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China belongs to the CCP! Belief in God? Not in China!
We have orders. Religion must be stamped out!
House churches of every stripe are banned as of now! (Yes, sir.)
People believe when they read Almighty God's word.
All our good sheep have been stolen by the "Eastern Lightning" followers.
Expel all "Eastern Lightning" followers!
If you find anyone following the "Eastern Lightning," report it!
Hello, hello? Residents, your attention! Residents, your attention!
This afternoon everyone is to attend a residential committee meeting.
This afternoon everyone is to attend a residential committee meeting.
Praise the Lord. Brothers and sisters, that's it for today's service.
Praise the Lord.
Guifang, here's a donation. (Yes?)
Thank the Lord. Bless you.
Good-bye. (Mm, till next time.)
Hey, what's going on? What's that notice about?
It's about suppressing religious belief.
They're going to start arresting the faithful.
Aren't God's teachings all about being good? Why arrest people like that?
Really, I don't get it at all.
Hey, look over there. There's a reward too!
"For turning in people practicing illegally faiths in churches…"
We're talking about the government here. You can't listen.
Who knows what the story is?
But this notice is about suppressing churches!
They're persecuting people of faith again.
Why is the CCP always doing things like this? It's unbelievable.
What's so strange about it?
It's been years.
The CCP's always suppressed churches and restricted freedom of religion.
That's true.
This is the CCP. They've done nothing good for years. (Sure don't.)
They don't arrest criminals or corrupt officials.
They just go after good people of faith. (It's despicable.)
If this continues, it's all over. Society will unravel.
You're totally right.
You ask me, this whole country is doomed. (Really. It's terrible.)
Don't they have bigger problems? (Who knows what they're thinking!)
But this comes from so high up. Something's going on.
You can't believe in God or do good works. Not in China. (Right.)
The CCP government really is evil!
So evil.
The CCP is cracking down on religion again right now.
And this time they won't be gentle.
That means house churches will face persecution.
We should be more careful in the future. (Mm.)
There was a meeting held at the factory today.
They're going to be investigating people of faith,
especially the "Eastern Lightning."
Who is it?
The government residential committee!
Oh, Chief Zhang.
Oh, it's the chief.
We had a meeting. You didn't come. Didn't you hear the announcement?
The meeting was important. It was about you believers.
All people of faith, all Christians were to attend as ordered.
So why didn't you obey?
Uh, we were busy here. Sorry.
Busy? This meeting was about you. Why didn't you come?
Listen to me. Central levels, provinces, counties … all received the order.
Starting now, all faiths will be organized and restricted.
Believers in Jesus like you must attend all meetings.
You should be aware of government policies.
If not, things could get nasty.
So now, I'll fill you in. All people of religious faith must register.
And you believers in Jesus will face restrictions,
especially the "Eastern Lightning."
If we catch them, they will get jail time and hard labor,
and their children can't attend college or hold jobs.
If they're employed, they'll be fired.
And also if by any chance,
you find an "Eastern Lightning" follower, report them at once.
Do that, and the government will not only deal with you mercifully,
you'll also be rewarded.
Each household must list their faith.
If there are any others, write them down.
Wait a second. Don't we have freedom of religion? How is that free?
Freedom? Humph! Forget house churches like yours.
The state rules apply to even big ones, like the Three-Self Church.
They've got to be sealed off.
It's always like this. Why must the CCP restrict religion?
Why must they? You really don't know?
The government has to. Your religions are growing too fast!
Like the "Eastern Lightning," they've grown too fast!
They have so many followers, almost as many as the CCP!
And what do you think will happen if they keep growing? Don't you get it?
The CCP itself would be at risk.
If we all believed in God, we'd have world peace.
Wouldn't that make society safer? (Humph!)
At that point, we wouldn't need the police. Isn't that a good thing?
You're mistaken. If we all believed in God, who'd follow the CCP?
Humph! Faith in God? Where's your God?
If you want to believe, believe in the CCP. That'll keep you fed.
If not, things could get bad.
This explains the new anti-cult laws. Read it carefully.
This country makes belief hard.
Keep this in mind. I'll remind you.
If you see "Eastern Lightning" followers, report them at once.
It seems government persecution of our faith is becoming more and more severe.
Things will be hard from now on.
That's true. Faith in Jesus makes our road a hard one to walk.
And the "Eastern Lightning" followers like my brother have an even harder road.
(sigh)
I think my brother's a good man. Firm in his belief.
He's been a Christian for years now. Strong in his faith.
How could he accept the "Eastern Lightning"?
There's a divine mystery at hand.
Mm. Your brother's not one to act rashly.
Yet he's with the "Eastern Lightning."
That means there's truth to be found there,
otherwise he never would've accepted.
Perhaps his might be the true way. I think we should look into it.
Still, the government is being so severe.
Even if their way is the true one, who would dare seek it?
I know. Things are getting harder and harder for believers in Jesus.
Even investigating their way will be dangerous.
So much of the government's persecution is over the "Eastern Lightning." (Mm.)
For now, let's rely on the Lord's aid. He'll give us strength. (Mm.)
Quiet down, everyone, quiet down.
Thank the Lord!
My co-workers, as believers, we must follow the Bible. (Mm, right.)
The Bible is God's word. (Mm, yes.)
All of His works are recorded in here. (Mm, right!)
If we stray from it, we aren't believers. (Yes.)
Only the Bible represents God.
As such faith in Him is faith in this book. (Amen.)
The "Eastern Lightning" says the Lord has come for the work of the last days.
A verse like that doesn't exist.
That's true. (He's right. There's no doubt about it.) And so we don't accept.
Everything that contradicts the Bible is heresy. (Amen.)
Right, it's nothing but heresy.
Recently we've discovered that many ardent believers in every church
have been stolen by the "Eastern Lightning."
As this church's elder, I failed to protect the flock.
I feel I owe the Lord so much.
Yes, we owe the Lord. I feel like we failed.
My co-workers, if all our good sheep are stolen from us,
then what else can people in our position do?
And so we need safeguards against the "Eastern Lightning." (Mm.)
The information we all just saw here
will be just that against the "Eastern Lightning." A safeguard.
Yes, we need to safeguard.
We have these discs. Send them out.
Take these and watch them at home. Ask our brothers and sisters to as well.
Praise God. We should watch them carefully.
In my mind, just watching these won't accomplish all that much.
We've distributed many materials like this.
Yet the believers continue to accept the "Eastern Lightning" each day.
Mm. So many good people … they hear their preachings and all accept it.
It would seem the "Eastern Lightning" may hold the truth.
May the Lord keep us. Or else the "Eastern Lightning" may steal us.
More and more people have accepted the "Eastern Lightning."
And I hear that they're even growing overseas too.
My co-workers, among our precautions to resist the "Eastern Lightning,"
the key thing is to follow these three rules:
"Don't hear, don't read, don't contact." (Mm. Right.)
Only by preventing every single one of us from hearing their preaching,
can we hold on to our churches. (Right.)
We must also stress the "Eastern Lightning" books are literally poisoned.
One touch, one look, and you're bewitched.
And if you refuse their preaching,
then they'll cut off your ears and break your legs.
Things like that, I won't say it again.
In sum, we must adhere to the Lord's way, (Praise the Lord.)
and protect His flocks. (Amen!)
These are anti-Eastern Lightning pamphlets. They go with these discs.
At our meetings, we should discuss and study these more.
Also, be certain to remind our brothers and sisters of this:
Follow the precautions laid out by our church.
Don't receive strangers at your homes, and never bring strangers to the church.
