Discerning Rumors and Fallacies to Avoid Being Deceived
In the last days, the Lord Jesus returns to appear and work in the world as the incarnate Almighty God, and to express the truth and perform a stage of work whereby mankind is judged and purified. Many people from all denominations who sincerely believe in the Lord and yearn for His appearance have heard God’s voice and have begun to follow Almighty God. This cannot help but elicit extreme panic from the leaders of the religious world; they fear that the believers will all start believing in Almighty God and will no longer worship or follow them, and so they disseminate all kinds of rumors and fallacies to condemn God’s work of the last days, and they bind and restrict brothers and sisters from seeking and studying the true way. Many brothers and sisters are without discernment, they believe these rumors and outright lies and dare not study the true way. They would rather live floundering in darkness without the work or guidance of the Holy Spirit than go forth to seek the Holy Spirit’s new work. Here, we will fellowship about and dissect some of the rumors and fallacies spread by the religious world, so that every brother and sister who has awaited the coming of the Lord can discern them and thereby avoid being deceived by wicked servants, and not lose God’s salvation of the last days. Here below, we list and dissect some rumors and fallacies that are often heard.
1. Religious leaders often seal off churches and urge believers “not to receive strangers and not to give them even a bowl of water, for they are from Eastern Lightning and are deceivers.” Religious leaders do not allow brothers and sisters to receive strangers, but does this agree with the Lord’s will? The Lord Jesus told us: “And whoever shall give to drink to one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, truly I say to you, he shall in no wise lose his reward” (Matthew 10:42). It is evident that, for the sake of one’s belief in God, receiving strangers is something which God requires of us. Throughout the ages, many people have been blessed by God for receiving strangers. It is recorded in the Bible how Abraham received three men without being aware that they were angels, and so Abraham was blessed by God (see Genesis 18:1–16); Lot received two of God’s messengers, and he and his family were spared the disaster because of this good and magnanimous deed (see Genesis 19:1–25); Rahab the harlot received two Israelite spies, who were both strangers to her, and thus her and her family came under God’s protection (see Joshua 2:1–21); the Ethiopian eunuch received the Lord Jesus’ salvation because he believed the preaching of the disciples (see Acts 8:27–40), and was he not also receiving strangers? We can see from the facts recorded in the Bible that, not only were those who received strangers not deceived but, on the contrary, they were unwittingly blessed by God. As we all know, God’s gospel has been transmitted by people down through the ages, and the Lord Jesus performed His work of redeeming mankind in Judea; the gospel of the kingdom of heaven spread out from Judea and has now reached every land under the sun, from pole to pole. At that time, besides a small group of people in Judea who saw Him, no one else knew the Lord Jesus, and no one knew the disciples and apostles who spread the Lord’s gospel and bore witness to it. If everyone then had been like we are today and would not receive anyone they did not know, then who would have been able to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ? Clearly, it is not the Lord’s will that we should not receive any stranger whatsoever, and this has gone beyond Christ’s teaching. It says in chapter 3, verse 20 of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” If God sends a stranger to knock at our door and we ignore it, would we not be refusing entry to God? And would we not then be condemned by history as traitors who resisted and rejected God? Does this not make us feel afraid? Therefore, for leaders to prevent us from receiving strangers is clearly a violation of the Lord’s teaching and it is a means employed to deceive people!
2. Religious leaders often say to brothers and sisters: “No matter how good another sermon sounds, you must never go and listen to it, not even if they are preaching the truth. You must stick to your own church so as to avoid being deceived.” Religious leaders do not allow brothers and sisters to go and listen to other sermons and they make people stick to their own churches. This runs contrary to the Lord’s requirements. The Lord Jesus said: “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Matthew 25:6). It says in Revelation: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4). God’s will is for us to seek the truth, to heed God’s voice and to keep up with the footsteps of the Lamb, for only in this way can we attain God’s salvation. In the Age of Law, the Israelites all believed in Jehovah God and they kept Jehovah’s laws and decrees. The priests served Jehovah in the temple every day, and those who followed Jehovah also kept the Sabbath in the temple. When the Lord Jesus came to perform His work, however, He did not preach or work in the temple, but instead He preached and worked beyond the temple and went preaching beside the sea, on mountains, in the wilderness and in villages, spreading the gospel of the heavenly kingdom. Those who left the temple and followed Jesus and who took the initiative to seek the true way all attained the Lord Jesus’ salvation, such as Peter, John, Jacob, Nathaniel and Nicodemus. Thinking about this carefully, if they had not left the temple and followed Jesus, would they have been able to recognize Him as the Messiah they had been waiting for? Would they have been able to attain the Lord’s salvation? Surely not. Similarly, the returned Lord Jesus in the last days—Almighty God—does not appear or work in any denomination, but rather He performs a new stage of work among a group of His chosen ones. If people do not leave their denominations behind and seek the Holy Spirit’s new work, but just always remain stuck within religion, then it will be simply impossible for them to welcome the Lord’s return. Therefore, whenever God performs a new stage of work, only by leaving religion behind, seeking God’s new work and words and keeping up with the footsteps of the Lamb can people obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and attain God’s salvation. Just as Almighty God says: “Since man believes in God, he must closely follow the footsteps of God, step-by-step; he should ‘follow the Lamb wherever He goes.’ Only these are the people who seek the true way, only they are the ones who know the work of the Holy Spirit. People who slavishly follow letters and doctrines are those who have been eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit. In each period of time, God will begin new work, and in each period, there will be a new beginning among man. If man only abides by the truths that ‘Jehovah is God’ and ‘Jesus is Christ,’ which are truths that only apply to a single age, then man will never keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and will forever be incapable of gaining the work of the Holy Spirit” (“God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It can therefore be seen that the statement spoken by religious leaders, that one must not go and listen to other sermons but must stick to one’s own church goes totally against the Lord’s will. If we blindly listen to and follow the rumors spread by religious leaders, and we stay stuck in religion and do not seek the truth and study the true way, then we will lose eternal salvation, and this is a certainty.
