28. Breaking Through the Fog to See the Light
I am an ordinary worker. At the end of November 2013, a work colleague saw that my wife and I were always getting into arguments about little things, and that we were worried and vexed all the time, so he preached Almighty God’s work of the last days to us. From the word of Almighty God, we learned that the heavens and earth and all things were created by God, and that man’s life is bestowed on him by God. We also understood such truths as the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, the mystery of the incarnation, God’s three stages of work to save mankind, and the significance of God’s work of judgment in the last days. My wife and I felt it was a great blessing to have happened upon God incarnate working to save mankind during our lifetimes. We happily accepted God’s work in the last days and began to lead the church life. Under the guidance of the word of God, we both pursued the truth and sought to transform ourselves, and whenever something happened and we started to argue, we no longer found fault with each other like we used to, but rather we would reflect on ourselves and try to know ourselves. We would then forsake our flesh and act in accordance with God’s requirements. Our marital relations became better and better, and our hearts felt peaceful and at ease. We felt that believing in God was great. However, just as we were joyously and happily following God and enjoying a life of happiness, we were subjected to a vehement assault by our families…. But just when I was losing my way, it was the word of Almighty God that led me to see through Satan’s deceitful scheme, and to break through the fog and embark upon the radiant path of a virtuous life.
I had just retired in February of 2014, when my daughter-in-law asked us two elderly folks to travel to Sichuan to look after our grandson. I felt as though we’d been placed in a very awkward position, and so I prayed to God: “Almighty God! My daughter-in-law has asked me to look after my grandson, but I’ll have trouble adjusting to life in that place, and it will be difficult to believe in You and read Your words there. Please open up a way out for us….” Not long after that, my daughter-in-law called me again to say that she would bring my grandson to us. I was overjoyed to hear this news, and felt how almighty God is. God had heard my prayer and opened up a way out for me. A few days later, my daughter-in-law and her parents came with my grandson. As it happened, the day after that I was going to a church gathering, and I told them that I believed in Almighty God. My daughter-in-law said unhappily, “Dad, how can you believe in Almighty God? I’m sure you know that the government doesn’t allow people to believe in Almighty God, and in recent years they have constantly been arresting believers in Almighty God. You can’t continue to believe in Him.” I retorted, “When we believe in God, we don’t participate in politics. We just attend gatherings, read the word of God, pursue the truth, and follow the right path. How can they not let us believe?” My daughter-in-law said, “No matter what you say, and even if believing in God is the right path, as long as the government opposes it, you can’t believe in Him!” I thought to myself, “No matter what you say, it is the true God whom I believe in. Even if the CCP government doesn’t allow it, I will still believe.” Later, my daughter-in-law went and found my wife and urged us not to believe in God anymore, and after that, my son in faraway Sichuan called me up and said, “Dad, I heard you believe in Almighty God. That’s something the CCP government opposes, so you mustn’t believe in Him anymore.” When I heard my son say this, I felt perturbed, and thought: “Believing in God is an unalterable law of heaven and earth, so why are you all trying again and again to stop me from believing in God? It’s so hard to believe in God and follow the right path!” I then prayed silently to God to protect me from my son and daughter-in-law’s attempts to disrupt my faith. After praying, my heart gradually became tranquil. Although my son and daughter-in-law did not understand, I knew perfectly well that it was right to believe in God and follow the right path, and I knew I must not allow myself to be influenced by them. After three days, my daughter-in-law came running home in a hurry, and I saw that she had two stacks of printed materials in her hands. She urged me to hurry and look at them, and I saw that they were filled with rumors and falsehoods put out by the CCP government vilifying, condemning, and defaming The Church of Almighty God. For a moment I felt a little confused, and I thought: “It can’t be, I’ve been attending meetings for several months and I’ve never seen any brothers or sisters missing arms or legs! Why does the CCP government want to spread rumors and discredit The Church of Almighty God? What is really going on here?” That night, I couldn’t sleep because I kept turning this over in my mind. “Oh, the CCP government persecutes believers in God so frantically, and my son and daughter-in-law are also trying so hard to stop me from believing in God. What should I do?”
