6. Angel’s Story

By Angel, Myanmar

I met Sister Tina on Facebook in August 2020. She told me that the Lord Jesus had returned, that He was expressing many truths, and doing the last days’ judgment work. She also told me the prophecies about Him returning to do this judgment work: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God(1 Peter 4:17). “And if any man hears My words, and believes not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day(John 12:47–48). “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth(John 16:12–13). Having read this and listened to Tina’s fellowship, I understood that all the Lord Jesus did was the work of redemption. Though the sins of the faithful have been absolved, our sinful natures remain unresolved. Though we go to church, pray, and confess, we continue to lie and sin, unable to escape the bonds of sin. We need God to perform the work of judgment and cleansing, so that we may truly break free of these bonds and be worthy of entering God’s kingdom. Tina’s fellowship was very enlightening, she told me things I’d never heard in church. I was willing to seek and investigate.

Two brothers came to our village to spread the gospel and I hosted them. One time, over twenty villagers came to my house to hear them preach. They thought Almighty God’s word was great and took great sustenance from it, and wanted to keep investigating. The next day, the pastors and elders heard about the brothers and their gospel preaching, and came to stop me. As soon as he walked through the door, Pastor Taylor asked me: “Who’s come to your house to preach?” My nerves wound tight at the sight of their stern expressions. I worried that if the pastors knew the two brothers had come to preach the gospel it would mean trouble for them. So I said: “They’re friends I met online.” Pastor Colin then said: “We heard that they came to spread their gospel. You must not host them again! If I find out that you have, I’ll tell your husband you’ve been hosting men here!” I was so angry when he said that. I’d only been hosting them while they spread the gospel to the villagers. I hadn’t done anything shameful, but the pastor was willing to lie and threaten me. Pastor Taylor then said: “Don’t believe their gospel, the Lord Jesus clearly said: ‘Then if any man shall say to you, See, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect(Matthew 24:23–24). Many false Christs will emerge in the last days. Any preaching that the Lord has come is false. Don’t be taken in by them! I’m saying this to protect you. I fear you’ll be deceived.” At the time, I had no discernment of the pastors’ words, I thought that they’d been believers for so long and understood so much, and what they said accorded with the Bible. What would I do if they were right, and I really was being led astray? So, I believed them. Members of The Church of Almighty God sought me out for gatherings, but I made up excuses to decline, even changed my Facebook account, and thoroughly cut ties with them.

I didn’t gather for about two weeks. I whiled away my days at home chatting with friends online and watching videos. I was so bored. I’d often think back on my days gathering with believers in Almighty God, when my heart was full and happy, but now I was growing ever more uneasy. I thought: “If Almighty God really is the Lord Jesus returned, will I miss out on His salvation if I don’t accept Him? But the pastors said that false Christs would emerge in the last days to deceive people and that any preaching that the Lord has come is false. What if I’m deceived?” I felt so conflicted and confused, so I prayed to the Lord, seeking: “Oh Lord Jesus, I have no discernment and don’t know who to listen to. Please enlighten me to understand Your will and not lose Your salvation.” After praying, I realized that I couldn’t just run away and not seek, I had to find the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God to clear up these issues. But to my surprise, the pastors found out after just two gatherings. They called a few of us brothers and sisters who had gathered together for a meeting at Pastor Taylor’s house that evening. I was quite nervous. I had no idea what the pastors were going to do. That evening, we went to Pastor Taylor’s house. Some other pastors and elders were there too. Pastor Taylor said: “I hear that you’ve been attending online sermons recently. Why have you been attending sermons from The Church of Almighty God instead of ours? So long as you come to church, listen to our sermons, and pray and confess to the Lord, then when the Lord returns, you will certainly be taken into heaven.” I thought: “Those who believe in God should listen to His words. The pastors and elders are always making us listen to their words—aren’t they bringing people before themselves instead of God?” I disagreed with what the pastor said, but I didn’t dare refute him. Pastor Taylor then handed us a notebook and yelled: “Will you keep believing in other Gods? Make your choice now! Your names are here, hurry up and sign! If you choose to stop believing, leave a tick, if not, leave an X. You’re going to be in a lot of trouble if you keep believing in other Gods! We will no longer help your families with things like weddings, funerals, childbirth or building your homes.” Where I live, we really value those customs, and without the pastors’ support, the villagers wouldn’t help us either. Back then, I was a little weak. I thought: “My family is planning to build a house. By village customs, this must be presided over by the pastors and elders. If they don’t take charge, nobody will come to help. If I continue to attend gatherings online, it’ll be difficult when something happens at home. But I’ve read the words of Almighty God and they seem like the voice of the Lord, Almighty God may well be the Lord Jesus returned. If I listen to the pastors and forsake Almighty God, won’t I be resisting the Lord?” At this thought, I left an X in the notebook. The others left Xs one after another. Only one person left a tick. The pastor was furious and said: “When you have problems in the future, the villagers won’t come to help you. We won’t pray for you either. After this we’re done!”

