Lightning from the East
Lightning from the East
Jesus is alive and well, living in China as a woman and promising a fast-approaching Judgment Day.
Anew apocalyptic cult named Lightning from the East emerged in China in 1990 claiming Jesus has returned as a thirty-year-old woman who presently remains in hiding and has never been photographed. The female Jesus, surnamed Deng, is supposedly prophesied in Matthew 24:27: “For as the lightning comes out of the east and shines even unto the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.” Deng claims to be that “lightning,” and she warns of a fast-approaching Day of Judgment. She explains that she has been born again in China because it is the “Great Red Dragon” referred to in the book of Revelation. In addition to gifts of great teaching, the female Messiah has written a third testament to the Bible and composed hymns that fill ten CDs.
Lightning from the East, perhaps more properly called a sect of Christianity since the group employs the language of that religion, has upset China’s 80 million orthodox Christians by claiming to have a female Jesus who writes new doomsday scriptures and whose followers abduct other Christians and hold them for brainwashing sessions lasting as long as five days. Even Catholic nuns and priests have been held captive for days and forced to listen to impassioned Lightning teachers tell them that the Jesus of the Bible is the old one. The new Jesus has come, and she will destroy the earth. Lightning members, who call themselves the “congregation,” sing hymns that the new savior has written to the tunes of familiar folk or Communist Party songs. If an abducted potential convert should ask why the all-powerful Son/Daughter of God should have to be in hiding, the answer will be that she feels the need for secrecy at the present time, but she has a careful plan that she will follow.
Lightning boasts that they have converted millions of Chinese to their style of Christian teaching (more conservative estimates place membership around 300,000). Lightning converts argue that they have an advantage over conventional Christians because they have a Jesus here and now who promises to take her followers with her directly to heaven as the days of judgment move across China—and soon the world. While orthodox Christian priests and pastors preach virtues and values and downplay dire warnings about a final judgment, Lightning offers a Jesus who has come first to China and promises immediate salvation.
Chinese officials stated that their two-year campaign against such evil cults as the Falun Gong has placed two thousand members of Lightning in jail. However, the Communist Party’s restrictions on religion don’t permit enough ministers to graduate from the nation’s eighteen state-approved Protestant seminaries to provide for China’s hundreds of thousands of believers, so many Christians unknowingly join Lightning, thinking they are joining a traditional or orthodox Christian church.
Lightning from the East already has followers in North America. A small booklet called The Voice of God in China is being distributed in Chinatowns in New York City and San Francisco. Deng, the female Messiah, speaks as God in the first person: “Let everyone use the Light as strength that my name be further glorified. I came to earth long ago, bringing the glory of Israel to the east. In these last days my name shall change again—not Jehovah nor Jesus nor the Messiah. I shall be called the almighty, omnipotent God, and I shall use this name to end all ages.”
The New Jesus may soon be coming to America.