By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
Only Almighty God’s Word Can Save Me
Huai’an City, Jiangsu Province
I’m Shi Lianjun, formerly a senior area leader of the Joseph Church. I had never thought that I, having believed in God and served God for many years, could become one who resisted and rejected God. Brothers and sisters, you may feel very surprised at my words. But here I would like to fellowship with you about my evil deeds, hoping that you can take warning from my past.
In 1999, the end-time of was preached to our church. I remember that one day in August, someone told me that a person who preached God’s end-time gospel had come to the home of the believer XX. Hearing that, I immediately called in four young brothers, and we posed as local village cadres and headed swiftly toward the house of that believer on our motorcycles. When we were 200 meters away from his house, we switched off the engines and walked up to the door quietly. Peeking through the crack of the door, I saw a stranger in the room reading something from the book in his hands. Furious, I kicked the door open fiercely. Seeing my sudden action, that man hastily put the book into his pocket. I lunged forward, tore his pocket, snatched the book and saw it was The Truth That Must Be Equipped. I leafed through a few pages, flung it onto the desk, and then grabbed that person by his coat front. Poking his forehead with my finger, I asked him ferociously, “Where did you get this book? Where do you come from?” As I said that, I gave him a violent push that sent him reeling against the door. Before he realized what had happened, I grabbed the book on the desk, tore it in half angrily, ripped several pages from it, tore them to pieces, balled them up, and threw it at his face. Then, I blasphemed loudly, “This is purely a devil, satan, an evil spirit, a deceiver!” Seeing that I had torn his book, he immediately fell on his knees, picked up the torn book and the balled-up pieces of paper with both hands, and said in tears, “God, how hard your work on earth is!” Though I saw he was so grieved, I still shouted furiously, “Get out! If you come again, I’ll send you to the police station!” In this way, I drove out the brother who preached the gospel. After that, many other people came to testify Almighty God’s end-time work to me; but for fear of being deceived, I always drove them out before they began to speak. Sometimes, even if I stayed at home, I purposely locked the door from the outside or turned my back on them by pretending to be busy. Even I myself cannot remember how many times I had done things like this.
Although I was so malicious, disobedient, and resistant, Almighty God’s great love had not left me. On the afternoon of February 13, 2002 (the second day of the first lunar month), it was raining outside. Two sisters trudged to my house in the rain, with their bicycles covered with mud and gravel. Seeing that they were the same two persons who came several days ago, I was filled with anger. I hurried to push them outward and slammed the door before they were completely out. “Ah!” I heard a voice. The door squeezed the hand of one of the sisters. But I shouted abuse at them: “You deserve it! Cheek!” Then, I went in to watch TV.
It rained on and on, and the two sisters still stood outside. About half an hour passed, and my wife saw that there was blood mixed with rainwater flowing over the threshold into the yard. Looking through the crack of the door, she saw one of the sisters was binding up her injured hand with tissue paper and there was a lot of blood-stained tissue paper on the ground. Seeing that, my wife invited them in without my permission. At that time, I sat on the chair with my legs crossed and my back toward them and watched TV, with one hand holding a teacup and the other some sunflower seeds. I cast a glance at them and saw that their rain-drenched hair clung to their foreheads, their clothes were dripping water, and their cotton-padded shoes were saturated with muddy water. I did not speak to them, nor did I ask them to sit down, but they greeted me warmly. However, I only drank tea slowly and kept spitting out the sunflower-seed shells. One hour passed and one episode of the serial was over. Only then did I take a look at them. I thought to myself, “Are the people like you qualified to talk about the matter of belief in God with me, a dignified senior area leader of the Joseph Church? I have read through the hundreds of times, have deliberated over every word and every sentence in the Bible, and know which chapter and verse each sentence is in. I have preached countless sermons, supported countless people, and trained countless workers. Those whom I ‘feed’ at usual times are all knowledgeable senior leaders and preachers, and it is hard for a junior worker of the ‘house of Joseph’ to meet me.” At this thought, I said arrogantly, “Ask your ‘leader’ to come to discuss the Bible with me. I’ll definitely defeat him!”
“Brother, we really don’t know a lot about the Bible. Your advice and comments are appreciated,” said one of the sisters with a smile. Then, I became proud of myself and said to them, “Genesis 28:14 says that all peoples on earth would be blessed through Jacob and his offspring, and Joseph was the eleventh son of Jacob. In Genesis 49:25-26, Jacob blessed Joseph, saying: ‘…by the God of your father, who shall help you; and by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brothers.’ You see, our house of Joseph has so many blessings, and we are Jacob’s offspring, so all peoples on earth will be blessed through our Joseph Church. Genesis 37:9 also says that Joseph saw in the dream that the sun and moon and eleven stars were all bowing down to him. These verses are enough to prove that the people of the house of Joseph are the most blessed, all denominations will be ruled by our Joseph Church in the future, and the founder of our Joseph Church will lead us to judge all the peoples on earth! The Ephraimites of our Joseph will reign for hundreds of thousands of years!”
