Seeing Through Rumors and Receiving the Returned Lord
By Hariza, Philippines
Two thousand years ago, when the Lord Jesus worked, the Pharisees fabricated many rumors about Him to deceive and confuse Jewish believers and prevent them from seeking the true way. Now, in the last days, Satan fabricates even more rumors about the returned Lord Jesus. Once, I was confused by Satan’s rumors, but fortunately, God’s word and timely guidance allowed me to see through Satan’s tricks, and I was finally able to receive the Lord’s return.
I was born into a Christian family, and was a Baptist. In September of 2018, I had the good fortune to come into contact with brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God, who testified to me that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, and also fellowshiped with me about things such as the mystery of God’s 6,000 year management plan, God’s three stages of work, and the mystery of God’s names, all of which were truths I hadn’t previously understood. When I saw that Almighty God’s word could open up all the mysteries of the Bible, that it had authority and power, and that it could resolve my confusion and difficulties regarding belief in God, I was interested in further seeking and investigating Almighty God’s work in the last days.
Later, my brothers and sisters gave me a copy of The Word Appears in the Flesh, and after reading a portion of it, the content was very attractive to me, so I looked up The Word Appears in the Flesh online. What I found was that the Internet was filled with comments and articles resisting and condemning The Church of Almighty God, and that the CCP had listed The Church of Almighty God as an evil cult. I worried about whether the church really was that way, but at the same time, I wondered whether these rumors online were actually reliable. After considering the matter for a time, I couldn’t make up my mind. I didn’t know whose words to trust, but I wanted to learn more about The Church of Almighty God. I spent two entire days researching online, and downloaded a PDF document, and saw many more rumors about the CCP’s condemnation of The Church of Almighty God. Seeing these things made me deeply worried that I was mistaken in my belief, so I decided for the moment to cut off contact with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God. Yet the thought of leaving their group made me sad, because I had been interacting with them for so long, and I had been aided by their fellowship. In the end, I didn’t immediately withdraw from the group, but I felt very weak, so I prayed to the Lord, “Lord, please guide me, help me discern what is correct. Lord, please protect me and preserve my ability to practice according to Your will….”
After I prayed, I felt much calmer, and I decided to go back online and communicate with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God to explain the doubts in my heart. So, I proactively contacted them and made an appointment.
After going online, I said to Brother Jeff, “I have investigated Almighty God’s work of the last days for some time now, and I feel that your fellowship has been very insightful and has benefitted me very much. But, online I read that the CCP has condemned The Church of Almighty God as an evil cult, and I feel too afraid to investigate any further, so I would like to understand the matter clearly. Would you be willing to fellowship with me about this?”
Brother Jeff said, “By condemning of The Church of Almighty God as an evil cult, the CCP is doing nothing but twisting the facts and overturning right and wrong. The label isn’t true at all. We all know that the CCP is an atheist political party, that it believes in evolution and materialism, that it promotes Marxism-Leninism, and that it doesn’t admit God’s existence. It is completely unqualified to condemn any religion or religious organization. I’ll send you a clip from the film Break Through the Snare to help you discern what are good religions and what are evil cults.”
Then, I saw that in the movie, the protagonist Jiang Guifang debates with her brother Jiang Guijun about the difference between good religions and evil cults:
Jiang Guifang says, “Guijun, sister, the government has labeled the Eastern Lightning as an illegal cult. This crackdown is severe. You can’t keep this up. You’ll be asking for trouble if you don’t stop.”
Jiang Guijun says, “Guifang, the CCP are atheists. No one opposes God or hates the truth more. They’ve designated all groups that believe in the true God as illegal cults. Also, they’ve openly labeled the Bible as a cult book. This is public knowledge. Don’t you already know this? Besides, we’ve suffered so much over the years, just for believing in Jesus. Many have been tortured to death or jailed, preachers and Christians all over. That’s not enough? How can you still believe the government’s rumors? How should a good religion be distinguished from cults? And a party shouldn’t decide that or politicians, without reason. And neither should a country or a constitution. A good religion is positive. It benefits mankind. But cults are negative and terrible things. They corrupt mankind. If people want to know if it’s a good religion or a cult, they should look at what it produces, whether it’s positive or negative. If it comes from God or God’s work, a church like that is the true way, a good religion. And what comes from Satan or the work of evil spirits, those are evil cults. The CCP is a satanic regime. It opposes God and hates the truth. The CCP is the real cult here. They aren’t qualified to comment on faith, much less qualified to condemn any groups or churches that believe in God.
