By Xiao Wen, Malaysia
In my life, I had experienced many frustrations—I got divorced when my child was young, and following that, my mother contracted a serious illness and took her leave of me forever; I also had come down with something serious. These things made me very weak and it was the Lord Jesus’ constant guidance and help that made me crawl up time and time again. I felt how the Lord loved me, and was full of gratitude toward Him and I was also waiting for the Lord’s return.
In a gathering, my pastor said, “The Eastern Lightning testifies that the Lord has returned as Almighty God. This is impossible. How could the Lord’s name have changed? The Bible says, ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). God’s name is Jesus, and this will never change. We can only be saved by the name of the Lord Jesus.” Hearing what the pastor said, we all felt it made sense, thinking that the Lord’s name would never change and only by trusting in His name could we be saved.
Once, I read a reprinted story in the newspaper that the CCP court ruled that the culprits of the May 28 Shandong Zhaoyuan Case were from The Church of Almighty God and the CCTV media specifically gave a commentary on the case. This news frightened me, and I was even more certain that the Eastern Lightning could not be the true way.
In January 2019, I got to know Sister Si’en on Facebook, she then introduced Brother Wang to me, and we had meetings online. A few days of fellowship by Brother Wang made me understand that the aim of God’s management plan is to defeat Satan and to save all mankind—allowing mankind to be cleansed and be taken to a wonderful destination in the end. I also knew that God’s work is divided into three stages: the Age of Law, the Age of Grace and the Age of Kingdom. These stages all complement each other; not a single one can be skipped. And each stage is more elevated than the last. Besides this, he also said that God would perform the work of judgment beginning from the house of God in the last days, so that mankind can be utterly rid of their sinful nature, achieve purification and transformation, and finally be gained by God. I thought that Brother Wang’s fellowship was very illuminating and in accordance with the prophecies in the Bible, and I really enjoyed it.
At a meeting one day, however, I saw the words “Eastern Lightning” in one of the passages Brother Wang sent us. I immediately realized that Brother Wang was a believer in Eastern Lightning and so I didn’t want to listen to his fellowship anymore. Even though at that time he patiently fellowshiped that although God’s new work didn’t conform to our conceptions, we should be as the wise virgins and be able to hear God’s voice, yet I simply didn’t listen to what he said and muddled through the meeting. Despite this, I didn’t blacklist him because I once preached the gospel and knew that spreading the gospel was not easy. On top of that what he fellowshiped really made sense. Some day I would debate with him and once the truth he would fellowship convinced me I would accept it.
One day, Sister Si’en contacted me and said, “Brother, all we believers in the Lord are longing for the Lord’s return. Since Brother Wang has been testifying to us that the Lord has returned, we should maintain a heart that yearns to seek and can’t be like the foolish virgins. Otherwise, if the Lord really has returned but we refuse Him, then won’t we miss the chance of welcoming the Lord? Won’t our years of believing in the Lord have been in vain?” After hearing her exhortations, I thought, “Indeed. If Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned and I don’t look into it, I will miss my chance.”
But the news about the “May 28 Shandong Zhaoyuan Case” came into my mind and I said to Sister Si’en, “I have read a piece of news about the ‘May 28 Shandong Zhaoyuan Case.’ The CCP court ruled that the culprits of the case were from The Church of Almighty God. Seeing as believers in Almighty God are able to murder, then do you think that Eastern Lightning can be the true way?” She said, “Whether Eastern Lightning is the true way or not has nothing to do with the Zhaoyuan Case. If we want to investigate whether Almighty God is God appearing to carry out His work, the crux is in being able to see if what He expresses is the truth, if it is God’s voice, if what He does is the work of saving mankind in the last days. If we carry out investigation and determine that Almighty God’s word is the truth and is God’s work, then that proves that this is the true way. Then if, no matter how the CCP and the religious world fabricate rumors to condemn it, we aren’t confused or constrained and still be able to keep up with God’s work, then we are wise virgins. So, in investigating the true way, to see if it is God’s word and work is the most critical. Besides, we should also understand the true story and truth behind the ‘May 28 Shandong Zhaoyuan Case,’ and we must not blindly follow the words of the CCP government; then we are truly wise.”
