102. How I Prostrated Myself Before Almighty God
Huaian City, Jiangsu Province
I was formerly a district leader of the Joseph Church. In 1998, in a co-workers’ meeting, my senior leader warned me in particular, “Brother Dong, the situation of the churches in your district is rather messy, so you have to work harder. Now the preachers of Almighty God are very rampant, and they grow very fast in number. And their little scroll is even more intriguing. You must guard the flock carefully and not let any of them be taken captive. If you neglect your duty, you will have no crown.” From then on, I began to wantonly seal off all the churches in my charge. I said to the brothers and sisters, “Those who believe in Almighty God have departed from the Bible. Any belief departing from the Bible is heresy. Any of you mustn’t come into contact with the believers in Almighty God or receive them. They are as dangerous as poisonous hooks. Once you have contact with them, you will become swollen and sore all over, which no doctor can cure. Shut your ears to the words of their little scroll. Once you listen, you will be bewitched and be unable to escape even if you want….” Like this, I regarded the believers in Almighty God as enemies and strongly resisted Almighty God’s new work, and brought the believers in the churches under my control.
In April 1999, a sister secretly told me, “Brother Zhang in our church, who pursues quite hard, is associating with the believers in Almighty God.” After hearing that, I immediately went to the worker in charge of that church and said to him, “I’ve heard that there is a Brother Zhang in your church who is associating with some believers in Almighty God. Go and Look into it quickly. Warn him not to get close to the believers in Almighty God, because they have deviated from the Lord’s way. You must keep a strict eye upon him lest he be taken captive.” Three days later, I went to that worker again as I still felt worried about it. He told me, “Brother Zhang has broken with those people.” At that, my anxious heart was relieved, and I thought it was the Lord’s care and keeping for that church. Not long afterward, another sister told me that her younger brother had accepted Almighty God and asked her to listen to the message. I dissuaded her earnestly, saying, “Don’t go to listen. You must stand firm on your ground. Apart from our Joseph Church, there is no true way. Only the house of Joseph is most blessed. Genesis 49:25-26 says: ‘… by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb … they shall be on the head of Joseph….’ If you take a wrong way, your many years of belief in God will be in vain.” So the sister stopped associating with her brother because of my dissuasion. Thereafter, I resisted the work of Almighty God of the last days more and more fiercely. Many believers in Almighty God were ruthlessly driven away by me when they came to preach the gospel to the believers in our churches.
One day in June 2001, I suddenly felt numb all over, and my legs became so weak that I was even unable to stand. My family hastily sent me to the hospital. There I was given intravenous fluids and medicine. However, I did not get better, but got worse, and eventually I even lost all feeling in my legs—I became paralyzed. After a period of treatment, the doctor said, “You’ve got spinal tuberculosis. It is incurable.” At that, tears burst forth from my eyes. “I’m only forty-four now. Will I just wait for death at home like this?” On October 26, I left hospital with despair. Being paralyzed, I was unable to look after myself. I was struggling in agony and calling on God in despair. I felt days wore on like years and that I was living in hell. One day, I was told, “The head of the Joseph Church (Wei XX) will come to our place.” At the news, I immediately felt that I could be healed because we all regarded the head of our Church as “God.” I longed for him, waited and waited. More than a month passed, but he did not come. Later, someone told me, “The head won’t come. He said that the situation of the churches in our area was too complicated and messy, and he gave up the whole flock here.” The news was simply a head-on blow to me. I could not help crying out in my heart, “O Lord! Why is this happening? I have been utterly faithful to You over these many years of believing in You. In order to protect the flock, I spared no efforts to resist ‘Eastern Lightning.’ How come I end up like this? O Lord! Where are You? The house of Joseph has been most blessed by You. Why do You not care for us anymore? Have You really left us and done a new work? …”