“This satanic CCP regime suppresses the Eastern Lightning most severely. It just goes to show they fear the truth and hate God. For all these years, house and underground churches in this country have all been condemned and persecuted and hunted down too. Should we deny that Lord Jesus is the true God and the true way because of this hardship? Guifang, you’ve held this faith for years. Can’t you see it? The CCP distorts the facts and confuses black with white. That’s the very essence of Satan! Can you still not tell the difference between what’s a cult and what’s a good religion? Those that believe in the true God are good religions. Trusting false gods and Satan and believing in evil spirits, that’s what cults do. Cults advocate atheism, evolution and other such heresies and fallacies, all which deny and resist God. Right now, the CCP persecutes and attacks the Eastern Lightning most. The whole world sees what’s going on. If one can really see truth, then by looking at Satan’s regime what it opposes most and what it hates most, one will ascertain where the true way is found. The CCP hates the truth most. They fear people accepting the truth. That’s why they resist God so ferociously. In the last days, only Almighty God expresses the truth and saves man. It’s Almighty God alone who does the work of saving and purifying mankind. Isn’t what I’m saying a fact beyond doubt? From this, we can see why the CCP hates The Church of Almighty God so fiercely and resists God so. All who wait for the Lord should look around with open eyes and see who does the work of judgment in the last days!”
After watching the clip, I felt like I had been suddenly enlightened. I said to Brother Jeff, “After watching this clip, I deeply understand the real difference between good religions and evil cults. It turns out that good religions come from God, are produced because of God’s work, lead people toward the correct path of knowing God, and are beneficial to people. Evil cults, on the other hand, are those that believe in false gods, as well as organizations which promote evil fallacies such as atheism and evolution. Evil cults resist God’s work. Viewed like this, the CCP is actually an evil cult. It is an atheist government, and it fears that people will accept the truth expressed by God, so it condemns God’s work and persecutes all house churches and underground churches. The Church of Almighty God has suffered the worst persecution of all. I remember that my pastor is from China, and he often says China is an atheist country with no religious freedom, and that Christians are persecuted. This is a fact acknowledged by the entire world. And yet I believed what they said. The past few days I have been frightened by the CCP’s rumors. I was afraid I had taken the wrong path, and lived in torment. It seems I lack the truth, and lack discernment. What a shame! Thanks be to God, through watching the film and the help of my brothers and sisters, now I have discernment of good religions and evil cults, and I won’t believe the CCP’s rumors anymore. I’d still like to continue seeking and investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days.”
Brother Jeff happily said to me, “It’s wonderful that you can have this understanding. When Satan disturbs us, having the will to continue seeking the truth is entirely thanks to God’s guidance! When we are disturbed by these rumors, we not only need the ability to discern them, we also need to be able to see through Satan’s tricks behind them. Let’s read a passage of God’s word. Almighty God says, ‘God works, God cares for a person, looks upon a person, and Satan dogs His every step. Whoever God favors, Satan also watches, trailing along behind. If God wants this person, Satan would do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ways to tempt, harass and wreck the work God does in order to achieve its hidden objective. What is its objective? It does not want God to have anyone; it wants all those that God wants, to occupy them, control them, to take charge of them so they worship it, so they commit evil acts alongside it. Is this not Satan’s sinister motive?’
“In the last days, God comes incarnate a final time to do the work of judgment and purification to save us from the influence of Satan, and allow us to be able to completely betray Satan and return to God. But Satan doesn’t want us to accept God’s salvation, and hopes to permanently control us, so it uses all manner of rumors to disrupt and prevent us from investigating the true way, to produce doubts about God’s work within us, to make us betray God, and finally lose the chance to be fully saved. Sister, if we lack discernment of Satan’s tricks, when we see the CCP’s rumors that condemn God’s work of the last days, we begin to doubt God’s work, and we no longer dare to investigate. To do this is to fall for Satan’s scheme, and today we must see Satan’s evil intentions clearly and have discernment of spiritual battles to be able to reject Satan and not be fooled by it.”
After hearing Brother Jeff’s fellowship, I finally understood that Satan’s use of the CCP’s rumors to disturb me was a spiritual battle! I realized that when I saw these rumors, I didn’t see through Satan’s trick, and so I continued to read these rumors online for 3 days in a row, doubted God’s work, and wanted to cut off contact with my brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God, nearly causing me to betray God and lose my chance to be fully saved. I saw that Satan was truly sinister, that it used the spreading of these rumors to ruin my relationship with God and make me lose my opportunity to follow God. Thanks be to God for preserving me, and through Brother Jeff’s fellowship, allowing me to understand so much truth, which allowed me to have knowledge and understanding of the spiritual battle, and made me willing to stand witness and satisfy God. In the days that followed, I was determined to read more of God’s word and equip myself with more truth, and I decided that in spiritual battles to follow, I would stand firm and testify for God to humiliate Satan.
