Breaking Free From the Rumor Trap
By Xiaoyun, China
I used to be a female army officer. One day in 1999, a Korean pastor preached the gospel of the Lord Jesus to me. Because of my earnest pursuit, I soon became the focus of the pastor’s training and his right-hand man. The summer of 2000, the pastor came to Yunnan on a short summer missionary trip with more than a dozen college students from the Korean Gospel Church. Unexpectedly this alarmed the CCP government. We were arrested whilst having a meeting at the pastor’s home and then brought to Yunnan Province Public Security Department for trial. The Korean university students were deported the same night and the Korean pastor was also expelled. The church suffered persecution by the CCP and many believers were cowardly and did not dare believe. A proportion of believers were also forced to go to the Three-Self Church and this was how the church was broken up by the CCP. I was one of the main co-workers in the church and the persecution by the CCP this time also caused me to lose my job.
In March 2005, I heard Almighty God’s kingdom gospel. When I learned that the Lord Jesus had returned, I was so excited that tears of joy filled my eyes and so indescribably grateful. I just wanted to quickly bring my brothers and sisters before God. Under God’s guidance, the brothers and sisters gradually accepted God’s last days’ work. But unexpectedly one of the church’s most talented co-workers, after hearing the testimony of the last days’ work of Almighty God, declared: “This doctrine sounds right, but we need to ask the pastor first and see what he says.” Soon the pastor gave me a call and said: “It is very disorderly outside now. You have not believed in God for long and your stature is low. Whatever you do, do not carelessly listen to sermons from outside the church, so that you don’t take the wrong path. We can only accept the shepherding of this church. Do not listen to the doctrines of other churches.” After listening, I said calmly: “Through this period of time studying Almighty God’s last days’ work, I have found that everything they speak of conforms to the Bible, has the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit and is the truth.” My pastor said: “No matter how well they explain it, we must understand that only the Lord Jesus is the true God. We must not leave the Lord!” I said firmly, “I have not left the Lord, but have followed the footsteps of the Lamb. The Lord Jesus has already returned. It is only right that we should welcome the Lord just like wise virgins.” The pastor said harshly, “How could the Korean Gospel Church not know that the Lord has returned?” I said, “This is not something that can be explained in a few words.” The pastor asserted eloquently: “What they believe in is Eastern Lightning, which was the target of the CCP government’s crackdown. It’s explained very clearly on the Internet. Go online, and you will see. You have to go online to check it out….” After putting down the phone, my heart could not calm down for a long time. The pastor’s words kept ringing in my ears. I particularly wanted to know exactly what was said online.
In order to find out, I quickly ran to an Internet cafe. The moment I opened websites, I was dumbfounded. On the websites there was a lot of CCP government’s blasphemy and condemnation of God, as well as slander and blasphemy from religious figures of authority. God’s flesh bore the brunt of the blasphemy. They condemned God’s incarnation being female. I thought of what was said in God’s words. God had no gender distinction, but seeing the words of judgment about Christ, I had some doubts: How could this be? Could this really be true? It could not be! The words of Almighty God reveal the truth of God’s gender very clearly! The essence of God is spirit. God has no gender distinction. A physical image is only taken for the purpose of carrying out His work of redemption and salvation. This is more conducive to saving people. This flesh can represent God and perform the work that God wants to do, whether male or female in gender. What gender the incarnation of God takes depends on the needs of the work. People cannot and should not set rules for God. Besides, Almighty God’s words cannot be spoken by anybody. They are the expression of the Spirit of truth. This is a fact recognized by many people who sincerely believe in the Lord and yearn for the truth from all factions. But why do the websites start rumors to make people deny that Almighty God is God incarnate? The websites are public media and are published all around the world. It is reasonable to say that they will not make up lies to deceive the public and there are also many famous pastors who also condemn and blaspheme God along with the CCP government. What is going on here? Seeing all this negative propaganda, I felt a flurry of indecision and thought to myself: “The Lord Jesus is Christ. This is universally acknowledged. I must diligently investigate why Almighty God’s last days’ work is opposed by so many people.” After that, I saw an attack on a person used by the Holy Spirit online. My heart once again dropped. Did I really believe in a man? As I continued to browse through the information on the Internet, I became more flustered and felt very bewildered and perplexed. In the end I do not know how I walked out of the Internet cafe.
