81. A Choice Made Without Regret
By Martha, Spain
My boyfriend and I met while working overseas. We both believed in the Lord Jesus and often went to church together. We had been together for three years, and we had plans to get married. In October of 2000, when I went back to China to visit my mother, my neighbor testified Almighty God’s work of the last days to me, saying that the Lord Jesus had returned incarnate, and had expressed many truths to judge and purify mankind and save people from the bondage of sin so they could enter the kingdom of heaven. Later, I read many of Almighty God’s words, and saw that Almighty God revealed the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan to save humankind, the inside story of God’s three stages of work, the mystery of God’s incarnation, and also revealed how Satan corrupts man, how God works step by step to save people, how God does the work of judgment in the last days to conclude the age, and so on. These truths and mysteries were things that I had never heard of in my many years of religious belief. No celebrity or great person could express these things. This completely fulfilled the words of the Lord Jesus, “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: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). I was certain that the words of Almighty God were the truth and the voice of God, and that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. I was very excited, and wanted to tell my boyfriend the good news as soon as possible. It would be perfect if we both accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days and ultimately entered the kingdom together. But then I remembered that when I was overseas, Pastor Sean often spoke about avoiding “Eastern Lightning.” He said we must be careful once we returned to China, and never have any contact with people from Eastern Lightning. He also often went to some cities in China to visit church members, saying that there were heresies in China, and that they had to be careful. My boyfriend admired Sean very much and listened to what he said. If I told him outright that I accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days, would he tell Sean? But I also knew my boyfriend had been looking forward to the Lord Jesus’s return, so I really wanted to tell him as soon as I could. I thought that if I fellowshiped to him clearly, he should be able to accept it.
One night, I called him and said, “We both look forward to the return of the Lord Jesus, so how do you think the Lord Jesus will come back?” Unexpectedly, as soon as I finished speaking, my boyfriend said angrily, “Why are you suddenly asking me this question? The Bible clearly states that the Lord will come on a cloud, so how could there be any doubt? Have you been talking to someone from Eastern Lightning at home?” I was very surprised he responded so strongly to just a question. I said, “We have believed in the Lord for many years, and haven’t we both looked forward to receiving the Lord and being brought into the kingdom of heaven? Then how does the Lord Jesus come? Isn’t this question worth thinking about?” My boyfriend got even more angry and said, “How many times has Sean told us that those who preach the return of the Lord Jesus are speaking false words and deceiving people? He stressed over and over that we should not contact people from Eastern Lightning. Why don’t you listen? Your belief in the Lord is usually strong, but we’ve only been separated for a little over a month, and you’re already in contact with Eastern Lightning! Remember, we both yearn for the coming of the Lord Jesus, but even if He comes back, it won’t be like what Eastern Lightning claims, that He will return in the flesh.” No matter what I said after that, he refused to listen. Finally, we hung up unhappily.
I couldn’t understand why my boyfriend reacted like that, and it made me very sad. Didn’t he look forward to the Lord’s coming? Why was he so resistant to just discussing how the Lord would come? That night, I lay in bed and couldn’t sleep, so I got up to read God’s word, where I saw a couple passages. “Wherever God appears, there the truth is expressed, and there the voice of God will be. Only those who can accept the truth will be able to hear the voice of God, and only such people are qualified to witness the appearance of God” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 1: The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age). “Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path by which man gains life, and it is the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God. If you do not seek the way of life provided by Christ of the last days, then you shall never gain the approval of Jesus, and shall never be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven, for you are both a puppet and prisoner of history. Those who are controlled by regulations, by letters, and shackled by history will never be able to gain life nor gain the perpetual way of life. This is because all they have is turbid water which has been clung to for thousands of years instead of the water of life that flows from the throne” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life). I pondered God’s words over and over, and felt that these words were too good and too practical! In the last days, the Lord Jesus returns to express the truth to save people. Only those who yearn for the truth and listen for God’s voice will see God’s appearance and welcome the Lord’s