A Testimony From a New Believer
Nearly nine years passed after I first heard the’ gospel in 2007. During these years, I often read the Bible, but I didn’t gain much knowledge of the Lord and remained puzzled about many scriptures. Besides, I was unable to free myself from the friction within my family, and the pastor at my church couldn’t provide me with any solution to these problems. I often felt distressed about that. So I came before the Lord and prayed to Him, “O Lord, I can’t get released from sin by myself. I often lose my temper with my family because of some trifling matters. I know You are not pleased with this, but I’m unable to change it. Lord, I really want to know You, but I don’t know what I should do. Please send someone who is devout and truly knows You to lead me so that I can know You.” Miraculously, the Lord listened to my prayer. Not long after that, I experienced His guidance.
One day in February 2017, Sister Zi’en from our church called me. She invited me to tea and said she would introduce a sister who knew the Bible well to me. It’s rare to meet someone who knows the Bible well, so I asked the sister many questions about the scriptures that I longed to understand, such as why the Bible says five virgins out of ten can meet the Lord while the other five cannot, what is the inner meaning of Matthew 7:21: “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” and so on. The sister explained them clearly one by one, and her answers were very beneficial to me.
So, after several meetings with the sister, I understood many truths that I didn’t understand before. She also shared with me the prophecies in the Book of Revelation, and testified that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, and that the words expressed by Almighty God are the little scroll to be opened in. Although I had many doubts about that in my heart, I thought: “If it were not for God’s enlightenment, no one would know these mysteries, and the sister would not be able to answer the questions so clearly either, questions that even the pastor can’t answer.”
Later, the sister lent me a gospel book. This book has answers to many questions, and I had never thought about these questions before. I finished this book soon, and then I went on the Internet and watched many gospel videos of The Church of Almighty God. They resolved a lot of my doubts. I thought it was impossible for any man or woman to have answers to so many questions about the truth. So I was certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus’ appearance in the last days. Through having meetings with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, I also gained some knowledge of God’s work of judging and purifying mankind in the last days.
One day, my husband suddenly said to me, “What do you know about Eastern Lightning? I heard when people believe in Eastern Lightning, they will abandon their family. It doesn’t matter whether you care about me or not, but you ought to consider our daughter. There’s much negative propaganda on the Internet about Eastern Lightning that says that they have strayed from the Bible. You have always known the Bible well, so how can you be so confused this time?” Hearing this, I realized that my husband believed the negative propaganda on the Internet. But, thanks to God, his words didn’t have any effect on me. Because through my reading of God’s words at that time, I saw that all of God’s words tell us to live out the likeness of real people. They are all the truth and contain nothing negative at all. Reading God’s words gave me the resolve to walk the path of believing in God and following Him. Besides, both God’s words and the various videos on the website of The Church of Almighty God touched my heart deeply. Especially the debates about the truths in the movies, which don’t stray from the Bible to any degree and utterly convinced me. So I convinced myself that all the negative propaganda on the Internet was just slanders and rumors.
But that was not the end of it. One night several days later, my husband had another talk with me after he came back from work. He said, “You’ve taken the wrong path. It’s not too late to turn back now.” Then he went on to say some more things in opposition to my belief in Almighty God. I retorted, “What comes from God shall increase, what comes from man shall decrease.” Only the true God dares to let His work be published on the Internet for all people to seek and investigate. So many truths expressed by God have been put on the Internet, but you don’t seek or investigate; you only believe what some people say and blindly follow them in condemning His work. Aren’t you only listening to one side? Aren’t you foolishly following others?” But he didn’t take anything I said in at all. Seeing that he couldn’t persuade me, he tried another way and said, “We’d better notat all then.” At that time, I thought of God’s words, “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 of work that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”).
God’s words enlightened me and I realized that the reason why my husband was opposing me was that Satan was making a bet with God behind the scenes. Satan wanted to use my husband to hinder me from coming before God. I couldn’t fall prey to Satan’s trick. So I said, “You go to church for seeking God, don’t you? Now that God has returned, why don’t you seek Him? If you want to believe in Almighty God, we can investigate together. If you don’t seek, then we each go our own way.” When my husband saw that there was nothing more he could do, he threatened to call the police to arrest the sister who preached the gospel to me. Hearing what he said, I got very angry. I said, “Are you still a believer in God? Don’t you know how many believers have been persecuted by the Chinese government? As a believer in God, how can you hand over brothers and sisters to Satan? What’s the difference between you and Judas, the betrayer of the Lord?” After he saw that I was really angry, he said, “Someone told me to use this method to test you. They said those who believe in Almighty God all abandon their families. I’m afraid that you won’t want our family either.” Then I said to him solemnly, “I won’t do that. If you don’t do anything that opposes God, our family will only get better, because God’s words are meant to allow us to live out the likeness of real human beings.” Seeing my firm attitude, he knew that he had no other way to convince me. So he told the pastor and asked him to try and persuade me.
