By Qianheng, Germany
In October 2014, I came to Germany to study. At first, I was full of confidence about fitting into life in a foreign country, but due to the language barrier and enormous study stress, gradually my original confidence faded away. Just when I was in my most depressed state, one of my classmates took me to a Chinese church. The brothers and sisters there greeted me very cordially, actively invited me to have meals with them, and blessed me, which made me feel very liberated from my worries. Afterward, I often attendedstudy meetings and Saturday worship, and thus became a Christian.
Gradually, I discovered that there was no illumination in the sermons preached by the pastor. Many of the believers were engaged in physical relationships with each other, and they ate snacks or chatted during meetings. Thus, I didn’t enjoy the meetings anymore. Meanwhile, the pastor and his wife often said that their spirit had withered long ago, that their lives hadn’t been renewed, and they didn’t know what to do. Besides, they didn’t have God-fearing hearts: When they spoke indulgently or saw some brothers or sisters do things not in line with, they didn’t take it seriously and said laughingly: “No big deal. The has forgiven all our sins.” The church also organized all kinds of activities and dinner parties which looked lively outwardly, but didn’t make me feel the presence of the Lord. Later, my spirit withered to a certain extent, and I couldn’t help but begin to live in the flesh again: I lost myself in online games.
In early 2017, I got acquainted with Sister Sun on the Internet. When talking with her, I found that she was someone who truly believes in God, because she could talk about God’s intentions in many matters, which brought me much help. One day, when we talked about our experiences of, I said embarrassedly: “I don’t know how to pray. The brothers and sisters can pray for a long time, while I can only utter a few prayers.” Then she said: “It doesn’t matter how many words there are in our prayer; what is key is whether or not our prayer is accepted by God.” Then she sent me a passage and told me: “It is about the practice of prayer. You should read it.” After quickly browsing it, I found that it wasn’t from the Bible. I thought maybe it was from another book, and then began to read: “What does it mean to truly pray? … Prayer is not a case of going through the formalities, or following procedure, or reciting the words of God, which is to say, prayer does not mean parroting words and copying others. In prayer, you must give your heart to God, sharing the words in your heart with God so that you may be touched by God. If your prayers are to be effective, then they must be based on your reading of God’s words. Only by praying amid God’s words will you be able to receive more enlightenment and illumination.” The more I read these words, the more I felt they were fresh and enlightening and could give me a path to follow; I was very inspired. I had never heard of such a way to pray, nor had I heard the pastor or elders say such things. I felt that there was no way that these words could have been spoken by a normal person. I thought: “Where did Sister Sun get this from? Is it really from a spiritual work?” Out of curiosity, I looked up the passage online, and found to my surprise that it was from The Church of Almighty God. I stared at the computer and felt shocked, remembering that some time ago the church had informed us about a sect named Eastern Lightning on the Internet, and that when we see it, we should block it. Unexpectedly, I was actually chatting with them, and didn’t know what to do. I became nervous, but felt that the passage sent by Sister Sun was really good, for it had pointed out the right ways of practice and given me clarity. And in my interactions with Sister Sun in the following days, she patiently helped me and told me how to practice to satisfy God in the matters I encountered. I felt she was really sincere, and that there was nothing wrong about her. The more I thought, the more confused I felt. “Is it because I have no discernment? No, I can’t blindly refuse her. I must figure this out”, I thought. So I said to Sister Sun, as if nothing had happened, “These teachings are very good. I like them very much.”
In the following days, all that Sister Sun fellowshiped with me about was our belief in God. When we talked about some problems, she would send me some relevant material, and patiently fellowship with me to help me understand it, which greatly benefited me. I felt that she had the work of the Holy Spirit. One day, I couldn’t help but ask her, “These passages sent by you are from The Church of Almighty God, aren’t they?” She answered, “Yes, they are.” And then I said, “I heard you bearing witness to the Lord Jesus’ return, but some people don’t believe it. So how can I confirm that theyou spread comes from God?” Sister Sun said, “If we want to distinguish whether or not anything comes from God’s work and words, and whether it is the true way, first, we should know that God’s work and words certainly achieve some practical results. If we learn about these, we will grasp the principles of discerning the true way from the false way, and thus we can tell the difference.” After that, Sister Sun shared a passage of Almighty God’s words with me: “In distinguishing whether or not it is the true way, above all you must look at whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit, after which you must look at whether or not there is the truth in this way. This truth is the life disposition of normal humanity, which is to say, that which was required of man when God created him in the beginning, namely, all of normal humanity (including human sense, insight, wisdom, and the basic knowledge of being man). That is, you need to look at whether or not this way takes man into a life of normal humanity, whether or not the truth that is spoken of is required according to the reality of normal humanity, whether or not this truth is practical and real, and whether or not it is most timely. If there is truth, then it is able to take man into normal and real experiences; man, furthermore, becomes ever more normal, man’s human sense becomes ever more complete, man’s life in the flesh and the spiritual life become ever more orderly, and man’s emotions become ever more normal. This is the second principle. There is one other principle, which is whether or not man has an increasing knowledge of God, whether or not experiencing such work and truth can inspire a love of God in him, and bring him ever closer to God. In this can be measured whether or not it is the true way. Most fundamental is whether this way is realistic rather than supernatural, and whether or not it is able to provide the life of man. If it conforms to these principles, the conclusion can be drawn that this way is the true way.”