return. Those who ignorantly wait for the Lord to come on clouds but do not seek the truth or listen for God’s voice will miss the chance offered by the Lord’s coming to be lifted up, and will never be able to welcome the Lord’s return. At this time, I remembered the Lord Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27), and prophesied in Revelation, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears My voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me” (Revelation 3:20). Indeed, the most important thing in welcoming the Lord’s coming is listening for God’s voice. God’s sheep can listen for God’s voice and follow His footsteps. I realized my boyfriend refused to seek and investigate the true way because he hadn’t read Almighty God’s words. If he was God’s sheep and a person who sincerely sought the truth, then I should show him some of Almighty God’s words. If he could recognize that Almighty God’s words are the truth and God’s voice, he would be able to accept God’s work of the last days, and we would be able to follow God’s footsteps together. So, I spent several nights copying out some of the words of Almighty God and mailed them to him. Then, every day, I looked forward to him calling me to investigate God’s work in the last days with me. A few days later, the phone at home rang, and I was very happy. I thought it was my boyfriend, but it was Sean. He said, “Your boyfriend told me that after you returned to your hometown, you met with people from Eastern Lightning. Is this true?” I said, “I’m seeking and investigating. I think the coming of the Lord Jesus is a very important matter and something we should seriously seek and investigate.” Sean said, “Soon, I’ll visit your hometown to see if you really have contact with someone from Eastern Lightning. I am your pastor, so I have to take responsibility for your life.”
I thought Sean didn’t mean it, because our locations were very far apart. Unexpectedly, soon, he really came. Several brothers and sisters and I wanted to take this opportunity to testify to Almighty God’s work in the last days, but when we met Sean, he asked me if I had accepted Eastern Lightning, and said arrogantly, “I have already been in contact with Eastern Lightning many times. To be frank, before I met with you, I went to a sister’s house in the northeast. Her brother believed in Eastern Lightning and wanted to testify their gospel to me. I have studied theology, I am familiar with the Bible, and I have had contact with many reputable pastors overseas, yet he still thought he could deceive and win me over? Ridiculous.” My brothers and sisters tried to persuade him, “So many brothers and sisters have preached the gospel to you and testified that the Lord Jesus has returned. If you resist and condemn without seeking and investigating, are you sincerely trying to welcome the Lord? The Lord Jesus said, ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven’ (Matthew 5:3). We are in the last days, the Lord has returned. When we hear people testify that the Lord has returned and expressed many truths, we should seek with an open heart, so that we can hear the Lord’s voice and see His appearance! If we do not seek or investigate, but instead blindly reject and resist, it is all too easy to follow in the footsteps of the Pharisees. God is a wise God, His thoughts are beyond human thoughts, and God’s work is a mystery that we humans cannot fathom. We would like to discuss with you on how to welcome the return of the Lord Jesus.” But Sean didn’t listen at all. He said, “If you want to talk to me about Eastern Lightning, then save your effort, because I won’t discuss it with you.” The brothers and sisters saw that he was very resistant and had no intention of seeking, so they stopped trying to talk with him. At this time, Sean received a call and said that some believers at a church in the northeast had accepted Eastern Lightning, and he wanted to go there to stop them. He asked me to quickly buy a plane ticket for him. I said, “Pastor Sean, Eastern Lightning testifies that the Lord Jesus has returned to express the truth to do the work of judgment in the last days. You refuse to seek, investigate, and welcome the Lord, and beyond that, you want to hinder and restrict people from seeking the true way and listening for God’s voice. Does this accord with the Lord’s will?” He glared at me and said, “I will not let the people from Eastern Lightning come into the church to steal sheep. I intend to defend the Lord’s way.” Looking at Sean’s arrogant appearance, I couldn’t believe that this was the pastor I knew. I had met him four years ago, and to me, he had always been a very humble person who was very caring toward believers. I always thought he was a very good and pious pastor, but seeing his behavior and what he exposed today reminded me of the words of the Lord Jesus, “But 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” (Matthew 23:13). Sean stood on the podium every day preaching to people, telling us to be watchful and alert for the Lord’s coming, but when the Lord Jesus really came back, not only did he not seek, investigate, or welcome the Lord, he condemned, resisted, and tried every means to hinder and disrupt believers as they seek and investigate. Under the banner of defending the Lord’s way and protecting the flock, he maintained tight control over people. He was exactly the same as the Pharisees in their time, a servant of evil who wanted to prevent people from entering the kingdom of heaven!
