Saturday, October 14, 2017

A Lost Man Has Returned

A Lost Man Has Returned
Xieli    United States
In order to live a life of the greatest of the great, I came to U.S. to make my way. Although I suffered a lot over years, gradually I started up a company and possessed a car and a house, living an ideal “happy” life. Meanwhile, I made some friends. In the leisure time, we ate and drank and had fun together and we got along with each other well. I thought I had a group of buddies and close friends but it turned out that they were all fair-weather friends. They were unctuously, either adulating me or flattering me, without an honest word. In sorrow and distress, I even couldn’t find one to whom I could confide. Not only that, they sought every means to plot against me and cheat me out of my money. A friend swindled the money out of me by telling a lie that his mother in Mainland China was seriously ill and then vanished without a trace. A man who was from the same region with me falsely claiming to have an investment project tricked me out of my money. Even my intimate girlfriend also betrayed me and cheated me out of my hard-earned money which took me years to save up. The fickleness of the world made me disheartened and lose the faith in life, with empty, distressed and helpless feeling. Afterward, I often ate and drank and pursued pleasure to fill the emptiness in my heart. But the temporary comfort couldn’t solve my spiritual suffering.
In autumn of 2015, I met my wife by chance who had accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days. So, she began to preach the kingdom gospel to me. I said to her, “I’m too busy to believe in God. If you’re willing to believe, just do it. It’s enough for me to believe that there’s a God in my heart.” I held such a view until one day half a year later when my wife asked me to watch the video of the Church of Almighty God The Days of Noah Have Come with her. The pictures in the video shocked me. I saw that man is very small before the disaster and that the fleshly enjoyments and fame and position man pursues are worthless and are empty in the end. In this video, I saw Almighty God’s words, “However, I must tell you that in the time of Noah, men had been eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage to such a point that it was unbearable for God to witness, so He sent down a great flood to destroy mankind and left behind only Noah’s family of eight and all kinds of birds and beasts. In the last days, however, those kept by God are all those who have been loyal to Him until the end” (“Do You Know? God Has Done a Great Thing Among Men” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Then look upon the present age: Such righteous men as Noah, who could worship God and shun evil, have ceased to exist. Yet God is still gracious toward this mankind, and absolves mankind during this final era. God seeks those who long for Him to appear. He seeks those who are able to hear His words, those who have not forgotten His commission and offer up their heart and body to Him. He seeks those who are as obedient as babes before Him, and do not resist Him” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I felt God’s urgent desire to save mankind in God’s words. I thought about the present age. No one loves positive things and thirsts for God’s coming. Man brims with selfishness, arrogance, deception and so on; man schemes against and outwits each other for fame and gain, desires lust and violates morals and ethics…. They are indeed more corrupt than people in Noah’s days. But God doesn’t destroy man directly because of their evil and corruption yet send down various disasters to warn them and gives them the opportunities to turn to Him. Actually, God is so tolerant and kind. I pondered God’s words and thought of the fact that the world is becoming more and more corrupt and evil and disasters are getting greater and greater. When God hurls forth His rage upon this evil mankind, position and money can’t save me. Only if I come before God will I be saved. Thinking of that, I seemed to wake up from the dream. If I lose the opportunity to be saved by God for the temporary fleshly enjoyments, won’t it be a pity? So, in May of 2016, I started to believe in Almighty God and attend meetings.
