43. I Was the Worst of Sinners Who Hindered the “Lambs” from Listening to God’s Voice
Shenyang City, Liaoning Province
I was formerly a leader of the Church of Truth, responsible for the work of shepherding 19 churches in Shenyang City and all the churches in the two counties of Faku and Kangping (about 1,000 believers). In the spring of 1997, in our Church of Truth in Shenyang City happened a thing which caused quite a stir: Two co-workers accepted “the Eastern Lightning.” Hence, the upper leader immediately held a co-worker meeting, at which he said, “‘The Eastern Lightning’ is a ‘cult’ and a ‘heresy.’ It’s a ‘false christ’ coming to deceive people. None of you should accept it. …” After the meeting, the leader also distributed to us many booklets such as Resist the Lightning Coming from the East, Curfew, and so on. This meeting affected me very deeply, and I believed the leader’s words and the contents of the booklets without a shadow of doubt. These made me feel like confronting a formidable enemy, and I made a resolution to myself that I must stand on the true way of the Lord Jesus and must guard the flock properly. So, I spread to every church the rumors in the booklets, such as, “‘The Eastern Lightning’ is an underworld organization. If you don’t accept [what they preach to you], they will break your arms or legs,” and so on. I also organized the co-workers to search the Bible and find “strong evidence” to resist the Almighty God’s work. I said, “When God comes again, he cannot possibly be in China, much less be a female. Don’t ever be deceived lest you believe in God in vain. …” And I even fabricated rumors to deliberately heighten the believers’ feeling of fear. On a hot summer day, a sister braved the scorching heat and came to our church to preach the Almighty God’s new work. She said, “God has come to do a new work. Brothers and sisters, make an investigation!” On hearing that, we all came up to contradict her directly and spoke many words of condemnation, resistance, and blasphemy. The sister said sincerely, “Brothers and sisters, we should not repeat the tragedy of the Pharisees!” “What tragedy? Tell us about it!” I said scornfully in a teasing tone. The sister said in tears, “When Jesus came to do the redemptive work, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law did not accept it and even condemned and slandered Jesus, saying that he drove out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of demons. Thus, Jesus condemned them with seven woes. Today when God comes to do the work of the word, people do not acknowledge it and even say that he is a false christ to deceive people and is an evil spirit…” Hearing this, I cut her short angrily, “What do you know? How dare you talk nonsense here to deceive people! Go away now! Don’t come again.” After I drove her away, I told the brothers and sisters repeatedly, “They are all deceivers. If they come again, drive them out. If they don’t leave, just beat them. Never be soft on them!”
At another time, I heard that a co-worker had accepted the Almighty God. I immediately went to warn her from Shenyang City, saying, “You have been poisoned too deeply. Fast and pray now to bind ‘the Eastern Lightning’ in the name of Jesus. Do not contact its people anymore. If you don’t examine yourself and turn back, you’ll be stopped from preaching….” Under my coercion and threat, the sister refused the way of the Almighty God.
In the fall of 1999, I learned that my sister-in-law had accepted the Almighty God, so I went to “save” her with other co-workers. The moment she saw us, she said gladly, “I have believed in the Almighty God. That book is really good and what it says is very practical. The Lord Jesus has really come back…” Before she had finished her words, I cut her short and said, “How much of the Bible have you read? What do you know? Don’t I know more than you?” Then, I fed her the words in the booklets and threatened her by saying, “If you don’t withdraw now, later when you want to do so, they will make your family ruined. …” After that, I forced her to hand out the book to be burned by a co-worker. And I also phoned and warned the sister who preached to my sister-in-law, “Don’t come to her anymore, or I won’t go easy on you!” Even so, I still could not set my mind at rest. I went to my sister-in-law’s home to keep watch every evening.
In the winter of the same year, the brother who was in charge of the churches in a county accepted the Almighty God and even sang hymns of praising the Almighty God in the churches. After hearing it, I flew into a rage and immediately rushed there by car with a co-worker. Simmering with anger, I said to the brother, “Don’t you know that it’s a ‘cult’? How could God be a female? You have believed in the Lord for so many years and have given up marriage for the sake of serving the Lord. Have you done that for going to hell today? What a waste to have trained you so many years. Fast and pray right now to bind…” But unexpectedly, the brother said firmly, “The Almighty God is precisely the Lord Jesus who has come the second time. I would rather die than not follow the Almighty God!” At this, my lungs almost burst with anger. I said in exasperation, “I give you two days to examine yourself. If you still don’t turn back, you’ll be relieved of your post and be expelled from the church!” Since the brother was one of those particularly seeking people in the churches of our whole area and had the gift of preaching, I was really afraid that the believers would all follow him to believe in the Almighty God. So, I gave a warning in front of the co-workers, saying, “Whoever departs from among us and accepts the Almighty God is not the Lord’s sheep. He (the brother) is not the Lord’s sheep. From now on whoever contacts him will share in his sins and go to hell. If you find him preaching to other believers, call me at once….”
