Monday, November 6, 2017

Breaking Out of the Cocoon II

Breaking Out of the Cocoon II

Unexpectedly, my husband found that I went to the meetings of the Church of Almighty God, and he told it to my father. One evening, when I was upstairs, I suddenly heard noises down in the yard. I opened the curtains and looked out, only to find that my father had burst into the yard angrily with four or five co-workers in his church, the sight of which brought me out in a cold sweat. My heart thudded, and I immediately knelt down on the floor and cried out to God for help, “O Almighty God! My father comes again to disturb me with some people in religion. I am timid and afraid. O God! You know I am of little stature. May You give me faith and courage….” Then God’s words suddenly occurred to me: “You should have My courage within you. Hold to the principles before your unbelieving relatives as well. But for My sake you should not yield to any force of darkness. Walk in the perfect way by My wisdom. Don’t let Satan’s schemes succeed. Lay your heart before Me as best you can, and I will comfort you and fill your heart with peace and joy” (“The Tenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me strength. As I had God’s words in my heart, I was no longer timid and fearful. I thought, “No matter how they disturb me, I will never again let myself be fooled by Satan and deceived by them. It is heaven’s law and earth’s principle for me to believe in and follow God; no one has the right to interfere in it, not even my most loved ones.” So, I went downstairs composedly and greeted them. They all started speaking. A co-worker, looking with wonder at me, said, “Fangfang, I never expected that an intelligent person like you would believe in the Eastern Lightning. It is a false way! You’d better repent before the Lord Jesus….” I said with calmness, “You have never listened to the messages of the Eastern Lightning, nor have you ever read the words of Almighty God; how can you say that the way I put my faith in is a false way?” She said, “We don’t dare to read that book. It is terribly fascinating. If anyone reads it, he will be fascinated by it.” I said, “The words of Almighty God can convince people because they are God’s words and are the truth. Only God’s words have such authority and power.” But they spoke many blasphemies, and they also asked me to go to their leader to confess my sin and repent. They said that if I didn’t do so, I would be cast into hell and be judged. I said firmly, “I have attended the meetings of the Church of Almighty God and seen clearly that your defamation of it is totally groundless. There is no truth in your slander and rumor! If you cannot give proof, it shows that you are all liars, deceivers from Satan. Now the kingdom gospel of Almighty God has spread all over the China mainland, known to every household, and there are several millions of people who have accepted it. But there are also some people who hate the truth, and they have rejected the gospel. Isn’t it because of your disturbance that my youngest sister and I dared not believe in Almighty God anymore in the beginning? Aren’t we both safe and sound now? So you are telling lies and cheating people! Today I am dead set on believing in Almighty God. Don’t try to stop me since you refuse to believe. It is none of your business whether my soul will go to heaven or be cast into hell. Moreover, my fate is controlled by God’s hands, not determined by any man. Don’t come to disturb me anymore.” At that point, my father stood up and threatened me, saying, “If you insist on believing in Almighty God, I will break with you.”
When I heard such cruel words, I felt somewhat hurt, thinking, “You don’t seek or examine the true way, but listen to whatever your leader said. You choose to believe the rumors and lies made up by him rather than to believe me. You brought so many people to disturb and attack me and even said to break with me in front of them.” The more I thought about it, the sadder I felt. At that moment, these words of God came to my mind: “God created this world and brought man, a living being unto which He bestowed life, into it. In turn, man came to have parents and kin and was no longer alone. Ever since man first laid eyes on this material world, he was destined to exist within the ordination of God. It is the breath of life from God that supports each living being throughout his growth into adulthood. During this process, none believes that he lives and grows up under the care of God. Rather, man holds that he grows up under the love and care of his parents, and that his growth is governed by the instinct of life. This is because man knows not who bestowed life or from whence it came, much less how the instinct of life creates miracles” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words of God made me understand: Although my flesh was born of my parents, my life came from God. Had God not bestowed life upon me, my flesh would be an entity of corruption and a walking corpse. It is because of the care and keeping of God that I have survived until today; without God’s care and keeping, I would have long been devoured by Satan. Today I should repay God, not my parents. Although I have a physical relationship with my parents, we are incompatible in the spirit, for their essence is one of resistance to God. I should not join in their opposition to God, but should stand on God’s side. Even if my father disowns me, I should follow God to the end and stand firm in my testimony to God. So I said to my father, “Dad, in belief in God, I must obey God rather than man, and I can’t act by my emotion. If what you say corresponds to the truth and God’s will, I will obey you; if you want me to betray God, that’s impossible!” When they saw I was so determined, they shook their heads and stood up, and went away in dejection. Seeing the sorry figure they cut, I could not but shout for joy in my heart, “O God, You are so almighty! It is Your words that have given me the faith and courage to shame and defeat Satan thoroughly.”