I was angry, but at the same time, confused. What about the false Christs the pastors spoke about? I sought from the two sisters I gathered with. One of them read me some of Almighty God’s word: “God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the essence of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but also the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh cannot be supplanted by just any man, but is a flesh that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life. Sooner or later, those who impersonate Christ will all fall, for although they claim to be Christ, they possess none of the essence of Christ. And so I say that the authenticity of Christ cannot be defined by man, but is answered and decided by God Himself(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life). After this, she fellowshiped: “How can we discern the real Christ from the false ones? Christ is the Spirit of God made flesh, come to earth as a human. He is the embodiment of the truth, the arrival of the Savior. Christ can express truths and unveil mysteries. He can cleanse and save man and perform the work of God Himself. False Christs are, in essence, demons. No matter how they claim to be God, they cannot express the truth and they cannot perform God’s work of saving mankind. They can only preach some words of the Bible or imitate God, performing some miracles to beguile people.” She then gave me an analogy. If there are ten people in white coats with stethoscopes, all claiming to be doctors, but only one is a real doctor, how can we distinguish the real from the fake ones? We can’t just look at their clothes or demeanor, the key thing is to see if they can treat illnesses. If they can do this, then they are a doctor. We can’t just look at appearances when discerning Christ. We have to decide this based on His work, words, and the disposition He reveals. If He can express truths and do the work of saving mankind, then He is Christ. When reading Almighty God’s word we can all see that His words are the truth, that they have power and authority. He reveals the mysteries of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, His three stages of work, His incarnation, and His names, and the inside story of the Bible. He also reveals the truth and essence of man’s corruption by Satan, and the source of man’s rebellion against and resistance to God, which helps people know their corrupt dispositions. He tells us things like which kind of people He likes, which He loathes, which kind can enter God’s kingdom, and which will be punished. He also reveals to us His righteous, unoffendable disposition. Almighty God has expressed all the truths that corrupt mankind needs to be saved and is doing the judgment work of the last days. From this, we can be certain that Almighty God is God incarnate and Christ of the last days. False Christs cannot express truths or perform God’s work of saving mankind, much less can they resolve man’s corrupt dispositions. No matter how much they call themselves God, they are false and they are evil spirits, and they will fall. My heart felt much brighter after the sister’s fellowship. I understood that I couldn’t go on the pastors’ or elders’ words to discern the true Christ, that the key thing is to see if He can express truths and perform the work of saving mankind. Almighty God has expressed so many truths, revealed so many of the Bible’s mysteries, and performed the work of judging and cleansing man. These are things no human could have done. I became absolutely certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned. After this, I often gathered with the brothers and sisters in my village.

