Zhoukou City, Henan Province
I was formerly a worker of the Hua Xuehe sect. On December 2, 1998, I accepted the Almighty God’s end-time work and began to eat and drink the present word of God. Gradually, I have known that God’s work always progresses forward and is done age by age to save man. I have known the inside truth about and the substance of God’s work in the Age of the Law, and also known how God redeemed all mankind in the Age of the Grace. Even more, I have known that on the basis of the first two stages of the work, God has opened a new age—the Age of the Word. Through his word, God chastises and judges people and will eventually conquer and perfect them completely, so that they will be restored to their image created by God in the beginning, be fully compatible with God, become God’s manifestation on earth, and become the proof of God’s defeating satan. This group of people are the ones who can testify about God’s deeds and are the 144,000, the overcoming man-child, mentioned in Revelation.
Through reading God’s word, I have understood God’s work and God’s intention to save man, so I hate my past even more bitterly. As I look back, my disobedience and resistance to God is still vivid in my mind….
I remember that in September 1997, a leader in my sect said to me, “Be on your guard! Now there appears a Reaping sect called ‘the Eastern Lightning.’ It is very dangerous. Once you get involved in it, you cannot escape. They are not the ones who enter by the gate, but robbers. They hold a different belief from ours. Now if anyone comes to preach to you, don’t receive him lest you be deceived. If you join that sect, you can’t withdraw. If you try to, they will gouge out your eyes, cut off your nose, or break your legs! He who joins it will no longer be accepted by our Church even if he backs out. God will pull up weeds first. We’ll see who will be pulled up first. All those who are pulled up are the ones who have no discernment.” Hearing my leader’s words, I declared my stand right away: “I will never receive any strangers. If they don’t leave, I will beat them away!”
Only a few days later, a brother came to preach the Almighty God’s end-time work to me. Without a word I pushed him outward. The brother said, “Let’s talk about the trend of the Holy Spirit’s working. …” “No need. I won’t believe anything you say! I think you must eat too much and are idling away your time. You are not doing what you’re supposed to do! Go away now!” Then I slammed the door shut. The brother stood outside for a long time. Later my daughter came back from outside and said, “Dad, that man is crying.” Hearing that, I was not moved in the slightest, but said, “He’s lucky that I didn’t beat him. If he comes again, I will definitely teach him a ‘lesson’!” Several more days later, another brother who was a little older than me came. As soon as he saw me, he called, “Brother!” “Who is your brother? Save your sweet talk! Don’t try to tempt me!” I said fiercely. But the brother said gently, “The Scripture says, ‘Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.’” “Entertain you? I would rather entertain beggars than you. Get out of here! Otherwise, I will slap you!” As I said that, I walked up to him and gave him a slap on the cheek. However, he did not get angry but still advised me, “Brother, it’s not proper to do so…” “Not proper? Very proper. I cannot be soft on you people!” With that I asked my wife to push him out. After the gate was shut, I stood in the yard and looked outside. I saw he left reluctantly in tears…. At this time, I beamed with pride. “You bring this all on yourself. You deserve it! Even if you come one hundred more times, I will not believe what you preach. I will never fall for your trick!” Three days later, two sisters came to my home. The moment they walked in the door, they greeted my wife with “Sister.” At first, I thought they were my wife’s relatives from her hometown, but finally I knew that they were the preachers of “the Eastern Lightning.” So, I waved my hand and said impatiently, “Go away right now! No matter how true the way you preach is, I won’t believe in it!” Because they were women, I could not throw them out. So I sicced my dog on them. But to my surprise, the dog just did not bite them. (At ordinary times, my dog always bit at strangers, very fierce.) Seeing this scene, I still did not wake up. I said to my wife, “Since they don’t leave, we leave….” Thus, I refused God’s salvation once again.
I obeyed the leader’s word all along and never received anyone who preached God’s end-time gospel. I also firmly believed that only our Church was the true way and was personally led by God. But one day, one of my co-workers came unexpectedly to my home and said to me, “Before our upper workers came home from doing the work, each of them bought a suit, a bag, and hunks of beef and mutton. They each spent more than two hundred yuan!” Hearing this, I kept mumbling, “Isn’t this stealing sacrifices?” Then the co-worker asked me, “Have any gospel preachers come to your home?” I began to boast, saying, “Yes! They have all been beaten away by me. I submit to our leader’s arrangement and have received none of them!” He said, “Some have come to my home too. They are much better in conduct than we people. They have patience and humility. The way they preach is reasonable and higher than ours, and they can tell many mysteries. Revelation 5:3-5 says: ‘But no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth could open the scroll or even look inside it. …the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed. He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.’ This means that only God Godself is able to break the seven seals and open the scroll. The scroll is what man has never seen and is new. But our teacher Hua has never done any new work. We should seek. It does no harm to go and have a listen. If what they preach is the true way, we will believe in it; if not, we will still stick to our way. What do you think?” At his words, I, being downhearted, nodded my head reluctantly. However, I was still afraid of being deceived, so I always felt unassured in my heart.