3. Pastors and elders spread rumors, saying, “Any preaching that says the Lord has come is false and deceitful.” Going by this statement, does that mean then that the Lord Jesus will never come? Jesus said many times that He will come again and He prophesied that, when the last days of the world came He would return and perform His work of judgment, He would separate the sheep from the goats and the wheat from the chaff, He would separate each according to their kind and reward the good and punish the wicked…. These works are definitely what God will accomplish in the last days, and yet pastors and elders say, “Any preaching that says the Lord has come is deceitful and false.” Is this not a refutation of the Lord Jesus’ own words? Is this not a covert denial and condemnation of the second coming of Jesus? Are people like this truly believers in the Lord? Many people believe in the Lord and await His return, and they all take guarding against false Christs and false prophets as their primary task. But they do not take heed to listen to God’s voice or welcome the Lord’s return and, by doing this, they are missing the forest for the trees and are giving up food for fear of choking. No matter how someone may guard against false Christs, if they are unable to welcome the Lord’s return, then they are a foolish virgin and their faith in God will end in failure. Now, the Lord has long since returned, and only by accepting God’s work of judgment in the last days can people be purified and attain God’s salvation of the last days. And yet these pastors and elders cause people to blindly be on their guard and they do not allow them to seek or study God’s work of the last days, and thus they destroy people’s chances to attain God’s salvation. By doing this, do they not become obstacles and stumbling blocks which prevent people from entering the heavenly kingdom? This is just like what Jesus said to the Pharisees when He rebuked them: “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13). If we believe what these leaders say and we regard as false any preaching that says the Lord has come, and we do not seek or study this way at all, then we will miss our chance to welcome the Lord and be raptured up into the heavenly kingdom. Would we not then be bringing ourselves to ruin?
4. Religious leaders fabricate rumors, saying, “When people believe in Almighty God, the moment they enter The Church of Almighty God, they can never leave again. If they want to leave, they have their eyes gouged out and their ears and nose cut off.” This is just plain nonsense, and anyone with a brain can see at once that this is just a rumor, plain and simple, and that it is blasphemy and slander against God’s work of the last days. As everyone knows, the Communist Party is an atheist political party and it is the satanic regime that most hates God. If in China someone had their eyes gouged out and their ears and nose cut off because of their belief in God, then the Chinese government would have made a big case out of it, treated it as a major crime and punished those responsible. Furthermore, the media—the mouthpiece of the CCP—would have sensationalized it to the level of hysteria and made sure everyone knew about it. And yet so many years have gone by since Almighty God began His work, and not one person has had their eyes gouged out or their nose and ears cut off for believing in Almighty God. Let us take a look at the people around us, as there are all kinds of situations, such as: Some people accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days many years ago; some have studied Almighty God’s work and then turned back because they believed the rumors spread by the pastors and elders; some have heard Almighty God’s gospel many times and yet refuse to accept it; and then there are some who accepted Almighty God’s work and then were purged and expelled by The Church of Almighty God for doing evil. And who among all these people has ever had their nose cut off and their eyes gouged out, or had their arms and legs cut off? This is the most powerful proof. Moreover, The Church of Almighty God has never forced anyone to join the church, as clearly stipulated in the Administrative Decrees of the Kingdom: “Kin who are not of the faith (your children, your husband or wife, your sisters or your parents, and so on) should not be forced into the church. God’s household is not short of members, and there is no need to make up its numbers with people who have no use. All those who do not believe gladly must not be led into the church” (“The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Those who join The Church of Almighty God must all be people who sincerely believe in God. The Church of Almighty God does not admit people who are unwilling to believe in God merely to make up its numbers; those who enter must all first go through a strict examination, and any unbelievers and wicked people who try to worm their way in will be purged and expelled from the church. If someone wants to turn back and not believe in Almighty God any more, no one will stop them. The door of God’s house is wide open, and people are free to leave whenever they wish. It is therefore evident that the statement spoken by religious leaders, that “when people believe in Almighty God, the moment they enter The Church of Almighty God, they can never leave again. If they want to leave, they have their eyes gouged out and their ears and nose cut off” is a lie of the devil, plain and simple, and anyone with a brain will be able to discern this.