Thinking that there were still many brothers and sisters in the church who had no discernment of Sean, who were bound and deceived by him, and who failed to investigate God’s work in the last days, I contacted the brothers and sisters I knew and testified Almighty God’s work to them. When Sean found out, he called and threatened me, “If you insist on believing in Eastern Lightning and come to the church to steal sheep, all of us will reject you, and all the brothers and sisters who know you will no longer receive you.” Afterward, he also sent me several pamphlets that promoted boycotting The Church of Almighty God, all of which contained words that resist and blaspheme God. After this, I saw Sean’s true face even more clearly. He was a hindrance and a stumbling block that prevents people from investigating the true way. I didn’t want to talk to him anymore, so I stopped answering his calls. When he saw that I insisted on believing in Almighty God and preaching the gospel to the people he shepherded, he went to the homes of brothers and sisters who knew me in Zhejiang, Shanghai, and other places and told them not to contact me or listen to what I preached. After returning overseas, he closed off the church to me. He forbade anyone from answering my calls or contacting me, and said anyone who contacted me would be expelled.
One day, I received a letter from my boyfriend saying, “Sean said at church that you believe in Eastern Lightning, and you were completely deceived. From now on, we are no longer brother and sister, and there is no relationship between us. I will not answer your phone calls or write to you anymore. If you want to come back, everyone will welcome you, and we can continue our relationship, but if you insist on believing in Almighty God, then we will break up.” After reading the letter, I felt very sad, so I called him, but he said coldly, “I’m busy. I don’t have time to talk about this now.” I asked him, “Is this really how we’re breaking up?” He said, “If you stop believing in Eastern Lightning, we can continue our current relationship. I will ask my aunt to help you go abroad. She is doing business here, so you can come live here. We could have a very happy future. But if you insist on believing in Almighty God, then we have to break up. Take your time and think about it.” It was awful to see my boyfriend be so heartless. In the past, we were very happy together, and he took good care of me. I didn’t expect him to be so devoted to the pastor. Just because I believed in Almighty God, he had to cut ties with me, regardless of our relationship over the past few years. My family knew I had a conflict with my boyfriend, and they all persuaded me to reconsider, saying, “Your boyfriend has a good job and good family. If you break up, it’s hard to say whether you’ll meet such a good match in the future. You are getting older, and it’s not easy to find a partner. If you don’t start a family, what will you do in your future life?” My boyfriend’s family also called and persuaded me not to believe in Almighty God, saying, “You two are not that young anymore. It’s time to think about getting married. Isn’t it a good thing if you both believe in the Lord Jesus? You’ll be very happy once you get married. Why insist on believing in Almighty God?” Facing pressure from both families, I didn’t know how to decide. If I chose to return to my previous church and marry my boyfriend, he could provide me with a good material life, and we could also settle down abroad. It was what many people dreamed of, but I would also lose God’s salvation in the last days because of it, which I would regret for the rest of my life! In the last days, God comes incarnate for the second time to express the truth, thoroughly purify and save mankind, and make a group of overcomers. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I couldn’t let myself miss out! But if I chose to follow Almighty God, what would happen with my marriage? I had reached the age to marry, and marriage is a major event in life. During that period, I couldn’t eat or sleep well, and I was very tormented. When I saw many people my age were married and had families but I was still alone, I was very conflicted, and I didn’t know how to choose. I prayed to God over and over about this matter, asking God to guide me and let me know how to choose the path ahead. When my brothers and sisters learned about my situation, they all helped and fellowshiped with me, but I still couldn’t let go of my boyfriend. I was angry that he broke up with me. He didn’t even talk to me. He had become so ruthless and cold. When the pastor said I was deceived, my boyfriend completely believed. When the pastor asked him to reject me, he broke up with me, completely disregarding our relationship over the past few years. The more I thought about it, the more miserable I felt.
