A Testimony of an Elder Escaping From Religious Babylon

By Chen Wei

Both my wife and I accepted the salvation of the Lord Jesus when we first got married. Several years later, I became the first elder in charge of a district of the Praise Church. Afterward, my three daughters started to lead the church and do the works in the pastoral area. In May, 2012, through reading Almighty God’s words, I was certain that Almighty God is exactly the appearance of the Lord Jesus whom I had longed for night and day. At that moment, I was so excited and anxious to share the good news of the Lord’s return with brothers and sisters in the Lord. phoneThus I made a phone call to Co-worker Shen and his wife who lived in Xinjiang Province. But unexpectedly, our over-80- minute conversation, was recorded by them on a CD. Then they sent it to our pastoral area. Instantly, the news of my belief in Eastern Lightning was known to pastors and leaders.

One noon in June, 2012, Pastor Li and his wife, Pastor Qi, and Leader Cui, Leader Wang, Leader Ding, and Leader Liu came to my home. Seeing them coming in a high-profile way, I thought: all these years they have been resisting Eastern Lightning and are tough with believers who accept Eastern Lightning … At the thought of that, I prayed to God silently, asking Him to lead me so that I could deal with this situation. At this time, Leader Cui spoke to me in an official-sounding tone, “Lao Chen, I hear you’ve believed in Eastern Lightning. Am I right?” I nodded calmly and said, “Yes, I’ve read the book of Eastern Lightning and find the word expressed by Almighty God is all the reality of truth. Almighty God is indeed the appearance of the Lord Jesus.” “We warn you many times not easily to listen to strangers’ preaching. But now, you not only believe in it yourself but also steal sheep from the church; how can you answer to the Lord?” said the Leader Ding, pointing at me. Then I said, “The Lord Jesus we have longed for years has already returned and done a stage of new work. You don’t seek and investigate, and even don’t allow the brothers and sisters to do so. You’re the ones who disappoint the Lord!” Leader Cui said angrily, “If you insist to follow Eastern Lightning, we’ll tell brothers and sisters not to buy your fried dough stick (you tiao). I’ll see what you should do to make a living if your Youtia can’t sell …” Hearing that, my heart was sank. If pastors and elders really did as what they said, then to whom I should sell my you tiao? And what should I do with my future life? At this time, I thought the words of the Lord Jesus: “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all these things. But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof” (Matthew 6:31–34). The Lord Jesus’ words gave me faith and strength. I remembered I had a few mu (a measure of land, equal to approximately 733 square yards) of land, from which I could harvest some crops every year. Couldn’t I still make a living? Thinking of here, I said firmly to them, “Since I’m certain that Almighty God is the very return of the Lord Jesus, I won’t move backward no matter how you hinder me.”

Seeing that I wouldn’t submit to them, they just left. After a while, my older daughter called and my wife answered it. She cried on the phone, “Mom, since father believed in Eastern Lightning, we three sisters has been involved. Leaders reproach us for our incapability of persuading father into turning back. They also tell us we are all under suspicion. So, we three could hardly stay at church, and our future work will also be affected….” After putting down the phone, my wife burst into tears, saying, “Even if you don’t consider yourself, you should consider your daughters. How could they work at church from then on?” Hearing what she said, my heart was in much pain. These religious leaders spread the news of my acceptance of Almighty God’s work throughout the entire church. Because of that, my daughters were looked down upon by others at church and thought it was I who got them into trouble. Were the religious pastors deliberately sowed discord amongst them? How malicious they were! But then I thought: I have recognized through God’s word that Almighty God is truly the Lord Jesus I’ve earnestly yearned for many years. I must stand on God’s side. Only then could my family have opportunities of receiving God’s salvation in the last days. At the thought of that, I said to my wife, “Before, I didn’t investigate Eastern Lightning because I was deceived by pastors. But now I’ve known the Lord Jesus has returned, so I can’t refuse to accept Him. You can let me betray the pastors, but I can’t betray God. Because the Bible says, ‘For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins’ (Hebrews 10:26). Don’t we believe in the Lord for gaining life? Now God doesn’t do the stage of work in the Age of Grace, but you still ask me to stay in religion. Thus, I’ll gain nothing in the end no matter how long I stay.” “I’m not asking that you can’t believe in God; but that you can believe in God secretly when the situation isn’t so tense. Is that OK?” said my wife. Then I asked, “Do you think it is possible? Every time when I attend co-worker meetings in pastoral area, those leaders demand us to stand in a queue praying and cursing Eastern Lightning in turn. The Lord Jesus warn us that we shouldn’t judge people, let alone condemn and curse Eastern Lightning! The Lord Jesus said, ‘And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaks against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come’ (Mat 12:32). Eastern Lightning is precisely the Lord Jesus returned, and God Himself! Leaders of our church who condemn and curse Eastern Lightning have been met with retribution. Among three elders in the district, two got cancer, one of whom has been dead and the other receives chemotherapy treatment every day. I am the only one left and chosen by God. If I couldn’t hurry to follow God but condemn God with them, then I’ll be the next to be punished.bible Revelation says, ‘And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities’ (Revelation 18:4–5). Today, only churches that accept God’s work in the last days are real churches. The church where those elders are in has fallen to religious Babylon. We should seize the time to escape from the great Babylon, just like Lot in escaping from Sodom. Don’t turn back. It will not be good if we do that. Now I’ve escaped from it, but you want me to go back and take the salary as before without offending pastors. How can it be possible? Though now you and our daughters can’t accept Almighty God, the truth can conquer us. You would believe that sooner or later.” She said nothing after hearing what I said. Thank God for giving me faith so that I stand testimony in persecution of pastors and my wife.

