19. I Have Received Almighty God’s Great Salvation
Shangqiu City, Henan Province
In 1999, one of my co-workers received a book of Almighty God’s word and showed it to me. I flipped through it critically. When I read God’s stern words of judgment, I felt a great aversion to it. In order to keep the brothers and sisters from reading this book, I even tore it up and threw it into the excrement of the outhouse. Afterward, the brothers and sisters who preached the gospel of the last days preached to me many times, but every time I refused them coldly. Nevertheless, through contact with them many times, I found such a fact: No matter how I treated them and no matter in what way I spoke to them, they all had a common manifestation, that is, they had love, were patient, never lost temper and persuaded me with kind words. That was what I couldn’t find in the believers of our denomination. To be frank, such a living out as theirs really made me admire, but as I was deceived by the rumors and always considered that anything apart from the Bible was a heresy, a cult, I dared not accept it all along.
One day in mid-April 2002, I received a call from my upper leader, and he invited me to Qingdao for a theological training. On the third day of the training, I realized that they were the preachers of Almighty God, the “Eastern Lightning” sect, as I considered. “I’m deceived. I’m finished!” I thought to myself, “If I refuse to accept their way, they will gouge out my eyes or cut off my nose, or even my life will be in danger.” So, I made up my mind inwardly, “This time I’d rather lay down my life for the ‘true way’ than accept it. I’ll set an example for the believers even if I may be martyred for the Lord. Since I can’t leave anyway, I’ll stick your preaching out. As long as what you preach doesn’t agree with the Bible, I won’t believe it. In the past I didn’t give you a chance to preach. Now you have it.” They fellowshipped with me about the Bible for thirteen days, mainly centering on the direction and several key principles of the Holy Spirit’s work: First, God’s work is always progressing forward; second, God’s work is always new and never old and is never repeated; third, God does His work by ages, stages, and steps; fourth, God’s work counters man’s notions. And they especially fellowshipped with me about the root of the Pharisees’ resisting Jesus, the difference between the substance of the work of the New Testament and the work of the Old Testament, the relationship between the Old Testament and Jesus, and so on. As I listened to their fellowship, I didn’t find anything wrong or misinterpretation in it. It was all based on the proper meaning of the scriptures and was what I had never heard before. But later, when they fellowshipped about the difference between the Age of Law and the Age of Grace and the Pharisees’ resistance against God because of their sticking to old things when the Age of Law turned into the Age of Grace, I felt an aversion to it. I shouted at them, “Stop beating about the bush. Do you think that I don’t know what you’ve got in your sleeves? If you want to talk about the third stage of work, just say it!” Seeing that I was in a great rage, they took out two books Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs and The Word Appears in the Flesh, and some tapes of God’s word. Then they began to read God’s word to me, but as I resisted it strongly in my heart, I didn’t take anything in. It was really true that “where there is God’s work, there is Satan’s disturbance.” At that time, I felt very bad in my heart, my head was dizzy, and I even wanted to throw up. So I stopped them and said, “It’s merely a recount of the Bible in vernacular Chinese. Could this be God’s word?” I was really so arrogant that I lost my sense. After that, whenever they read God’s word, I recited the scriptures aloud to interrupt them purposely. Whenever they played the tapes of hymns or God’s word, I pretended to be asleep. And sometimes, I even spoke offensive words to mock or dig at them. Like this, in the whole three days, regardless of how I treated them or what I said to them, they never lost their temper or contradicted me with words but fellowshipped with me patiently. That was just the opposite of my original thought that if I didn’t accept their way, I would be in danger, my eyes would be gouged out, my nose would be cut off, and so on. Then, I observed them secretly and found that their daily prayer before God was sincere, either in the presence of people or behind their backs, which was far more than I could do. They were not like those of an underworld organization at all. Although I didn’t listen attentively to their new songs, honestly speaking, both the words and tunes of the songs were very touching. Furthermore, though I was so unfriendly and arrogant, the host entertained me with warm hospitality all the time. In addition, during the more-than-ten-day stay with them, I found that they were steady and decent and that they kept a very clear distance from the opposite sex and behaved properly in having meals, fellowshipping, and accommodating. There was not at all the “sexual seduction” as I had fabricated. So, my misunderstanding about the people in this stream gradually disappeared and my resistance against them was also removed, and I said to the one who gave the testimony, “I ask you three typical questions. If you can make them clear to me and show me biblical proofs, I will believe. Otherwise, I’d rather die than believe.”
