God Has Brought His Glory to the East

God gave His glory to Israel then moved it away from there,bringing the Israelites and bringing all men to the East.God has led them all to the light,so that they may be reunited and associate with light,no longer have to search, search for the light.

Who is my Lord

Liu Zhizhong is a pastor at a local house church in China. He's been a believer for over 30 years, and has constantly maintained that "The Holy Bible is inspired by God," "The Holy Bible represents God, believing in God is believing in the Bible, believing in the Bible is believing in God."

Faith in God

Yu Congguang is a gospel preacher from the Church of Almighty God. Because he was pursued by the CCP government while preaching the gospel, he fled to the mountain and got help from Zheng Xun, a co-worker of the local house church.

XiaoZhen's Story

Xiao Zhen used to be a pure, kind-hearted Christian, who always treated her friends sincerely. However, when it was to their benefit, her former friends became her enemies.

The Mystery of GodLiness

Lin Bo’en had believed in the Lord for decades and was a senior preacher. Ever since his acceptance of Almighty God, Christ of the last days, he had been confronted with the condemnation and rejection of the pastors, elders, and antichrist forces in the religious world and was eventually expelled from the religion.

Showing posts with label Eastern Lightning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Eastern Lightning. Show all posts

Friday, November 17, 2017

Escaping Satan’s Sieges by God’s Word

Escaping Satan’s Sieges by God’s Word

I was once a leader of a Three-Self church. Seeing the pastors and elders scrambled for fame and gain, I was very disappointed with them and my faith and love gradually grew cold. Later, Almighty God’s work of the last days was preached to me. Through a period of investigation, I felt the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit and recovered the faith and love I had at the start. I was fully convinced of Almighty God’s work of the last days, and began to read His words hungrily and have meetings with my brothers and sisters in the Church of Almighty God. However, just then, I unexpectedly encountered the disturbances and sieges of the leaders and fellow believers in the Three-Self Church. In my bewilderment and confusion, it was Almighty God’s words that led me to overcome the temptations and disturbances of Satan, made me see clearly Satan’s ugly face and evil nature, and strengthened my faith in following Him to the very end.
One day, it was raining a bit. Pastor Huang and Sister Song, a leader of another Three-Self church, came to my house. I thought, “They have never come to visit me; for what do they both come today? Did they hear of my acceptance of Almighty God? They have been rejecting God’s work of the last days and sealing off the churches. Do they come to persuade me? It seems that they are well prepared. I must be very careful not to fall into their trap.” After they entered the room, Song queried, “Brother, we heard that you’ve accepted the Eastern Lightning. Is it true?” I thought to myself, “Sure enough they come for that. How did she know that? My wife told them? Well, it seems that I can’t hold out on them.” So I said, “Yes. Someone gave me a book, and I have read it. I think the words in it completely accord with facts, and what’s more, they carry authority and cannot be spoken by any man. I believe they are God’s utterances.” They exchanged knowing looks at each other, and then Song said solemnly, “Brother, you have believed in the Lord for many years; aren’t you confused? Aren’t the words of the Lord all in the Bible? There are no words of the Lord outside the Bible. You read their book; doesn’t it mean that you have departed from the Bible and abandoned the Lord’s way?” I looked at them and said confidently, “It says in John 21:25, ‘And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.’ And John 16:12-13 says, ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.’ From these verses, we can see that there are God’s words outside the Bible; or else the Lord Jesus wouldn’t have said that the Spirit of truth would tell people many things when He came. Doesn’t that prove there are God’s words outside the Bible? You say there are no God’s words outside the Bible; how do you explain about the little scroll prophesied in Revelation? Aren’t you denying the prophecy by saying that? To tell the truth, I also thought that way in the past as you do. But after I read the words of Almighty God, I knew that The Word Appears in the Flesh is God’s utterance in the last days and is the scroll to be opened by the Lamb prophesied in the Bible. I hope you make an investigation and don’t miss the opportunity to be saved by God.” Hearing that, they stood up abruptly, and Song said in anger, “We only believe in the Lord Jesus! The Lord Jesus is our only Savior! And we won’t accept whoever is not called the Lord Jesus!” Pastor Huang also said angrily, “We came to persuade you for your good, but you’re simply irredeemable! I urge you to look out for yourself.” With that they went away in a huff. Looking at their receding figures, I felt sick at heart. “They have believed in God for years, but they don’t seek or investigate God’s work of the last days; instead, they try hard to disturb the believers and stop them from accepting God’s new work. They believe in God but do not know God; they are so pitiable.”
