By William, United States
In today’s era of highly developed information networks, many people have their own preferred websites they trust for information, and they use the information from these websites as standards for judging right and wrong and evaluating the correctness of things, but they rarely attempt to discern whether the news they find on these websites and information platforms is true and objective. Once, I had a website that I trusted, and even in the hugely important matter of receiving the returned Lord, I blindly believed various reports and news on the website, which nearly caused me to miss the opportunity to receive the Lord’s return. Thanks be to the Lord for guiding me again and again at the crucial moments, so that I could receive the Lord’s return!
Amidst Hopelessness, My Encounter With the Lord
After graduating from high school, I left home and tried several different ways to earn money, but each failed. Eventually, one of my friends tricked me into taking part in a pyramid scheme. In that position, I was watched every day, and they also coerced me into bringing my relatives and friends into the scheme. I was especially depressed and miserable at that point, but in the depths of my despair, I was coincidentally given a Bible. The words in the Bible rekindled hope from my hopeless desperation and comforted my soul. I began to believe that, somewhere hidden, a Creator exists. So, I silently prayed to the God who created the heavens, the earth, and all things within for deliverance from the pyramid scheme, and for Him to lead me to a place of hope and freedom where I could worship God. I was surprised when, less than a month later, I escaped the MLM organization and went to the United States. I was very grateful to know that God could help me.
In October of 2016, I came to New York in the USA, and found a Chinese church that I thought was acceptable, where I was baptized. I had officially become a Christian, but after more than a year in the church, I had only learned to pray and sing hymns of praise for the Lord, but my knowledge of God and my understanding of the Bible were stalled at the surface meaning of the text, which left me disappointed. So, I often hoped that the Lord would guide me to people who genuinely understood the Bible, so that I could understand the Lord’s will.
The Lord Knocks, Yet Rumors Disrupt My Heart
One day in March of 2018, I met Brother Liu at a sister’s home. Through several fellowship sessions with Brother Liu, I came to understand many mysteries and truths that I hadn’t previously understood in the Bible, such as how the Bible was formed, what incarnation is, what salvation is, what complete salvation is, how we should view the matter of the Lord’s return at the end of days, the difference between true and false Christs, the difference between God’s work and man’s work, and so on. His fellowship was eye-opening, and I benefitted much from each of our meetings. I couldn’t help but grow fond of Brother Liu, and I was also curious about how he understood so much. At one meeting, I heard Brother Liu read many words that aren’t in the Bible. These words had power and authority, and I wanted to know their source, so I asked him. He said these words were the voice and utterances of, Christ of the last days. When I heard the name “Almighty God,” I was suddenly shocked, because I remembered that my pastors and elders had repeatedly warned us not to have any contact with people from . I felt confused and panicked, and began to feel so anxious I couldn’t sit still. I didn’t register the things Brother Liu said after that, and halfway through the meeting I made an excuse and left.
When I returned to the room I rented, I tossed and turned in bed, unable to sleep, as scenes of my fellowship meetings with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God flashed through my mind. I thought of how their fellowship was very enlightened and practical, and helped me understand many truths I hadn’t in the past, which was very beneficial for me. At the same time, as I lay in bed, the words of the pastors and elders, who told us not to listen to any words originating from the Church of Almighty God, echoed in my ears. I was upset, and I didn’t know who to listen to. In my confusion, I turned on my phone and went to the website I trust most, Wikipedia, to see how Wikipedia described The Church of Almighty God. When I saw on Wikipedia that The Church of Almighty God was founded by a certain Zhao, that it was a human organization rather than a church of God, as well as some alarming negative reports about The Church of Almighty God, I instantly became nervous, because I couldn’t help but recall my dark days in the pyramid scheme organization. I worried I would be deceived if I continued attending meetings with Brother Liu and the others, so I rid myself of any notion of continuing, and prepared to delete the contacts of my brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God. But just at the moment I was about to delete them, I began to recall my moments with them. They were upright and generous, they were very caring and patient, and I had great admiration for their character, what they lived out, and the way they talked. I never had a bad impression of them at all, so I hesitated. During this period, Brother Liu sent me several messages, as well as several movies and videos, but I didn’t watch them. Out of courtesy, I sent him a message, “Brother, please don’t send these things to me anymore.” He replied immediately, “Brother William, I hope only that you can investigate these things carefully before you decide. God doesn’t force anyone in His work, and I simply want to do my duties to the best of my abilities, both so that my conscience can be at ease, and to bear responsibility for the lives of my brothers and sisters.” Brother Liu’s words were very sincere, but they didn’t move me. I still believed what I read on Wikipedia, and I never answered his message. After considering it many times, I still decided to delete all the contacts of my brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God, and also to tell Sister Ella, who was investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days alongside me. But unexpectedly, Sister Ella said the Lord’s return is an important matter we must take seriously, and she persuaded me not to carelessly judge it or give up. She told me to pray more and seek the Lord’s guidance…. After listening to her, I felt very conflicted. “There is wisdom in what she said. Receiving the Lord’s coming truly is an important matter that can’t be treated carelessly. If Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, and I refuse to seek or investigate, won’t I miss the opportunity to receive the Lord? But the Wikipedia clearly says that The Church of Almighty God is a human organization. Just what is going on here?”
