I Won’t Pursue These Studies
By Thivei, India
I was born into a Christian family. Both parents are farmers. Our family earns a living by growing vegetables and rice. I always did well in school, so my parents were very supportive of my studies and looked forward to me doing well in the future. They hoped I would find a good job and change my family’s impoverished life. At that time, because we were poor, my parents often borrowed money to pay for my schooling, my grandfather also saved money for me from his living expenses, and my sister worked part-time to earn money to pay for my tuition. My whole family pinned their hopes on me to bring them out of poverty. I saw my parents working hard in the fields every day, and I thought it was very hard to live like this, so I resolved to study hard, stand out from the crowd, so that my family would no longer be so poor. To score well on my exams, I worked harder, and often stayed up late to study. Later, I got my wish and went to university. After that, I had a new ambition, which was to become a professor and have a better future.
After graduating, I pursued a PhD and worked in scientific research at the university. At that time, my parents often called me, and reminded me, “You need to pray more to God and focus on your studies.” My father also asked me, saying, “Does your campus have a church? You have to go to church.” But I just wanted to read the Bible at home and pray to God, because I spent almost all my time on scientific research, and I had no spare time to go to gatherings. In the process of research, there were many academic debates. When others debated the topic of scientific theories and God’s omnipotence and sovereignty, as a scientific researcher, I always involuntarily used scientific viewpoints to explain everything. Before I knew it, my heart grew farther and farther from God, I prayed and read the Bible less, and I often felt exhausted and empty inside. Although I sometimes went to beaches, resorts, or parks with my colleagues on the weekends as a means to relax, in the hopes I could relieve the pressure from my work, in the end, I still felt empty inside, without any real peace and joy. On New Year’s of 2020, I prayed to God and resolved to become closer to God, asking God to guide and change my life, because living in that state of emptiness was honestly exhausting.
Not long after, I met a sister on Facebook who invited me to an online gathering. At the time, she said something that genuinely moved me. She said readingand establishing a good relationship with God is very important. I agreed with what she said. I was a Christian, but I spent all my time doing scientific research, I never went to gatherings to , and I rarely prayed or read the Bible. I realized that I didn’t have a normal relationship with God, and I wanted to be close to God, so I happily agreed to join the online gathering. By reading God’s words and hearing the fellowship of my brothers and sisters, I understood that in the last days, God expresses His words under the name of , that He has opened the scroll for us, and that God returned this time to do the work of judging and purifying people to completely save mankind from sin. After several gatherings, I was certain that Almighty God is the returned . I was very excited at the time, and I happily accepted God’s work of the last days. After about two months, I started a duty in the church. As I read more of God’s word, I gradually understood some of the truths.
One day, I read a passage of Almighty God’s word that is still fresh in my mind. This passage of God’s words stirred my heart. Almighty God says, “Is knowledge something that everyone considers to be a positive thing? At the very least, people think that the connotation of the word ‘knowledge’ is positive rather than negative. So why are we mentioning here that Satan uses knowledge to corrupt man? Is the theory of evolution not an aspect of knowledge? Are Newton’s scientific laws not a part of knowledge? The gravitational pull of the earth is also a part of knowledge, is it not? (Yes.) So why is knowledge listed among the things that Satan uses to corrupt mankind? What is your view on this? Does knowledge have even a shred of truth in it? (No.) Then what is the essence of knowledge? On what basis is all the knowledge that man acquires learned? Is it based on the theory of evolution? Is not the knowledge that man has gained through exploration and summation based on atheism? Does any of this knowledge have a connection to God? Is it connected with worshiping God? Is it connected to truth? (No.) So how does Satan use knowledge to corrupt man? I just said that none of this knowledge is connected with worshiping God or with truth. Some people think about it like this: ‘Knowledge might not have anything to do with truth, but still, it doesn’t corrupt people.’ What is your view on this? Were you taught by knowledge that a person’s happiness must be created with their own two hands? Did knowledge teach you that man’s fate was in his own hands? (Yes.) What kind of talk is this? (It is devilish talk.) Absolutely right! It is devilish talk! Knowledge is a complicated subject to discuss. You may state simply that a field of knowledge is nothing more than knowledge. That is a field of knowledge that is learned on the basis of not worshiping God and on not understanding that God created all things. When people study this type of knowledge, they do not see God having sovereignty over all things; they do not see God being in charge of or managing all things. Instead, all they do is endlessly research and explore that area of knowledge, and seek out answers based on knowledge. However, is it not true that if people do not believe in God and instead only pursue research, they will never find the true answers? All that knowledge can give you is a livelihood, a job, income so that you do not go hungry; but it will never make you worship God, and it will never keep you far from evil. The more people study knowledge, the more they will desire to rebel against God, to subject God to their studies, to tempt God, and to resist God” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique V). God’s words pierced my heart. All along, I thought I was born into a Christian family. I believed in God since childhood, and although I studied science and did scientific research, I only meant to use my research to get a good job, change my own life, and stand out from the crowd in the future. I never considered whether I was denying or resisting God. Through the revelations of God’s word, I realized my thinking was wrong. Science and knowledge are not the truth and are not positive things. Theories like atheism, materialism, and evolution, all these things that deny God originate with Satan. Satan uses scientific knowledge to corrupt people, turn their hearts away from God, and make them deny the existence of God. I studied this scientific knowledge every day, but it could only lead me astray, away from God, and I would never gain the truth from it. When I did my research, my thoughts were entirely occupied by atheistic views and filled with all kinds of theories, things like Newton’s laws, gravity, and so on. How can I describe it? It was these theories that corrupted me like poison. Every day, I used these laws and formulas to calculate and study what happens in the universe. The more I studied, the more I felt everything can be explained by scientific principles. Unconsciously, I began to deny God’s creation and sovereignty, and my heart was also farther and farther away from God. If I continued to study like this, these theories would continue to corrode me, and I would always live under Satan’s dominion and resist God. When I realized how scientific knowledge was poisoning me, it occurred to me that I should give up scientific research, but I worried about what my future would look like if I actually did it. There was a battle taking place in my heart over whether I should continue my research or give up and do something else. I thought of how busy I had been trying to escape my poverty. I had spent a lot of time and energy in pursuit of status and a good future, but I had never had true happiness. Instead, I often felt empty and tormented. This wasn’t the life I wanted. Since accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days, I had read God’s word and fulfilled my duty as a created being, and life was very different from before. The more I read Almighty God’s words, the more I felt spiritual release. My relationship with God also got closer, and I felt more peaceful and secure, which is something I’d never felt before. By reading God’s word, I also understood that it was Satan who corrupted me so deeply, and I learned that the pursuit of truth and of life are the most meaningful things. Thinking of this, I made up my mind to spend more time pursuing the truth and doing my duty.
After that, I preached the gospel to my parents, brothers, and sisters. I told them that the Lord Jesus has returned to do the work of judgment in the last days, and that Almighty God has expressed many truths to purify us and save us from the bondage of sin. I also told my parents, “I accepted God’s new work, have come to understand many of God’s words, and have found the way to be cleansed and saved, but there are still so many believers who don’t know the good news of the Lord’s return. I want to preach the gospel to them.” I said that my grandfather went to various villages to preach the Lord Jesus’ gospel, so I wanted to follow his example and spend more time and energy spreading God’s kingdom gospel to more people. I thought my parents would definitely support me, and I was surprised when my mother started to cry. Seeing her cry made me sad too. It wasn’t easy to think of all the money my parents spent so that I could go to school. They hoped I could find a good job and take care of them and my family in the future. If I spent all my time preaching the gospel, everything my parents spent on me would be in vain, so they must have been very sad. As I realized this, I also started crying. I didn’t want to make my parents sad, but I wanted to do my duty and preach the gospel. So, I prayed to God to ask Him to give me more faith so that I could stand firm in my testimony. At that moment, I thought of a passage of Almighty God’s words, “God created this world and brought man, a living being unto which He bestowed life, into it. Next, man came to have parents and kin, and was no longer alone. Ever since man first laid eyes on this material world, he was destined to exist within the ordination of God. The breath of life from God supports each and every living being throughout growth into adulthood. During this process, no one feels that man is growing up under the care of God; rather, they believe that man is doing so under the loving care of his parents, and that it is his own life instinct that directs his growing up. This is because man knows not who bestowed his life, or from whence it came, much less the way in which