Mulan County, Heilongjiang Province
I am Li Wenming, formerly a leading area co-worker of the Three Grades of Servants Church. In 1991, I was called and turned to the Lord. After that, inspired by the Lord’s love, I pursued very hard. In less than one year, I became a preacher and shepherded some nearby churches, whose members totaled over two hundred. At that time, my faith and love were especially great, and I had the working of the Holy Spirit when I preached. Whether it was in spring, summer, autumn, or winter, and whether it was windy or rainy, I did not stop going to the churches to support the brothers and sisters. I considered doing so as suffering for the Lord, so I believed that I would surely receive a reward from the Lord and be taken to heaven by the Lord when he came in the future. However, I had never thought that when the Lord really came to “take me,” I, ignorant and blind, failed to know God and completely shut him out. And I even exerted myself to the utmost to resist and condemn the only true almighty God. My deeds brought me lasting remorse and nothing could make up for them.
In 1995, at a co-worker meeting, the servant and the maidservant preached, saying, “Now, there are some people preaching that the Lord has come the second time. They preach specially to seeking believers and co-workers in all sects and denominations. So, don’t contact them. That ‘spirit’ is very powerful. Once you join them, you can never withdraw. They always use specious biblical doctrines to deceive people. You’re immature in life, so don’t fellowship with them. After you go back, tell all the host families and the believers: Don’t receive anyone who is not of our denomination. Make no exception even for your own father or mother.” The words of the servant and the maidservant were deeply engraved on my heart. I thought, “If God had really come, would the servant and the maidservant not know it? Since even they don’t know it, then it must be false.” From then on, I wildly blasphemed and condemned the Almighty God’s new work and sealed the churches everywhere. I told the brothers and sisters, “‘The Eastern Lightning’ is a heresy and a cult. If they come, just drive them out. If they don’t leave, just beat them. This is not committing sin but is guarding the truth. Only the way we believe in is the true way. We can never be saved except through the servant and the maidservant.”
In August 1997, the work of the Almighty God spread to our area. My second uncle (formerly an area co-worker of the Three Grades of Servants Church) and his wife accepted the Almighty God’s new work, and all the several dozen believers in our church, except for my mother and my younger sister, also accepted it with them. Yet I was kept in the dark. In December, my second uncle came to my photography studio with a book. He opened it and showed me one piece of word, whose title is: “The ‘Savior’ Has Already Returned on the ‘White Cloud.’” At the sight of it, a thought came to mind: “Isn’t it saying that God has come? This must be a book of ‘the Eastern Lightning.’” Instantly, my temper flared up, and I shouted to my uncle, “You have accepted a heresy. In the name of the Lord, I warn you, turn back quickly. Otherwise, I’ll break with you once and for all. …” After he left, I immediately informed my upper co-worker that my uncle had accepted the heresy. The upper co-worker told me, “Watch closely everything your uncle does.” So, I spied on my uncle’s movements like a plainclothes policeman and also asked my mother and younger sister to keep an eye on him.
One day after the Spring Festival, my younger sister hurriedly came to my photography studio and told me, “Our uncle and aunt are having a meeting.” Hearing that, I felt a surge of fury. I immediately went to my uncle’s home by motorcycle. I flung the door open and saw two unfamiliar sisters among them (one was over 20 years old and the other over 50). When seeing me, the two sisters stood up and greeted me warmly; yet when I saw them, I became more furious, even to the point that my belly almost burst with anger. I bawled, “What are you up to? Who told you to come here? You deceitful thieves, get out of here!” Without allowing them to speak at all, I drove them away fiercely. Then, I turned toward the brothers and sisters present and shouted to them, “Why did you receive strangers? Did you get permission from the church or from me?” At this time, my uncle and aunt fellowshipped with me again, advising me to make an investigation. They also said that all of them believed it was the true way. I was even more enraged at that: “Uncle, ah, uncle, aren’t you doing evil? You not only have accepted it yourself but also try to draw others in. I tell you, don’t try to do that to me again. I’ll have nothing to do with you from now on!”
After I came out of my uncle’s house, I immediately went to seal the other churches shepherded by my uncle. And I informed all the churches in the county: “From now on, don’t receive any co-worker or believer not brought by me. Especially reject my second uncle. If he comes, drive him out. Don’t serve him anything to eat or drink. This isn’t committing sin. You must not share in his sins. If in the future I preach a different way from the one I preach today, you should also reject me and not receive me.”
