A Prisoner of My Own Family
By Jingxun, Thailand
I accepted God’s work of the last days in 2019. By reading God’s word, I saw howreveals the inside truth of God’s three stages of work to save humankind, the mystery of God’s incarnation, the meaning of the work of judgment, how Satan corrupts people, how God saves people, and how people can be cleansed and have a beautiful destination. These words had authority, and I had never heard them before. They felt new and practical, and they supplied me, quenching my spiritual thirst. I was certain that Almighty God was the returned , and I was very excited. I never imagined I could welcome the Lord Jesus’ return in my lifetime. I knew I was lucky. After that, I often attended gatherings, preached the gospel, and every day was fulfilling and enjoyable. But two months later, my younger brother and sister-in-law found out about my belief in God. My sister-in-law is Chinese and worked in a government department, so my brother went to China with her. My brother called and scolded me, saying, “The Chinese government persecutes believers in Almighty God. I don’t oppose your belief in the Lord Jesus, but you can’t believe in Almighty God. You believe in a person, not God.” As soon as I heard that, I knew my brother was repeating a rumor, because in my seeking and investigating, I saw many videos of believers from being persecuted by the CCP, and I knew that the true way has been persecuted since ancient times. When God comes to work, He is bound to be persecuted by the forces of Satan. Just like when the Lord Jesus came to work, He was frantically resisted and persecuted by religious leaders and the Roman regime. I said to him, “I believe in God, not in a person. When God comes to earth to work and save humankind, He must incarnate as the Son of man before we can get close to Him. Since God becomes a human, He must be born in a family and live a normal human life. Almighty God appears to be an ordinary person, but He has the Spirit of God within Him, and His essence is God’s. Almighty God has expressed many truths and works to purify and save humankind, which is something no one else can do. The Lord Jesus looked like an ordinary person, but His essence was that of God, and He could express the truth and redeem humankind. This was something ordinary people couldn’t do. Can you say believing in the Lord Jesus is believing in a person? Don’t make silly guesses about what you don’t understand. The sin of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit can never be forgiven. The Pharisees blasphemed the Lord Jesus by saying Beelzebul helped Him cast out demons. In the end, they were punished and cursed by God. I don’t force you to believe, so don’t hinder me from believing in God!” He didn’t listen to me at all. The more I refuted him, the more fiercely he scolded me. When I saw that he was deceived by the CCP’s rumors and blasphemed God, I was disappointed in him. The next day, my sister-in-law also called to persuade me not to believe, and she tried to frighten me, “Your belief in Almighty God is illegal in China. You could be shot for it. If you believed in God in China, you would have been arrested long ago. The Chinese government arrests every believer in your church they find. No one escapes.” My sister-in-law’s words showed me the true fact of how the CCP resists God and persecutes Christians, and I understood the difficult situation of Chinese brothers and sisters who believe in God. At the same time, it also felt strange. I had believed in the Lord for eight years, but my family never interfered with me. Why did they all persecute me as soon as I believed in Almighty God and become so indifferent to me? This is when I remembered that my brothers and sisters had fellowshiped that since ancient times the true way has been persecuted, and wherever God is at work, Satan interferes. I understood that my family’s persecution of me was Satan’s disturbance, so the more I was persecuted, the more I wanted to follow Almighty God and avoid Satan’s tricks.
Afterwards, my brothers and sisters shared (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God). By reading God’s word, I understood that this was a spiritual battle. When God saves someone, Satan tries its best to disturb and hinder them and drag them down to hell with it. What happened that day, outwardly, was my brother and sister-in-law hindering me, but actually, it was Satan’s disturbance. I used to have a good relationship with them, and my brother usually listened to me, but after they listened to the CCP’s rumors, it was as if they were different people. They used all kinds of tricks to force me to leave God, and the words they said chilled my heart. I believed in God in Thailand, and they wanted to control me. If I was in China, they would have sent me to prison. I saw that Satan is truly evil, and that I wasn’t walking the same path as them. On the surface, they were my relatives, but we weren’t compatible at all in spirit. We had no common language, we weren’t the same kind of people, and there was none of the old affection between us. That evening, I watched a testimony video about the brothers and sisters tortured by the CCP. No matter how much their flesh suffered, they resolutely followed God. Through prayer to God and the guidance of God’s word, they could overcome the weakness of the flesh, and some even laid down their lives to stand firm in their testimony. Their experiences inspired me. In such painful circumstances, they could still maintain their belief in God and not compromise with Satan. The persecution I suffered was nothing in comparison. This gave me more faith to face whatever might happen next.with me, “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 interference. 