During the days that followed, the pastors, elders, preachers, co-workers, and believers in the Three-Self church came to persuade me time after time. They said, “Brother, please come back. We all miss you. If you come back, we will line up to welcome you….” After hearing these words repeatedly, I began to waver. I remembered my years of belief in the Lord in the Three-Self church; every tree and bush and every inch there were so familiar to me. I became kind of weak within. Just when I hesitated, a hymn of God’s word that I often sang rang in my ears: “The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation, condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for the truth; only in this way will you benefit. …” (“You Should Be Someone Who Accepts the Truth” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I sang it repeatedly in my heart. I pondered the lyrics, thinking, “What God has expressed today is the truth, and God’s work is all the more brought by the incarnate God Himself. If I don’t accept the returned Lord Jesus, won’t I be condemned? This is just as when the Lord Jesus came and did His work; the Pharisees held on to their conceptions and refused to accept Jesus’ gospel and finally was condemned by God. If today I yield to the persuasion of the people in the Three-Self church, won’t I be condemned like the earliest Pharisees? Besides, I have enjoyed the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church of Almighty God. In the past, when I was in the Three-Self church, I didn’t feel the work of the Holy Spirit at all. The pastors and elders had jealous disputes with one another and schemed against one another, and their preaching couldn’t supply the believers with life. The believers became cold in their faith and love. Now I am fortunate to keep up with God’s new work and receive the truth that can provide me with life; won’t I ruin myself if I go back? If they really take responsibility for my life, why did they not come to sustain or supply me when I was passive, but come and try hard to prevent me from walking the right path when I accepted God’s new work? The Lord Jesus said: ‘No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God’ (Luke 9:62). I shouldn’t turn back. All that came upon me these days is a spiritual battle of life and death. I must see through Satan’s cunning schemes and not waver. I should have a firm faith and rely on God’s words to overcome Satan’s sieges and follow God to the end.”
One day soon after, Mr. Sun came to my house on his motor tricycle. Upon entering my room, he said to me excitedly, “Brother, I have some good news for you. The director of the Religious Affairs Bureau told me that he wanted to talk to you. He asked you to go back to the church and continue to serve as the leader, and he promised to pay you a salary. He personally told me that. Once you agree and call him, it is done. Where would you find such a good opportunity?” At his words, I said to myself, “Today the director sent him to persuade me; it shows that he thinks highly of me. He remembers me and asks me to go back to work as the leader with salary; this will bring me both fame and gain. If I agree, I’ll have a guaranteed livelihood and be financially secure in my old age. That is what I have been expecting these years.” But then I thought, “If I go back to the Three-Self church, won’t I resume a life of struggling for fame and gain? Won’t I suffer the exclusion of the pastors and elders once again? Have I not suffered that enough? Besides, if I go back, it means that I have rejected God’s name and work and have given up the true way for the sake of fame and gain.” So I said to Sun, “I have retired from that position; I won’t go back. Thanks for your kindness.” He said anxiously, “Think it over again. Do not miss such a good opportunity. I’ll come in several days.” After Sun left, I was troubled: One way is to continue to follow Almighty God and endure the rejection of the religious people, the exclusion of the world, and the persecution of the government…. The other way is to have fame and gain and position as well as an assured life in my later years. What should I choose? Just then Sun returned. At the sight of my hesitation, he said loudly to me, “You can’t miss such a good opportunity!” I hovered. Then the words in a hymn occurred to me: “That which you are enjoying today is the very thing which is ruining your future, whereas the pain you are suffering today is the very thing that is protecting you. You must be clearly aware of that so as to keep away from the hook of temptation and to avoid entering the dense fog that blocks out the sun. When the dense fog clears off, you will find yourself in the judgment of the great day” (“Enjoying Fleshly Comforts Will Ruin Your Future” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). God’s enlightenment made me realize that the material enjoyments I pursued would only ruin my life and cause me to end up being completely eliminated by God. At the time, I thought, “Why didn’t the Pharisees accept the gospel of the Lord Jesus? Wasn’t it because of their pursuit of fame and gain, position, and the enjoyments of the flesh that they rejected the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus and were cursed by God in the end? Satan’s scheme is really sinister! If I take a wrong path today, I will surely be eliminated by God. It is so horrible!” Then I refused Sun on the excuse of my old age and poor health.
Afterward, I read these words of God: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). At the moment, I understood more clearly: The disturbances that have come upon me are all spiritual battles, and they are Satan’s accusations against me and also the sinister means Satan uses to plunder me. Its purpose is to try every way to make me reject the true way and deny God’s work and thus live under its domain again. I thought, “All that have happened to me during this period of time, whether Song’s disturbance, time after time of persuasion of the clerics and fellow believers in the church, or the director’s enticement of benefit, are actually despicable means Satan uses to deceive me. Satan is so hateful. It has been eyeing me greedily and trying every possible means to make me stray away from God and betray God and return to its camp.” The disclosure and guidance of God’s words enabled me to see through Satan’s schemes. I was resolved to stand testimony and firmly follow God to the end no matter what contemptible means they would use to disturb me in the future. So when Sun came and tried to persuade me again, I declined. From then on, they no longer came to interfere with me. I knew God had triumphed and that Satan had failed in humiliation. Thank God for leading me out of the sieges of Satan step by step. All the glory be to Almighty God!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

