By Xunzhen, United States
When my spirit withered, I was fortunate to welcome the Lord’s return.
Not long after believing in the Lord, I came to the US and went to the church nearest to my home for gatherings. Two months later, I found every sermon of my pastor was largely the same, which was either one on sobering untoand diligently working for the Lord or one about waiting for the Lord to come and receive us into the kingdom of heaven, without any new light or new understanding. And for a time, my gains were meager, I was confused in my heart, and unable to feel the Lord’s presence.
Once, after a meeting, I chatted with Sister Liu beside me and found she had unique insights into faith in God and how to experience God’s work in life, which greatly benefited me. After learning that she gained those from house meetings, I felt very interested and so asked to join them. That day in the small group I also met Sister Yang, who integrated the prophecies in Revelation and fellowshiped about the manner of the Lord’s return, how the Lord will do the work of judgment in Hisin the last days, the significance of God’s work of judgment, and so on. After listening to this, I felt light fill my heart and thought her fellowship was much better than my pastor’s.
Thus, I went to the gatherings several times in a row; I could reap a different harvest every time, and also understood many mysteries that I didn’t understand in the past. I felt my life was supplied. When I asked Sister Yang how she knew so much, she happily told me, “Thehas already returned in the flesh and has expressed several million words, opening up the scroll and revealing all the truths and mysteries in the . And the light we fellowshiped at the gatherings was from what we understood from Almighty God’s words….” I was deeply excited after listening to her, and I said, “Really? The Lord really has returned? No wonder you know so much and your communion is what I’ve never heard before. It turns out that the Lord has returned and revealed the mysteries….” When I thought of how I hadn’t believed in the Lord for very long but I’d welcomed His return, I felt I really was extremely fortunate! And I was too excited to fall asleep that night. After that, I was more eager to have meetings, and even though sometimes I had no time during the daytime, I would attend them after coming back in the evening.
When temptations came to me, the truth guided me to overcome them.
Just when I actively attended gatherings, bad things kept happening in my family …
One day, after getting home from work, my husband said angrily, “My boss has run away. Now I not only can’t receive my pay but also have lost my job.” Seeing how frustrated he was made me very upset, and I thought to myself, “Over the past 10 years or so in the US, my husband had never encountered such a situation. But now it has actually happened to us, so how will we get by in the future?” But that was only the beginning of my troubles. Early in the morning a few days later, when I woke up I found that there were many small red spots on my body, and they itched a lot when I touched them. I was puzzled, “I’ve always had very good skin, and never had skin allergies, so how come it suddenly becomes like this?” Just when my heart was agitated and choked, I got the sudden news that my mother in China was sent to the hospital, which made me very anxious. Thinking these unfavorable matters, I suddenly had ideas: Had I offended the Lord? Was the Lord punishing me? Over that period of time, the mishaps that befell me one after another were like water from an opened sluice, made me constantly feel very uneasy, and exhausted mentally and physically; I suffered from insomnia and sometimes couldn’t sleep all night; I was in so much pain. I couldn’t help but think, “When I believed in the Lord, these bad things didn’t happen to me. But why did so many unfavorable matters happen in my family after I began to investigate The Church of Almighty God? Could it be that I have believed in something incorrectly?”
One day soon after, when Sister Liu and I returned from our shopping, I told her about the confusion in my heart. Then she read a passage of God’s words for me, “God works, God cares for a person, looks upon a person, and Satan dogs His every step. Whoever God favors, Satan also watches, trailing along behind. If God wants this person, Satan would do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ways to tempt, harass and wreck the work God does in order to achieve its hidden objective. What is its objective? It does not want God to have anyone; it wants all those that God wants, to occupy them, control them, to take charge of them so they worship it, so they commit evil acts alongside it. Is this not Satan’s sinister motive? … Satan is at war with God, trailing along behind Him. Its objective is to demolish all the work God wants to do, to occupy and control those whom God wants, to completely extinguish those whom God wants. If they are not extinguished, then they come to Satan’s possession to be used by it—this is its objective.”
