I was a believer of the Head Covering Church. One day in 2008, Sister Li in my church paid a call on me. She sang a hymn “Follow Closely,” “… The kingdom exercise is led by God; all His people are joyful in heart. …” I felt so good about this song, for it was the most pleasant song I had ever heard. She said to me, “Sister, the who we have long yearned for has come back and become flesh descending in China to do His work in a hidden way. This fulfills the very prophecies in the , ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6) and ‘Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame’ (Revelation 16:15) and the Lord God said, ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty’ (Revelation 1:8). Sister, we know the Lord Jesus prophesied He would descend in secret to save us. Now the prophecies are totally fulfilled. Today, Almighty God is the coming of the Lord Jesus. He has expressed all the truth of judging and purifying man.” Sister Li also read several pieces of God’s words to me, “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’,” “The Two Incarnations Complete the Significance of the Incarnation,” and “Only of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life.” I felt that these words are extraordinary, possessing power and authority. I expressed my willingness to seek and investigate carefully. Later, Sister Li often came to my home and read God’s words to me. After a period of seeking and investigation, I was fully convinced that all that Almighty God proclaims is the truth and God’s utterance. Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. So I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days happily.
After accepting the , I wanted to tell the great news to the brothers and sisters in my former church. The first that came to my mind was one intimate old sister. I had not expected that she told her daughter-in-law the news after I informed her. As a result, all the brothers and sisters in the place where I attended meetings knew that I had accepted Almighty God. Later, the leaders in the church Huang XX, Zhang XX and Xu XX went to my home to disturb me. Fortunately, I happened to go out for something that day. My son was at home. So they asked him where I had gone but my son told them he had no idea. I did not pay any attention to it when I went back home and was apprised of their coming by my son. The second day, they three again came to my home but I was absent. They then asked my son whether or not someone had been to our home recently. Looking at their fierce look, my son was unclear about what had happened. He just told them two young people had visited me. They then left. After I returned home and heard the situation, I began to worry that they might carry out schemes behind their back. For the leaders always told us in their sermons, “Don’t be in the least bit lenient toward the people from the Eastern Lightning once you see them. You can never crack down on them too much. We are defending the Lord’s way….” What if Sister Li gets caught by them? Will they beat her? … The more I thought about it, the more scared I became. No, I should inform Sister Li immediately, telling her not to come to me for the time being to avoid being harmed by them. When I arrived at Sister Li’s home, she communicated with me, “Sister Zhao, the One we believe in is the true God, is almighty. Fear not them. Pray more when something comes along and beg God to lead us. He will give us wisdom. Ever since God did His work in the flesh, the antichrists in the religious world have been disturbing and impairing God’s work. Regardless, His work has not been hindered in the least, but has revealed those hypocritical Pharisees, thereby making us have true discernment about the so-called leaders and clearly see whether they are good servants or evil servants. You can go back first. Let’s pray to God together. I believe that God will surely open up a way out for us. It is no need to be afraid of them, for God is our strongest supporter.” I nodded. Still, I went back with an uneasy heart.
Two days later, Huang XX, Zhang XX and Xu XX came to my home for the third time. That night, I was at home alone. They exerted their strength to push the door and found me at home. Looking at them staring with glaring eyes, I was trembling with fear by their battle formation. I therefore prayed silently to God and asked Him to give me strength and confidence and grant me with the words I should speak so that I wouldn’t be disturbed by them. At that time, Xu XX pointed her finger at the tip of my nose, saying fiercely, “Xiaozhao, where have you been these days? We have come several times but couldn’t see you. You seemed rushed off your feet recently. Where have you been today? Go! Come with us now. Put on your cap. Follow us to the church to repent and confess to the Lord.” Before I reacted, they all talked at once, saying that I had followed the Eastern Lightning, that I had believed in heresy and betrayed the Lord, and forced me to hand the books over. I was bombarded with defamation so that I couldn’t get a word in edgeways. I became so anxious that I didn’t know how to offer my to God. All I could do was pray silently to God and ask Him to protect my heart. Gradually my heart settled. I said, “How could the Eastern Lightning be heresy? The Lord Jesus has prophesied, when He comes back, ‘For as the lightning comes out of the east, and shines even to the west; so shall also the coming of be’ (Matthew 24:27). Could it be that you dare to deny the words of the Lord Jesus?” Hearing me say this, they became purple with rage, saying blasphemy against God. I spoke to them, “You are leaders with much more knowledge than me. You all know that the Lord Jesus has said, ‘All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven to men’ (Matthew 12:31). Today I have followed God’s new work. Almighty God is the coming of the Lord Jesus. You blaspheme God so much, and you’ll reap no good fruit.” Upon hearing these words, Huang XX gave a tight slap on her thigh and said to Zhang XX, “Come on! Move on! Find a way to get her to the church. She is terrifying that she actually teaches us with the Bible.” Then My two arms were pulled by Xu XX and Zhang XX separately. They were keeping on blaspheming God while pulling me. I prayed to God in my heart unceasingly, “Almighty God! They are driving me and dragging me to the church. They will definitely force me to blaspheme You. O God, please give me strength. I can’t go with them.” After finishing my prayer, I was much calmer. Moreover, I also saw God’s deeds: Not only was I not budged regardless of how hard they tried but also left them huffing and puffing with exhaustion. Huang XX ground her teeth with anger, saying, “If you don’t repent with us today, you will be chased out tomorrow and abandoned by all the brothers and sisters.” Then they three walked off in a huff.
