88. I Woke Up Under Almighty God’s Discipline and Was Convinced by His Word
Zhumadian City, Henan Province
I used to be a leader of the preaching group of the “Praise Church.” As I was good at preaching and singing, was equipped with a great deal of biblical knowledge, and had the gift of “healing the sick and driving out demons,” the brothers and sisters looked up to me very much. In February of 1997, at a co-workers’ meeting, the pastor told us, “Now, there has arisen a sect called the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ They claim that God has done a new work, believers needn’t read the Bible anymore, and the Lord Jesus’ name has changed to Almighty God. They are deluding the Lord’s lambs everywhere. If you join them, you cannot possibly get out. You must be on your guard and keep a good watch on the churches! … ” Hearing that, I made a judgment rashly: They, as believers in the Lord, don’t read the Bible and dare to change the Lord Jesus’ name. It’s definitely a heresy, a cult. After I came back, I immediately called the important co-workers of the churches together and had a three-day meeting. I injected into them all that the pastor said and fabricated rumors to seal off the churches, “The ‘Eastern Lightning’ is a cult joined with a mafia. If you want to withdraw from it after joining it, they will gouge your eyes, cut off your ears, or even kill your whole family…” Because of my frenzied resistance, God’s work was seriously hindered in our area.
Since 1998, my younger sister, who had accepted God’s new work, and many brothers and sisters continuously came to preach God’s gospel of the last days to me. Sometimes, I said to them with contempt, “I’m a leader of the preaching group. I have preached for more than twenty years. Could I not know when God comes back? Is it necessary for you insignificant people to come to preach to me?” And sometimes, I set the dog on them. Just like that, I rejected God’s grace time and time again.
Although I ran around everywhere sealing off the churches to guard against the “Eastern Lightning,” still many zealous believers accepted it, and many other believers went back to the world. The people who attended the meetings became fewer and fewer day by day. Thinking of the church’s past prosperity and looking at its present desolation, I couldn’t help shedding bitter tears. I blamed the “Eastern Lightning” for all these “misfortunes.” So I held a prayer meeting three times a week, in which I led the brothers and sisters to pray to curse the people of the “Eastern Lightning,” cursing them to get sick, have car accidents, or be struck dead.
Unexpectedly, I prayed to curse them, but the disaster fell right on me. On the morning of August 17, 2002, while I was preaching eloquently on the pulpit, wantonly blaspheming and condemning the “Eastern Lightning,” suddenly I felt faint, everything went black before my eyes, and I lost my consciousness… When I woke up, I was already in a hospital bed. My wife told me that the doctors said I got a cerebral congestion and would be in danger of death if not treated immediately. “What? A cerebral congestion? How could it be so?” The news struck me like a thunderbolt, and I sank into extreme distress, unable to eat or sleep. I kept crying to the Lord in my heart, “O Lord, I have cared for the flock so faithfully. How could I get such a strange illness? What did I do to You? O Lord! I don’t understand. Please enlighten me and let me know what all this is about.” I thought heavily about it. One week passed, and I still didn’t get the answer. By that time, the medical treatment had cost me over 2,000 yuan, but my condition didn’t get any better. I almost broke down. Just at that time, my younger sister came to visit me. She tried to straighten me out patiently, “Brother, think about it. If what you did were after God’s heart and approved by God, how could God not keep you? What’s more, now is the time the church is badly in need of people. Could God let you get sick? You should think carefully about how you resisted Almighty God’s work.” Hearing her words, I remembered my resistance against the “Eastern Lightning.” I felt a sudden shiver in my heart: Could it be that I resisted the true God? Am I punished by God because of that? So, I asked seriously, “Sister, is it because they did violence to you, locking you up or threatening you, that you had no other way but to accept their way and do service for them? You must speak the truth to me.” “Brother, you see, I’m here before you, perfectly well, with my eyes and ears in their places. What do you have to worry or doubt about? If they were really like what you said, I’d rather lose my life than pull you, my own brother, into the pit of fire. Even if you don’t trust me, you should trust God!” My sister answered seriously. “But if it is the true way, why don’t you read the Bible anymore?” “To be clear about this, let’s see what Almighty God says about it.” As she said that, she opened the book of God’s word that she brought with her and