Just when I hesitated and was in perplexity, Brother Chen of our Church came and said to me, “Brother Dong, a brother will come to our place to testify about the work of Almighty God of the last days in a couple of days. Please have a listen! We can’t rigidly stick to our way anymore. You can’t walk, can I bring him here to have a fellowship with you?” Hearing that, I thought, “I’m a dying man, what do I have to fear? I might as well have a listen. If I don’t make certain whether it is the true way or not, I won’t die in peace.” So I agreed. Two days later, the brother really came. He comforted me and patiently fellowshiped with me about the three stages of God’s work in detail, from Genesis to Revelation. His preaching was so wonderful. What he fellowshiped were all things that I had never heard during my years of believing in the Lord. To dispel my notion that “the believers in God can only read the Bible and cannot read the little scroll,” the brother opened the Bible and read me Chapter 5 of Revelation: “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? … And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof” (Revelation 5:1-2, 5). Based on these verses, the brother fellowshiped, “Today, Almighty God has come and opened the little scroll, and that has completely fulfilled this prophecy in Revelation. How can we say that the believers cannot read the little scroll? If we say so, doesn’t it mean that we take this prophecy away from the book of Revelation? Almighty God has opened the little scroll, disclosed to man all the mysteries in the Bible that they do not understand, and set forth many truths concerning God’s six-thousand-year management plan, the entirety of God’s will to save mankind, how man can gain transformation in his disposition and become holy, and so on. If we cling to the Bible, we cannot receive God’s blessings, much less receive the truth and the life that God bestows upon man in the last days. In John 5:39-40, Jesus said these words: ‘Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life.’ From these verses, we can see that people think in the Scriptures they have eternal life. This is man’s thinking, which comes from his imagination. Actually, there is no eternal life in the Scriptures. Only if we come to God can we receive eternal life, because only God Himself is the source of life, and only God Himself is the truth, the way, and the life. The Bible is only the record of the work that God has done. It cannot be compared with God, much less can it represent God.” Then the brother read me a passage of Almighty God’s word: “You all need to understand the Bible—it is very necessary that you do so. Today, you don’t need to read the Bible any longer, for there is nothing new in it; it’s all outdated. The Bible is a history book. If during the Age of Grace you were to eat and drink the Old Testament, practicing the requirements of the Old Testament age, then Jesus would forsake you, condemn you. If you had tried to impose the Old Testament on Jesus’ work, you would have been called a Pharisee. And so today, if you eat and drink and practice the Old and New Testaments, then the God of today will condemn you; you cannot keep pace with the work of the Holy Spirit today. If you eat the Old and New Testaments, then you are one outside the stream of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ day, He led the Jews and all those who followed Him according to the work of the Holy Spirit in Him. He did not look to the Bible for evidence, but spoke as His work dictated. He did not concern Himself with what the Bible said, did not lead His followers down a path found in the Bible. From the very beginning, He preached the way of repentance, and the word ‘repentance’ was not mentioned at all in all the prophecies in the Old Testament. Not only did He not follow the Bible, He brought forth a new path and did a new work. He did not make reference to the Bible when He preached, and the miracles He worked—healing the sick, casting out demons—had never been performed by men during the Age of Law. No one in the Age of Law did the work He did, taught those lessons, had that authority. He simply did His new work, though many people condemned Him, even crucified Him, by using the Bible. His work went beyond the Old Testament; if that had not been the case, why would they have nailed Him to the cross? Was it not because His teachings, His power to cure the sick and cast out demons, had never been recorded in the Old Testament? The work of Jesus was to bring forth a new path; He did not deliberately set out to ‘wage war’ against the Bible or abolish the Old Testament, but simply performed His ministry, bringing the new work to those who thirsted for Him and sought Him out. He was not trying to explain the Old Testament or defend its work. Carrying on the Age of Law was not His goal, for He did not care in the least whether His work was grounded in the Bible, but simply did the job that He needed to do. So He did not attempt to explain the Old Testament prophecies, did not base His work on words spoken in the Old Testament