By Hua Ting
Not long past the break of dawn, Yu Mei had already ridden an electric bicycle on the road in the suburbs.
The Mid-autumn Festival was around the corner. The cool wind blew into her face, occasionally with fragrance of osmanthus. However, Yu Mei who was in a hurry had no mood to enjoy the beautiful scene. Several days ago, the notice about suppressing Eastern Lightning was posted on the bulletin board in her inhabitant plot. And, the pastors and elders also sent her the booklets and CDs against Eastern Lightning when she attended a meeting. At the thought of the situation where the CCP government and the religious world boycotted Eastern Lightning, she couldn’t help getting a chill, because she knew that her brother and sister-in-law were believers of Eastern Lightning. What should she do if they were arrested? Therefore, she went to try and get them to abandon their faith.
On arriving at their threshold and seeing the door open, Yu Mei directly rode into the courtyard. At that moment, her mother was trimming the peanuts in the courtyard. Then they greeted each other. Yu Mei looked around but didn’t see her brother and sister-in-law. She asked anxiously, “Where is my brother?”
“Your brother and sister-in-law went to that field in the southern ditch to break off corn cobs. You know, the way to that field is so uneven that the reaping machine can’t get in. We have to do it with our own hands, but it’s nearly done.”
“Mom, I have something to talk with my brother. I’m gonna look for him.”
“Why not take a rest and have some tea before you leave?” Seeing she had already been out of the door, her mother had to shout at her, “Slow down!”
“OK, mom, see you later.”
Arriving on the shoulder of the field, Yu Mei called aloud to her brother, Yu Chong, and her sister-in-law, Jingsi. Then they came out of the field. Taking a sack on the shoulder of the field, Yu Mei began to help. After thinking for a moment, Yu Mei said, “Brother and sister, the CCP government has been condemning and attacking Eastern Lightning severely. The government’s persecution of Eastern Lightning is crueler than with other churches. Don’t believe in it any more! Or else, you will be arrested anytime. Isn’t this asking for trouble?”
Upon hearing what she said, Yu Chong put down the corns in his hands and said to her seriously, “Mei, the CCP is an atheist party. No one opposes God or hates the truth more. So they labeled all the religious groups that believe in the true God as evil cults and theas an evil cult book. Everybody knows this fact. Don’t you know this? Moreover, haven’t we suffered enough persecution for believing in the Lord? Have there not been enough preachers and Christians persecuted to death and imprisoned by them? How can you still believe the rumors of the CCP government? When it comes to differentiating between cults and good religions, it can’t be differentiated by some political party or person, and it also can’t be based on some national constitution or country. A good religion is regarded as positive thing which is beneficial to human, while cults are regarded as negative things that corrupt mankind. We should determine whether a church is a good religion or an evil cult depending on whether it is a positive or negative thing. If the church comes from God and is formed from God’s work, it is the true way and good religion. To the contrary, if it is from Satan and the work of evil spirits, it is regarded as an evil cult. The Communist Party which was established by Marx, a devotee of Satan, is a satanic regime that most resists God and hates the truth. What qualifications do they have to comment on belief in God or condemn any group with religious beliefs?
Without any words to say, Yu Mei had to break off the corn cobs bowing her head silently.
Her sister-in-law broke off corn cobs and said at the same time, “The CCP government’s crackdown of Eastern Lightning is most severe, most outrageous. This is enough to prove that the CCP government fears the truth and despises God the most. Over these years, Chinese house churches have been condemned and persecuted by the CCP government. Should we deny that theis the incarnate because of this? Mei, you have believed in the Lord for many years. Can’t you see through this matter? The CCP has always twisted the truth and inverted right and wrong. Can you still not differentiate between a good religion and an evil cult? All churches that believe in the true God are good religions. All those that follow false gods, evil spirits, or Satan the devil are all evil cults. All those that advocate God-denying, God-resisting heresies such as atheism and evolution are all evil cults. Now Eastern Lightning is what is being most furiously condemned and cracked down on by the CCP. The whole world can see this very clearly. If we really can distinguish, we can be certain what is the true way from seeing what this satanic regime most opposes and despises. The CCP most loathes the truth and most fears people accepting the truth. That is why it is so furiously resisting God. In the last days, only Almighty God is expressing truths to save mankind, and only Almighty God is doing the work of saving and purifying mankind. Is this not a fact? This way, we can see why the CCP most loathes the Church of Almighty God.”
Yu Mei broke off a core corn, blinking her eyes. As if she thought of something, she said urgently, “Brother, the CCP government is indeed God-resisting and is of Satan. But the CCP government said that those who reject Eastern Lightning will have their ears cut and their eyes gouged. Is that not strong enough to suggest that the CAG has done wrong?”
Yu Chong stopped breaking off corn cobs again and said with indignant, standing uprightly, “There are churches and believers belonging to the Church of Almighty God everywhere. If what they say were true, how many people in China would have their ears cut and eyes gouged? There would be hundreds of thousands or millions! However, until today, have they found one case of that? If there were really one, wouldn’t the CCP government and the media under its control spread it all around the world? This is enough to prove that what the CCP government says is nothing but lies and rumors. All false accusations! What the CCP says isn’t trustworthy at all! It’s clear. You know much too little about the CCP government. Even now you haven’t seen through its true substance. It is Satan the devil! It’s God’s enemy. As a long-time believer, you can’t see through this. So blind you are. You are too undiscriminating.”