The next day, I went out for a stroll in the neighborhood, and saw rumors slandering and condemning Almighty God posted on a bulletin board. I thought: “What I believe in is the true God, so why does the CCP government oppose my belief in this way? It seems that in this state controlled by the atheistic CCP government, believing in God really isn’t easy!” When I thought about this, I began to feel spiritually weak, and I returned home downcast and dejected. As soon as I got home, my daughter-in-law said to me again, “Dad, I’m begging you to give up your faith. If the government finds out that you believe in God, I won’t be able to keep my job. Your son will soon get his doctorate, but I’m afraid that he won’t even be able to find a job because of your belief in Almighty God. Even your little grandson might get caught up in this, and it’s possible that in the future he won’t be able to attend school.” It all sounded so terrible—believing in God can even compromise the future of one’s children! I got more and more scared, as I knew that the CCP government’s ways of punishing people are extremely cruel, so cruel that they kill people without batting an eye. I also thought about how difficult it had been to support my son through his studies until he graduated with his doctorate, so now what would I do if my faith in God affected my son? The price I had to pay for believing in God and following the right path was too high, so I thought it would be best if I just forgot about it. Just at that moment, my daughter-in-law threatened me, saying, “My dad said that if you continue to believe in God, he will report you to the police. You know that my dad is a Party Secretary and has given more than thirty years of his life to the Communist Party. He hears and obeys whatever the CCP says. He’s as good as his word, so this isn’t just to try to scare you.” The defenses in my heart then completely collapsed and toppled over, and I felt that it was too hard to believe in God, that the pressure was too much. With my son and daughter-in-law taking it in turns to attack me like this, if they really reported me to the CCP police and I was arrested and imprisoned, an old man like me could not bear such a thing. “Forget it,” I thought. “It’s better to just give up my faith.” After that, I didn’t attend gatherings anymore, and sisters came many times to my house looking for me but I always hid and avoided them.
But during that time when I was not attending gatherings, I had only to think about how it was God’s immense love that saved me from my suffering and about the sweetness and joy of being together with the brothers and sisters, singing hymns and praising God, and I would miss and yearn for the church life a lot. But still I feared my daughter-in-law reporting me to the police, and I felt terrible pain and torment in my heart. I didn’t know how things would come right. At that time, a colleague at work (a brother who also believed in God) came to visit me to see why I hadn’t been attending gatherings recently. I explained to him how my daughter-in-law had been harassing me about my faith in God and, after he heard this, he fellowshiped with me, “When we are beset by these things, it’s actually a battle being waged in the spiritual realm. It’s just like the disaster that Job was faced with in that, on the surface, it seemed like it had been caused by thieves robbing him, but actually what lay behind it was Satan tormenting people and fighting over mankind with God. Job was someone who feared God and was able to shun evil, and in the end he could stand witness for God, and Satan was humiliated in defeat. So when we are beset by these things, God’s intention is to get us to discern Satan’s essence of evil. When we believe in God, all we need to do is rely on God in all things and seek the truth. Only then will we be able to see through Satan’s scheme and stand witness, and only then will we be able to avoid being captured by Satan. If we do not do this, we will lose our chance to attain full salvation!”
After that, my colleague read to me from the word of Almighty God: “God does His work, God cares for a person, looks upon this person, and all the while Satan dogs His every step. Whomever God favors, Satan also watches, trailing along behind. If God wants this person, Satan would do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ploys to tempt, disrupt and wreck the work God does, all in order to achieve its hidden objective. What is this objective? It does not want God to gain anyone; all those that God wants it wants for itself, it wants to occupy them, control them, to take charge of them so they worship it, so they join it in committing evil acts. Is this not Satan’s sinister motive? You often say that Satan is so evil, so bad, but have you seen it? You can only see how bad man is. You have not seen in reality how bad Satan actually is. But have you seen Satan’s evil in this issue concerning Job? (Yes.) This issue has made Satan’s hideous countenance and essence very clear. In warring with God, and trailing along behind Him, Satan’s objective is to demolish all the work God wants to do, to occupy and control those whom God wants to gain, to completely extinguish those whom God wants to gain. If they are not extinguished, then they come to Satan’s possession, to be used by it—this is its objective” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique IV). “You must be awake and waiting at all times, and you must pray before Me more. You must recognize the various plots and cunning schemes of Satan, recognize the spirits, know people, and be able to discern all kinds of people, events, and things; you must also eat and drink more of My words and, more importantly, you must be able to eat and drink of them by yourselves. Equip yourselves with all of the truth, and come before Me so that I may open your spiritual eyes and allow you to see all the mysteries that lie within the spirit” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 17).
