57 I Shed Tears of Regret Before God
Kangping County, Liaoning Province
In 1993, I believed in the Lord Jesus (attending service in the Three-Self Church) in order that my husband’s disease could be cured. To pay his medical treatment, we were in deep debt. After his death, the heavy debt threw our family into poverty. So the Lord Jesus became the only reliance in my life. I pursued zealously in those years. In 1997, as jealousy, dispute, and scramble for power and position in the church intensified and I couldn’t bear it, I left the Three-Self Church and began to attend service in the “Way of Life Church.” My zeal and knowledge won me trust from Teacher Huang in the head church and the brothers and sisters, and I became a church leader. Soon, the number of believers in my church reached over one hundred. I took the church as my home and went around among the brothers and sisters preaching and sustaining them. However, I had never expected that I would become a latter-day Pharisee who hindered the spreading of Almighty God’s gospel of the last days.
In the summer of 1999, two sisters in my church told me, “Some people came to preach Almighty God’s gospel of the last days to us. Their preaching was very high, and they had their book.” At this, I got angry and said, “You are immature in life and lack knowledge. How dared you to receive the strangers? Drive them away if they come again. Don’t receive any stranger in future. The Way of Life Church we are in is the only true way. You’d better confess your sin before the Lord at once.” Then I hurried to the head church and reported it to Teacher Huang. He got very angry at this and said, “They are from the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ It’s a ‘heresy,’ a ‘cult,’ a ‘mafia.’ They commit adultery and even cut off others’ noses and gouge their eyes. Never receive them. Drive them away once you know they are from the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ If they refuse to leave, call the police to arrest them, or drive them with a stick. It doesn’t matter even if you wound them.” What he said put me into a fright, and I thought, “What hateful people! I will defend the true way and protect the flock, and never let any brother or sister be trapped by the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ Even if I may lose everything, I will be faithful to the Lord.” Teacher Huang also told me, “Have the brothers and sisters hand out leaflets after you go back. We’d rather spend all offered money on the publicity. Tell the brothers and sisters to hand out leaflets to their every believing relative and acquaintance, regardless of distance and difficulty. Handing out leaflets means being faithful to the Lord and presenting our best offerings before the altar.” When the brothers and sisters heard the rumors about the “Eastern Lightning,” they were all very angry and filled with bitter hatred for the “Eastern Lightning.” After the copies of leaflets were printed, I distributed them to the brothers and sisters. With brothers and sisters who were available to travel far away, I assigned them, three in one group, to other provinces (more than ten cities in Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang, and three other provinces) to hand out copies. I myself led the brothers and sisters who couldn’t travel far to hand out copies in our neighborhoods. And with those who couldn’t leave home, I asked them to fast and pray for the brothers and sisters who were out. I told them, “All the copies must be handed out. That means we are faithful to God. Don’t come back until you hand out all of them.” So the brothers and sisters handed out copies wherever they went. They looked for the meeting places to hand out copies and even asked the unbelievers to send copies to their believing acquaintances. They told the unbelievers, “Blessed are you if you hand out copies.” In less than a month’s time, we handed out all the copies. Just in this way, the brothers and sisters, led by me, spread the leaflets to numerous households. I didn’t know then that I had become Satan’s accomplice, who consumed the souls of believers, and served as a sheer false shepherd.
In March 2000, we leaders went to the head church in Kai Yuan (a city) for the New Year’s worship. In the meeting, Teacher Huang, who wanted to preserve his position and strengthen the head church, staged a play which was based on the adverse materials. The brothers and sisters present had a good laugh over it and said, “Teacher Huang is really wise and smart. If these things were not made a play and staged today, we wouldn’t know the true stories about the ‘Eastern Lightning’ and many believers would be deceived. Now the truth has come out.” I also spread slanders wildly. The play gave us more vigor to resist the “Eastern Lightning.” And all of us were determined to protect the flock to give account to the Lord. We spread these false stories as truth among the brothers and sisters, and used these base means to poison and deceive them. Little did we expect that we had served for Satan and become heinous sinners before Almighty God.
