110. God’s Discipline Drove Me to Seek and His Words Conquered Me
Shangqiu City, Henan Province
I was once a worker of the “Justification by Faith Church.” Since I believed in Jesus in 1987, I had expected that one day I would be received up into heaven by the Lord and enjoy the heavenly blessings. However, when the Lord “knocked” on my door, I took Him as a deceiver from Satan and condemned and resisted Him with all my effort. When I recall the past, I feel very regretful…
At a co-workers’ meeting in December 2000, the leader told us, “Now there arose a sect called the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ They preach that the Lord has come back and is no longer called Jesus but Almighty God. Don’t be deceived by them! They specially deceive the young so as to commit adultery. If you don’t accept their way after listening to their message, they will disable or detain you! …” I believed his words without discerning them, and conveyed them to the brothers and sisters as soon as I came back. I also stressed again and again, “Without my permission, no one can receive the people of the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ Whoever disobeys will be expelled from the church!” Just like this, I sealed off the church and hindered the spreading of God’s new work greatly.
One day in March 2001, a sister came to preach God’s new work to me. I shouted angrily, “Go away! I have no time to listen to your nonsense! …” With that, I forcibly pulled her out of the door and drove her away. Unexpectedly, she came again the next day. “Sister,” she said, “I just came to tell you that the Lord has returned in the flesh and done a new work. Follow the footsteps of the Lamb, or you will regret! …” “Fie! It’s all lies! The Lord will come back with clouds, and every eye will see Him. You said the Lord has come back. Why haven’t I seen Him? Out! …” I pointed at her and bellowed before she finished her words. Then I drove her out of the gate. Afterward, she kept coming to preach to me, but I drove her away relentlessly every time.
In June 2001, I was told that a sister in our church accepted the “Eastern Lightning.” So I hurried to her home and pressed her to return their book to them. And I warned her, “You must confess your sin before the Lord in the next three days, or you’ll be expelled!” Under my threat, the sister could not but return the book and didn’t dare to have contact with them.
While I resisted God’s new work crazily, God’s wrath came upon me. On June 16, 2001, I went to seal off the church though it rained heavily. Unexpectedly, I slipped and broke my leg on my way back home. I spent more than 700 yuan on the treatment and lay in bed for four months. Despite that, I didn’t wake up but took it as a trial from the Lord. So after I was recovered, I still resisted God fiercely. And I “taught” the brothers and sisters, “Don’t be easy on the believers of the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ Beat them away if curses don’t work…”
As I didn’t repent, God’s punishment came upon me again. In February 2002, my husband had stomach cancer. I spent all our family savings and even borrowed money to have him treated, but he still died in the end. After he died, all the family burden fell on me. Thinking I reaped such fruit after over ten years of believing in God, I really wanted to die to end everything! In great sorrow, I came before the Lord and prayed in bitter tears, “Dear Lord, I have followed You for so many years and done so much work for You, but I reap such fruit. What’s all this about? Did I offend You? Please enlighten me…” After prayer, I recollected what had happened in the past two years. “Has God really done a new work? Is the misfortune the result of my resistance against Almighty God? …” Thinking of this, I couldn’t help feeling frightened. So I prayed again, “Lord! If the ‘Eastern Lightning’ is the true way, may You let me know. I’m willing to obey Your will and won’t resist You anymore…”
One day in March 2003, the sister who often preached God’s new work to me came to my home again. Seeing that I was working, she bended down to work with me at once. I watched her, and I could feel her love from my heart. I thought, “The leader said that they would beat and disable those who didn’t accept their way after listening to their message. I abused her each time she came, but she still kept coming to preach their gospel to me and even helped me with my work, not minding dirt or fatigue. I couldn’t see any evil intention. Isn’t this the manifestation of love? Who has such love? God is the only source of love. Without love and patience from God, could she do this?” I was moved at it, so I agreed to listen to the testimony.
The next day, the sister came to fellowship with me, and I asked her directly, “The Bible says, ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ (Acts 4:12) But why does God’s name change to Almighty God?” The sister said with a smile, “In Exodus 3:15, it says, ‘… the LORD … this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations.’ Then why did God’s name change to Jesus in the Age of Grace? The name didn’t endure to all generations, did it? Actually, God takes a name for the sake of His work. As His work advances, His name changes.” Then she showed me these passages of God’s word: “… God originally had no name. He only took on one, or two, or many names because He had work to do and had to manage mankind. Whatever name He is called by, isn’t it freely chosen by Him?” (from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) “Some say that the name of God does not change, so why then did the name of Jehovah become Jesus? It was prophesied of the coming of the Messiah, so why then did a man by the name of Jesus come? Why did the name of God change? Was not such work carried out long ago? Cannot God this day do a new work? The work of yesterday can be altered, and the work of ‘Jesus’ can follow on from that of ‘Jehovah.’ Cannot then the work of ‘Jesus’ be succeeded by another work? If the name of ‘Jehovah’ can be changed to ‘Jesus,’ then cannot the name of ‘Jesus’ also be changed? This is not unusual, and people think so[a] only due to their simple-mindedness. God will always be God. Regardless of the changes to His work and His name, His disposition and wisdom remain forever unchanged. If you believe that God can only be called by the name of Jesus, then you know too little. Do you dare assert that Jesus is forever the name of God, that God will forever and always go by the name of Jesus, and that this will never change? Dare you assert with certainty it is the name of ‘Jesus’ that concluded the Age of Law and also concludes the final age? Who can say that the grace of ‘Jesus’ can conclude the age?” (from “How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His ‘Conceptions’ Receive the ‘Revelations’ of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) “In each age and each stage of work, My name is not baseless, but holds representative significance: each name represents one age. ‘Jehovah’ represents the Age of Law, and is the honorific for the God worshiped by the people of Israel. ‘Jesus’ represents the Age of Grace, and is the name of the God of all those who were redeemed during the Age of Grace. If man still longs for the arrival of Jesus the Savior during the last days, and still expects Him to arrive in the image He bore in Judea, then the entire six-thousand-year management plan would stop in the Age of Redemption, and would be incapable of progressing any further. The last days, furthermore, would never arrive, and the age would never be brought to an end. … And so, when the final age—the age of the last days—arrives, My name shall change again. I shall not be called Jehovah, or Jesus, much less the Messiah, but shall be called the powerful and almighty God Himself, and under this name I shall bring the entire age to an end. I was once known as Jehovah. I was also called the Messiah, and people once called Me Jesus the Savior because they loved and respected Me. Today I am no longer the Jehovah or Jesus that people knew in times past. I am the God who has returned in the last days, and who shall bring the age to an end. I am the God Himself that rises up at the ends of the earth, replete with My entire disposition, and full of authority, honor and glory.” (from “The ‘Savior’ Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) After reading these words, I pondered, “Right! God’s name was Jehovah in the Age of Law, but in the Age of Grace, He changed His name as He did a new work. He was called Jesus but not Jehovah. It shows that God’s name isn’t unchanging as I imagined. It’s the last days now, and it’s a new age. Won’t God’s name also change? If I still hold on to the name of the Lord Jesus, am I not restricting God’s work? If God’s work and name never changed, the last days would never come. Then when would God’s management plan be ended?”