Although I spared no effort to seal the meeting places and resist “the Eastern Lightning,” still many co-workers and believers accepted the Almighty God one after another. Hence, I even more hated the people of “the Eastern Lightning” with all my soul, thinking that they snatched the Lord’s sheep away. So, I resisted it more seriously. And I stipulated: “Whoever is found suspicious in the church, drive him away. Whoever accepts the Almighty God and does not turn back, announce the expelling of him in the churches and condemn him according to the Bible. Whatever book of the Almighty God is searched out, burn it.” I also stipulated that cursing “the Eastern Lightning” should be added to the content of prayer. However, as I resisted the Almighty God more and more frenziedly, I found the churches became more and more desolate. The gospel could not be spread, and the number in the churches dropped instead of increasing. The remaining few tried to hold up though they attended meetings, and some simply slept even if they came. Of those who did not come to attend meetings, apart from those who had accepted the Almighty God, all either became weak and returned to the world or withdrew and no longer believed. The co-workers felt dry and had nothing to preach but rambled to fill up the time. The brothers and sisters lost their former love, and they all kept secrets in their heart, intrigued against each other, and formed factions. Even more, I was extremely weak. When sleeping at night, I always had nightmares. I either dreamed that robbers waylaid me and tried to catch me or that I met bad men. Although I cried for satan to be bound in the name of Jesus, it was to no avail, and each time I woke up in fright. I deeply felt that I was too tired. I did not want to be the leader anymore but only wanted to go home and have a good rest. But then I felt indebted to the Lord’s grace. Hesitating and distressed, I kept crying out in my heart, “O Lord! Why have our first love and faith disappeared? Why have the churches become so desolate? … O Lord! Please revive our churches and save us! …”
In June of 2001, when I went to Hebei Province with two co-workers to shepherd the churches, I met several brothers and sisters who were preachers, so we started to fellowship together. One day, when I spoke of the desolation of the churches, a brother said, “Now the desolation of the churches is a common phenomenon, but there is God’s good purpose in it, because God is an ever-new God, his work always progresses forward and never stops, and God does not do repeating work. At that time when Moses pitched the tabernacle, the glory of God filled the tabernacle. When Solomon built the temple, the glory of Jehovah filled the temple, and the tabernacle pitched by Moses was demolished and no longer existed. When Jesus came, he did not work in the temple but went to the wilderness to preach the way of repentance and brought people the new way. Then the temple became desolate because it had lost the presence of God. In the Age of the Law, God stipulated that when offering a sacrifice, one should offer the firstborn of an animal without defect, and those who did not offer sacrifices according to God’s requirement would be struck down by God. But when the Age of the Law ended and Jesus came to do the work, God did not do anything to the Israelites although they offered the blind and crippled animals. This was because God had begun to do a new work. Those Pharisees who obstinately kept the law thought Jesus’ work was not in accordance with the Law and thus refused to accept it and nailed Jesus onto the cross. People all liked to stick to old things but were unwilling to seek the actual work of the Holy Spirit, so they failed to follow the pace of the Holy Spirit’s working, thus falling into distress and hesitation.” The brother’s fellowship was very profound and also very reasonable, and I kept nodding my head. He continued, “Churches are desolate today because the work of the Holy Spirit has progressed forward again and God has again done a new work…” Hearing this, I suddenly realized: What he spoke about was the way of “the Eastern Lightning”! At the moment I sprang up from my seat and said bluntly, “Next you will say that God has been incarnated in China and God is a female, won’t you? I tell you! I can’t accept it, and I don’t want to listen anymore.” The brother advised me sincerely, “Sister, God’s work cannot be all in accordance with our notions. No matter what, we should investigate. If we reject it directly without making an investigation, won’t we lose the opportunity to be saved if it is really God’s work? …” No matter how he advised me, I could not calm down and simply refused to listen. Having no choice, the brother went to his room and prayed with weeping and tears, “O Almighty God! I really hate myself for not having equipped myself with enough truths and being unable to bring the sister before you. I really deserve to be cursed. … O God! Please bestow mercy again and enlighten and inspire the sister so that she can understand your work. …” Hearing such a prayer of the brother, I was stupefied! We prayed to bless ourselves and curse and bind the believers in “the Eastern Lightning,” yet the brother blessed us and cursed himself. This was really puzzling. I simply could not believe this was a prayer of a person of “the Eastern Lightning.” Then, the scenes of our expressing our views freely and fellowshipping genially together these days floated before my eyes. Honestly speaking, I did have enjoyment in fellowshipping, praying, and praising with them. They indeed had the working of the Holy Spirit. Besides, they were warm, natural, and sincere to people, and they kept a clear line between male and female. In them, I found nothing that was of blood and darkness and was low and dirty. They were not like what the rumors said at all. Before the rumors I heard and the facts I saw, I was not that persistent. Yet I still felt unassured and hesitated. Just then, the brother came out after prayer. His eyes were red and his clothes were soaked with sweat. I thought, “If it were not for the encouragement of God’s love, if it were not for God’s personal work, who could have such a sincere prayer full of love?” I was moved by the brother’s sincerity and love. After I exchanged views with the co-workers, we decided that we would continue listening to their fellowship and must get to the bottom of it no matter whether it was true or false, right or wrong.