Since then I had regarded my uncle and aunt as enemies and also hated those brothers and sisters who had accepted the Almighty God. I hated them for letting me down and failing to stand the testimony. However, my uncle and aunt and those brothers and sisters who believed in the Almighty God always returned good for evil. They spared no trouble to come to my home to preach God’s end-time new work to me. From December 1997 to June 1998, they came almost every day to preach to me, yet every time I abused them with malicious words and drove them away. Once, worst of all, I even beat a brother and hustled him out of the door. I thought to myself, “You deserve it, since you do evil deeds. May you freeze to death, thirst to death, and starve to death!”
Once, my second uncle came to my home again. At the beginning, I did not drive him out. However, when he started to preach the Almighty God to me once again, I flew into a rage and drove him away angrily. It was just lunch time. After my uncle left, my family-sister got somewhat angry. She scolded me, “How could you do that? Can man’s anger achieve God’s righteousness? He is our uncle in the flesh and is our elder after all. You’ve gone too far in treating him like that. The Lord told us to love each other, and love even our enemies. Do you have love?” “Though he is our elder, I can’t make an exception. Even for our own father or mother I can’t make an exception. This is a thing in the spirit,” I said angrily. Later, I did feel a sense of guilt when thinking of my family-sister’s words. However, when I thought of my upper co-worker’s words: “If you are deceived, you’ll have no part or share in the church. We can only see God through the servant because the servant has a direct relationship with God as Moses did. Disobeying the servant is disobeying God and the servant’s words are equal to God’s words, because the servant is our earthly master,” I felt what I had done was right. So, I put the blame on my uncle, thinking, “Didn’t he deserve it for accepting the heresy?” In the face of my family-sister’s advice, I not only did not turn back but went even further: I allowed no one in the churches to contact believers in the Almighty God. I believed that only by doing so could I guard the flock well and be a good faithful steward of the Lord.
One day in mid-April, I was just about to call the area co-workers together to discuss what course should be taken to stop the preachers of the Almighty God’s new work from entering the churches to snatch the sheep, when my belly hurt unbearably. No matter how hard I prayed, it was to no avail. So I had to go to the hospital. After an examination, I was found to have acute appendicitis. I prayed hastily, “O Lord, please heal me. You know I am faithful to you. I have to go to the church to guard the flock!” But no matter how hard I cried out, I did not turn better. In the end, I was obliged to have an operation. Even so, I did not realize that I had been disciplined for resisting the Almighty God and that God was trying to stop my evil footsteps by the illness. I stayed in the hospital for nearly a month, and after I was released, I continued to resist and condemn the Eastern Lightning. In early June, while I was working, my incision was torn open and hurt unbearably. So, once again, I was hospitalized.
After being hospitalized twice, I could not remain calm anymore. Losing the Lord’s keeping, I felt very depressed in spirit. I prayed but got no response, so I felt especially distressed. Moreover, the condition of the churches got worse and worse. Most of the co-workers and the preachers in every church were so weak that they could not pick themselves up. Each meeting place which used to have over eighty believers had only over twenty left. The co-workers used the platform to attack each other, and there was not a bit of love among them. I myself was unable to preach anything except about how to guard against “the Eastern Lightning.” Faced with my own plight and the condition of the churches, I had no strength to resist anymore. I pondered in my heart, “Since I began to resist ‘the Eastern Lightning,’ I haven’t received God’s keeping because of my faithfulness but kept suffering misfortunes: my wife got ill and was hospitalized, my photography studio was robbed, I was hospitalized twice, and the churches became desolate. God is almighty; how could he not defeat satan? Have I resisted wrongly? Is the one my uncle and those preachers of “the Eastern Lightning” believe in really the true God? Otherwise, how could they have such great strength and love? They can pretend for a while, but they can’t pretend all the time! To be frank, their love, their sincerity in treating others, and their living out really arouse my admiration. They never lost their tempers when preaching the gospel to me. No matter what I called them, devils, lunatics, psychopaths, or shameless jerks, they never got angry yet only advised me with kind words. So many times they were driven out by me and suffered from hunger or cold. Some of them even stayed overnight in the haystacks outside because of having no place to go to. …” Thinking back to what the believers in the Almighty God had done, I could not help praying to the Lord, “O Lord, I have neither their faith, nor their love, nor their sincerity. O Lord, if it’s not the true way, who can have such great faith? O Lord, what is all this about? Please guide me.”