One night, I was tossing and turning in bed. I couldn’t sleep, so I got up and listened to the hymn of God’s word “People Should Seek to Live Out a Meaningful Life”:
1 Man must pursue to live out a life of meaning, and should not be satisfied with his current circumstances. To live out the image of Peter, he must possess the knowledge and experiences of Peter. Man must pursue things that are higher and more profound. He must pursue a deeper, purer love of God, and a life that has value and meaning. Only this is life; only then will man be the same as Peter. …
2 For everyone who aspires to love God, there are no unobtainable truths and no justice for which they cannot stand firm. How should you live your life? How should you love God, and use this love to satisfy His desire? There is no greater matter in your life. Above all, you must have such aspirations and perseverance, and should not be like those who are spineless, those who are weaklings. You must learn how to experience a meaningful life and experience meaningful truths, and should not treat yourself perfunctorily in that way. Without you realizing it, your life will pass you by; after that, will you have another opportunity to love God? Can man love God after he is dead? You must have the same aspirations and conscience as Peter; your life must be meaningful, and you must not play games with yourself. As a human being, and as a person who pursues God, you must be able to carefully consider how you treat your life, how you should offer yourself to God, how you should have a more meaningful faith in God, and how, since you love God, you should love Him in a way that is more pure, more beautiful, and more good.
from Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs
I listened to this song over and over. Through it, I saw that Peter followed his pursuit to love and satisfy God all his life, and lived a meaningful and worthy life, and I was very moved. From the words and work of the Lord Jesus, Peter recognized that the Lord Jesus was Christ, the Son of the living God. He preached and worked for the Lord Jesus and was persecuted by Judaism, but he unwaveringly followed Him. Today, God had personally come incarnate among us to express words to work and save people. I had read God’s words, heard God’s voice, and determined that Almighty God is the second coming of the Lord Jesus. But when it came time to choose between Almighty God and my marriage, I was hesitant. I didn’t want to lose this marriage and the chance to live a good life overseas with my boyfriend. I saw that although I had believed in the Lord for many years, what I pursued was not the truth and life from God, nor did I pursue loving God, satisfying God, and living a meaningful and worthwhile life. What I pursued was a life of material enjoyment and physical comfort. I contemplated God’s words, “Can man love God after he is dead?” I asked myself, “If I don’t spend my time on earth pursuing loving God, satisfying God, and living a meaningful and worthwhile life, then even if I get the marriage and fleshly comfort I want, what’s the point? God coming in the last days to completely save humankind is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If I missed it, I would feel a lifetime of regret! If I missed the chance of salvation offered by God’s work in the last days to enjoy an easy life, wouldn’t it just be foolish? If I gave up the true way and chose marriage, would I really get the happy life I wanted?” I thought of a sister I contacted some time ago. She and her husband got married with Sean’s help. After they got married, they went to work in a big city and bought a house. Their material conditions were very good, and I envied them. But when I visited her, she told me that although she and her husband both believed in the Lord Jesus and had a good material life, they were not happy together. They often fought about minor domestic issues, sometimes so badly that they didn’t want to speak to each other. Her husband later chose to work in another city, leaving her alone at home with her two-year-old child, and her life was very miserable and lonely. I thought about her experience, and then considered some of the couples around me, who often quarreled and threatened each other with divorce. Looking at these facts, I saw more clearly that when we believe in and follow the Lord, we are only redeemed by the Lord Jesus. Our sins are forgiven, but the root cause of our sin is not resolved and we are not freed from the bondage and control of sin. People interact with each other based on their corrupt dispositions, and there is no genuine love, so no matter how much fleshly enjoyment we experience, our lives are still empty and painful. With this in mind, I realized that I should be very careful with the choices I faced now. I prayed to God again and again, asking God to guide and enlighten me so that I could make the right choice according to His will.