No contact with the "Eastern Lightning."
If you discover anyone in touch with the "Eastern Lightning,"
report them to the church immediately.
What's more, if any relatives or friends accept the "Eastern Lightning,"
you should cut your ties with them, otherwise you'll be expelled!
Sister Jiang, your brother worked for the Lord in our church for so many years. (Mm.)
I know he's a good man.
He was a leading sheep in our church, a good one. (He was.)
Everyone admired him.
I never thought that such a good person
could be stolen away by the "Eastern Lightning."
What's more, right now he's stealing sheep too, and he targets our best ones.
Sister Jiang, we need you to try to bring your brother back to us. (Exactly.)
My brother's character and qualities far exceed my own.
He has his freedom.
Besides we really shouldn't interfere with what he chooses to believe.
But how can we not interfere? (Right.)
If everybody accepts the "Eastern Lightning,"
that's it, our church will collapse! (That's right.)
To whom will we be pastors and elders?
Just think, Sister Jiang. What did the pastors and elders say?
Aren't you worried about your brother?
How could I not be?
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.
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.
It's true, Guifang.
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.
That's right. The CCP opposes God and persecutes Christians.
You know the history well.
Sister, this is all something I know.
However, the government's persecution of the "Eastern Lightning"
is crueler than with other churches.
Guifang, aren't we persecuted for believing in the Lord Jesus?
Guifang, only those who accept Almighty God's end-time work
can receive His blessings and promises.
Adversity reveals a person's true nature.
If we let ourselves become too afraid
to either investigate or accept the true way,
then we'll lose the blessings and promises of God.
Doesn't the Revelation say the fearful will not enter the kingdom of heaven?
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!
Sister, Guijun, the CCP indeed opposes God and is of Satan.
But they've also said that people who reject the "Eastern Lightning"
will have their ears cut and their eyes gouged.
Isn't that rumor enough evidence for you?
You can find churches just about everywhere now.
Believers in Almighty God are everywhere!
If what they say were really true,
how many people in China would be missing their ears and eyes today?
There would be hundreds of thousands or millions!
But have they found even one case of that?
If there were one,
wouldn't the CCP and all the media under its control
spread it all over the world? (He's right.)
That's proof enough. What the CCP says is nothing but lies!
It's all rumors! All false accusations!
What the CCP government says isn't trustworthy at all!
It's clear. You know much too little about those liars.
Even now you haven't seen through their true substance.
It's Satan the devil! It's God's enemy!
You're a long-time believer, yet you're still so blind.
You're much too ignorant! Much too muddle-headed!
Guifang, those are rumors fabricated by the CCP.
How can you still believe the CCP's lies?
We can ignore whatever the government says.
I heard the same things from our elders too. Are they also lying?
The pastors and elders said the same things?
Why didn't you ask them then: Do you have any evidence?
Have you ever seen it? Someone who rejected the "Eastern Lightning"
and had their legs broken or their ears cut off?
Have you seen it even once? Did that ever happen?
That's right, Guifang. You should be asking them.
You should ask them if there's any basis and what proof they have.
If they don't have any proof, then they're telling lies and they're devils.
Why didn't you ask for some?
They feed you lies and you just believe them! That's ignorance, isn't it?
Guifang, you should say this to the pastors and elders:
You're believers in God. Have proof when you speak! Have responsibility!
You said the "Eastern Lightning" books are poisoned.
Where are these poisoned books?
Bring these books over here and show us. We'll see if they're poisoned.
Show us one who rejected the way
and had their ears cut off, their eyes gouged and their legs broken.
Find just one and show them to us.
If you can't find a single example, then you're just telling lies.
You're just devils! Deceivers!
The pastors and elders are God's servants.
In my mind,
they wouldn't defy God's commandments and create rumors against your faith.
Because bearing false witness is something that God hates most,
an act cursed by God.
And that much is something they know best.
Guifang, we believers should have faith in the Lord's word.
Only His word is truth.
We should be cautious about man's word.
We should see first if it matches the facts or accords with the truth.
In fact, when it comes to religious pastors and leaders' words,
we should be even more cautious.
Just 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 they shouldn't bear false witness.
But when the Lord Jesus came to do work,
they all fabricated rumors, framed Him 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.
And so even now, most don't believe in Jesus in Israel.
Really, you know all this.
Guifang, let's sit down and talk.
Guifang, listen closely.
Until corrupt mankind gains the truth and is saintly, no one is trustworthy.
In this evil world we inhabit, everyone tells lies.
Their hearts are too cunning. Their mouths full of lies. This is a fact.
As for all those Jewish commoners,
isn't it because they believed in their religious leaders
that they were deceived and condemned and rejected the Lord Jesus?
Think about it.
Is there 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 here in the last days
to hinder our return.
This is the same as those Jewish leaders.
Isn't their condemnation of the Lord Jesus the same?
Guifang.
We believers in God should never believe hearsay and follow along with the herd.
We should speak according to the truth and facts.
Especially when we speak of God's return to do His work,
we should have proper reverence of God
and shouldn't just blindly echo others' judgments and lies.
If we do, we'll become ones who condemn and blaspheme God.
Sister, your words are true.
But I'm still at a loss.
Why do so many pastors and elders all say the same? How can it be rumors?
That alone makes the "Eastern Lightning" hard to accept.
These are the anti-Eastern Lightning books and discs.
You should take a good look.
Guifang!
You're too muddle-headed!
If you can't see the pastors and elders' true nature,
how can you hear the Lord's voice?
How can you be a wise virgin that welcomes the Lord?
Guifang!
After accepting the "Eastern Lightning,"
my brother has become a more insightful speaker than he was before.
It would seem that the preaching of the "Eastern Lightning" is indeed profound.
The CCP's condemnation can't be trusted.
But the pastors and elders are all servants of the Lord.
They've served the Lord for so many years
and each and every one are faithful to Him.
So doing things like making up lies about the "Eastern Lightning"
is something I doubt they would ever do.
And they wouldn't ever be on the same side as the atheistic CCP,
singing the same tune as them.
Right. The way condemned by so many pastors and elders can't be the true way.
Listening to the pastors and elders shouldn't be the wrong thing to do.
Thank the Lord. Brothers and sisters, we live in the last days.
The day of the Lord is at hand. His promise will soon be realized.
At this crucial time, be more watchful. Keep the Lord's way. (Amen.)
I've heard it said that good sheep strong in their belief from all churches
were stolen by the "Eastern Lightning."
The "Eastern Lightning" really is something else.
Many have accepted the "Eastern Lightning."
Which is why we must be vigilant and not contact them.
Many of our churches' best sheep have already been stolen.
Since that's so, we must protect those left.
I don't understand.
Why is it that the "Eastern Lightning" are stealing away good sheep
from all our churches?
Say, doesn't the Lord return to steal treasures in the Bible?
Is that what's going on?
You don't say. It seems it's been fulfilled.
The Bible does say that.
It does seem possible, don't you think?
Perhaps. It's not certain.
These books and discs will help guard against the "Eastern Lightning."
Take a good look at them once you're home.
And the pastors and elders said this:
Where the "Eastern Lightning" is concerned,
our rule is "don't hear, don't read and don't contact."
In this way, the Lord will keep us safe.
Guifang, there's no way that we can avoid contact with them entirely.
That isn't an answer.
That's right.
Right. It won't solve things.
They're Christians just like we are. Why avoid them or put up walls?
Right. Yeah.
If you ask me, we should actively investigate the "Eastern Lightning"
to see if the word expressed by Almighty God really is the true way.