“First, I don’t believe that God will be incarnated in the flesh again, because the Scripture says that Jesus will come with the glorious resurrected body on the white cloud. Second, I cannot accept that God is female, because I believe that God will never change. Third, I don’t believe that God will be incarnated in China, because the Scripture says that He will stand on the Mount of Olives and appear to the entire universe.”
With regard to my first question, they fellowshipped about Luke 17:24-25, which says, “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” Actually, they were the scriptures I had recited and expounded often in the past. I had thought that they referred to the fact that Jesus suffered and was rejected when He was incarnated the first time. But at that time when I read them carefully, I realized that they were a prophecy about the Son of man’s second coming. Furthermore, the whole passage from verse 22 to verse 37 in Luke 17 was prophesying signs of the Son of man’s second coming, and the Lord said that first He must suffer many things, and be rejected by this generation the second time. Since it was a prophecy, it clearly refers to things about the second incarnation. Moreover, if Jesus came on the white cloud with a spiritual body, how could He suffer? Who would not bow his knees and worship Him? Who would dare to resist Him? Hebrews 1:6 says, “And again, when he brings in the first-begotten into the world, he said, And let all the angels of God worship him.” Since it says that God “again” brings in the first-begotten into the world, it proves that Jesus was the first incarnation into the world and the incarnate flesh this time is “the second incarnation” into the world, which refers to God’s returning in the flesh. They also read me the piece of God’s word “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Incarnated in the ‘Flesh,’” which made me utterly convinced. God says: “The only reason that the incarnate God has come into the flesh is because of the needs of corrupt man. It is because of the needs of man but not of God, and all His sacrifices and sufferings are for the sake of mankind, and not for the benefit of God Himself. There are no pros and cons or rewards for God; He shall not reap some future harvest, but that which was originally owed to Him. All that He does and sacrifices for mankind is not so that He might gain great rewards, but purely for the sake of mankind. Though God’s work in the flesh involves many unimaginable difficulties, the effects that it ultimately achieves far exceed those of the work done directly by the Spirit. The work of the flesh entails much hardship, and the flesh cannot possess the same great identity as the Spirit, cannot carry out the same supernatural deeds as the Spirit, much less can He possess the same authority as the Spirit. Yet the substance of the work done by this unremarkable flesh is far superior to that of the work done directly by the Spirit, and this flesh Himself is the answer to all of man’s needs. For those to be saved, the use value of the Spirit is far inferior to that of the flesh: The work of the Spirit is able to cover the entire universe, across all mountains, rivers, lakes, and oceans, yet the work of the flesh more effectively relates to every person with whom He has contact. What’s more, God’s flesh with tangible form can better be understood and trusted by man, and can further deepen man’s knowledge of God, and can leave upon man a more profound impression of the actual deeds of God. The work of the Spirit is shrouded in mystery, it is difficult for mortal beings to fathom, and even harder for them to see, and so they can only rely on hollow imaginings. The work of the flesh, however, is normal, and based on reality, and possessed of rich wisdom, and is a fact that can be beheld by the physical eye of man; man can personally experience the wisdom of the work of God, and has no need to employ his bountiful imagination. This is the accuracy and real value of the work of God in the flesh. The Spirit can only do things that are invisible to man and difficult for him to imagine, for example the enlightenment of the Spirit, the moving of the Spirit, and the guidance of the Spirit, but for man who has a mind, these do not provide any clear meaning. They only provide a moving, or a broad meaning, and cannot give an instruction with words. The work of God in the flesh, however, is greatly different: It has accurate guidance of words, has clear will, and has clear required goals. And so man does not need to grope around, or employ his imagination, much less make guesses. This is the clarity of the work in the flesh, and its great difference from the work of the Spirit. The work of the Spirit is only suitable in a limited scope, and cannot replace the work of the flesh. The work of the flesh gives man far more exact and necessary goals and far more real, valuable knowledge than the work of the Spirit. … The best thing about His work in the flesh is that He can leave accurate words and exhortations, and His accurate will for mankind to those who follow Him, so that afterwards His followers can more accurately and more concretely pass on all of His work in the flesh and His will for the whole of mankind to those who accept this way. Only the work of God in the flesh among man truly accomplishes the fact of God’s being and living together with man. Only this work fulfills man’s desire to behold the face of God, witness the work of God, and hear the personal word of God.”
