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Why are the “Eastern Lightning” opposed and condemned by the religious world?
God has become flesh twice to personally carry out His work on earth to save man, yet each time He meets with strong resistance and condemnation and frenzied persecution from the religious leaders. The facts are shocking and puzzling: Why is God treated this way whenever He carries out a new stage of work? Why are the most frenzied and rampant resisters of God the leaders who know the Bible well and who have served the Lord for years? Why do they, the most faithful and obedient ones to God in their own eyes, always carry out misdeeds and go contrary to God, unable to be compatible with Him? Could it be that God’s work is an error? Could it be that what God does is unsatisfactory? Absolutely not! The main reason all denominations and sects act out a role of resisting God and become God’s enemies is this: On the one hand, they have no truth and have no knowledge of the work of the Holy Spirit or knowledge of God, and they always use their limited theological theories and knowledge as well as their conceptions and imaginations to restrict God’s work that is always new and never old. On the other hand, men are so deeply corrupted by Satan that they are all arrogant and haughty by nature, are unsubmissive to the truth, and particularly value position. These two aspects together have led to the tragedy of the true way being rejected and condemned again and again in human history.
Two thousand years ago, the Lord Jesus performed many miracles among the Jews, and He healed the sick, exorcised demons, spread the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, taught people to repent, and forgave them of their sins. There was no record of such work in the Old Testament, and it was the work that no one had ever done before. It was also of course the work none were capable of, for apart from God, no one had such great authority and power. What Jesus set out to accomplish at that time was to be crucified to bear man’s sins personally, bestow upon man an abundance of grace and peace and joy, and bring him out of the rules of the law through the work of the new age, so that he would no longer suffer punishment for failing to observe the law. Those under the law could receive God’s salvation and not perish only if they kept up with the work of Jesus. The chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees among the Jews, however, didn’t know the work of the Holy Spirit or what the work Jesus did was. In their conceptions, they believed that it was a betrayal of their God and purely the worst offense to not observe the law or pray in the name of Jehovah. Besides, as they considered that they were familiar with the Bible and had served Jehovah in the temple for many years, they believed what they held to was the truth, the most correct way; so, they regarded Jesus’ work a way outside the Bible, which ran counter to the Bible and the law. Hence, they would rather die than accept the message Jesus preached, and they even condemned Jesus’ work as heresy, a cult, and something deceiving people. Even though there was authority and wisdom to Jesus’ work and words and His miracles were unprecedented, and even though more and more people were testifying to Jesus’ deeds, they were still unwilling to investigate and seek this higher way. Rather, they were opinionated and stiff-necked and denied Jesus to be the Christ, the coming Messiah. Just as what Almighty God reveals: “Man is only able to accept one kind of work, or one way of practice. It is difficult for man to accept work, or ways of practice, that are at odds with them, or higher than them—but the Holy Spirit is always doing new work, and so there appear group after group of religious experts that oppose the new work of God. These people have become ‘experts’ precisely because man has no knowledge of how God is always new and never old, and has no knowledge of the principles of God’s work, and, what’s more, has no knowledge of the many ways in which God saves man. As such, man is utterly unable to tell if it is work that comes from the Holy Spirit, and if it is the work of God Himself. Many people cling to an attitude in which, if it corresponds with the words that came before, then they accept it, and if there are differences with the work of before, then they oppose and reject it.” (from “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh) A believer in God should at least have a fear of God and hunger and thirst for righteousness. Only then can he receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, come to know God’s new work, and follow God’s footsteps closely. The chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees of the Jews met Jesus many times, but instead of seeking the truth, they just tried every means to test Him and get something against Him. Nathanael and the Samaritan woman, as well as Jesus’ disciples and the other people didn’t have knowledge of God either and also had notions about God’s new work, but they could drop them and seek the truth. As a result, they recognized Jesus’ identity and God’s voice and obeyed and accepted the truth. Thus it can be seen that those religious elites were not only obstinate and hidebound but also arrogant and self-right, and they didn’t accept or submit to the truth at all.