So I knelt down and prayed to the Lord to seek, “Lord! I am very confused right now. After hearing the sermons of, I now understand many mysteries and truths, and the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God live out a good humanity. But why does even the world’s most authoritative website, Wikipedia, say that Eastern Lightning is bad. Why does it say that The Church of Almighty God is a human organization, not a church of God? Lord! Is Eastern Lightning Your appearance and work? I fear that I have gone astray, and I ask for Your guidance.” After praying, I felt much calmer, but I still felt slightly unsettled, and so I did not continue to seek.
One day, on the way to church, a sister taking the same route told me a story, “A person who believed in the Lord asked God to save him in a time of crisis, so God arranged three chances for him to be saved, but he missed every one, because each time he told himself, ‘No. I’ve already prayed to the Lord. The Lord will save me.’ But in the end, after his death, he realized that God had arranged these three opportunities, and it was his own failure to seize them that led to his death.” Hearing that, I couldn’t help but think of my investigation into The Church of Almighty God. I was very touched, and thought, “Yes, I need to watch for opportunities given by the Lord, and seize them when they come!” When I arrived at church for my meeting, I again prayed to the Lord, asking for His guidance in whether I should continue to examine Almighty God’s work of the last days. But later, when I heard the sermon, the pastor told the same kind of story. I was shocked, and thought, “This is incredible! I’ve heard two people telling me the same type of story in one day, all to hint that I should seize opportunities. Is this the Lord using the things, matters, and people around me to tell me that I should examine the work of Almighty God? I am truly thankful to the Lord!” So, I decided to continue to seek and investigate Eastern Lightning.
Is The Church of Almighty God a Human Organization?
After that, I went online to find Brother Liu, told him about my confusion, and sought truth in this aspect from him.
He sent me a clip from the film Red Re-Education at Home, and said, “If we want to know whether The Church of Almighty God is a human organization or God’s church, watching this clip from the film will give us a better understanding.” I immediately clicked open the film, where I saw the protagonist Xiaoyi say, “So then tell me, who founded Christianity? Who founded Catholicism? Could it be Paul or Peter who then was the founder? Who founded Judaism? Could it be that it was Moses? Isn’t this all absurd? … Do you think Christianity or perhaps Catholicism was founded by man? Are these outfits of man? This is your greatest absurdity to date. Had the Lord Jesus not appeared to work, no one would have believed in or followed the Lord; there’d be no Christianity. Isn’t this the truth? How could the apostles ever have created a church on their own? Dad, based on people’s acceptance of the shepherding of Peter John and the other apostles, can you say that apostles founded Christianity and it’s an outfit of man? Dad, the appearance and work of Almighty God is what gave rise to The Church of Almighty God. People heard the voice of God in the many truths expressed by Almighty God, and returned before God and formed the church. After His appearance Almighty God, witnessed the man used by the Holy Spirit, The Church of Almighty God’s leader. As Moses was in the Age of Law and the apostles were in the Age of Grace, he is the man used by God, in order to do his duty, to water, shepherd, and lead the chosen people of God. … Had it not been the appearance of Almighty God, The Church of Almighty God wouldn’t be, it would not exist. This is an undeniable fact. … Christians of The Church of Almighty God pray to Almighty God. In congregation they communicate Almighty God’s words. … Those in The Church of Almighty God, believe in Almighty God. God’s chosen people obey the man who is used by the Holy Spirit according to Almighty God’s word. This is a fact.” Following that, the protagonist’s younger sister Xiaorui read a passage of Almighty God’s word, as well as one of Almighty God’s administrative decrees in the Age of Kingdom, “The work carried out by the one who is used by God is in order to cooperate with the work of Christ or the Holy Spirit. This man is raised up by God among man, he is there to lead all of God’s chosen ones, and he is also raised up by God in order to do the work of human cooperation. … He who is used by God, on the other hand, is someone who has been prepared by God, and who possesses a certain caliber, and has humanity. He has been prepared and made perfect in advance by the Holy Spirit, and is completely led by the Holy Spirit, and, particularly when it comes to his work, he is directed and commanded by the Holy Spirit—as a result of which there is no deviation on the path of leading God’s chosen ones, for God surely takes responsibility for His own work, and God does His own work at all time” (“Concerning God’s Use of Man” in).
“In work and matters of the church, apart from obeying God, in everything you should follow the instructions of the man who is used by the Holy Spirit. Even the slightest infraction is unacceptable. You must be absolute in your compliance, and must not analyze right or wrong; what’s right or wrong has nothing to do with you. You must only concern yourself with total obedience” (“The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After hearing the words of Almighty God, I felt that Xiaoyi was right. People do not have the ability to create churches by themselves. Church is produced entirely through God’s manifestation and work, while man only cooperates with God’s work and does the duty of created beings. We absolutely must not invoke the fact that God uses a particular person to lead a church to say that the church was established by this person, or that it is a human organization. Just as in the Old Testament Age of Law, God used Moses to lead the Israelites, yet no one claimed that the church was founded by Moses, and in the Age of Grace, after the Lord Jesus’ resurrection, Peter, John, and the other apostles led the church, but no one claimed that Catholicism and Christianity were created by the apostles. Today, in the Age of Kingdom, Almighty God’s manifestation and work has produced The Church of Almighty God. Almighty God’s words state clearly that the man used by the Holy Spirit is prepared by God, and that God raises up the man used by the Holy Spirit to lead God’s chosen people. Just as God raised up Moses in the Age of Law to lead the Israelites, we must not say that The Church of Almighty God was created by the man used by the Holy Spirit. This statement is completely wrong, and is nothing but a fallacy spread by the CCP. But why would the CCP spread rumors condemning The Church of Almighty God? This was very perplexing for me.