Nehe City, Heilongjiang Province
I was formerly a co-worker of the Cross Church. I received a lot of grace after I turned to the Lord. Because of that, I pursued very zealously and made a resolution before the Lord that I would serve Him all my life. Two years later, I began to preach and often went to other counties to support the churches. At that time, I felt that believing in the Lord was so great and so meaningful.
In the spring of 1997, somehow, our church began to become desolate, and the believers’ faith and love faded away. They intrigued against and deceived each other, and overtly agreed with but covertly opposed each other, and philosophies of life were becoming prevailing among them. The church had become no different from the world. My love for the Lord also grew cold, and I no longer wanted to go to other counties to work. At that time, my leader, who had just come back from studying in Wenzhou, said to me, “Now, there’s a gang of people preaching the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ They’re very deceptive. If you don’t accept their way, they will make you disabled. This gang of people are heretics and cultists. You should guard the flock properly and ensure no sheep is taken away by them. Don’t let the leaders down.” Hearing that, I thought to myself, “In that case, these people are not believers in the Lord. If I meet them, I must teach them a lesson.” From then on, I became busy.
One day in July 1997, Brother Zhang in our church called me and said, “Someone came to Sister Liu’s home to preach the ‘Eastern Lightning.’” Hearing that, I immediately made a call to Sister Liu, “Try to keep him there. I’ll arrive in a minute.” Then, along with two co-workers, I hastily went to Sister Liu’s home by taxi. When I stepped into the room, I saw a brother fellowshiping with Sister Liu. Without saying a word, I rushed up to him, grabbed his shirt and roared at him, “You devils deceive people everywhere. Today you even want to snatch sheep from our church. Scram now! You are not preaching any gospel but a heresy that leads people away from the true way.” “Please let me go, brother. You’ll understand after we have a fellowship,” the brother said calmly. “We have nothing to fellowship with you. Go away now! If you come again to the brothers and sisters’ homes of our church, I won’t be so easy on you!” I shouted at him furiously and drove him out.
One month later, I was told that a follower of the “Eastern Lightning” was in a brother’s home. When my co-worker and I got there hurriedly, we found it was the same brother we saw at Sister Liu’s home. Before he spoke, the co-worker who came with me bawled him out, “You are such a deceiver!” As he said that, he punched the brother hard in the face. Immediately, blood flowed out from his nose. But he neither got angry nor rebuked us. He said, “I can understand your feelings, but I hope you don’t get angry. Calm down and let’s have a fellowship about the Lord’s coming.” “Stop your nonsense! Go away now! If you come to our church again, we’ll break your legs!” As I said that, I roughly pushed him out of the door. Later, the leaders above learned of that and praised me as a good steward with faithfulness and insight. Due to the leader’s praise, I became even more enthusiastic about resisting the “Eastern Lightning.” I guarded the flock day and night, fearing that the “Eastern Lightning” followers would come and steal the sheep. I went everywhere to seal off the churches, saying to the brothers and sisters, “No one is allowed to receive any strangers without my permission, and whoever receives will be expelled from the church. If the ‘Eastern Lightning’ followers come, call the police to arrest them.” But even so, I still felt insecure. So I printed many copies of the booklet against the “Eastern Lightning”—The Sound of the Trumpet in the Church, and distributed them to all the churches so that everyone would reject the “Eastern Lightning.” At the same time, I made up my mind that even if I was the only one left in the church in the end, I would by no means believe in the “Eastern Lightning.”