As more and more Jewish people followed the Lord Jesus, the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees became more fearful because they worried that their expectation of having people forever obey them would become a vain hope. The authority and power of Jesus’ words and work were unmatched by them, which made them feel inferior and ashamed of themselves. Thus, they had an ever increasing sense of crisis: If Jesus existed, the temple would become more and more desolate, and they could not continue enjoying a life of being supported, regarded as supreme, and sustained by others. So, they took Jesus as their irreconcilable foe. To preserve their position, they tried in every way to frame Jesus and blaspheme and condemn His work, spreading the slander that He cast out devils through Beezlebub the chief of the devils, and bearing false witness against Him, saying that He spoke words against the holy place and the law. (cf. Acts 6:10-14) They were dead set on removing Jesus from the Jewish people, and finally crucified Him. Even when Jesus had been resurrected from the dead and His disciples had more power and were accompanied with wonders in preaching the gospel, which sufficiently proved that the way they preached had the work of the Holy Spirit and was upheld by the Holy Spirit, those chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees still didn’t consider why Jesus’ gospel could be so prosperous. In fact, these “honorable” figures who were well versed in the Bible and wealthy in knowledge simply scorned to investigate and seek from those villagers, fishermen, and “ignorant” common people, who had no standing or knowledge. On the pretext of “defending the law and guarding the right way,” they continued to use power to collude with those in office and further restrict and oppress and even frenziedly kill those disciples and other Jewish followers of Jesus, exerting all their efforts to hinder people from following the Lord Jesus. And they forbade anyone to spread Jesus’ name…. Their evil deeds aroused God’s wrath, and the whole Jewish nation suffered unprecedented destruction. They paid a bitter price for resisting and condemning God.
Today, in the last days, God has prepared a greater salvation for those who have been redeemed by His precious blood—judging and purifying man with His word, which is a newer and higher stage of work. Through this stage of work, man will be completely freed of his corrupt satanic disposition, break free from the bondage of Satan’s dark influence, and become a holy man who knows God, is compatible with God, and truly belongs to God, thus being saved and perfected. This is the last stage of work in God’s six-thousand-year management plan. During God’s work of the last days, Christ incarnate has expressed many words of life supplying man with the truth, ridding him of his corruption, and disclosing various heavenly mysteries. And by virtue of His wisdom, great power, and authority, God has the gospel of the last days spread to thousands of families, all corners of the country. Millions of people who thirst and seek the truth have left their denominations or sects and returned before Almighty God, and the unprecedented scene of “the peoples streaming to this mountain” has appeared, and it is spreading to the entire universe. However, in the face of so many truths, such a great wonder, and such testimonies of the Holy Spirit’s work, the religious people pay no heed to them and are not touched in the slightest. They neither study them with care nor accept them with humility. Like the Pharisees, they don’t know that the work of the Holy Spirit always progresses forward, and that it is always new and never old, which is a principle by which the Holy Spirit works. They don’t have the slightest knowledge of Almighty God’s work of the last days, yet they believe confidently that they have already gained the truth and known God since they have enjoyed a way higher than that of the Age of Law of the Old Testament, and they are versed in the Old and New Testament, and have worked and preached for many years. They also stubbornly believe in this: All the Lord’s words are in the Bible. Any way that is outside of the work of Jesus and the Bible is not the true way. Departing from God’s requirements for man in the Age of Grace amounts to going beyond Christ’s teaching. Only what they have accepted, known, and held to is the true way. Anything other than that is heresy, a cult. They constrain God within the Bible and within their conceptions and imaginations. No matter how high the work brought by Almighty God is, how much work of the Holy Spirit it has, how many ways of practice it brings, and how many facts there are to verify it, they do not acknowledge that it is from God. So they all are hostile to Jesus’ return and deny it, and they even blaspheme God’s incarnate flesh, and slander and condemn the work and words of Christ of the last days. Aren’t they stubborn, hidebound, arrogant, self-right, defiant of the truth, and blasphemous of the Holy Spirit like the Pharisees of those days? As Almighty God says: “If you only come to know God from one stage of His work, then your knowledge is too, too little. Your knowledge is but a drop in the ocean. If not, why would many of the religious old guard nail God to the cross alive? Is it not because man confines God within certain parameters? Do many people not oppose God and obstruct the work of the Holy Spirit because they do not know the varied and diverse work of God, and, furthermore, because they possess but a smidgeon of knowledge and doctrine with which to measure the work of the Holy Spirit? Though the experiences of such people are superficial, they are arrogant and indulgent in nature, and they regard the work of the Holy Spirit with contempt, ignore the disciplines of the Holy Spirit and, moreover, use their trivial old arguments to ‘confirm’ the work of the Holy Spirit. They also put on an act, and are wholly convinced of their own learning and erudition, and that they are able to travel across the world. Are such people not those who are despised and rejected by the Holy Spirit, and will they not be eliminated by the new age? Are not those who come before God and openly oppose Him myopic little people, who are merely trying to show how clever they are? With but a meager knowledge of the Bible, they try to straddle the world’s ‘academia,’ with but a superficial