Later, I began to live the church life. In the Church of , I saw a realm completely different from the world. The brothers and sisters were simple and open, and among them there was not the conniving and intrigue or the jostling with each other of the world. They didn’t need to curry favor with anyone, much less need to send gifts to anyone or to dance to anyone’s tune. They read s and sang hymns to praise God together. During the fellowship in the meetings, everyone opened his heart to the brothers and sisters, practicing being an honest person. Every time I lived the church life, I felt it was fresh and living. I felt particularly released and free when I stayed with the brothers and sisters. Meanwhile, I came to understand why I had lived an utterly miserable life in the past several decades. I read these words of Almighty God: “There is an enormous secret in your heart. You never know it there because you have been living in a world without light shining. Your heart and your spirit have been taken away by the evil one. Your eyes are covered by darkness; you cannot see the sun in the sky, nor the twinkling star in the night. Your ears are clogged with deceptive words and you hear not the thunderous voice of Jehovah, nor the sound of the rushing waters from the throne. You have lost everything that should have belonged to you and everything that the Almighty bestowed upon you. You have entered an endless sea of bitterness, with no strength of a rescue, no hope of survival, left only to struggle and to bustle about. … From that moment, you are doomed to be afflicted by the evil one, kept far away from the blessings of the Almighty, out of reach of the provisions of the Almighty, and you embark on a road of no return. … You sleep deeply in the hands of the evil one, who has lured you into the boundless realm, with no direction, with no road signs. Henceforth, you have lost your original purity, innocence, and started to hide from the care of the Almighty. The evil one steers your heart in every matter and becomes your life. You no longer fear him, no longer avoid him, no longer doubt him. Instead, you treat him as the God in your heart. You begin to enshrine him, worship him, be inseparable like a shadow of his, and mutually commit to each other in life and death. You have no idea at all from where you originate, why you exist, or why you die … let alone know that you have come to the point of perishment” (“The Sighing of the Almighty” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Satan corrupts man using the influences of education and edification from national governments as well as that of celebrities and great men. Their lies have become man’s life and nature. ‘Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost’ is a famous saying of Satan, which has already permeated all men and become their life. There are also some philosophies of life that have done the same. By means of the so-called fine traditional culture of every nation, Satan educates man, causing man to sink into the mighty ocean of overwhelming disaster, and in the end to be destroyed by God on account of his service to Satan and opposition to God” (“How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church). So I realized: I have hustled and struggled in the world for decades, exhausted and miserable, because I accepted the rules of survival from Satan such as “The fate of man is controlled by his own hands,” “With money, you can make the devil push the millstone,” “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost,” “You cannot accomplish anything without licking the boots of the bureaucrats,” and so on. I lived according to these philosophies of Satan, so my life became ever darker, and I had nowhere to turn. I never knew the existence of God or His sovereignty. I just followed the crowd in the dark world like this without a direction in my life or any principles for being a man. Moreover, I was blind to the fact that the dark world is ruled by Satan and full of Satan’s temptations, snares, and deception. In the evil and dark world, in order to make money, I learned to flatter and curry favor with the leaders and do shoddy work and use inferior materials in the construction of projects. I gradually became devoid of my conscience and completely lost my personality and dignity. I got bogged down deeper and deeper in sin, and lived the life of a ghost-like man. In the end, instead of making some money, I was heavily in debt and almost ruined myself. The foreman who committed suicide due to a huge debt became Satan’s sacrificial object. Countless such tragedies occur every day. The only reason that man is in such a situation today is that Satan has been ruling the world. Thanks to God’s mercy and , I have come to the home of God from the dark world and am kept by God.
For some time I felt especially tormented because I had to face the insistent creditors. Thinking of the heavy debts, I wanted to contract for projects again. But I knew it far exceeded my ability. At the time, I had a relapse of hypertension. Just when I had no idea what to do, a brother fellowshiped with me about these words of God in a meeting: “True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to . Only through such a journey can you be said to ” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). The brother said, “Since we believe in God, we should have true faith in Him, believe in His authority and power by which He rules over everything from our heart, and commit our everything into His hand. Principally, we should learn to rely on and look up to God, and should no longer rush and busy about by ourselves. It’s reasonable to pay others back the money they lent us. We should face up to this matter and believe that everything is in the hand of God and that by relying on God, we’ll receive His guidance and get through any difficulty. Be prayerful and seek God’s will in this matter.”
With the help of the brother, I had a way to go on. I went to earn money for the payment of my debts by working on a nearby building site, without being affected in attending the meetings and performing my duty. I did not strive by my ability anymore. When a creditor came to demand payment of the debt, I practiced being an honest person. I gave him all the money I had in hand as part of the payment. Or if I had harvested the grains, I sold the grains to pay him back some money. As for the remaining debt, I promised faithfully to pay it back to him later on. Thus the creditors troubled me no longer. When the bank urged me to repay the loans, I relied on God and committed the matter to Him, saying that I was willing to submit to His sovereignty and arrangement, and that if I had to be put into prison for failing to repay the large loans, I would be obedient and submit to the orchestration of God because that had also been predestined by God. When I experienced God’s work with an obedient heart, God opened up a way for me. Later, the government promulgated a policy to release all the bank loans taken out before 1993 because their information hadn’t been inputted into the computer and some loans were unrecoverable. Thank God! I got all those loans before 1993, so the loans of several hundreds of thousands of yuan were all released. I offered thanks and praise to God with emotion. Had I struggled to make money, I would never have been able to make so much even if I had labored to death. In this matter, I personally experienced that man’s fate is really controlled by God’s hands. Just as the hymn of God’s word “Whatever God Does Is for Man” goes: “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling, incapable of controlling yourself: Despite always rushing and busying about for himself, man remains incapable of controlling, incapable of controlling himself. … And so, regardless of how God chastises and judges man, it is all for the sake of, for the sake of man’s complete salvation. Even though He strips man of his fleshly hopes, oh, it is for the sake of, for the sake of purifying man, and the purification of man is for the sake of his existence. The destination of man is in the hands of , so how could man control himself, how could man control himself?” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs).
My experience gave me a firmer belief of the work of Almighty God and a firmer faith to follow Him. In the several years that followed, I still persevered in attending the meetings and performing my duty and at the same time earning money for the payment of my debts by working in a construction team of a nearby village. When I met potential believers of good humanity, I preached the gospel to them, and I converted those on good terms with me. Though I was busy all the time every day, I felt it enjoyable to live before God like this, peaceful and brightened in my heart, and honorable and magnanimous in conducting myself. I felt my conscience was recovered, and the aches and pains of my body were gradually gone. Now I am an old man of seventy-five, but I am healthy and energetic. I have paid off all my debts. My friends admire me and say that I am a blessed man. I deeply know that all this is thanks to the salvation of Almighty God and His grace to me. I have seen that without being guided by God, man can only live in the affliction of Satan and be abused and devoured by it. I thank Almighty God for saving me from the brink of death. Only Almighty God can save man and lead man out of the bondage of sin. Only if man accepts the truth expressed by Almighty God and obeys and worships Him can man have a wonderful future and destination.