That's right. What we should be doing is reading their books!
If it's the true way, we should accept it.
And if it isn't, we'll gain some insight. And they can't steal us. (Right.)
Yeah. We should've read Almighty God's word sooner.
That's right. (Yes, I think so too.)
If we don't read, how will we know? (You're right.)
We'll never be sure if we don't do it.
Read "Eastern Lightning" books? Almighty God's word? (Right.)
You're still impressionable, brothers and sisters.
The moment you read the Word, you'll start to believe. You'll forsake the Bible.
Are we still so impressionable after believing this long?
What does she mean impressionable? I feel I've been deceived. It's our right to investigate the true way. We're free to.
Why do the pastors and elders deny us that?
Yes, aren't they restricting our freedom of belief by doing that?
They're afraid that we'll look into the true way on our own.
Who knows what tricks they're playing. (That's true. That's right.)
There must be something behind it. (Exactly.)
We've all been believers for years. If it's false, would it really deceive us?
Exactly. That's right.
If that is the truth, and convinces us, it means that's the true way!
That's right. (It makes sense!) (Exactly!)
We all know the Bible well,
and the world's atheistic theories and lies have never deceived us. (Right.)
Does deception scare us? (No, it doesn't.)
If we follow the truth, can the false ways deceive us? (No, of course not.)
That's it.
Let's read all their books so we can see if they're really the truth or not!
Right, we should read them.
We should investigate things carefully.
We won't know the facts before reading the books. So many of our good sheep have been stolen by the "Eastern Lightning."
Perhaps theirs really is the true way. So we should look into them.
That's true. We should investigate.
If theirs is the true way, we can't miss it.
Yes. I mean we've believed for so long waiting for the Lord's return, right?
Please drink, brothers and sisters. (Thanks.)
We should fellowship how to sift the truth from all the rumors.
Yes. I think it's really necessary. (Mm.)
Wow, Brother Jiang, that's a good way to hide books; who thought of it?
It was nothing like that. We had to because of the CCP.
That's how we keep the books safe. (Oh, I see.)
Here, brother. (Thank you.)
Guijun. (Yes?)
How is your sister doing?
She's been terribly deceived by the rumors of the pastors and elders.
I'm very worried. I fear she'll lose God's salvation in the last days.
She seems quite smart usually.
How could she so be confused at so crucial a time?
Believing the pastors and elders.
To think these religious leaders, just to preserve their own positions and jobs,
are all actually doing everything in their power to control and entrap people!
That's right.
Her Elder Liu is particularly resistant of God's work of the last days.
He holds a tight leash on them.
There are some who don't dare come in contact with us
due to his lies and rumors.
These rumors are so harmful!
Mm. They really do blind people to the truth.
They do. The rumors from the CCP demon and the religious world are like a snare.
They trap and control people. (Right.)
People don't dare seek out the true way after hearing all the lies they spin.
It's Satan's scheme to keep people from returning to God. (That's right.)
Mm. The CCP demon and the antichrists really are so hateful.
They really are despicable. (They are.)
But no matter how many rumors there are
and no matter how big this snare might be,
we should just keep preaching the gospel of Almighty God.
I believe all who belong to God
will eventually see through Satan's schemes and return before God.
But this requires us to care for God's will,
and to preach the gospel, and testify God's word
to help them break through Satan's snare.
In this way, they'll return to God's family. (Mm.)
Right. There was a time when I was in Sister Jiang's exact place.
I put blind faith in the pastors and elders and didn't seek the true way.
When I read Almighty God's words, I finally knew
the pastors and elders' words opposed and condemned Almighty God.
They were rumors. They were lies.
They're antichrists against God who keep people from returning to Him.
That's right.
We need to fellowship and testify Almighty God's words to Sister Jiang again.
If she can read Almighty God's word,
all of her problems will be resolved. (Right!)
Yes! Exactly right.
In the past,
we were deceived by rumors and dared not to accept God's end-time gospel.
After we read many of Almighty God's words,
well, we started to hear God's voice, (That's right.)
and we saw that this is indeed God's work. (Mm.)
At the same time, we saw clearly the real truth behind all the rumors,
and saw through Satan's schemes.
And now, though the CCP and the religious world
are resisting God's work in the last days,
the true believers in all nations and across various sects
are still returning to Almighty God.
Yes, it's His almightiness.
It's really true that
God's work can never be hindered or stopped by any force on earth.
Amen. (That's right.)
Right. And this fulfills what the Lord said,
Just look. We've stolen away good sheep from all those denominations.
We certainly have. (Yeah.)
Isn't it because these sheep have heard God's voice that they return to Him? (Right.)
The Lord Jesus returns to steal "treasures"
to save and perfect the true believers who love the truth from all sects.
Right. Mm. Praise God.
Let's fellowship about some of God's word. (Okay.)
Brother, I'm happy to see you.
But if you're here to preach again, I'd like you to stop.
I don't want to hear it.
Hey, your brother is here. Why not listen to him?
Brother, I know your faith in God is stronger than ours.
You're unlikely to have made the wrong choice.
I'm just wondering, if the "Eastern Lightning" is the true way,
why is the CCP government so against them?
Why do religious leaders condemn them with such fervor? (Mm.)
Right, Brother Jiang. I don't see why either.
The pastors and elders receive government persecution too.
So when they tell us about the "Eastern Lightning,"
why would such servants of God
have the same opinions and attitudes as those the CCP are promoting?
What's the reason behind this?
That's right. We all really want to understand these questions.
Mm. All right.
Ping'an, sister, the Bible says,
The Lord Jesus too, said that this was an evil generation.
So to what extent has the world now become evil and dark?
In the Age of Grace, the incarnate Lord Jesus who came to redeem mankind
was nailed to the cross by the religious world and those in power then.
In the last days, when Almighty God expresses the truth,
He's also condemned by both the religious world and the CCP,
rejected by this age.
This fulfills the Lord Jesus' words,
This prophecy of the Lord Jesus has now been fulfilled.
All those who thirst for God's appearing should find it clear
the Lord has arrived and is doing the work of judgment. (Right.)
The Lord Jesus' prophecy is already fulfilled.
Are any people still unclear or in denial?
Mm. Jesus' prophecy of the Son of man's coming does seem to be fulfilled.
This way is worth investigating.
It is. When the Lord did His redemptive work,
the religious world did indeed collude with the Roman government
to crucify the Lord.
In the last days, when Almighty God comes to work,
He's condemned and persecuted by the religious world and the CCP.
Why is it each time God incarnate comes,
He's condemned and resisted by religious circles as well as the world?
It just shows us that the world is too dark and evil.
Mm.
Brothers and sisters,
this atheistic regime and most religious leaders are Satan's forces.
They hate God and hate the truth.
The Lord Jesus' betrayal as well as cruel crucifixion is proof of that fact.
You see, the true way will always be rejected and condemned
by godless regimes and the religious world.
What's more, those who preach and practice the true way
will always face persecution and slander.
And it's for this reason that through all ages,
those who can accept and follow the true way and the true God,
are that small portion of humankind who love and pursue the truth.
While most people, because they follow Satan's forces or fear persecution,
dare not seek the true way,
so they lose their chance to receive God's salvation. (Right.)
That's why the Lord Jesus once warned,
What they're saying is practical and reasonable. (It is.)
If the "Eastern Lightning" is the true way, how can you prove that assertion?
Our faith in Jesus is because Jesus can redeem us all.
What proof do you have to show that the "Eastern Lightning" is the true way?
Right. (Mm.)
You're asking a very good question.
