How I Nearly Became a Foolish Virgin
In the fall of 2002, Sister Zhao from my denomination, the Church of Truth, brought her niece, Sister Wang, to my home to tell me the great news of the coming of the Lord. After a few days of reading the words of Almighty God and listening to Sister Wang’s detailed fellowship, I understood that, from the creation of the world until now, God has performed three stages of work in order to save mankind. Other truths that I also came to know were God’s adoption of a different name during each stage of His work, the significance of God’s name in each age, and the mystery of God’s incarnation, etc. These truths really came as big eye-openers for me, and I feasted my eyes upon them. I thought to myself: “This way sounds crystal clear, and Almighty God very probably is the returned Lord Jesus, so I’d better make sure I grasp this chance and read more of Almighty God’s words.” Before leaving, Sister Wang left some books of God’s words for me. Whenever I had time during the day, I read God’s words. The more I read them, the more I loved reading them and the more I felt that they were the words of God. After three days I became anxious. I thought: “My son, who is also a believer, and many brothers and sisters in my church still don’t know this great news about the return of the Lord. I’d better hurry up and tell them.”
The next day early in the morning, I went to my son’s home. I said happily to him, “This is such a great book. You should read it as soon as possible.” My son gave me a glance and asked, “What book? You seem pretty delighted. Just put it down there and I’ll take a look at it when I have time.” I thought that, as all believers looked forward to the Lord’s return, my son would be happy to learn that the Lord had already arrived.
I would never in a million years have imagined, however, that three days later my son would show up at my home at the head of six people. One of them was Pastor Xia from my denomination, and the others were pastors and preachers from my son’s denomination. I was a bit stunned to see them, as I couldn’t figure out what was up and why so many people had come to see me. A pastor surnamed Li looked closely at me for a moment and with a look of concern on his face he said, “Auntie, we’re all believers in the Lord, one big family. Your son tells me that someone has given you a book, but you really shouldn’t read it. Now it’s the last days, and the Lord Jesus said: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:23–24). We believe that these words of the Lord Jesus mean that anyone who says that the Lord has returned is a fraudster who we must guard against and refuse to listen to. Right now, throughout the whole world there is only Eastern Lightning that is publicly bearing witness to the Lord’s return, so, whatever you do, don’t have anything to do with them anymore. Don’t read any of Eastern Lightning’s books either. Their way is different from our faith, so don’t listen to them. You don’t understand the Bible very well, and you have small stature, so you’re easily deceived. We’ve been preaching for many years and we understand the Bible well. We’ve traveled all over China and we’ve seen a lot and we are more mature in life. We’ve come today specially to rescue you, so you’ve got to believe us and not try to have it your own way.” When I heard this, I thought to myself: “This pastor seems to be concerned about me and what he said isn’t wrong. I’m old and not very well educated, and I don’t understand the Bible that well. I certainly can’t discern as well as they do.” At this point, Pastor Xia said, “I’m a pastor, and the Lord has given me His flock to manage. So it’s my responsibility to make sure that you don’t stray from the true way. If I don’t look after the Lord’s flock, I won’t be able to render account to the Lord. Sister, don’t run around to other groups like this. If you get stolen from us by Eastern Lightning, then all these years that you’ve believed in the Lord will be wasted!” Looking at their tense faces and hearing the serious tone in which they were talking to me made me feel a bit frightened. I thought: “That’s right. If I start believing wrongly then won’t all those years of faith be wasted?” But then I thought: “The words in that book seemed so good, so right. These pastors and preachers haven’t read the words of Almighty God, so how could they say that it isn’t a true way?” So I said to them, “You may be right when you say this, but what I heard from them completely matches the words of the Lord in the Bible!” When they heard me say that, they all started talking at once, saying so many things to scare me that I became dizzy and confused and experienced a lot of emotional turmoil. I sat there, unable to say a single thing. Then they wanted me to pray with them and curse against Eastern Lightning, but I didn’t go along with it, and so they started to terrorize me again. Finally, my son said, “Let me deal with my mom now.” Then he took the two hymn books and the cassette tapes of Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs, as well as a book of God’s words named Judgment Begins With the House of God from the cupboard, and he gave them to the pastor to take away.