On March 14, 1998, my cousin came to my home from Shenyang, and we talked about many things related to belief in the Lord. She said that the desolation of the church, like the preachers having nothing to preach, the co-workers going into business, the believers sleeping in meetings, the flock being scattered, and so on, fulfilled the prophecy in Amos 8:11, “Behold, the days come, said the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.” My cousin also fellowshiped with me about the principles of God’s work, how to serve in accordance with the will of God, the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work, the relationship between man and God, and other truths. I felt particular enjoyment after listening. Even our leader had never preached such good messages. However, when my cousin fellowshiped that the work of the last days needed to be done personally by God through becoming flesh for the second time, I didn’t agree with her and refused to listen. I thought, “Isn’t this the view of the ‘Eastern Lightning’?” My face darkened immediately, and I said, “What you preach is a false way. It’s deceptive. I’d rather die than accept it.” Before my cousin had time to speak, I pushed her out of the front door. Then I bolted the door and said, “From now on, you are not my cousin. We don’t walk on the same path. Leave here. Don’t come again.” My cousin begged me in tears outside the door, “Brother, open the door. I have more to say. You should recognize the tree by its fruit. Love comes from God…” I interrupted her behind the door and said fiercely, “I have nothing to say to you.” Seeing that I was so hard-hearted, stubborn, and hostile, she had no choice but to leave in tears. After she left, I felt very sad and cried. I said to myself, “Cousin, don’t blame me for being so cruel. It’s because you believe in the heresy.”
From then on, to stop the steps of the “Eastern Lightning” followers, in each meeting I would stand before the believers and pray to curse the “Eastern Lightning.” One day in May 1998, when I was cursing the “Eastern Lightning” in prayer, I suddenly felt my head swimming. I opened my eyes, but I couldn’t see anything clearly as if my eyes were covered with something. It was after quite a while that my eyes recovered slowly. A brother noticed it and asked what’s wrong with me, and I said I was fine. I didn’t realize at all then that it was the Lord’s discipline. Two days later, we met together again. I cursed the “Eastern Lightning” to the eighteenth level of hell. But when I finished those words, I fainted. Several co-workers rushed me to the hospital, but after the examination, the doctor said there was nothing wrong with me. I went back home with misgivings and fear. After I arrived at home, I began to examine myself, “I have been so faithful in guarding the churches and the flock. How could such a thing have happened to me? Could it be that the one the ‘Eastern Lightning’ preaches is really the returned Jesus? If not so, why did the Lord discipline me when I cursed it in prayer?” At that time, my cousin’s words came into my mind, “The church has become so desolate that the co-workers have turned into ‘employed laborers,’ those who fully consecrated themselves to the Lord for many years have left the church to enjoy the warmth of their families and their marital bliss, the rest intrigue against each other and scramble for fame and fortune, and the preachers have nothing to preach and also cannot live out the Lord’s requirements. However, the brothers and sisters of the ‘Eastern Lightning, they can perseveringly preach the gospel of the last days, regardless of what circumstances they encounter. Sufferings, persecutions, humiliations, beating and swearing, and even being sent to the police station cannot stop their steps. No matter how badly they are treated, they always reform others’ heart with love and never hate them. Such love and faith can only come from God….” Thinking of that, I opened the Bible. I saw these words in 1 John 4:7-8: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loves is born of God, and knows God. He that loves not knows not God; for God is love.” After reading the two verses, I pondered: “Whoever has no love does not know God. I pushed the brother who preached the gospel of the last days out of the door, and abused and beat him; I told the brothers and sisters to call the police to arrest the ‘Eastern Lightning’ followers; when my cousin traveled so far to my home to preach God’s work of the last days to me, I drove her away before she had finished her words. Do I have love? … Is the ‘Eastern Lightning’ really the true God?” As I thought of this, I felt very bad. I knelt down before the Lord and prayed, “Lord, if what my cousin preached is really Your work, then what should I do after having done so many stupid things? O Lord, please open the door of my heart and give me a seeking heart. Lord, I don’t want to be the chief of sinners that resist You. May You open my spiritual eyes so that I can make a right choice.” After I prayed in bitter tears, my heart didn’t feel as heavy as before, but instead I felt much relaxed and peaceful and secure, which I hadn’t felt for a long time.
