Qitaihe City, Heilongjiang Province
I was formerly a co-worker in the “Justification by Faith Church.” In February 1992, I turned to the Lord. Later, I made a resolution before the Lord that I would devote all my life to Him. Since then, I pursued hard. I never missed any church meetings or Bible study meetings. In 1994, I became a preacher in the church, and in 1996, I began to preach in the co-workers’ meetings. So, I thought that I was most faithful to the Lord and was approved by the Lord. But I had never expected that when the Lord did His new work, I became a Pharisee of the present age, who crucified the returned Lord.
In 1997, at a co-workers’ meeting, a co-worker told me that her son believed in the “Eastern Lightning,” which preached that God had come back and was in China. After hearing this, I thought, “How could it be true? If God has come, He should be in Israel and never be in China. Isn’t it purely a heresy?” A few days later, the co-worker’s son came to me and wanted to fellowship with me. But without giving him any chance to speak, I drove him away. Then, I immediately asked all the church leaders to tell every believer not to receive him. Afterward, the people of the “Eastern Lightning” came to my home to preach God’s new work of the last days many times, but I refused them all rudely.
In the summer of 1999, several brothers and sisters who lived near my home accepted the “Eastern Lightning.” I was afraid that the brothers and sisters in our churches would be “deceived” by them, so I went to seal off all the churches. I said to the brothers and sisters, “From now on, keep away from the people of the ‘Eastern Lightning’ if they come. They have gone crazy. They have abandoned their families and don’t lead a normal life. Don’t have contact with them. Once you are deceived, it will be too late to regret…” Moreover, I gave an order: “No one can receive any stranger except the people in our church. Whoever disobeys will be expelled from the church!” Not long after that, four people in our church accepted the “Eastern Lightning.” As soon as I heard the news, I hurried to the sister’s home where they gathered. I rebuked them angrily, “I’ve just fellowshipped with you. How could you be deceived? You know what? If God has come, will I not know it? You must abandon that way at once; otherwise you will be expelled from the church! …” But no matter how I exhorted and threatened them, they refused to turn back. One sister said to me, “Sister Guan, no man can fathom God’s work. You should deny yourself and investigate this way with a humble heart.” Seeing that they were already “irredeemable,” I could do nothing but leave there. Then I let all the churches know their names and expelled them from the church.
Although I did my best to guard the church and watch over the flock, more co-workers and ordinary believers accepted the “Eastern Lightning.” The church gradually declined. By 2002, the church was very desolate. The believers of the churches became fewer, and in several churches only a few people attended the meetings. I also lost my zealousness. I received no light in reading the Bible and had nothing fresh to preach, feeling thirsty and hungry in spirit. Facing this, I was very distressed but didn’t know what to do. So I often felt fretful, and sometimes I even swore at others. Each time after I did that, I felt very bad. I prayed to God, “O Lord, where are You? Have You abandoned me? What should I do? …” During that period, many brothers and sisters came to preach God’s gospel of the last days to me, but I shut them all out.
On the morning of May 23, when I was standing in the living room, I saw a young girl coming into the courtyard with a bag in her hand. I thought she must be from the “Eastern Lightning.” So I rushed out of the room and shouted to her, “What are you doing here? You deceiver, go away quickly!” “Sister, please listen to me. I came to preach God’s new work. Now God has opened the little scroll prophesied in Revelation. Only if you read this scroll, the word God has spoken, can you understand God’s new work.” As she said this, she took out a book from her bag. Seeing that, I became more angry. I suddenly darted forward, grabbed the book from her hand, and tore scores of pages out of it madly. While tearing, I stamped my feet and gnashed my teeth, saying, “Dare you preach! Dare you deceive people!” And I threw the torn pieces into the air. “No, no! This is God’s word!” The young sister cried and picked up the pieces from the ground. “Cry? Do you think your cries would move me? You deceive people everywhere; do you have the face to cry? Get out of here! Don’t let me see you again!” Swearing at her, I pushed her out of the gate. And I thought complacently, “I’ve driven the ‘Eastern Lightning’ away at last!” But after the sister left, I had a headache. And soon I also felt a dull ache in my chest and began to vomit. Later, I vomited up something like bile. I vomited for a whole day and a whole night. In the end, I didn’t even have the strength to speak. I could do nothing but pray to God in my heart, “Lord! What’s wrong with me? Am I being punished for offending You? If it is so, may You enlighten me to know it, and I’m willing to repent my sin.” After prayer, I remembered that in these years, I gave the cold shoulder to the brothers and sisters who preached God’s new work of the last days to me, swore at them, and even drove them away, but they never paid me with hatred and still came many times to preach the gospel to me with love and expectation. Comparing their living out with the state of the brothers and sisters in our church, I deeply felt that God must be with them, for only God can make people have love and the power of life. When I thought of this, I got nervous. “Is the way they preached right? Did I really resist God’s work?” I was fearful and fell into deep thought…
