The Twists and Turns of My Spiritual Battles
By Jietuo, South Korea
In My Time of Suffering, I Met the Real God
In 2007, family circumstances forced me to come to South Korea to work. Life was hard then, and my husband often went out drinking with female friends, so we quarreled practically every day. I was physically exhausted then, and felt that life was unbearably hard. One day in September 2014, a sister bore witness to Almighty God’s work of the last days for me, and after reading God’s words and fellowshiping with the brothers and sisters, I was able to verify that Almighty God is the returned.
Later on, I told my husband the truth that I’d learned, and he was very surprised and said: “Oh darling, you’ve been going to a very special church! You’ve only been a few times and already you understand more than me, and I’ve believed in the Lord for dozens of years.” Not long after, I asked a sister from The Church of Almighty God to come to our home to bear witness to Almighty God’s work of the last days for my husband. She mentioned Almighty God, and at the time my husband didn’t say anything, but as soon as she left his reaction was extremely negative. After that, a spiritual battle began …
The First Battle: I Fought Against Online Rumors With the Facts
My husband pointed at our computer and said: “Look at all this negative news about The Church of Almighty God. You shouldn’t believe in their stuff.”
I replied: “You can’t believe online news in China. There are many distortions of the truth. I don’t believe any of those online reports.”
My husband got angry and said: “You see, the religious community doesn’t recognize The Church of Almighty God either. I’m telling you to stop believing in it!”
My faith was a little bit shaken by this, and I thought: “If the online stuff is true, should I keep on investigating? But if the Lord has really come back and overlooks me, then what will I do? His return is a chance in a million years! No, I must personally go and investigate The Church of Almighty God.”
At a later date, I took 2 of my friends to The Church of Almighty God. In the church I noticed just how modest and upstanding the brothers and sisters all looked, and during the meeting they shared their experiences of returning to God and their knowledge and understanding of God’s words. It all seemed very real, and I was really moved. After that, the brothers and sisters played some videos produced by The Church of Almighty God for us and in them we saw their work of witnessing for God which told us how to seek knowledge of God, seek dispositional transformation, and live in the likeness of a true human being in order to honor God. What we saw was all positive, and was nothing like what the online rumors described. If the online rumors were true, then how would The Church of Almighty God be able to spread theto so many nations around the world and attract so many believers to investigate? After my visit to the church, I was able to let go of the concerns I’d had and decided to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days. But when my husband saw that I was adamant about my faith, he told the pastor in our church about my visit to The Church of Almighty God. And so another spiritual battle began soon after …
The Second Battle: The Pastor and Preacher Harassed Me but God Helped Me Stand Firm
One day, the pastor and a sister from my original church came to my home. The pastor took out a big piece of paper and showed it to me. On it was a long list of house churches, including The Church of Almighty God.
The pastor said: “Sister, you should know that these house churches are all being severely persecuted by the CCP. They’ve all been deemed to be heretical, especially The Church of Almighty God, which is the one church that the government of China is attacking particularly forcefully. And no other Christian denominations recognize The Church of Almighty God either. You haven’t read much of the Bible and your stature is small, so why didn’t you tell us that you’ve been in contact with The Church of Almighty God?”
I replied: “The Chinese Communists have always been opposed to God. They don’t admit the existence of God and condemn both Catholicism and Christianity. How can we accept the CCP’s viewpoint when it comes to judging how good or bad another church is? And we can’t assess whether Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus according to how this is accepted by the various Christian denominations. Although the pastors and elders of various denominations know the Bible well, that doesn’t mean that they know God. It’s like when the Lord Jesus appeared to do His work and was nailed to the cross by the scribes, chief priests and Pharisees.”
