Who Are Stumbling Blocks on the Path to the Heavenly Kingdom?
By Xiaoling, Italy
In February 2018, the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God testified to me of God’s work of the last days, and also communicated to me about the inside story and background of God’s three-stage work, and the mystery behind God’s name. I gained more from their communion than I did in all the ten years I believed in the Lord. So I decided to investigate the work of Almighty God. But unexpectedly, a spiritual war erupted …
After hearing that I was studying Almighty God’s work, the pastor and his wife started to question and disturb me.
After learning that I was examining the work of Almighty God, my husband told that to the sisters in our Bible study class, and he also threatened me, saying, “If you keep on investigating, I’ll tell it to the pastor’s wife ( It’s an unwritten rule of our church. If brothers are weak, the pastor will go to see them; if sisters have problems, the pastor’s wife will go to resolve them).” I thought, “My seeking the true way is my business. It has nothing to do with anyone else. If you don’t want to seek, that’s fine, but at least don’t prevent me from seeking.”
The day after was Sunday and I went to our church early as usual. As soon as I entered the side hall, one of my co-workers told me that the pastor was looking for me. After we met, with a stern expression on his face, the pastor questioned me, saying, “Who have you been interacting with? Where do they live?” At that time, the pastor’s wife and my co-workers also came, and the pastor’s wife then asked, “What did they talk with you?” They kept on asking me who preached the gospel of Almighty God to me as if they were interrogating a criminal, and they also said, “If you convert to Eastern Lightning, you’ll be expelled from the church.” Hearing all this, I felt oppressed: Why are the pastor and his wife trying to obstruct me from investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days? Sitting in the church hall, I prayed to God with tears in my eyes, “God! Now both the pastor and his wife are trying to stop me, so I’m very weak. God, may You help me stand firm in my position and lead me to act according to Your intentions. Amen!” After the prayer, my heart became somewhat peaceful.
One Sunday evening shortly after 8 p.m., when my family and I were about to have dinner, the pastor’s wife and 4 or 5 co-workers came to my house. After they sat down, the pastor’s wife smiled and said, “Xiaoling, why haven’t you gone to our church recently? Are you still investigating Eastern Lightning? We’ve believed in the Lord Jesus for generations, so how could you believe in Almighty God? If you don’t believe in the name of the Lord Jesus, you’ll be shut outside the kingdom of heaven.”
I said to her, “Actually, God’s name changes along with His work. In the Age of Law, God’s name was Jehovah; in the Age of Grace, God’s name was Jesus, and the Book of Revelation prophesied that in the last days God would have yet another new name. Just as the Bible says, ‘To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it’ (Revelation 2:17). ‘LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come’ (Revelation 4:8). God’s new name prophesied in the Book of Revelation is the Almighty, namely, Almighty God. So, Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus.”
After hearing me say this, they looked at each other and then the pastor’s wife said in surprise, “Where did you hear that? Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus? How could it be possible?”
I replied, “This is recorded in the Scriptures, and also is the mystery opened up by the Lord’s work of the last days. Recently, through reading Almighty God’s words, I’ve gained some understanding of God’s work and will. My heart really is brightened. Almighty God’s work and words fulfill the prophecies in Revelation, ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2–3). If we want to welcome the Lord’s return, we should read Almighty God’s word more and listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit.”
However, they simply did not listen to anything I said. The pastor’s wife said, “Galatians 1:6–8 say, ‘I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ to another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed.’ All those who depart from the Lord Jesus and accept any other gospel commit apostasy and will be cursed.” And they also said all sorts of things opposing and condemning Almighty God. After they left, I felt physically and mentally exhausted and my heart was weak. So I hurried to pray to God, “O Almighty God! Because of their harassment, my heart feels very disturbed right now. They said that I believe in another gospel. I don’t understand this aspect of the truth. I beg You to help me and lead me so that I won’t stray from Your way.”
I understood the true meaning of “another gospel” and saw through Satan’s tricks.