read these words: “Some books of the Bible, like the letters of Peter and Paul, carry the word of life and can be a source of help and sustenance. But nevertheless they are out of date; they are writings of a past age. No matter how good they are, they are applicable only to one period of time, and will not last forever. For God’s work is always moving forward, it is not frozen in time at the age of Paul and Peter, will not remain forever fixed at the Age of Grace in which Jesus was crucified. So, these books are applicable only to the Age of Grace, not to the final Age of Kingdom; they were able to provide sustenance only to believers in the Age of Grace, and cannot do the same for the saints of the Age of Kingdom. No matter how good these books may be, they are obsolete now. It is the same with Jehovah’s creation of the world and His work in Israel; no matter how good the work was, there would come a time when it was no longer applicable, when it became a thing of the past. It is also the same with God’s work; no matter how good it is, it will eventually come to an end, and cannot remain frozen forever at His creation or His crucifixion. No matter how persuasive His crucifixion was, no matter how effective it was at defeating Satan, work is work, and the times are the times; the work must progress past its foundation, and times must change. For just as surely as the world was created, it will come to an end—this is inevitable.” “The work of today is a path that no one has ever walked before, a way that no one has ever seen. It is a work that has never been done before; it is God’s latest work on earth. … Who could have recorded every single detail of today’s work in advance? Who could have documented this greater, wiser, convention-defying work in that moldy old book? The work of today is not history. Hence, if you want to walk the new path today, you have to come out of the Bible, step beyond the limits of the books of prophecy and history. Only in this way can you follow the new path successfully, enter into the new realm, the new work. … The old way is history, even if recorded in the ‘holy book.’ The new way is reality, even if it is not mentioned on a single page of the ‘holy book.’ This way can save you and transform you, for it is the work of the Holy Spirit.”
After hearing these words of God, I couldn’t help exclaiming, “These words are as clear as a bright moon. Each word carries weight! I have believed in the Lord for so many years, but I have never heard such a high way. Who can unlock this mystery except God alone?” But I still felt puzzled about God’s name. So I asked, “The Lord Jesus we believe in is almighty. But you said that God’s name is Almighty God. How can God’s name be changed?” She said, “It has been prophesied in the Bible that in the last days God’s name is Almighty God. You can find it in the verses such as Revelation 1:8; 4:8; 11:17; 16:7. Actually, God originally had no name, but because of the need of His work and the changing of the age, God has specific names. However, we cannot conclude that God can only be called by a certain name!” Then, she read another passage of God’s word. Almighty God says: “If the work of God in each age is always the same, and He is always called by the same name, then how would man know Him? God must be called Jehovah, and apart from a God called Jehovah, one called by any other name is not God. Or else God can only be called Jesus, and God may not be called by any other name except Jesus; apart from Jesus, Jehovah is not God, and Almighty God is not God either. Man believes it is true that God is almighty, but God is a God with man; He must be called Jesus, for God is with man. To do this is to follow doctrine, and to constrain God within a scope. So, the work that God does in each age, the name by which He is called, and the image that He assumes, and each stage of His work until today, do not follow a single regulation, and are not subject to any constraints. He is Jehovah, but He is also Jesus, as well as the Messiah, and Almighty God. His work can gradually change, and there are corresponding changes in His name. No single name can fully represent Him, but all names by which He is called are able to represent Him, and the work that He does in each age represents His disposition. … Could the name of Jesus, ‘God with us,’ represent God’s disposition in its entirety? Could it fully articulate God? If man says that God can only be called Jesus, and may not have any other name because God cannot change His disposition, then such words are blasphemy! Do you believe that the name ‘Jesus,’ God with us, can represent God in His entirety? God can be called many names, but among these many names, there is not one which can encapsulate all that God has, there is not one which can fully represent God. And so God has many names, but these many names cannot fully articulate God’s disposition, for God’s disposition is too rich, and extends beyond the knowledge of man. … As such, in each age that God personally does His own work, He uses a name that befits the age to encapsulate the work that He does. He uses this particular name, one that possesses the significance of the age, to represent His disposition in that age. God uses the language of man to express His own disposition. … The day will arrive when God is not called Jehovah, Jesus, or the Messiah—He will simply be called the ‘Creator.’ At that time, all the names that He took on earth shall come to an end, for His work on earth will have come to an end, after which He shall have no name. When all things come under the dominion of the Creator, why call Him by a highly appropriate yet incomplete name? Do you still seek God’s name now? Do you still dare to say that God is only called Jehovah? Do you still dare to say that God can only be called Jesus? Can you bear the sin of blasphemy against God? You should know that God originally had no name. He only took on one, or two, or many names because He had work to do and had to manage mankind. Whatever name He is called by, isn’t it freely chosen by Him? Does He need you, a creature, to decide it? The name by which God is called is according to what man can apprehend and the language of man, but this name cannot be encapsulated by man.” “Aren’t these words directed at my notion? Only God can examine man’s thoughts and ideas, only God can search man’s heart and mind, and only God’s words can pierce through man’s joints and marrow. These are exactly the utterance from heaven! Every word carries authority and power, and I’m fully convinced.” At that moment, I was filled with emotion and couldn’t control myself anymore. I lay prostrate on the bed and prayed to God, “O Almighty God! Now I know that You are the One who will come in the last days! I never expected that after waiting for You for over twenty years, when You came, I was so blind and didn’t know You. I shut the door on You time after time, and even resisted Your new work. I fabricated rumors to deceive the brothers and sisters, so that they dared not accept Your salvation. I’m utterly a messenger of Satan, an evil servant who resisted You! What was more intolerable to You was that I acted wildly and spoke loosely before You, blindly condemning and blaspheming You, and led the believers many times to pray to curse the preachers of Your good news. O Almighty God, according to what I did, I should really deserve to be cut into pieces and die a miserable death. This illness is the very expression of Your righteous disposition and even more the curse and retribution I deserve! O Almighty God! Now I have the good fortune to listen to Your personal utterance, and this is already Your exceptional uplifting for me. In future, whether my illness will get better or worse, I’m willing to do service for You. Even if You ask me to die, I will not have any complaint! I only beg You to give me a chance to bring those brothers and sisters who are sealed in darkness to Your throne, to make up for my sin. Only in this way can I be comforted in my conscience.”
Dear brothers and sisters, according to what I did, I should have been cast into the eighteenth hell, and I’m unworthy to testify for God at all. It is because of Almighty God’s exceptional grace and uplifting that I can come before God and have the opportunity to tell my experience. I hope that you can get some enlightenment from it and never follow my footsteps again. As the saying goes, “One false step brings endless ruin.” Almighty God has told us: “Christ comes during the last days so that all those who truly believe in Him may be provided with life. His work is for the sake of concluding the old age and entering the new one, and is the path that must be taken by all those who would enter the new age. If you are incapable of acknowledging this, and instead condemn, blaspheme or even persecute Him, then you are bound to burn for eternity, and shall never enter the kingdom of God. For this Christ is Himself the expression of the Holy Spirit, the expression of God, the One whom God has entrusted to do His work on earth. And so I say that if you cannot accept all that is done by Christ of the last days, then you blaspheme the Holy Spirit. The retribution that should be suffered by those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit is self-evident to all. I also tell you that if you oppose Christ of the last days, and deny Him, then there is no one who can bear the consequences on your behalf. Furthermore, from this day onwards you will not have another chance to gain the approval of God; even if you try to redeem yourself, you will never again behold the face of God. For what you oppose is not a man, what you deny is not some puny being, but Christ. Are you aware of this consequence? You have not made a small mistake, but committed a heinous crime. And so I advise everyone not to bare your fangs before the truth, or make careless criticisms, for only the truth can bring you life, and nothing except the truth can allow you to be reborn and behold the face of God.”