In April of 2021, my husband’s old illness returned and he passed away. My relatives wanted the pastors to come and help pray and arrange the ceremonies, but the pastors and elders mocked me and took the chance to compel me to renounce my faith. The village tract leader went along with them, berating me for not listening to them, and forbidding the villagers from helping me. Then he said: “If you just confess to everyone, promise to renounce Almighty God, and attend church congregations, we will help you bury your husband.” I’d never imagined they’d use my husband’s burial to coerce me out of my faith. It was so despicable and hateful. I had no reason to confess to them. I could only cry as I held my five-month-old son. When I didn’t respond, they got my family to threaten me into admitting I was wrong. There was nobody there to speak up for me. Shaking all over, I felt hopelessly alone. I thought: “If I don’t say I was wrong, nobody will help me bury my husband, but if I do, I’ll be denying and betraying God. What should I do?” In my pain, I called out to God: “Almighty God! I believe that You are God Himself, the unique Creator of all, that You are Almighty God of hosts, and that all is within Your hands. I am willing to submit to Your arrangements.” After I prayed, I recalled a passage of God’s word I had read: “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 disturbance. 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 disturbance of men. Behind every step of work that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle. … When God and Satan do battle in the spiritual realm, how should you satisfy God, and how should you stand firm in your testimony to Him? You should know that everything that happens to you is a great trial and the time when God needs you to bear testimony(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God). I understood that though it seemed like it was the pastors and village tract leader persecuting and obstructing me, in fact, this was all Satan’s deception and disruption. Though they said it was for my own good, they were really using village customs around things like funerals, weddings, childbirth, and homebuilding to make the villagers abandon me, and force me to deny and betray God. They also wanted to pull me back to their religion, to keep me following and obeying them. God has long since left the churches of the Age of Grace to do the last days’ judgment work. If I listened to the pastors and village tract leader and returned to the church with them, I would lose my chance to be saved by God, and I’d be sent to hell and punished with them. That was Satan’s sinister intention. No matter how they stood in my way, I couldn’t listen to them. I had to pray, rely on God, stand firm in my testimony, and shame Satan. But I still needed help with my husband’s funeral affairs, that was a practical problem. The villagers, my relatives and friends were all listening to the village tract leader and pastors and wouldn’t help me, so what was I to do? I kept calling out to God: “Almighty God, whether anyone comes to help me bury my husband is entirely in Your hands. I entrust these matters to You. No matter what, I will submit to You and never betray You.” I felt a bit calmer and less pained after praying. Just then, I heard my uncle outside saying: “I’m begging you, please help, I apologize on her behalf.” The village tract leader said: “She has to apologize herself.” I thought: “These pastors and elders are so inhumane. They’re even worse than a good unbeliever! They’d do anything to get me to betray God, but the more they try, the more I must stand firm in my testimony to shame Satan.” I received an unexpected call from my mother about ten minutes later. She said: “Don’t despair, some of your husband’s army friends will help you bury him, they’re already on the way.” At the time, I felt so moved. God had sent people to help me through that crisis when I was at my most helpless. I recalled a passage of God’s word: “You know that all things in the environment that surrounds you are there by My permission, all planned by Me. See clearly and satisfy My heart in the environment I have given to you. Do not fear, the Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He stands behind you and He is your shield(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 26). I saw that everything is in God’s hands. So long as we truly rely on God, He will open up a path for us. Though I was still being persecuted, I saw God’s guidance, my heart became unyielding, and I was no longer negative or weak.

After my husband’s funeral was arranged, his mother would often scold me, saying that the villagers were avoiding us because I’d betrayed the Lord Jesus and believed in the wrong God. My relatives also attacked me on those grounds. Even my mother’s family didn’t dare come near me. Only my mother would come see me, though she kept urging me: “Why don’t you listen to the pastors, village tract leader, or village head? Look at you, you don’t have a husband anymore, if you don’t rely on these people or your in-laws, who can you turn to? Your child is still so young. You should confess and stop believing in Almighty God!” Wherever I went, the villagers would talk about me behind my back and my affairs were the topic of gossip. I’d gotten along fine with the other villagers and my neighbors before, but now they were persecuting and ostracizing me just because of my faith. It really hurt me and got me down. At that time, the internet was cut off in Myanmar. So I couldn’t gather or listen to sermons online, and the other members didn’t dare come to my house to fellowship God’s word and help me. It felt like I had fallen into darkness and couldn’t see the light. All I could do was pray to God every day, asking Him to guide me out of those dark days. One day, I received a text of God’s word: “Do not be discouraged, do not be weak, and I will make things clear for you. The road to the kingdom is not so smooth; nothing is that simple! You want blessings to come to you easily, do you not? Today, everyone will have bitter trials to face. Without such trials, the loving heart you have for Me will not grow stronger and you will not have true love for Me. Even if these trials consist merely of minor circumstances, everyone must pass through them; it’s just that the difficulty of the trials will vary from one person to another. Trials are a blessing from Me, and how many of you come often before Me and beg on your knees for My blessings? Silly children! You always think that a few auspicious words count as My blessing, yet you do not recognize that bitterness is one of My blessings(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 41). Reading that, I felt very moved. It was like suddenly taking a potent medicine in the depths of illness and I was filled with faith and strength. Pondering God’s word, I understood that it’s not easy following God, everyone has to undergo pain and tribulation. Though my body was suffering, this could impel me to pray and rely on God often. And the more I suffered, the more motivated I was to seek the truth. Without realizing it, I had gained some knowledge of God’s sovereignty, my relationship with God had grown closer, and I was more determined to follow Him. I’d believed in the Lord since I was a child, but I’d only known to enjoy the grace, blessings, peace, and happiness He gave me. I’d never gone through any pain or trials. I’d not known anything about the Lord, much less about discerning people. But as a believer in Almighty God, through these persecutions and hardships, I’d suffered a little, but I’d learned to discern people, I saw clearly the ugly, deceptive, God-resisting faces of the pastors and elders. Before, because I’d seen that the pastors could explain the Bible and pray for us, I’d thought that they cared for us, understood the Bible and knew God. But when they heard the Lord Jesus had returned, they were unwilling to seek or investigate. They also obstructed believers from investigating God’s work, using the village customs to threaten me and inciting the villagers to attack me and coerce me into forsaking Almighty God. I saw that they were hypocritical Pharisees and I rejected them completely. Thinking back on those days of pain and depression, without the guidance of God’s word, I may have been driven mad by those demons. It was with God’s word that I got through all these difficulties. I am truly grateful to Almighty God! After some time, the internet came back on in Myanmar. I contacted some other members and gathered with them. But the pastors’ and village tract leader’s persecution only worsened.