God’s Words Rescued Me From Satan’s Sieges I

God’s Words Rescued Me From Satan’s Sieges I

Bai Xue
One day in April, 1999, an elderly sister of our local Three-Self church brought two young brothers to my house, and they preached God’s work of the last days to me, who was thirsty and hungry in the spirit at that time. Through seeking and investigating for over a month, I was certain that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. I was very happy that the Lord Jesus whom I had longed for every day had really come back. I thought, “I must tell this good news to those brothers and sisters who are still waiting for the Lord to return.” But little had I expected that when I, full of faith, went everywhere preaching the gospel, news of my accepting God’s work of the last days reached the pastors and elders of the Three-Self church. Then Satan’s temptations and attacks came upon me one after another …
My Former Co-worker Huang Tried to Deceive Me Using the Words of the Lord Jesus
Early one morning, my former co-worker Huang in the Three-Self church came to my house angrily. I thought, “I have been on good terms with her; today I must tell her the news that God has come back.” So I said to her with a smile, “Auntie! I haven’t seen you for so long. Today I will tell you some very good news…” But she interrupted me in a harsh tone, with her finger pointing at me, “Have you converted to the ‘Eastern Lightning’? Don’t you know that there will appear false Christs in the last days? It is written, ‘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). Why didn’t you guard against them? How could you have been deceived by them? Your doing so is betraying the Lord. During these years, you have undergone so many sufferings in building up the church, preaching the gospel, and sustaining the brothers and sisters for the Lord; haven’t you undergone all those sufferings in vain? When the Lord comes back, you will be forsaken by Him.” Upon hearing that, I immediately remembered the words that the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God had said when fellowshipping about these verses. So I said with great calmness, “Do you know the intended meaning of these words of the Lord? The Lord said them in order to tell us that we should be cautious and have discernment when waiting for His coming, and not to forbid us to seek His return because of the appearance of false Christs during the last days. If we treat every message telling us that the Lord has come as a false one without seeking the truth or making any investigation, how can we possibly meet the returned Lord? Through reading the words of Almighty God these days I have realized that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. My following Almighty God is keeping up with the new work of God rather than betraying the Lord….” At my words, she left in a huff.
Afterward, she came to my house almost every two days. Every time she came, she spoke some blasphemies and words to disturb me, but I had a firm faith and remained unwavering whatever she said. Besides, I became ever more disgusted with her. Finally I told her, “Don’t come again. No matter what you say, I will not listen to you.” My uncompromising attitude enraged her, and after that she never came again.
The Leaders of the Local Three-Self Church Tried to Entice Me to Leave God by Offering to Install the Aluminum Alloy Doors and Windows
A few days later, when I was doing my housework, five people, the leadership of the Three-Self church, came to my house. At the sight of them, I became nervous in my heart, and I thought, “When Sister Huang came alone, she was so rude and unreasonable. Now several people come together; how will they treat me? Can I withstand it?” The more I thought, the more afraid I felt. My heart thumped, and I immediately prayed in my heart, “O God! May You keep my heart and give me the words I should say so that I can stand fast and will not betray You when Satan disturbs me.” At that moment, these words of Almighty God occurred to me: “Be not afraid; Almighty God of hosts must be with you. He will be your support and your shield” (“The Twenty-sixth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me faith and strength. “Yes, God is my support; I should be afraid of nothing.” I calmed down, not so nervous or afraid. After taking a few breaths, I said with a smile, “Please come in and have a seat.” I had thought that they would be rude and unreasonable like Sister Huang, but unexpectedly, a sister said to me with a smile, “Sister, we heard that you have accepted the ‘Eastern Lightning.’ We are all worried about you. We are to blame for that, because we have not cared for you much before. We come to see you today, and we wish you to turn back quickly. Besides, we want to see what your family lacks so that the church can help you.” With that they inspected my house. Then a sister in charge of the affairs of the Three-Self church took my hands and said, “Sister, your family is really in need. You see, the doors and windows are in so bad a condition that your rooms must be very cold in winter. They really should be replaced! Besides, you have elderly parents, and they have to suffer cold. If you are willing to come back to our church and believe in the Lord firmly, we will have the doors and windows of your house replaced with aluminum alloy ones without any charge, as we have brothers and sisters from every walk of life. What do you think about it?” At the time, another sister who was also in charge of the affairs of the Three-Self church patted me on the shoulder and said, “Right! Sister, you have had a good faith in the Lord! You have built up a church for the Lord. Don’t worry. Our church will not leave you uncared-for. From now on, when your family has any difficulty, just tell us, and we will help you.” At their words, my heart was warmed up, and I thought, “It’s true that the doors and windows should be replaced, but we have been in straits for money and can’t afford the expense, so that our parents are cold with us. They say that if we lack anything, just tell them. And they also promise to replace our doors and windows without any charge. What a good thing! If I agree to go back to the Three-Self church, I will not need to spend money to replace the doors and windows.” But then I thought, “That is not right! Today God has carried out His new work. If I go back there, will I not lag behind God’s work?” At that moment, the story of the rich man in the Bible who received good things in his lifetime but went to hell after his death came to my mind. So I thought, “Right! If I am forsaken by God, I can never buy back such an opportunity no matter how much I pay. But the doors and windows indeed should be replaced. What should I do?” Then I suddenly remembered a passage of God’s word that Sister Yang of the Church of Almighty God had read to me: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). So I realized: Behind what is happening now is Satan’s wager with God. It is up to me whether I choose to betray God or stand firm in my testimony to God. Every word of Almighty God is truly the truth. Through His words He has not only revealed the mysteries of God’s management of mankind, but also disclosed the corrupt nature within man and shown man the way to be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. If I abandon the true way for the sake of the aluminum alloy doors and windows, my belief in God will be in vain. I must see through the scheme of Satan. Nothing is more important than to gain life. Then I immediately prayed in my heart, “O God! They are trying to pull me back to the Three-Self church with petty favors. I know this is Satan’s scheme. May You watch over me and keep me from betraying You. Amen!” After the prayer, I said to them decidedly, “Thank you for your kindness. We don’t need you to have our doors and windows replaced. We ourselves can have them replaced. You can go now!” Though my attitude was very firm, they were still all smiles, and said, “You don’t need to spend any money. Don’t be in a hurry to reply. Think it over again.” With these words they went away.
Although I knew that was Satan’s scheme, I kept thinking about it at night. After I lay down, I began to consider it, tossing in my sleep, “If I go back to the Three-Self church and believe in the Lord there, the brothers and sisters there will support me, and the church will have our doors and windows replaced, but I will be forsaken by the Lord. Oh! …”
The next day, Sister Yang of the Church of Almighty God came. She found a passage of God’s word in light of my state: The building of the kingdom is aimed directly at the spiritual realm. In other words, the battle of the spiritual realm is made plain directly among all My people, and from this can be seen that all people are always warring, not just in the church, but even more in the time of the kingdom, and that although man is in the flesh, the spiritual realm is revealed directly, and man engages with the life of the spiritual realm. … In My plan, Satan has ever snapped at the heels of every step, and, as the foil of My wisdom, has always tried to find ways and means to disrupt My original plan” (“The Eighth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading these words, she fellowshiped, From God’s words we see clearly that this is a battle of the spiritual realm, in which Satan has tried its utmost to disrupt and disturb God’s work of saving man. Because you are a new believer and have yet to lay the foundation, Satan has tried to disturb and attack you time and again in order for you to betray God. When its scheme failed, it tried another. It wanted to use those material things to tempt you and harm you. Such an action is actually a kiss of death. You should never be fooled by it. In Satan’s performance, we can see it is base and shameless in substance. We should see through its scheme and stand firm in our testimony to God. After hearing her fellowship, I thought, “What a near thing that was! When Satan disturbed me with a hard tactic last time, I saw through it. So it used a soft one this time. It used both hard and soft tactics against me! I was almost fooled by it. I must be careful from now on lest I be trapped by it.”