After I came back, I told the “truth” of the “Eastern Lightning” to the brothers and sisters without delay. I spread it in every meeting, and repeated it whenever I visited a brother or sister. As a result, the brothers and sisters’ hatred and abomination for the “Eastern Lightning” intensified, and they were on guard against outsiders. None of the outsiders were allowed to enter our church. The brothers and sisters were in my strict control and didn’t dare to receive the outsiders without my permission. When the outsiders came, they would inform me of it at once. All the outsiders who came to our church were driven away by us. Just like this, we sealed off the church with one heart. I believed that it was my love for the Lord and the brothers and sisters and was my merit as well. I thought to myself, “Even if anyone else may not be saved, I will be saved.”
A year passed, during which I never stopped my resistance and blasphemy against the “Eastern Lightning.” I ran around the church every day and never reduced my “care” for the brothers and sisters. I appeared zealous, but in fact I was weak and feeble within. Although I went to attend the meeting for leaders every half a month, I got no spiritual supply because most of the messages were something adverse about the “Eastern Lightning.” When I preached in the meetings, I felt dry and received no guidance from God. I didn’t know what to preach except something against the “Eastern Lightning.” The brothers and sisters either dozed or slept at the meetings. Their faith grew cold, and they became passive and weak. They were distracted by the world, and some even stumbled. Intrigues, disputes, attacks, and divisions often arose among them. We fasted and prayed about it before the Lord many times, but it was in vain. Later Teacher Huang asked us to buy a series of videos (old movies) to imitate Yang Zirong’s wisdom, Ah Qing’s wife’s smartness, and Han Ying’s firmness, so that we could deal with the “Eastern Lightning” in a wise way. However, no matter what ways we tried, the church was still in decline.
I was discouraged and lost my interest in preaching and attending the sermon class, and my faith also grew colder. I even wanted to find a husband and live a happy life, yet it was in vain. Later, I engaged in selling peanuts, but it suffered a great loss. What’s worse, my child had nephrosis and had a major operation. The amount of my debt reached over 30,000 yuan. Soon the relatives came to my home and pressed me to return their money as soon as possible. I was driven desperate and in great distress. I prayed to the Lord but received no answer. On several occasions, I even wanted to die. But at the thought of my two unmarried children, I had to continue to struggle in misery… When I was in great despair, Almighty God stretched out His saving hand to me.
One day in October 2000, a sister, who was a preacher in our home church, told me, “A sister I’ve met in Shengyang lately preaches well. Let’s go there and get something fresh!” Then we went there with two other sisters. At the sight of the sisters there, I was impressed by their speech and behavior. After lunch, we began to talk about the Bible. I was convinced by the sister’s fellowship that went through from Genesis to Revelation. They fellowshipped with us for two or three days, during which I was nourished abundantly as if a dry seedling sucking rain water. But when the sister said that God came back in the flesh this time and was incarnated as a female, I was immediately alert. “Aren’t they the ‘Eastern Lightning’ preachers?” The play made up by Teach Huang at that meeting appeared in my mind, and I shut the door of my heart all at once. I wanted to leave but thought it was impolite, so I sat there out of courtesy. I looked at each of them up and down. “They are decent and upright, homely and unaffected. Their living out is much better than ours. And their preaching makes sense and is convincing. How could they be from the ‘Eastern Lightning’?” I was at a loss what to do, so I prayed to God silently, “O God! What is the ‘Eastern Lightning’ about? Didn’t You say that You would come back with clouds? Then why do You return in the flesh? Why even as a female? O God! I must be responsible for the life of so many brothers and sisters in the church. If I’m wrong, their lives will also be ruined. Have You really returned in this way? God, You know my dilemma. If this is the true way and Your work, may You open the door of my heart!” As I prayed, one of my co-workers asked the sister, “In Revelation 21:16 it is written that the city is twelve thousand stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. Would you please tell us what it means?” The sister answered, “In the future everyone in God’s kingdom will be equal, and there will be no distinction of high and low.” Tears ran down my face after I heard her words. “O God, You know what my heart desires. This is what I have longed for. You are the One I have been awaiting.” The sisters all shed tears. I was greatly excited, tears rolling down my cheeks. I told the sister my puzzle. The sister opened the book of God’s word and read a piece of God’s word The “Savior” Has Already Returned Upon a “White Cloud.” God’s word says: “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 the mankind who has 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.” Those words made me realize that I was so ignorant