Yu Mei got what her brother said and felt that she was indeed foolish. She thought: As a believer in God, I can’t even see through the substance of the atheist CCP’s being hostile to God. Am I too foolish? The CCP has been resisting and condemning God’s church. If Eastern Lightning really comes from the work of the returned Lord Jesus, it must be resisted furiously by the atheist CCP. This is inevitable. Yet I still believe the rumors with which the CCP condemns and resists Eastern Lightning. It turns out that I indeed can’t discriminate the CCP though having believed in the Lord. She verified in her heart that she had been deceived by the CCP’s rumors indeed and what the CCP said was really untrustworthy. But she didn’t know why the pastors and leaders in religious circles also said such words. Hence, she retorted, “I accept that what the CCP says is untrustworthy. But the pastors and elders in the religious world say the same. Why is this? The pastors and elders are the ones who have served God for many years. We’ve got to listen to them.”
Frowning, Yu Chong said, “Pastors and elders also said the same things? Why didn’t you ask them then: Do you have any evidence? Have you ever seen someone who refused to accept Eastern Lightning had his legs broken or his ears cut off? Have you seen it even once? Did that ever happen? We believers in God should speak based on the facts and be responsible for what we say. Show us one who had his ears cut off, his eyes gouged and his legs broken because of rejecting Eastern Lightning as the evidence. If you can’t find a single example, you are just telling lies. You’re just devils! Deceivers!”
Yu Chong looked agitated. At the same time, his wife became severe and said, “That’s true. Mei, you should ask them: Do you have evidence or basis of your words? If they don’t have evidence, they’re liars. The Lord Jesus said the liars come from the devil.”
At that time, deflating, Yu Mei explained in a low voice, “Pastors and elders are all those who serve God. I believe they dare not disobey God’s commandments to fabricate rumors against Eastern Lightning. Because testifying falsely against others is what God hates most and an act cursed by God. No one knows this better than them.”
Yu Chong was worried about her being blinded, frowning and saying, “Mei, we believers in the Lord should have faith in His word. Only His word is truth. We should be cautious about man’s word. And we should check first whether it is in accordance with the facts and the truth. Think back to those Jewish chief priests and Pharisees. Weren’t they religious leaders too? In man’s eyes, they were also serving God. They knew clearly that they shouldn’t bear false witness. But when the Lord Jesus came to do work, for the sake of protecting their own status and livelihoods, they fabricated rumors, framed and condemned Him. They nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross. Isn’t that a fact? And after He was resurrected, they clearly knew He was God, yet still bribed the guard to lie and cover up the fact of His resurrection. As for all those Jewish commoners, isn’t it because they believed in the religious leaders that they were deceived to condemn and reject the Lord Jesus? As a result, even now most don’t believe in the Lord Jesus in Israel. Don’t you know that? Mei, until we corrupt mankind gain the truth, no one is trustworthy. In the evil world we inhabit, everybody tells lies. Our hearts are too cunning, and our mouths are full of lies. This is a fact. Think about it. Is there any evidence in the pastors and elders’ condemning of Almighty God? Their rhetoric also matches the CCP’s and they cooperate to condemn God’s work in the last days to hinder our return, thus controlling God’s sheep in their hands tightly. This is the same as those Jewish leaders. Isn’t their condemnation of the Lord Jesus the same?”
Her sister-in-law also said, “Mei, the Lord Jesus told us: ‘But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil’ (Mat 5:37). We believers in God should never believe hearsay and follow along with the herd. We should speak according to the truth and facts. Especially, with regard to the Lord’s return and His work of the last days, we should even more have a heart that reveres God and shouldn’t just blindly echo others’ judgments and lies. Or else, we’ll become ones who condemn and blaspheme God.”
Hearing what her brother and sister-in-law said, Yu Mei pondered for a while and nodded in assent. But she still had a sense of misgiving. Because under such kind of environment, those who believed in Eastern Lightning had to suffer the condemnation and persecution from the atheist CCP and the pastors and elders in the religious world, even to risk their lives. She naturally felt some weak and fearful.
Seeing her concern, Yu Chong continued to advise, “Mei, don’t we suffer such persecution for following the Lord Jesus? And the Lord Jesus once said, ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Mat 5:10). Think about the saints of times past. Haven’t they suffered persecution? So many saints have been martyred, such as Stephen’s being stoned to death, James’ being beheaded, Peter’s being crucified upside down. They’d rather die than deny the true way. Aren’t these witnesses? The Lord Jesus also said, ‘And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell’ (Mat 10:28). It was prophesied in the Book of Revelation, ‘But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and fornicators, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone’ (Rev 21:8). Mei, if we dare not accept the true way because of the crackdown from the atheistic CCP government and the condemnation from the pastors and elders in the religious world, won’t we become ones who reject God? If we are too fearful to accept the true way, can we? And can we be approved by the Lord? Why do you fear only people but not God? Don’t you know the serious consequence of resisting and rejecting God? Mei, we should calm down and think it over carefully. We have been expecting the return of the Lord. Now the Lord has really returned; however, we are too afraid to welcome the Lord as a consequence of listening to the rumors. Are we foolish or smart? The Lord Jesus has returned to do the work of judging and purifying man. Only by accepting Almighty God’s work in the last days, can we be cleansed and receive God’s blessings and promises. The harsh environment most reveals people …”
In the evening, Yu Mei headed on the way home toward the sunset. Recalling the words of her brother and sister-in-law, she verified in her heart that these words were very insightful, and were from the guidance and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, no one could understand these things so thoroughly. She looked up, lost in thought, thinking of the persecution from the CCP government and the resistance from the religious world.… Suddenly, she found that the rumors and judgments were like a snare, and she had been trapped tightly in it.
If she broke through the snare and got out, would she meet another new world? As she looked at the sunset, a decision came to her …