After they fellowshipped about the first question, though I considered it a satisfactory answer and felt much better, I still had doubts. Then, they fellowshipped with me about the second question, “In Genesis 1:27, it says, ‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.’ This verse proves that man and woman both have God’s image. So who can conclude that God is male or female? Man was created in God’s image, so was woman. Therefore, it exactly proves that God is Spirit and has no gender and that God can do His redemptive work in an image of male and can also complete His work of conquering and saving men in an image of female.” Then we ate and drank the piece of God’s word “The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation,” in which God says: “Each stage of work done by God has a real significance. When Jesus arrived, He was male, and this time He is female. From this, you can see that God created both male and female for His work and with Him there is no distinction of gender. When His Spirit arrives, He can take on any flesh at will and the flesh represents Him. Be it male or female, both represent God as long as it is His incarnate flesh. … With God there is no distinction of gender. His work is done as He wishes and is not subject to any restrictions, particularly free, but every stage has a real significance. God became flesh twice, and it goes without saying that His incarnation in the last days is the last time. He has come to reveal all His deeds. If in this stage He did not become flesh to personally do work for man to witness, man would forever hold on to the notion that God is only male, not female.” Faced with these words of the truth, I had to be convinced, “Can I, a little created being, interfere with the Creator’s freedom? Can I direct God how to do His work? Isn’t it that I’m blaspheming the Holy Spirit if I circumscribe God’s gender?” Thinking back to my circumscribing and judging and resisting God’s work in the past, I felt extremely ashamed and guilty.
In regard to God’s being incarnated in China, they fellowshipped with me about Matthew 24:27-28, which says, “For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wherever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” Here, “the east” refers to the east of the world—China, and “the west” refers to the western countries. And then we read Malachi 1:11, “For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles; … said the LORD of hosts.” They said, “The ‘rising of the sun’ also refers to China, because China’s Mount Tai is the place where the sunrise can be seen first in the world. And this is known to all. Moreover, it is an acknowledged fact that China is in the east of the world. As to the word ‘my name shall be great among the Gentiles,’ we see from God’s work that God did the first two stages of His work in Israel and all the countries outside Israel are called Gentile nations. Over two thousand years, the gospel has spread out from Jerusalem, from the west to the east, and China is the last to receive Jesus, so it is called a Gentile nation. If this stage of work were still started from Israel, how could God be great among the Gentiles? How could this verse be fulfilled?” One brother read the following God’s words to me: “The purpose of conquering you today is to have you acknowledge that God is your God, and the other’s God, and most importantly the God of all who love Him, and the God of all creation. He is the God of Israelites and the God of the people of Egypt. He is the God of the British and the God of Americans. He is not just the God of Adam and Eve, but also the God of all descendants of Adam and Eve. He is the God of everything in the heavens and everything on earth. The Israelite family and all Gentile families alike are in the hands of one God. Not only did He work in Israel for several thousand years and was once born in Judea, but today He is descending in China, this place where the great red dragon lies coiled. If being born in Judea makes Him the King of the Jews, then does not descending among all of you today make Him the God of you?” “In the final era, I will have My name magnified among the Gentile nations, make My deeds seen by the Gentiles so they will call Me the Almighty, causing My words to soon come to pass. I will make all people know that I am not only the God of the Israelites, but the God of all Gentile nations, even of the nations I have cursed. I will let all people see that I am the God of all creation. This is My greatest work, the purpose of My work plan for the last days, and My only work to be fulfilled in the last days.” Hearing these words of God, I was very enlightened in my heart. “Yes! The God I have been expecting has now descended among us, yet I do not dare to believe. Then what have I been expecting? God has come to China to do His work, and this is a super great blessing coming upon us. What reason do I