5. Pastors and elders condemn those who preach the gospel of Almighty God as coming to steal their sheep. As all who sincerely believe in the Lord know, those who believe in God belong to God and absolutely do not belong to any religious denomination, nor to any leader of a religious denomination. No matter in what denomination believers gather, or who leads them, they are all God’s sheep. Just as the Lord Jesus says: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine” (John 10:14). Many pastors and elders, however, say that the believers are their sheep—is this not a great mistake? Are they not trying to take God’s place by saying this? Are these people not vying with God for His flock and for His chosen people? Jesus who has returned in the last days will take His sheep back to His house, and this is nothing less than an unalterable heavenly law. And yet He is subjected to the obstruction and unwarranted condemnation of the leaders in the religious world, leaders who view God as an enemy and who not only refuse to give the believers to God but who, on the contrary, hold them under their sway and say that they are their own sheep. And they declare the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God who preach the gospel as coming to steal their sheep, they throw all sorts of obstacles into their path and condemn them, and they even inform on them to the police and have them arrested. Are they not precisely the wicked farmers spoken about by the Lord Jesus?
These religious leaders pretend to be protecting their sheep whilst deliberately planning to obstruct brothers and sisters from studying Almighty God’s work and words, to the point where they even make absurd interpretations of the Bible, fabricate rumors, lie to and intimidate brothers and sisters, all the while saying that they do this out of consideration for the lives of the brothers and sisters. If they truly took responsibility for the lives of the brothers and sisters, why do they not lead them to seek the true way? Why do they not dare to take out Almighty God’s words and allow brothers and sisters to study them openly? Why are they so afraid of brothers and sisters accepting the work of Almighty God? Many religious leaders have, in fact, already read Almighty God’s words, and they know that His words carry authority and power. So why do they not accept it themselves and also forbid brothers and sisters from accepting it? Actually, they are afraid that brothers and sisters will recognize Almighty God’s words as the voice of God and as the truth once they read them, and that the brothers and sisters will then follow Almighty God. The religious leaders will then no longer be able to enjoy being worshiped by the brothers and sisters, and they will lose their positions and livelihoods. Therefore, they ensnare and control the brothers and sisters, they make up all kinds of horrible rumors to deceive and intimidate them and they obstruct them from seeking and studying the true way—this is their true purpose and their sinister intent. They are just like the Jewish chief priests, scribes and Pharisees from the time of Jesus. They knew perfectly well that Jesus was endowed with the authority and power of God, but because they were afraid that everyone would start believing in Jesus and would leave them, thereby losing their positions, their livelihoods and their pleasures, they therefore did not seek or study the true way but instead they frantically condemned and resisted Jesus, just as it is recorded in the Bible: “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man does many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. … Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death” (John 11:47–48, 53). In the end, they crucified the Lord Jesus upon the cross, thus offending God’s disposition and committing a heinous sin, and becoming people who would be condemned as traitors for all time. The root cause of the Pharisees’ resistance to and condemnation of Jesus is exactly the same as that of the pastors and elders’ resistance to and condemnation of Almighty God in the religious world today—they are all under the domination of their satanic nature which is sick of the truth, hates the truth and which resists God. In the last days, Almighty God works to bring all those who sincerely believe in God back into His house. The religious leaders, however, not only do not give up their flocks but, on the contrary, they do all they can to disrupt God’s work and obstruct people from turning to Almighty God. They consider their churches to be their own territory and the brothers and sisters to be their own personal property. Are these people not the wicked servants spoken of by the Lord Jesus? Are they not antichrists who have been exposed in the last days? Almighty God says: “Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, head demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of ‘robust flesh,’ how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour?” (“All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). If we heed and follow blindly the rumors spread about by religious pastors and elders and do not apply our discernment, then we will be caught out by the wicked servants’ cunning schemes, and we will become nothing more than funereal objects to be buried alongside the antichrists.
Above, we have dissected and analyzed some of the rumors and fallacies spread about by religious leaders with the aim of helping brothers and sisters to develop their discernment, to see through Satan’s tricks and to avoid being deceived by these rumors and fallacies. Brothers and sisters, God’s work of judgment upon the Chinese mainland has come to an end and His kingdom gospel is extending across the seas to all nations. Most brothers and sisters who sincerely believe in God and who pursue the truth have already seen through Satan’s tricks and have broken through the wicked servants’ snares, and they have returned before God. They enjoy the watering and provision of God’s living water of life and have seen the hope of salvation. Only Christ of the last days, Almighty God, can give us truth and life, and only God can lead us to a beautiful destination; no leader can be the wellspring of the life of man. We would be such fools to blindly believe in rumors. Only by breaking through the deception of these rumors and fallacies and seeking the true way can we obtain the truths expressed by God in the last days, attain God’s salvation and enter the kingdom of God. Accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days is therefore the only way to attaining salvation, and we absolutely must not miss our chance to be saved by God, or else we will regret it for the rest of our lives!