92. Believing Rumors Led to a Lifelong Regret
Shangqiu City, Henan Province
I was formerly a middle-level leader in “Pentecostal Church.” One day in December 1999, I received from our General Assembly a booklet entitled “Resisting the Temptation from the ‘Eastern Lightning.’” It said, “The ‘Eastern Lightning’ is a heresy, a cult, which claims that the Lord has been incarnated as a female. It’s a mafia. If you refuse to join them after hearing their messages, they will gouge your eyes, cut off your nose, break your arms or legs. And they are promiscuous…” After reading these words, I accepted them as true without thought and immediately called the co-workers together for a meeting. At the meeting, I wantonly spread the words in the booklet, and emphasized that every co-worker must hammer them into all the believers so that they could have discernment and resist the “Eastern Lightning.” And I also made a rule: No one is allowed to receive strangers; whoever disobeys will be expelled. Despite this, I still felt worried, and I often went to the churches for a public or private investigation, ensuring that no believer would accept the “Eastern Lightning.”
Once when I was told that an elderly sister had accepted the “Eastern Lightning,” I hastened to her home and frightened her, “You are converted to a ‘cult.’ Aren’t you afraid that they will gouge out your eyes, cut off your nose, or kill you?” But to my surprise, she answered undisturbedly, “The ‘Eastern Lightning’ is indeed the true way, and they are not at all like what the booklet says! …” I was shocked: These people are really not simple! They have “taken captive” the long-time faithful believer in such a short time and even made her dead set on following them! I tried my best to persuade her back but failed. So I went to the churches and declared that the elderly sister had joined the “Eastern Lightning.” I also gave an order that all the brothers and sisters should reject her.
At a meeting in April 2000, I suddenly noticed a stranger among the attenders. I suspected him to be a scout from the “Eastern Lightning.” I really wished to pull him out and denounce him, but couldn’t do so because of the lack of proof. I could not but suppress my anger. Fixing my eyes on him, I insinuated that he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing and a fox entering a vineyard… A few days later, a sister came to me and said, “God has come back and started a new work…” Before she finished her words, I flew into a rage, saying, “The booklet says that you believers of the ‘Eastern Lightning’ are all corrupt and licentious, terribly filthy. But you have the cheek to preach your way to me! …” Just in this way I resisted God’s work of the last days crazily.
Despite my devoted effort and diligent service for the Lord, I was put into prison because of belief in the Lord in July 2000. There I was beaten and tortured terribly. However, I was too desensitized to realize that it was a discipline for my resisting Almighty God, but instead misinterpreted it as a trial from the Lord. So, after I was released in October, I again threw myself into resisting the “Eastern Lightning.”
One day, I heard that a renowned co-worker in our church had led some brothers and sisters into the “Lightning.” I hurried to his home and rebuked him, “The ‘Eastern Lightning’ is from a false Christ. You’ve followed the Lord for so many years; how can you be so undiscerning?” The brother responded, “Do you know how to distinguish the true Christ and a false Christ?” His question rendered me stunned and speechless. “How could you try to persuade me when you yourself can’t discern? Those nasty things you said about the ‘Lightning’ at meetings are actually all rumors made out of nothing! Now I have known that only the ‘Lightning’ is the true way! …” At such a rebuff, I felt my cheeks burning. Aware that he was too deep-poisoned to be brought back, l left in anger. From then on, my hatred for the people of the “Eastern Lightning” increased, and I made more effort to seal off the church, in the hope that my “loyalty” could defend the true way and revive the church.
Yet things went against my wish. The church not only failed to be revived by my “loyalty,” but instead it found itself almost on the brink of ruin: Jealousy, strife, and division arose among the co-workers. The believers’ faith and love grew cold, and some even returned to the world. I, who had been eloquent in preaching, now felt ever more empty and almost became a “stammering preacher.” I had no way but to muddle through it by explaining some verses and then talking about how to guard against the “Eastern Lightning.” The brothers and sisters were bored with it, and they either dozed or slouched. They seemed to come to suffer more than attend meetings. Seeing this, I was overwhelmed with bitterness, depression, and sadness. Many times I even cried out in dreams, “O Lord, where are You? Please save me!”
Just when I was in a tight corner, the King of the universe—Almighty God—stretched out His saving hand to me. One day in April 2001, I came to a host family through God’s miraculous arrangement. I had a fellowship with a brother about belief in God. When he said that God’s management plan includes three stages, that is, the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and the Age of Kingdom, my heart banged in sudden alarm, “He’s from the ‘Eastern Lightning’!” At once, the words in the booklet came to my mind: If you refuse to join them after hearing their messages, they will gouge your eyes, cut off your nose, or break your arms or legs; and they are promiscuous… I trembled with fear and kept looking out of the window, seeking a chance to escape. In alarm, I thought to myself, “God is with me. What shall I fear? I will see what they can do to me.” So I gave up the thought of fleeing. I lay on the bed and shut my ears to anything they fellowshipped about. It was sultry hot that day, and they put a fan in front of my bed and kept it on. To relieve me from boredom, they played the tapes of hymns of God’s word for me. And they also asked me to put on the clean clothes and washed my dirty ones. Their good living out made me wonder, “They don’t seem to be evil people. They are all decent, well-behaved, and keep a clear distance from the opposite sex. There isn’t any sign of licentiousness on them!” At that point, that elderly sister’s words sounded in my ears, “The way they believe in is indeed the true way. It’s not like what the booklet says!” My heart gave a sudden bound, “That’s right! They are indeed not like what the booklet describes! Is it that what the booklet says are lies?” In order to confirm whether it was true or not, I pretended that I must leave, by which to see what they would do to me. Unexpectedly, they all knelt down on the floor and begged me to stay, with tears in their eyes. I was shocked. At that moment, a brother in his forties looked at me with expectant eyes and said, “Brother, please stay and hear God’s words! …” The moving scene and their warm, expectant eyes and sincere words melted my hardened heart. I asked myself, “Is this the ‘mafia’ the booklet says about? If what the booklet says is true, would they kneel down and persuade me to stay? Wouldn’t that be absolutely impossible?” The plain fact convinced me that the words in the booklet were completely tales!