have to refuse it? How can I, a little created being, fathom God’s deeds? Thank God’s enlightenment! So that I can understand that God is the God of all created beings in the world, not belonging to any country or race. Since God has done His work in China in the last days, we should unconditionally obey it, because in everything God does there is God’s good purpose, and it is all for saving corrupt mankind.” Just like this, I was utterly convinced. It was God’s wonderful work and word that conquered me, and so I knew that I was arrogant, ignorant, blind, and foolish. At that moment, I had enjoyment in my heart, and my misunderstandings and notions about God disappeared, and the barrier against the brothers and sisters was removed. We talked and laughed heartily…
Later, I ate and drank God’s word with a seeking heart, and the Holy Spirit enlightened me greatly. I felt that every piece of God’s word was particularly sweet, not as shallow and common as I thought before, that every word of God was with authority and power, and that it was truly God’s own utterance and was the irrefutable truth! I regretted very much that I was so arrogant and self-right in the past that I understood the words out of context while ignoring the background and the inner meaning of God’s words and thus committed the monstrous sins of blaspheming the Holy Spirit and tearing up what the Holy Spirit said to the churches. At that time I even more hated myself, so I knelt down before God and prayed, “O the only true almighty God! I deserve to die ten thousand times. I’m not worthy to come before You. For so many years, I have been judging and slandering You and greatly sealing off the churches. This has seriously hindered the spreading of Your gospel of the last days, and thus many brothers and sisters have been locked in the darkness, unable to come before You. O God! I’m a sheer, real antichrist, and should have been cursed and cast into hell. I’m unpardonably sinful. Yet, You didn’t treat me according to my evil deeds or punish me, but have been sparing no efforts to save me, waiting for me to turn back. O God! Your love is so great that it makes me feel terribly ashamed. Thank You for giving me the opportunity to start a new life. I’m willing to mend my ways sincerely, spread Your gospel widely for the rest of my life, testify Your wonderful deeds, and bring more deceived brothers and sisters before You, so as to make up for my indebtedness to You and repay Your great love!”
Since I followed Almighty God, I have truly enjoyed the sweetness and abundance of God’s words. I deeply feel myself unworthy. At the same time, I have also tasted the hardships of God’s working on earth. Seeing that God has expended great effort and price for mankind, I felt ashamed all the more. Especially when I saw that God says the word “This means I will have to trouble you to make the choice once more…,” I couldn’t control myself anymore and was moved to tears, feeling that God loves man so much and God is so great! At that moment, I couldn’t tell clearly whether it was regret, enjoyment, moving, or comfort. All sorts of feelings welled up in my heart. The supreme God has to “trouble” me, a sinner, to choose once again, and this really makes me extremely ashamed. God’s heart is as boundless as the sea and sky! His desire for mankind is that all men can be saved and none will perish or be destroyed!
Under the illumination of God’s words, my former imaginations, notions, and misunderstandings have been thoroughly dispelled by God’s words, God’s work, and the facts. I have understood what theory is, what reality is, what notion is, what truth is, what imagination is, and what fact is. In the past, I was self-right, self-important, arrogant, and self-conceited, and didn’t seek or investigate God’s new work but only blindly condemned God and sealed off the churches according to my imaginations and notions, playing the role of Satan. Today I have realized it, yet it is too late to regret! Dear brothers and sisters, I hope that you can take warning from me. Don’t be stiff-necked to resist God anymore. Seek immediately! Now, God’s gospel work is about to be concluded and the disasters have been poured down one after the other. Just as God says: “… the repeated reminders and exhortations of God are because in His hand is prepared an unprecedented disaster, one that will be unbearable for the flesh and spirit of man. This disaster is not merely a punishment of the flesh but of the spirit as well. You must know this: when the plan of God is made void and when His reminders and exhortations beget no response, what anger will He unleash? This will be like nothing that has heretofore been experienced or heard by any creation. And so I say, this disaster is unprecedented and it will never be repeated. This is because only one creation and one salvation are within the plan of God. This is the first time and also the last.”