One day in January 2022, they called a village meeting. Around three hundred people attended. They made fourteen of us faithful squat outside in the hot sun. The village tract leader said: “There cannot be two faiths in this village. I have called this meeting so that you followers of Almighty God can make a choice. On behalf of the whole village, I ask you, will you continue believing in Almighty God, or will you return to the church?” They called over our relatives to try and persuade us one by one. Brother Robert’s father was a village head and he pressed him to kneel and confess. Robert said that there’s nothing wrong with believing in Almighty God and refused to kneel. His father said angrily: “You should believe whatever your parents believe. Aren’t you abandoning us by not listening to us and believing in Almighty God?” Robert replied: “I believe in God, when did I say I was abandoning you? I love my parents, but I love God, our Creator, more.” Even angrier than before, his father bellowed: “You are my son! Everything you are is held in my hands! I won’t let you speak to me like this!” Looking at this, the arrogance of these people was even clearer to me. Though they believed in the Lord, they did not have a God-fearing heart, nor did they magnify Him. A government official then said: “China doesn’t allow people to believe in Almighty God, and arrests people who do. We plan to make our own investigations here. Who led you into this faith? Who is your leader?” We all said that we had no leader. Another official then pressed us for answers but we just kept telling him we had no leader. A district government official then asked us: “What do you mean by ‘Almighty God’?” I replied: “Don’t you know? Almighty God is the Lord of creation, the very Lord that created you.” Hearing this infuriated him and he told us to make our final choice. Those who chose to keep believing in Almighty God were to say “continue” and those who would stop were to say “leave.” If we chose “continue,” we’d be reported to the higher-ups to handle. The village tract leader also said those who chose “continue” had to leave the village, but that those who chose “leave” could stay and return to the church. They then had us state our decisions one by one. Three sisters standing in front of me chose “leave” out of fear of persecution. When my turn came, my mother, with my child on her back, cried out for me to “leave” and to stop believing. It was so painful to look at my mother and child then. If I were arrested, what about them? It’d be so hard for my mother to care for my child. So I prayed, asking God to give me faith. I recalled the words of the Lord Jesus: “He that loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he that takes not his cross, and follows after Me, is not worthy of Me(Matthew 10:37–38). “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven(Matthew 5:10). And Almighty God says: “What does God mean when He says that ‘God is the source of man’s life’? It is to make everyone realize this: Our lives and souls all come from God and were created by Him—not from our parents, and certainly not from nature, but given us by God. Only our flesh was born of our parents, as our children are born of us, but their fate is entirely in God’s hands. That we can believe in God is an opportunity given by Him; it is ordained by Him and is His grace. There is therefore no need for you to fulfill your obligation or responsibility to anyone else; you should only fulfill your duty to God as a created being. This is what people must do above anything else, the main thing that should be done as the primary affair of one’s life(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Recognizing One’s Own Misguided Views Can One Truly Transform). I understood that our fate is in God’s hands. Where we are born, who our parents are, what difficulties we encounter—all these things have long been determined by God. Though I gave birth to my child, all I can do for him is my duty as a mother, that is, to look after him. But I cannot change his fate or what happens to him. Some children are orphaned when they are young, but they grow into adults all the same. Just like how my parents divorced when I was little, I didn’t have a father to care for me like other children did, but I still grew into a healthy adult. My child’s future is determined by God. My mother was still young. Even if I wasn’t around, she could look after my child. I had to entrust them to God and submit to His arrangements. I felt more and more that I should choose to believe in and follow God, to stand firm in my testimony to God and shame Satan. So I stood up and said: “I will continue!” The village tract leader said: “Those choosing to continue are mistaken.” I replied: “I believe in and follow God. I only listen to His word. This is no mistake!” The official scolded me furiously, calling me an apostate and a traitor to the Lord. But in my heart, I knew Almighty God has expressed many truths and performed the last days’ judgment work, and He is the Lord Jesus returned. I’d heard God’s voice and accepted the Lord’s salvation. I was following the Lamb’s footsteps, how is that betraying the Lord? I wanted to refute them so badly, but with all their clamoring, I didn’t have a chance to. Elder Lester cursed me as an ungrateful wretch and picked up a plank to beat me. I was so scared and silently prayed to God. To my surprise, my mother-in-law suddenly came forward to stop him. I thanked God for His protection. Another five members then chose to “continue.” Seeing that we weren’t compromising, they kept questioning us about who our leader was. Nobody responded. We’d been squatting in the sun from nine thirty a.m. to five p.m., over seven hours in a row. Since it was such a long time and we had no food or water, one frail brother with low blood pressure fainted. His family came to help him, but the village tract leader wouldn’t let them. He said: “If your God is the real God, why has he passed out?” After this, seeing we still weren’t giving in, the village tract leader told us to take our family, livestock, and all of our possessions, saying we had to leave the village that same evening. He also said they’d burn down our homes after we left. The district government official said: “Don’t bother wasting time, they’d rather die than say who their leader is. Send them home first. I’ll send their reports to the government tomorrow for the higher-ups to decide on. That’ll scare them.” But I wasn’t that scared. I knew that everything was in God’s hands and that whether the higher officials came or arrested us, it was all in God’s hands and arranged by God.