After he had finished reading from the word of God, my colleague fellowshiped with me about it, saying, “It is an intense spiritual battle when we are beset with these things. At present, the whole world is under the domain of Satan, the evil one, and Satan continues to corrupt mankind, and to disturb and disrupt God’s work in the vain hope of fully taking possession of and devouring mankind whom God created—this is Satan’s evil goal. God’s six-thousand-year management plan is carried out for the sake of saving mankind from the dark influence of Satan so that they can be gained by God. Especially in the last days, while God is expressing His word and performing the last stage of work, that of cleansing and saving mankind, Satan is afraid that we will accept God’s work, and that we will understand the truth and attain full salvation. It is afraid that we will come to discern its evil and reactionary essence and then abandon it and forsake it. Because of this, it is in the throes of its final desperate struggle—battling with God for His chosen people and using every contemptible strategy to stop us from coming into God’s presence. Deceitful schemes such as all manner of rumors and lies disseminated by the CCP government, the frantic suppression and capture of believers, harassment and persecution of believers by family members, as well as the condemnations and slander spread by the religious world are all implemented by Satan in order to prevent us from turning toward God. But God’s wisdom is exercised based on the deceitful schemes of Satan, and it is precisely Satan’s disruption that God uses to render service to His work, thereby perfecting our faith and loyalty. From the outside, it is the CCP government and our families using all kinds of tricks and means to persecute us and obstruct us from believing in God, but actually behind the scenes it is all the deceitful schemes of Satan. As long as we do more to seek the truth and to understand God’s will, have some knowledge of God’s work, are able to discern all of Satan’s tricks and ruses, and are able to stand witness for God, Satan will be humiliated in defeat. If we don’t seek to understand the truth, then we will be incapable of understanding the battle in the spiritual realm, and when Satan causes disruptions for us we will be liable to be led astray and to give rise to doubts about God, even to the point of denying God, betraying God, and abandoning our faith in God. That is precisely how one falls victim to Satan’s tricks and misses the opportunity to receive the salvation of God; in the end, this is how one is devoured by Satan. We must therefore pray and draw near to God more, and we must read the word of God and equip ourselves with the truth with greater urgency. Only in this way can we understand God’s will, see through Satan’s tricks, and stand witness for God.”
Through listening to the word of God and my colleague’s fellowship, I suddenly realized: “This is actually a battle in the spiritual realm. God expresses the truth in the last days in order to save us, but Satan thinks up every conceivable way to use the oppression and persecution meted out by the CCP government to prevent me from believing in God and following God. It is afraid that I will accept God’s work of the last days and understand the truth, thereby discerning its evil, hideous, satanic, demonic essence and rejecting and forsaking it, and attaining God’s salvation. Today, I have finally seen Satan’s contemptible malice and I now understand the painstaking care and thought that God puts into saving mankind.” Just then, the emotions I had held back for so long were finally set free, and I felt so happy, as if I were seeing the light of day again. “Thanks be to God!” I thought to myself. “From now on, I will read more of the word of God and equip myself with the truth so as never to be fooled by Satan again.”
