49. How I Accepted Almighty God
Zhaoyuan City, Shandong Province
My name is Li Xiushuang, and I was formerly a preaching co-worker of the Three-Self sect. Whenever I recall the days of my resisting and rejecting Almighty God’s work of the last days, my regret cannot find vent in words. It was God’s chastisement and discipline that saved me, so that I received the great salvation and saw God’s real and true love for me.
I knew that the last days had come, so I was looking forward to the day that the merciful Savior Jesus came in clouds with angels in the sound of trumpet and took us miserable people up into heaven to enjoy the eternal heavenly blessings. However, those prophecies concerning the Lord’s coming had all been fulfilled one after another, but the scene of the Lord Jesus coming in clouds never appeared in the sky; rather, I heard many people say that the “Eastern Lightning” was preaching that God had come to the world and had new work, and chosen a group of people. Yet I was told that these people no longer read the Bible… So in every meeting, I would say, “Brothers and sisters, don’t receive any heretic. They believe in a false Christ who is a deceiver, and they want to drag us into hell. We must bind Satan and the demons in the name of Jesus.” And I also prayed persistently for this and asked the Lord to care for and protect the “sheep” of the church. But the church still fell into desolation and the attendance gradually dropped off… I was puzzled about this and couldn’t tell why.
On July 28, 2001, Sister Wang (the leader of our church) came to my home to fellowship with me. From her fellowship, I knew that she had joined the “Eastern Lightning.” So I couldn’t take in anything she said but had a mind to tell on her. The next morning, I went quickly to Sister Wen, the secretary general of the Three-Self Church, and told her in detail what Sister Wang had said to me. I repeated it for many times, but Sister Wen said, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me today. My mind is empty, and I can’t remember anything of what you told me.” I was also puzzled, “Sister Wen is normally quick-witted and smart; how come she is so slow today? She is far different from usual.” As she couldn’t remember what I told her, she said to me, “Sister, others also suspect that Sister Wang has joined the ‘Eastern Lightning,’ but yet there is no evidence of it. To safeguard the church’s interests, do you dare to be a witness?” Out of my “burden” for the church I readily agreed. However, just ten minutes after that, a sudden dizziness overcame me, and my legs felt weak and my bones seemed to be dislocated. That never happened to me before. As I felt unwell and couldn’t go to give testimony, I went home. After I arrived home, my teeth began to ache somehow. The pain drove me to cry and writhe on the kang. My mother saw this and said, “Sister Wang is so kind to us. Even if you refuse to accept their way, you shouldn’t tell on her!” Her words didn’t awaken me to a self-examination. Instead, I said firmly, “I did nothing wrong. This is being responsible to the church.” However, after I said so, my teeth hurt more and the medicine couldn’t relieve the pain. I bore the pain and knelt on the kang and prayed, “O Lord, my teeth is killing me. I really don’t know what wrong I have done. Please enlighten me so that I can act according to Your will.” I was so desensitized that I still didn’t realize that this was God’s discipline coming upon me because of my hostile action against God and my resistance against Almighty God’s work.