On the way home, I recalled the time when I was seeking and investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days step by step. When I raised some questions, brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God read the words of God to me. As every issue was resolved one after the other, I was completely convinced. It took a full eleven days of debate and investigation before I firmly believed that Almighty God was the Lord Jesus returned. I also read some of God’s words. God disclosed all of the mysteries of three stages of work and the six-thousand-year management plan and also clarified truths such as the inside story and the essence of the Bible, which were God’s words and which were people’s words in the Bible, and how people should approach the Bible. It made me see things clearly and have great rewards. Looking at it from these words of God, Almighty God should be the Lord Jesus returned. But why was the propaganda on the Internet all negative? The more I thought about those rumors, the more depressed and heavier my heart felt, and I was almost hit by a car as I crossed the road.
After returning home, my heart never calmed down and those Internet rumors came to the forefront of my mind from time to time and lingered there. My heart felt wild as I thought one thing and then another. I couldn’t sleep at night, as I thought, “If I take the wrong path, then is that not all in vain? No, I have to turn back right away. But what if Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned? Then won’t I miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord and lose the chance to be saved?” In my wavering, I came before God in prayer: “God! Since accepting this step of work, my heart has always felt at ease, I have found it very enjoyable to read God’s words and my soul has felt very nourished, but after seeing some negative propaganda on the Internet, I cannot calm down. Please guard my heart. God! My stature is low and I cannot distinguish. If Almighty God is You returned, I hope You will guide me to be certain of Your work without being disturbed by anyone or anything. If not, I hope You can guide me to be able to distinguish….” After praying, I had an idea that started in my heart: quickly finish reading the words of Almighty God in order to determine whether or not it is God’s voice. That night I read God’s words all night and I do not know when I fell asleep at the table.
Early the next morning, I was awakened by a knock at the door and drowsily went to open the door. It turned out to be Sister Wu who had watered me, who had come over. She saw me looking sleepy and asked what had happened in a concerned manner. I said: “I was online yesterday and saw a lot of resistance to and blasphemy against God I felt very conflicted….” After hearing this, Sister Wu fellowshiped with me: “Sister, you know very well the CCP government’s attitude toward Christians. They have arrested and persecuted countless Christians. This is a hard fact. The rumors online are all fabricated by the CCP government so as to persecute The Church of Almighty God. Their aim is to suppress God’s work and to establish an atheistic place in China and not allow people to follow or worship God. Sister, the CCP is an atheistic government. Can we believe what they say?” The sister’s remarks reminded me in time. Right! The CCP is atheist. They hate and resist God the most. What can be believed in what they say! The CCP goes under the guise of the banner “freedom of religion,” but behind the scenes, they wantonly coerce and arrest people who believe in God. Thinking of how the CCP government had coerced and arrested those from our church before and how many brothers and sisters had lost faith and did not dare believe and how I had also lost my job because of this, is this not the CCP government’s attitude toward people who believe in God? In order to restrict religious beliefs, the CCP established the Three-Self Church and asked people to first “love the state” then “love religion.” Their purpose is to keep control of people firmly in their hands and to restrict people’s freedom of belief. When I thought of this, I had some discernment about the despicable intentions of the CCP. The CCP government has always persecuted religious beliefs and condemned the truth. So is their fabricating rumors and condemning the last days’ work of Almighty God not a great unveiling of their God-hating and God-opposing satanic nature?
Sister Wu continued to fellowship with me: “The CCP government is an atheist satanic regime and the enemy of God. In order to achieve its ambition of permanent control of the people, it pushes reactionary policy, condemns and discredits The Church of Almighty God by overthrowing justice. We are thankfully able to distinguish this. But how can the religious pastors and elders follow the atheist regime in resisting and condemning and blaspheming God? Most people cannot figure out why there is this problem. Actually, this is related to the religious leaders’ nature and essence of resistance to God and hatred of the truth. Thinking back to two thousand years ago, when the Lord Jesus did work redeeming mankind, He was met with utmost opposition and persecution from the chief priests, scribes and the Pharisees. This was because the doctrines the Lord Jesus spoke of and the miracles He performed at that time caused a sensation in the Jewish land. Many ordinary people were attracted by the Lord’s words and one after the other returned to the Lord Jesus. When the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees saw this as a threat to their status and income, they conspired with the Roman government to resist and condemn the Lord Jesus, spread rumors, slandered the Lord’s work and crucified the Lord Jesus on the cross. Now the history of two thousand years ago is repeating itself. Religious leaders see the last days’ work of Almighty God being accepted by growing numbers of people and immediately become jealous and unite with the CCP government in resisting and condemning God’s last days’ work. This completely shows that most religious leaders are antichrists who do not like the truth and only like status. ‘Since ancient times, the true way has always been suppressed.’ It is therefore not surprising that Almighty God’s last days’ work could be strongly opposed and condemned by the evil forces of the CCP and the religious community.” Yes, the Pharisees, chief priests and scribes are all figures of authority in the religious community, but they are not true believers in God and do not love the truth. They know that the Lord Jesus is Christ and God, yet in order to maintain their status and income they condemned and blasphemed the Lord. Their nature is indeed to resist God and be the enemy of God. Now how the priests and elders of the religious community act and what they do with regards to the Lord’s second coming is the same as what the Pharisees did. It turns out they are God-hating, truth-hating antichrists! I thought of the Bible’s prophecy which mentions, “But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luk 17:25) when the Lord Jesus comes. Now Almighty God has come to do work, yet He has been resisted and condemned by the religious community and the atheist CCP regime. Is this not the fulfillment of the Lord’s prophecy? At this moment, my heart was illuminated. Sister Wu carried on with her fellowship: “The negative propaganda disseminated by the CCP government and the religious community on the Internet is essentially destroying and disturbing God’s work. Satan has always used lies to deceive and confuse people and to make people doubt, deny, and betray God. In the end they will be punished by God and sent to hell and will lose the opportunity to be saved by God forever. We must distinguish their rumors and realize their sinister intentions and despicable purpose in spreading rumors. Otherwise, we will become deluded and will lose the opportunity to be saved by God.” I nodded in approval and felt that the sisters’ fellowship and help was most timely. I couldn’t wait to continue listening …
Sister Wu took out the book of God’s words and said to me: “Sister, let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s words! Almighty God said: ‘In My plan, Satan has ever snapped at the heels of every step, and, as the foil of My wisdom, has always tried to find ways and means to disrupt My original plan. But could I succumb to its deceitful schemes? All in heaven and on earth serves Me—could the deceitful schemes of Satan be any different? This is precisely the intersection of My wisdom, it is precisely that which is wondrous about My deeds, and it is the principle by which My entire management plan is carried out. During the time of the building of the kingdom, still I do not avoid the deceitful schemes of Satan, but continue to do the work I must do. Among all things in the universe, I have chosen the deeds of Satan as My foil. Is this not My wisdom? Is this not precisely that which is wondrous about My work?’” (“Chapter 8” of God’s Words to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading God’s words, Sister Wu said in fellowship: “We see from Almighty God’s words that every step of God’s work embodies God’s intention, wisdom and wonder. From beginning to end, God’s work does not shy away from Satan’s trickery, but uses Satan’s trickery for the benefit of God’s work, to perfect those who truly believe in God and complete God’s management plan to save mankind. On the surface Satan appears to be swollen with arrogance with resisting God, but God’s wisdom is always exercised based on Satan’s trickery. In the beginning, Satan corrupted people, but God does not destroy it directly. Instead, God uses the three stages of His work to save mankind and whilst saving mankind, God lets Satan disturb and interrupt, His purpose being to show Satan’s true devil face of corrupting and confusing mankind, of frenziedly resisting God and being enemy of God and to let mankind actually see Satan’s ugly face and evil essence. In so doing, people can proactively reject and betray Satan and return to God and Satan will be completely shamed and will fail. This is the most powerful testimony against Satan and reveals God’s wisdom and omnipotence. Just as Job was a God-fearing man who shunned evil, yet God allowed Satan to afflict suffering on Job and eventually used Job’s testimony in trials to humiliate Satan and prove that God’s evaluation of Job was entirely correct. This is God’s wisdom. In addition, what God does in the last days is the work of saving and perfecting people. It is also the work of dividing people according to their kind and ending the age. God uses the persecution by the CCP government and the religious community to cause people to experience various trials and tribulations. Those who truly believe in God can better discern and understand the truth from experiencing tribulations, know God’s almightiness and wisdom and see through to Satan’s wickedness and in the end completely reject Satan and are saved by God. Yet those people who are timid, fake in their belief, bored of the truth and those evil people who hate the truth are all revealed through trials and tribulations and become the subject of elimination. Thus goats, sheep; tares, wheat; good servants, evil servants; and wise virgins, foolish virgins are all separated from each other and people are all separated according to their kind. This is God’s wisdom and omnipotence.” After listening to Sister Wu’s fellowship, I could not help but think back to two thousand years ago when the Lord Jesus was crucified by the Jewish Pharisees and the Roman government. From man’s perspective, the work of the Lord Jesus had failed, but the Lord Jesus said, “It is finished.” It is through Satan’s persecution and crucifixion that God has finished the work of redeeming mankind. Today in the last days, the CCP government and the religious community’s condemnation and defamation has served precisely the purpose of God perfecting people who truly believe in God and has also become God’s evidence to convict them. Almighty God says: “My wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s schemes” (“The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). In the Bible it is recorded: “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” (Rom 11:33). Thinking of this, I saw that God’s work is too wise and too wonderful and praised God from my heart.