After they left, I was so upset that I couldn’t even eat my dinner, so I came before the Lord and prayed: “Lord Jesus, is what those pastors said true or not? It seems like they’re really concerned for my life. If I don’t listen to them, will I put my faith in the wrong place? Oh Lord, if You really have returned as Almighty God and I don’t accept You, then wouldn’t I be closing the door on You? Wouldn’t I just be like one of the foolish virgins? Oh Lord, through reading the words of Almighty God these last few days, I feel like my spirit has gained a lot of provision. I’ve truly and honestly felt this, but could I be wrong? Now that they’ve taken away my books and my cassette tapes of hymns, I feel really sad and I don’t know what to do. Please show me the way….” After praying, I suddenly remembered that Sister Wang had given me another book of Almighty God’s words and had asked me to hide it deep inside the cupboard. When I realized that I still had this book, I felt a little bit better. But then I thought about what those pastors had said, and I was still at a loss about what to do. Should I read that book or not? That night, I hardly slept at all, my mind in turmoil. Again and again I prayed to God in tears …
Early the next day, my son came to take me to a meeting at my former church. I was very much undecided, but my son dragged me down to the meeting place and even told a preacher that I’d been stolen by Eastern Lightning and he asked her to do her best to persuade me to stay. In an instant, the preacher and all of the brothers and sisters surrounded me. The preacher took hold of my hand, and in a gentle voice said, “Auntie, whatever you do, don’t listen to anyone else preaching. If you start believing wrongly, when the Lord comes to rapture the congregations then you’ll be left behind, won’t you? You have small stature, so if anyone gives you any kind of book to read it would be better for you to ask us first. Let us check on it for you….” The brothers and sisters also kept trying to persuade me to stay, and I was moved to tears by their “love.” When they saw how moved I was, they made their point once more: “If anyone from Eastern Lightning comes to visit you again, don’t let them in. Don’t have anything more to do with them!” I nodded in agreement.
It was only a few days later that Sister Wang came to see me again. I told her: “The pastor read this passage from the Bible to me: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect’ (Matthew 24:23–24). In the last days, false Christs shall appear and anyone who says that the Lord has returned is a fraudster. I don’t understand the Bible, and my stature is small, so I’m easily misled. I don’t dare to listen to any other way, so I’m not going to let you in. Don’t come again.” With great sincerity Sister Wang said: “The Lord Jesus said this to ensure that we would guard against false Christs during the last days, but He didn’t intend for us to also turn our backs on Christ. If there are false Christs it’s because the real Christ has already appeared, because without the real Christ the imposters have nothing to imitate. Those words of the Lord Jesus tell us that we have to learn how to discern; they aren’t saying that we should refuse to listen to the gospel of the Lord’s return just because false Christs will appear during the last days. Otherwise, how will we be able to welcome the Lord’s return? Actually, the Lord Jesus has already clearly described the characteristics of false Christs. The main ones include manifesting signs, performing miracles, healing the sick and exorcising demons, and copying the work that the Lord Jesus has already done in order to deceive people. So during the last days, anyone who impersonates the Lord Jesus to preach the way of repentance and who can manifest a few simple signs or heal the sick and exorcise demons is a false Christ. Almighty God, who is the Lord Jesus returned in the flesh in the last days, doesn’t repeat the work that the Lord Jesus has already done, but instead does new work on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption. Almighty God has ended the Age of Grace and has opened the Age of Kingdom, and He expresses truths and performs the stage of work of judging and cleansing mankind. Almighty God will thoroughly save all those people who have been redeemed but who still live in sin by casting off the shackles of their sinful nature and removing them from Satan’s dark influence. He will then take mankind to their wonderful final destination. Only God Himself can do this work; none of the false Christs can.” Although what the sister was saying seemed reasonable, the things that the pastors had told me were still swirling around in my head. My mind was agitated and unable to focus and I didn’t want to hear any more of her fellowship. So I told her that I had something to do at my neighbor’s next door, which was a lie, in order to get away from her. Sister Wang came back to my home many times after that, but I always avoided her. My neighbor said to me, “She doesn’t look like a bad person. What are you afraid of?” In my heart I knew that Sister Wang was a good person, but as I was of small stature, I was afraid of misplacing my faith.