Monday, November 6, 2017

Breaking Out of the Cocoon II

Breaking Out of the Cocoon II

Unexpectedly, my husband found that I went to the meetings of the Church of Almighty God, and he told it to my father. One evening, when I was upstairs, I suddenly heard noises down in the yard. I opened the curtains and looked out, only to find that my father had burst into the yard angrily with four or five co-workers in his church, the sight of which brought me out in a cold sweat. My heart thudded, and I immediately knelt down on the floor and cried out to God for help, “O Almighty God! My father comes again to disturb me with some people in religion. I am timid and afraid. O God! You know I am of little stature. May You give me faith and courage….” Then God’s words suddenly occurred to me: “You should have My courage within you. Hold to the principles before your unbelieving relatives as well. But for My sake you should not yield to any force of darkness. Walk in the perfect way by My wisdom. Don’t let Satan’s schemes succeed. Lay your heart before Me as best you can, and I will comfort you and fill your heart with peace and joy” (“The Tenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me strength. As I had God’s words in my heart, I was no longer timid and fearful. I thought, “No matter how they disturb me, I will never again let myself be fooled by Satan and deceived by them. It is heaven’s law and earth’s principle for me to believe in and follow God; no one has the right to interfere in it, not even my most loved ones.” So, I went downstairs composedly and greeted them. They all started speaking. A co-worker, looking with wonder at me, said, “Fangfang, I never expected that an intelligent person like you would believe in the Eastern Lightning. It is a false way! You’d better repent before the Lord Jesus….” I said with calmness, “You have never listened to the messages of the Eastern Lightning, nor have you ever read the words of Almighty God; how can you say that the way I put my faith in is a false way?” She said, “We don’t dare to read that book. It is terribly fascinating. If anyone reads it, he will be fascinated by it.” I said, “The words of Almighty God can convince people because they are God’s words and are the truth. Only God’s words have such authority and power.” But they spoke many blasphemies, and they also asked me to go to their leader to confess my sin and repent. They said that if I didn’t do so, I would be cast into hell and be judged. I said firmly, “I have attended the meetings of the Church of Almighty God and seen clearly that your defamation of it is totally groundless. There is no truth in your slander and rumor! If you cannot give proof, it shows that you are all liars, deceivers from Satan. Now the kingdom gospel of Almighty God has spread all over the China mainland, known to every household, and there are several millions of people who have accepted it. But there are also some people who hate the truth, and they have rejected the gospel. Isn’t it because of your disturbance that my youngest sister and I dared not believe in Almighty God anymore in the beginning? Aren’t we both safe and sound now? So you are telling lies and cheating people! Today I am dead set on believing in Almighty God. Don’t try to stop me since you refuse to believe. It is none of your business whether my soul will go to heaven or be cast into hell. Moreover, my fate is controlled by God’s hands, not determined by any man. Don’t come to disturb me anymore.” At that point, my father stood up and threatened me, saying, “If you insist on believing in Almighty God, I will break with you.”
When I heard such cruel words, I felt somewhat hurt, thinking, “You don’t seek or examine the true way, but listen to whatever your leader said. You choose to believe the rumors and lies made up by him rather than to believe me. You brought so many people to disturb and attack me and even said to break with me in front of them.” The more I thought about it, the sadder I felt. At that moment, these words of God came to my mind: “God created this world and brought man, a living being unto which He bestowed life, into it. In turn, man came to have parents and kin and was no longer alone. Ever since man first laid eyes on this material world, he was destined to exist within the ordination of God. It is the breath of life from God that supports each living being throughout his growth into adulthood. During this process, none believes that he lives and grows up under the care of God. Rather, man holds that he grows up under the love and care of his parents, and that his growth is governed by the instinct of life. This is because man knows not who bestowed life or from whence it came, much less how the instinct of life creates miracles” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words of God made me understand: Although my flesh was born of my parents, my life came from God. Had God not bestowed life upon me, my flesh would be an entity of corruption and a walking corpse. It is because of the care and keeping of God that I have survived until today; without God’s care and keeping, I would have long been devoured by Satan. Today I should repay God, not my parents. Although I have a physical relationship with my parents, we are incompatible in the spirit, for their essence is one of resistance to God. I should not join in their opposition to God, but should stand on God’s side. Even if my father disowns me, I should follow God to the end and stand firm in my testimony to God. So I said to my father, “Dad, in belief in God, I must obey God rather than man, and I can’t act by my emotion. If what you say corresponds to the truth and God’s will, I will obey you; if you want me to betray God, that’s impossible!” When they saw I was so determined, they shook their heads and stood up, and went away in dejection. Seeing the sorry figure they cut, I could not but shout for joy in my heart, “O God, You are so almighty! It is Your words that have given me the faith and courage to shame and defeat Satan thoroughly.”