the instinct of life creates miracles. He knows only that food is the basis on which his life continues, that perseverance is the source of his existence, and that the beliefs in his mind are the capital upon which his survival depends. Of God’s grace and provision, man is utterly oblivious, and thus does he fritter away the life bestowed upon him by God…. Not a single one of this humanity that God cares for day and night takes it upon themselves to worship Him. God only continues to work on man, for whom He holds out no expectations, as He has planned. He does so in the hope that one day, man will awaken from his dream and suddenly realize the value and meaning of life, the price God paid for all that He has given him, and the eager solicitude with which God waits for man to turn back to Him” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God Is the Source of Man’s Life). God’s word made me understand God gave me my life, and my parents and the family I was born into were all arranged by God. That my parents gave so much for me was also God’s arrangement. In the past, I always thought that my parents did it for me, and I believed I had to live to satisfy my parents’ wishes and my own ideals, and that I should strive for the pursuit of prestige and status. But God’s word made me realize that it wasn’t my parents who guided my life. What I did at what time, or what role I played in my life—these things were all arranged by God. I used to want to change my destiny by learning knowledge, so that my family could live a prosperous life. At that time, I didn’t know about God’s omnipotence and sovereignty. Now, I had accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days, and by reading God’s word, I came to realize that people’s destinies are ordained by God. What kind of life my parents and family had in the future and whether they had a good fate was also in God’s hands, these were God’s arrangements, and I couldn’t change them. People should accept God’s sovereignty and obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements. After I understood this, although I saw my parents cry for me, I was much calmer. At the same time, I also realized that to come before God, perform one’s duty as a created being, preach the gospel, and testify to God, is the most meaningful and valuable life one can live. Even if my parents didn’t understand me now, I could not give up my duty so easily. No matter what happened, I wanted to entrust everything to God and rely on God to move forward.
So, I made up my mind to follow God and perform my duty wholeheartedly, and to give up my studies. First, I messaged my teacher about my decision. The teacher was very surprised, and asked me, “Why are you making this choice? Is it a question of money?” He also told me that there was a university funding program, a very rare opportunity, and that he wanted to help me. He also said he would like to meet and talk with me, but I had made up my mind, so I didn’t see him or call him back. The teacher sent me another letter. He wanted to know the reason for my choice. Looking at the teacher’s letter, I hesitated, but in the end, I didn’t reply. I thought of a passage of Almighty God’s words, “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 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). God’s word made me understand that these were Satan’s temptations. When I decided to follow God and do my duty, Satan knew I still had the desire to pursue money, prestige, and fortune, so it used these to deceive me and try to make me give up my duty. I thought of Job’s temptation by his wife to deny God’s name. Outwardly, it looked like people talking to Job, but behind it was Satan fighting against God. Then I thought outwardly, it seemed my teacher was trying to keep me enrolled and introduce a project to me, but it was Satan’s tricks behind it. God wanted to bring me back to the right track in life. Satan was tempting me to rebel against God by all means, but I couldn’t let myself be deceived. I had to rely on God to experience this environment. So, I prayed to God, “God! Please give me faith and remove my mistaken desires. At this critical time, I want to testify to You.” After I prayed like this, I felt very secure. Two days later, I texted the teacher to tell him this was my final choice and I couldn’t continue my research. After I sent the message, I felt an immense sense of relief, and I felt very relaxed. After that, I stopped thinking about these things. I only thought about how to preach the gospel with my brothers and sisters and do my duty well.
After a few months, I told my parents that I wouldn’t continue my studies, and that God’s work was about to conclude, so I had to hurry and spread the gospel, so that more people could accept God’s salvation. They didn’t understand, but when they saw I had made up my mind to believe in God and do my duty, they didn’t say much else. In the process of doing my duty, I gradually realized by doing our duties, we can gain more of the truth, and truth is the most valuable thing in life. Once I had this understanding, I was more willing to do my duty, I had fewer and fewer worries about my family and future, and I learned to leave everything in God’s hands and let God orchestrate and arrange things. Now, I only think about how to spread God’s gospel of the last days to more people, so that those who live under Satan’s dominion, and who are fooled and harmed by Satan can hear God’s voice, return to God, and gain God’s salvation in the last days.