I Received the Great Salvation of Almighty God

Zheng Zhong

Tieling City, Liaoning Province

I was once a co-worker in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and I accepted Jesus in 1990. In 2001, I heard many rumors about “Eastern Lightning,” such as, “‘Eastern Lightning’ is a ‘heresy,’ a ‘cult,’ and is an underworld organization. If one listens to their preaching but refuses to accept it, he will be crippled by them. And they like to seduce their targets with money and beauty into committing adultery. They always preach and have meetings furtively and hiddenly….” Without checking these rumors out, I believed all of them and concluded that “Eastern Lightning” could not be the true way. This was because in my view, if their God was the true God and their way was the true way, they would preach it publicly and openly; since they preached it in secret for fear of being discovered by others, they could not be doing anything good, just as the saying goes, “Anything good won’t be hidden from others, and anything hidden from others cannot be good.” Besides, they committed adultery and used violence on those who refused to accept their way. It further showed that this sect was a heresy, a cult, and was an underworld organization. So, I began to spread those rumors wantonly in the churches and warned the brothers and sisters that they should keep a “respectable” distance from the people of “Eastern Lightning” and never come into contact with them. And I also incited them to abuse and drive away those who came to preach it to them. At that time, I was totally hostile to “Eastern Lightning” and even felt contempt for and aversion to those who preached it, wishing to drive them out of our “territory” once for all.

Just when I was zealous in defending against “Eastern Lightning,” I heard that my wife joined it. At first, I did not believe that at all, but then I thought, “There is no fire without smoke, and human heart is unsearchable. I cannot be so sure about my own judgment.” From then on, I began to spy on my wife. And I often told her various kinds of rumors about “Eastern Lightning” I collected from everywhere, yet I found that she was not alarmed at them at all but just listened with a plain expression. And sometimes she showed some aversion, and sometimes she even asked me, “Have you seen those things with your own eyes? Since you haven’t, you shouldn’t take them as something true, much less believe them to be true.” Although I felt something was not right about her attitude and response, I could not be certain that she had accepted “Eastern Lightning.” So, I began to question her closely as to whether she had accepted “Eastern Lightning,” and I even threatened her, “If you have really believed in ‘Eastern Lightning,’ I will divorce you!” “If you don’t want to live with me anymore, I cannot do anything about that.” Her words left me at a loss whether to cry or to laugh. One day when my wife was out, I happened to find a book of “Eastern Lightning” in her bag. At that moment, my heart went completely cold, and I collapsed like a deflated balloon. I knelt down and prayed to God, “O God! May you deliver my wife from filthiness and evil. …” Then I remembered the warning of the brothers and sisters: If your wife converts to “Eastern Lightning,” you must not be Adam who followed Eve. At that moment, my heart surged like rolling waves, unable to calm down. After my wife came back, I asked her about the book while suppressing my agitation. She said that someone left it for her to read. To find out her true attitude toward the book, I said I would burn it. Sure enough, she was stirred and said, “Why should you burn other’s book? I can return it if you don’t want me to read it.” Seeing her so upset, I was quite sure that she had believed in “Eastern Lightning.” From then on, my usual gentleness disappeared. I flared up easily and always mocked and dug at her with innuendoes, and I even restricted her from going out.

Because of my evil deeds, I was disciplined by God. Early one morning, I came back from outside. When I just opened the door and would step inside my house, I suddenly fell to the ground in a dead faint. After I regained my consciousness, I found that my shoulder and face were skinned, and I felt cold and completely powerless. It took me quite a while to crawl into my house. I had never suffered from such a faint before. Afterward, I went to the hospital for an examination, but the doctor told me that my blood pressure was normal and my heart, brain, and other organs were all functioning normally. Although I felt that was very queer, I did not give it much thought nor pondered why it had happened.

One day in November 2003, my wife left home. She left me a note, which said, “There’s no need to spend money on looking for me. I want to have some quiet time outside and do what I ought to do. I’ll be back when I feel like it. Hope you pursue God hard at home.” I was holding her note and looking at the familiar writing, when the words she said a couple of days ago rang in my ears: “For the sake of my belief, I will seek neither for good food nor for good clothes, but to pursue God hard and satisfy God as long as I live.” I could not help asking myself, “Could such an ardent lover of God do filthy things to bring shame to his name? No! Absolutely not!” My wife’s leaving shook my heart greatly. And I was deeply touched by her zeal to follow Almighty God resolutely. “What made her so determined? What is ‘Eastern Lightning’?” I wondered. In order to solve these puzzles and find my wife, I decided to have a talk with those who believed in Almighty God.