Later, I read a passage of Almighty God’s words and understood God’s will. Almighty God says, “Nowadays, those who seek and those who do not are two entirely different types of people, whose destinations are also very different. Those who pursue knowledge of the truth and practice the truth are the ones to whom God will bring salvation. Those who do not know the true way are demons and enemies; they are the descendants of the archangel and will be objects of destruction. Even those who are pious believers of a vague God—are they not also demons? People who possess good consciences but do not accept the true way are demons; their essence is one of resistance to God. Those who do not accept the true way are those who resist God, and even if such people endure many hardships, they will still be destroyed. … Anyone who does not believe in God incarnate is demonic and, moreover, will be destroyed. Those who have faith but do not practice the truth, those who do not believe in God incarnate, and those who do not at all believe in God’s existence will also be objects of destruction. All those who will be allowed to remain are people who have undergone the suffering of refinement and stood firm; these are people who have truly endured trials. Anyone who does not recognize God is an enemy; that is, anyone who does not recognize God incarnate—whether or not they are inside or outside this stream—is an antichrist! Who is Satan, who are demons, and who are God’s enemies if not resisters who do not believe in God? Are they not those people who are disobedient to God?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together). From God’s words, I understood that what God does in the last days is the work of separating each according to their kind. He expresses the truth and does the work of judgment through the incarnate flesh, separating the tares from the wheat and true believers from the false believers, which is to say, those who pursue the truth and those who do not. Those who claim to believe in God verbally but do not seek the truth or long for God’s appearance, unbelievers who only seek grace and ask for bread to eat their fill, and those antichrists who hate the truth and resist God—all such people will be revealed, and they will eventually be cast out and punished. Although my boyfriend outwardly appeared to have good humanity, be honest and reliable, and take good care of me, as soon as I told him God had returned in the second incarnation, not only did he refuse to seek the truth at all, he also blindly followed the pastor in obstructing and hindering me from accepting God’s work of the last days, going so far as to threaten our marriage to force me to give up the true way. Although he believed in the Lord Jesus, he only held on to the Lord Jesus’ name. He did not accept the truth expressed by the returned Lord, and he resisted and condemned Almighty God. I saw that his essence was to hate the truth and resist God, that he was an unbeliever revealed by God’s word, and that he was not a person who truly believes in God, loves the truth, and accepts the truth. In the face of the truth, his satanic nature of resisting God was thoroughly exposed. He couldn’t understand God’s voice and is not God’s sheep. If I chose to marry such a person, I would not be blessed by God, and our marriage would not be happy. From God’s words, I understood God’s will. I felt a sense of release, and I knew what to choose. After that, I called my boyfriend and said, “I’ve made up my mind. I choose to continue to follow Almighty God. If you want to break up, I respect your choice. We will go our separate ways.” Frustrated, he said, “Can’t you reconsider? We aren’t all that young, and marriage is the most important thing in life. If you give up on our marriage, you will regret it later.” I could already clearly see his essence of hatred of the truth and resistance to God, so no matter what he said, I didn’t change my mind. I said, “Almighty God’s words have pointed out the path in life for me, and I intend to resolutely walk it. My decision will never change.” After I finished, I hung up the phone, and I felt a deep sense of ease and release.
It was the guidance of God’s words that allowed me to know what path to choose in life, and also allowed me to see the true hypocritical faces of pastors and elders. They cry that we should watchfully await the coming of the Lord, but when God appears in the flesh to work in the last days, they do not seek and investigate. Instead, they frantically condemn and resist, and try every means to prevent believers from investigating the true way and keep them under their control, and force believers to follow them in resisting and condemning God’s coming. They are servants of evil and antichrists revealed by God’s work in the last days, and they are demons that devour people’s souls! Because my boyfriend worshiped the pastor too much, he didn’t seek the truth at all, he followed the pastor in condemning and resisting God’s work in the last days, and he became a person who believes in God yet resists God. I was grateful to God for saving me, allowing me to discern pastors and elders, reject them, and no longer to be deceived by them. That I could hear God’s voice and welcome the Lord’s return is God’s great mercy and kindness for me. I thanked God from the bottom of my heart, and made up my mind to follow Almighty God to the end. Later, I performed my duty in the church, preaching the gospel and expending for God to the best of my abilities. I thank Almighty God’s words for guiding me to make the right choice and leading me to where I am today. All glory to Almighty God!