Behind the Scenes of a Domestic Battle
By Wang Zhi, China
In early 2010, my wife saw some rumors and negative propaganda on TV spread by the Communist Party about. She was afraid I’d be arrested and started pressuring me. One day, she said to me really angrily, “Look at what they’re saying on TV. is a major national target for crackdowns and elimination. Believers are being arrested and sentenced all over the country, and the police are getting regular people to spy on and report them. Give up your faith! If you’re arrested, the rest of the family will be implicated, too.” I told her, “The Communist Party rules in China, and they hate God more than anything, so they particularly persecute believers. The path of faith is a path of being oppressed. The Savior, has come to save mankind. Now that I’ve managed to welcome the Lord’s return, I can’t give up my faith for fear of persecution.” Seeing I wouldn’t take her advice, she tried everything to stand in my way, not letting me go to gatherings or do my duty.
Once when I was about to go out, she rushed to get in front of me and clutched me so I couldn’t leave. I barely wrested free and got out into the hallway, then she shouted, “You’re forbidden to gather!” Afraid the neighbors would notice and I’d be reported, I quickly went back inside and shut the door. She said, threateningly, “If you dare go to a gathering, I’ll report you to the Public Security Bureau! I know who everyone else in your group is. I’ll report all of you and have the police arrest everyone, then we’ll see if you keep believing!” I was incensed to hear her say that. I warned her that would offend God and she’d be punished. She wouldn’t listen at all, but just kept fighting with me day in and day out to get me to give up my faith. It really drove me crazy. She wouldn’t let me readat home and watched everything I did.
I couldn’t go to gatherings for a while, and it was miserable and agonizing. I was longing for the day my wife stopped oppressing me so I could gather and do a duty normally. I was praying to God, asking Him to open up a path for me out of that situation. Later I remembered aof God’s words.
1. The incarnate God undergoes all kinds of sneering, reviling, judgment, and condemnation. He is also pursued by the devil and is rejected and opposed by religious circles. No one can make up for this hurt in His heart! He saves corrupt mankind through extreme patience; He loves people with a bruised heart. This is the most painful work. Mankind’s ferocious resistance, condemnations and slanders, false accusations, persecutions and their hunting and slaughtering cause God’s flesh to face extreme dangers in doing this work. He suffers these pains, yet who can understand Him and who can comfort Him?
2. Theworked on the earth and lived for thirty-three and a half years. Only until after He was crucified, died, was resurrected and appeared to mankind for forty days was He relieved, thus concluding the painful years of living with mankind. However, God’s heart has always suffered this same kind of pain due to being worried about mankind’s destination. This pain cannot be understood by anyone, nor can it be borne by anyone. Since the beginning, all that the work of the incarnate flesh has revealed is love, the substance of His work is love; He has offered His all, His everything to mankind.
from “God Loves Man With Wounds” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs
I was really moved when I thought over this hymn, and I could feel God’s love for man. God has suffered enormous pain and humiliation in both incarnations to save us! King Herod wanted to kill the Lord Jesus from the moment He was born, and after He started working He was mocked, slandered and condemned by the Pharisees. In the last days, Almighty God is taking risks thousands of times greater than in the Age of Grace, incarnating in the great red dragon’s lair to work and save mankind. He faces the Party’s pursuit and condemnation, the religious world’s rejection and slander. God bears all sorts of misery in silence in order to save us. Now that I’m following God, pursuing salvation, what does enduring that bit of suffering count for? I always said I wanted to love God, and I’d follow Him until the end through suffering and oppression, but I was lacking faith when I was in a real situation. Where was my testimony? Seeing that before I’d just understood literal doctrine, I felt really ashamed. I silently resolved that no matter what sort of oppression or hindrances I faced, I’d follow God until the end. In the following days, my wife just kept on obstructing me, dead-set on not giving up until she’d achieved her goal. But thanks to the guidance of God’s words, I didn’t feel as constrained anymore.
A while later when I came home from work one day, I realized that my wife had found and destroyed a book of God’s words and some CDs of hymns that I’d hidden. Furious, I asked her, “Why did you destroy my book and CDs? You hate and oppose God so much, and even want to get the brothers and sisters arrested. You will be punished.” She said viciously, “I won’t let you believe even if I am punished!” She kept on making a scene, but seeing I wouldn’t listen, she said resentfully, “If you keep your faith I want a divorce!”
