120 The Conversion of a Son of Disobedience
Tieling City, Liaoning Province
In the fall of 1996, I accepted the Lord Jesus in the True Jesus Church. Later, I became a preacher, responsible for shepherding over thirty churches in my parish.
At a co-worker meeting in 1999, Elder Li from Shenyang said to us, “In recent years, there has arisen a sect called ‘Eastern Lightning.’ They preach that the Lord has been incarnated the second time, even as a female. They grow so rapidly in number that nothing can stand in their way. Whoever believes in Jesus is a target hunted by them. They belong to an underworld organization. In order to convert a believer in the Lord, they either seduce him with beauty and buy him off with money or threaten him with violence. If he refuses to obey them, they will break his arms or legs, or cut off his nose or ears. Many elders, deacons, and believers of our denomination have been taken captive by them. Now they have come to Changtu area, so you must take stringent precautions and keep a good watch over the flock lest any brother or sister be taken captive by them. …” I did not doubt about his words at all. From then on, whichever church I went to, I wantonly spread the elder’s words and even made up the rumor: “This gang of people of ‘Eastern Lightning’ are promiscuous, extremely filthy.” In order to better prevent the brothers and sisters from being converted to “Eastern Lightning,” I personally taught them in detail how to guard against and resist it.
One day, Brother Li, who had been out of touch with me for many years, came to my home unexpectedly. I little thought that he came to preach God’s end-time gospel to me. When he showed me a book of God’s word, I blasphemed angrily, saying, “Take it away! It’s the devil’s word. I won’t read it.” Seeing me so implacable, he could not but put away the book of God’s word. Before he left, he advised me very sincerely, “Do not say blasphemous words anymore!” However, I did not take his advice seriously.
Once, on the way home from Jilin Province, our elder and I heard that a sister in Diaobingshan Church who was specially cultivated by us had accepted “Eastern Lightning.” This news made my blood boil. As soon as I got home, I went to question that sister, but I only met her younger sister. I knew she had also accepted Almighty God, so I took this opportunity to try to “save” her. However, no matter how I persuaded her, she was not swayed at all; on the contrary, she asked me in return, “You said that the Lord would come this day or that day, but in the end it was not fulfilled. Now the Lord has really come; why don’t you believe it?” I argued irrationally, “Although what we said has not been fulfilled, the female Christ you believe in is even more false and is a downright deceiver. …” I kept on blaspheming and slandering Almighty God in a rude and arrogant manner, giving her no more chance to speak. She, with an imploring look, indicated to me anxiously to stop saying such things, yet I simply paid no attention to it. Instead, I ordered her husband (a believer in our denomination who had not accepted Almighty God) to keep a strict watch on her, and frightened him with these words: “If you do not keep an eye on her, one day she will run away with someone else and become his wife.” Afterward, I went to the church and gave the brothers and sisters strict orders that they must make a clean break with them and never contact them again, so as not to be “deceived” by them. At the same time, I expelled from our church a brother whom we suspected of having accepted “Eastern Lightning.” In those days, I, as if possessed, did my utmost to resist “Eastern Lightning” and pledged to fight to the death in defending our True Jesus Church.
In November 1999, several brothers and sisters in a church in Kaiyuan area accepted Almighty God. On learning of that, I hurried to “rescue” them with several teachers. When we arrived there, I found that all of them were the believers who pursued the Lord very hard at ordinary times. I felt very puzzled why such good brothers and sisters could believe in “Eastern Lightning.” In order to win them back, we racked our brains, spoke many blasphemous words against Almighty God, and frightened them with such words as “if you believe in ‘Eastern Lightning,’ your family will be ruined.” However, none of them returned though we had exercised all our skills. During this time, a sister asked me a question: “How do you understand the biblical prophecy concerning Christ’s second coming in Luke 17:25: ‘But first he must suffer many things and be rejected by this generation.’?” To tell the truth, I had taught the Bible for years, but I had never paid attention to this verse. Nervous but stubborn, I prevaricated and answered irrelevantly, “The True Jesus Church is the last living Jesus….” Then, she asked me several more verses concerning the Lord’s second coming. I felt surprised inwardly, for the questions she raised seemed very simple but I found it hard to answer them. So, I had no choice but to talk some rambling stuff to fob her off. I did feel that my answers were self-contradictory, but I, at my wit’s end, was still unwilling to seek.