Not long after I believed in God, I happened to see the online rumors. Those words condemning and blaspheming Almighty God shocked me all at once: asking man to offer money, not observing the boundaries between men and women, etc.. As those words appeared to be precise, I couldn’t discern fact and fiction and fell into puzzlement and confusion. The enthusiasm to believe in God well was dampened by the rumors at once. At that time, I accidentally heard my mother-in-law telling my wife that she would offer money on the phone, which made me believe in the online rumors. Later, I tried to stop my mother-in-law from offering money, lest she be deceived. At the same time, I exhorted my wife not to continue her belief, for fear that she would be cheated. But, she didn’t listen to me but said to me firmly, “The fact is not as the rumors say. What you saw on the internet are rumors and false testimonies. …” She fellowshiped with me about God’s words but I couldn’t hear anything she said. Later, brothers and sisters came to my home but I wasn’t inclined to conversation with them. Those days, I lived in darkness and was on edge, fearing that my wife and her mother would be cheated, not eating well or sleeping soundly. One day, at the sight of my distress, my wife fellowshiped with me about God’s words again. She showed me some of Almighty God’s words, “What I desire is not man’s conceptions and thoughts, much less your money and belongings, but your heart. Do you understand? This is My will, and even more what I set out to gain” (“The Sixty-first Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Immediately after that, she made me read some words in the Management Principles for the Church Life, “The Church doesn’t allow anyone to call on believers to give offerings by a special sermon about offerings or by any other reasons” (The Principles to Establish the Church and the Management Principles for the Church Life in Annals of the Fellowship and Arrangements of the Work of the Church (I)). She continued, “Believers in the Church all practice strictly according to the principles. Since I followed Almighty God, the Church has never required us to offer money. Not only that, the Church even delivers a variety of books and CDs to every true believer in God for free. Today, my mother wants to aid those brothers and sisters in difficulty with some money. It’s out of her willingness and no one forced her. Moreover, helping people in need is a good deed. Is there anything to be criticized?”
Almighty God’s words and my wife’s fellowship made me suddenly think of the fellowship given by a sister: The Church of Almighty God doesn’t accept the offerings of the new believers. Whoever attempts to give offerings must pray for several times to make sure that it is truly voluntary and he will never regret it. Only those believers are allowed to offer money. The Church will absolutely not accept the unwilling offerings. Thinking of that, my heart was relieved somewhat, but my doubt hadn’t been fully dispelled. As I frowned, my wife knew what I thought and said, “Don’t believe in those rumors. In order to disturb and destroy God’s work of saving man, Satan can speak any kind of lies and give any kind of false testimonies…. God is a holy God and He loathes man’s evil most. Those with bad reputation and those not observing boundaries between men and women in the world will not be admitted into the Church. If believers commit adultery to shame God’s name, they will be cast into hell. God’s words have made it plain.” Then, she opened the book of God’s word and read those words, “Because of the pealing of seven thunders, many people kneel down to beg for mercy and forgiveness. However, it is not the Age of Grace but the time of wrath. I will not spare or forgive anyone who does evil (one committing adultery, one being not clean in money, one not keeping boundaries between men and women, one disrupting and destroying My management, one not understanding the spirit, one being occupied by an evil spirit, etc. other than God’s chosen people). I will cast them all into Hades and they will perish forever” (“The Ninety-fourth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words with majesty and wrath awed me. I felt that God’s righteous, holy disposition which does not allow man’s offense and that God extremely hates those who commit adultery. At that point, some of my misgivings were removed naturally. Then, my wife fellowshiped, “In the Age of Law, God revealed His majestic and wrathful disposition to man. If man committed adultery at that time, they would be stoned to death. As God intends to destroy and end this evil and licentious age in the last days, He reveals His righteous and holy disposition to man and all the filth and evil will be burnt by His wrath. Before God sends down disasters to destroy this age, He uses His word to show His intention, what kind of people He likes, what kind of people He loathes, what kind of people will be destroyed, and what kind of people will remain. Today, God calls those who can be saved into His family and uses His word to judge and purify them. Meanwhile, in light of man’s corrupt disposition, He issues the administrative decrees for them to cling to. As for two members of the opposite sex working together, there’s a strict regulation in the administrative decrees.” Then, she opened the book of God’s word and read, “Man has corrupt disposition and, moreover, he is possessed of emotions. As such, it is absolutely prohibited for two members of the opposite sex to work together when serving God. Any who are discovered doing so will be expelled, without exception—and no one is exempt” (“The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After