On June 30, when I was still bothered by the toothache, Sister Wang came to my home again, and this time she brought a sister to fellowship with me. I had a hatred for her and wanted to give them a cold shoulder, but for fear of losing my face, I didn’t show them the door. I thought to myself, “Had it not been for my toothache, I would have already had you arrested. Then you wouldn’t be deceiving others all day long like this.” I purposely talked about something unconnected to belief in God to prevent them from saying anything about Almighty God. However, unknowingly the sister still turned our conversation to the incarnate God’s work of judgment and purification by word this time. I said to them, “You know little about the Bible and simply interpret it out of context. The Lord Jesus has told us He will come in clouds together with angels and judge all nations and peoples while seated on His throne.” The sister asked me with a smile, “Sister, if Jesus came in the way as you imagine, would people dare to reject Him and let Him suffer?” I answered without thinking, “No one dares to do so, and all people will bow down to the ground and ask for His mercy.” “Sister, if Christ returned in the way as you imagine,” she said, “how would you explain 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 again be rejected of this generation.’?” I argued, “This is a reference to the Lord Jesus.” “Sister,” she said, “these verses are prophecies concerning what will happen at the second coming of the Lord. So, the word ‘first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation’ mentioned here refers to that the Lord will suffer and be rejected by this generation when He returns; it does not refer to the sufferings and the rejection the Lord Jesus had undergone at His incarnation. Moreover, the Lord Jesus, as we all know, had resurrected as the spiritual body after His crucifixion. If He were the spiritual body at His second coming, how could He possibly suffer many things? Who would dare to reject His spiritual body? Only when God is incarnated to be the Son of man can He possibly suffer and be rejected by this generation. As God doesn’t do His work in line with man’s conception, people resist, condemn, and slander Him, and this brings God sufferings when He comes again. Jesus Christ was rejected when He came for the first time, and this time He is rejected again. If the Lord revealed Himself in the sky as we imagine, who would dare to reject Him or bring Him sufferings? If He came with clouds, everyone, believers and unbelievers, would see Him. Then wouldn’t the Lord’s word in Matthew 24:36, which says, ‘But of that day and hour knows no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only,’ be made void? And so we shouldn’t interpret the Bible literally. The earliest Pharisees clung to the words of the Scripture and didn’t seek the trend of God’s work. They condemned the coming of Jesus as a deception of Satan and finally nailed Jesus to the cross. Didn’t they do so because they held fast to the prophecies of the prophets and thought that the coming Savior should be called ‘Messiah’ or ‘Immanuel’ but not ‘Jesus’? Today, aren’t we making the same mistake as the Pharisees when we hold that the Jesus who does not come with clouds is a false Christ?” Her fellowship sounded reasonable, and I felt that they knew a lot and their messages were pretty high. “Has God really come back?” And then I thought of the rumor “people of the ‘Lightning’ are very powerful in spirit. Once you make contact with them, you won’t get rid of them.” So I said quickly, “Don’t say anymore. I won’t believe.”
They seemed not to mind my attitude toward them. Sister Wang persuaded me calmly, “Sister, don’t be impatient. No one understands the truth clearly immediately after he hears it. Will you please listen to what God has told us about this?” Her humility made me feel embarrassed to refuse her. I could not but agree. I didn’t take anything in until she read the following words: “Since Jesus departed, the disciples who followed Him, and all of the saints who were saved thanks to His name, have been desperately pining for Him and awaiting Him. All those who were saved by the grace of Jesus Christ during the Age of Grace have been longing for that joyful day during the last days, when Jesus the Savior arrives on a white cloud and appears among man. Of course, this is also the collective wish of all those who accept the name of Jesus the Savior today. Throughout the universe, all those who know of the salvation of Jesus the Savior have been desperately yearning for the sudden arrival of Jesus Christ, to fulfill the words of Jesus when on earth: ‘I shall arrive just as I departed.’ Man believes that, following the crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus went back to heaven upon a white cloud, and took His place at the Most High’s right hand. Similarly, man conceives that Jesus shall descend, again upon a white cloud (this cloud refers to the cloud that Jesus rode upon when He returned to heaven), among those who have desperately yearned for Him for thousands of years, and that He shall bear the image and clothes of the Jews. After appearing to man, He shall bestow food upon them, and cause living water to gush forth for them, and shall live among man, full of grace and love, living and real. And so on. Yet Jesus the Savior did not do this; He did the opposite of what man conceived. He did not arrive among those who had yearned for His return, and did not appear to all men while riding upon the white cloud. He has already arrived, but man does not know Him, and remains ignorant of His arrival. Man is only aimlessly awaiting Him, unaware that He has already descended upon a white cloud (the cloud which is His Spirit, His words, and His entire disposition and all that He is), and is now among a group of overcomers that He will make during the last days.” I was stunned at these words. “This is what I imagine. If He were not God, how could He know what is in my mind?” I hastened to say, “Sister, I am the one the words are directed at. In my opinion, the Lord Jesus will come with clouds to take us. Isn’t it right?” She smiled and said to me, “Let me read another passage of God’s word, and then you will be clear.” So saying, she found the words in the book and read them to me: “Many people may not care what I say, but I still want to tell every so-called saint who follows Jesus that, when you see Jesus descend from the heaven upon a white cloud with your own eyes, this will be the public appearance of the Sun of righteousness. Perhaps that will be a time of great excitement for you, yet you should know that the time when you witness Jesus descend from the heaven is also the time when you go down to hell to be punished. It will herald the end of God’s management plan, and will be when God rewards the good and punishes the wicked. For the judgment of God will have ended before man sees signs, when there is only the expression of truth. Those who accept the truth and do not seek signs, and thus have been purified, shall have returned before the throne of God and entered the Creator’s embrace. Only those who persist in the belief that ‘The Jesus who does not ride upon a white cloud is a false Christ’ shall be subjected to everlasting punishment, for they only believe in the Jesus who exhibits signs, but do not acknowledge the Jesus who proclaims severe judgment and releases the true way of life. And so it can only be that Jesus deals with them when He openly returns upon a white cloud.” After hearing these words, I was suddenly awakened. “So God has already returned and done the work of judgment through expressing the truth in the last days. When God openly comes with clouds, it will be the time when God’s work after His hidden arrival has ended and God will publicly judge all nations and all peoples. However, I hold that ‘the Lord Jesus who does not come with clouds is a false Christ, a deceiver.’ Haven’t I made the same mistake as the Pharisees? This is the utterance of the true God. Otherwise, who could know my mind?” As I listened to God’s words, I became more and more clear and more and more thirsty.
Recalling what had happened in those days, I found that they were indeed the discipline from God. When I told on Sister Wang, Sister Wen couldn’t remember anything of what I said to her. When I agreed to give testimony, I felt dizzy and feeble and my legs were weak. When I hated the followers of the “Eastern Lightning” bitterly, my teeth began to ache unbearably somehow. If it were not God’s work, how could these unexpected things come upon me one after another? Then I remembered Wang X, a co-worker of the Pentecostal Church, who died in a car accident on the way to the service because of his wild resistance against the “Eastern Lightning,” and so on. The more I thought, the more I felt frightened, and I broke into a cold sweat. I saw God’s majesty and wrath and His salvation for me as well. Tears rolled down my cheeks without stop. I regretted my deeds and thanked God’s timely chastisement and discipline for keeping me from committing more sins. It was Almighty God’s chastisement and discipline that saved me.
After reading more of God’s word, I firmly believed Almighty God’s new work, and I felt I was truly face to face with God. In the church, I saw that the brothers and sisters all ate and drank God’s word thirstily, and they practiced the truth and pursued to be transformed in disposition and to love God, and did their best to perform their duty and pursued to live out a meaningful life. I thought they were true believers in God. Thinking of what I had done, I felt extremely ashamed. I believed in God in name but listened to men and echoed what men said without discernment. As a result, I resisted Almighty God’s work wildly and acted as an accomplice of Satan and even nearly became a Judas. It was God’s discipline that stopped me from doing evils, and it was God’s love that saved me from the death. Thank God for His uplifting and grace. I resolved to devote all my life to repaying God’s love.
Dear brothers and sisters, learn a lesson from my experience! Please come before God quickly, and don’t let God be worried about us anymore. God warns us: “You understand too little of the work and wisdom of God, and I advise you to start again from scratch! You must not blindly condemn the words expressed by God because of the appearance of false Christs during the last days, and must not be someone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit because you fear deception. Would that not be a great pity?” “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit.”