Sister Sun then fellowshiped this, “Through the words of God, we know that whether something is the true way or not can be assessed from three aspects. First, we should discern whether there is the work of the Holy Spirit. The Lord Jesus’ work is from God. At that time, after seeing His authoritative and powerful words and work, many people followed Him. Finally, His work of redemption spread throughout the world. Similarly, today Almighty God’s work of the last days has not only spread all over Mainland China, but also expanded to all the nations of the world. And most importantly, after reading God’s words, His chosen people can throw off their weaknesses and increasingly have faith in God. This is the result achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit.” After hearing Sister Sun’s fellowship, I thought of the actual circumstances in our church: There was no illumination in the sermons preached by the pastor; the faith of the believers had grown cold; we all followed the flesh and the evil trends of the world in our daily lives. In order to rejuvenate the church, our church often organized all kinds of activities, but our problems didn’t improve at all. By contrast, in my interactions with Sister Sun those days, I no longer felt negative or weak. And, more importantly, after reading the words of Almighty God I also knew how to pray in a way that conforms to God’s will and began to have a heart that wanted to pursue. I could feel the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Sister Sun continued, “Second, we should look at whether or not the way has the truth, and whether it can bring change to our life dispositions. We all know that after being corrupted by Satan, we humans have been the servants of sin. The Lord Jesus’ work of redemption only redeemed us from the bindings of the law, but the sinful nature of us hasn’t changed. Today, God has returned in the flesh and is uttering millions of words, and is doing the work of judgment beginning with God’s house on the foundation of the redemption work of the Lord Jesus. Through reading God’s words and experiencing the judgment and chastisement of His words, we gradually come to know and have a real hatred of our own corrupt nature; our motivations and views concerning the belief in God gradually become cleansed and changed. And many videos of these true testimonies have been produced and released online: these are all facts visible to all. It can thus be seen that the truth expressed by Almighty God can really change us.
“Third, we should look at whether or not this stage of work can give us new knowledge of God. As we all know, we humans are incapable of penetrating the spiritual realm, so only when God Himself reveals His deeds to us can we come to know Him. It is just like in the Age of Law when Jehovah God proclaimed laws to guide the people’s lives. The people who complied with the laws had God’s protection and grace, and the people who broke the laws were struck down and accursed of God. From this, we have some knowledge of Jehovah’s disposition of majesty and wrath. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus was nailed to a cross in order to redeem mankind, from which we know His disposition of love and compassion. Today, through experiencing Almighty God’s work and His words, we know that God’s disposition is primarily righteous: When we obey God and revere God, He protects and cares for us in every situation; when we defy God and oppose God, He will immediately conceal Himself from us, and judge and refine us; when Satan’s evil forces disrupt and destroy God’s work, they will immediately be met with God’s fire and punishment. From God’s various works, we can see that He has different dispositions. He is not only merciful and kind, but even more so is holy and majestic. It is through reading Almighty God’s words and experiencing His work that we can have this understanding of God.”
After hearing the sister’s fellowship, I felt what she said was reasonable, and I also felt brightened in my heart. After grasping the principles of discerning the true way from the false way, I wasn’t afraid of being deceived anymore. Afterward, Sister Sun fellowshiped with me about the three stages of God’s work. Then I watched the various dance and song videos and gospel movies produced by The Church of Almighty God, which renewed my life and spirit. After many days of investigation, seeking, and fellowshiping in gatherings, I was sure that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. Thereupon, I joined The Church of Almighty God, and now live a church life with the brothers and sisters.
One day, the brothers and sisters from my original church invited me to attend a gospel camp. I thought I could take advantage of this opportunity to preach the gospel to them, and so I went there with them. The next day, I saw there were some books critical of other churches on a shelf, and when I opened one of them I saw some negative information about The Church of Almighty God. Before, I had heard some negative rumors, but at that time I was sucked in by Almighty God’s words during my investigation and never looked up the relevant information on the Internet. That day, when reading the information, I became flustered. Suddenly, I saw a piece of information: “When people believe in Almighty God, they will abandon their families.” At that time, I couldn’t help thinking: “The brothers and sisters from my original church are busy looking after their families, and sometimes even have no time to attend gatherings. Why do the people from The Church of Almighty God have so much time to preach the gospel? Have they really abandoned their families? But I feel they are the people who truly. It is impossible for them to do such things. The information on the Internet is not trustworthy.” At that time, I thought of a pastor I know who has a lot of prestige, Pastor Zhang. “He has believed in the Lord for many years and understands the teachings of the Lord, so he won’t tell lies to deceive me. If he reads the words of Almighty God, he can surely discern whether or not Almighty God is the Lord Jesus’ return.” Thereupon, I decided to consult Pastor Zhang.
After the gathering, I asked Pastor Zhang, “There is a church testifying to the Lord Jesus’ return. Do you know about it?” He said in astonishment, “You mean Eastern Lightning?” “Yes,” I said. “I feel Almighty God’s words are really good …” But before I completed my sentence, he quickly asked me, “Did you read their books?” I said, “Yes.” Unexpectedly, he stared at me with glaring eyes, saying, “What’s so good about them? They don’t have truth at all.” Then, he inculcated me with a lot of negative information about them. After I heard it, my heart felt as if it had been emptied, but I couldn’t completely believe what he said. Then I urgently said to him, “Many rumors are fabricated by the CCP.” But he said, “Although the CCP is good at making up lies and skewing facts, their condemnation of Eastern Lightning is believable. I feel you have been enthralled by the teachings of Eastern Lightning. So I advise you not to read their material anymore, or you will be left in a sorry state.” After saying this, he left, shaking his head. His expression threw me into a panic. I thought, “He has believed in the Lord his whole life, knows the Bible very well, and understands the teachings of the Lord. He wouldn’t lie to me.”