Imperceptibly, it came to December 2, 1998. On the early morning of that day, my co-worker came and said to me, “Now more than ten people are willing to go to listen. Come on, let’s go!” At that time, I could not avoid it, so I went with him. As soon as we got there, the brother who preached the gospel greeted me very politely. They were very decent in their speech and manner, whereas the people of our Church stood or sat improperly, each smoking a cigarette. Seeing this scene, I really felt a sense of awkwardness. Then, the brother began to fellowship with us. He said that in the six-thousand-year management plan, God saved man in three ages and in three stages, that God changed an age with a new name and used the name to represent the new age, and that each different name could represent God’s nature in its corresponding age. When he said that God’s name in the end time was called the Almighty, I asked, “Brother, why should God change his name? Why does God have so many names?” The brother said smilingly, “Be patient. Let’s look at what God says. Now God works among men through being incarnated, bringing us all the truths and unlocking all the mysteries. You can find in God’s word the answers to all the things you do not understand.” God’s word says: “When Jesus began to perform his ministry, the Holy Spirit began to testify to the name of Jesus, and the name of Jehovah was no longer mentioned, but the Holy Spirit did a new work mainly with the name of Jesus. … When the Old Testament Age of the Law ended, it meant that the work God did mainly with the name Jehovah ended. From then on, God’s name was no longer Jehovah but Jesus. Thereafter, the Holy Spirit began to do the work mainly with the name Jesus. … When Jesus comes again, the age has already changed. Could he still be called Jesus? Could God only be called Jesus? Couldn’t he be called by a new name in the new age? Could one image of a ‘man’ and one particular name be God’s everything? God does a new work and takes a new name in each age. How could he do the same work in different ages? How could he hold on to old things? The name ‘Jesus’ was taken for the sake of the redemptive work. Could Jesus still be called by this name when he comes again in the end time? Could he still do the redemptive work? Jehovah and Jesus were one, but why were they called by different names in different ages? Isn’t it because the ages of their works were different? Could one name represent God’s everything? So, God has to take a different name in a different age, changing the age with his name and representing the age with his name, because no name can fully represent God Godself but one name can only represent God’s nature typical of one age and God takes a name as long as it can represent the work. So, God can choose any name that matches his nature to represent a whole age. Whether it was the age of Jehovah or the age of Jesus, God used his name to represent the age. … What God is includes too much and is simply beyond description. But no name can sum up God’s nature, and no name can fully describe what God has and is. If anyone asks me, ‘What name do you use?’ I will tell him, ‘God is God!’ Isn’t this the best name for God? Isn’t this the best description of God’s nature? So, why keep studying the matter of God’s name? Why always keep racking your brains so hard for the sake of one name that you cannot eat or sleep? One day, God will not be called Jehovah, Jesus, or Messiah, and he will just be the ‘Creator.’ At that time, all the names he has taken on earth will end, because his work on earth will have ended. Then his name will be no more. When all things have become subject under the authority of the Creator, will he still be called by a very appropriate but incomplete name? Now, do you still study God’s name? Do you still dare to say that God is just called Jehovah? Do you still dare to say that God can only be called Jesus?” After hearing God’s words, I understood this aspect of the truth and also realized that no matter how God works, it is meaningful. Indeed, God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts and God’s wisdom cannot be fathomed by any man.