Though the people in religion stopped coming to disturb me, my parents, instigated by their leader, often came to my home to persuade me, insisting that I should go to their leader and repent before him. One day, they came again. They attempted to mislead me with some Bible verses but failed. And then my mother wept uncontrollably, beseeching me to quickly go to their leader and repent before him. Looking at her tearful face, I felt distressed in my heart. “She lost her mother when she was three. Her stepmother ill-treated her, and she suffered a lot. Now she is getting old, but, instead of fulfilling my filial duty to her, I made her worry so much about me.” Thinking of this, I turned to my father and saw him looking at me with expectant eyes. My heart ached, and tears welled up in my eyes. But at that moment, these words of God occurred to my mind: “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 that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words made me realize that on the surface I was confronted with my parents’ interference, but behind that was Satan’s wager with God in the spiritual realm: Satan attempted to deceive me using my emotions, to make me take pity on my parents, stand on their side, and obey them and thus deny and betray God. I must see through Satan’s trick, and should not grieve or disappoint God. I must stand on God’s side firmly and never betray God. So regardless of what they said and how hard they tried to persuade me, my heart remained unshaken. They had no choice but to leave in low spirits.
Afterward, as I didn’t go to my former leader to repent, he asked my father to announce to all the believers that I was expelled from the church, and he also told my parents to draw a clear line with me. Because of the interference of my former leader and my parents, my husband began to persecute me frenziedly. Every time after I came back home from performing my duty, he would curse or beat me, shut me out of the house, or break my electric scooter or my bicycle. Once he even sent me to the local police station. I was worn out and pined away with such tortures from him. The people of our village also ridiculed and slandered me. Faced with such adverse environments, I felt very weak within, thinking that believing in God was too difficult. I was at a loss how to walk the way ahead. Many a time I knelt down before God and prayed tearfully to ask Him to give me faith and strength.
Later, I saw these words of God: “The ‘overcomers’ that God speaks of are those, who, under the siege and influence of Satan, that is, under the forces of darkness, still stand witness and maintain their original faith and their loyalty to God. Regardless of anything else, your chaste heart remains steadfast before God, and your true love of God stays unchanging. This means that you stand witness before God, and you are the ‘overcomer’ of which God speaks. When God blesses you, you pursue well. When God does not bless you, you draw back. Is this chastity? Since you are certain this is the true way, you should walk to the end and keep your loyalty to God. Since you see that God has come to earth to personally perfect you, you should give your heart to Him completely. No matter what God does—He may give you a bad outcome in the end—you can still follow Him. This means that you have kept your chastity before God” (“You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From God’s words, I came to understand: In the last days, God will make a group of overcomers, and His followers therefore have to undergo many temptations both great and small from Satan. They have to actually experience the persecution from the CCP, the disturbance of the religious world, the rejection of their relatives, and the ridicule and insults of the worldly people. Those who can obey God and be faithful to God and do not betray God in any environment, who can stand firm in his testimony to God, will be the overcomers made by God. They will also be the ones who will receive God’s promises and survive the great disasters. Today God has arranged such environments in order to make me perfect and to see whether I will have a complaining heart, whether I have faith in God, and whether I am one who truly believes and obeys God. After I was clear about God’s will, I made a resolution before God: No matter what persecution or tribulation I may encounter, I will fulfill the duty of a creature to satisfy God. Although Satan frantically hindered and disturbed me, in an attempt to force me to deny and betray God, I prayed and looked to God at every time and equipped myself with God’s words every day. So God opened up a way out for me, which allowed me to see God’s almightiness and wondrous deeds. The more my husband persecuted me, the more God disciplined him. Later he didn’t dare to beat me or break my bike anymore. So my faith in God became greater.
One year later, I went to my youngest sister’s company with Sister Zhang to preach God’s work of the last days to her again, and she accepted it. When I saw her accepting the book of God’s word with both hands, I thought, “It is really difficult for God to save man!” At that moment, my tears streamed down my face uncontrollably, and I kept giving thanks and praises to God in my heart. In 2006, my youngest sister and I went to my younger sister to preach the gospel to her, and she also accepted it. After that, we brought several other relatives of ours to Almighty God as well. This allowed me to see that no matter how desperately the religious leaders try to hinder God’s work, it is to no avail. No force of Satan can halt God’s footsteps, and all God’s sheep will surely recognize His voice and return to Him. Just as Almighty God says: “The kingdom is expanding in humanity’s midst, it is forming in humanity’s midst, it is standing up in humanity’s midst; there is no force that can destroy My kingdom” (“The Nineteenth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh).



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