Though the people in religion stopped coming to disturb me, my parents, instigated by their leader, often came to my home to persuade me, insisting that I should go to their leader and repent before him. One day, they came again. They attempted to mislead me with some Bible verses but failed. And then my mother wept uncontrollably, beseeching me to quickly go to their leader and repent before him. Looking at her tearful face, I felt distressed in my heart. “She lost her mother when she was three. Her stepmother ill-treated her, and she suffered a lot. Now she is getting old, but, instead of fulfilling my filial duty to her, I made her worry so much about me.” Thinking of this, I turned to my father and saw him looking at me with expectant eyes. My heart ached, and tears welled up in my eyes. But at that moment, these words of God occurred to my mind: “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements, or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men, and the interference of men. Behind every step that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words made me realize that on the surface I was confronted with my parents’ interference, but behind that was Satan’s wager with God in the spiritual realm: Satan attempted to deceive me using my emotions, to make me take pity on my parents, stand on their side, and obey them and thus deny and betray God. I must see through Satan’s trick, and should not grieve or disappoint God. I must stand on God’s side firmly and never betray God. So regardless of what they said and how hard they tried to persuade me, my heart remained unshaken. They had no choice but to leave in low spirits.
Afterward, as I didn’t go to my former leader to repent, he asked my father to announce to all the believers that I was expelled from the church, and he also told my parents to draw a clear line with me. Because of the interference of my former leader and my parents, my husband began to persecute me frenziedly. Every time after I came back home from performing my duty, he would curse or beat me, shut me out of the house, or break my electric scooter or my bicycle. Once he even sent me to the local police station. I was worn out and pined away with such tortures from him. The people of our village also ridiculed and slandered me. Faced with such adverse environments, I felt very weak within, thinking that believing in God was too difficult. I was at a loss how to walk the way ahead. Many a time I knelt down before God and prayed tearfully to ask Him to give me faith and strength.
Later, I saw these words of God: “The ‘overcomers’ that God speaks of are those, who, under the siege and influence of Satan, that is, under the forces of darkness, still stand witness and maintain their original faith and their loyalty to God. Regardless of anything else, your chaste heart remains steadfast before God, and your true love of God stays unchanging. This means that you stand witness before God, and you are the ‘overcomer’ of which God speaks. When God blesses you, you pursue well. When God does not bless you, you draw back. Is this chastity? Since you are certain this is the true way, you should walk to the end and keep your loyalty to God. Since you see that God has come to earth to personally perfect you, you should give your heart to Him completely. No matter what God does—He may give you a bad outcome in the end—you can still follow Him. This means that you have kept your chastity before God” (“You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From God’s words, I came to understand: In the last days, God will make a group of overcomers, and His followers therefore have to undergo many temptations both great and small from Satan. They have to actually experience the persecution from the CCP, the disturbance of the religious world, the rejection of their relatives, and the ridicule and insults of the worldly people. Those who can obey God and be faithful to God and do not betray God in any environment, who can stand firm in his testimony to God, will be the overcomers made by God. They will also be the ones who will receive God’s promises and survive the great disasters. Today God has arranged such environments in order to make me perfect and to see whether I will have a complaining heart, whether I have faith in God, and whether I am one who truly believes and obeys God. After I was clear about God’s will, I made a resolution before God: No matter what persecution or tribulation I may encounter, I will fulfill the duty of a creature to satisfy God. Although Satan frantically hindered and disturbed me, in an attempt to force me to deny and betray God, I prayed and looked to God at every time and equipped myself with God’s words every day. So God opened up a way out for me, which allowed me to see God’s almightiness and wondrous deeds. The more my husband persecuted me, the more God disciplined him. Later he didn’t dare to beat me or break my bike anymore. So my faith in God became greater.
One year later, I went to my youngest sister’s company with Sister Zhang to preach God’s work of the last days to her again, and she accepted it. When I saw her accepting the book of God’s word with both hands, I thought, “It is really difficult for God to save man!” At that moment, my tears streamed down my face uncontrollably, and I kept giving thanks and praises to God in my heart. In 2006, my youngest sister and I went to my younger sister to preach the gospel to her, and she also accepted it. After that, we brought several other relatives of ours to Almighty God as well. This allowed me to see that no matter how desperately the religious leaders try to hinder God’s work, it is to no avail. No force of Satan can halt God’s footsteps, and all God’s sheep will surely recognize His voice and return to Him. Just as Almighty God says: “The kingdom is expanding in humanity’s midst, it is forming in humanity’s midst, it is standing up in humanity’s midst; there is no force that can destroy My kingdom” (“The Nineteenth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Breaking Out of the Cocoon I

