111. I Struggled in Sin and Repented Before the Truth
Chaoyang City, Liaoning Province
I was once a leader of the Local Church. In August of 2000, I attended a co-workers’ training in Henan Province, during which I heard some rumors about Almighty God’s work of the last days, but I didn’t pay much attention to them. In early September, I went to Fuxin City, where I heard the upper leaders say, “There is now a new sect called the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ It is the most evil ‘heresy,’ ‘cult,’ in the world. They no longer believe in the Lord Jesus and claim that God’s name has changed to ‘Almighty God.’ It’s exactly the false Christ prophesied in the Bible.” Hearing these, I believed them to be true. As I always obeyed the leaders’ orders, I said many blasphemous words with them. And I told the brothers and sisters in our church, “We must be on strict guard against the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ Without the church’s permission, you can’t receive anyone. If you see the people of the ‘Eastern Lightning,’ inform me immediately.”
In March of 2001, I learned that Sister Liu in our church accepted the “Eastern Lightning,” so I hurriedly went to “persuade” her with my husband and the co-workers from Henan Province. That day, it snowed heavily. We walked in the snow for about ten miles to her home. After our “earnest” exhortation, she was finally dragged back. When we returned home, it was already a little past six o’clock in the evening. I felt my feet hurt much. I took off my socks and found that the nail of the little toe of my left foot had fallen off as if being cut off by a sharp knife, and there was a bleeding blister as big as an almond on the little toe of my right foot. I thought that this was the price I paid and the hardship I suffered for the church work. So, even though my feet hurt badly, I was very pleased with myself.
In autumn of 2001, two sisters from Tangshan City came to my home. I knew that they had already accepted the work of Almighty God. They had visited me many times to persuade me to listen to their fellowship, but they were driven away by me every time. This time, I get very angry. I kicked the door open, pointed my finger at them, and roared exasperatedly, “Out! What cheek! How can you be so shameless? Get out of here!” My husband took out the book of God’s word that we confiscated before, and he read it and laughed. He said “bind the devil” after he read each word. And I also cried, “Lord Jesus! You bind the ‘Eastern Lightning’…” My husband and I echoed each other. When the two sisters were driven out, both of them were in tears. Since then, I resisted Almighty God’s work more rampantly.
In February of 2002, I attended a training held in Henan once again. The co-workers there commended me for my “contribution,” and they told more rumors about the “Eastern Lightning.” So I hated those who accepted the “Eastern Lightning” more bitterly. In April, to resist the harassment of the “Eastern Lightning” and protect the Lord’s lambs from being “captured,” I bought a motorcycle for 5,500 yuan. I said to my husband, “The ‘Eastern Lightning’ is my deadly foe. I’m irreconcilable with them. They and I can’t coexist.” One day, when we were just going to have breakfast, a sister called and said that two people came to her home to preach the “Eastern Lightning.” Hearing it, without eating breakfast, I immediately asked my husband to drive me to the sister’s home on the motorcycle. At the sight of the two sisters who preached the work of the last days, I flared up and said fiercely, “Out! Get Out quickly! There’s no place for you here.” When they walked to the gate, I ran after them like mad and cursed them, “You two big devils, Satan! Go away quickly! Fie!” At that time, my whole body shuddered with fury. Since then, as long as any brother or sister called me, I would go without any delay, by day or night, wind or rain. During that time, I resisted Almighty God crazily, like a devil, without humanity at all.
While I was resisting Almighty God most seriously, I found the condition of the church became worse day by day. The co-workers were harmonious outwardly but estranged at heart. They intrigued against each other and raised envy and strife against each other. The messages they gave were full of man’s will, and they didn’t preach about the Bible at all, but only talked about how to resist the “Eastern Lightning.” And the brothers and sisters were passive and cold, and they dozed off when listening to the messages. Facing this situation, I was helpless and didn’t know what to do. One day in July, 2002, I was at home alone. I knelt on the floor and cried out in tears to God, “Lord Jesus! Where are You? I’ve been running around so ‘faithfully’ for You to resist the ‘heresy,’ ‘cult,’ but why is the church still so chaotic and desolate? How should I walk the future way? Lord, please show me a way.” I sobbed bitterly and was in floods of tears. Thank Almighty God for hearing my prayer. He didn’t remember my past sins, but stretched out His saving hand to me again and pulled me out of the abyss of sin, so that I saw the light again.