The pastor didn’t try to refute my argument that day but after that he came to my home and also harassed me on the phone almost every few days. My determination was unavoidably shaken by all this and the pastor’s constant urging, and I also felt that I wasn’t giving him face, so for a week I didn’t go to The Church of Almighty God. But then I thought of a passage in the Bible: “For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall alsobe in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation” (Luke 17:24-25). The appearance and work of Almighty God are condemned by the CCP and the religious community, which is fulfilling the verse in the Bible, “But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.” The condemnation of the CCP and the religious community is a denial of Almighty God’s work, and that is wrong. I can’t allow myself to blindly listen to the pastor. So I started going to The Church of Almighty God again.
When my husband found out that I’d been to The Church of Almighty God again, he brought another preacher to our home to urge me again not to go.
The preacher said: “I’ve heard that you believe in Almighty God. You don’t understand the Bible very well and don’t have much stature. We’ve been coming here to convince you to change your mind for your own good. The work of Almighty God is not in line with the Bible, and anything that strays too far away from what is in the Bible is heresy. You should first read the Bible more.”
I replied: “When the Lord Jesus first started to do His work it wasn’t in accordance with the Old Testament. According to your way of thinking, the work of the Lord Jesus should be condemned.”
The preacher said: “So how do you know for sure that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus?”
I said, “The Bible says, ‘So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God’ (Romans 10:17). Why did the Jews eventually start to believe in the Lord Jesus? Because they recognized the voice of God in what the Lord Jesus was teaching, and so they started to follow Him. I’ve also read a lot of Almighty God’s words and have seen that Almighty God’s utterances are all truths that can lead me away from sin and help me know how to seek in order to achieve salvation. That’s why I’m certain that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. You lot haven’t read Almighty God’s words and haven’t investigated Almighty God’s work, so what gives you the right to pass judgment so casually?”
The preacher said in a flustered voice: “Who would have thought that after believing in Almighty God for just a few days you’d be ready to argue with me. OK, that’s fine. Since you’re dead set on believing in Almighty God then I’m not going to say more. But we won’t let you back into our church to steal sheep….”
I replied: “All sheep belong to God, and God’s sheep listen to God’s voice. Whoever is selected by God can never be hindered by another human being!” The preacher had no answer to that and left with a hateful look on his face.
Seeing how angry the preacher had gotten I was a little bit surprised. Was it really necessary for him to get so angry just because I now believe in Almighty God? I couldn’t help considering if the pastor and preacher really had my interests at heart. If they were really taking responsibility for the spiritual lives of the brothers and sisters and leading the congregation then on hearing the news that the Lord has returned they ought to have led the brothers and sisters to investigate immediately! However, since hearing the news their attitude has been one of enmity. And they’ve also been lapping up all the rumors spread online by the CCP and have been willfully criticizing God’s work in our church to prevent the brothers and sisters from investigating the true way. Where’s the reverence for God in their hearts? All this reminded me of when the Lord Jesus first began His work and how the scribes, chief priests and Pharisees, in order to protect their own livelihoods, invented countless schemes to prevent believers from following the Lord Jesus. Just as the Lord Jesus said, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13). Even though they’ve heard about the Lord’s coming, the pastor and preacher haven’t the slightest interest in investigating it and even tried to prevent me from spreading the gospel among the brothers and sisters. Weren’t their methods just like those of the Pharisees? When I realized all this, it showed I had acquired some discernment about the real intentions of the pastor and preacher, and it stimulated me even more to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days.
Later, when the preacher saw that he couldn’t persuade me, he started to interfere in my relationship with my husband, telling him that he should rein me in. The pastor often came to our home, too, to harass me. During that period, my husband always listened to what the pastor and preacher were telling him and, as a result, we quarreled every day. My life was totally messed up by them all, and I was under tremendous pressure, which left me feeling irritated. The spiritual battle was about to enter the next phase …
The Third Battle: I Weakened After My Husband Threatened Me With Divorce
One day, my husband said to me angrily: “Do you want this family or do you want Almighty God? If you keep on believing in Almighty God then we’ll be getting divorced!”