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 interference 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 they couldn’t persuade me, they incited my husband to stop me, saying that if I believed in God, I wouldn’t want children or a family. The pastor also spread slanderous fallacies to deceive my husband, saying I believed in a person. After my husband heard these things, he followed them in opposing me. If he saw me attending online gatherings or browsing The Church of Almighty God website, he often unplugged the network cable at home, then shut the door and wouldn’t let me in the room. He did all he could to disturb me and prevent me from attending gatherings or reading God’s word. I knew this was Satan’s interference, so I couldn’t compromise. When my husband saw he couldn’t deter me, he said, “If you continue believing in Almighty God, we will get divorced! You will have to leave this home. Make your decision today!” I said, “If I didn’t believe in God, I would have divorced you long ago. You had a mistress before, but I let it go because I believe in God. I’m not doing anything wrong by believing in God, so why are you trying to stop me? If you want to divorce me and kick me out, I have no choice. Even if I have to leave this house, I will believe in God!” So, I packed up my clothes and went to a friend’s house. At the time, I didn’t know what to do next. When I thought about my young child, I was very reluctant to leave. So, I contacted my brothers and sisters to tell them about my state, and my sister sent me a passage of God’s word. “Over the course of His work, ever since the beginning, God has set out trials for every person—or you could say, every person who follows Him—and these trials come in various sizes. There are those who have experienced the trial of being rejected by their families, those who have experienced the trial of adverse environments, those who have experienced the trial of being arrested and tortured, those who have experienced the trial of being faced with choices, and those who have faced the trials of money and status. Generally speaking, each of you has faced all manner of trials. Why does God work like this? Why does He treat everyone this way? What sort of result does He seek? Here is the point I wish to communicate to you: God wants to see whether or not this person is the type who fears Him and shuns evil. What this means is that when God is giving you a trial, and facing you with some circumstance or other, His intention is to test whether or not you are a person who fears Him and shuns evil” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve). After reading God’s word, I understood the persecution I faced from my family was also a test for me to see whether I satisfied God or Satan. I realized that I had to make a choice. But there was still a thread of hope in my heart. I still wanted my husband to change his mind. But then, my husband and younger sister found me, and they said in turn, “You need to stop believing in Almighty God. Don’t you see? You don’t even want your child and family anymore!” I said to my husband angrily, “I never said I don’t want my child or my family. It’s you who persecute me, stop me from believing in God, and even threaten divorce. Is a little freedom of religion too much to ask?” My father also called me and said, “Where is this God? Don’t believe in this. Just go home with your husband and live a good life!” This made me angry, so I argued with them, “It’s not wrong to believe in God. Why are you trying to control me?” When my father saw I was firm, on the phone, he asked my husband to tie me up and beat me, saying he would take the blame if I died. He didn’t hit me, but he confiscated my bank card, and then smashed my phone and computer. After that, my husband and sister forced me into the car and took me home. Along the way, they sat next to me, and they were both ferocious with me. This made me understand how Chinese brothers and sisters felt being arrested by the police. It didn’t feel like they were my family at all, and I didn’t hold out any hope for them anymore. I didn’t know how my family would persecute me next, so I silently prayed in my heart, asking God to guide me in making the right choice. That night, I felt very sad. Most days, at this time, I was preaching the gospel, but now I couldn’t do anything. Since my family knew I believed in Almighty God, they had united to persecute me. Because my sister-in-law worked for the Chinese government and had money, my family obeyed her, and she instigated them to use all kinds of methods to persecute me, to the point that they would beat me to death before they let me believe in God. At this point, I clearly saw the true face of their resistance to God. They were nothing but devils, God’s enemies. I also thought of how Job faced such a painful trial, yet he did not complain about God. Instead, he prayed quietly before God and sought God’s will, so I should also rely on God to stand firm, and never compromise with Satan, no matter the circumstances.
The next day, my husband and father took me back to my parents’ house. My mother and my older brother’s wife were afraid I would run away, so as soon as they met me, they searched me and asked me to hand over my ID. They never gave me a chance to be alone. When I took showers or went to the bathroom, my mother stood guard outside. They even made my niece sleep with me to watch me, and if I turned on the light at night, my mother instantly knocked to see what I was doing and told me to turn off the light and sleep. What makes it even more unbearable was that at three or four in the morning, my mother would make noise, yell, and knock on the door. I was so frustrated about it. During the day they watched me more closely. I wasn’t allowed to talk to others, not even the woman next door, and the neighbors looked at me as if they didn’t know me. Every day, I had no choice but to do what my family arranged for me. They treated me like a prisoner, and watched me every day. I felt like I was in jail. My family treated me like this because they listened to the CCP’s rumors and my sister-in-law. They wanted to cut my ties with my brothers and sisters, and make me slowly lose faith in God. I felt very sad every day. I missed my gatherings with my brothers and sisters. God’s work was coming to an end, but I couldn’t go to gatherings, read God’s word, or fulfill my duty. Was I going to be cast out? It made me very anxious, and all I wanted was to escape this environment and be able to believe in God freely. I hid in the bathroom and prayed to God, asking God to open a way out for me. Later, my parents asked me to work in the orange orchard with my older brother and his wife, where they could monitor me. My older sister-in-law didn’t restrict me from believing in God harshly, so when I worked during the day, I used her mobile phone to listen to God’s word online. I thanked God from the bottom of my heart for opening a way for me.
