Li Mei is a preacher of a household church. In the past over ten years, regardless of whether it was bitterly cold or extremely hot, rain or shine, she consistently worked hard and expended for the Lord without regret. She often studied the Bible and consulted all sorts of spiritual books deep into the night in order to write a good sermon. But she was puzzled that in recent years, no matter how she had sacrificed and expended, the work of the Holy Spirit was not present, and the brothers and sisters became pessimistic in faith, living in negativity and weakness…. “Why is that?” She wondered.
This evening she planned to write a sermon. Yet when it was late at night, she still didn’t write anything on the paper. Having no choice, she had to kneel and pray to God, “O Lord! Where are You? Now I can’t sense Your presence. I have no idea where I have gone against Your intentions. May You not renounce me. Please don’t hide Your face from me. I’m willing to repent to You….”
Early next morning, Li Mei held an unscheduled co-workers meeting. She said to everyone solemnly, “Co-workers, in the past, when we read the words of the Lord, we found enlightenment and illumination from the Holy Spirit, and paths of practice. The Lord’s word was like the source of living water that nourished our heart and supplied us with the provisions for life. At that time, we had endless words to say when preaching. But now, I can’t feel the presence and the work of the Holy Spirit, and I even cannot write a good sermon. I talk about the same old sermon, dull and dry, without any new light. Every time we gather, we read and fellowship about the Lord’s words, but we cannot feel the illumination and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit at all. Brothers and sisters cannot receive the supply of life, and their problems and difficulties cannot be resolved either. Then how can their condition be good? Now is the time when the Lord comes back again. How should we seek the work of the Holy Spirit and welcome the return of the Lord? Today, let’s discuss about it.”
Fengchun, who was outspoken, looked at everyone and raised her voice intentionally, “Today, even Sister Li cannot feel the Holy Spirit’s work and has nothing to say. So severe the famine are we now suffering! As a matter of fact, I feel the same way. The brothers and sisters are all weak and pessimistic in faith, and most of them are neither cold nor hot. Is this not just like the church in Laodicea mentioned in the Book of Revelation? Should we continue on this way and be like lukewarm water, then won’t the Lord spit us out of His mouth?”
Jia Rui smiled and said, “Then hasn’t Sister Li become the leader of the church in Laodicea?”
Li Ping looked around at everyone and said in a deep, hollow tone, “You don’t say, this is very likely the case. Those lukewarm in their belief are bound to be eliminated by the Lord in the end. If that’s the case, how should we pursue the work of the Holy Spirit?”
Li Mei said sincerely, “Brothers and sisters, why are we unable to feel the work of the Holy Spirit? Why is the church in a famine? Why is the entire religious world so desolated? There must be mysteries in this! We should seek the Lord’s will!” With these words, she looked at the co-workers. They all nodded in agreement. Seeing that everyone was willing to search, she continued to say, “The Lord Jesus said, ‘If any man thirst, let him come to me, and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water’ (John 7:37-38). The Lord Jesus is the source of living water, yet we can’t receive the water from it now. Has the Lord reappeared and performed work in other places? We are in a famine, then should we take the initiative to search for the footprints of the Lord’s work? Now, what’s most important is to fellowship the issue clearly. It has to do with the future fate of each of us who believe in God. If anyone has any opinions about that, please feel free to bring them up, and we can have fellowship.”
Fengchun said frankly, “The desolation of the church didn’t happen overnight. We have long ago failed to feel the work of the Holy Spirit and to obtain the provision of living water. We really should seek the Lord’s footsteps. Moreover, many prophecies of the Lord’s return have already fulfilled. Intensifying disasters are happening all over the world and churches are becoming increasingly desolate. The Lord might have already come back and appeared someplace to work, but we just don’t know it.”
Li Ping said firmly, “Yeah, we have to go out quickly to find where exactly the Lord appears and performs work. We should never be like the foolish virgins, who were abandoned by the Lord! We have to search around at other churches right now. Whichever church has the Holy Spirit’s work, there must be the provision of the source of flowing water.”
Seeing that everybody could actively cooperate, Li Mei said with much burden and full conviction, “My fellow co-workers, we should be wise virgins and actively look for the footsteps of the Lord. At that time, when there was famine in Canaan, Jacob and his family left there and went down to Egypt to search for food to survive the disaster. Presently, the situation of the entire religious world is like what happened in Canaan. If we still hang on here doing nothing, will we ultimately not die of thirst or starve to death? The Lord Jesus said, ‘Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you’ (Matthew 7:7). The Lord is faithful. As long as we act according to His words, He will surely guide us.” Everyone all nodded in agreement in succession.