Seeing Through Rumors and Receiving the Returned Lord (II)
By Hariza, Philippines
But, because I lacked the truth and had no discernment of the CCP’s rumors, a new battle began …
One day, I read online about the May 28 Shandong McDonald’s murder case, and after reading the reports, I had no way to calm myself, because I saw that it had been publicly reported in all major CCP media outlets, and the trial and verdict were also public. After reading so many news reports, I thought, “Is this McDonald’s murder case real or false?” I instantly became trapped in confusion, and the idea that I was mistaken in my beliefs again surfaced in my heart. I thought I should stop my online meetings for the moment, but also thought, “I’ve heard the sermons of my brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God and think they’re very good. They are very beneficial to me, and the brothers and sisters themselves are very friendly, not at all like the reports online. Could these sayings online be meant to frame The Church of Almighty God?” After wrestling with the question, I decided to contact Sister Bella, who attended meetings with me, and ask her for clarification.
One evening, I told her about my confusion after I went online, and she said to me, “Sister, it’s a good thing that you can speak about the things that confuse you. Whether or not the McDonald’s murder case is factual isn’t something we can determine from the CCP news media, because China’s news media is the CCP’s mouthpiece, and all it does is meant to protect the CCP’s political power. Let’s watch a movie clip, and then you’ll understand the truth of the matter.”
This movie, called Deadly Ignorance, tells the story of how the protagonist, in the process of investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days, reads about the McDonald’s murder case online, becomes disturbed, and no longer wishes to investigate. But, after hearing fellowship from the sisters in The Church of Almighty God, he changes his mind. This film deeply moved me, to the point of tears. One passage of fellowship in the film that was particularly helpful for me, spoken by a missionary, is, “In the Shandong Zhaoyuan trial, the suspect clearly said in court, ‘I never had contact with The Church of Almighty God.’ They deny being members of The Church of Almighty God. They don’t have anything to do with the Church. So why did the CCP judges go against the facts and convict the suspects of being members of The Church of Almighty God? Weren’t they intentionally twisting the facts and framing the innocent to ruin the name of the Church? … More than that, if members of The Church of Almighty God did wicked deeds, is that related to Almighty God’s appearance and work? Is that related to The Church of Almighty God? If a Catholic breaks the law, what does that have to do with Catholicism? If a Christian breaks the law, what does that have to do with Christianity? No matter what crime a believer in any religion commits, or what legal punishment he receives, it has nothing to do with his religion. If a Christian breaks the law, it has nothing to do with the fact that God is the truth. This is an indisputable fact. … So how can you suspect, because of the Shandong Zhaoyuan case and CCP’s rumors and lies, that Almighty God’s words aren’t the truth and that Eastern Lightning isn’t the true way? Isn’t that foolish and ignorant?”
By this point, my heart was overcome by the truth. The villain behind the McDonald’s murder was none other than the CCP. It was a false case entirely fabricated by the CCP to slander, frame, and libel The Church of Almighty God. It used the case as an excuse to intensify its persecution of The Church of Almighty God, and they also wanted people to fear the mere mention of The Church of Almighty God and not dare to believe in Almighty God. The CCP is truly despicable. My view of things also changed, in that I saw that a person’s wicked deeds have nothing to do with his or her religion, so I could no longer hold views about The Church of Almighty God based on any one person’s actions, nor could I doubt God’s work because of matters reported in the CCP media.
I continued watching, and a passage of God’s word and the fellowship which followed gave me a path. Almighty God says, “To study such a thing is not difficult, but requires each of us to know this truth: He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the substance of God, and He who is God’s incarnation shall hold the expression of God. Since God becomes flesh, He shall bring forth the work He must do, and since God becomes flesh, He shall express what He is, and shall be able to bring the truth to man, bestow life upon man, and show man the way. Flesh that does not contain the substance of God is surely not the incarnate God; of this there is no doubt. To investigate whether it is God’s incarnate flesh, man must determine this from the disposition He expresses and the words He speaks. Which is to say, whether or not it is God’s incarnate flesh, and whether or not it is the true way, must be judged from His substance. And so, in determining whether it is the flesh of God incarnate, the key is to pay attention to His substance (His work, His words, His disposition, and many more), rather than external appearance. If man sees only His external appearance, and overlooks His substance, then that shows the ignorance and naivety of man.”