Then I put forward my second question: “In the last days, God will ‘come with clouds, and every eye shall see him,’ but why haven’t I seen Him?” The sister read me these words of God: “For several thousand years, man has longed to be able to witness the arrival of the Savior. Man has longed to behold Jesus the Savior on a white cloud as He descends, in person, among those who have pined and yearned for Him for thousands of years. Man has longed for the Savior to return and be reunited with the people, that is, for Jesus the Savior to come back to the people from whom He has been apart for thousands of years. And man hopes that He will once again carry out the work of redemption that He did among the Jews, will be compassionate and loving towards man, will forgive the sins of man, bear the sins of man, and even bear all of man’s transgressions and deliver man from sin. … Man believes that, following the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven upon a white cloud, and took His place at the Most High’s right hand. Similarly, man conceives that Jesus shall descend, again upon a white cloud (this cloud refers to the cloud that Jesus rode upon when He returned to heaven), among the mankind who has desperately yearned for Him for thousands of years, and that He shall bear the image and clothes of the Jews. After appearing to man, He shall bestow food upon them, and cause living water to gush forth for them, and shall live among man, full of grace and love, living and real. And so on. Yet Jesus the Savior did not do this; He did the opposite of what man conceived. He did not arrive among those who had yearned for His return, and did not appear to all men while riding upon the ‘white cloud.’ He has already arrived, but man does not know Him, and remains ignorant of His arrival. Man is only aimlessly awaiting Him, unaware that He has already descended upon a white cloud (the cloud which is His Spirit, His words, and His entire disposition and all that He is), and is now among a group of overcomers that He will make during the last days.” (from “The ‘Savior’ Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) “Oh! The white cloud doesn’t refer to the ‘white cloud’ in the sky, but refers to God’s Spirit, God’s word, and all His disposition and being! God has really come back!” I was enlightened, as if seeing the sun after the clouds were dispelled. I had never thought that Almighty God I had crazily resisted was the Savior Jesus I had expected for many years. I was stung by remorse and burst into tears, “O Almighty God, I’m really so ignorant and blind. I believed the leader’s words and blindly condemned Your new work without seeking or investigating. I sealed off the church and bound the brothers and sisters. I abused and drove away the gospel preachers. And I even dragged back the sister who had accepted the true way. I have been completely devoid of sense and conscience. I’m a sheer evil servant and should be burned forever! The disciplines I have suffered are the retribution I deserve, and they are the testimony of Your righteous disposition and the expression of Your love. They woke me up to receive Your salvation. Almighty God, I will do what I can to repay Your grace of salvation and atone for my indebtedness to You!”
In Almighty God’s family, I saw young brothers and sisters less than twenty years old and elderly brothers and sisters over sixty years old. They got along with each other properly and did things by principles. In Article 4 of the Ten Administrative Decrees, it is stipulated: “Man has corrupt disposition and even more has emotion. So, in the service in coordination, two people of different sexes are forbidden to coordinate alone. If discovered, they shall be expelled, no matter who they are.” (from “Ten Administrative Decrees God’s Chosen People Must Keep” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) The facts and the truth made me realize that the rumors such as “they specially deceive the young so as to commit adultery” were the leaders’ false testimonies and purely deceptive lies. They were “drugs” used by them to control people!
Dear brothers and sisters, I hope you will get revelation from my experience. Don’t echo what others say and become Satan’s accomplice as I did. That will only harm both yourself and others. As God says in the “Postscript” to Typical Cases of Punishment for Resisting Almighty God: “… and hoping that more people can make a careful investigation before God’s word and work and treat this important message seriously and devoutly. Don’t follow in the footsteps of these punished ones…. God does not want more people to be punished, but instead hopes that more people can be saved and more people can keep up with His footsteps and enter into His kingdom. But if one still persists in his mistaken way and cannot accept the truth with a humble heart…, then he himself will come to grief and suffer loss in the end. God’s work waits for no one, and His salvation will not be thrown lightly to anyone like rubbish…. If you do not know to treasure it, then what awaits you will only be God’s righteous judgment and punishment. … If you can receive His new work and receive the truth that He expresses, then you will receive God’s salvation….”
a. The original text does not have “People think so”.