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Finding the Way Back After Getting Lost

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Finding the Way Back After Getting Lost

Xieli, USA

I’d always wanted a happy life with a high standard of living, so I came to the U.S.A. to work as hard as I could. After a few years of hard work and suffering, I was able to gradually get the things I wanted: my own company, my own car, my own house, etc. I was finally living the “happy” life that I’d dreamed of. During this period, I made friends with a few guys and enjoyed eating meals, drinking and having fun with them during our leisure time. We all got on pretty well together, and I thought I’d met a good bunch of guys. But then I came to realize that they were just drinking buddies who often talked nonsense, and when I was worried or depressed there was not one of them whom I could go to share my troubles with. Not only that, but they deliberately ripped me off: One of them lied to me about his mother in China being really ill and when I lent him some money he disappeared without trace. Another, from my home town, told a bunch of lies about needing finance for a project and cheated me of some money. And even the person nearest and dearest to me—my girlfriend—betrayed me and cheated me of a large sum of money that it had taken me years of blood, sweat, and tears to accumulate. The heartlessness of these people and the indifference of society made me depressed and disheartened. I lost confidence in my ability to keep on going, and it seemed that nobody could alleviate the bitterness and emptiness that I felt in my heart. After that, I often turned to eating, drinking and having fun to fill the emptiness in my heart, but these temporary physical pleasures were totally unable to resolve my spiritual suffering.

Finding the Way Back After Getting Lost

(Source: Fotolia)

In the fall of 2015, fate determined that I became acquainted with my present wife. By that time, my wife had already accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. When she told me the gospel of the kingdom, it all seemed well and good to me, but because I was so busy with work I said to my wife: “I don’t have time for faith in God, but if you want to believe, go ahead. Knowing in my heart that God exists is enough for me.” One day half a year later my wife let me watch one of The Church of Almighty God’s videos with her—The Days of Noah Have Come. What I saw in the video really startled me: When faced with disasters mankind was tiny and fragile, unable to withstand the slightest of blows. I suddenly felt that no matter how much money a person has, how much luxury they enjoy or how high their status is, it’s all meaningless. When disaster strikes and death is staring us in the face, all of these material things are worthless and useless. As Almighty God’s words say: “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). In these words I could feel the urgency of God’s intention to save mankind. I thought about how in these times nobody seems to like positive things or wish for God’s return. People’s hearts are full of selfishness, arrogance, and craftiness. In order to gain fame and fortune they plot and scheme against one another, cheat one another, and even resort to killing one another to get what they want. People are slaves to their sensual desires, and constantly trample on morals and virtue and bury their conscience. People have lost all humanity, and the degree of corruption of mankind really is far beyond that of the age of Noah. But God hasn’t destroyed mankind because of this wickedness and corruption, but instead is employing various forms of disasters to warn mankind and give us the chance to turn around and move toward God. When I pondered over God’s words, my heart was deeply moved by God’s love. I also thought about how the world was becoming more evil and corrupt by the day, about how the disasters were getting bigger, and about how when God finally vents His rage on evil mankind and destroys mankind, all of the money and status that I’ve accumulated will not be able to save me. Only by coming before God and seeking the truth can a person gain protection. When I thought all of this through it was like waking from a dream, and my intuition told me that I should come before God and accept His salvation as this is the only way to be saved. If I were to lose the chance of salvation due to the temporary pursuit of physical pleasures then I’d regret it all of my life! Consequently, in May 2016 I began to believe in God and attend meetings.

Finding the Way Back After Getting LostNot long after believing in God, I was surfing the web and unintentionally came across some negative propaganda that condemned and blasphemed The Church of Almighty God. Reading the condemnation and blasphemy of Almighty God left me momentarily stunned. What was this “making people donate money and not respecting the boundaries between men and women” stuff? What I read seemed to make some sense and it became difficult for me to distinguish right from wrong, fact from fiction. I became confused and puzzled, and the burning fire of my faith in God was instantly extinguished by the negative stuff I was reading. And just at that moment I heard in the background my mother-in-law talking on the phone to my wife about donating money to the church, which made me even more inclined to believe what I was reading online. After that, I stopped my mother-in-law from donating any more money and also urged my wife to stop believing in Almighty God, to prevent the possibility of us being cheated. But my wife didn’t listen to me at all, and said to me firmly: “The reality of the situation is nothing like you’ve read online. The stuff online is all rumors, all false testimonies! …” Then she got a book of God’s words and started fellowshiping with me, but I’d already been totally convinced by the rumors and didn’t listen to her in the slightest. Not long after, some brothers and sisters came to our home, but I ignored them too. During those days I was living in darkness, and was constantly worried that my wife and my mother-in-law were being cheated. I was so worried that I couldn’t eat and couldn’t sleep well at night, and suffered greatly psychologically. Seeing the sorry state I was in, my wife tried to fellowship with me again. She opened up a book of Almighty God’s words and chose this passage to show me: “What I want is not human conceptions or human thoughts, even less do I want your money or your possessions. What I want is your heart, understand? This is My will, and even more it is what I want to obtain” (“The Sixty-first Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). My wife also read out some of the principles for the management of church life of The Church of Almighty God for me: “The church does not allow anyone to ask others to make offerings through preaching or any other reason. All those who are keen to talk about making offerings have ulterior motives” (“The Principles for Establishing a Church and the Management of Church Life” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God). Then she fellowshiped this with me: “In The Church of Almighty God there are strict required standards and principles for every aspect. As for donating money and other items, the words of Almighty God state very clearly that God doesn’t want our monies or objects. The principles for the management of church life also clearly stipulate that the church does not allow anyone to sermonize about donating money or employ any form of reasoning to encourage people to donate money. Since I’ve been following Almighty God, the church has never asked me to donate a single cent. Not only does the church not call on people to donate money, it even gives all the brothers and sisters who are true believers books, CDs, etc. free of charge. Now, my mother wants to give some money to help some of the brothers and sisters who are having financial difficulties. She’s doing it of her own free will; nobody is forcing her to do it. Anyway, helping people in need is a good deed, so there’s nothing to reproach her about, right?”

