mother loved us as we were growing up, how she rarely ever got mad in front of us. This was the first time that I had seen my mother so angry and so hurt, and it made me softhearted. So, I talked it over with my sisters and told them that this time I was going to brave the “danger” and take my mom to go see those believers in Eastern Lightning.
The Rumors Collapsed in Light of the Facts, and Through Listening to God’s Voice I Returned Before Him
Two days later two sisters from The Church of Almighty God came to our store in the evening, and as soon as they saw our mom they got very excited and came up and hugged her. It was as if they were close relatives meeting again after being apart from each other for many years. They were both concerned with and respectful toward one another. I felt stunned seeing this, but I couldn’t help but be moved by this touching scene, and tears started falling down my face uncontrollably. Why was this? How could people who we had never met before seem just the same as warm-hearted family members coming together? I also saw that they were very dignified in their speech and manner and very friendly and good-natured in the way they treated people. They were nothing like how they were rumored to be! But then I thought to myself: “Ok, this might be how they appear in this moment, but I cannot let myself be deceived by them, I must continue observing them.” After this, I started keeping in touch with brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God.
After meeting with them several times I realized that the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God just wanted to fellowship about the truth with us and share their experiences and knowledge, they didn’t deceive us in any way, nor did they harm us. On the contrary, they very patiently and compassionately helped us to understand certain perplexities and difficulties in believing in God. At the outset they bore witness to Almighty God being the appearance of the Lord Jesus. I did not accept this in my heart, so then they used the Bible to patiently explain to me the reasons that the religious world had become so desolate. They gave me an example, telling me: “Why was it that in the end of the Age of Law the temple turned into a den of thieves where money was exchanged and livestock and poultry were sold? One reason for this was that the religious leaders did not follow God’s laws and commandments, they were just abiding by what had been passed down by man, by the rules, and they were performing illegal deeds, resisting God and being rejected by God; another reason for this was that the work of the Holy Spirit had already developed forward, God had already become flesh, carrying out the work of the Age of Grace outside of the temple. The Holy Spirit was no longer carrying out work in the temple, the temple had become desolate. In the same way, the church today is also desolate because the pastors and elders are not following the way of God, they are going against the Lord’s commandments, they are frantically resisting God’s new work, God has long ago rejected them, the Holy Spirit is not carrying out the work among them; at the same time, it’s also because God is carrying out new work in the last days that He has taken back all the work of the Spirit throughout the entire universe and given it to those who follow His new work. These people have already once more received the work of the Holy Spirit and entered into the city of ‘rain,’ But those who have not received God’s new work will be left in the city where there is no ‘rain,’ and there they will wither up. This ‘rain’ is referring to the work of the Holy Spirit, it is referring to the new word of God. This has fulfilled exactly what is said in the Book of Amos 4:7: ‘And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.’”
Their fellowship really was in line with the Bible, and it was in line with the word of the Lord. What they said made a lot of sense, but since I had been deeply influenced by the rumors disseminated by the CCP and the pastors and elders in the religious world, I still guarded against them and resisted them in my heart. I did everything that I could to find a hole that I could use to refute them. Even though this was how I treated them they still very patiently fellowshiped with me, which made me realize God’s will and know God’s work. Later on the sisters also fellowshiped with me about the truth of God’s three stages of work. After hearing about this I felt shocked, apparently Christ of the last days—Almighty God has uncovered all the mysteries of God’s 6,000-year management plan to save mankind. God’s work in the Age of Law was that He used the name “Jehovah” to lead the lives of the Israelites, and through Moses issuing the law He made man aware of his sins; God’s work in the Age of Grace was that He used the name “Jesus” to carry out the work of redemption, ultimately being nailed to the cross and becoming a sin offering for man, thereby bearing his sins and forgiving him for them; God’s work in the Age of Kingdom is that He is using the name “Almighty God” to carry out the work of judging man and cleansing man in the last days. Almighty God has issued words to judge man and chastise man, thereby disposing man of his sinful nature and allowing man to be cleansed and attain God’s salvation, bringing him into God’s kingdom and into a new heaven and a new earth. God’s three stages of work are closely linked together, proceeding deeper step by step, complementing one another, not a single one is dispensable, they are the work of one God, and it fulfills the prophecies in the Book of Revelation where it says: “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Rev 1:8). “It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end” (Rev 21:6). In that moment my heart felt like it was being woken up, and I felt very excited. Up to now I had already had faith in the Lord for over twenty years, but regardless of whether it was in Mainland China or overseas I had never before heard any pastor or elder preach a sermon as good as this. As far as God’s plan and the prophesies of the Bible are concerned, these are all mysteries, nobody knows, yet those who believe in Eastern Lightning speak so clearly about so many things, such as God’s plan for managing mankind, and the steps, principles, details and effects to be achieved in each age of God’s work, as well as the disposition expressed by God, and God’s demands and will for mankind, as if they were enumerating their family’s valuables. I felt confirmation in my heart that the word of Almighty God is the expression of the Spirit of truth, that it truly is the voice of God. The Lord Jesus once said: “However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (Jhn 16:13). Now these prophecies have all been fulfilled and accomplished through Almighty God of the last days appearing and carrying out His work! Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus, and all this really is the work carried out by the same God.