At the end of 2001, a brother in Shuangjingzi Church phoned and asked me to hurry to his home and discuss how to deal with the sisters who would preach Almighty God to him. Hanging up the phone, I took the material slandering Almighty God and went there in great haste. After I arrived, we had a thorough discussion and made this decision: We will listen to their fellowship first, and then try to get something on them to humiliate them. The next morning, there came three sisters. Unperturbed, I observed their words and gestures carefully, intending to see how they would seduce us with their beauty, buy us off with money, or threaten us with violence. However, all the morning I neither caught them out in their fellowship nor saw them do anything like those in the rumors, but I only found them sober and decent, friendly and polite. That made me very disappointed. After lunch, in order to find another opportunity to achieve my ulterior ends, I gave them my address and telephone number, pretending to be willing to have a fellowship with them again. Two days later, they came to my home and fellowshipped a lot with me, but I still did not get anything on them. I only increasingly felt that they were better than us and superior to us in every respect, totally different from those in the rumors. Later, they called and invited me over for another fellowship. Having got nothing on them twice, I lost my patience. So, I dropped my mask and showed my true colors by refusing their invitation and speaking many blasphemous words at will. But after this event, I began to doubt the words such as “Those of ‘Eastern Lightning’ seduce people with beauty and buy them off with money….” Later, when I heard that there were two teachers in Xifeng who had been beaten up due to their refusal to accept “Eastern Lightning,” I really hoped to meet them and find out the truth about their being beaten up.
In the spring of 2002, all the teachers in our denomination were to attend a parish meeting in Shenyang City. At Sujiatun Station, I happened to meet those two teachers from Xifeng. So, I hastily asked them, “I heard that you were beaten up and tortured in Qingyuan County by those who preach ‘Eastern Lightning.’ How did they use violence on you? And how did they tempt you with money and beauty?” However, they said nothing about their being beaten up, tortured, or tempted, but only talked about how those from “Eastern Lightning” fellowshipped with them and read God’s word to them, how they tried hard to urge them to stay and advised them to make an investigation, and so on. Their answer puzzled me greatly. “Where does the word ‘they have been beaten up’ come from?” Then Elder Li, beside them, said, “In order to win people, those of ‘Lightning’ show great hospitality to them, buying fruits and cooking good meals for them.” His remark reminded me of what he had said before, and I realized his words were inconsistent. So I could not help but raise more doubts. “The two teachers before my eyes have dealt with those of ‘Eastern Lightning’ many times and not accepted their way so far, but not a hair of their heads is injured. Isn’t this rather inexplicable?” In the face of this fact, I felt the word was too untrustworthy that “if you refuse to accept ‘Eastern Lightning,’ they will break your legs, or cut off your nose or ears.” Although I had such knowledge, I, foolish and stiff-necked, still stuck to my former belief and continued resisting “Eastern Lightning” instead of seeking it.
Though we tried every means to resist “Eastern Lightning,” I found that more and more brothers and sisters left our churches and joined “Eastern Lightning” and that in Kaiyuan area, there were even several churches in which all the believers accepted Almighty God. Then look at the situation of our churches: Less and less people attended the meetings. As for those who came to the meetings, they either slept or chatted, or talked about how to resist and guard against “Eastern Lightning” to kill time, and left as the meetings broke up. The teachers raised jealousy and strife among themselves, and some even played mahjong, smoked, or drank. What puzzled me more was that adultery even occurred in our churches. Among the brothers and sisters, some suffered relapses and new illnesses, some met sudden death, and some encountered natural calamities or man-made misfortunes. Such cases were very common and nothing new…. Seeing that the churches of “Eastern Lightning” were on the upgrade and became more and more prosperous, whereas our churches were on the decline and turned more and more desolate, we got very worried, not knowing what to do. So, after we teachers and elders gathered together and discussed how to deal with the situation of the churches, we decided to take such methods as holding Pentecostal meetings, praise meetings, and Bible study meetings and running training courses to strengthen the faith of the believers and revive the churches, thus resisting “Eastern Lightning.” However, each time after we held such a meeting, our churches were not revived, but on the contrary, became even more desolate. For nearly a year, from January to the late fall of 2003, we co-workers and teachers had seldom contacted each other, nor had ever a co-worker meeting been held in our parish. Seeing our extremely desolate churches and my own weak and feeble state, I really felt that I had been at the end of my tether. I could not help but lament, “O Lord! Have I come to a dead end on the path of my belief in you? What should I do?”