Hearing her say she wanted a divorce was upsetting. For our entire marriage, she’d always taken such great care of me, and over all those years we hardly ever fought. Everyone else really admired us. I felt some reluctance at the real prospect of divorce. Then I remembered something God said: “Believers and unbelievers are not compatible; rather, they are opposed to one another” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in). “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?” (“God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It’s true. Believers and unbelievers are two different types of people on two different paths. My faith is to pursue the truth and submit to God, to do the duty of a created being. Seeing that the Communist Party was arresting and persecuting believers, my wife went along with it, oppressing me. She even destroyed my book of God’s words and threatened to get believers arrested. Her essence was to hate God. Even though we were husband and wife, we were different kinds of people on different paths. She was determined to follow the Communist Party and resist God—she was of Satan. Since she wanted a divorce, I should respect her choice and then in the future no one would keep me from gathering and doing my duty. So I said resolutely, “You and I are not on the same path. Let’s each go our own way. We should divorce.” After I said that, she didn’t want a divorce anymore.
I thought the matter had come to a close, but she got our son and daughter-in-law to join forces with her. My daughter-in-law said, “Dad, don’t you have so much love for your grandson? People often say that grandparents are closer to their grandchildren than their children, and that’s how you are.” I agreed with her that that was true. Seeing how happy that made me, she went on, “Dad, you love him so much, let’s talk about this. My uncle is a Public Security director. He said believers in Almighty God are political criminals and are sentenced if they’re arrested. Their children and later generations are implicated, and can’t work for the government or get into college. Dad, you should give up your faith. If you’re arrested our careers will be impacted. You have to think of us, don’t you? Even if you don’t think of us, you have to think of your grandson. If he can’t get into college or find a good job because of your faith, that will be all your fault.” Hearing her say that was really upsetting for me. Then my son said with a serious look on his face, “Dad, your legs are giving you trouble. What if you lose your ability to walk? If you stop believing in Almighty God, we will take care of you. But if you keep your faith, when you get old, if your legs hurt too much to walk, we won’t look after you.” Hearing that from him was deeply disappointing to me. I’d never imagined that he’d say something so heartless just because of my faith. I poured my heart into raising him, but he used caring for me in my old age as a threat. I’d done all that for nothing! I had rheumatism and excessive bone growth in my legs. When it was acting up my legs stayed totally straight for two weeks, I couldn’t bend them, and they hurt too much to do any work. Plus I knew I wasn’t getting any younger, so when I did get old the pain would get worse. I didn’t have a pension or anything else to live off of. If my son didn’t take care of me, how would I get by? I got more and more upset. At that point I suddenly realized this was one of Satan’s tricks. It was using my affections and my children’s future as well as the question of how I’d get by in the future to test me, to tempt me into betraying God. I called out to God right away, “God! Please watch over my heart and guide me to triumph over Satan’s test.” I thought of these words from God: “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite man always rushing and busying himself on his own behalf, he remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a created being?” (“Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). That’s right. God rules over everything, and our fates are entirely in His hands. How my grandson does in the future and what kind of work he does, how my son’s career goes and whether he’ll be impacted by my faith is all determined by God. Also, God’s work of the last days is going to end, and the great disasters are about to rain down. If they don’t follow and, even if they go to college and have good jobs, they’ll still fall into the disasters and be destroyed when God’s work concludes. Then what good prospects will they have? On the surface, my son and his wife were saying these things to disrupt and oppress me, but this was actually a test from Satan. Satan knew how much I loved my grandson and that for years my biggest worry was my legs getting worse and having no one to care for me. It was using these things to intimidate me into betraying God. Satan is so sinister! Whether I could walk in the future or not was in God’s hands, and I should submit to God’s rule and arrangements. At this thought, I said firmly, “You live your own lives. Don’t concern yourselves anymore over whether I can walk, or if I live or die. If you’re afraid you’ll be implicated if I’m arrested, we can cut ties now. I’m firm in my faith in Almighty God!” Seeing how clear I was, they exchanged a glance, shook their heads helplessly, and didn’t say anything else. I thanked God from my heart for guiding me to overcome Satan’s test and attack.
My son and daughter-in-law didn’t come see me for quite a few months after that, and didn’t call, either. My wife was always arguing with me, telling me to stop believing in God. After a while, I started to get worried. Was my son really washing his hands of me? If my wife and I did get divorced someday and I couldn’t walk or take care of myself, and my son wasn’t taking care of me, what would I do? The thought of facing so much future pain and hardship left me feeling kind of forlorn. I knew I shouldn’t think that and I was falling for Satan’s trick again, so I quickly called on God, asking for the strength to stand firm in my witness. After that, a hymn of God’s words came to mind.
