Beware of ‘Eastern Lightning’ [Excerpts]
Have you heard of Eastern Lightning? If not, hang on because it’s quite a story. Eastern Lightning is also known as the Church of the Almighty God, Church of the True God, Church of the Everlasting Fountain, and Real God and it’s a growing *cult in mainland China, Hong Kong, Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Australia, Europe, Canada and the United States.
Even though Eastern Lightning is believed by some to have more than a million members in mainland China, it is small in comparison with China’s population of about 1.4 billion people (Some estimates are less than 100,000 adherents in China). EL (as it is sometimes referred) is a relatively new cult and uses deception, sex and violence to grow bigger and flex its muscles on the back of a middle-aged Chinese woman that church members believe is the ‘Almighty God’ on earth.
The cult is reported to have begun about 25 years ago by Zhao Weishan. He proclaims that the Almighty God has come to earth in the form of a Chinese woman and bases that claim on what Jesus said almost 2,000 years ago: “For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew:24:27). The woman’s name is Yang Xiangbin and is also known as the “female Christ.”
As with most cults, Eastern Lightning has its own ‘holy book,’ known as The Word Appears in the Flesh: The Word Uttered by God Who Came Hiddenly in the End Time. The date of original writing is February 28, 1992. The English translation is dated January 29, 2008. That translation includes: Preface, Attached Pieces 1-3, The Interpretation of the Mystery of God’s Word (Attached Pieces of God’s Word 6-14), and The Words of the Incarnated Son of Man During His Walk in the Churches.
The book is deceptive in that the truth of what the cult believes is hidden from clear view. Instead of using the name Yang Xiangbin, the book addresses a correct response to God and His “Christ.” The “Christ” of Eastern Lightning is Yang Xiangbin.
Their beliefs: Jesus Christ is a created being - The Trinity is a false doctrine - Jesus Christ did not complete His work on earth, so God sent a woman (Jesus’ sister?) to complete His 6,000-year plan to save humanity - Because Jesus did not complete His work on earth, salvation through the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is not effective in saving a person’s soul - Jesus did not rise from the dead and will not return again - God has already returned to earth as a Chinese woman (Yang Xiangbin) - The Bible is outdated and not authoritative.
The cult is known for using deception, coercion, entrapment, kidnapping, sex and violence to gain new converts. There are many reports about Eastern Lightning’s acts of violence. One of its methods for getting access to many of the true Christian house churches in China is “Spying and Paving the Way” – a method of infiltrating orthodox churches.
Eastern Lightning is savvy in working with media: including books, video, stage plays, musicals, audio, photos, art and websites – including live chat. They also have special media aimed at reaching children. Books include The Word Becomes Flesh, The Lightning Comes from the East, The Holy Spirit Speaks to All the Churches, and God’s Work through His Secret Appearing.
[TBC: "Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect" (Matthew:24:23-24).]