At the end of September, I went to a sister’s home, where I again met a sister who preached God’s new gospel of the last days. I thought, “This time I must listen carefully and get it straight.” The sister fellowshipped from Genesis to Revelation, fellowshipped about God’s three stages of work, and explained that the churches were desolate because God had done a new work. I received much supply in spirit from her fellowship. After she finished her words, I asked, “If God has come, He should be in Israel. How could He be in China? China isn’t one of the twelve tribes.” The sister smiled and took out of a book, and she opened it and read these words: “The previous two stages of His work took place in Israel, and in this way, some conceptions have taken shape within people. People think that Jehovah was at work in Israel and Jesus Himself carried out His work in Judea—additionally, it was through incarnation that He was at work in Judea—and whatever the case, this work did not extend beyond Israel. He was not at work with the Egyptians; He was not at work with the Indians; He was only at work with the Israelites. People thus form various conceptions; additionally, they plan out God’s work within a certain scope. They say that when God is at work, it must be carried out among the chosen people and in Israel; save for the Israelites, God has no other recipient for His work, nor does He have any other scope for His work; they are particularly strict in ‘disciplining’ the God incarnate, not permitting Him to move beyond the scope of Israel. Are these not all human conceptions? God made all of the heavens and earth and all things, and made all of creation; how could He restrict His work to only Israel? In that case, what use would there be for Him to make the entirety of His creation? He created the whole world; He has carried out His six-thousand-year management plan not only in Israel but also with every person in the universe. … Actually, if He were to act according to human conceptions, God would only be the God of the Israelites; in this manner He would be unable to expand His work into Gentile nations, because He would only be the God of the Israelites rather than the God of all creation. The prophecies said that Jehovah’s name would be great in the Gentile nations and that Jehovah’s name would be spread to the Gentile nations—why would they say this? If God were only the God of the Israelites, then He would only be at work in Israel. Furthermore, He would not expand this work, and He would not make this prophecy. Since He made this prophecy, He would need to expand His work into Gentile nations and into every nation and place. Since He stated this, He would thus do so. This is His plan, for He is the Lord who created the heavens and earth and all things, and the God of all creation. Regardless of whether He is at work with the Israelites or in all Judea, the work He does is the work of the entire universe and the work of all humanity. The work He does today in the nation of the great red dragon—in a Gentile nation—is still the work of all humanity. Israel could be the base for His work on earth; likewise, China can also become the base for His work among the Gentile nations. Has He not now fulfilled the prophecy that ‘the name of Jehovah will be great in the Gentile nations’?” God’s words removed my misunderstanding, and I understood this: “God is the God of all created beings. God can work not only in Israel but also in a Gentile nation, and He can work among any group of created beings. No matter where God does His work, it is the work of the entire universe, the work of saving the whole mankind. It is just as the work of redemption God did in Judea was not just for saving the Jews but for saving the whole mankind. In the past, because I was blind and didn’t know God’s work, I circumscribed God within Israel, thinking that God couldn’t possibly work in China. Now I know that Israel can be the base for God’s work on earth, and China can also be the base for God’s work in Gentile nations, which will fulfill the word ‘the name of Jehovah will be great among the Gentile nations.’”
Then I took the scroll and began to read it quietly. I read these words of God: “Even more believe that whatever the new work of God, it must be substantiated by prophecies, and that in each stage of such work, all ‘those who follow Him with a true heart’ must also be shown revelations, else that work could not be that of God. It is already no easy task for man to come to know God. Taken in addition to man’s absurd heart and his rebellious nature of self-importance and conceit, then it is all the more difficult for man to accept the new work of God. Man neither studies the new work of God with care nor accepts it with humility; rather, man adopts an attitude of contempt, waiting for the revelations and guidance of God. Is this not the behavior of a man who rebels against and opposes God? How can such men gain the approval of God?” God’s words pierced my heart and made me feel too ashamed to show my face. “I took it for granted that I was the most faithful person to the Lord, and when the Lord came, I would know it first. So, although the brothers and sisters preached God’s work of the last days to me time after time, I didn’t seek or investigate but judged and condemned it blindly and even tore the book of God’s word. I’m too arrogant! I’m really unworthy to live according to my deeds!” As I thought of this, I fell to the floor and burst into tears, “Almighty God! I am too blind. I believed in You yet didn’t know You and resisted and blasphemed You. According to what I have done, I should deserve only Your curse! However, You didn’t treat me according to my transgressions, but showed me great mercy. O God, You have spent too much effort on me. Your love is so real! Now I deeply feel unworthy of Your salvation and no words can express my regret and indebtedness to You. I only wish to devote myself to the spreading of Your gospel work of the last days.”
Eighteen days later, I resolutely joined the team of preaching God’s gospel of the last days, for I had deeply understood God’s eagerness to save people, and at the same time I knew that the brothers and sisters gave up their families and jobs not because they were too crazy but because God’s love moved them so that they could offer their part for God’s gospel work and make those many souls in darkness receive God’s salvation and come to God earlier. Dear brothers and sisters, I hope you won’t be as arrogant, disobedient, and obstinate as I was. Please investigate God’s new work of the last days carefully! Otherwise, when God’s work ends, you will regret bitterly.