Later on I also read the word of Almighty God where it says: “Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God. If you do not seek the way of life provided by Christ of the last days, then you shall never gain the approval of Jesus, and shall never be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven, for you are both a puppet and prisoner of history. … Without the coming of God, can you take yourself into heaven to enjoy family happiness with God? Are you still dreaming now? I suggest, then, that you stop dreaming, and look at who is working now, at who is now carrying out the work of saving man during the last days. If you do not, you shall never gain the truth, and shall never gain life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The word of Almighty God is full of God’s authority and majesty, and it reveals God’s righteous disposition. I know that the work that Almighty God of the last days is carrying out is the work of expressing the truth and bestowing man with life. So long as we accept Christ of the last days—Almighty God, and accept the word expressed by Almighty God, then we will finally be able to solve the root cause of our sin. Only then will we be able to attain the way of eternal life. And those who are not able to keep up with the pace of God’s work, who do not accept God’s salvation in the last days will never be qualified to enter into the kingdom of heaven, and in the end they can only be eliminated by God, causing them to perish and be destroyed. In the face of God’s words of judgment, I thought about how I had been so negligent these past years in my treatment of the fact of the return of the Lord, and I couldn’t help but feel somewhat afraid, and I no longer dared to go on treating this fact with such irreverence. I also thought back on the situations where I got along with the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God and saw that they had some living out of God’s words: No matter what issues I raised, they always were very patient in giving me an answer using the word of Almighty God, they wouldn’t stop until I understood; sometimes sisters would come to my shop, and since the shop was small and didn’t have enough room for them to sit, they would stand for several hours, and they would even bring their own food to feed themselves; sometimes, in order not to affect my business, they would wait until the nighttime when I was finished with my business to meet with me and fellowship about the truth, and by the time our gathering was over it was already midnight when they returned home. One time there were two sisters who fellowshiped with me so late into the night that there was no train for them to take home, so they spent the night at the subway station. I saw these brothers and sisters bear such hardships and be so compassionate and patient, and I couldn’t help but think of what it says in the Bible: “You shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree brings forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree brings forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit” (Mat 7:16-18). Ever since I kept in touch with the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God, I saw that they lived in a way that was quite admirable, that they put into practice the two great commandments that the Lord Jesus asks men to practice: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like to it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Mat 22:37-39). I wouldn’t dare say that they had already reached the Lord’s demands, but I saw that they were living out a part of the reality of these two commandments. And when this was compared with how brothers and sisters lived this out from the various denominations, they were simply as different as the heaven and earth, these brothers and sisters didn’t live out even the least bit of forgiveness and patience, and they were full of jealousy and strife, and fought and struggled with one another, so much so that they would fight each other for fame and profit and status within the church, and as for what kind of tree they belonged to, it could be told according to the kind of fruit they bore. But I felt confirmation in my heart for the way that the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God lived, the way they lived was not fake, it was an expression of their life after practicing God’s words. Because they followed the footsteps of the Lamb, had the work of the Holy Spirit, and had God’s word as their life, they were able to live out the likeness of a true Christian who brings glory to God and bears witness to God. At this time, under the leadership of the word of God and the powerful counterattack of these facts, these rumors about Eastern Lightning slowly collapsed within my heart.