The next day after my wife left, I went to a familiar sister who had believed in Almighty God, hoping to find my wife through her. She arranged for me to listen to a testimony given by a brother. The brother was mild in tone and gentle and sincere in manner, which made a good first impression on me. However, I had my own purposes for this fellowship: Firstly, I will listen carefully today and see what this way actually is, since I regarded it as false in the past totally based on the rumors. Secondly, I will share with them during the fellowship the light I have received from the Bible, for I have all along believed that the way I have received is the most correct. Thirdly, I will observe them so as to find out whether their living out of humanity is like what the rumors say about it. Fourthly, I will obey all their arrangements in order to find my wife.

For these purposes, I was rather cooperative, from The Church of Almighty Godready to listen to the brother’s fellowship calmly. The brother started to talk, saying, “Today, there are more than two thousand Christian denominations all over the world, each having its own founder and its own doctrine. The believers of each denomination hold on to their own way and firmly believe what they have received is absolutely correct. But, there is only one truth. Then, whose way is correct? Could it be that their own way is correct while all the others are wrong? It is, after all, through the various denominations that the gospel of the Lord Jesus is spread all over the world.” “Brother,” I interrupted, “the criterion for measuring whether a way one has received is the way of truth is to see whether it agrees with the Bible. If it is contrary to the Bible or apart from the Bible, it is not the way of truth.” The brother said, “It is worthwhile to talk about this viewpoint of yours, for almost all the believers in God think so. But, whether this criterion is correct has yet to be examined. In the Old Testament times before the Lord Jesus did the work, all the believers in God read the Old Testament, and there was no New Testament then. They all believed in God by keeping Jehovah’s decrees, laws, commandments, and so on recorded in the Old Testament; that is to say, they all believed in God according to the Old Testament. Therefore, when the Lord Jesus began to do the work, the Jews of that time measured his work according to the Old Testament. Then, they found out that the Lord Jesus’ name, work, teachings, and so on did not agree with the Old Testament. For example, it prophesied that the Messiah would come, yet the one who came and claimed to be the Son of the God in heaven was called Jesus; the names were different. It prophesied that the virgin would be with child and would give birth to a son, yet Mary had a husband. It prophesied that a son would be given to the Israelites and the government would be on his shoulders, so the Jews of that time imagined that the Lord would surely appear as a king, and that he would defeat the Romans for them and deliver them from the abyss of suffering; however, the Lord Jesus appeared as an ordinary man, the son of a carpenter. He did not take the role of the king of the Jews and lead them to attack the Romans, but on the contrary, he taught them to repent, be patient, and forgive others. The law of the Old Testament stipulated that people must worship Jehovah in the temple and keep the Sabbath, yet after Jesus came, he not only did not keep the Sabbath, but he took his disciples and preached everywhere. The people in the Old Testament Age of the Law could swear, yet after the Lord Jesus came, he said, ‘Do not swear at all…. Simply let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No”; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.’ Therefore, those Jews slandered Jesus, denied the true way, and eventually nailed him onto the cross for the reason that Jesus did not keep the law and that his teachings disagreed with the Law. This is how they rejected the true way and the true God as a result of sticking to the Old Testament and measuring and condemning the work of Jesus according to the law of the Old Testament. Hence, it is untenable that the criterion for measuring whether a way is the true way is to see whether it agrees with the Bible. The word of Almighty God tells us that to measure whether a way is the true way or whether it is the work of God, we have to see whether it has the working of the Holy Spirit, whether it expresses the announcement of the truth, to whom it testifies, what it can bring to people, whether it can cause them to have a more and more normal humanity, whether it can cause them to love God increasingly….” The brother’s fellowship inspired me so greatly that I received an unusual supply in my spirit as if new blood was infused into me. I felt that what he preached was the true way, but when I thought of those rumors, my mind was clouded with misgivings again. So, I asked him, “It is said that you people do nothing but commit adultery, and that you are of an underworld organization and will cripple whoever refuses to join you. What do you say about it?” The brother opened the book of God’s word, turned to Article 4 of “Ten Administrative Decrees God’s Chosen People Must Keep,” and read: “Man has corrupt disposition and even more has emotion. So, in the service in coordination, two people of different sexes are forbidden to coordinate alone. If discovered, they shall be expelled, no matter who they are.” Then, he continued, “God is holy. He loathes the most those who commit sexual sin. Besides, Almighty God comes just to do the work of judging, chastising, and purifying people. The brothers and sisters are all doing their utmost to pursue the transformation of their disposition and pursue to gain the truth and the life so as to be purified. How could they do nothing but commit adultery? Today it is solely for satisfying God that the brothers and sisters leave their families and give up their careers to testify to others about the coming of God at the risk of being put into prison anytime, in spite of bitter cold or extreme heat, the persecution from the world, and the rejection from their relatives. What they are engaged in is the most just and greatest cause of mankind, which is commended by God. In Matthew 5:11-12, Jesus said, ‘Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.’ Actually, those insulting and slanderous words against us are totally unfounded. If what they say about us were true, could the news media let it pass? Could the radio, TV, and newspaper not vie with one another in reporting it?” His words woke me up. I immediately realized I was so foolish that I could not even see through such a simple matter. I felt my face burning and my heart becoming uneasy. Then I raised my last question: “If the one you believe in is the true God, why don’t you preach him publicly? If what you preach is the work of God, how come you do it covertly and mysteriously?” The brother answered, “God’s work is always done in a hidden way first and then made known to the public. This is due to the need of God’s work and shows God’s wisdom in doing the work. Let’s look at some examples in the New Testament: Jesus was hunted by King Herod right after he was born; an angel appeared to Joseph and told him to take Mary and baby Jesus and escape to Egypt by night (Matthew 2:1-22). Not long after the Lord Jesus did the work, he healed a man with leprosy and warned him not to tell anyone (Matthew 8:3-4). After Jesus restored the sight of the two blind men, he told them to let no one know about that (Matthew 9:28-30). After Peter recognized Jesus as the Christ, Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ (Matthew 16:15-20). From these records we can see that the Lord Jesus also did the work in a hidden way even in a nation like Judea which worshipped God. He preached publicly and contacted the Pharisees later only because he did the work of crucifixion at that stage. But his work was actually done in a ‘hidden’ way, for at that time he made his intentions and teachings clear only to his disciples and his believers, but to those Pharisees and unbelievers, he spoke in parables (see Matthew 13:10-17). It was not until after his resurrection and ascension that his way was really made known to the public. As to why this stage of God’s work is done in a hidden way, the word of Almighty God has already made it clear to us.” Then he opened the book of God’s word and read: “That is to say, when God works this time, he comes into the flesh and is born in the place inhabited by the great red dragon, so God comes to earth this time at a greater risk, confronted with swords and spears and bludgeons, with temptations, and with murderous-looking people, in danger of being killed at any time.” “Who can understand God’s eager will? It is no wonder that God is incarnated in an extremely hidden way. In such a dark society where devils are brutal and inhuman, how could the murderous king of devils allow the existence of the lovely, kind, and holy God? How could it clap its hands and cheer for God’s coming?” “In the Age of the Grace, he publicly preached everywhere for the sake of his gospel work, and he contacted the Pharisees for the sake of the work of crucifixion. If he had not contacted the Pharisees and those in power had not known about him, how could he have been condemned and then betrayed and crucified? So, in the past he contacted the Pharisees for the sake of the crucifixion, and today he works in a hidden way for avoiding temptations. The works and the significances of the two incarnations are different and the environments they are in are different, so how could the works they do be completely the same?” “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; to the unbelievers, nothing is open. The work done here today is sealed very tight, just kept from them. If they knew it, they would only condemn and persecute it, and they would not believe it. It is not easy to do the work in the country of the great red dragon, this most backward place. If the work were done in an open way, it could not be carried on. This stage of work is simply not allowable in this place. If it were done in an open way, how could they allow it? Wouldn’t I run a greater risk? … In that case, how could the work be carried on? Now I do not perform any signs and wonders publicly just for keeping the work hidden. So the unbelievers simply cannot see it, know it, or discover it. If I did this stage of work in the same way as Jesus worked in the Age of the Grace, it could not be so secure. So, doing the work in such a hidden way is beneficial to you and to all the work. 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. At that time, people will suddenly realize: Why has China been slow to decline and collapse? So God has personally worked in China and perfected a group of people to be overcomers.” After reading, the brother said, “Through Almighty God’s explanation of the truth concerning his working in a hidden way, we can see his wisdom in doing the work and see how hard it is for him to do the work among the corrupt and disobedient people. God’s end-time work, though done in such a hidden way, has been resisted and condemned by men by all means. If it were done publicly, wouldn’t it be hindered more greatly? People do not understand the significance of God’s doing the work in such a way, but on the contrary, many of them condemn God and deny his work because it is hidden and not done publicly. Isn’t this their foolishness? Aren’t they unreasonable? It embodies his wisdom that God does his work in a hidden way in the end time, and during this period, he accomplishes the work of saving people. His working in such a way spares people from many temptations and is beneficial to the growth of their life and to his work. Yet we human beings do not know his work or his wisdom and do not seek or investigate it, but on the contrary, we form notions about it and condemn and resist him. Isn’t this our disobedience and arrogance?” Then, the brother read one more passage of God’s word: “So, I say that all those who ‘see through’ God and God’s work are incapable ones and are arrogant and ignorant men. Man should not circumscribe God’s work, not to mention that man cannot circumscribe God’s work. Man is simply not as big as an ant in God’s eyes, so how could he fathom God’s work? Aren’t all those who repeatedly say, ‘God does not work like this and God does not work like that’ and ‘God is like this and God is like that,’ the ones who speak arrogant words?” The exposure of God’s words and the detailed fellowship of the brother finally aroused my heart that had stayed numb for a long time. I came to realize that I was just the kind of pretentious, arrogant, and conceited person who spoke arrogant words. It was out of my foolishness and stubbornness that I denied God’s end-time work; it was out of my arrogance and ignorance that I condemned and rejected God because he did the work in a hidden way; it was out of my disobedience and resistance that I spread the adverse rumors to bind the brothers and sisters and drove away those who preached the end-time gospel. Thank Almighty God! When I had the thought of knowing the fact so as to find my wife, he enlightened me so that I recognized the true God and the true way. If such great love and salvation of Almighty God had not come to me, I did not know how long I would have resisted him blindly.