After reading Almighty God’s words and listening to my wife’s fellowship I suddenly remembered that one of the sisters had previously told me that The Church of Almighty God does not accept donations from new members, and anyone who wants to donate money or other items should pray a few times first until they are sure they are completely willing to do so and will never regret it. If the church thinks the money and other items are not being donated willingly, they absolutely will not accept them. When I remembered this, some of the worries and concerns that I had were somewhat alleviated, but the knot in my heart was not entirely loosened. My wife saw that I was still frowning, and knowing what I was thinking she said: “Don’t believe those rumors. Satan wants to disrupt and destroy God’s work of saving people, and prevent us from coming before God and accepting salvation, and so will say all sorts of garbage and give all sorts of false testimonies. God is holy and God detests mankind’s evil. As for those people who don’t have a good reputation and don’t know how to behave properly around members of the opposite sex, The Church of Almighty God never accepts them. This is something that Almighty God has spoken very explicitly about.” Then my wife read a passage of God’s words for me: “Many people will kneel down for mercy and forgiveness because the seven thunders peal. But this will no longer be the Age of Grace: It will be the time for wrath. As for all people who do evil (those who fornicate, or deal in dirty money, or have unclear boundaries between men and women, or who interrupt or damage My management, or whose spirits are blocked, or who are possessed by the evil spirits, and so on—all except My elect), none of them will be let off, nor any pardoned, but all will be cast down to Hades and perish forever!” (“The Ninety-fourth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words are majestic and wrathful and cause people’s hearts to develop fear and reverence for God. I felt that God’s righteous disposition does not tolerate man’s offenses. God very much hates promiscuous people, and this kind of people will eventually suffer God’s righteous punishment. Realizing this got rid of some more of the concerns that were bothering me. My wife then fellowshiped the following with me: “When God was doing His work in the Age of Law anyone who acted promiscuously would be stoned to death. This amply shows God’s righteous, majestic, and wrathful disposition. In the Age of Kingdom, in terms of sexual relationships God’s administrative decrees are even stricter. As it says in God’s words: ‘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).