and had held fast to biblical words. And I also understood what the “white cloud,” mentioned in the Bible, means actually. The “white loud” refers to God’s Spirit, God’s word, and all His disposition and being. Then the sisters read more words: “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 work that is of greatest value to corrupt man is that which provides accurate words, clear goals to pursue, and which can be seen and touched. Only realistic work and timely guidance are suited to man’s tastes, and only real work can save man from his corrupt and depraved disposition. This can only be achieved by the incarnate God; only the incarnate God can save man from his formerly corrupt and depraved disposition.” “The Spirit is impalpable to man, and invisible to man, and the work of the Spirit is incapable of leaving any further evidence or facts of God’s work for man. Man shall never behold the real face of God, and shall always believe in a vague God that does not exist. Man shall never behold the face of God, nor will man ever hear words personally spoken by God. Man’s imaginings are, after all, empty, and cannot replace the true face of God; the inherent disposition of God, and the work of God Himself cannot be impersonated by man. The invisible God in heaven and His work can only be brought to earth by God incarnate who personally does His work among man. This is the most ideal way in which God appears to man, in which man sees God and comes to know the true face of God, and it cannot be achieved by a non-incarnate God.” (from “Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Incarnated in the ‘Flesh’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) God’s words stirred my soul and I felt that I was face to face with God. I believed that they were God’s own utterance and the truth that none could refute. I realized that God’s incarnation was for the need of mankind and more beneficial for them to be saved from Satan’s domain and to know God. At that time I woke up suddenly. “No wonder that people won’t withdraw once they join the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ Who will drop out since he finds the true way?” The sister read another passage of God’s word: “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. … 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.” (from “The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) I was stunned at these words! “Isn’t Almighty God, whom I’ve resisted crazily, the returned Jesus? What I did before wasn’t love for the Lord and the brothers and sisters at all. Rather, I was simply serving Satan faithfully!” I shed tears of regret and hated myself bitterly. “I was too blind and ignorant and devoid of discernment. I believed the rumors and sealed off the church and bound the brothers and sisters. I’m purely a Pharisee, a viper, a murderer. I sent brothers and sisters to hand out so many leaflets of adverse publicity, even in many places of other provinces, which might kill so many souls. I believed the lies of the deceivers and spread slanders and blasphemies against Almighty God wherever I went. I’m really a great sinner, and I should deserve a myriad deaths. I only deserve God’s curse and to be cut into pieces. But God tolerated me and brought me to Him.” Thinking of this, I felt very ashamed. “O God, Your love is so great! Even if I give away my life, I cannot atone for what I have owed to You. I will devote my lifetime to spreading Your gospel to more people. I will bring those deceived brothers and sisters before You to repay Your love for me.” I fell down before God’s word and fully believed Almighty God’s work of the last days. Then I immediately called two leaders of our home church and asked them to listen to the fellowship. After listening to the sister’s fellowship, they both accepted God’s new work.
During half a month after I came back, I, together with the kingdom gospel preachers, brought fifty-three believers of our church to God. When the brothers and sisters read Almighty God’s personal utterance, they all shed tears of regret. The church, which had been deadened, was turned into a new one. In meetings, we sang hymns, praised, prayed, and enjoyed God’s word, and we were refreshed by the Holy Spirit. I won’t be worried about disunity. The truth from Almighty God has united us and He rules the church which was controlled by men. We share the same will: Spread the gospel and testify God for the rest of our life! Brothers and sisters in all denominations, only the truth is convincing. All true believers of different sects and denominations have become subject under Almighty God’s name. Doesn’t it display the power of God’s word? Can man do such work in His stead? God’s work is beyond man’s mind. Only if one seeks the truth will he understand God’s will and follow God’s footsteps. Isn’t the desolation of the church the fact of decline? Drop your notions and misgivings, and seek now! Don’t be a victim of the rumors anymore. That’s Satan’s scheme. Only Almighty God, who rules over everything, can save us. His word and the result of His work have proved that the “Eastern Lightning” is of the only true God! Without investigation, you will never know this. If you make an investigation, you will know the truth and be sincerely convinced! God’s work of the last days is about to end. Almighty God is burning with anxiety and expecting you to come back to His bosom earlier!