Through Sister Wu’s fellowship, I had a little understanding of God’s work and could also distinguish somewhat the essence of the CCP government and the religious community resisting God, but still did not understand what it said on the Internet about us believing in a man, that is, believing in the man whom the Holy Spirit uses. I asked Sister Wu: “On the Internet it says that we believe in a man. Is that the case?” Sister Wu said in fellowship regarding this question: “Your problem is that you are not clear about the truth relating to the difference between God’s work and man’s work. Let’s first read two passages of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says: ‘The work of God Himself involves the work of all of mankind, and it also represents the work of the entire era. That is to say, God’s own work represents the movement and trend of all of the work of the Holy Spirit, whereas the work of the apostles follows God’s own work and does not lead the era, nor does it represent the working trend of the Holy Spirit in the entire era. They only do the work man ought to do, which does not at all involve the management work. God’s own work is the project within the management work. Man’s work is only the duty of men being used and bears no relation to the management work.’ ‘The work that God does does not represent the experience of His flesh; the work that man does represents man’s experience. Everyone talks about his personal experience. God can directly express the truth, while man can only express the corresponding experience after experiencing the truth. … You just have to compare the differences between them to tell whether it is God’s own work or man’s work’ (‘God’s Work and Man’s Work’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words made us understand that God’s work is the work of ushering in a new era. It represents the work of the whole era and also touches upon the work of the whole of mankind. The work that people do is not to open up an age and cannot lead the whole age, nor does it touch upon the whole of mankind. The work of man is just man’s role in the foundation of God’s work. It is doing some work watering, supplying and guiding people to enter into the reality of God’s words and is in cooperation with God’s work, but man’s work cannot replace God’s own work at all, nor can it be regarded in the same category as God’s work. Like the Age of Grace when the Lord Jesus opened the Age of Grace and ended the Age of Law, leading mankind into a new era. After the Lord Jesus finished His work, apostle Peter and others started to continue the work of the Lord Jesus, leading and shepherding the church and leading brothers and sisters to follow the way of the Lord. This was entirely in cooperation with the work of the Lord Jesus. At that time the people of the church accepted Peter’s shepherding and leading, but no one said that they were believing in Peter or some other apostle. This is a fact. In the same way, Almighty God of the last days has come and has ended the Age of Grace and opened up the Age of Kingdom, done the work of judgment starting with God’s family and uttered all of the truths of purifying and saving mankind. If we can understand, practice, and enter these truths, then we are the ones who shall be saved and perfected. However, our poor caliber results in it not being easy and being too slow in reading God’s words ourselves, experiencing God’s words and achieving salvation. Therefore, God raises the man used by the Holy Spirit to lead us. The man used by the Holy Spirit has been prepared and perfected by God in advance. He has the experience of attaining salvation and perfection through experiencing God’s work. He uses his experience of God’s words to guide us to know God’s words and to enter God’s words. This will enable us to deviate from the path less. As long as we accept and obey the leadership and the watering of the man used by the Holy Spirit, then we can take the right path to believe in God and be saved. This is entirely God’s kindness and blessing toward us. The work that the man used by the Holy Spirit does is exalting and witnessing God and guiding us to obey and worship God. He has never asked us to treat him as God, nor has he asked us to believe in him. All of God’s chosen people are very clear about this: The man used by the Holy Spirit is only our brother and our leader, but we believe in Christ of the last days, Almighty God, not the man whom the Holy Spirit uses. It is rumored on the Internet that we believe in the man whom the Holy Spirit uses. This is purely a distortion of the facts and a confusion of right and wrong. It is Satan’s fallacy and lies to delude people. You might as well go to The Church of Almighty God to experience for yourself. If you take a closer look, you will see that we read the words of Almighty God, we pray in Almighty God’s name and believe in the incarnate God Himself, that is, Almighty God, Christ of the last days. Christ wields power over The Church of Almighty God entirely. It is God’s words that wield power. So tell me, do we believe in a man or in God? Is this not obvious?” After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I knew a little about God’s work and man’s work and also understood a little about God’s intention in raising the man whom the Holy Spirit uses. I also knew that we believed in Almighty God incarnate, not a person. I could not help but think to myself: What we have received is God’s work and the supply of God’s words. We believe in Almighty God; it is not following and believing in a man. It seems that those online rumors are really Satan’s lies, fallacy and lies to delude people. In the beginning, our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, were taken in by Satan’s tricks and committed sin and were cast out of the Garden of Eden because they listened to Satan’s lies. The Israelites also listened to rumors and were taken in by Satan’s trickery and became eternal sinners against God. I must learn from the lessons of previous failures. I should no longer be taken in by Satan!