To answer it, I suggest we read two passages
and see how Almighty God phrased it. (Right.)
Page 1281.
Brothers and sisters, the true way is the work done by God.
Since that's God's own work,
there will be an expression of the truth and the Holy Spirit's work.
We testify the "Eastern Lighting" as the true way
and Almighty God as in fact the incarnate God.
This is because Almighty God has come to express various truths,
and He judges and purifies mankind, (Right.)
and accomplishes His plan of purifying and saving man in the last days.
Looking further, we should read what else Almighty God says.
Brothers and sisters,
in the last days, Almighty God expresses the truth to judge and purify all.
He has expressed all the truths for mankind to know God and to find salvation,
disclosing each and every mystery of His management plan,
like the purpose of His six thousand years of management,
His working principles, His three stages of work,
the mystery and significance of His incarnation,
how man has developed up till today, our future destination,
the truth of the Bible, and the significance of His names.
All these are mysteries that we can't fathom.
In Almighty God's words,
mankind's corrupt substance as well as roots are both thoroughly revealed.
In the severe judgment of God's words,
we have true understanding of our own corruption and ugliness,
our conceit and baseness.
Yes. That was well said. Don't you think?
Meanwhile, we understand the truth,
have true knowledge of God's righteous disposition, and know how to fear God,
which changes our life disposition to different degrees,
and gradually delivers us from the fallen cycle of sin and confession.
Yes. Right.
And this fully proves that Almighty God's work is the true way. (Amen.)
Almighty God's word is the truth, the way, and the life.
It has authority and power. It can purify man and save them. (Amen.)
If not, what then? Who can help man break away from sin?
Right. That's very true.
Besides God, who else can reveal thousand-year-old mysteries?
Mm. Praise the Lord.
There's indeed truth in Almighty God's word.
No wonder so many people believe.
Right. Only God is the truth, the way, and the life;
only God can bestow the way of eternal life upon man;
only by accepting the truth expressed by Christ of the last days
can we find eternal salvation. (Right.)
Now let's read more of Almighty God's words. 1459.
Ping'an, Guifang, let's read God's word.
Sisters, you as well. (Thank the Lord.)
Today Almighty God also says
that He has "the water of life that flows from the throne"
and the way of eternal life.
The source of these words is the same one.
This does sound like God's word and God's voice.
Nobody else could speak such words. (Amen. Right.)
Exactly! If we hadn't listened, we never would have realized this.
The pastors and elders slander the "Eastern Lightning,"
but it isn't like that.
There's real truth in their preaching. These words are very good, (Yes.)
better than the pastors and elders'.
If we had not listened today, we'd still be blinded by their preaching.
Yes. (Thank God.)
That's right. This is the first time I've heard Almighty God's words too. (Right.)
And what was said is practical and very clear!
The Eastern Lightning's preaching is quite good!
We should listen to it more in the future.
It seems the pastors and elders really did blind us. (Exactly.)
Brothers and sisters,
Almighty God's word and work is salvation that God grants to mankind,
and the only path for us to be saved in the last days. (Right.)
The Bible says what's of God will increase and what's of man will decrease.
Today, twenty years after Almighty God began His work on earth,
God's kingdom gospel,
despite resistance and persecution from the CCP and the religious world,
is still as irresistible as the mighty tide. (That's right.)
Right now, it's spreading throughout Mainland China
as well as through other countries across the world.
Nowadays, it's in all nations, all places, and spreading further.
More and more who thirst for God's appearance
are making their way back to Almighty God's family. (Amen.)
Almighty God's kingdom gospel, despite oppression,
has spread to all corners of the earth.
It's proof of the Holy Spirit's work. (Amen. Mm. That's right.)
This fulfills the word "What is of God will increase"
and testifies that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus' return.
The "Eastern Lightning" is the true way.
Of course. What is of God will increase; what's of man will decrease.
If not for the Holy Spirit's work or the truth,
what else could've made the Eastern Lightning's rapid growth possible?
That's right.
All the sects grow more desolate in the last days
while the "Eastern Lightning" continues to grow.
So is Almighty God the returned Lord?
That's right. We should look into this thoroughly.
If the Lord has returned to earth and we don't accept,
won't we become the ones who resist God?
Right! Thank the Lord! Mm.
Let's read some more words of Almighty God. (All right.)
Residents, your attention!
Anyone found practicing Christianity privately at home or meeting illegally
should be reported immediately!
Any preachers entering the community from other areas
should be detained and handed over to the police immediately.
Let's all hide our books for the moment.
Anyone who is found practicing or preaching the "Eastern Lightning"
should be immediately reported to the police and will be arrested.
Uh-oh, let's get out of here! (What now?)
Sister, calm down. Such a sudden announcement
means we were probably seen when we entered the area, (Right.)
or that someone reported us.
It's dangerous to go out now. They have men searching the community.
Have you seen any "Eastern Lightning" followers?
They'll be questioning any strangers they see.
That's right.
If you leave now, you'll likely be caught and questioned by the police,
especially since you two are strangers.
If they're discovered to be preachers, they'll be sentenced and imprisoned.
We have no choice but to think of a different way out. (Right.)
Strangers have recently been seen entering our community.
Please keep an eye on your neighbors.
We need a way out!
If they search door to door, we'll be in trouble! (Yeah.)
Calm down, everyone. God is almighty. This is all part of God's plan.
He'll allow us to find a way. (Right.)
Where there is God's work, there's Satan's disturbance too.
The CCP demon resists heaven and God's will.
They persecute God's work. It's despicable! (Right. Despicable.)
Here in China, believing in the true God and being good takes such courage.
This country's full of darkness! (Right.)
Brothers and sisters, as followers of God, we have to bear this.
Believing in God in a country that's against Him
means we could all be caught and jailed. (Right.)
Saints living in past ages suffered this and we suffer it now. (Mm.)
If we are captured, accept it and submit. We should endure the pain.
Absolutely.
Drink from the bitter cup as He did without any complaint. (Mm.)
Now let us pray. May God strengthen our faith. (Mm.)
Let us pray and ask the Lord for strength. (Thank the Lord.)
So many good sheep have been stolen from Zhang Jian's church.
Do you understand the danger now?
How many believers has Zhang Jian led toward the "Eastern Lightning"?
At least a hundred or more from us!
More than a hundred?
Then how many "Eastern Lightning" followers
have been in our church attempting to steal our flock?
We don't really know for sure.
You're saying you don't know?
Do you realize that if we can't find out,
all of our good sheep will be stolen away before we know it!
If this goes on, our church is done for! Our livelihood will be destroyed!
All of you go check the churches right now!
If you find any preacher of the "Eastern Lightning," call the police!
Right! We should call the police.
No matter how many come, report them all!
Let the police take them!
Let's see if they dare come back!
Let's do that. (Yes.)
What the brothers said was very practical. I'm feeling more and more convinced.
Mm. Listening to Almighty God's words, they felt practical, had authority.
Perhaps Almighty God's words are God's expression.
Right. We can't become like the Pharisees.
They expected the Lord, but when He really came,
they condemned Him and rejected Him.
I know. I'm scared I'll become His opposer. (Mm.)
But if the "Eastern Lightning" is the true way,
why do the pastors and elders condemn and resist?
Hey, we should schedule another time,
and let the brothers explain things some more.
… and they broke both of his legs!
I heard the same thing. Even now, he's still lying in his bed.
We should all be careful.
It's a serious matter.
I've already heard much of your criticism against the "Eastern Lightning."
But I haven't seen any evidence yet.