Yet Hu Xin, who had sat there in silence with her head lowered, suddenly said, “We believers in house churches have always been met with frenzied arrests, persecution, and cruel repression by the CCP government. If we go everywhere to look for the church with the work of the Holy Spirit, we may have to take risks. I think we should just give up.”
Again, with a firm voice, Li Ping said, “We can never be stuck here and starve to death! We must go and look for the church with the work of the Holy Spirit right now!” He paused, and went on: “But, China is so large, where should we go to look for it?”
Hearing Li Ping’s words, Fengchun thought quietly. Suddenly a light came into her eyes. She said happily, “Alas! I want to offer a suggestion. Let’s first go to look for the church which suffers the most severe persecution by the CCP. There should be the work of the Holy Spirit, because the CCP government is a satanic regime that most hates the truth and opposes God. Am I right or what?”
Everyone all nodded and expressed their willingness to look for the church with the work of the Holy Spirit, and in addition, all thought the more a church is cruelly persecuted by the CCP government, the more likely that the Holy Spirit works in it. But Jia Rui could not make sure and asked, “Is it Okay? And is this a reliable way?”
Li Ping said delightedly, “I feel that what Fengchun said makes sense. The CCP is an atheist government that hates the truth and resists God more than any other. The CCP would be the first to know where God appears and works, and would certainly unleash their frantic oppression and persecution. For more than sixty years in power, the CCP has never relaxed its capture of Christians. It will not let go even one of the believers of house churches, in order that it can maintain its autocratic domination and make China a place without God. Consequently, wherever God appears, it will naturally carry out violent suppression and persecution.”
At this moment, Li Mei was very excited and said with full confidence, “Brother Li Ping is right. The CCP is the regime of Satan that most hates the truth. The more a church is frantically persecuted by the CCP, the more it should be sought. In the past, the CCP’s crackdown of the Shouters was most severe. We all know the message that they preached was more profound than any other sect. But now, the CCP government’s focus point is directed to Eastern Lightning, and its attacks, crackdowns, and arrests of Eastern Lightning is most severe, which is a fact acknowledged by the religious world. There must be some reason for the CCP wildly suppressing and persecuting The Church of Almighty God. We can see now not only has Eastern Lightning not been defeated, but it has flourished more and more under the crazy suppression of the CCP, which shows that Eastern Lightning contains the work of the Holy Spirit. It’s quite possible that this is God’s appearance and work.”
Li Ping went on to say, “Yes! The CCP government issued secret documents to condemn and ban Eastern Lightning. Slogans and posters declaring the ban on The Church of Almighty God can be found in every city and country in the mainland. We also find propaganda and discussions about the CCP’s oppression of the Church in factories, schools, and villages. This is already common knowledge throughout the country.”
Hearing that, Hu Xin asked abruptly, “If Eastern Lightning is the true way, the appearance and work of the Lord, then it will certainly be subject to the cruel suppression and persecution of the CCP government. That I believe. But why do the pastors and elders of the religious circle also so wildly persecute, resist, and condemn Eastern Lightning? How can this be explained?”
Feeling what Hu Xin said made sense, Jia Rui asked, “Sister Li, pastors and elders are all people who serve the Lord. If Eastern Lightning is really the appearance of the Lord, how could they possibly resist and condemn it?”
“Brothers and sisters,” said Li Mei seriously, “Let’s think back to the Lord Jesus. Was He not crucified on the cross by an alliance of the religious leaders and the Roman government? Therefore, it is hardly surprising that leaders in the religious world follow the CCP government in resisting and condemning Almighty God. Since ancient times, the true way has been persecuted! When the true God appears and performs His work, He will surely be met with the persecution, oppression, and frantic opposition by the religious circle together with those in power. Just as the Bible says, ‘the whole world lies in wickedness’ (1 John 5:19). ‘And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil’ (John 3:19). The entire world is under the domain of the evil one, and drives out the existence of the light. So, when the true God comes among man to do His work, how could He not be rejected by this evil era?”
Fengchun said, “That’s right, the Lord Jesus had long prophesied, ‘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). From the prophecy we can see that when the Lord Jesus returns in the last days, He will suffer much hardship, and be rejected by this generation. Today only Eastern Lightning suffers the CCP government’s and the religious community’s most frenzied resistance, condemnation, and persecution. It seems that Eastern Lightning is most probably the Lord’s appearance and His work.”
Li Ping, whose eyes swam with tears of excitement, said brightly, “Now we finally have an idea of how to search for the Lord’s footsteps. Let’s start our investigation of the Eastern Lightning.”
Li Mei said gaily, “Okay! That’s what we’ll do. …”
After hearing what she had said, everyone smiled.
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