I remember a passage of God’s word I read that was particularly moving. “Having undergone these two trials, there was born in Job a richer experience, and this experience made him more mature and seasoned, it made him stronger, and of greater conviction, and it made him more confident of the rightness and worthiness of the integrity to which he held firm. Jehovah God’s trials of Job gave him a deep understanding and sense of God’s concern for man, and allowed him to sense the preciousness of God’s love, from which point consideration toward and love for God were added into his fear of God. The trials of Jehovah God not only did not alienate Job from Him, but brought his heart closer to God. When the fleshly pain endured by Job reached its peak, the concern that he felt from Jehovah God gave him no choice but to curse the day of his birth. Such conduct was not long-planned, but a natural revelation of the consideration for and love for God from within his heart, it was a natural revelation that came from his consideration for and love for God. This is to say, because he loathed himself, and he was unwilling to, and could not stand to torment God, thus his consideration and love reached the point of selflessness. At this time, Job elevated his long-standing adoration and yearning for God and devotion to God to the level of consideration and loving. At the same time, he also elevated his faith and obedience to God and fear of God to the level of consideration and loving. He did not allow himself to do anything that would cause harm to God, he did not permit himself any conduct that would hurt God, and did not allow himself to bring any sorrow, grief, or even unhappiness upon God for his own reasons. In God’s eyes, although Job was still the same Job as before, Job’s faith, obedience, and fear of God had brought God complete satisfaction and enjoyment. At this time, Job had attained the perfection that God had expected him to attain; he had become someone truly worthy of being called ‘perfect and upright’ in God’s eyes” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II). Job faced Satan’s temptations and attacks, all his children and property were stripped away, his whole body was covered with boils, and the pain was nearly unbearable, but because he feared God, he didn’t speak or act casually. Instead, he came before God first to pray and seek God’s will. He realized God’s heart was with him in his suffering, and he felt God’s care for people. Job couldn’t bear to let God suffer, so he would rather curse the day he was born than blame God. In the end, he stood firm, and uttered words that humiliated Satan: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21). No matter how Job’s friends and wife mocked him, Job kept his true faith in God, and his testimony humiliated Satan, who could no longer accuse him. I realized that in this experience, I didn’t rely on God to see through Satan’s schemes or seek the good intentions of God in this environment. Instead, I resisted, complained, and let Satan laugh at me. As I contemplated God’s word, I prayed to God, and faith grew within me: No matter what environment I encountered next, I would imitate Job, stand firm in my testimony for God, and humiliate Satan.
Every day I went to work in the fields with my older brother and his wife. Seeing the love between brother and sister-in-law, how they went out and returned together, I couldn’t help but envy them. Why couldn’t I have a normal family life? Thinking of this, I felt like I wanted to compromise. Especially when they made dinner, and I saw their family together and happy, while I was alone, my heart was weak, and I couldn’t stop myself from crying. I realized I was concerned for the flesh, and I thought of God becoming flesh in the last days and expressing the truth to purify and save people. It was a critical time to pursue the truth, but my husband forced me to stop believing in God. We had nothing in common, and even when we were reluctantly together, we weren’t happy. When I thought of this, I didn’t feel quite as sad. I borrowed my phone from my sister-in-law and quietly listened to hymns. “You Should Forsake All for the Truth” started playing:
1 You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment.
2 You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and you should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!
—Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs
Thanks be to God for letting me hear this song at this moment. I knew I couldn’t give up the pursuit of truth for a little fleshly enjoyment. Now, God is doing the work of judgment in the last days to completely end this age. If we don’t obtain the truth, we will lose our chance to be saved, and ultimately, we will all fall into the disaster and be destroyed. What does it matter if we have a happy family life? Aren’t these things all temporary? There is no greater pain and loss than not gaining the truth. Thinking of this, I felt a great sense of relief, as if I was face to face with God. I felt security and joy in my heart, and I no longer felt alone.