doctrine to teach people, they try to reverse the work of the Holy Spirit, and attempt to make it revolve around their own thought process, and short-sighted as they are, they try to behold in one glance 6,000 years of God’s work. Do these people have any reason to speak of? In fact, the greater people’s knowledge of God, the slower they are to judge His work. Furthermore, they only talk a little of their knowledge of God’s work today, but they are not rash in their judgments. The less people know of God, the more arrogant and overconfident they are, and the more wantonly they proclaim God’s being—yet they only talk of theory, and offer no real evidence. Such people are of no value whatsoever. Those who see the work of the Holy Spirit as a game are frivolous! Those who are not cautious when they encounter the new work of the Holy Spirit, who run their mouths off, are quick to judge, who give free rein to their natural instinct to deny the rightness of the Holy Spirit’s work, and also insult and blaspheme it—are such disrespectful people not ignorant of the Holy Spirit’s work? Are they not, furthermore, the ones of arrogance, inherently proud and ungovernable?” (from “Knowing the Three Stages of God’s Work Is the Path to Knowing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh)
As those true believers in the Lord return to God’s family by the thousands, the spread of God’s work in the last days has gradually reached its climax. However, the magnificence of the work of the Holy Spirit hasn’t made those religious experts—who have been accustomed to leading and commanding others in a lofty position—examine themselves and lower their proud heads to seek and investigate. Instead, finding that they are in an increasing danger of losing their positions, they begin to worry that people will all return to Almighty God and “snub” and reject them. So, to change the situation, the pastors, elders, leaders, co-workers of every denomination and sect, brandishing the banner of “watching the flock for the Lord,” begin to print and distribute adverse materials, spread rumors on the internet, and use many other ways to wantonly blaspheme and attack Almighty God. They spread the slander that Almighty God’s words are written by man, not God’s words, and that there is drug in the book, and whoever reads it will be brainwashed. And they distort the facts and call white black, falsely accusing the Church of Almighty God of being the “sect of Eastern Lightning,” an underworld organization. By so doing, they deceive and threaten the believers so that they dare not approach or come into contact with God’s gospel at all, and the denominations and sects are sealed impenetrable and watertight. These religious leaders forbid the believers to read the books of the Eastern Lightning, listen to the messages of the Eastern Lightning, and receive the preachers of God’s salvation of the last days or even any stranger, which completely goes contrary to the teaching of entertaining strangers, as required by God in the Age of Grace. The most shocking thing is that as believers in God, they even collude with the government to do the evil deeds of selling out the Lord and the friends. They track, watch, and report the brothers and sisters who preach the gospel of the last days, and even act as the hidden traitors to provide information for the secret arrest of them. It seems that they only wish to catch all those who testify God and eliminate God’s new work to slake their hatred. They clearly know that Almighty God’s followers are all kind-hearted true believers in God, and that these people don’t have any ill intention in preaching the salvation of the last days, yet they savagely and rudely insult, drive, and even beat these gospel preachers. It is plain to see that these religious people have long lost the work of the Holy Spirit, and the substance of their nature is one of refusing to accept the truth, being tired of the truth, and hating the truth. Outwardly they run and spend themselves doing the work, yet they harbor ambitions and disobedience. They are actually seeking positions and running for profits, exerting every effort to satisfy their selfish desires.
Thus it can be seen that both the religious world of Judaism of that time and the religious people of all denominations and sects today act against God, the truth, and the true way determinedly again and again without “fearing death,” essentially because they have no knowledge of God’s working principles and of God’s new work and they are stubborn, hidebound, arrogant, and self-right, and don’t seek the truth at all. Moreover, it is closely related to their great ambition for position and bad character. Now is the critical time of transition from the old age to the new age. The spiritual war has reached its peak. If one still believes those religious people’s rumors and false testimonies and is at their beck and call, disregards, scorns, and sneers at God’s such work and words, is irresponsible for his own life, still says what others say, follows the crowd and comments on the work of the Holy Spirit casually and indulgently, doesn’t have any will and courage to set his face toward justice and be freed from the bondage and hindrance of Satan’s influence, and only muddles along drifting with the tides, he will never be able to see the countenance of the Creator, forever lose the opportunity to know God, and only become a puppet of the history, a sacrificial object of Satan, and fall into darkness, weeping and gnashing his teeth, and perish. And the scriptures in Isaiah 9:14-16 will be fulfilled: “Therefore the LORD will cut off from Israel head and tail, branch and rush, in one day. The ancient and honorable, he is the head; and the prophet that teaches lies, he is the tail. For the leaders of this people cause them to err; and they that are led of them are destroyed.” We must know that God will not choose any base person who does not thirst for the truth, believes in God in a muddled way, has no definite views and ground of his own, adores the powers, and veers with the wind. On the contrary, He is looking for and perfecting a group of “chaste virgins” who hold God to be great, are of clear and sober mind, simple and obedient, and sincerely thirst for and seek God. This is an absolutely true fact! Isn’t the lesson of the Israelites paid for in blood enough to wake you up?
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