Although I understood that my unbelieving family members harassing me for believing in God was just one of Satan’s tricks, and that I should not be fooled by Satan, I was still rather worried that if the CCP government found out about my faith it would have an impact on the careers of my son and daughter-in-law. I was even more afraid of the impact it would have on my grandson going to school. I therefore told my work colleague about my concerns and he read me another passage of Almighty God’s words: “God’s authority exists regardless of the circumstances. In all situations, God dictates and arranges every human fate and all things in accordance with His thoughts and His wishes. This will not change as a result of human change; it is independent of man’s will, cannot be altered by any changes in time, space, and geography, for God’s authority is His very essence. … At all times, God wields His authority, shows His might, continues His management work as He always has; at all times, He rules all things, provides for all things, orchestrates all things—just as He always has. No one can change this. It is fact; it has been the unchanging truth since time immemorial!” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique III). My colleague went on to give me fellowship, saying, “God is the Creator, and He holds sovereignty over the heavens, earth, and everything within. He also controls the fate of every person, and whatever kind of job or future prospects each of us has was predestined long ago by God. This is something no one can decide or change by himself. Your son and daughter-in-law’s careers and future prospects are all controlled by God. It doesn’t matter if they believe in God or not, their fate is ruled over and arranged by God. It is unnecessary for us to be worried about this or that. Job never worried about these things, because it was clear to him that all he had was given to him by God, and whatever was given to him or taken away from him, he knew that it was all in God’s hands. Therefore, you should only be concerned with praying to God, and entrust the future of your son and daughter-in-law into God’s hands and have faith that God has a suitable plan.” Through fellowshiping on God’s words concerning God’s authority, I found my faith in God, and I felt at ease and at peace in my heart. I would no longer worry about my son or daughter-in-law’s prospects.
Afterward, through reading the word of God, I made progress in discerning the God-opposing, evil essence of the CCP government. Almighty God says: “The devil tightly trusses all of man’s body, it veils both his eyes, and seals his lips firmly shut. The king of devils has rampaged for several thousand years, right up until today, when it still keeps a close watch on the ghost town, as if it were an impenetrable palace of demons; this pack of watchdogs, meanwhile, stare with glaring eyes, deeply fearful that God will catch them unawares and wipe them all out, leaving them without a place of peace and happiness. How could the people of a ghost town such as this ever have seen God?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Work and Entry (8)). Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life also says: “In the heart of the great red dragon, it thinks God has come to take away from it all the people who belong to it, and He is making an enemy of it. This great red dragon is a peremptory and unreasonable thing! Mankind was created by God, and God has the right to save mankind. Originally, mankind belonged to God, and it is the great red dragon which has usurped the chosen people of God, corrupting and trampling on them at will, eventually devouring them all. However, when God comes to save mankind, it opposes Him. We can see from this that the great red dragon’s nature and essence are in opposition to Heaven, extremely reactionary, unreasonable, and absurd. It is a wild beast and a demon” (Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life). I now understood that in this atheistic country, the rule of the CCP is the rule of Satan. The Chinese government does not permit God to come to this land and do the work of saving people, nor does it allow people to break free of its dark influence and be gained by God, and to be led by God into a beautiful destination. It therefore does all it can to resist and condemn the work of Almighty God, frantically harassing and obstructing us from following Almighty God. If we do not have the truth, are unable to see through the deceitful schemes of the CCP government, and cannot see through to its evil and reactionary essence, we will easily be led astray by all the various lies it disseminates and be frightened into submission by its repression and persecution. We wouldn’t dare to come into the presence of God, and this would mean it has achieved its base purpose of devouring people and destroying God’s work of saving people. But no one can fathom God’s wisdom. It is precisely the CCP government’s persecution God uses to render service to perfecting His chosen people, to enable us to understand the truth, to understand thoroughly that the CCP government is a satanic demon which is full of enmity for the truth and takes God as its enemy, so that we can completely forsake it and turn fully toward God. I give thanks to God for using His words to lead me and enlighten and illuminate me, which allowed me to discern the God-resisting, devilish essence of the CCP government and no longer to be constrained by its threats. I am also grateful to God for arranging my colleague to come and give me support, and to fellowship about the truth with me at a time when I was feeling negative and weak, when I had fallen down and lost my way. God saved me from the temptations of Satan, and I broke through Satan’s net, returned to the presence of God. I now have a chance to attain full salvation. I have resolved that, no matter how many difficulties there are on the road ahead, I will follow Almighty God till the very end!