In the following days, the pastors and elders didn’t give up disturbing and obstructing me. Without discernment, my wife submitted to them and didn’t allow me to contact brothers and sisters of the church of Almighty God. I could only take the opportunity of selling you tiao in the morning to contact Brother Yang for a while; yet merely to say a few hurried words. Brother Yang told me to see things through God’s words, not to fall into the trap whatever they said, and then I could stand testimony for God. Besides, he also exhorted me to pray to God with my heart and to rely on God’s guidance, then God would surely make a way out for me. Hearing his fellowship, I thought God’s words, “You must endure all, you must relinquish everything you have and do everything you can to follow Me, pay all the costs for Me. This is the time that I shall test you, will you offer your loyalty to Me? Will you follow Me to the end of the road with loyalty? Be not afraid; with My support, who could ever block the road?” (“The Tenth Utterance”). Then I realized that God was testing my faith. Hence, I made up my mind: Whatever means the religious pastors use, I will never go back to the religious world. With God guiding me, what shall I fear? I have faith in following this path.

A few days later, Pastor Li and his wife, Pastor Qi, Pastor Wang, and Leader Cui came again. Pastor Wang said with smile, “Brother Chen, previously you have made much contributions for the Lord. All your three daughters serve in the church. Also, they’ve all married into other places and seldom come back to take care of you. Look, you’re getting on in years. As long as you turn back, you can be looked after by the church, but if you now choose to leave the church, you will gain nothing, and because of your leaving your daughters will leave you uncared-for; Mrs. Chen will even blame you as well. What will you do then? …” When I heard this, I couldn’t help worrying about my future life. I was getting older and older. If no one took care of me in the future, I would suffer many hardships. While I was weak in my heart, I reminded the words of the Bible: “When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up” (Psalms 27:10). Thank God for His enlightenment. Today, the Lord Jesus has returned. It’s a greatest blessing to me that I can catch up with God’s new work. I was quite content. As for my future life, God has His arrangement. At the thought of here, I felt brightened suddenly.

Seeing me still keep silent, Leader Cui went on saying in an official-sounding tone: “We believers in the Lord Jesus suffer much less persecutions than those in Eastern Lightning. They are persecuted by the government every day. If they are caught, they will be fined. What’s worse, they will probably be imprisoned. So I persuade you to turn back quickly.” I answered immediately, “The true way has always been persecuted. When the Lord Jesus does His work, He undergoes ridicule, disdain and rejection of man. But finally, hasn’t His redemptive work finished? The Lord Jesus said ‘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’ (Luke 17:24–25). Almighty God is exactly the incarnate Christ and the Son of man. Today Almighty God comes to work, yet is forsaken by the religious world. God can still endure much pain in order to save us; so, for the sake of obtaining the truth, what does this little bit of my suffering count for? Since I’m certain this is the true way, I won’t turn back. Don’t persuade me anymore.” After hearing my words, Pastor Qi stood up angrily, ran to my wife’s side saying some ugly words, and then he left in anger.

After they left, my wife said to me sadly, “We two have our respective choices. So, will you move out of the home, or shall I?” I said nothing. Then she cried and started packing up her things. I calmly talked with her: “Don’t do that, you have fell into Satan’s trap. Satan makes up lies to attack and slander God’s work to make you confused and bring discord into our family. The Scripture says: ‘Why take to you the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand’ (Ephesians 6:13). ‘And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God’ (Ephesians 6:17). As believers in God, we must obey God’s words and take His words as the sword to defeat Satan.” While saying that, I grabbed the baggage from her hands, thus, she didn’t leave. She was deeply deceived by the religious leaders, for which both of us were in great pain. I then sadly went out to the field, singing the Psalms of David in sorrow: “Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man. For you are the God of my strength: why do you cast me off? why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? send out your light and your truth: let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill, and to your tabernacles” (Psalms 43:1–3). After singing, I felt better with my heart and had faith to move on.

Thinking back on the time since I believed in Almighty God, I was disturbed and blocked by pastors and leaders every few days. They seized my weakness trying hard to lure and attack me by means of family affection and the interests, attempting to draw me back to my former church, thereby making me reject God’s work of the last days and being destroyed together with them. Their intentions were too malicious! This reminded me of a passage of God’s words, “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, 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”). These words of Almighty God reveal at a stroke religious pastors and leaders’ substance of resisting God, which helped me discern them more practically. The religious pastors and leaders equip themselves with many biblical theories and preach sermons to believers every day. Outwardly they seem to be humble, loving, tolerant and patient, but actually they do so for the purpose of deceiving believers and making people worshiping them as God. When God does the work in the last days, they condemn and blaspheme it without seeking and investigating. Moreover, they obstruct other believers to investigate the true way and follow God. They are exactly the antichrists who hate the truth and God, and the same as those Pharisees who resist the Lord Jesus when He does the work in Judea.

Dear brothers and sisters, if you have any understanding or enlightenment from God, welcome to share with us via:1. The online chat window at the bottom of the website. 2. Send an email to [email protected].We sincerely hope we’ll grow spiritually through sharing with each other.

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