Sister Si’en then sent me a video called “The Truth Exposed Behind the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case,” and had me watch it. It contained the live scenes of the trial. In the court, several suspects all claimed that they didn’t believe in Almighty God, nor had they ever been in contact with The Church of Almighty God. And yet the CCP judge didn’t accept the suspects’ testimonies, and still framed The Church of Almighty God by saying that the suspects were members of The Church of Almighty God. In addition, the suspects’ confessions were incoherent, and just from listening to them we could tell that they were a group of mentally ill people. In short, the whole trial had layer upon layer of suspicious points. After watching the video of it, I understood: The Zhaoyuan Case of Shandong was a false one entirely fabricated by the CCP to slander and frame The Church of Almighty God. I didn’t know the truth and was deceived by the CCP’s rumors, and thereby daren’t listen to the words expressed by Almighty God. I’ve really been such a fool. Through really understanding this, my doubts about The Church of Almighty God were dispelled and I then decided to investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days and figure out if Almighty God really is the returned Lord Jesus. Thereupon, I made a prayer, “O loving heavenly Father, the Lord Jesus, I knew a few foreign brothers and sisters who fellowshiped with me that You had returned and were doing new work. Lord, I am worried that if it really is Your return and work and I don’t accept it, I will miss the chance. But I am also afraid of going astray because of my lack of discernment. Lord! May You enlighten me and grant me discernment….” After praying, I was confident as I thought, “If Brother Wang fellowships in accordance with the truth, I will accept it. If he says something that does not accord with the truth, as long as I pay no heed to him it will be fine.”
Before long, I continued to attend online gatherings with Brother Wang and Sister Si’en. I said to Brother Wang, “Brother, you testify that the Lord has returned and changed His name to Almighty God. I can’t accept it. Because the Bible says, ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). This verse states very clearly that only by trusting in the name of Jesus Christ can we be saved and the Lord Jesus’ name will never change. If we trust in Almighty God’s name, won’t this be believing in another God?”
Brother Wang said, “Brother Xiao, you say that Jesus’ name won’t change. Does this accord with the facts? Let’s read a verse from the Bible, ‘This is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations’ (Exodus 3:15). Then we can think about a question—since it states that the name of Jehovah is for ever, then why did God’s name change to Jesus in the New Testament? Have you ever thought about this? In fact, there was a context to the word ‘for ever’ as mentioned here in the Bible. It referred to the stage of work during the Age of Law. As long as there was no conclusion of the work, people all had to hold the name of Jehovah as holy and no one could go against it. But when God does work anew, there are corresponding changes in His name. Just as God’s name was Jehovah in the Old Testament; when God came to do the work of the Age of Grace, His name changed to Jesus. This was why we prayed to the name of Jesus in the Age of Grace. Therefore, the belief that God’s name will never change is an understanding that doesn’t conform with the truth; actually God’s name can change with the changing of His work. When God does the work of judgment in the last days, He will have a new name. Brother Xiao, what name do you think it will be when the Lord returns?”
I thought for a second and replied, “‘which is, and which was, and which is to come—’ (Revelation 1:8).” Just when I was hesitant, Brother Wang said, “So let’s look at what it says in Revelation 1:8. ‘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). God predicted that His name would be ‘the Almighty’ when He returns in the last days. The meaning of ‘the Almighty’ is Almighty God.”
Brother Wang continued, “Let’s read another verse, ‘Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God: and I will write on him My new name’ (Revelation 3:12). From this we can see, when God does His new work in the last days, He will have a new name. Since it is a new name, then it must not be Jehovah or Jesus. According to the verse we mentioned just now, God’s new name is Almighty God. This was also prophesied in many other verses, such as Revelation 11:17, 4:8, 15:3, 19:6. In the last days, God has done the work of judgment and chastisement under the name Almighty God, ending the Age of Grace and ushering in the Age of Kingdom. But no matter how God’s name changes, His essence doesn’t change—it is only ever one God who performs His work. For example, when someone goes to work as a teacher in a school, people will call him teacher. Then that same person becomes a doctor in a hospital, and then people will call him doctor. The name by which people call him changes along with the changing of his job, but no matter what people call him, the person himself remains the same. So, we can’t refuse God because His new name doesn’t conform to our notions. God’s work is unfathomable to us and only by humbly seeking the truth can we understand the mystery within it.”
Hearing Brother Wang’s fellowship, my heart suddenly brightened, and I understood that God’s name is not eternally unchanging, but it changes along with His new work. In the Age of Grace, God did the work of redemption and the name Jehovah became Jesus. When the Lord returns to do new work, His name will surely change. So, I accepted the fact in my heart that the Lord has returned with the name Almighty God.