Just when I was in the depths of despair, God’s salvation came to me once again.
One day in September 2003, a co-worker in Guanshan, Changtu County, called and invited me to his home the next afternoon. And he said that eight teachers and Elder Li from Shenyang would be there too. After we met, we started a special discussion on the issues such as “why the Lord has not come as we preached,” “how we can be saved,” and so on. It continued until past nine at night, but nothing came of it. Eventually, Elder Li announced, “From now on, let’s go our separate ways.” Just then the phone rang. It was Brother Han from Inner Mongolia. Knowing that we were having a meeting, he said he would come to see us. The next day, Brother Han arrived. During our fellowship, he raised many practical questions, which left us at a loss for words. From Brother Han’s fellowship, I concluded that he must have accepted “Eastern Lightning.” That made me unable to calm down, and I thought, “Brother Han is a wise man with insight and discernment, and he is unlikely to easily change his belief. If he can accept Almighty God, it shows that ‘Eastern Lightning’ is really worth investigating.”
That afternoon, as we left there, Brother Han invited me to his place for a fellowship when I had time; I readily consented. After I got home, I told my wife about it, and she was a little worried that I might run into danger if I went there. Considering again and again the many practical matters that I had experienced during this period of time, I thought that this trip would not be dangerous. So, I told my wife all the things I had heard and seen during this period, such as the desolation of the churches, the elder having bound the brothers and sisters with his inconsistent rumors and lies for a long time, the real living out of humanity of the believers in Almighty God whom I had contacted, Brother Han having accept “Eastern Lightning.” Finally, I said, “If we don’t seek or investigate it, it will be too late for us to regret by the time we find that ‘Eastern Lightning’ is really the true way.” At my words, my wife was reassured and agreed to my going to seek and investigate it.
When I arrived at Brother Han’s place, the brothers and sisters there received me hospitably. Then we had a fellowship from seven in the evening to midnight in which Brother Han explained to me in detail the relations between Jehovah in the Age of the Law, Jesus in the Age of the Grace, and Almighty God in the Age of the Kingdom, the purpose and significance of God’s work in different periods, the principle of God’s working in an ever-new and never-old way and his work’s changing continuously, and so on. After I heard his fellowship, my misgivings cleared up. I came to understand the principle of God’s working and the meaning of “keeping up with the Lamb’s footsteps” and know that the reason for the desolation of our churches was because God had already made a new start and done a new work, but we failed to keep up with the pace of the Holy Spirit’s working and lost the working of Holy Spirit as a result of sticking to the old work. In light of my being unable to accept “God’s being incarnated as a female this time,” the brother read me two passages of God’s word: “Every stage of work God does has practical significance. At that time when Jesus came, he was a male; this time when God comes, he is a female. From this you can see that God’s creating both man and woman can be for his work and that with God there is no distinction of gender. When his Spirit comes, he can put on any flesh as he likes, and this flesh can represent him. Whether this flesh is male or female, he can represent God as long as he is God’s incarnated flesh. … God has been incarnated twice. Needless to say, his incarnation in the end time is the last one, and he has come to manifest all his deeds. If in this stage God were not incarnated to personally work for people to see, then in their notions they would forever believe that God is only male and not female.” “People always believe that God is male and that God always loathes women and will not save women. If that were the case, wouldn’t all women who were created by Jehovah and who have also been corrupted never have the opportunity to be saved? Then wouldn’t it have been meaningless for Jehovah to create the woman, Eve? Wouldn’t women perish eternally?” Pondering over these words, I deeply felt that the work of God was so wise. God’s being incarnated as a female this time has not only corrected people’s erroneous knowledge of God, but removed their notion that God must be a “male,” so that they have gained a correct knowledge of God: God is Spirit and with God there is no gender difference. And they have also understood that every stage of God’s work has its practical significance, so the created man should not draw any conclusion about God’s work.