The morning of the third day, the government called a village tract meeting. More than 400 people were there. I worried they’d force us to blaspheme God and sign an apostasy pledge, so I prayed, asking God to protect us so that we could stand firm in our testimony. At the meeting, the district government head said to us: “You’re all young and don’t understand anything. I’m not here to hold you to account today, but from now on, you must obey your parents, work hard, and stop listening to Almighty God’s words and spreading His gospel, or the village tract leader will arrest you and hand you over to the government.” An official from the administration council said to everyone: “We’ll be treating followers of Almighty God the same way the CCP does. The CCP hunts down and arrests these believers and can beat them to death with impunity. We’ll do the same here in Wa State. All these believers will be arrested, no matter whether they have done anything wrong or not, and then they will be beaten to death with impunity. No one may say things like ‘Those believers did nothing wrong.’ These are the government’s orders. Do not resist, and if you see believers in Almighty God, report them.” He then pointed to us faithful and said to everyone: “Take a good look at their faces, you’ll need to recognize them. These people believe in Almighty God. If you see them gather or evangelize, report them!” Then he had a district clerk read out materials blaspheming God to everyone. People were deceived by the government’s words, and some looked on us with loathing. What they said made me so angry. I knew the government was persecuting us believers to force us to renounce our faith and to make people timid and afraid to look into Almighty God’s work, so they’d lose God’s salvation. This made me hate those devils even more. The government then let us go home.