So I agreed to stay. I came straight to the question I had in my mind, “You say that the Lord has returned to flesh. Do you have biblical basis?” One brother began to fellowship patiently, “In Luke 17: 23-25, the Lord Jesus 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.’ The ‘Son of man’ in these verses refers to the ‘incarnate flesh of God,’ not to the ‘Spirit,’ for the Spirit cannot possibly suffer and much less be rejected by this generation. ‘Again’ clearly shows that God will become flesh when He returns. Since it says ‘again,’ it doesn’t refer to God’s first incarnation. This is because there had been no case of God’s incarnation before Jesus’ incarnation. So from these verses we can see that God will come in the form of flesh this time.” “That’s right! I know these verses well, but why didn’t I understand the spiritual meaning?” The brother went on, “Apart from these verses, there are many other verses which can prove God’s coming this time in the form of flesh, such as Matthew 24:27, Hebrew 9:28, Luke 18:8, Revelation 1:13 and 11:15, and so on.” Then he read me the following words of Almighty God: “God became flesh because the object of His work is not the spirit of Satan, or any incorporeal thing, but man, who is of the flesh and has been corrupted by Satan. It is precisely because the flesh of man has been corrupted that God has made fleshly man the object of His work…. Man is a mortal being, is of flesh and blood, and God is the only One who can save man. In this way, God must become a flesh that possesses the same attributes as man in order to do His work, so that His work might achieve better effects. God became flesh to do His work precisely because man is of the flesh, and incapable of overcoming sin or divesting himself of the flesh. … 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. …” “God’s saving of man is not done directly through the means of the Spirit or as the Spirit, for His Spirit can neither be touched nor seen by man, and cannot be approached by man. If He tried to save man directly in the manner of the Spirit, man would be unable to receive His salvation. And if not for God putting on the outward form of a created man, they would be unable to receive this salvation. For man can in no way approach Him, much like how none could go near the cloud of Jehovah. Only by becoming a man of creation, that is, putting His ‘word’ into the flesh He will become, can He personally work the ‘word’ into all who follow Him. Only then can man hear for himself His word, see His word, and receive His word, then through this be fully saved. If God did not become flesh, no fleshly man would receive such great salvation, nor would a single man be saved. If the Spirit of God worked directly among man, man would be smote or completely carried away captive by Satan because man is unable to associate with God. … Only if God becomes flesh can He live alongside man, experience the suffering of the world, and live in an ordinary flesh. Only in this way can He supply man of His creation with the practical word that they need. Man receives full salvation from God because of God incarnate, not directly from their prayers to heaven. For man is fleshly; man is unable to see the Spirit of God and much less able to approach Him. All that man can associate with is God’s incarnate flesh; only through Him can man understand all the words and all the truths, and receive full salvation.” After hearing these words, I understood this: Mankind indeed needs God to become flesh this time. Otherwise, how could man be purified and completely saved by God? Then the brother fellowshipped with me about all the questions that confused me, such as why God is incarnated as a female, why people no longer need to read the Bible in the Age of Kingdom, why the churches have become so desolate, and so on. After his fellowship, my puzzle dissipated completely, “I have read the Bible for over ten years, but there were many truths I didn’t understand. Today I have understood all of them. The Lord has really come back!” I was excited and joyful beyond measure. Almighty God, who has unlocked all the mysteries, conquered me with His authoritative words. I couldn’t help falling down before God and prayed tearfully, “O Almighty God! I’m really most foolish! I neither sought nor investigated Your work but believed the rumors in the booklet blindly. And I sealed off the churches by spreading them and even disturbed those who had accepted the true way. It greatly hindered Your work and made many innocent souls lost. My rebellion was too much to speak of. I’m an unpardonable sinner. Even if I was cut into pieces, I couldn’t atone for my indebtedness to You. However, You still have mercy on me and uplift me, so that I have the honor to come to Your throne and hear Your voice. O Almighty God! Your tolerance is boundless, and Your love is exceedingly long and wide and high and deep! I will do my best to cooperate with Your gospel work in the rest of my life. And I will bring those brothers and sisters who truly love You to Your throne as early as possible to repay Your love and console Your heart!”
Dear brothers and sisters, here I just want to use my own experience to bear witness to you: Words are but wind, but seeing is believing. The words in the booklets are all unfounded attack and deceitful rumor, and they are also slander and blasphemy against the true way! In the past I believed them blindly, so I resisted God’s new work, which left me an irretrievable transgression and an indelible and shameful mark in my life. Whenever I think of it, I feel terribly remorseful. However, it is too late to regret it. Dear brothers and sisters, I sincerely hope that you can learn a lesson from me and no longer believe the malicious lies in the booklets or resist the Savior Jesus who has come again in the last days. Or else, you will end up in an eternal regret. Wake up, brothers! Wake up, sisters!