The following day, I asked Sister Lin of The Church of Almighty God the question about “another gospel.” She fellowshiped this with me, “The words in Galatians 1:6–8 are Paul’s words, and there is a background to these words. We all know that the Book of Galatians is an epistle written by the apostle Paul for the churches of Galatia around AD 60. At that time, the Lord Jesus’ gospel was spreading like wildfire, and many in Galatia accepted the Lord’s new work and set up churches. But the Pharisees who clung to the law of the Old Testament refused to accept the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, and furthermore they tried to disrupt those who accepted the Lord’s salvation of the cross. In the end, because the Galatians at that time lacked foundation and were without discernment, some of them wavered, then gave up the Lord Jesus’ gospel, and began to follow those who preached the law. After Paul found out about this, he wrote to the Galatian churches, and by doing so, he exhorted the Galatians to return to the true way. From this, we can clearly see that the ‘another gospel’ spoken of by Paul meant the gospel that asked people to adhere to the law, it did not mean God’s gospel of kingdom. Christ of the last days, Almighty God, is doing the work of judgment beginning with God’s house. This fulfills the prophecies of the Book of Revelation, ‘And I saw another angel fly in the middle of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him; for the hour of His judgment is come: and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters’ (Revelation 14:6–7). The religious leaders rely on their own notions and imaginations to interpret the Bible and they quote the Bible out of context. They do nothing but mislead and ruin people.”
Through the sister’s fellowship, I came to understand that there was a background to what Paul said. It was because at that time some Galatians who had accepted the Lord Jesus’ gospel were disturbed by the Pharisees and turned back to keep the laws. His words did not refer to the gospel of the Lord’s return in the last days. It turned out that the pastor’s wife quoted the Bible out of context and misinterpreted it.
Then, Sister Lin sent me a passage of God’s word, “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?”
After that, she fellowshiped, “Today, God works to save us, but Satan cannot accept it, so it uses various evil ways to disturb us. For example, it causes us to meet with unfortunate situations, it hinders us through our unbelieving families, it uses the fallacies spread by pastors and elders to disturb us, and so on. Behind all this is a spiritual battle. Satan’s aim by doing this is to make us doubt God’s work and refuse to accept God’s salvation in the last days. This is Satan’s evil intention. It’s just like the pastor of your church threatened to expel you and your co-workers used various fallacies to try to stop you from studying the true way — there are deceitful schemes of Satan contained within. But the wisdom of God will forever be exercised based on the deceitful schemes of Satan. God has allowed this situation to befall you, and within there are God’s intentions. Only through experiencing these kinds of circumstances can we discern Satan’s schemes, recognize our own shortcomings, quieten our hearts before God and seek the truth, and thereby obtain more enlightenment and guidance of God. They are all beneficial for our growth in life.”
After listening to God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I thought of how, since I began investigating the last days’ work of Almighty God, the pastor and his wife as well as the co-workers had been disturbing me, even threatened to expel me from the church, and used various specious theological theories to confuse me and to make me refuse God’s salvation of the last days and reject the arrival of the Lord Jesus. This allowed me to see Satan’s evil intentions. This really was a battle without weapons.
God’s words revealed the essence of the Pharisees.
Afterward, the pastor’s wife and several co-workers continued unremittingly to come to my home and said all sorts of things condemning and blaspheming Almighty God to try to force me to give up the true way, but by praying to God and relying on God I saw through Satan’s schemes. In addition, since the pastor knew that I was investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days, before each meeting, he gave every believer a leaflet, and written all over it were the CCP’s negative propaganda and all kinds of religious notions. And he especially emphasized how to guard against Eastern Lightning in our church’s WeChat group or when updating believers on new events of the church. He also asked the believers to get far away from whoever they hear talking about the Lord’s return and to report them to him, which led to all believers being on guard with each other.
Before, in my impression, the pastor and his wife as well as the co-workers were good-natured and loving of others, and they appeared externally to truly believe in God, and understood a lot about the Bible. But when hearing the Lord Jesus has returned to express the truth and do the judgment work, they did not investigate but instead did all manner of things to stop the faithful from investigating it, and they even condemned God’s last days’ work. Why was this? I simply couldn’t make heads or tails of it. So, at a meeting with Sister Lin, I spoke out on the confusion within my heart.