Breaking Out of the Cocoon I

My whole family believed in the Lord in the Head Covering Church. I was an ordinary believer, and my father was a junior leader. In February 2004, I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days, and then I took Sister Zhang of the Church of Almighty God to preach the kingdom gospel to my youngest sister. I had planned to preach it to my father after I equipped myself with enough words of God. But unexpectedly, he soon learned that I had accepted the kingdom gospel, and started to disturb me frantically.
One late afternoon, my father rushed to my house and said to me angrily, “I never expected that you would believe in the Eastern Lightning. You’ve taken the wrong way. … Go to the church quickly and repent before the leader, and ask the Lord Jesus to forgive your sin.” I said, “Dad, I’m not on the wrong way. I have read many of Almighty God’s words and recognized they are truly God’s voice. Almighty God is exactly the returned Lord Jesus. The Age of Grace has passed. Now is the Age of Kingdom, and God has come to do new work. Doesn’t the Bible say, ‘These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes’ (Revelation 14:4)? I have kept pace with the Lord’s footsteps….” Whatever I said, however, my father just wouldn’t listen. He insisted on me going to the leader to explain myself, and my husband stood beside him stoking the tension. I thought to myself, “It seems that my father won’t be satisfied until I go to the church.” I prayed in my heart, asking God to protect me. Then my husband drove me together with my father to a meeting place on his instructions. About sixty or seventy people were there, including my youngest sister, who was brought there by her mother-in-law. A senior leader came to my sister and me, spoke many blasphemies against Almighty God and slandered His Church. His words, so horrible, hit me like a ton of bricks and sent a chill down my spine. I got confused and thought, “I haven’t attended meetings for a few years, and I’m certainly ill-informed. Since the leader is a servant of the Lord who shepherds the church, he is unlikely to cheat us. Have I really been deceived?” Finally, my father and my sister’s mother-in-law forced my sister and me to close our eyes and asked the leader to pray for the Lord Jesus to forgive our sin. While the leader was praying, my sister and I didn’t pray and remained silent. …
After I returned home that evening, I considered the words of the leader and recalled the days of my contact with Sister Zhang, who was not at all like what the leader said. I also turned over the words of Almighty God in my mind, feeling that they indeed couldn’t be spoken by man. The positive and negative thoughts kept recurring to me, and I tossed and turned in bed, unable to fall asleep. When I got up next morning, I felt dazed and distressed. I didn’t feel like eating breakfast and had no heart to do anything. Owing to my poor sleep the night before, I got into bed after lunch, and my youngest sister came when I had just lain down. She said, “We’ve been deceived. We are believing in a wrong way. So just back out.” I said, “I have read through The Scroll Opened by the Lamb several times. The word of Almighty God is indeed God’s voice, and Almighty God is really the Lord Jesus we’ve been yearning for. I don’t think we are on the wrong path.” Then my sister left as she couldn’t persuade me. I thought, “It is absolutely true that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. But what explains those things the leader said about the Eastern Lightning?” While I was thinking of this, my husband told me that my father called and asked me to go to meet him at once. I knew he would interfere with me again, so I didn’t want to go, but my husband pushed me into his car forcefully. When I got to my parents’ home, I found my youngest sister and her mother-in-law were also there. Upon seeing me, my father said sulkily, “… Yesterday evening the leader prayed to the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin, but you haven’t confessed and repented for your own. Today you are invited here to pray and fully repent before the Lord and promise Him that you will no longer believe in Almighty God. Only in this way will the Lord forgive your sin.” I thought to myself, “I’ve kept up with God’s work by accepting Almighty God. What sin have I committed?” I refused to pray and repent. Then my father, my sister’s mother-in-law, and my mother all jumped at me. They also exaggerated those dreadful rumors about the Eastern Lightning and slandered and blasphemed Almighty God. My head was already groggy due to the poor sleep in the night, and their threats left it even more so. I felt tired out, and gradually didn’t know my own mind. I thought, “It seems that if I don’t make a prayer of repentance, they simply won’t give over. Their continuous disturbance is just killing me. Oh! I’d better continue to believe in the Lord Jesus lest I suffer this.” When they saw I still didn’t pray, they assailed me again and even forced my sister and me to close our eyes and pray and repent. Facing their aggressive behavior, I couldn’t restrain my tears any longer. I closed my eyes and prayed to the Lord Jesus in tears, “O Lord Jesus! I know Almighty God is You who have come back, but now I don’t dare to believe in Almighty God. I beg You to pardon me and forgive my sin …” I choked and couldn’t go on. After the prayer, I suddenly felt so weak that I didn’t have any strength or faith within. I said to my sister, “Before I prayed, I still had some strength, but after the prayer, I felt all my strength was gone abruptly, as if the Holy Spirit forsook me. Actually, Almighty God is our longed-for Lord Jesus. We shouldn’t have prayed and repented; that is betraying God.”