After finished reading, she fellowshiped this, “We can see from these words that when God comes to save us, Satan will certainly trail along behind God to harass us; this is because it doesn’t want us to worship God nor wants God to gain us. Actually, over several thousand years Satan has been continuously dismantling God’s work and fighting over mankind with God; it thinks of everything it can to entice and corrupt mankind, meaning to control mankind created by God and to make them lose their witness. We being beset by these things is actually a spiritual struggle and Satan vying for us with God. Before believing in Almighty God, we lived under Satan’s domain and belonged to Satan, so it didn’t disturb us. But that we’ve believed in Almighty God means that we’ve escaped Satan’s dark influence, so how can Satan easily let us go? It tries everything to hinder us. It causes us to meet with unfortunate situations to disturb our minds so that we develop doubts toward God, misunderstand God, no longer want to attend meetings or pray, and even betray God and leave God. This is how we once more return under Satan’s domain and how Satan achieves its despicable goal.
When I was investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days, especially when I wasn’t completely certain I believed it, I also kept encountering unhappy situations: I suddenly sprained my ankle; my daughter, who was always obedient, picked a quarrel with me all day long. There were also many other things that didn’t go my way in life. Because of this, I was so disturbed that I became upset, and developed doubts and misunderstandings about Almighty God; I doubted whether His work was the true way. When thinking this, I didn’t want to continue investigating it. Later, through the fellowship of my brothers and sisters, I finally understood that these bad things that happened to me touched upon the fight that was being waged in the spiritual world: Satan wanted to use these bad things to disturb me and make me leave God; God however allowed such temptations to befall me in order to inspect my faith and see whether I could stand witness and continue to follow Him. After knowing Satan’s evil intention, I was resolved to persist in following Almighty God, and unexpectedly, things around me gradually got better. From then, I gained further confirmation that the bad things that had befallen me came from Satan’s temptations and disruptions. So, sister, we shouldn’t be fooled by Satan but should show discernment.”
After listening to her fellowship, I finally understood: It turned out that these mishaps I met with did not come from God but from Satan’s disruptions. This was Satan’s attempt to have me to again return to its domain and lose the chance to. Satan is really extremely wicked! At that time, a lot of my misunderstandings and suspicions of God were eliminated. In the evening, I opened up the Bible on my bedside table and read a verse in Revelation: “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8). I pondered, “Could ‘the Almighty’ mentioned here be Almighty God? As it turns out, the name of Almighty God has long ago been mentioned in the prophecy in the Book of Revelation. It seems that Almighty God could very well be the returned the Lord Jesus. I must get through things at home as soon as possible, so that I can continue to join gatherings and examine Almighty God’s work of the last days.”
Because I had desire for blessings, Satan did not retreat.
Just when I wanted to investigate the work of Almighty God properly, suddenly my son got a big bump on his body, and he was in critical condition and needed to be hospitalized for an operation straight away. I thought, “Those bad things haven’t quieted down yet, and this one has befallen me. If Almighty God is the true God, since I’m going to continue investigating, He should help me deal with the troublesome matters as quickly as possible and protect me and let me soon step onto the right path, so how can something like this happen to me? God wasn’t caring for me and protecting me!” Thinking of this, I did not have the heart to attend the appointed meetings but was very taken up with my son’s operation. During that time, the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God often sent me texts and called me to show their care for me, and they communicated to mebehind my difficulties. Sometimes when I was in a bad mood, I did not want to hear them and was even impatient with them, but they did not nitpick with me and still helped and led me with loving hearts. But, despite this, I still no longer went to meetings.
After my son left the hospital, Sister Yang and Sister Liu came to my home to visit me. I was very moved and then opened up my heart and told them what I had been thinking. Sister Yang fellowshiped to me, “Sister, when we’re weak and negative in the face of these things, we’ve truly fallen for Satan’s schemes. The truth is, even if we don’t, these things are still inevitable. However, because our intentions in believing in God are wrong and we want to be blessed, when some bad things befall us we blame God for not protecting and looking after us. Satan really does use our desire for gaining blessings to make us complain against God and to attack our faith to follow God. Let’s read two passages of God’s words and then we’ll understand. Almighty God says, ‘Most people believe in God for the sake of peace and other benefits. Unless it is to your benefit, you don’t believe in God, and if you can’t receive God’s graces, you fall into a sulk. How could what you have said be your true stature? When it comes to inevitable family incidents such as children falling ill, loved ones going into hospital, poor crop yields, persecution by family members, you can’t even make it through these things that often happen in day-to-day life. When such things happen, you’re thrown into a panic, you don’t know what to do—and most of the time, you complain about God.’ ‘What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God—for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plough the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest. A coward such as you, who always pursues the flesh—do you have a heart, do you have a spirit? Are you not a beast? I give you the true way without asking for anything in return, yet you do not pursue. Are you one of those who believe in God?’