You are a created being—you should of course worship God and pursue a life of meaning. Since you are a human being, you should expend yourself for God and endure all suffering! You should gladly and assuredly accept the little suffering you are subjected to today and live a meaningful life, like Job and Peter. You are people who pursue the right path, those who seek improvement. You are people who rise up in the nation of the great red dragon, those whom God calls righteous. Is that not the most meaningful life?
from “The Most Meaningful Life” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs
Thinking over God’s words gave me strength. There’s nothing more righteous than believing in God and doing the duty of a created being. It’s the right path in life, and any kind of suffering for the sake of gaining the truth and satisfying God has value and gains God’s approval. Looking back, though I’d suffered some oppression, I had truly gained some things from it. Before, I thought I had faith in God. I wouldn’t shrink back in the face of the Communist Party’s oppression, and my wife and child’s blockades couldn’t shake my will to follow God. I thought I was devoted to God. But when something really happened, when my son ignored me for months, I was afraid I’d become unwell and unable to take care of myself, without anyone to care for me. I was just thinking of my personal future—I didn’t have any faith in God. I didn’t really see my true stature until I went through that, and then I gained some self-knowledge. I also gained some discernment over Satan’s tricks and came to see the essence of my anti-God, unbeliever family. It was God’s salvation. I had to be like Job, to follow God no matter how Satan attacked me or how my family oppressed me. After I resolved this, my son’s and daughter-in-law’s attitude toward me shifted a bit. Sometimes when my daughter-in-law’s uncle said that the Party was making more plans to arrest believers, to carry out some operation, she’d pass that on to me and tell me to be careful doing my duty. She didn’t let up on me.
But what really surprised me was one day, my wife suddenly opened up a window, grabbed the frame, put one foot onto the windowsill and shouted at me, “I told you to give up your faith, but you won’t listen. Our whole family will be ruined if you’re arrested. I’m asking you one last time—are you keeping your faith, or not? If you do, I’m going to jump!” Then she stood up on the windowsill, about to jump. I was terrified. Our home was on the seventh floor. If she jumped, she was sure to die. I rushed up to pull her down, and she pointed at me and yelled, “Stay back! If you dare approach me, I’ll jump right away!” I didn’t dare get closer, seeing both of her feet were on the windowsill. I prayed to God nonstop in my heart, begging Him to guide me. Then I realized my wife was using jumping as a threat to get me to betray God, and I couldn’t fall for Satan’s trick. I didn’t feel as nervous anymore and calmly said, “If you want to die, no one can stop you. But don’t use suicide as a threat—it won’t work. If you jump out the window and die, that’s your own choice. I’m resolute in my faith and no one can stop me!” She pulled back her leg when she saw her threat wasn’t working and said, “I’m not that dumb. My death would be too convenient for you—then no one would stand between you and God.” I saw how extreme her hatred for God was, using her own death to force me to betray God. She was the manifestation of a demon. At the same time, I hated the Communist Party even more. It was using the TV media to spread all sorts of rumors and lies to mislead people, madly arresting Christians, implicating entire families when one believer was arrested so that unbeliever family members would oppose God and oppress the believer as well. The Communist Party is evil through and through. It’s an anti-God demon, an evil spirit! I cursed and rejected it from my heart and became more determined to follow God.
I thought she’d stop trying to stand in my way, but before long, one day after breakfast, she leapt up when I wasn’t paying attention, snatched a fruit knife about this long, put it against my throat and said savagely, “I’ll cut your throat if you keep your faith!” She had a murderous look on her face and a fierce glow in her eyes. She looked like she was possessed by a demon. I was scared and angry at the same time. My wife would resort to any evil trick to get me to betray God. I said to her firmly, “If you cut my throat today, I’ll still believe in Almighty God. I won’t leave Him.” She was shocked to see how resolute I was. She just stood there with the knife as if she were frozen, not moving at all. After a bit, she put the knife down on the table and said, “I won’t pay you any mind anymore. Go believe whatever you want to.” I offered up my thanks and praise to God, seeing Satan shamed and defeated. My wife and I separated after that and we each went our own ways. She stopped interfering with my faith.
Through all this I really saw that my wife madly oppressing me and trying to stop my faith, even threatening to commit suicide and kill me, and my son and his wife wanting to abandon me was all brought about by the Communist Party’s persecution. Without its rumors and lies, without its crazed arrests and persecution, implicating entire families of one believer, my family never would have oppressed my faith that way and my home never would have been broken. Seeing what an evil, anti-God demon that destroys people the Communist Party is made me thoroughly despise it! Also, I saw my wife was totally lacking humanity, that she was a demon against God. I didn’t feel constrained by her anymore. No matter what kind of oppression or hardship I may face in the future, I’m determined to follow God until the end!