Although I had prayed the prayer of repentance, in my heart the struggle never stopped. I thought, “I have read so many words from Almighty God, and I am certain they are the utterances of God and that the Lord Jesus has truly come back. If I reject Almighty God, I will not only miss the salvation but even be condemned by the Lord. But if I insist on believing in Almighty God, the leader and my parents won’t let me go, and I won’t have a peaceful life.” I was also afraid that the rumors my parents and the leader spread about the Eastern Lightning were true. I was terribly upset and in a quandary about what to do, and my head ringing. I really couldn’t bear it and my nerves were almost in shreds. I said to myself, “I might as well return the book of God’s word and the hymn book to Sister Zhang when she comes next time, and then I will be free from such pain and trouble.”
A few days later, Sister Zhang came to water me at my shop. I was nervous, dreading that my husband would see her and tell it to my father. I poured out to her all that had happened to me during those few days, and then quickly took out the book of God’s word and the hymn book from under the goods and gave them to her, saying, “Sister, the disturbance of my parents and husband and the rumors they spread about the Eastern Lightning have torn my hair out and overwhelmed me. It’s better for me to continue my belief in the Lord Jesus. Take away the books, please.” Sister Zhang said to me earnestly, “Sister, each time God carries out His work, the religious leaders use rumors to deceive and control God’s chosen people and oppose God’s work. At that time when the Lord Jesus worked, the Jewish chief priests, the scribes, and the Pharisees used the rumors to deceive people. They said that the Lord Jesus drove out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, and was a glutton and drunkard. After the Lord Jesus was resurrected, they bought off the soldiers and asked them to spread the word that His body had been stolen by His disciples. Their very purpose was to prevent the Jews from coming before the Lord Jesus. Similarly, today the religious leaders purposely use the rumors to deceive and control people, prevent the believers from receiving God’s salvation, and disturb and impair God’s work. Your parents and husband disturbed you because of the rumors spread by the leader, and they are victims too….” I knew what Sister Zhang said was all true, but I hung back and didn’t dare to keep the books in case my father kicked up turmoil at my home. Seeing me in a dilemma, Sister Zhang gave me a phone number and said, “All right, sister, I’ll take the books away and keep them for you. When you want to read them, call me, and I will bring them back to you right away.” I agreed and walked her to the door. Then my husband came bowling over and pointed at Sister Zhang shouting, “Go away quickly with the books. Never come again, or I won’t be easy on you!” Sister Zhang left with the books reluctantly. Looking at her receding figure, I felt an inexplicable poignancy.
I had imagined that after I returned the books, I could resume my former peaceful life since my father wouldn’t come to disturb me. But, on the contrary, I felt a nameless emptiness inside and didn’t have a clue how to deal with things properly. God’s words and the hymns recurred to me now and then, and the leader’s words and the scenes of my father and others disturbing and besieging me also often flashed in my mind. I struggled in agony, as if I had fallen into an abyss and were unable to climb out of it no matter how hard I tried. I was in a daze all day, my head almost splitting. I had no appetite, slept badly and couldn’t bear the mental stress, so that I wasted away. In agony, I thought of praying. I knelt down and called out to God, “The only true God who created the heavens and earth and all things, I’m suffering terribly in my heart and feel perplexed now. I know Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, but my stature is too small, and I am timid and fearful at the thought of my father and others’ disturbance and siege. O God, I am at a crossroads, not knowing what course to take. I ask You to guide and lead me….” During prayer, I unknowingly thought of God’s words: “Do not fear this or that. No matter how many difficulties and dangers there are, you should be stable before Me and not be hindered by anything, letting My will be carried out smoothly. … Remove your fear. I am your rear guard, so who can block the way? Remember! Remember!” (“The Tenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words of God gave me strength. “That’s right! With God as my rear guard, what do I have to fear? Since I am certain that this is the true way, I should not be restrained by anyone; I should break through the forces of darkness and follow God unflinchingly.” Thinking of this, I immediately took out Sister Zhang’s phone number from the drawer and called her. She agreed to bring the books to me at a certain place.
After I got the books back, I read God’s words and sang hymns with avidity when my husband was out. The more I read, the more I felt gratified, and the more I sang, the more I felt joyful. I was very happy. My former faith returned to me, and my distress disappeared completely. Three months later, Sister Zhang took me to the meetings of the Church of Almighty God.