Sister Wu then opened up the book of God’s words to “Concerning God’s Use of Man” and fellowshiped with me: “Almighty God said: ‘He who is used by God, on the other hand, is someone who has been prepared by God, and who possesses a certain caliber, and has humanity. He has been prepared and made perfect in advance by the Holy Spirit, and is completely led by the Holy Spirit, and, particularly when it comes to his work, he is directed and commanded by the Holy Spirit—as a result of which there is no deviation on the path of leading God’s chosen ones, for God surely takes responsibility for His own work, and God does His own work at all times.’ God looks upon people’s heart and mind and knows that corrupt mankind has no truth, cannot see through the spiritual world and has notions and misunderstandings about God’s work. So God uttered truths about this to allow us to understand God’s good intentions in using people to do work. That is, to help us enter the right path for believing in God. Everything that God does is to save mankind. It is all done according to our needs and completely embodies God’s love and compassion for us….” Sister Wu’s further fellowship made me more aware of the good intentions behind God raising the man used by the Holy Spirit to guide us and I saw that God really has gone to a lot of trouble to save us. God’s words are very well-rounded and are spoken so as to eliminate our notions and misconceptions about God, so that we can truly come before God and accept God’s salvation.
When Sister Wu left, she told me to read God’s words more and also left the fellowship of the man used by the Holy Spirit for me to read. One day I saw a passage of the fellowship: “At this critical final moment, people in their practices should make as their first priorities: eating and drinking the words of God, whatever God entrusts them to do, carrying out their duties, satisfying God and the glory of God. These are the only ways to practice loyalty to God. The previous saints often said, ‘Our gain and loss doesn’t matter; we should pay mind to God’s will.’ This should be the motto of all people. The specific practices are as follows: If Satan’s interference arrives, then the first task is to protect God’s testimony and God’s work and to use the truth to defeat Satan; if one faces sin or temptation, then glorifying God is first, and one can’t sin against and humiliate God; if there are people, issues, or things encumbering the fulfillment of their duties, then what God entrusts to them comes first and they must break free of all entanglements and be loyalty to God; if and when matters vital to one’s personal interests arise, then the interests of God’s family come first. Abandoning one’s personal interests and being considerate of God’s heart is vital. If worldly affairs entangle and constrain one, then fulfilling their duty and satisfying God must come first and they must cast aside all else and expend for God” (“Communicating ‘Loyalty to God’” in Collection of Sermons—Supply for Life). I knew very clearly from the fellowship of the man used by the Holy Spirit how I should practice in real life in order to satisfy God’s intentions and what to do so as to be faithful to God. I felt that the man used by the Holy Spirit was really guiding us to obey God, enter the truth and fulfill God’s intentions. I have experienced that the “translator” God has arranged for us is really good! I felt even more clearly that God has prepared a person whom the Holy Spirit uses for us in advance to guide us to understand the truth more quickly and come to know God. This is God’s sincere love for us! At this point, I completely saw through and discarded those rumors that had been spread online that condemned God’s last days’ work and attacked the man used by the Holy Spirit. From feeling on tenterhooks, I could finally be at ease. I really believe that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned. My accepting of the last days’ work of Almighty God is to keep up with the Lamb’s footsteps, go to the marriage feast of the Lamb and to be raised before God’s throne!
After going through this disturbance of Satan’s, I was even more convinced about Almighty God’s last days’ work. Now I have followed Almighty God for more than a decade. I think back to all of the notions I had when I had just accepted God’s last days’ work then to understanding some truths and seeing through the CCP and the religious community’s rumors, casting aside notions and no longer being deluded, then to striving to pursue the truth and doing one’s duty as a created being and repaying God’s love and resolutely following Almighty God. It makes me truly feel that which God said: “In his relationship with God in the flesh, man progresses from opposition to obedience, from persecution to acceptance, from conception to knowledge, and from rejection to love. These are the effects of the work of the incarnate God” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words are true. Thanks be to God! All glory be to Almighty God!