When I got home, I read a passage of Almighty God’s word: “Regardless of how ‘powerful’ Satan is, regardless of how audacious and ambitious it is, regardless of how great is its ability to inflict damage, regardless of how wide-ranging are the techniques with which it corrupts and lures man, regardless of how clever are the tricks and schemes with which it intimidates man, regardless of how changeable is the form in which it exists, it has never been able to create a single living thing, has never been able to set down laws or rules for the existence of all things, and has never been able to rule and control any object, whether animate or inanimate. Within the cosmos and the firmament, there is not a single person or object that was born from it, or exists because of it; there is not a single person or object that is ruled by it, or controlled by it. On the contrary, it not only has to live under the dominion of God, but, moreover, must obey all of God’s orders and commands. Without God’s permission, it is difficult for Satan to touch even a drop of water or grain of sand upon the land; without God’s permission, Satan is not even free to move the ants about upon the land, let alone mankind, who was created by God. In the eyes of God, Satan is inferior to the lilies on the mountain, to the birds flying in the air, to the fish in the sea, and to the maggots on the earth. Its role among all things is to serve all things, and work for mankind, and serve God’s work and His plan of management. Regardless of how malicious its nature, and how evil its essence, the only thing it can do is to dutifully abide by its function: being of service to God, and providing a counterpoint to God. Such is the substance and position of Satan. Its essence is unconnected to life, unconnected to power, unconnected to authority; it is merely a plaything in God’s hands, just a machine in service to God!(The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique I). Reading God’s word gave me faith. The pastors and elders could pressure us, the government could arrest and persecute us, and they could use our families to try to coerce us into abandoning Almighty God, but no matter what they said or did, they couldn’t do anything to us without God’s permission. Like when Elder Lester tried to beat me with a plank, my mother-in-law, who hated me, suddenly stood up for me and stopped him. This was all in God’s hands. I felt God’s power and sovereignty over all things, and I felt that He was watching over me. I knew that God arranged situations based on my stature and that He wasn’t giving me too heavy a burden. Through these experiences, my faith in God grew and I felt that all God does is good. I am so grateful to God! This experience also allowed me to see clearly the God-hating, God-resisting natures of the pastors and elders. God’s words say: “There are those who read the Bible in grand churches and recite it all day long, yet not one among them understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one among them is able to know God; still less can any one among them accord with God’s will. They are all worthless, vile people, each standing on high to lecture God. They willfully oppose God even as they carry His banner. Claiming faith in God, still they eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such people are devils that devour the soul of man, head demons that deliberately disturb those trying to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks impeding those who seek God. They may appear of ‘sound constitution,’ but how are their followers to know that they are none other than antichrists who lead people to stand against God? How are their followers to know that they are living devils dedicated to the devouring of human souls?(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All People Who Do Not Know God Are People Who Oppose God). The pastors and elders didn’t understand the Bible at all. They only taught the words and doctrines of the Bible, and didn’t welcome the Lord at all, and much less did they seek the truth. Faced with God’s work in the last days, they didn’t seek or investigate, they misinterpreted the Lord’s word, and spread notions to mislead the faithful. By saying that any preaching that the Lord has returned is false, they kept the faithful from hearing God’s voice and welcoming the Lord. They even said that this was to protect the faithful, but really they feared no one would listen to them if everyone followed Almighty God, and that their status and livelihoods would be threatened. That is why they tried to force us to abandon Him. They went so far as to use funeral, wedding, childbirth, and homebuilding customs to threaten me and coerce me into signing an apostasy pledge. They even used my husband’s burial to make me renounce Almighty God. When I didn’t listen, they united with the government and held a village meeting to persecute me, and used my family to tempt me into betraying God. They even wanted to drive us from the village, burn down our homes, and hand us over to the higher officials. They stopped at nothing to persecute us so we’d betray Almighty God and lose our chance to be saved and enter God’s kingdom. Those pastors were truly sinister and vicious! I recalled the Lord Jesus’ condemnation of the Pharisees. The Lord Jesus said: “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. … Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, you make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves(Matthew 23:13, 15). Under the guise of protecting the flock, the pastors and elders stopped people from accepting God’s work in the last days. They misled people into following them in resisting God and will eventually lead them into hell. They are living devils that stop people from entering God’s kingdom. They are demons and antichrists that resist God and harm people. I saw clearly their essence that hated the truth and God, and I became more steadfast in my faith to follow God. No matter how they tried to mislead or obstruct me, I would not forsake Almighty God. I prayed to God that I would do my duty well and bring more of those who yearn for His appearance before Him to accept His salvation.

As time went on, our gatherings and gospel work continued to be restricted. To stop us believing in Almighty God and gathering online, the village tract leader had officials check our phones every three days and delete Facebook from our phones as soon as they saw it. To avoid being watched by them and the government, we took our farming tools to the mountains and pretended to work so we could gather in secret. We didn’t dare talk freely about our faith in the village normally. But no matter how they persecuted us we still relied on God and kept spreading the gospel to other villages. Over time, more people accepted the gospel. But the village head found out I was spreading the gospel and he pressed me to sell out the others and confess who I’d preached to. When I didn’t say anything, he threatened me, trying to make me renounce my faith and return to the congregation or else he’d have me arrested. In order to gather and preach the gospel normally, and escape persecution and arrest, I fled Myanmar and went to another country. I now live with some other brothers and sisters. We fellowship, spread the gospel, and testify to God’s work. I’m enjoying myself so much. I suffered pain and persecution through all this, but I gained some discernment of the pastors and elders and I can see the government’s evil more clearly, and am no longer constrained by them. I also gained some knowledge of God’s sovereignty and my faith in Him has grown. These are things I couldn’t have gained in a comfortable environment.

Previous: 5. The Struggle to Speak Honestly

Next: 7. Freed From Anxiety Over My Illnesses

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