I think the "Eastern Lightning" followers are devout to God,
full of love towards others and decent people in the end.
Elder Liu, I have the sense that what you said just now isn't true.
Sister, the government's saying this about them.
Pastors and elders are saying it too. Are they all wrong?
The CCP oppose God. They are the least trustworthy.
Sister Jiang, would the pastors and elders make up rumors to bear false witness?
Sister Jiang, bearing false witness is something the Lord condemns and curses.
The Ten Commandments say,
And wouldn't the pastors and elders know this even better than you do?
You've looked at some of their texts, haven't you?
Yes, I did.
Almighty God's words have authority and are practical.
They're from the Holy Spirit.
Sister Jiang, the church has stated this.
No contact with them, and no looking at their books. (Right.)
Why didn't you obey?
Sister, you'd best confess your sins and ask the Lord to protect your heart.
Elder Liu, regardless of whether their way is the true one,
reading Almighty God's words and listening to their testimony
will only make things clearer.
Why is it that we can't read Almighty God's words or hear their testimony?
Sister Jiang, Elder Liu is saying all of this
in order to protect us from being deceived by them.
Think about it.
The pastors and elders all know the Bible well and have discernment.
So if the "Eastern Lightning" is in fact the true way,
don't you think they would've already accepted it?
Perhaps you're a better judge than all those pastors and elders?
What they think is right, in all likelihood. We can listen to them.
Thank the Lord. Sister Jiang, for your own life as well as the others, be firm.
If they come to you again, call the police.
Wouldn't that be helping the government persecute true believers?
Then we'd be Judases betraying the Lord and our true friends.
Thank the Lord. Who allowed them to steal our sheep?
To protect our own flock, we must use every tool we have. (Mm. That's right.)
Please, Sister Jiang, you have to be cautious around your brother. She's right.
Nobody continues to donate money these years as much as Sister Jiang. Nobody.
I'm glad Sister Wu reported this.
If Sister Jiang is stolen by the "Eastern Lightning,"
it'll be a huge loss to us.
The words in this book are far too powerful.
Every word touches people's hearts! They convince everybody!
If this keeps up,
won't all our best sheep be stolen away by the "Eastern Lightning"?
The "Eastern Lightning" would steal our sheep from us in this way.
This is robbing us of our livelihood!
I hate the "Eastern Lightning" so much.
Right. If all our sheep are stolen by them, how will we afford to eat?
To whom will we be pastors and elders?
We'll rely on the Bible and defeat them!
On the Bible? But we all believe in it.
And it's believers
who accept the "Eastern Lightning" preachings after reading their books.
This is the only solution, because right now many worship the Bible.
And so let us place our faith in it and combat them with it!
Also we have to rewrite and republish all of those books
against the "Eastern Lightning."
And we should create even worse rumors about them to add in there!
That's not all. We'll need more.
So let's use the government's and the Three-Self Church's too.
All their rumors!
We'll compile them all, and give it to everyone!
I refuse to believe that it won't work!
Elder Liu, I think it's already been proven that rumors don't help.
Just look. We said the "Eastern Lightning" books had poison,
but so many believers are reading the "Eastern Lightning" books right now.
And they've found out
that Almighty God's words are full of truth, authority, and power,
so they believe this is God's voice. They won't believe our rumors.
Also I think that the rumors we made up about the "Eastern Lightning"
will be found out sooner or later.
Found out? Then we'll stand by them!
We have no choice!
A lie repeated ten thousand times becomes the truth.
Tell the church. If those people dare come again, call the police!
They dare steal my sheep? Humph! I'm going to make them pay.
Hello?
Elder Liu, it's Brother Zhu.
Something happened in our church! (What's that?)
Some have accepted the "Eastern Lightning"!
The best and most faithful of our brothers and sisters
have now been stolen away by them!
What did you say? (From Brother Zhu's church?)
They have hundreds of believers!
Elder Liu! Elder Liu! Elder Liu!
O Lord!
I've listened to Almighty God's words and believed them to be Your voice.
Yet why can't pastors and elders who know the Bible so well,
why aren't they able to tell that it's Your voice?
Why are they trying to stop us from looking into the true way?
Why is it that they're so afraid
to let us have contact with the "Eastern Lightning"?
O Lord! Please allow me to find enlightenment.
Help me see the truth.
Keep me from Satan's schemes.
Spare me from Satan's traps, and also from man's deception and restrictions.
O Lord! I beg for salvation.
The Lord wished that I would hear news of His coming
to be able to discern the Lord's voice, to search and investigate,
much like the wise virgins did.
I shouldn't blindly reject things like those foolish virgins did,
otherwise I may very well miss the chance to meet the Lord!
They're from the Church of Almighty God?
That's right. I heard their fellowship last time.
What they preached was practical and very clear.
Brother Fang, Brother Tian, I have a matter I'd like you to clarify for me.
You've said the pastors and elders
are all people who serve God through their work.
By all rights, in the second coming of the Lord,
they ought to be more alert and taking things seriously. (Yes. That's right.)
So why is it that
they aren't seeking out and investigating Almighty God's work in the last days?
They make rumors, condemn, and judge instead,
and keep their followers from investigating. (Right. Yes.)
Could you please elaborate on this matter? (Mm. Please.)
Mm. Sure.
That's right.
The elders know that the Ten Commandments say to "… not bear false witness."
Why do they still fabricate rumors
and condemn the "Eastern Lightning," (Yes. Why?)
and keep asking us to guard against them
to avoid coming into contact with them
or hearing what they preach or reading Almighty God's word? (Mm.)
Why are they doing such things? (That's right. Yeah.)
This question doesn't strike me as strange.
When the Lord Jesus came to do His work,
He faced wild opposition and condemnation.
It was even from within the religious world,
from the Pharisees, from chief priests and scribes.
He was crucified by them in the end. That's historically true. (It is.)
We should all think about this.
Why was the Lord Jesus crucified by the religious world back then?
That's true.
That's a good question to ask.
What's the reason?
I've never given it that much thought.
If we can understand the reasoning for that,
it's easy to see
why in the last days Almighty God is re-crucified by the religious world.
Everything that Almighty God expresses is the truth,
and what He does is the work of judgment in the last days.
Yet He suffers condemnation and blasphemy
from those religious pastors and elders.
It's quite thought provoking.
Condemning Almighty God's work is blaspheming the Holy Spirit.
It's almost like they're re-crucifying Christ of the last days.
The nature of this problem is very grave! (It is.)
Some people still don't understand this.
They say the religious pastors and elders are serving God through their work.
But then why don't they investigate the true way or seek it? Why condemn it?
The truth is, this has to do with these people's nature.
As we all know, the Jewish chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees
all served God in the temple.
When the Lord Jesus did His work on earth,
most of them admitted that His work and words had authority as well as power.
Then why did they still nail the Lord Jesus to the cross?
We know why from the records in the Bible.
What the Lord Jesus did at that time shocked the entire Judean nation.
He fed five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish.
He made the lame walk, the blind see, the dead return, and so on.
That shocked all of Judea.
Many people spread the Lord Jesus' name
and the news of the work He did on earth. (Right.)
And the followers of the Lord Jesus grew great and many.
But when those chief priests, scribes, and the Pharisees saw it all,
hatred grew in their hearts.
They all understood if the Lord Jesus continued His work,
their Jewish followers would soon turn to follow Him,
that all of Judaism would break down before very long and collapse.
And so, to safeguard Judaism's existence and the Bible's dignity,
as well as to keep their hold on their lofty jobs and positions,
they frantically condemned the Lord Jesus with false accusations.