After I finished these words, the sister smiled and said, “Brother, since you have read through the Bible hundreds of times, you surely won’t forget what Psalms 78:67 says, ‘Moreover he refused the tabernacle of Joseph, and chose not the tribe of Ephraim.’ Doesn’t this verse plainly say that God had already rejected Joseph? In fact, the Scripture only records the work God did before. It’s true that Joseph was blessed, but have you ever thought that it was not God Godself but his father Jacob who blessed him? And Jacob was only a created being in God’s hand. He could not represent God, nor could his blessings fully represent God’s will. Brother, you should also know that Genesis 50:22-26 says that Joseph did not come out of Egypt eventually, but died in Egypt, the land cursed by God. In the end, God led through Moses the Israelites out of Egypt and into the pleasant land of Canaan, the very land blessed by God. Yet Joseph did not enter it, much less enjoy it. Brother, why do you still hold fast to ‘Joseph’ today?”
Their fellowship left me at a loss for words, because it was fully scriptural and was all true. However, because I could not lay aside my vanity and face, I turned the yellowed Bible in my hand over and over again and said loudly, “Acts 4:12 says that salvation is found in no one else but , and Hebrews 1:3 also says that Jesus is the exact representation of God’s being. These verses plainly say that Jesus is God, but why are you preaching Almighty God today?”
At this time, the other sister said calmly, “Brother, please look at Revelation 1:8, 4:8. It says that the Lord God is the Almighty who is, and who was, and who is to come. From these prophecies, we can see that the entire work of managing mankind is done by Almighty God Godself. Let’s also look at Genesis 17:1, 28:3, 35:11…. These verses all say that God’s name is Almighty God. Just now you mentioned that Jacob blessed Joseph; wasn’t it also done in the name of the Almighty? Isaiah 10:21 says, ‘The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, to the mighty God.’” Then she fellowshipped with me about the three stages of God’s work: “The name ‘Jehovah’ represents the Age of the Law, the name ‘Jesus’ represents , and ‘Almighty God’ represents the Age of the Kingdom of the end time. God takes different names in different ages, and each name has its own meaning. …”
After hearing their fellowship, I asked again, “In John 5:39 the Lord said: ‘and they are they which testify of me.’ Why then have you given up the Bible today?”
The sister answered, “Brother, we believe in God in order to gain life but not to obstinately observe the Bible. As for the verse you talked about, you didn’t consider it in context. : ‘Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life.’ Just think about this: The Lord plainly said here that we human beings ‘think’ that by the Scriptures we possess eternal life. It’s true that the Scriptures are for testifying God, but if we want to gain life, we have to go to God and keep up with his footsteps. Besides, you may look at Revelation 2:17. It prophesies: ‘… To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it.’ The hidden manna is the word in the little scroll and is God’s own utterance in the Age of the Kingdom. Brother, please think about it again: Of Jesus’ disciples at that time, who had seen or got the white stone? Who had eaten the hidden manna? Only when the Lord comes the second time can people get them. As the Lord said in John 16:12-13: ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. …and he will show you things to come.’”
After hearing the two sisters’ fellowship, I had nothing to reply and was even more at a loss what to do. I really could not lay aside my face, so I said shamelessly, “The was able to raise the dead at that time. Now, there is a brother in our church who has terminal esophageal cancer. Go to preach the end-time gospel to him. If he gets healed, I will acknowledge the way you preach is the true way and the one you believe in is the true God.”
“Brother, as a believer in Jesus, why don’t you obey the Lord’s word? In Matthew16:4, the Lord said to those who tested him: ‘A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.’” After saying that, the sister read me the word of Almighty God: “Do you believe in signs and wonders or believe in God Godself? When Jesus was mocked by others, he did not perform signs and wonders; then was he not God? Do you believe in signs and wonders or believe in God’s substance? People’s viewpoint of believing in God is not right! In the Age of the Law Jehovah spoke many words, and even now some of them have not been seen to be fulfilled; then can you say that Jehovah is not God?
Now you all should be clear that in the end time God will mainly accomplish the fact that ‘the Word becomes flesh.’ By working on earth practically, he lets people know him, contact him, and see his practical deeds, and lets them see clearly that he can perform signs and wonders but sometimes he cannot, which depends on what age it is. From this you can see that it is not that God cannot perform signs and wonders, but that he varies his working with different works and different ages. Now in this stage of work, God does not perform signs and wonders. In the age of Jesus God performed some signs and wonders, because the work in that age was different. Today God does not do that work. Some people think that God cannot perform signs and wonders, or that he is not God since he does not perform signs and wonders. Isn’t this a fallacy? God can perform signs and wonders, but as the age of the work has been different, he does not do those works. As the ages are different and the stages of the work are different, the deeds God manifests are different. For people to believe in God is not to believe in signs and wonders or to believe in miracles but to believe in God’s practical work of the new age.”