During the following ten more days, the brothers and sisters continued receiving me hospitably, and at the same time they tried their best to support me, leading me to eat and drink many pieces of God’s word. With their help, I came to know this: “The very purpose of God’s being incarnated this time is to conquer and perfect those who have been redeemed by his precious blood but who are still living under satan’s influence. God comes this time to do the work of the word, judging and chastising people with his word so that they can know themselves, know him, and find the way to have their life disposition transformed. God wants to complete all people to be ones who are after his heart and who have normal humanity; he wants to transform their life disposition, make them holy, and thus complete the last stage of the work in his six-thousand-year management plan.” In these days I was with the brothers and sisters who believed in Almighty God, I had seen that they were of the most holy group. They were simple and open whether in praying or in fellowshipping; they were practical, honest, and sincere in word; they behaved properly in their daily living and kept a very clear distance from the opposite sex, never joking or fooling around nor talking or acting immodestly. Here I had truly seen that God was personally leading this group, that they truly had the working of the Holy Spirit, full of vitality and vigor, and that they were living a happy and sweet life. Everything here was so wonderful that I simply could not find words to describe the real scene of the church of Almighty God. All this touched me so greatly and impressed me so deeply!

After I got home, I ate and drank and enjoyed God’s word more hungrily. One day, I read these words of God: “Maybe after you hear the way of truth and read the words of life, you think that only one ten thousandth of these words agree with your thought or with the Bible. Then you should continue to seek in this one ten thousandth of the words. Again I advise you to be a meek person. Do not be too self-confident, and do not be too self-important. In what little fear of God you have, you will receive greater light. Investigate carefully and ponder repeatedly, and you will understand whether these words are the truth and the life. … Think carefully! Do not be careless, and do not be rash. Do not take the matter of believing in God as child’s play. You should think about your destination, your future, and your life. Do not trifle with yourself. Can you accept all these words?” I felt cut to the heart when reading them. Over all these years, I had never had a little desire to seek God’s work of the last days but simply condemned and resisted it blindly. I did not have a humble heart or any fear of God, but just passed judgments on God’s work rashly and recklessly. How self-right I was! My arrogance had almost ruined my life. Thinking of all this, I felt bitterly regretful.

Dear brothers and sisters, now I have followed Almighty God and personally experienced his end-time work for more than a year, during which I have somewhat tasted the reality of Almighty God’s working, the reality of God’s word judging, chastising, and purifying man, and the reality of God’s word transforming man’s life disposition. Here, I want to sincerely tell every brother and sister: If you do not experience God’s end-time work of the word, you cannot get free from sin nor enter the kingdom of God, no matter how many years you have believed in Jesus. This is because God has not started the work of removing man’s sinful nature until the last days. I hate myself for being so devoid of sense at that time. If I had sought the true way with an attitude of “just in case,” given a listen to it, and taken a look at it, I wouldn’t have resisted it for such a long time. From my experiences, I have understood that belief in God is not child’s play. As people who are living in the transitional period from the Age of the Grace to the Age of the Kingdom, we should be more careful in choosing the path that we ought to take when God’s new work comes upon us. This is a great matter that determines whether we can keep up with the footsteps of the Lamb and whether we can succeed in believing in God, much more a matter of life and death that determines our future and destination. We humans have no truth nor have the organ to directly understand the truth, so we cannot see through the things God does at all. But if we have a little thirst for the truth or a little desire to seek or investigate it, the Holy Spirit will have a chance to work on us and cause us to receive the salvation and the true way from God. Brothers and sisters, God’s salvation has appeared. As long as we are willing to seek, God will certainly inspire us so that we can recognize his voice and return before his throne.

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