In the end, they colluded with the Roman prefect to crucify the Lord Jesus.
That can't be denied. Very true.
That's the truth. There's no doubt. So the reason they crucified the Lord Jesus
was only to protect their positions and jobs. They're too despicable.
Today the pastors and elders are the same way.
They see Almighty God's word is the truth, that it has authority and power.
If this word is preached among believers who seek out and love the truth,
they will all acknowledge this is God's word, that it is God's voice,
and that the Lord Jesus has already returned.
So the pastors and elders fear
that believers will read Almighty God's word and hear God's voice.
They fear losing followers to Almighty God even more.
Because they would lose their positions and jobs.
That's why they especially hate Almighty God.
So they make up wild rumors, resist and condemn Him,
and disrupt and hinder our search for the true way.
This is obvious to anyone with good sense.
You see, pastors and elders today resist and condemn Almighty God
for the very same reason the Jewish Pharisees resisted the Lord Jesus.
Their satanic nature drives them
to despise and hate the truth and to resist God.
So this is the reason. (Right.)
The facts are certain. The pastors and the elders,
those who resist and condemn Almighty God are not His true servants.
It's clear these men are hypocritical Pharisees. They're all antichrists.
So all those who hate the truth and hate God are antichrists.
Wait, what? The pastors and elders are antichrists?
Let's listen to them.
That's right. The Jewish Pharisees in Judea were antichrists
who were exposed by the work of the Lord Jesus in the past. (They were. Right.)
Today the religious pastors and elders
are antichrists exposed by Almighty God's work of the last days.
Their substance as truth haters is no different.
They're antichrists who deny God incarnate.
Just as the Bible says,
And so, we're completely sure that people who deny God incarnate are antichrists
and those who refuse, condemn, and oppose God incarnate are antichrists too.
True believers who know God
will surely recognize and accept God incarnate's work,
while those who don't truly believe in or know Him
will condemn and resist the incarnate God.
Yes, this makes sense. (It does.)
Through the work of Almighty God, every antichrist and unbeliever is revealed.
The sheep and the goats, the good and the evil, are separated.
Thus people are classed according to kind.
And so, if God's believers can't discern the antichrists,
they will easily be deceived and controlled (Mm.)
and find it hard to return before God's throne.
Right. That's true. Very true.
Now I understand everything.
Yes, it was well said. Very clear.
It seems the pastors and elders spread rumors,
slander, condemn, and blaspheme Almighty God,
because they're the kind of people who despise and hate truth.
That's very true.
If they really were ones who loved the truth, they'd revere God in their hearts.
How could they be so hostile to Almighty God who expresses the truth?
That's right. Mm.
The truth of their nature is obvious now. (Right. Mm.)
That's right.
These pastors and elders resist and condemn Almighty God so strongly.
It lets us see their satanic nature clearly and their hypocrisy.
Without the revelation of Almighty God's work,
it'd be difficult for us to see they're the modern Pharisees
and the antichrists revealed in the last days. (Right.)
These men are the enemies of God
as well as the enemies of true believers like us. (Right.)
They're the ones blocking our path to the kingdom of heaven!
Yes, good point. (Right.)
The pastors and elders really use any means to keep their positions and jobs.
They do.
They even say evil things that judge and condemn God (Yes.)
and do such awful and evil things to resist Him. (That's very true. Right.)
They're so wicked and despicable.
They're no different from the Pharisees who condemned the Lord Jesus then.
They're all people who hate the truth. (Right.)
How can they be talking like this? (They wouldn't.)
It's so dangerous if we can't discern.
Your fellowship matches the facts.
The pastors and elders are clearly hypocrites.
They resist and condemn Almighty God's work in the last days
without investigating or seeking.
This alone reveals their nature as people who hate and despise the truth.
But still, they always read from the Bible and preach to us.
They pray for believers, practice love for us and uphold the Bible.
If we're saying that they're the hypocritical Pharisees,
most believers wouldn't understand it or even tell. (Right.)
I'd like a more detailed fellowship on this. (Mm. Sure.)
Back then, the Jewish Pharisees
always expounded on the Bible at their services, prayed for the believers.
To the eye, they looked devout, right?
Then why did the Lord Jesus expose them and curse them,
saying woe to the Pharisees who were hypocrites?
Did the Lord Jesus accuse them wrongly?
Would people not believe what He said to be the truth?
Would they suspect the Lord Jesus made a mistake?
If we want to tell if the pastors and elders are the Pharisees,
whether or not they're antichrists,
we shouldn't judge them solely by how they treat people.
We should judge them by how they treat the Lord in their hearts,
by how they treat the truth.
Outwardly, they may have love for believers, but do they have it for the Lord?
If their love is just for people, not for the Lord, or for the truth,
then they only show hatred and utter contempt.
And they condemn Almighty God, Christ of the last days.
Doesn't that only make them hypocrites, make them antichrists? (Yes. It does.)
They give sermons and seem to work so diligently.
But if they only do so for crowns and rewards,
does that represent their obedience and faith to the Lord?
To discern if someone is a hypocrite,
we should first look at the person's heart and this person's intentions.
Doing that first is the most vital thing.
This fellowship can make things clear. (It's important.)
God looks upon hearts and minds to see if one truly obeys God and loves Him.
We should first see if they practice and follow the Lord's word,
not to mention keep the Lord's commandments.
We should also see if they exalt the Lord Jesus, if they testify Him,
and see if they follow the will of God. (Right.)
In the past, we saw that the Pharisees often expounded on the Bible
during their congregations.
And they observed biblical laws in their entirety and professed love for others.
But in actuality, what they were practicing was not God's word,
and weren't God's commandments. They did so just for show.
Just as the Lord Jesus exposed them,
They also made long prayers standing in synagogues and standing at crossroads.
When they were fasting, they disfigured their faces on purpose,
so that people would see that they were fasting.
They deliberately gave alms in the open
and did good deeds on the streets so that all could see.
"Eat your bread with properly purified hands."
For generations, they kept to their ancestors' ways and such religious rituals.
That is true. I had no idea.
For the Pharisees to win people's support and adoration,
they camouflaged themselves in the trifling details of their faith.
Also they only led the people in prayer at services, in hymns and praise,
or in the observance of rituals.
They didn't lead people to practice God's word or His commandments
to enter into the truth,
much less lead them to practice the truth, submit to and worship God.
They deceived and fooled all their believers
with these outward deeds and dead rites. (Right.)
They did do that. (True. That really was the case then.)
And when the Lord Jesus came to do work,
all these falsely devout Pharisees
wished to still keep their positions and jobs.
So they dared forsake God's laws under the guise of "safeguarding the Bible."
They made up lies, bore false witness
and they condemned and framed the Lord Jesus,
and kept many believers from following Him.
In the end, they colluded with the prefect to defame and crucify the Lord Jesus.
Mm, that's true.
And thus, the Pharisees were totally exposed
as hypocrites and as those who hated the truth,
and their substance as antichrists was thoroughly revealed to the world.
We know the Pharisees were hypocritical in substance, evil, crafty, cunning,
and were false shepherds who forsook God and who deceived and controlled people.
They are. (That's right.)
They deceived and bound the believers, controlled religion and opposed God,
and wildly denied, condemned and hated the incarnate Christ,
proving fully that they were antichrists who created their own kingdom! (Right.)
That's right.
The Pharisees and antichrists can't only be judged by how they treat people.
Right.
First off, we should see if they really practice the Lord's word, (We should.)
and have real love for the Lord.
They really gave us a thorough dissection of the Pharisees.