When my wife read out these words of God I recalled an incident that occurred in the spring of 2016. At the time, I hadn’t yet properly investigated Almighty God’s work of the last days. I was driving my wife and one of the sisters from the church to another state. On the way, we stopped so that my wife could attend to something, and when she got out of the car the sister also got out. It was cold and windy outside, and the sister stood beside the car stamping her feet in order to keep warm. I called to her to get in the car but she said: “It’s OK. I want to stand outside for a while.” It took a pretty long time for my wife to return, and only then did the sister get in the car. Seeing that she was visibly shivering from the cold my wife asked her: “It’s so cold outside. Why didn’t you stay in the car?” The sister replied: “There’s an administrative decree in our church that states that a man and a woman can’t be alone together or have physical contact. This is one of the requirements that God has of God’s chosen people, and we have to strictly abide by it.” On hearing this, I realized just how different The Church of Almighty God’s people are from ordinary people—even in the most trivial matters they keep themselves in check. When I recalled this incident I couldn’t help but thump my head in self-disgust for not properly investigating the facts and instead blindly believing those online rumors. When I thought about all of the times I’d interacted with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God and seen how well-behaved they were with members of the opposite sex, how proper and decent they were in speech and action, how principled they were when dealing with people, it was obvious that those rumors online were far from the truth. At this point I felt very ashamed for blindly believing a bunch of online rumors that were slanderous distortions of the truth or outright fabrications, and for having doubts about Almighty God and The Church of Almighty God. I was such a confused idiot! My wife then continued with her fellowship: “God has incarnated in the mundane world to express truths, judge people, and cleanse people. In other words, God wants to thoroughly save people from Satan’s dominion. He wants to rid us of our corrupt dispositions—our arrogance, trickery, deceit, selfishness, vileness, evil, filth, etc., and help us to achieve transformation in our life disposition so that we may live as true human beings. God knows that mankind has been very deeply corrupted by Satan and so doesn’t have the capability to overcome sin. So in order to ensure that people don’t offend God’s disposition during the time when they are accepting God’s salvation, and thus avoid being eliminated and punished, God has laid out the administrative decrees of the Age of Kingdom in order to keep believers in check. Anyone who offends the administrative decrees will be punished by God, and serious offenders will be expelled from God’s house and lose any chance of salvation. God’s setting out of these administrative decrees for the church is so that we gain some real knowledge of God’s righteous disposition which is not to be offended, and also so that we have decrees to keep us in check. This way, there will always be a line that can’t be crossed for all our behaviors, and if we keep within these boundaries then we can generally avoid being tempted by Satan. This is God’s way of preserving us and, even more so, is God showing His true love for us!” While listening to my wife’s fellowship I found myself involuntarily nodding my head, and this is how the knot in my heart was completely untied and the suffering that had enveloped it was alleviated. After that, I once again began to participate in the church meetings.

The Israelites abandoned the Lord Jesus

Every time that I recall this experience there is always some lingering fear in my heart because I saw how damaging these rumors are and how I nearly got confused by them and lost the chance for God’s salvation of the last days. In the Age of Grace, the Israelites also got bemused by false rumors and ended up not admitting that the Lord Jesus was the coming of the Messiah. They abandoned the Lord Jesus and thus lost the Lord’s salvation. This made me realize just what huge obstacles such rumors are for people to accept the true way! But what I still couldn’t understand was why there are so many false rumors and false accusations about The Church of Almighty God online when it clearly is a good church. So, in a meeting, I brought up this question with the brothers and sisters so that we could openly fellowship about it. The brothers and sisters played for me one of the church’s gospel movies, Break Through the Snare, and this movie completely resolved my confusion. With a bit more fellowship from the brothers and sisters I was then able to understand even better that the use of rumors to disrupt and ruin God’s work is one of Satan’s most common methods. When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the Jewish leaders, chief priests, scribes and Pharisees wanted to ensure that they kept permanent control over God’s people, and so they created many false rumors about the Lord Jesus. They blasphemed the Lord Jesus by saying that He relied on the prince of the devils to cast out demons, they falsely accused the Lord Jesus of not letting people pay their taxes to Caesar, and they also gave false testimony by saying that the Lord Jesus’ physical body was stolen by His disciples and that He didn’t resurrect. I’m sure that if the Internet had existed then those religious leaders would have put all of their rumors and false testimonies online in order to blaspheme, attack, and condemn the Lord Jesus more effectively. Nowadays, in the Age of Kingdom, Almighty God is doing the work of expressing words to judge and purify man, and the government of China and the pastors and elders in the religious community are acting as Satan’s tools. In order to achieve their goal of controlling and entrapping people, they are blaspheming and condemning Almighty God and are creating a mass of rumors and false testimonies in order to frame and discredit The Church of Almighty God. They want to confuse people and keep them in the dark, and attempt to make people abandon God’s work of salvation of the last days and follow them in resisting God. Satan really is just so evil and loathsome!

Then the brothers and sisters read out another two passages of 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 Six Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). They also told me that Almighty God’s words have told us the true situation regarding the spiritual battle, which is that in order to hinder people before they are able to come before God and achieve its goal of devouring them, Satan carries out all sorts of trickery. This includes spreading rumors and false testimonies on the Internet, getting religious leaders to harass and threaten believers, and getting family members to coerce them and prevent them from following Almighty God. In short, anything which makes us doubt, deny or move away from God comes from Satan. If people are unable to seek truths, then they will never be able to see through Satan’s trickery, will easily lose the chance to gain God’s salvation, and will go downhill and eventually be destroyed along with Satan. Thanks to God’s leadership I was able, through watching The Church of Almighty God’s gospel movies and listening to the fellowship of the brothers and sisters, to clearly see Satan’s evil and despicable essence and see through Satan’s schemes.

Since following Almighty God I’ve gained true release and freedom. Now, no matter what happens to me I can read God’s words and pray to God to help me find a path of practice. The brothers and sisters in the church all abide by God’s requirements and seek to become honest people. Their mutual relationships are uncomplicated and open, and they help and support each other as much as they can. As a member of the church, I never have to worry about someone trying to put me down, deceive me, or rip me off. I feel truly happy and content, and this is the life that I always want.

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