Several days later, while I was reading the Bible in my room, my cousin came in from outside. My first thought is: O Lord, thank You! You have answered my prayer. This is really what You have prepared for me. My cousin walked up to me with a smile and asked, “Brother, which part of the Bible are you reading?” I said, “Words about the Lord’s coming. Cousin, I want to ask you a question: Is there any prophecy in the Bible about God’s second incarnation? If you can find proof of it, I will accept what you preach.” She said, “OK, let’s look at the Bible. Luke 17:24-25 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 be rejected of this generation.’ The ‘Son of man’ mentioned here refers to God’s second incarnation. God can’t be called the Son of man when He isn’t in the flesh, for the ‘Son of man’ must be born of man. Here it also mentions ‘suffer.’ Only the flesh can suffer; if God came in a spiritual body, He wouldn’t suffer, because the spiritual body is not restricted by any person, matter, or thing, or by time, space, or geography, and men would not reject or resist Him even if they saw Him. So, only the flesh can suffer. In John 4:37 it says: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ In this verse, ‘one sows’ means that Jesus sowed the seed of the gospel in the world (cf. Matthew 13:37), and ‘another reaps’ means that God’s second incarnation will do the work of ending the age. Besides, God becoming flesh to do the work is necessary and of great significance. God is incarnated because corrupt mankind needs the salvation of God become flesh.” Then, she took out the book of Almighty God’s word and read these words: “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; moreover, because man is the object of corruption, He has made man the only object of His work throughout all the stages of His salvation 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 must become flesh to do His work precisely because man is of the flesh, and incapable of overcoming sin or divesting himself of 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 smitten or completely carried away captive by Satan because man is unable to associate with God.” “All of God’s work in the last days is done through this ordinary man. He will bestow everything unto you, and further, He can decide everything about you. Can such a man be as you believe: a man so simple as to be unworthy of mention? Is His truth not enough to utterly convince you? Is witness of His deeds not enough to utterly convince you? Or is it that the path He leads you on is not worthy for you to follow? What is it that causes you to feel an aversion to Him and to cast Him away and shirk from Him? It is He who expresses the truth, it is He who supplies the truth, and it is He who enables you to have a path to travel. Could it be that you still cannot find the traces of God’s work within these truths? Without the work of Jesus, mankind could not have come down from the cross, but without the incarnation this day, those who come down from the cross could never be commended by God or enter into the new age. Without the coming of this ordinary man, then you would never have the opportunity or be eligible to see the true countenance of God, for you are all ones that should have long ago been destroyed. Because of the coming of the second incarnation of God, God has forgiven you and shown you mercy. Regardless, the words I must leave you with in the end are still these: This ordinary man, who is God incarnate, is of vital importance to you. This is the great thing that God has already done among men.” (from The Word Appears in the Flesh) Through listening to God’s word and my cousin’s fellowship, I became brightened and knew that God was incarnated in order to save us so that people redeemed from sin could be completely transformed and eventually receive God’s commendation. At that moment, I had nothing more to say, feeling as if I had seen the sun after the dense fog was cleared away. I was certain that the “Eastern Lightning” was the true way. At the same time, I saw that I was so pitifully poor and blind and ignorant that I had even defined the true and living almighty God in my notions. I even said arrogantly and ignorantly that I would rather die than accept the “Eastern Lightning.” In retrospect, I felt I didn’t have the slightest humanity and was no better than a beast. I had consciencelessly done so many things of resisting, blaspheming, and cursing the true God, and I had beaten and abused the brothers and sisters who preached the gospel of the last days. I really deserved to die ten thousand times. Even if God destroyed me now, that was completely God’s righteousness. However, God didn’t strike me down but disciplined me to wake me up. From that, I saw that God’s tolerance was as boundless as the sea and sky and that God’s love for man was so great and so real. If God had done the work through the means of the Spirit as He did in the Age of Law, then according to the sins I had committed, I would have long since died without a whole body. I couldn’t help sighing from the bottom of my heart, “Corrupt mankind indeed needs the salvation of God become flesh!” At that moment, I was deeply moved and my face was covered with remorseful tears. I prostrated myself before God and prayed, “O Almighty God, it’s Your great love that has saved me from the brink of danger. In this life, I will seek nothing but only wish that I can consecrate my whole being to You and bear You testimony with my personal experiences to bring before You those brothers and sisters who are still entrapped by the false shepherds and antichrists, so that Your heart will be consoled.”