Everything they preached, it's clearly there, right in the Bible.
It is in the Bible, but that's not the way it was discerned. (That's right.)
I feel so ashamed. I've been reading the Bible for years now.
Yet I've never found knowledge regarding the Pharisees' substance.
Your fellowship really is enlightening and helps me discern.
It's very edifying. (It is. Thank God.)
If we only ever read the Lord Jesus' word in the Bible on our own,
we wouldn't have seen through to the actual substance of the Pharisees!
Yes, you're right.
And now I see myself as nearly a Pharisee as well, someone who resists God.
As a believer, I've really been remiss.
Thanks be to God
for today He helped us see the Pharisees' hypocritical essence.
This really is God's blessing! (Yes. Thank the Lord.)
So now, the various hypocritical behaviors of the Pharisees are clear.
Compared to the modern religious pastors and elders, they're no different.
It's like they're two of a kind.
They don't practice the Lord's word or keep His commandments,
nor exalt the Lord or testify to Him.
All they do is blindly believe.
They worship the Bible and that's what they exalt.
And they just observe religious rituals.
They conduct services, have morning watch,
break bread, and take holy meals. (Right.)
They preach the believers to be humble, patient, devout, and to love.
Yet their hearts don't love God,
much less have true obedience, or any true reverence for God.
Their work and sermons are focused merely on biblical knowledge and theology.
But in the practice and experience of the Lord's word,
how to keep His commandments, how to testify of His word,
how to follow the heavenly Father's will,
how to truly love God, obey God, worship God,
and the Lord Jesus' other requirements,
that they don't seek out, don't look into,
and consequently never find the Lord's will, (Right.)
nor do they guide us to. (It's true.)
They go everywhere preaching about these biblical theories,
just to show off, establish themselves, and win favor,
for adoration and worship.
That's why when Almighty God expresses the truth and does the work of judgment,
the pastors and elders, in order to hold on to their power, control believers
and ultimately build a kingdom they can call their very own,
all go against the Lord's words.
They lie, blaspheme, attack, judge Almighty God
and try to stop believers from seeking the true way. (Right.)
Also as Jesus taught us, we must be wise virgins.
Once the bridegroom comes and we hear it, we should go meet Him.
But after they heard about the Lord Jesus' return,
they desperately sealed off the churches
and kept the flock from seeking the true way.
That's right. We've all been victims of those lies. (True enough.)
They ask the believers
to slander and harm the witnesses of Almighty God's work of the last days.
Jesus asked of man to not speak lies and to not bear false witness.
Yet the pastors and elders fabricate lies in order to slander Almighty God.
They collude with the CCP to resist and condemn His work in the last days
and discredit His Church. (These are facts.)
So we can see that what all the pastors and elders say and do
is completely against the Lord's teachings. (Mm. Right.)
They're all just like the hypocritical Pharisees,
nothing other than blind guides and deceivers who would resist God.
That's true. That really is the case. Right. Absolutely.
This fellowship makes it so clear. I'll read some of Almighty God's word.
All right. Page 608.
Brothers and sisters,
outwardly these pastors and elders seem to be humble, patient, and loving.
Inwardly, they're just sinister, crafty, and evil.
Under the pretext of "protecting the true way and the flocks,"
they resist and condemn Almighty God,
attempting to control us,
to achieve their purpose of keeping their power and creating their own kingdom.
Hypocritical Pharisees like these hate the truth and hate God.
They're a gang of antichrists stubbornly against God
as revealed by Almighty God's work of the last days. (Right.)
Which is why those who truly believe in God
should learn to see the hypocritical, satanic nature of this gang of antichrists,
shouldn't let themselves be deceived, beguiled, misled, or controlled,
but instead should seek out the true way and accept Almighty God's work,
and return before the throne of God!
That's right. Right.
We need to distinguish that, right? Or it'll be too dangerous. (True.)
Don't you agree?
Everything you've fellowshiped is the truth.
I used to think the pastors and elders helped interpret the Bible
and that they seemed humble, patient, and loving. (They did.)
They seemed to obey the Bible and keep its truth.
But given that they condemn and resist Christ of the last days,
I've seen completely through their hypocrisy.
They outwardly appear to love others yet don't love the Lord Jesus, (Mm.)
don't revere or obey Him. (Right.)
That's absolutely true. (Mm.)
From how these men fabricate rumors, judge and slander the "Eastern Lightning,"
as well as stop us from seeking the true way,
we can see they're as malicious and base as the Pharisees. (Right.)
We were deceived and deluded by these leaders before. (Yes. Right.)
We're believers, but we've been fooled and used,
as tools to get their positions and jobs.
These evil men have duped us! (Right. Yes.)
Without understanding the truth, people just can't discern the Pharisees.
They can only be deceived. (Right.)
Believing in religion, it's hard to avoid the Pharisees' lies, (Mm.)
and hard to become wise virgins who hear the voice of God and accept His work,
even harder to gain the truth or have life.
That's right.
These pastors and elders expound on the Bible and teach people with it,
but they themselves don't keep the Lord's words
and only focus on rituals and doctrines.
All they did do was deceive people, delude them into evil deeds against God.
They're so sinister and so malicious! (Yes, they are. Really true.)
The pastors and elders never talk of this, of how to recognize the Pharisees.
I've long been a believer,
yet never understood the Lord's exposure of the Pharisees.
Today, through this fellowship with you,
I now see why the Lord Jesus hated and cursed the Pharisees,
why He exposed them.
Now that I think of it,
the pastors and elders preach of all this biblical knowledge,
this theology to show off,
never to exalt and testify the Lord.
They never lead us to practice, experience, or live out His words.
There are still things we don't understand, the Lord Jesus' truths,
how they're practiced,
and how exactly we should live out the Lord's words.
Really they've taken us in and trapped us! (We were trapped. Right.)
And more awful, they even incite us to resist and condemn Almighty God.
Aren't they exactly the same as the Pharisees
leading every one of us towards hell?
Exactly. They really are.
Sister Jiang,
no matter the rest, the pastors and elders are preaching from the Bible.
Aren't they exalting the Lord and testifying to Him
by expounding the Bible and its teachings?
As such, is it honestly wrong for them to keep doing so?
How can you sit there and say that they're only hypocritical Pharisees?
That's right!
The pastors and elders exalt and testify the Lord when they preach.
How can you sit there and say they are hypocritical Pharisees?
We don't understand. You'd better explain it!
Right! Spell it out!
Sister, just calm down and listen to them. Brother, blessed are the poor in Spirit. Please calm down.
Expounding on the Bible seems correct in men's eyes.
But when they're expounding on the Bible, they're actually only resisting God.
What men would do that? Are they not hypocritical Pharisees?
Aren't they antichrists who are resisting God? (They are. Yes.)
Why do they resist God with their preaching? Why do they condemn Him?
I really wonder why can't some people understand after so much fellowship?
They still think expounding the Bible exalts and testifies God.
The chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees were all scholars,
and were considered to be experts on the Bible,
on the Old Testament in those days,
and were always preaching the Bible to people.
If expounding the Bible is exalting God,
then why is it that when the Lord Jesus came to do work,
they fervently resisted and condemned the Lord,
and in the end colluded with the government leaders to crucify Him?
That's right. Right. True, they did.
The religious leaders know the Bible well, and often preach.
If preaching the Bible
is equivalent to exalting God, and bearing witness to God,
then why do they resist and condemn instead of seeking and investigating
when Almighty God comes to express the truth and do the work of judgment?
Right.
Where does the problem lie?