After living at my parents’ home for three weeks, one day, I escaped while my family wasn’t paying attention and managed to stay in a hotel, but my nephew and my older brother quickly found me and took me back. After that, my parents called the whole village to our house for dinner and asked them to help watch me, and to catch me if anyone found out I had run away. My husband came with our five-year-old son to ask me to stop believing and go home with him. My son didn’t dare approach me, and when I asked him why, he said, “Dad says you’re insane and might kill me.” I was very angry when I heard this. I couldn’t believe he would teach a young child such a thing. After that, my son and I couldn’t have a normal relationship. It was only when I bought him candy that my son dared to talk to me. I felt very sad, and wished my family would stop trying to force me, but I realized this was wrong. They all hated God, and they would never change. My husband still tried to persuade me, and my parents continued to ask me not to believe. I said, “I can’t stop believing in God.” When he saw that I was still resolute, my husband took my son back home.
One morning, a week later, my brother came back from out of town with one of my dresses in hand. He said, “I went to an exorcist early this morning to purify you.” Then my father also came out of the room and ordered me to quickly put on the dress, saying, “If you put this one on, you’ll be cured.” I said, “I’m not putting that on. I’m not possessed, and I have no disease, I believe in the one true God.” When my father saw that I wouldn’t accept their “treatment,” he made me sit in a chair. Holding a stick as thick as my forearm, he scowled and said, “Since you’re so disobedient, we’ll see if I can teach you a lesson today! I’ve never hit you before, but today I’ll show you what happens when I do. And I’ll beat you until you either die or stop believing in God!” I had never seen my father so angry. I was afraid of being beaten, and the stick was so thick that it would probably break my bones. When my father asked me to change my clothes, I quickly prayed to God, saying that no matter what happened, I couldn’t compromise with Satan. I thought of how Satan repeatedly tempted and attacked Job, but Job maintained his integrity, stood firm in his testimony, and in the end, Satan was humiliated, failed, and completely let go. Although I was far inferior to Job, I knew Satan was also coming for me, trying to destroy my faith in God bit by bit, make me discouraged and disappointed in God, and finally make me betray God. I couldn’t fall for Satan’s tricks. So, I prayed to God to swear an oath, “God, even if I am beaten to death, I will not compromise with Satan. I won’t give up my belief in You, and I will stand firm in my testimony for You.” After praying, I no longer felt afraid, and I put everything on the line. A line from a (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs, The Resolve Necessary to Pursue the Truth). This line of God’s word gave me confidence and strength. I would never compromise with Satan. My father approached me with the stick in his hand, and was about to beat me. He looked like a demon, but I wasn’t afraid at all. At this moment, my husband and mother were just coming back from the field. My mother jumped in front of me to block my father, and then persuaded me not to believe anymore. I said, “Believing in God is not theft or robbery, and I don’t destroy other people’s families. All I do is go to gatherings. What did I do wrong that makes you want to beat me to death? Are you still my family?” My nephew said disdainfully, “Aunt, look at people who have cars and money. You believe in God, but what has your God given you?” I said, “What use are those things? When the disaster comes, will these things save people? Only God can save people. If you want to pursue those things, I won’t stop you. I believe in God, so why are you interfering with me?” My nephew said angrily, “If you won’t stop believing in God, then you can’t blame us for being ruthless. We’ll hang you up for three days and three nights, and then see if you still believe!” Then the whole family agreed to hang me up and not let me down until I gave up believing in God. I was outraged. How was this my family? They were just devils. At the time, I was a little scared, so I prayed to God and asked God to lead me. My husband tried to persuade me, “My belief in the Lord Jesus is just a belief. Why are you so serious about this? Stop believing.” I said, “If you do not accept that the Lord Jesus has returned to save you, I won’t force you, so stop trying to force me. I’ll follow Almighty God!” After I made a firm declaration to my family, they fell silent, and I knew Satan had lost. I felt a sweetness in my heart I had never felt before, and I could think of nothing but gratitude to God!floated clearly through my mind, “I must not abandon my desire and my resolution; giving up would be tantamount to making a compromise with Satan, tantamount to self-destruction, and tantamount to betraying God”
After that, my family still kept me confined at home. But I no longer felt aggrieved, and I was willing to obey and learn lessons in this environment. Usually, when they weren’t paying attention, I took my sister-in-law’s phone and listened to Daily Words of God online. I often prayed to God, and I was willing to submit to God’s arrangements. When I could leave was up to God, and I was willing to wait. Gradually, my family watched me less closely. Once, a family in the village held a wedding banquet, and all my family members went. I took the opportunity to escape. After that, I contacted the brothers and sisters and left my hometown. Now, I am finally free to believe in God and do my duty. During this time, I experienced persecution from my family, and although I suffered a little, I gained a lot. I can more clearly see the evil of the CCP and the essence of my family’s resistance to God, and I experienced in practical terms that God was by my side and supporting me. Every time I am negative and weak, God uses His words to enlighten me, lead me, and give me courage and wisdom, so that I have the confidence to stand firm. Thank Almighty God!