my wife finished those words, I thought of the matter happened one day in the spring of 2016. It was before my formal investigation on Almighty God’s work in the last days. I drove to another state with my wife and a sister. On the midway, my wife got off the car due to something and the sister followed her off the car. At that time, the wind was blowing and it was freezing cold. The sister stood outside the car, stomping constantly to warm herself. I asked her to get into the car but she said with a smile, “It doesn’t matter. I want to stand outside for a while.” A long time later, my wife came back and only then did the sister get into the car with her. Seeing her shiver with cold, my wife said, “It’s so cold outside. Why did you not stay in the car?” She answered, “There’s an administrative decree in our Church that two members of the opposite sex are prohibited to work together. This is God’s requirement for all His chosen people. We should observe it strictly.” Her words deeply moved me, with the feeling that this group of people were different from worldly people. Thinking of that, I couldn’t help but pat my head. In retrospect, since I engaged with the brothers and sisters in the Church of Almighty God, I had seen that they kept boundaries between men and women, spoke in a dignified and decent way, and dealt with people with a strong sense of propriety. Those rumors betray themselves before the fact. At that moment, I felt ashamed. Actually, the online rumors were all fabricated slanders and blasphemies which were careless and out of nothing. But I even harbored doubts about Almighty God and His Church on account of them. I believed in them blindly and listened to hearsay. I was really muddle-headed! My wife continued her fellowship, “This is God’s protection to man that He issued such an administrative decree. As God knows that mankind is corrupted by Satan too deeply and has no ability to overcome sins, He uses it to constrain man and makes them avoid many temptations. This is God’s love.” I nodded involuntarily. In that way, the shackles in my heart were opened and I was released from doubt, distress and depression.
So, I started to attend meetings again. When I think about this experience, I have palpitations. These rumors are really harmful. Once man is swayed by them, they will be in distress and darkness. What makes me feel very puzzled about is that: Why are these rumors on the Church of Almighty God put on the website since it is so good? Thus, in a meeting, I opened my heart to my brothers and sisters and told them my thought to seek the truth. They had me watch the gospel movie shot by the Church Break Through the Snare. It resolved all my doubts. What’s more, I had a clearer understanding after the fellowship by my brothers and sisters. It’s Satan’s constant ploy to use rumors to disturb and destroy God’s work. When the Lord Jesus worked, to control God’s people forever, the Jewish religious leaders—the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees crafted many rumors about the Lord Jesus. They blasphemed and framed the Lord Jesus, by saying that He drove out demons by the prince of the devils and that He perverted the nation and forbade to give tribute to Caesar. They gave a false testimony that His body was stolen by His disciples and He was not resurrected, and so on. If there had been the internet, I think those religious leaders would upload the rumors and false testimonies about the Lord Jesus to the internet to judge, attack, condemn and blaspheme Him. Rumor is the great hindrance to man’s acceptance of the true way. Deceived by the rumors, the Israelites didn’t acknowledge that the Lord Jesus is Messiah and thus lost God’s salvation. Today, in the Age of Kingdom, Almighty God comes to do the work of judging and purifying man with the word. The Chinese government and the religious pastors and elders acted as Satan’s tools. For the purpose of caging and controlling man, they unrestrainedly created rumors and gave false testimonies on the Church of Almighty God to smear it. Satan is too evil and contemptible!
Following that, my brothers and sisters read God’s words for me, “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” (“The Tenth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Satan is constantly devouring the knowledge that men hold of Me in their hearts, and constantly, with teeth bared and claws unsheathed, engaged in the last throes of its death struggle. Do you wish to be captured by its deceitful stratagems at this moment? Do you wish, at the moment that the last phase of My work is completed, to cut off your own life?” (“The Sixth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words tell us the truth of the spiritual war. It turns out that these rumors are Satan’s schemes to devour man. If man believes in those rumors, they will eventually lose the opportunity to be saved by God and will perish and be destroyed with Satan. Thank God for His leadership. The Church’s gospel movie and my brothers and sisters’ fellowship and help caused me to see Satan’s evilness and contemptibleness more clearly. Then, I was enlightened and was at ease within. I set up my mind to follow Almighty God and walk the way to salvation. After following Almighty God, I get the true freedom and release. As I experience more, I see that there’s plenty of love and help among brothers and sisters, and that everyone pursues to be an honest person according to Almighty God’s requirements and doesn’t need to worry or fear that they will be fixed, cheated, and harmed. I have felt the true happiness in the Church of Almighty God, which is the life I have always desired.



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