The second day fell on the meeting time in the religious church. I thought: What about going there for a meeting? What if I am dismissed by the church and abandoned by my brothers and sisters? Thinking of that, I pedaled my bicycle to the meeting place. I fell off my bike before I went far. My hands hit the ground hard and then I had a great fall. I thought: All is over. Are my arms broken in the fall? I stood up and shook my hands, feeling no pain. At this point I had an awakening, and realized that God was preventing me from going to the religious church. I then went back home. Thanks to God’s arrangement. Not long after I arrived home, Sister Li came on purpose to see me because of her concern about me. When I saw she risked dangers of being beaten or scolded or reported to the police by the religious people, I was moved profoundly. Then I told her the full account of the affair. She comforted me and said, “Thanks be to God! This is really God’s protection to you. Also, it is the battle in the spiritual world. Where there is the work of God, there is Satan’s disturbance. Let’s read a passage of God’s words, ‘In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle’ (‘Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words show us that these kinds of things we encountered involve the battle in the spiritual realm. For instance, when Job was tried, his wife advised him to deny and curse God. It appeared to be interactions between people but actually concerned God’s witness, which is very important to God and Job. When man accepts Almighty God’s work in the last days, Satan doesn’t want him to follow God and walk the right path. Then it uses religious leaders to disturb and threaten man so as to cause him anxious and distracted and to waver back and forth, losing witness before God. In order to stand witness for God, we should first know God’s work, have discernment of how Satan deceives and corrupts man. For Satan is evil. All it does is use some methods and ways or some nice words to deceive man. Its essence is disrupting God’s work and hindering man from investigating the true way. These are Satan’s trick and purpose. Whereas God expresses the truth for man to see through Satan’s schemes, seek the truth and stand testimony. Meanwhile, God cares for man’s childlike stature and He couldn’t bear to see man devoured by Satan. Therefore, He gave you a minor discipline to prevent you from going back to the religious church and doing something disobedient and resistant to God because of being deceived by religious leaders.” Her fellowship gave me more recognition of God’s earnest intentions. God could not bear to see me go back to Satan’s camp and be trodden on by Satan. He allowed me to follow Him steadfastly and accept His salvation. At that point, my eyes were full of tears due to excitement. That was so close! If I were not stopped by God timely, I probably would have fallen under Satan’s grasp. This experience further showed that Almighty God is the true God. I could not offend God and I would stand witness for Him.
Then, she read another passage of God’s words, “Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the , they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of ‘robust flesh,’ how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour?” (“All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through Almighty God’s words and the sister’s communications, I saw through the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. They usually preached biblical knowledge and theology on the podium and only paid the lip service. However, when the Lord comes to do His new work, they refused to seek and investigate. Moreover, they controlled and persecuted the believers on account of seeking and accepting the true way. They behaved like the Pharisees who persecuted the Lord Jesus at that time, hindered and imprisoned the Jewish people and made them to be in enmity to God for their position and livelihoods, causing man to lose God’s salvation. I was willing to reject them. No matter how they disrupted me, I would always stand by God’s side and stand witness for Him.
Several days later, when they saw me not turning around but keeping on believing in Almighty God, Zhang XX and Huang XX came to my home again to get close to me with emotion. Zhang XX said to me, “It was me that brought you before the Lord. We were intimate sisters. But now you have actually believed in the Eastern Lightning and betrayed the Lord. You are truly without conscience!” I said, “Sister Zhang, the Lord’s return is a great matter and you know the Bible well. You’d better investigate it.” She responded with a long face, “Today, I give you the last chance, but you spread the Eastern Lightning to me in turn. Again, you’d better come and repent to the Lord before it is too late. If you insist on believing in the Eastern Lightning, it will have nothing to do with us when disasters befall you. Don’t blame us for not reminding you then.” Afterward, they pushed me to kneel down to confess to the Lord, and even forced me to say blasphemy against God with them. Seeing that I didn’t listen to them, they blasphemed God again. I said to them, “You are believers in God and are also preachers. You all know that the outcome of the priests, scribes, and Pharisees in Judaism for crucifying the Lord Jesus on the cross. They were cursed by God for condemning and blaspheming God. It is right and proper for man to accept God’s work and follow God to walk on the right path. Nobody has the right to interfere in it. All those who hinder man from accepting the true way are the Pharisees, and their end is obvious.” Upon hearing these, Huang XX jumped to her feet, and bellowed to me, “I know more than you for I have read the Bible for so many years. Look out for yourself.” After saying these words, they left with their tails between their legs. Thank God for giving me confidence and strength and keeping me not violating His will. Later, the church really dismissed me and informed all the brothers and sisters to abandon me. Yet I did not feel sad but very calm for I have followed God’s footsteps and met the coming of the Lord. Every day, I read the words expressed by God and feel sweet beyond compare in my heart. I praise Him aloud at the bottom of my heart. From then on, the religious leaders never came to disturb me. I realize that it is God’s care and keeping. Soon, I begin to perform my duty within my capability in the Church of Almighty God. Every day is fulfilling and happy. All the glory be to Almighty God!