Although everything the brother said was reasonable and fully scriptural and God’s words were even more convincing to me, I still felt a little unassured. I thought to myself, “Our leader says that once we join them, we cannot withdraw, and if we try to, they will…” Thinking of that, I asked again, “Brother, I hear that if we try to withdraw after accepting what you preach, you will control us and harm us, not allowing us to withdraw. Is that true?” “It is not that we don’t allow you to withdraw, but that at that time even if we force you to withdraw, you may not want to do it.” While saying this, he opened the book of God’s word again and read: “If the goal of your pursuit is not to seek the truth, then it would be better for you to seize this chance to return to the world and go all out to make something of yourself. It is not worthwhile for you to idle away your time in such a way. Why torment yourself like this?” “If you do not want to testify for me, I will not force you, but you should know that in the end you will definitely be one to be destroyed. My testimony cannot be gained in you; it will be gained in others. These I do not care about. It is only that you will regret it in the end. At that time, you will have already fallen into the darkness, and who will be able to save you? Don’t think that the work cannot be done without you. It makes no difference whether you stay or not. Don’t consider yourself very noble. You are unwilling to follow me, and this can only prove that you are disobedient and that there are no usable parts in you.” “What I want are good followers rather than many followers.” “However, every time I do a step of work, I will cast away some people, because I loathe very much the flattering manners of these people and I loathe very much the affected servile manners of these people. Those whom I am disgusted with will certainly be cast away by me, whether intentionally or unintentionally. In a word, I will make all those I loathe stay away from me. Of course, I will also not let off the wicked ones that are still in my family. As the day I punish man is coming….” “This is why I say: ‘Many are called, but few are chosen.’ Those who are called are all the ones who are extremely corrupt and who live in the same age, but those who are chosen are only a portion of people who believe in and acknowledge the truth and who practice the truth.” After reading God’s words, the brother said, “The work God does in the end time is a work of purification and a work of separating the righteous from the wicked. Whoever is not after his heart will be eliminated and will be expelled from God’s family. It’s not that once you join us, you cannot withdraw. From these words of God, we can see that even if you have accepted God’s end-time work today, if you do not accept the purification by God’s word, you will still be eliminated. How can it be said that once you join us, you cannot withdraw?” After hearing God’s words and the brother’s fellowship, I felt assure and brightened in my heart. Also I felt that our leader was so terrible. “He has the audacity to give false testimony. If God’s word did not wake me up, wouldn’t I be sent to hell by him?”
After hearing the whole testimony, I accepted God’s end-time work without hesitation. But unexpectedly, several days later, our leader came to “settle an account” with me. He said, “I told you not to listen. Why did you go to listen? …” I immediately asked him, “Can you find me in the Bible any verse in which it says one cannot receive strangers? The Bible clearly says: ‘Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.’” At my words, he was at a loss for a reply. Seeing this, I was more convinced that the Almighty God was the only true God, and that what my leader said before was false and was rumor he spread to preserve his own position, and it was entirely unfounded, much less scriptural. Yet I had been deceived by this lie for more than one year, during which I had done many things of resisting God and driven away many brothers and sisters who preached the gospel. Thinking of this, I felt extremely indebted to the Almighty God. So I prayed to God, “God! I am so blind, foolish, and inhuman, even no better than a dog. My dog knew not to bite those gospel preachers, whereas I beat them, abused them, and drove them away. God! I should be cursed and punished. I really do not deserve to live before you. Yet you have still saved me. Your grace of salvation is so great and your love is so real. I can do nothing but exert what little strength I have at the final time to make up for my past indebtedness. No matter how great hindrances there will be, I will offer up my whole being to cooperate with your work and preach your end-time salvation to those who are sincerely expecting your return, so as to repay your great love!”
After following the Almighty God, I not only gained many truths but also understood many mysteries. What convinced me more was that under the leading of God, every brother and sister had love and patience and had practical living out. I remember that one time I met the brother whom I slapped on the cheek. At that time, I felt extremely ashamed. The brother, however, said humorously, “Brother, as long as you accept the true way, it’s worth receiving one more slap on my other cheek.” “Please don’t say that. I am inhuman. I am really blind and ignorant. Brother, beat me. Let me have a taste of my own medicine.” Hearing my words, he said solemnly, “Christ is the example for us to follow. God incarnate this time has suffered too much. In order to save us who have been most deeply corrupted by satan, he has come down from the highest place, humbled himself to be a small man, and been working among us. He has suffered so great humiliation! What is our suffering beside what Christ has suffered?” At that moment, I could no longer refrain from tears but cried out, “O Almighty God! Your love is so great. It’s your love that has moved the hearts of the brothers and sisters. It’s your love that has made them so forgiving! O God! I can never leave you. I cannot grieve you anymore. O God! Thank you for your great love….”
The church life in God’s family is truly rich and colorful. The brothers and sisters love one another and enjoy together all the riches bestowed by God. Now I have truly understood the word that the brother said: “At that time even if we force you to withdraw, you may not want to do it.” It is true. Now, even if they force me to withdraw, I will not do it. I have found the true God and also so many dear and lovely brothers and sisters, so how can I withdraw? I will never in a million years withdraw. Brothers and sisters, think about this: Who is unwilling to come to the light? Who is unwilling to follow the Lamb’s footsteps? If you were me, would you withdraw? Don’t you wish to follow the Lamb’s footsteps? Don’t you hope for such an incomparably happy life? Brothers and sisters, what are you waiting for? Do you still not intend to seek? Will you have such an opportunity again if you miss it?