The missionary in the film said, “Now that we’ve read God’s word, do you all have a path for investigating the true way? The most basic, fundamental thing in investigating the true way is to look at whether this way has the truth, whether it has the voice of God and the work of the Holy Spirit. This is the most important principle in investigating the true way. God is the truth, the way, and the life, and God’s words are eternally unchanging truth. So, no matter how the forces of Satan and evil spin rumors to defame and accuse God’s work, once we determine it is the truth and the voice and words of God, no rumors or fallacies should be able to deceive or disturb us, and we should accept and follow God without doubt or regret. It’s just like when the Lord Jesus appeared and worked. The Jewish religious leaders invented many rumors. They denied the Lord Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit, accused Him of speaking blasphemy, profaned the Lord Jesus by accusing Him of casting out demons by the prince of demons, and more. But no matter how they judged and accused Him, the Lord Jesus was the Christ and the Savior, and that was a fact no one could deny. Those who loved the truth and yearned for the appearance of God listened only to God’s voice, and they determined that the Lord Jesus expressed the truth, so they weren’t deceived by Satan’s rumors or fallacies at all. They steadfastly followed the Lord Jesus and gained the Lord’s salvation. So, as we investigate the true way, we should focus only on listening for God’s voice and determining whether it is the truth, and that is enough.”
After watching that, I finally saw my own ignorance. I hadn’t based my investigation of God’s work in the last days on God’s word. Instead, I had read satanic rumors, which lead me to be confused, to suffer, and to be tormented. I truly was ignorant! I hadn’t gone before God to seek the truth, and didn’t view matters from the perspective of truth, I had none of my own opinions in the face of these rumors, and I allowed myself to be swayed by these satanic rumors that seem true, but aren’t. I truly saw my own ignorance. Thanks be to God’s love for using the passages of God’s word and fellowship in this film to again allow me to see through these satanic rumors, and to be willing to continue reading Almighty God’s word.
After experiencing the disturbance of these rumors, I saw that I had too little faith in God. The moment I was tempted, I began to doubt God. I felt deeply guilty toward God. At the same time, after experiencing the disturbance of these rumors, I saw more clearly the demonic essence of the CCP. In Almighty God’s word, I read, “Such a king of devils it is! How could we tolerate its existence? It will not rest until it has disturbed the work of God and left it in tatters and a complete shambles, as if it wants to oppose God until the end, until either the fish dies or the net breaks. It deliberately opposes God and moves ever closer. Its odious face has long ago been completely unmasked and is now bruised and battered, in a terrible plight, yet it does not relent in its hatred of God, as if it wishes it could devour God entirely at one mouthful to relieve the hatred in its heart. How could we tolerate it, this hated enemy of God! … This gang of scoundrels has come among men and caused utter unrest and turmoil. They have brought all men to the edge of a precipice, secretly planning to shove them down to be dashed to pieces and devour their corpses. They vainly hope to disrupt God’s plan and compete with God in a long-shot gamble. That is by no means easy!”
God’s word clearly tells us that Satan always tried to disrupt His work, that it uses all kinds of rumors to deceive people, and that its purpose is to make people refuse to accept God’s work of the last days, and thereby lose God’s salvation. Today, God’s word completely exposes the evil face of the CCP’s resistance to God. Ever since Almighty God’s work of the last days began to spread in the Chinese mainland, the CCP has used all variety of methods to persecute the church. It also fabricates lies to influence public opinion, as well as libels and slanders The Church of Almighty God, and the McDonald’s murder case is just another method it uses to do so. Its sinister purpose is to use it as an excuse to ban the church, which even more exposes the CCP’s essence as an enemy of God. I can never again listen to these satanic lies and fallacies! After that, I more fervently read Almighty God’s word, I benefitted much, I determined that Almighty God’s word is the truth, and I believed from the heart that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus.
I think of how many people today lack penetration of the CCP’s essence, are deceived by its rumors, and don’t dare to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days, and I realize I was one of their victims. But God never abandoned me, and orchestrated so many brothers and sisters to fellowship on His words and aid me, which finally gave me discernment of the CCP’s sinister intentions and despicable methods. All of this was God preserving me and preventing me from being taken by Satan. Now, I often meet with my brothers and sisters to read God’s word, and I practice according to God’s word in my life, allowing God’s words to guide me at all times, and I feel an immense sense of spiritual release. Thanks be to God!
1. “A complete shambles” refers to how the devil’s violent behavior is unbearable to see.
2. “Bruised and battered” refers to the ugly face of the king of devils.
3. “A long-shot gamble” is a metaphor for the devil’s insidious, sinister schemes. It is used mockingly.