Isn't this an important issue for every believer in God to reflect upon?
Besides, if the leaders of the religious world do exalt God
when they're expounding on the Bible,
then in the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus came,
why didn't He do His work in the temple?
When Almighty God comes, why does He not work in churches either?
It's because the leaders of the religious world
aren't exalting or testifying to God.
They're all hypocrites, each one. They're self-conceited Pharisees
and antichrists who control the religion to resist God.
How could they allow God to exist on this earth?
Could they permit voices that testify about God in the religious world?
If the incarnate Christ
worked and preached in religion and churches in the last days,
He would've been arrested, handed to the government, and crucified.
If people testified to God in churches,
they will be persecuted and face arrest undoubtedly.
That's the truth of the matter. Why can't people still see that?
It really is like that.
Elder Liu said to call the police if we saw the "Eastern Lightning."
This really was evil.
Given the fact that the Pharisees resisted and condemned God,
we should be clear about
whether exalting the Bible is really bearing witness to God!
Can those who truly exalt and bear witness to God still resist Him?
Can they make an enemy of God? (Right.)
Besides, we should also know this:
The Bible contains more than God's words. It has man's words too.
So exalting the Bible and exalting God aren't the same thing.
Obeying it and obeying the Lord's commandments aren't the same thing.
Religious Pharisees only focus on the preaching of man's words
when they're expounding on the Bible,
of biblical knowledge, of mere theories.
They preach and testify man's words
instead of focusing on the preaching and testifying of God's words,
the truth in the Bible.
How could this be exalting and testifying God?
Isn't this just resisting and betraying God? (It is. Yes. Right.)
And so, that's why all those who think expounding on the Bible is exalting God.
Such people are simply fools.
They don't understand the spirit or see things through.
They're fools who worship, believe, and follow the religious leaders blindly.
Isn't that a fact? (Yes.)
Back then, the Pharisees in Judea
worked to interpret the knowledge and doctrines within the Bible
to practice religious rituals, observe doctrines and keep man's inheritance.
They then discarded God's commandments and put His way aside.
And when the Lord Jesus returned at last,
they fervently resisted and condemned Him and crucified Jesus upon the cross.
Thus they were cursed and punished by God.
Today religious pastors and elders
often expound and testify about the Bible to us.
But they don't focus on testifying and spreading God's word,
nor expounding the Lord Jesus' will, much less His requirements for mankind.
They rarely testify of His divine substance and of His loveliness,
nor guide man to practice and experience the Lord's words,
nor fellowship about how to hold on to the Lord's commandments
and follow His will.
They focus on expounding and exalting man's words in the Bible,
asking us to practice and follow man's words as God's,
obeying them as if they were truth.
And they solve their problems by looking to man's words in the Bible,
rather than looking to the words of God,
essentially rejecting God's words in the Bible, resisting them.
Take how to enter the kingdom of heaven.
But the pastors and elders put aside the Lord Jesus' clear words,
and regard man's words in the Bible as truth,
as the way that one enters the kingdom of heaven,
and preach that one can enter just by suffering for the Lord.
They replace God's word with man's word, thereby rejecting it,
and so lead many people astray.
That's the most evil and vicious way
that the religious pastors and elders resist God.
It is true. Yes, right. Absolutely true. Indeed.
What he said is true.
We need to learn to discern these things.
And they also preach the Bible out of context.
They resist and condemn Almighty God with man's words in the Bible.
They try their best to delude, control, bind,
and bar us from accepting Almighty God's work of the last days,
keeping us tightly bound and under their control.
That was well said. These words are absolutely true.
According to these facts, how can we say that religious pastors and elders
are exalting and bearing witness to God whenever they're preaching?
Aren't they using their expounding of the Bible as an excuse
to resist God by twisting its words out of context? (That's right.)
Right. (It really is like that.)
They've long become obstacles to the true way and returning to God,
stumbling blocks,
and antichrists fully revealed by Almighty God's work of the last days.
Is this honestly not a fact that we can all see clearly yet? (Yes, it's true.)
According to man's notions, expounding the Bible exalts and testifies to God.
From how the religious leaders the Pharisees expounded on things,
we can see this isn't the truth of the matter at all.
What the Pharisees exalt and testify about is the Bible, but it isn't God.
What they preach is primarily man's words in the Bible instead of God's words.
They use man's words in the Bible to replace and resist the words of God.
They resist and judge God
with out-of-context quotes of man's words in the Bible.
Their purpose in expounding isn't to exalt or bear witness to God,
but to deceive and control people for their own despicable purposes. (Mm.)
Expounding like this just resists God. It's evil. (It's all true.)
So when God comes to do His work, they control people firmly using the Bible,
causing people to believe blindly in the Bible,
setting them upon the path of resisting God. (Right.)
You see,
the religious leaders, the Pharisees' expounding is all about resisting God.
They quote biblical words out of context,
using man's words to resist God to oppose Him,
and to establish their own kingdom.
And so, how should we expound the Bible to really exalt and testify to God?
The Bible is the record of God's work and God's testimony.
So when expounding the Bible, we should follow God's words
and God's truth in it to exalt and testify to Him.
We should spread and testify to His words in the Bible.
It's based on God's requirements and God's words
that we fellowship about God's will and the truth in God's words;
that we testify to God's work and disposition
and God's substance and loveliness,
and lead people in the practice and experience of God's words,
so that they live by them,
and exalt and testify to the Lord Jesus in everything.
Only expounding the Bible this way exalts and testifies to God, (Right.)
which is after God's heart, and is truly serving God.
Right. That's right. I agree. True.
Man's words inside the Bible are there just for reference and assistance.
They can never be equivalent to God's words.
But the pastors and elders
only focus on expounding the words of man contained in the Bible.
They take man's words written in the Bible
and treat them as God's words, and the truth, (Yes, they do.)
as their rules of personal conduct, as a way to handle problems.
And yet they seldom focus on the words of God.
They use man's words in the Bible to replace God's words, to nullify them.
Do they bear witness to God when expounding the Bible thus?
Aren't they exalting and bearing witness to man?
Mm. They are. He's right. They absolutely are.
Plus, when they're preaching the Bible, they only focus on explaining theology.
They just list the figures' names, places, and historical facts
to flaunt themselves, to show off.
Isn't that how they deceive and control people? (Mm.)
Aren't they making man worship and follow them?
Back then, in the hypocritical Pharisees' time,
they misinterpreted the Bible when preaching
in order to control man, to deceive.
And so, they led the believers to follow man and towards resisting God.
Judaism then became an independent kingdom against God.
Today the religious pastors and elders are playing the same trick
to make people put blind faith in the Bible and worship it,
causing the Bible to take God's position in the hearts of men.
Unknowingly, believers are led to forsake the Lord's words.
Blindly they're against Him.
They've turned the religious world into an independent kingdom against God
as well as a strong bastion against His work.
Expounding the Bible like this, aren't they opposing and blaspheming God?
Yes. (Mm.)
Isn't this the Pharisees the antichrists' scheme
to oppose God and build their independent kingdom?
How can we say that they exalt God and testify to Him?
A crafty way for the Pharisees to resist God
is to willfully misinterpret the Bible
and thereby deceive man and control the believers.
The Bible is God's testimony.
According to man, expounding the Bible testifies to God.
These hypocritical Pharisees, however taking advantage of this notion,
try to exalt and testify the Bible.
They replace God with the Bible.
And they resist Him with the Bible and trick man,
leading them to worship the book in their blindness.
They become traitors to God
who then worship and follow biblical scholars over Him.