Hearing my question, she said, “Most people believe that the pastors and elders know the Bible well and understand theological doctrines, so they’ll certainly rejoice to welcome the Lord’s return. But are the facts like this? We all know that in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus spoke of the parable of separating the good and evil servants. Now, Almighty God, Christ of the last days, speaks more clearly about the facts and truth of the religious leaders’ resistance of God while serving Him. Let’s first read a passage of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, ‘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 name of God, 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, head 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?’”
She continued fellowshiping, “From God’s words we can see that, although religious leaders are well-versed in the Bible, read the scriptures and preach every day, and appear kind and loving on the outside, that doesn’t mean that they love the truth and know the Lord. The Pharisees in those olden days were also familiar with the Scriptures and preached inside the temple, but when the Lord Jesus came to work, they had no desire to seek the truth whatsoever. On the contrary, for the sake of their status and livelihoods, they hindered believers from searching for the true way, resisted and blasphemed the Lord Jesus, and even crucified Him. The Lord Jesus said, ‘But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in’ (Matthew 23:13). They really were the obstacles and stumbling blocks upon the path to the heavenly kingdom. Today’s religious leaders are just like the Pharisees: Although they are well-versed in the Bible, they hardly have any heart to seek God’s work. When hearing the gospel of the Lord’s return, they don’t lead believers to seek, investigate, and accept it. Instead, they’re afraid that if believers accept God’s last days’ work and thus gain discernment with regard to their hypocritical substance, then no one will follow them anymore or donate money to them, so in order to protect their status and their livelihoods, they disseminate all kinds of rumors to threaten and intimidate those who are studying the true way, and they also use various misleading religious theories to deceive believers and disrupt their acceptance of the true way. They keep the believers under their close control rather than return them to the Lord. From their behavior and attitude toward the coming of the Lord, we can completely see that they are exactly the evil servants revealed by the work of God in the last days, and are antichrists that are enemies of God.”
Hearing her fellowship, I thought, “In the past, I always thought that the religious leaders are all true believers in the Lord and lovers of the truth. But when they hear the Lord Jesus has returned to do the work of the last days, they not only do not lead brothers and sisters in seeking and investigating God’s last days’ work, but rather spread fallacies to deceive believers, frantically condemn God’s work of the last days, and keep the believers under their close control. Once they find out that someone is investigating God’s last days’ work or has accepted it, they will expel them from the church. They forcefully indoctrinate believers with devilish ideas and the CCP’s rumors on social platforms such as WeChat, church updates, and so on. They plan to place the believers under their control and don’t allow them to follow the Christ of the last days. They really are antichrists who oppose Christ.” Having experienced their repeated harassment, under the guidance of God’s words, I finally gained some discernment with regard to their essence of resisting God. Thank God for His guidance!
God led me to stand witness and humiliate Satan.
One Saturday evening, some time later, while my family and I were having dinner, the pastor’s wife called to say that she would come to my house, and I said, “You needn’t come. There is no use no matter how you try to harass me. Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. I cannot give up the true way.” Because of my resolute attitude, from then on, she never came to my home.
Thank God for His protection. Every time Satan’s temptations came, it was God who led me to break through Satan’s disruption and to stand firm and bear witness during Satan’s attacks. Without my personal experiences, I would never believe that the religious leaders I looked up to and worshiped are actually stumbling blocks upon the path to the heavenly kingdom and are antichrists that serve God yet defy God. Thank God for saving me from the religious antichrist forces and helping me escape from the religious Babylon. I will diligently pursue the truth, practice the truth, and follow God to the very end. All the glory be to God! Amen!
We often live in the state of sinning and confessing, and cannot put the Lord’s word into practice. So are we able to enter the kingdom of God? What are the criteria for entering the kingdom of heaven? Click to read the sermon and you’ll find the answer.