At these words, I woke up somewhat, feeling that I knew too little about God and that my viewpoint of believing in God was not right. However, because I could not lay aside my face and position, and also because my heart was too hardened, I still had my back to them. Then, they turned on the recorder and played the tape of for me: “The founder of a religion may be able to lead all the people in the entire religion, but he cannot lead all the created beings in the entire world. This is a fact known to all. The founder of a religion can only be a leader and cannot be on an equal footing with God (the ). All things are in the hand of the Creator, and in the end they will have to come under the hand of the Creator. Mankind was created by God, and whatever religion it is, it will have to come under God’s dominion. This is the sure trend. Only God is the supreme One among all things. Even the highest ruler among the created beings will have to come under his dominion. No matter how high a man’s position may be, he cannot bring mankind into the proper destination. No man can divide all things into their kinds. Jehovah himself created mankind, letting them be after their kinds, and in the end still he himself will do his own work, dividing all things into their kinds. Except God, no one can do this in his stead.” Hearing these words, I suddenly understood. “Ah, yes! Aren’t Jacob, Joseph, and the founder of our Joseph Church all human beings? Aren’t they all created beings? Since they are created beings, they cannot be called God, much less represent God, nor can they speak in God’s position. The founder of a denomination can only lead his own denomination but cannot lead all denominations. Thus, how can the people of all sects and denominations turn to our ‘Joseph Church’? Isn’t it that only the Creator is able to do the work of reuniting all denominations into one?”
Then I heard: “Although Jehovah, Jesus, and Messiah all represent my Spirit, these several names only represent the different ages in my management plan and do not represent my all. The names by which people on earth call me cannot thoroughly express all my disposition and being, and it is only that they call me by different addresses in different ages. So when the final age, that is, the last age, comes, my name will still change. I will not be called Jehovah or Jesus, much less Messiah, but the powerful Almighty God Godself, with which name I will end the entire age.” I was shaken again. I thought to myself, “These words are so full of authority, power, and majesty. If it were not God, who would dare to say such words? Alas! If it’s the true God, isn’t everything I have done exactly the same as the Pharisees’ sinful deeds of resisting Jesus? Then, won’t I be the Pharisee of the new age? I only believe in God’s name but not his substance, and even regard God’s end-time work as the deception of an evil spirit. Haven’t I committed the sin of blaspheming the ?” As I thought of this, I felt as if awakening from a dream and dared not be heart-hardened anymore. I hastily put down my crossed leg, turned and looked at the sisters who had stood for several hours, gave my chair to them, and invited them to sit down. At that moment, the two sisters shed tears….
Thank God for his great salvation for me. It was God’s word that had conquered me, an arrogant person, so that I gave up my vague belief in the Joseph Church, returned before the end-time Christ—Almighty God, and gradually stepped onto the right track of truly believing in God and knowing God. With fear and thirst, I came before God and read God’s word. It says: “…those who believe in God because of miraculous signs are surely the brood to perish, and those who cannot accept the words spoken by the Jesus returning in the flesh are surely the sons of hell, surely the offspring of the archangel, and surely the brood to perish forever.” “Those who only care about the letters of the Bible but do not care about the truth or seeking my footsteps are all the ones who are against me, because they restrict me to the Bible and circumscribe me within the Bible. Their doing so is a very great blasphemy against me. How could such people come before me? What they pay attention to is not my deeds, not my will, and not the truth, but the letter, the letter that kills. How could such people be compatible with me?” made me tremble with fear and I even more regretted my past actions and deeds. I not only resisted God but also hurt so many brothers and sisters who sincerely expended themselves for God and hindered so many brothers and sisters from turning to Almighty God. I was really guilty of the most heinous sin and deserved to die ten thousand times! I hated myself for turning a deaf ear to the true way and refusing God’s salvation so many times. The brothers and sisters came time and time again with smiling faces but were all driven away by me with a horrible face. I was really inhuman, just like a beast! No matter how high the way they preached was, I always closed my ears to it and blasphemed that it was something with which the evil spirit came to deceive people. I even considered that only I was God’s close friend and that only the God I believed in was the true God, whereas the god others believed in was false. Little did I know that what I had done was resisting God and was the behavior of an antichrist. Thinking of that, I felt bitterly regretful…. “O Almighty God! Thank you for giving me an opportunity to be saved again. It is your word that has woken me up and enabled me to receive your great salvation. According to my actions and deeds, I should be cursed. However, you remember no transgressions of mine but still melt me with your motherly love and let me accept your end-time work of purifying people with the word. O God! How great your love is! I should not disappoint your kind intention. I’m willing to do all I can in the last days to bring before you those who sincerely believe in you and yet are still groping in the darkness, so that they will all understand your present intention and no longer resist you. May your heart be consoled by this!”
Here, I sincerely advise the brothers and sisters of the house of Joseph and of all sects and denominations who have not returned before Almighty God: Never follow in my footsteps! Wake up quickly and turn to Almighty God! For Almighty God is precisely the returned Jesus. There is not much time left for him to select people in a hidden way. May the brothers and sisters not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Otherwise, when God appears publicly, it will be too late for you to do anything! As 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.”