The brother went on to fellowship about the three stages of works of God’s managing mankind, the principles of God’s working, God’s nature, the inside of the Bible, and other topics. As I listened to his fellowship, I was very brightened in my heart, feeling that everything was so clear and transparent that it left no room for doubt at all. By then, I had been convinced from the bottom of my heart. But at the thought that in this stage God came to China to do his work, I still could not accept it. So, I asked the brother, “Why does God need to come to China when being incarnated?” He opened the book of God’s word and passed it to me. I read these words of God: “The work Jehovah did was to create the world, which was the beginning. This stage of work is to conclude the work, which is the end. In the beginning, God worked among the chosen people of Israel to initiate the work in the holiest place. In the last stage, he works in the filthiest country to judge the world and end the age. In the first stage, he worked in the brightest place. In the last stage, he works in the darkest place, dispelling the darkness and bringing in the light and conquering all these people. Even people in the filthiest and darkest place have been conquered, and they all confess with their mouths that there is God and he is the true God, convinced in the heart and in the mouth. God will do the work of conquering the entire universe by such a fact. This stage of work has representative significance. When the work in this age has been finished, the six-thousand-year management work will have ended completely. People in the darkest place have been conquered. People in other places will be conquered much more easily. So only the conquering work in China has representative significance.” “Doing the work on these people can break people’s notions the most. Through this, God starts the age, breaks all people’s notions, and ends all the work of the Age of the Grace. In the beginning, God did his work in Judea, within the land of Israel, and he did not do any work of starting an age among the Gentile nations. He not only does the last stage of work on the Gentiles but even more on the cursed ones. This is the evidence that can best put satan to shame. Thus, God ‘becomes’ the God of all created beings in the entire universe and becomes the Lord of all things and the One worshipped by all living things.” God’s words opened the door of my heart and gave me a clear answer. In the past I had thought that God could only do his work in Israel and not in Gentile nations, much less in China. Today God’s work broke my notion, so that I understood that God is not only the God of the Israelites but also the God of all mankind, and that God came to China in order to defeat satan, to better do his work of conquering the entire universe, and much more to save us from the darkness. It is really so meaningful for God to do his final work in China!
Then, I read another piece of word “God’s Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of His Incarnation.” The Almighty God says: “Every stage of work done by God 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 with God there is no gender. When his Spirit comes, he can put on any flesh as he wants, and this flesh can represent him. Whether this flesh is a male or a female, he can represent God as long as he is God’s incarnated flesh. If when Jesus came, he appeared as a female, that is, if at that time when he was conceived by the Holy Spirit, he was said to be a female baby but not a male baby, she could have accomplished that stage of work all the same. If that were the case, this stage of work of today would have to be done by a male, and he could accomplish it all the same. Every stage of work has significance, and both stages of works do not repeat each other but do not contradict each other. When Jesus worked at that time, he was called the only begotten Son. Since he was called ‘Son,’ he was a male. Why is God not called the only begotten Son in this stage? Because he has taken a different gender from Jesus’ according to the need of the work. With God there is no gender. He works in whatever way he likes. He works without any restrictions and in a very free way, but every stage has practical significance. God has been incarnated twice; needless to say, his incarnation in the end time is the last time. He has come to reveal all his deeds. If God did not personally work through being incarnated in this stage so that people can see him, they would always believe in their notions that God is only a male. …” God’s words made me understand that with God there are no gender differences at all, and that whether God is incarnated as a male or a female, God’s substance does not change. My view that “God can only be a male and cannot be a female” was really a tremendous blasphemy against God.