On August 1, 2002, I went with my husband to Chaoyang City to preach the gospel. On the third day after we arrived there, we met two brothers who preached Almighty God’s work of the last days at a sister’s home. This time, I didn’t treat them as I did to those gospel preachers before. Formerly, I didn’t give those preachers any opportunity to speak, but today, I decided to say nothing and hear what they would preach. The two brothers fellowshipped from Genesis to Revelation, from Jehovah’s issuing the law in the Old Testament and Jesus’ redemption in the New Testament to the little scroll in the prophecy. I received much supply and enlightenment from their fellowship. When fellowshipping about God’s name, one brother took out the book of God’s word and read these words: “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. That is because ‘Jesus the Savior’ is only for the redemption and salvation of mankind. I took the name of ‘Jesus’ for the sake of all the sinners in the Age of Grace, and it is not the name by which I shall bring the whole of mankind to an end. Although Jehovah, Jesus, and the Messiah all represent My Spirit, these names only denote the different ages in My management plan, and do not represent Me in My entirety. The names by which people on earth call Me cannot articulate My entire disposition and all that I am. They are merely different names by which I am called during different ages. 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 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. People have never engaged with Me, have never known Me, and have always been ignorant of My disposition. From the creation of the world until today, not one person has seen Me. This is the God who appears to man during the last days but is hidden among man. He resides among man, true and real, like the burning sun and a flaming fire, filled with power and brimming with authority. There is not a single person or thing that shall not be judged by My words, and not a single person or thing that shall not be purified through the burning of fire. Eventually, all nations shall be blessed because of My words, and also smashed to pieces because of My words. In this way, all people during the last days shall see that I am the Savior returned, I am the Almighty God that conquers all of mankind, and I was once the sin offering for man, but in the last days I also become the flames of the sun that burn all things, as well as the Sun of righteousness that reveals all things. Such is My work of the last days. I took this name and am possessed of this disposition so that all people may see that I am a righteous God, and am the burning sun, and the flaming fire. It is so that all may worship Me, the only true God, and so that they may see My true face: I am not only the God of the Israelites, and am not just the Redeemer; I am the God of all creatures throughout heavens and earth and seas.” (from “The ‘Savior’ Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) When I heard this, my head buzzed. God’s words shocked my heart, like a thunderbolt. I sat there dumbfounded and at a loss. I had never expected that the “Eastern Lightning” I had been resisting despite day or night, hunger or hardships in these many years was actually the true God, was God’s work! For a time, I was dizzy and felt weak all over. I tried hard to bear it and said, “Brother, please stop for a moment. I want to calm myself.” The two brothers went out and I was left in the room alone. I knelt on the kang, pressing my forehead against it, and said, “O God!” Then I could speak no more, and burst into tears. I felt extremely sad as if my heart were torn to pieces. No words could express my feeling. After a long while, someone handed me a towel and asked me to wipe my face. The brothers continued to fellowship with me, and I just cried and said nothing. They read me this piece of God’s word “When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth.” God says: “Do you wish to know the root of why the Pharisees opposed Jesus? Do you wish to know the substance of the Pharisees? They were full of fantasies about the Messiah. What’s more, they believed only that the Messiah would come, yet did not seek the truth of life. And so, even today they still await the Messiah, for they have no knowledge of the way of life, and do not know what the way of truth is. How, say you, could such foolish, stubborn and ignorant people gain God’s blessing? How could they behold the Messiah? They opposed Jesus because they did not know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s working, because they did not know the way of truth spoken by Jesus, and, furthermore, because they did not understand the Messiah. And since they had never seen the Messiah, and had never been in the company of the Messiah, they made