A few days later, I received a phone call from the pastor. He wanted to see me. I told Sister Zi’en, and she said, “God’s words have already revealed that most pastors and elders in the religious world oppose God. God started this stage of work more than twenty years ago, and the pastors and elders of all denominations heard about it long ago. However, most of them not only do not seek or investigate it, but also hinder the believers from investigating the true way so as to preserve their positions and jobs. Your stature is small now, and you don’t have discernment about their substance. So you’d better not go to see him at present.” But I had suspicions about what she said. Was it true? The pastors and elders are all people who believe in God and serve God. There’s no reason for them not to accept God. But before I could go to see the pastor, he called me again and arranged a time to meet me, and the next day he called me one more time to remind me. After a series of calls from the pastor urging me to meet him, I could not help but become afraid. My heart thumped violently, and I thought: “I’m finished this time. What if the pastor, like what the sister said, really hinders me from accepting Almighty God? If he has asked many people to be there along with him, will I be able deal with them? What if I don’t know how to answer his questions?” And I was even more afraid that I might say something wrong that humiliated God because I lacked wisdom. … So before I left, I came before God and prayed to Him, “God, I’m going to see the pastor. But my stature is small, and I understand too little about the truth. I don’t know what to say. I ask You guide me to speak the words that should be spoken to testify to You. May You give me wisdom so that the words I speak can honor You.”
As soon as we met, the pastor said, “I’ve heard that you now believe in Almighty God. Is it true?” I answered, “Yes!” He said, “How long have you believed? When did you begin?” I said to him, “It has been almost nine years since I came to our church. But, actually all I have heard are superficial things; I haven’t received any sustenance for life here, and I still know little about God after so many years of believing in Him. However, when I went to listen to the sermons of The Church of Almighty God, I felt so good because they are all the truth. They clearly explain all the truths that I didn’t understand when I read the Bible in the past, and have enabled me to have a greater knowledge of God. That’s what I want to hear. So I am totally sure that this is the very work done by the returned Lord Jesus.” The pastor said in a serious tone, “Do you know you have taken the wrong path?” I asked him in return, “You say that believing in Almighty God is going the wrong way. Have you read the words of Almighty God?” He answered, “No.” His answer reminded me of the movie “The City Will Be Overthrown,” in which two passages of God’s words say: “There are those who read the Bible in grand churches and recite it all day long, yet not one among them understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one among them is able to know God; still less can any one among them accord with God’s will. They are all worthless, vile people, each standing on high to lecture God. They willfully oppose God even as they carry His banner. Claiming, still they eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such people are devils that devour the soul of man, head demons that deliberately get in the way of those trying to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks impeding those who seek God” (“All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God”).
“Theirs is always an attitude of hostility toward the new work of God; they never have the slightest inclination to submit, nor have they ever gladly submitted or humbled themselves. They exalt themselves before others and never submit to anyone. Before God, they consider themselves the best at preaching the word, and the most skillful in working on others. … They become ‘kings’ in the house of God, running rampant as they tyrannize others from age to age. This pack of demons seeks to join hands and demolish My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before My eyes?” (“Those Who Obey God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God”). And I also thought of what the sister had fellowshiped with me, and realized that it was really the case. I thought: “As a shepherd for the Lord, you have never investigated the words of Almighty God, so how can you say it is a false way? Not only do you have no intention to seek, but also you want to hinder me from investigating it. Aren’t you, as revealed in God’s words, a stumbling block that impedes the path of those who seek God?”
The pastor continued to ask me, “Is it because I’m not doing well enough? Or some brothers and sisters in the church have not been good to you? Or is there some other cause that is making you go to another church? …” I said, “Pastor, please don’t talk about emotional issues. Since we are believers in God, we should seek God in everything. I know I didn’t do many things well previously. I would lose my temper when something didn’t go the way I wanted it to; I would knowingly do wrong and say things that hurt others. But I couldn’t control myself. I was not satisfied with my husband at all in those days. I complained that he didn’t fulfill his responsibility as a husband and father. I really hated him at that time. As a believer in the Lord for many years, I knew that didn’t please the Lord because the Lord told us to be tolerant and patient, but I was unable to do it. However, after I started to believe in Almighty God, I came to know the root of mankind’s sins from Almighty God’s words: Although we are no longer of sin after the Lord’s redemption, we still have the root of sin inside ourselves. We always put self first when encountering problems and the nature of every one of us is corrupt and selfish. Reading Almighty God’s words allows me to know what a corrupt disposition is, how to seek the truth, and how not to act according to my corrupt nature. Now I don’t complain about my husband anymore and feel relief in my heart. For I understand from Almighty God’s words that my husband is also being fooled by Satan and cannot control his corrupt behavior.” The pastor then tried some other ways to make me return to the church. He said, “If you insist on believing in Almighty God, we will hold a deacon meeting to cancel your membership.” Hearing this, I thought of the sister’s fellowshiping in which she said most pastors and elders are, in essence, hostile to God. They merely care about their positions and jobs, and they don’t care about the believers’ life at all. So I said to him, “Do as you like. I come to the church to believe in God. Now that God has returned, of course I should follow Him. I’ve already found Him now. The membership makes no difference to me.” After that, I left with my husband.
On the way home, my husband said to me, “You really are something, and every word you said was reasonable, and you didn’t give the pastor any face.” I answered him, “What I said are all facts. As a pastor, he didn’t seek when he heard that the Lord has returned, and he only listens to negative propaganda. Is he right?” My husband knew that I wouldn’t go back to that church no matter what he did, so he gave up hindering me.
Thank Almighty God! Through the hindrance of my family and the pastor, I experienced God’s guidance in a practical way, and came to appreciate His love and salvation for me. Now, whenever I’m free, I read God’s words eagerly, and if I come across anything that I do not understand, I will seek together with the brothers and sisters during meetings. I truly enjoy the personal guidance of God and have a feeling of being face to face with God. All the glory be to Almighty God!