Through the brother’s patient fellowship and our eating and drinking God’s word together, I woke up completely and came to know that the Almighty God I had resisted all along was actually the returned Lord Jesus to whom I had said I would be faithful to the end. Then I could not help thinking of my arrogant, overbearing, and ugly manner of circumscribing God before the brothers and sisters. And I immediately felt ashamed and wished I could sink through the ground. I believed in God yet did not know God. I made threatening gestures and spoke at random before God, and arrogantly condemned God’s incarnated flesh. I was really devoid of self-knowledge and was really too foolish, ignorant, and blind. I thought I had a lot of Bible knowledge, so I stubbornly held on to my own ideas and circumscribed God to my imaginations. I even fabricated rumors to frame the Almighty God’s new work and tightly kept the brothers and sisters under my control, not allowing them to seek the truth though I clearly knew that the churches were desolate. Was I not the worst of sinners that had hindered the brothers and sisters from accepting the true way and an evil servant and an antichrist through and through? In those days, the Pharisees resisted Jesus and were condemned by Jesus with seven woes. Today wasn’t I walking the same path as the Pharisees? Wasn’t I also one hated and cursed by God? Thinking of this, I felt extremely remorseful and much more trembled with fear. “It is God Godself that I have resisted, not a man! I have done so many things of offending God; will God still want me?” I tentatively asked the brother in shame, “I have resisted God too severely before. Will God forgive a person like me?” The brother said, “God is incarnated today just to save man. As long as we realize [our resistance] and can repent, God will not remember it. The Almighty God says: ‘Toward the God in the flesh, people change from resistance to obedience, from persecution to acceptance, from notion to knowledge, and from rejection to love. These are the results of the work of the incarnated God.’ ‘In saving every person, God gives him most opportunities, that is, shows him the greatest tolerance. As long as he can realize his errors and turn back and as long as he can repent, God will give him the opportunity to receive salvation. When one first disobeys God, God has no intention to strike him down, but tries to save him. If he truly has no possibility of being saved, he will be rejected by God.’” At this moment, my remorse and gratefulness mingling together, I could no longer control myself but fell down before God and burst into tears. “Almighty God! I fabricated lies to frame and blaspheme your new work. I am really sinful and evil to the uttermost. I have not only entrapped myself but also entrapped the brothers and sisters, with the result that even today they still live in the darkness and refuse to accept your salvation. According to what I have done, I really should be punished and put into hell and into the lake of fire and brimstone. However, you have not remembered my past sins but still save me to the utmost and give me the opportunity to repent. Your love is really so great! O Almighty God! I am willing to dedicate my lifetime energies to you and offer up all I have for your gospel work. Even if it costs me my life, I will bring before you those brothers and sisters who have been trapped by me so as to repay your great love.”
However, when I told this great good news to the co-workers and the brothers and sisters, what I encountered were attacks, rejections, and insults. The responsible co-worker of my former church relieved me of my post and made up rumors among the brothers and sisters, saying that I had joined the underworld and that I had gone insane, my eyes turning blue and my words incoherent. As a result, many brothers and sisters avoided me like the plague when seeing me. These purely fabricated slanders made me feel a heart-piercing pain. But this even more strengthened my faith to follow the Almighty God to the end, for I had finally understood how the rumors in Curfew and other booklets came into being and how they confused right and wrong and called black white. Actually they were all satan’s schemes to hinder people from accepting God’s work.
Dear brothers and sisters, I sincerely hope that you can gain some revelation from my experience. Don’t believe those rumors and be fooled by satan anymore. Break through the trap of the rumors and come to listen to God’s end-time utterance quickly! “God’s sheep will listen to God’s voice.” As long as we are willing to seek and listen attentively with a humble heart, we will surely recognize the voice of the Lord and throw ourselves into the arms of the Lord!