I thought: “Our child is still small so I have no way of earning money. If he divorces me then how will I get by in the future? Should believing in Almighty God really be such a trial? If I have to carry on arguing with my husband because of my faith, then there’s no future for us.” When I thought of this, I couldn’t help noticing that my determination was no longer so firm.
My husband then gave me a solemn pledge: “If you stop believing in Almighty God I will quit smoking and drinking and will start to listen to you. Whatever you want me to do I will do….”
I thought: “In the past he never gave up smoking and drinking, no matter what I said. If I submit and he gives them up then that surely will be great for us. And then the pastor won’t come around and harass me and we won’t squabble every day. But if I abandon my faith in Almighty God because of this, then how will I live with my conscience?” After a struggle with myself, I came to a compromise: I decided to not go to The Church of Almighty God for the time being and would wait to see how the situation developed.
When my husband saw that I was no longer going to The Church of Almighty God he started taking me to all the different churches in our denomination. But every time I got to one of the churches and listened to the pastor preaching the same old stuff I became nostalgic about the times I spent at The Church of Almighty God gatherings, and how I gained some illumination every time and how comforted my spirit was.
When I Was Weak and Unenthusiastic, God’s Love Guided Me
After that, every time I went to church my head would start to ache terribly. In my heart, I knew that this was God reminding me to leave that church and quickly turn back toward Him. But whenever I thought about how my husband, the pastor, and the preacher had incessantly bothered me I didn’t have the confidence to make a decision about it. I just comforted myself by telling myself that I’d wait a little bit longer.
During that period, a sister from The Church of Almighty God called me a few times to ask why I hadn’t gone back. I made the excuse of being too busy, and even lied to the sister and said I’d moved home and now lived somewhere that was far from their meeting place. Slowly, my heart began to move further and further away from God and I started to get sucked into social trends. Eating, drinking, and seeking pleasure and fun became my mode of existence, and I often felt a wordless sense of failure and emptiness. I was never happy. What made it worse was that my husband broke his promise to quit drinking and smoking. I felt that I’d been cheated, and in my mind a glimmer of a wish to return to The Church of Almighty God appeared. But I was still worried that my husband would want to divorce me, and so, after much thought, I decided not to go back to the church but to read Almighty God’s words at home without letting my husband see what I was doing.
One day, I got a phone call from a relative of one of my good friends who told me that my friend had gotten into a financial dispute with someone and had been killed by that person. I was shocked by the news, especially as I’d met up with my good friend just a few days before. Her death had come so suddenly, and during that time, whenever I thought of this affair I always got frightened. It seemed like the world was a very dark place, where the smallest offence against the wrong person could result in someone dying. Later I saw that the words of Almighty God said: “On earth, all manner of evil spirits are endlessly on the prowl for a place to rest, are ceaselessly searching for the corpses of men to eat up. My people! You must remain inside My care and protection. Never behave dissolutely! Never behave recklessly! Rather, offer up your loyalty in My house, and only with loyalty can you mount a countercharge against the devil’s cunning.” God’s words reminded me that without God’s protection and care we can be swallowed up by Satan anywhere, anytime. Only God can be truly relied upon! I thought back to that period in my life—when I lived only for physical pleasures and my heart was drifting further and further away from God—and how God hadn’t abandoned my salvation but had used the sister to call me time after time and the news of my good friend’s death to wake me up and make me return to His side. When I thought of all this, I could feel the unstinting effort that God had put into my salvation, and I felt compunction and guilt. So I decided to return to The Church of Almighty God and free myself from my husband’s restrictions.
Rebuilding My Faith After Understanding Truths
When I returned to the church, the brothers and sisters welcomed me warmly and asked me what I’d experienced during the time I was away. I was very much moved, and so openly told them about everything that had happened to me during that period. They then 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?”
A sister then fellowshiped this: “God saves us from Satan’s dominion, but Satan is still there in the background trying its best to disturb and hinder us. On the surface it might seem to be your husband or the pastor or whoever hindering you from believing in Almighty God, but behind the scenes there is a spiritual battle going on. Satan knows that we’ve only just accepted God’s work, and that we don’t understand many truths or have true knowledge of or faith in God, and so it uses the people around us to disturb us. Satan wants us to move far away from God and go back under its dominion so that we can be trampled by it and lose all chance of gaining salvation. This is Satan’s evil intention and cunning scheme. If we don’t see through it, then we’ll easily fall into Satan’s trap.”
The sister read another passage of God’s words: “While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or have negativity within them, or to lack clarity onor their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, like Job. Although Job was weak and cursed the day of his own birth, he did not deny that all things in human life were bestowed by Jehovah, and that Jehovah is also the One to take it all away. No matter how he was tested, he maintained this belief. No matter what kind of refinement you undergo in your experiences from God’s words, God requires mankind’s faith. This way, what is perfected are people’s faith…. When Job reached this point, God appeared to him and spoke to him. That is, it is only from within your faith that you will be able to see God, and when you have faith God will perfect you. Without faith, He cannot do this.”
The sister continued to fellowship: “Every temptation that we encounter has been sanctioned by God and is God testing us. God uses situations like these to perfect our faith. Just like when Job encountered Satan’s tests: Although he suffered tremendously he was able through his faith and loyalty to bear witness for God and humiliate Satan. And, in the end, he gained even greater blessings from God. God wants us to be like Job and stand firm and bear witness to God in front of Satan. When we overcome Satan’s tests then we’ll see God’s wisdom and almightiness and we’ll have even more faith in Him.”
After listening to the words of Almighty God and the sister’s fellowshiping I had a clear feeling of just how hard God works to save people. I also saw that my stature was still lacking and that I didn’t have a trace of true faith in God. I didn’t recognize God’s almightiness and sovereignty, and certainly didn’t understand the significance of God allowing Satan to test us. So I made a firm commitment there and then to stick firmly to my loyalty to and faith in God and bear witness for God no matter how Satan used the people, events and objects around me to harass me.
By Bearing Witness for God I Saw God’s Deeds
When my husband found out that I’d started going to The Church of Almighty God again he threatened me once more: “I’ll ask you one more time. Do you want this family or your faith in Almighty God? If you keep on believing in Almighty God then we’ll have to get divorced!” And my resolve weakened again on hearing my husband’s threats so I hurriedly prayed to God: “O God! I want to follow You. I don’t want to compromise with my husband. May You guide me through this difficulty.” Afterward, I read a passage of the word of God: “Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God.” Yes! Satan once again tried to use my husband’s threats to attack my faith in God. But I wasn’t going to be as faithless as before because by then I knew I was one of God’s created beings, one who should worship God; I shouldn’t choose to betray God just because of something my husband said. And of course everything is under God’s control, so whether my husband divorced me or not was also up to God to decide. Anyway, even if he did divorce me, I would stilland follow God to the end.
So I said to my husband earnestly: “When we argued in the past I always thought it was your fault and really did think about divorcing you. But since I’ve accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days God’s words have enabled me to see many of my own flaws. I’ve been trying hard to accept and put into practice God’s words, and that’s why I don’t argue with you much or get angry with our kid now. I’ve seen that Almighty God’s words are all truths that can transform me and so I can’t betray God. If you honestly want to get divorced then let’s do it!”
My husband spluttered a reply: “This … yes, you really have changed. I can see that. Actually, I don’t really want to get divorced. I was just trying to scare you. Since you put it that way, what else can I say? Anyway, I won’t bother you anymore about your faith in God.” When I heard my husband say this, I let out a long sigh of relief. Thank God! It was God’s words that guided me in my victory over Satan’s test.
After that, my husband didn’t try to prevent me from believing in Almighty God, and sometimes he even had a meal ready for me when I came back from church meetings. The pastor and preacher also stopped coming to our home to harass me. I started going to meeting regularly, and did my duties with the brothers and sisters. And as I understand more and more truths, I feel a sense of release and freedom in my heart. Thank God. All the glory be to God!