Thank God for hearing my prayer. One day at the end of June, my aunt came to my home once again with a sister. My aunt said to me earnestly, “Wenming, whether it’s right or wrong you should investigate. You’ve encountered so many things, so you should wake up. God doesn’t want to abandon you. Two brothers are at my home now. You’d better go and have a fellowship with them lest you regret.” I thought to myself, “This must be God’s preparation. I believe God will definitely guide me to know whether it’s right or wrong.” I said hurriedly, “OK, Aunt, I’ll go and listen.” Hearing that, my aunt was so excited that tears streamed down her face. When I arrived at my uncle’s home, two brothers stood up and welcomed me warmly. Such a thing had never happened in our church. Then, we started to fellowship. The two brothers fellowshipped from Genesis all the way to Revelation and made very clear the three stages of works, God’s names, and God’s working principle of being ever new. One brother said, “The three stages of works are the center of God’s managing mankind. Only by knowing the three stages of works can man understand the whole course of God’s saving mankind. In the Age of the Law, God led people to live on earth, and he made people conscious of their sins through issuing the laws. The work of the Age of the Grace was the work of crucifixion; Jesus became man’s sin offering and bore man’s sins. The work of the Age of the Kingdom is to judge and purify man with the word, the purpose of which is to remove man’s sins. The word here is exactly the word in the little scroll prophesied in Revelation 5:1-5. Now God has come and personally made his word known to us. This has fulfilled the word in Revelation ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” After listening to the brother’s fellowship, I was convinced. But I still could not help asking him, “If God has come, how come the servant and the maidservant don’t know? Can man be saved not through the servant and the maidservant? The servant has a direct relationship with God just as Moses did. Disobeying the servant is disobeying God and the servant’s words are equal to God’s words!” With regard to my question, the brother specially fellowshipped with me about the relationship between God and man. He said, “God is the Creator, and man is the created being. God and man cannot be considered to be the same. Since we believe in God, we cannot exalt man and cannot treat man as God. In essence, you have treated the servant and the maidservant as God while believing in God that way. Only the Lord Jesus was qualified to say ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me’ (John 14:6), because he was God’s incarnated flesh and was God Godself on earth. Apart from him, no one is qualified to say so, because all men are created beings and none can represent God. Only God is the source of man’s life, and he can express the truth to supply man and can open an age and end an age. The servant, the maidservant, and the apostles, and even those used by the Holy Spirit can only speak something about their own experiences and their shallow knowledge of God’s work on the basis of the work of the new age opened by God. However, they must have a humble and seeking heart before they can receive the revelation of the Holy Spirit. Some of their knowledge is helpful to people, and some has errors and can mislead people and cause them to have erroneous knowledge of God. For this, the followers need to have discernment so as not to resist God. For example, when the Lord was incarnated and did the work of the Age of the Grace, those high priests, teachers of the law, elders, and Pharisees in the temple were all leaders in man’s eyes, yet they became sinners resisting God because of their stubbornness and their sticking to old things. Didn’t those who followed them also become ones condemned by God? Let’s look at Moses. Though he was used by the Holy Spirit, the issuer of the law was God Godself, for God is the source and man is only the channel. Moses was only performing man’s duty: conveying God’s will to the people.” I was rendered speechless by his words and could not but feel convinced in heart and in mouth. The brother continued, “Today, God wants to personally do the work that he has not completed, that is, the work of reaping, judging, selecting, and unifying. This work can only be done by God Godself, and only God can divide created beings into their kind. As Matthew 13:47-48 says: ‘Once again, the kingdom of heaven is like a net that was let down into the lake and caught all kinds of fish. When it was full, the fishermen pulled it up on the shore. Then they sat down and collected the good fish in baskets, but threw the bad away.’ Here, the ‘net’ refers to the gospel, the ‘lake’ refers to the world, all kinds of ‘fish’ in the net refer to the believers in God in all sects and denominations, and the ‘fishermen’ on the shore refer to Christ. Then, isn’t the servant also in the ‘net’? Can he come ashore to pull the ‘net’ up?” Then, the brother opened the book of God’s word and read these words: “The development of mankind, the turn of society, and the progress of science cannot be achieved without the arrangement of the Creator. These works cannot be done by the founder of any religion. The founder of a religion is only the leader of a religion, and he cannot represent God and does not represent the One who created the heavens and the earth and all things. The founder of a religion may be able to lead all the people in the entire religion, but he cannot lead all the created beings in the entire world. This is a fact known to all. The founder of a religion can only be a leader and cannot be equal with God (the Creator). All things are in the hand of the Creator, and in the end they will have to come under the hand of the Creator. Mankind was created by God. No matter what religion it is, it will have to come under God’s authority. This is the sure trend. Only God is the supreme One among all things. The highest ruler among the created beings will have to come under his authority. No matter how high a man’s position may be, he cannot bring mankind into the proper destination. No man can divide all things into their kind. Jehovah himself created mankind and divided them into their kind, and in the end he will still do his own work and divide all things into their kind. Except God, no one else can do this.” After listening to God’s word and the brothers’ fellowship, I felt clearer in my heart. Thank the only true almighty God for making me understand so many truths and enabling me to come out of the dominion of the servant and the maidservant and return before God in a real sense.
After I accepted the new work, I ate and drank God’s word hungrily and felt bitter remorse for my past resistance. I abhorred my foolishness and ignorance and felt even more grateful for God’s tolerance and salvation. When I listened to hymn 221 “Who Cares for God’s Heart,” which goes,
“The darkness is over the earth; the devils are extremely ferocious.
God does the work with great difficulty, and suffers all humiliations.
Men have been corrupted so deeply, becoming the hostile force.
What Jesus suffered, has recurred today.
They believe in God yet do not know God, and crucify God again.
They are even more ferocious and vicious, than they were before.
Although there are many believers in God, few of them know God.
As we try to testify about God in the whole mainland, we find it so hard.
When we try to testify about God to others, we ourselves meet troubles instead.
With swords and bludgeons, they drive us out of their houses.
With tears in our eyes, we are heartbroken with grief.
We walk the way of the cross with difficulty, shedding tears and blood.
They all worship idols, and the evil slaves are entrapping them.
They believe in God in name, but are controlled by the evil slaves.
Where are those who love God? Where are those who seek God?
When God calls and knocks at the door, they hastily shut it tighter.
Men are desperately wicked, which has been revealed from these facts.
May God have mercy, and sympathy on those who love him.
God’s heart is so grieved, but who cares for his heart?
He does such a great work, but no one understands him,”
I felt that every word of it struck my heart. Thinking of the rejections that God had suffered for mankind, and thinking of how ferocious and vicious I was when beating and abusing the brothers and sisters who preached the gospel, I shed floods of tears, feeling extremely grieved, and I abhorred myself for being so blind and having no discernment. I remembered those past scenes in our denomination: At every big co-worker meeting, several hundred co-workers knelt on the floor listening to the servant’s message, whereas the servant sat in a big chair, around which knelt a ring of co-workers chosen from different churches of the denomination. A young, beautiful, and unmarried sister of over 20 years old held a wet towel in her hand and wiped the servant’s face from time to time. The co-workers (sisters) behind the servant fanned him in turn. All these gave the impression of serving an “emperor.” Besides, at each co-worker meeting, everyone had to offer at least 50 yuan. Such sharp contrast made my mind like a clear mirror. I deeply felt this: God has paid too much and suffered too much for mankind. God’s substance is forever holy and beautiful. Only God can bring man into the pleasant destination, and only God’s word can purify us thoroughly. No one can do God’s work in his stead. The servant isn’t God, and he cannot express the truth, much less give us life. He is a created being like us and is also under God’s control. Only when we come before God can we really receive salvation.
Dear brothers and sisters, I hope that my personal experience can give you a bit of enlightenment. I hope that you will no longer disobey and resist the Almighty God’s new work of the last days as I did, nor treat the servant as God at his beck and call as I did. Only God is the source of man’s life, and only the Almighty God can thoroughly save man. Dear brothers and sisters, break through the bondage quickly and follow the Almighty God who was, and who is, and who is to come. Let’s step toward the new age together!