Age of Law. He did not concern Himself with what the Old Testament said, whether it accorded with His own work, did not care how other people saw His work or condemned His work. He simply kept on doing the job He needed to do, though many people condemned Him, invoking the words of the Old Testament prophets. In people’s eyes His work was not based on a shred of evidence, and in many ways it ran counter to what was recorded in the Bible. Were they not grossly in the wrong? Must God’s work obey any rules? Does He need to follow the words of prophets? Which is greater, the Bible or God? Why must God’s work be in line with the Bible? Is it really not within His right to stand above the Bible? Can He not depart from it and do other work?” (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) After hearing Almighty God’s words and the brother’s fellowship, I was enlightened all at once. “Actually, the ‘Eastern Lightning’ which I prevented the brothers and sisters from accepting is exactly the new work God does in the last days; Almighty God, whom I blindly blasphemed, slandered, and opposed, is none other than the reappearance of Savior Jesus whom I have been eagerly expecting for years; the little scroll, which I felt hostility toward all the time and which in my view could not be read or touched, is precisely God’s utterance in the new age and is the eternal way of truth God bestows upon man in the last days.” At that moment, I felt bitterly regretful, tears streaming down my face. “I believe in God but do not know God, and only hold on to the letters of the Bible. So many brothers and sisters have been hindered by me from coming before Almighty God. I’m really a grievous and most wicked sinner. Now I have known the reason why I suddenly suffered paralysis. This is my fitting retribution for opposing Almighty God and is what I deserve to suffer. I truly deserve to die!”
Afterward, as I ate and drank more of God’s words, I gained some knowledge of the three stages of God’s work: If Jehovah had not decreed the law to lead mankind in the Age of Law, the whole mankind would not have known God’s existence and what sin is, and they would have been trampled down and taken captive by Satan and thus completely been destroyed. If the Lord Jesus had not been crucified to bear man’s sins in the Age of Grace, they all would have been killed because of their grievous sins against the Law. If Almighty God did not express the truth to judge and purify people in the last days, the redeemed people would never be freed from sin and be purified, but could only fall into the great disasters by which God will punish people in the last days. And I also realized this: Only Almighty God—the Christ of the last days can save people thoroughly, and only Almighty God can bring the truth and show the way to people and bestow the life upon them. The head of the Joseph Church is merely a corrupt man. He can only teach us the letters of the Bible, but is unable to bring a new way, much less bring the truth to us. He cannot do God’s own work, and all he can do is to deceive and corrupt people. In the past, I was blind and foolish, parroted others’ words, blindly condemned and resisted God’s work of the last days without seeking and investigating it. To preserve my position, I followed my leader and fabricated many rumors, spoke many slanderous and blasphemous words against Almighty God, and condemned the little scroll that God had opened…. Thanks to Almighty God’s tolerance and grace, I, a dying man, personally heard and read His words; otherwise, I would have died without knowing why. At that time, I felt extremely remorseful. I hated myself for yesterday’s rebellious and resistant acts, and I was even more deeply indebted that I was unable to repay God’s love because of my paralysis.
After I accepted the work of Almighty God of the last days, an amazing thing happened. My condition was improving every day. In October 2002, miraculously, I could walk without the crutches and was even able to go to perform my duty by bike. I couldn’t help praising God, “O Almighty God! Your love for me is so great, so deep, and so real! Your love has transcended the heavens. You have forgiven me, a son of disobedience, who deserves to be cursed and struck by You, so that I have a chance to survive. And You have also caused me to experience Your majestic disposition that allows no offense. O Almighty God! You are mankind’s only hope, and You are mankind’s only Redeemer!”
Dear brothers and sisters, I hope that you can draw a lesson from my personal experience. Never tread in the steps of me! Wake up quickly! Almighty God is truly the Christ of the last days, the returned Savior Jesus we have been waiting for. Today God is anxiously expecting us to return to His family soon. His heart, deeply grieved by us, is still longing for us to turn back….