the mistake of paying empty tribute to the name of the Messiah while opposing the substance of the Messiah by any means. These Pharisees in substance were stubborn, arrogant, and did not obey the truth. The principle of their belief in God is: no matter how profound your preaching, no matter how high your authority, you are not Christ unless you are called the Messiah. Are these views not preposterous and ridiculous? I ask you again: Is it not extremely easy for you to commit the mistakes of the earliest Pharisees, given that you have not the slightest understanding of Jesus? Are you able to discern the way of truth? Can you truly guarantee that you will not oppose Christ? Are you able to follow the work of the Holy Spirit? If you do not know whether you will oppose Christ, then I say that you are already living on the brink of death. Those who did not know the Messiah were all capable of opposing Jesus, of rejecting Jesus, of slandering Him. People who do not understand Jesus are all capable of denying Him, and reviling Him. Moreover, they are capable of seeing the return of Jesus as the deceit of Satan, and more people shall condemn Jesus returned to flesh. Does not all of this make you afraid? What you face shall be blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, the ruination of the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches, and the spurning of all that is expressed by Jesus.” Each word of God, like a double-edged sword, pierced my heart. I was utterly convinced. “Am I not the one who held on to the name of Jesus but resisted, rejected, and reviled Jesus unscrupulously everywhere? Didn’t I commit the sin of blaspheming the Holy Spirit and tearing up what the Holy Spirit says to the churches?” I asked the brother, “I did so many evils and committed the most heinous sin. Will God still want me?” The brother answered, “This time God was incarnated among us filthy and corrupt people and endures insults and humiliations for the very purpose of saving those who truly believe in Him, and He will save them to the utmost. As long as there is a gleam of hope for them, God will not give up. If one, after understanding the purpose of God’s work and God’s intention of saving man, won’t rebel or resist but obey and accept God’s work, God will not mind what he did before. God is not narrow-minded and calculating like man. This is His being, His love for mankind, and His righteousness.” I was comforted a little by the brother’s words. God loves man so much! I felt too ashamed to show my face, and tears of indebtedness flowed down. I regretted that I had been so arrogant and self-right, and I believed in God yet didn’t know God, and even tried hard to resist God and disturb the brothers and sisters everywhere, hindering them from accepting God’s work. Thinking back to my various evils deeds, I even more hated myself. I prayed to God in tears, “Almighty God! I’m too sinful and deserve to die. I should be punished and go to hell. I’m unworthy to live at all and don’t have face to see You. But You didn’t treat me according to what I did. Instead of punishing me, You saved me to the utmost and gave me the opportunity to amend my ways. I will repent and consecrate the rest of my life to You. I will do my best to cooperate with Your gospel work and bring more brothers and sisters who have been deceived before You to make up for my indebtedness to You.”
After I accepted the work of Almighty God, through eating and drinking God’s word, I was more certain that this way is the true way. Before the truths of God’s word, I knew the evil intention of those who fabricated rumors. They were purely vipers who damaged God’s management work of saving man. In order to enjoy the blessings of position, they tried all kinds of ways to demolish God’s work. They are really too sinister. I even more hated myself for following others blindly without knowing the truth of the fact and telling a big lie with them to deceive the brothers and sisters, so that so many of them have failed to come before God so far. The lesson was too painful. I felt deeply grieved and no words could express my regret. With the facts I have witnessed and my personal experience, I want to cry aloud: Dear brothers and sisters, wake up quickly! I hope you can learn a lesson from my experience and don’t be a person like me who believe the rumors lightly and resist God. There is really not much time left. If you miss the opportunity, you will be heartbroken with regret. God’s word says: “You must not blindly condemn the words expressed by God because of the appearance of false Christs during the last days, and must not be someone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit because you fear deception. Would that not be a great pity?” (from “When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh)