20. Breaking Through the Lies to Turn Toward God
In early 2017 my wife and daughter came to join me in South Korea. Though I was thrilled, my wife didn’t really get used to the environment here because of the different lifestyle and language. In particular, she left behind her elderly parents and a job she loved to come to a strange place without any friends. Everything was unfamiliar to her. She was always down and didn’t talk much. I could see she was suffering, but didn’t know how to comfort her. One day in March she said she’d started believing in God and attending gatherings. I thought it was great. My grandmother had been a believer, too. I didn’t have any objections. After some time I noticed she was always in a good mood and her entire demeanor was totally different from before. I was so happy. Over time I became curious about her church and wondered how it could bring about such a huge change in someone.
One day I asked her which church she was attending. She said it was The Church of Almighty God. That immediately made me think of the 2014 Zhaoyuan incident in Shandong and I got really angry. I said to her very sternly, “You can’t have anything more to do with those believers. I’ll smash your phone if I see you’ve been in contact with them again!” She got a puzzled look on her face and asked why I’d stand in her way. I said angrily, “Why? It’s for your own good and the good of our family. Don’t you know that the CCP is seriously cracking down on and suppressing The Church of Almighty God? Don’t you know about the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case in 2014? It says online that Zhang Lidong, the main offender in the case, was a member of this Church. If you hang out with those people aren’t you just putting yourself into the lion’s mouth?” She responded resolutely, “Zhang Lidong and those others weren’t with The Church of Almighty God—you can’t believe that stuff they say online. I’ve been in contact with brothers and sisters from the Church for over two months and they’re all upstanding people who are kind and sincere toward others. They help each other out whenever anyone has difficulties. It’s not like what it says online at all.” But hearing her say all that, I just retorted, “Go online and see for yourself, then you’ll know whether I’m right or not.”
My wife then led me over to a seat and said, “You’re the sort of person who thinks things through. You have to approach this reasonably and speak according to the facts—you can’t just listen to one side of the story!” She also said, “Don’t you remember the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989? The students were patriotically protesting against corruption and struggling for democratic freedoms, but the CCP got some unknown people to pretend to be students and then had them start to smash things, to loot and burn, and overturn military vehicles. They created a lot of chaos, and then the CCP falsely accused the students of those crimes. After that the CCP used media like CCTV and radio to flood the airwaves with their reports, slandering those students as counterrevolutionary rioters, and then pulverized thousands of living and breathing students with their tanks.” Then she added, “Anyone who knows about the history of the CCP knows it’s a dictatorship that has a history of being anti-justice. Whenever someone has different political ideas or perspectives they’ve always struck down and condemned those groups or people, even suppressing them or wiping them out. Every time the CCP has violently suppressed a religious faith, a movement for democratic rights, or ethnic minority protests, they first start by fabricating false cases, and they create a huge public outcry, stirring up the people, and then they use violent suppression. That’s a fact. The May 28 Zhaoyuan Case was just the CCP framing The Church of Almighty God—they carefully concocted yet another false case.” But I just wouldn’t listen to her. I said angrily, “I don’t care. You can’t believe in Almighty God anymore. I have to consider our family’s safety and I want to protect you and our daughter from any harm. Nothing else concerns me. I’m telling you one last time: You cannot have anything more to do with them. Just stay at home and be a good wife and mother, or else don’t blame me for keeping you locked in.” Then I slammed the door and stormed out of the house.
I felt really awful as I walked along the road. Over 10 years of marriage I’d never lost my temper with her that way. From meeting, to falling in love, to walking down the aisle and getting married, we’d been through a lot: opposition from our parents, cultural differences, an age difference, and a long-distance relationship. We’d made it through all the tough times and she’d suffered plenty for our family over the years. It really did hurt me just to see it, but I’d blown up at her only for believing in God. I knew I shouldn’t have done that but I figured it was for the good of our family. Why couldn’t she understand me? I looked at my phone and saw a happy photo of the three of us with our daughter smiling sweetly. I told myself, “I’m the guardian of this family and I have to protect them. No one can hurt them.”
Over the days that followed, I was afraid of damaging my wife’s feelings for me, so I just told her not to talk to me about anything to do with God. Even though we seemed to get along normally on the surface, there was already a chasm opening up between us.
One day just as I had walked in the door after getting off work, I heard the sound of cheerful music coming from the room, and bursts of happy laughter from my wife and daughter. Curious, I thought, “I haven’t heard such a joyful sound at home in so long. What kind of song could be making them so happy now?” I very quietly opened the door and saw a dance and song video produced by The Church of Almighty God on the computer screen, The True Love of God. Six young women were joyfully dancing and singing with such feeling, and especially their faces brimming with such joyful smiles immediately drew me in. I was full of curiosity, thinking, “What sort of church is this, and what kind of people are they? Why is it that this song and dance is so infectious and so soothing? If they really were bad people, how could they have such kind, genuine smiles?” My daughter saw me come in and asked my wife to play another song and dance video for me, called God Has Brought His Glory to the East. I couldn’t bear to interrupt her—such a happy atmosphere was hard to come by in our home back then. Holding my daughter, I sat next to my wife and started watching. I was really drawn in by the video, with a style similar to tap dancing and the dancers moving gracefully like flying eagles. It was majestic and had a strong appeal.
Seeing me so engaged, my wife said to me, “These have all been made by brothers and sisters with The Church of Almighty God. None of them are professionals.” Surprised, I wondered “How is that possible? How could people without professional training dance so incredibly well? And these videos have such a positive feeling. They’re uplifting, moving, and invigorating. How could evil people have such positive energy? Why is this totally different from what I’ve seen online? What’s really going on?” Smiling, my wife said, “It’s amazing! Without God’s own work and guidance, would non-professionals be able to dance like that? You’d be even more surprised if you watched the movies they’ve made. The Church of Almighty God has the work of the Holy Spirit—it has God’s blessing. That’s why their dances and movies are so well made, and the truths they fellowship in their movies really benefit people. All that negative propaganda online is just the CCP spreading lies about the Church. They’re not at all true. The CCP slanders The Church of Almighty God to mislead people, to get them to reject it and see it as the enemy. Then they’ll dare not investigate God’s work and lose God’s salvation.”
Hearing what she said really aroused my curiosity. I wondered just what kind of church this was and if what it said online was true or not. I didn’t know if I should let her continue practicing her faith. That same battle raged within my heart again. After a bout of this internal struggle, I decided to go check it out for myself. I could act as the gatekeeper. If I saw the people in the Church behaving improperly or I saw them do anything inappropriate, I’d take her out of there right away and never let her go back. If it wasn’t like what they said online, I wouldn’t stand in her way anymore. That weekend, I went to my wife and told her that I wanted to go have a look at The Church of Almighty God—she was both surprised and pleased.
Once we got there the brothers and sisters received us warmly, and I felt from how they interacted that they were kind and sincere. My nervousness and guardedness gradually relaxed. Then a sister played a musical called Xiaozhen’s Story. I watched it with interest. Seeing all the ups and downs Xiaozhen went through deeply moved me and it made me think of my own life. I drifted from place to place when I was little because of things that happened to our family, suffering all sorts of bullying and humiliation and apathy just to get by. And now I was working hard to make a living and had gone through all sorts of things, lots of ups and downs over the years, and I felt tired and sad, but in front of my wife and friends I acted strong. Who could really know the pain in my heart? Toward the end of the musical this song was sung: “The Almighty has mercy on these people who have suffered deeply; at the same time, He is fed up with these people who lack consciousness, as He has had to wait too long for an answer from humanity. He wishes to seek, to seek your heart and your spirit, to bring you water and food and to awaken you, that you may no longer be thirsty and hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel something of the bleak desolation of this world, do not be lost, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival at any time” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs, God Is Seeking Your Heart and Your Spirit). Every note sung felt like a mother stretching out her hand to her long-lost child. What I felt was the call of love—I was incredibly moved. After it was over, I said really sincerely, “That’s such a wonderful musical!” My wife looked at me and said to me with great emotion, “Your being touched by Xiaozhen’s Story was God moving you! I know that the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case had an impact on you and that you’ve had a lot of misunderstandings about The Church of Almighty God. I also know that you’re concerned for our safety, so today we can look and see what really happened with that case.”
The brothers and sisters then played a video for me, The Truth Exposed Behind the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case. It revealed several major suspicious aspects of the case and then dissected them layer by layer. It unmasked the CCP’s lies and revealed the facts. I saw that the defendants, Zhang Lidong and Zhang Fan, clearly told the court, “I never had contact with The Church of Almighty God. The state cracks down on Zhao Weishan’s Almighty God, not the Almighty God that we believe in.” They denied with their own mouths that they were members of The Church of Almighty God, and said that they were completely unaffiliated with the Church. But the CCP disregarded the suspects’ testimonies and went against the facts, turning the truth on its head, insisting the crime was committed by people with The Church of Almighty God. Wasn’t that a bald-faced lie to brazenly defame The Church of Almighty God?
A sister then shared this fellowship with me: “The CCP has been notorious for its deceptiveness over the years and it has a terrible reputation at home and abroad. All over the world, more and more people can see through it and hardly anyone believes in it anymore. We all know that China is ruled autocratically by the Communist Party. There’s no judicial autonomy or freedom of the press. The Chinese media and courts are completely controlled by the CCP government and are just mouthpieces and tools for its authoritarianism. This is a widely known fact. Three days after the Zhaoyuan incident, without any court hearing or judgment, the CCP used TV and online media outlets to issue a public condemnation. In mid-June, they launched their ‘One-Hundred-Day Battle,’ openly mobilizing armed police to oppress and strike out against The Church of Almighty God. They carried out extensive, nationwide searches targeting the Church and arresting Christians. It’s clear that the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case in Shandong was a false case concocted by the CCP to oppress religious belief and wipe out The Church of Almighty God.”
Hearing this, I thought: “The CCP is so hateful. It turns the truth on its head, distorts reality, and frames The Church of Almighty God so that the people, who don’t know the truth, are taken in by its lies and misunderstand the Church. I’ve also been taken in by the CCP’s lies. But something I still don’t understand is why the CCP would so madly persecute the Church and go to such great pains to plant that murder case on The Church of Almighty God, and arrest its members. What’s really going on?” At this thought, I shared my confusion.
Then the sister responded, “The CCP oppresses The Church of Almighty God so madly and made up a false murder case to plant on it because it’s an atheistic party. Its founder, Karl Marx, was a Satanist and the CCP wants to wipe out all religious beliefs so that people will believe in and submit to it, to treat it as their savior. Marx was a real-life demon who opposed God. Since the CCP came to power it has openly denied, condemned, and blasphemed God and it calls Christianity a cult. It confiscates and destroys Bibles, calling them cult literature and calls religious groups cults so it can oppress them. Now in the last days, Almighty God has appeared and works in China expressing lots of truths in The Word Appears in the Flesh. This book has rocked all religions and denominations. Lots of genuine believers who love the truth have read Almighty God’s words and have seen that they are the truth and the voice of God, and that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned. One after another, they’ve accepted Almighty God and come before God’s throne. In just over 20 short years millions of people in mainland China have accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. Seeing more and more people gaining faith in Almighty God while no one believes in or follows it anymore has enraged the CCP. It wantonly condemns Almighty God’s work of the last days and concocts lies to frame The Church of Almighty God. It has issued lots of secret documents and mobilized masses of armed police. It’s bent on arresting and oppressing Christians with the Church all over China in a vain effort to stop God’s gospel of the last days. It’s trying to stamp out God’s work and The Church of Almighty God. This clearly exposes the CCP’s satanic, demonic nature of hating the truth and God. Just as the words of Almighty God say, ‘From top to bottom and from beginning to end, Satan has been disrupting the work of God and acting in opposition to Him. … It wishes, in one fell swoop, to wipe out everything about God, and once again to defile and assassinate Him; it is intent upon tearing down and disrupting His work. How can it allow God to be of equal status? How can it tolerate God “interfering” with its work among men on earth? How can it allow God to unmask its hideous face? How can it allow God to put its work in disarray? How can this devil, apoplectic with rage, allow God to have control over its imperial court on the earth? How can it willingly bow down to His superior might? Its hideous countenance has been revealed for what it is, so that one knows not whether to laugh or cry, and it is truly difficult to speak of. Is this not its substance?’ (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (7)).”
The sister then played a movie for me, The Lies of Communism. There was a passage of God’s words in it that really moved me. Almighty God says, “We trust that no country or power can stand in the way of what God wishes to achieve. Those who obstruct God’s work, resist the word of God and disturb and impair the plan of God shall ultimately be punished by God. He who defies the work of God shall be sent to hell; any country that defies the work of God shall be destroyed; any nation that rises up to oppose the work of God shall be wiped from this earth and shall cease to exist” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 2: God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind). I could feel God’s authority and majesty from these words of His. No human being can possibly hinder God’s work. Although the CCP is doing all it can to discredit and condemn The Church of Almighty God, madly arresting and persecuting Christians from the Church, they still persist in following God and spreading His gospel. They’re making more and more gospel movies, choral performances, and dance videos, and more and more people are believing in Almighty God. Anything from a human could never grow so quickly under such intense persecution. I knew this was definitely from God and was the true way, and was worth looking into. Understanding all this resolved my doubts and misunderstandings about The Church of Almighty God and I felt like a great weight had been lifted off my heart.
I turned to my wife and said, “You’re right to believe in Almighty God. I was clueless and lacked discernment and I blindly believed the CCP’s lies and stood in your way. I was so wrong.” Tears welled up in her eyes and she said with emotion, “It’s thanks to God that you’ve been able to see through the CCP’s lies and come out from the fog of confusion. This is God’s guidance and leadership!”
After that, I occasionally watched videos made by The Church of Almighty God with my wife, and I listened to her talk about her faith. Later, I became seriously ill and brothers and sisters from the Church came to check in on and help us a lot. In such a cold, indifferent society, the sincere helpfulness of the brothers and sisters really made me feel like we were one happy family. After some time getting to know them, I saw that they were all deeply kind people who relied on God’s words in their interactions, were sincere, upright and dignified in their speech and actions. They were entirely different from the people I worked with—there are hardly any people like them left in the world. I felt that the words of Almighty God really can change people and guide us onto the right path. Also, this Church is so full of love, it makes people feel so warm inside. I gladly accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. I think back to when I was blinded by the CCP’s lies and stood in the way of my wife’s faith, but God didn’t give up on saving me. Through the words of God the brothers and sisters shared with me, God allowed me to see through the CCP’s lies and clearly see the sinister truth behind them. He led me before Him. I give thanks for God’s salvation for me!