The next morning, we read and fellowshipped about many pieces of God’s word such as “The Mystery of Incarnation (1),” “The Mystery of Incarnation (2),” “The Mystery of Incarnation (3),” “The Mystery of Incarnation (4),” “How Could Those Who Circumscribe God Within Their ‘Notions’ Receive God’s ‘Revelation’?” and so on. From those words of God, I knew many things that I had never known before, and I had a deeper understanding of the purpose and significance of God’s incarnation, so that I knew that God is incarnated to open a new age and end the old age and to bring man the truth, the way, and the life, and that if God did not do this work, man would have no bright way to go on. Then, I came to realize my poverty, pitifulness, blindness, and ignorance. The words of God were clear and comprehensive, which made me fully certain that Almighty God was the returned Jesus, the last Christ, the true God. When I accepted God’s new work with full conviction, the brothers and sisters gladly offered prayers of praise and thanksgiving to God for my coming before Almighty God. Their impressive prayers shocked my heart, and I enjoyed the sweetness I had never tasted in the spirit. Facing the simple, kind, and upright brothers and sisters, I felt those slanderous rumors stored up in my heart had already dissolved and disappeared without a trace. I expressed my heartfelt feelings to God: “O God! On the path of my belief in you, I have not come to a dead end, but I am advancing toward a higher and more beautiful state.”
In the afternoon, I got home and told my wife excitedly, “Almighty God is the true God! The returned Jesus!” Then, I called the co-workers in our churches together and related my personal experiences to them in detail. They all showed willingness to make an investigation. After some time, over 50 brothers and sisters in the churches I directly shepherded all returned before Almighty God. However, when I preached God’s gospel to the co-workers in other churches, some jeered and sneered at me, others called the police to arrest me. After that, they joined hands to close the churches to me, allowing no believers to receive me. In the past I was a “good brother” in their hearts, but now I became an “enemy” in their eyes and an object of their attack. Confronted with the brothers and sisters’ rejection, I remembered my yesterdays, the shameful history of my resisting and slandering Almighty God, and my evil deeds of echoing what others said, spreading false information, and fabricating rumors and lies against God. I felt extremely guilty and ashamed. “I hate myself for being so disobedient and arrogant. I never investigated or sought God’s new work with a humble heart but frenziedly condemned and resisted the incarnated Almighty God, thus committing monstrous sins. Little did I know that the one I had offended was the ruler of the heavens and the earth and all things, and that the one I had offended was God Godself who begot me, nurtured me, and provided me with everything. Not until today have I seen that I am really worse than a beast, and that the sins I have committed are too numerous to record. And I realize that I am a most foolish and ignorant person and a Pharisee of the new age who has nailed God onto the cross. If God had not given me another opportunity to be saved, I still could not know that I had been committing sins, and even less could I stop my evil deeds of condemning, resisting, and blaspheming Almighty God. Thank God for his salvation! Thank God for his tolerance and forgiveness! I am willing to offer up my everything to God and dedicate my whole being to the spreading of God’s kingdom gospel.”
Brothers and sisters of all sects and denominations, seek! Investigate! As long as we have a little desire to seek, Almighty God will open our spiritual eyes so that we will see the mysteries that we have never seen and receive the truths that we have never heard. Brothers and sisters, Almighty God is precisely the Savior Jesus who has returned in the end time. God has come to the world and done a new work. He has held a great feast for us and prepared a beautiful heaven and earth for us. Before the door of his salvation is closed, Almighty God welcomes your coming all the time!