“God’s words have unveiled the incorrect notions in our faith. We think that because we believe in God, He has the duty to keep our family safe and sound from unfavorable things and misfortunes. When our family still fall ill, their work doesn’t go smoothly, or we often encounter some upsetting things, we feel we can’t receive any benefits, so we doubt and misunderstand God and even don’t want to continue believing in God. According to our viewpoint, aren’t we treating God as an object that we can use and demand things from? God is the Lord of creation and we are created beings. It is an unalterable principle of heaven and earth that we should believe in God and worship Him. We aren’t qualified to make any demands of God. In addition, Almighty God appears and works in the last days and expresses words in order to make us throw off our satanic corrupt dispositions and thereby live out a real life. However, in our belief in God, we don’t place importance on pursuing the truth and obtaining life but on demanding grace and blessings from God. Isn’t this too arrogant, irrational, selfish and despicable? God observes the depths of mankind’s heart. How could God approve of us who have this kind of intention? Therefore, God allowing Satan’s disruptions to befall us is to reveal our adulteration in our belief in God, so that we can change our wrong viewpoint in time and step onto the path of pursuing the truth.”
Hearing Sister Yang’s fellowship, I felt very ashamed. I must admit that the reason why I was depressed was because I was directed by the intention of gaining blessing. I complained because I didn’t gain benefits. I understood: It turned out that Satan was using my desire for blessings to disturb me. It knew that I wanted to gain grace and blessings through my faith in God, so it willfully caused unfavorable things to befall me and used this to make me doubt, misunderstand, betray God, and ultimately be destroyed alongside it by God. How evil and despicable Satan was! After realizing all of that I felt my mind was all of a sudden clear. I was willing to rectify my motivations and stand in the right position—as a created being so as not to be taken advantage of by Satan.
After understanding God’s will, I was resolved to follow Almighty God.
I thought of the Lord’s words, “Enter you in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leads to life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13–14). I understood from these words that the path to the heavenly kingdom isn’t all smooth sailing, but full of ups and downs, because only by making it through the hard times can our faith in God and love for God grow. Thinking back to when I had been a member of my old church, although I lived a life of physical ease and comfort, I believed in a muddleheaded way, my spirit was very deadened, and I could not feel the Lord’s presence at all, to say nothing of enjoying the work of the Holy Spirit. However, after believing in Almighty God, I clearly felt that every gathering had the work of the Holy Spirit and was enjoyable. Although I kept encountering the disruptions and temptations of Satan, it allowed me to come to have discernment of Satan’s deceitful schemes and see the wickedness and despicableness of Satan. Wasn’t this all my harvests? Almighty God is the true God. Only when the true God works can Satan be scared and never stop in disrupting God’s work. Hence, I made a secret resolution to God: In the future, no matter how Satan disturbs me, even if encountering things that are worse than what I had already encountered, I won’t be swayed and I’ll absolutely follow and obey God to the very end.
After I genuinely swore an oath, my family regained the peace it had enjoyed before. I felt God is truly miraculous and almighty! After getting through this, I saw clearly the wickedness and despicableness of Satan, and somewhat understood God’s almightiness and wisdom. I thought of how, although God allowed Satan’s tests to befall me, He led me all the way and arranged my brothers and sisters to help and lead me with loving hearts, allowing me to see through Satan’s deception, realize that my views on belief in God were mistaken, understand some truth, and have some knowledge of God’s wise work. God has expended all His care and thought on saving me. With this in my mind, I was full of gratitude to and praise for God. I only wished to do what I can to fulfill my duties as a created being, use my real actions to repay God’s love, and strive to be a person who worships and obeys God. Amen!