Donghai County, Jiangsu Province
I was formerly a believer in the “Three-Self sect,” and I had followed Jesus for over twenty years. Like other brothers and sisters, I had also been awaiting the day when I would be raptured and meet God in the air. But later, everything I did was against this wish. Thinking back to that now, I really regret very much….
One day in the winter of 1996, Brother Zhao of our sect came to my home in a hurry and said to me, “Brother, someone told me that God has come to China and done a new work. What do you think about it?” At that, I flew into a rage and roared, “Nonsense! Jesus said, ‘But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.’ They are so bold as to dare to speak such a word by their own will. That is purely a false christ! Don’t listen to them. Believe in the Bible, and that won’t be wrong.” Brother Zhao said then, “Right! I think so too. But there is a great dispute about that in the meeting places in the south district and believers there are at a loss what to do. Could you go there with me to give a message? We should keep them from going astray.” At the time, I, angry and worried, agreed without the least hesitation.
On the evening of the third day, three of us, Brother Zhao and I and another brother, hurried to a meeting place. I preached recklessly on the pulpit, “Now the people of the ‘Eastern Lightning’ say that the Lord Jesus has been incarnated the second time and come to China to do his work. This is a deceitful lie. Never believe it. I have asked many pastors and elders about that, and they all said that they didn’t know it. So can the people of the ‘Eastern Lightning’ know it? Do you think my words are reasonable?” The brothers and sisters answered with one voice, “Yes!” At that time I was very pleased with myself: Though I didn’t say much, it produces an immediate effect. A brother declared himself right away, “We mustn’t listen to the message of the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ We must stand firm on our most holy faith….” As the result of my preaching, the meeting was filled with an atmosphere of “fighting for justice”…. I felt that I was so capable of working! But little did I expect that my such faithful devotion would be repaid with disasters one after another….
In February, 1997, my father died of illness, and my mother got hemiplegia. And I myself got arthritis and chronic gastritis. Though I spent more than 800 yuan on the treatment, instead of being healed, they became worse and worse. Immediately following that, a donkey kicked me and injured my left arm, and my eldest son had a traffic accident and broke his right shin, and his medical treatment cost us over 4,000 yuan. … The series of disasters swept away my past “assurance.” I couldn’t withstand anymore, much less did I have any energy to ask about church affairs. However, I still didn’t wake up but considered that Job’s trial had come upon me.
Though I was so foolish, Almighty God didn’t forsake me. On January 8, 1998, two sisters came to my home and said to me, “Brother, shall we go and listen to the messages given by a co-worker of Nanjing Theological College? We heard that he gives wonderful messages, and they are of great benefit to us preachers. Will you go?” Without thinking much then, I answered, “Tomorrow I’ll be there on time.”
The next day the sisters took me to a brother’s home. As soon as I went in, several brothers and sisters greeted me politely. Then they asked me about the situation of my church of that time. As they were humble and spoke kindly, my caution against them gradually disappeared. A brother asked me, “Brother, do you know why the churches are desolate now?” I said, “I’m thinking about that, but I haven’t found the cause.” The brother said, “The churches are desolate because God has done a new work now on the basis of the work of the Age of the Grace. Although Jesus redeemed man and cleansed man of his sins with his precious blood, man’s sinful nature is still within him. So God does a stage of new work in the end time—the work of removing the root of sin. Now God has come to the world and is doing his work on a group of people who are willing to accept his new work. So all the brothers and sisters who have accepted Almighty God have a better and better condition, while in various denominations and sects there is already no working of God and so they become desolate. This is similar to the time of Jesus. When Jesus came at that time, he didn’t work in the temple, so the temple became a ‘den of thieves.’” Although his words sounded perfectly clear to me, as I was sure that they were people of the “Eastern Lightning,” I stopped him before he finished his words. “Aren’t you saying that the Lord has come? That’s impossible. The Lord Jesus said that of the day when he comes, the Father alone knows, and even he himself does not know. Moreover, none of our pastors, elders, or believers here knew it, so how could you know it? You said that God has done a third stage of work. Is it recorded in the Bible? I will never believe it! Because God never changes, both now and forever!” The brother said with a smile, “The Lord Jesus said, ‘But of that day and that hour knows no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.’ This word is absolutely true. But it means that no one knows on which day or at which moment the Lord will come, not the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father (the Spirit). It does not mean that when the Lord has come, no one will know that he has come. That is to say, since God comes to the earth to do his work, certainly there will be people who know it. If when God comes to the earth to do his work, no one knew that, then what would be the point of his doing it? And whom would his work be aimed at? If he came not to save man, then why should he endure the humiliation to come to the world? Jesus said, ‘Seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you.’ If you don’t seek, how can you know that? When Jesus was born in the manger at that time, weren’t there also shepherds telling the good news? Matthew 25:6 says, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him.’ This shows that after God comes, there will be a ‘cry’ made and people coming to preach the gospel of God. Today, aren’t there many brothers and sisters preaching the end-time gospel to us? It’s simply that we are not willing to accept this fact. Furthermore, this time God does the work through incarnation in a hidden way, and he comes to steal the ‘treasures,’ so only those who truly believe in him can know it, and only those who truly seek him can gain him. If we don’t have a seeking heart, how can we gain him?” Having said this, the brother picked up the book of Almighty God’s word and read these words, “At that time when Jesus worked in Judea, he did in an open way. Today I work and speak among you in a hidden way. The unbelievers know nothing about it. All the work done among you is sealed. No one knows the words and the chastisement and judgment except you. All the work is done among you and is only open to you. None of the unbelievers knows it, because the time has not come. These people have almost been made complete through undergoing chastisement, but the outsiders know nothing about it. This work is too hidden! The incarnated God is hidden from them, and to people in this stream, it can be said that he is open. Although with God, everything is open, everything is manifest, and everything is released, this is only true with his believers…. When God’s work on earth ends, that is, when the hidden work ends, this stage of work will explode, and all people will know that there are a group of overcomers in China and know that God has been incarnated in China and his work has ended.” After reading God’s words, the brother said to me, “From God’s words we can know that God has come among us today and has brought a new work. We didn’t know it because we failed to keep up with God’s present work and didn’t know the direction of the Holy Spirit’s working. However, we cannot say that God has not yet come because we ourselves haven’t kept up with his work. Brother, as long as we have a seeking heart, God will surely appear to us and not hide from us. If we don’t seek but just wait for the day of God’s appearing to men publicly, I’m afraid that it will be too late to seek then. Almighty God says, ‘When you see with your own physical eyes Jesus descending from heaven on a white cloud, it will already be the time the sun of righteousness appears publicly. At that time, you may be beside yourself with excitement. But have you ever known this: When you see Jesus descending from heaven, it will be the very time you go to hell to receive punishment. That will already be the time God’s management plan is declared concluded and the time God rewards the good and punishes the evil. This is because God’s judgment has ended at the time when people have not seen miraculous signs but only the truth is expressed.’” After hearing the brother’s fellowship and thinking about the words of Almighty God, I wavered, and my attitude became much softened. I thought, “Right! If the Lord has really come but I fail to follow him, won’t it be too great a pity? Won’t I regret to death? Besides, what the brother has fellowshipped about is indeed reasonable and agrees with the Bible, and I have never heard about it before. Why don’t I seek more before I make a conclusion?”
Seeing that my attitude changed for the better, the brother selected some words of God to solve my notions. God says, “Have you obeyed the work Jesus did and the words he spoke at that time? How faithful are you to Jesus? At that time, even in the greatest book of prophecy by Isaiah in the Old Testament, he did not say that one named ‘Jesus’ would be born in the New Testament age. He only said that a baby boy would be born and he would be called Immanuel. Why did he not say that he would be called ‘Jesus’? There is no such word in the Old Testament at all, so why do you still believe in Jesus? Did you believe in Jesus after you saw him? Or did you believe in him after you received a revelation? Could God have been so gracious to you? Could he have given you so great a blessing? By what did you believe in Jesus? Why can you not believe in God incarnate of today? Why do you say that as God has not given you a revelation, it proves that God has not been incarnated? Must God first tell man before he does a work? Must he get man’s permission? Isaiah only said that a baby boy would be born in a manger, but he did not prophesy that Jesus would be born of Mary. By what did you believe in Jesus who was born of Mary? … Aren’t these the works God did long ago? Can God not do a newer work today? Since the work of yesterday could be changed and the work of ‘Jehovah’ could be continued by ‘Jesus,’ can’t the work of ‘Jesus’ be succeeded by another work? Since the name of ‘Jehovah’ could change to ‘Jesus,’ can’t the name of ‘Jesus’ also be changed? These are not strange things. People think so, only because their mind is too simple. God is God after all. No matter how his work changes and how his name changes, his disposition and his wisdom will never change. …” “Some people say that God is ever unchanging. That is also right, but it means that God’s disposition and God’s substance are ever unchanging. When his name and work change, it does not prove that his substance changes. In other words, God is forever God, and this is ever unchanging. If it were as you say that God’s work is ever unchanging, then could God’s six-thousand-year management plan come to an end? You only know that God is ever unchanging, but do you know that God is also ever new and never old? If his work were ever unchanging, could he lead mankind to this day? Since he is ever unchanging, why has he done the works of two ages?” I was utterly convinced by God’s words. “I thought that since the words ‘third stage of work’ are not recorded in the Bible, God wouldn’t do a third stage of work, and that if God does it, it would have been recorded in the Bible, otherwise it isn’t a work done by God. Didn’t I circumscribe God within the Bible by holding such a view? What Almighty God says is right. If my notion were right, then by what did I believe in Jesus? Was Jesus’ work recorded in the Old Testament? Then why could I believe in Jesus? The Bible says that the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life. Isn’t it a terrible thing for me to cling to the letter like this? Thank God that he has inspired me and made me wake up. Thank God that he has given me this opportunity so that I have understood these truths.” By then, my eyes were already full of tears. “O God! Your words have opened my heart and brightened my eyes. Examining myself according to your words, I see that I was ignorant, absurd, and ridiculous. O God! I circumscribed you within my notions and letters, and I thought that you would forever be called Jesus and forever be crucified for mankind because you are ever unchanging. But today you tell me that being ever unchanging means that your substance and your disposition are unchanging, but not that your work is unchanging. O God! I’m clear now. I’m grateful for your salvation. I really need the third stage of your work. I’m willing to accept it and keep up with your footsteps!”
Dear brothers and sisters, what is written above is the course of how I changed from resisting God’s new work to accepting it. I hope that you can learn lessons from my experience and drop your notions and seek. As long as you have a thirsty and seeking heart, I believe that God will surely inspire you, and you will surely receive this greatest blessing and receive this eternal salvation!
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