By Yang Laidi I’m Yang Laidi, sixty-two years old this year. In 1985, because my husband had health problems, our […]
Breaking Out of the Cocoon
My whole family believed in the Lord in the Head Covering Church. I was an ordinary believer, and my father was a junior leader. In February 2004, I accepted ’s work of the last days, and then I took Sister Zhang of to preach the kingdom to my youngest sister. I had planned to preach it to my father after I equipped myself with enough words of God. But unexpectedly, he soon learned that I had accepted the kingdom gospel, and started to disturb me frantically.
One late afternoon, my father rushed to my house and said to me angrily, “I never expected that you would believe in the . You’ve taken the wrong way. … Go to the church quickly and repent before the leader, and ask the Lord to forgive your sin.” I said, “Dad, I’m not on the wrong way. I have read many of Almighty and recognized they are truly God’s voice. Almighty God is exactly the returned . The Age of Grace has passed. Now is the Age of Kingdom, and God has come to do new work. Doesn’t the say, ‘These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes’ (Revelation 14:4)? I have kept pace with the Lord’s footsteps….” Whatever I said, however, my father just wouldn’t listen. He insisted on me going to the leader to explain myself, and my husband stood beside him stoking the tension. I thought to myself, “It seems that my father won’t be satisfied until I go to the church.” I prayed in my heart, asking God to protect me. Then my husband drove me together with my father to a meeting place on his instructions. About sixty or seventy people were there, including my youngest sister, who was brought there by her mother-in-law. A senior leader came to my sister and me, spoke many blasphemies against Almighty God and slandered His Church. His words, so horrible, hit me like a ton of bricks and sent a chill down my spine. I got confused and thought, “I haven’t attended meetings for a few years, and I’m certainly ill-informed. Since the leader is a servant of the Lord who shepherds the church, he is unlikely to cheat us. Have I really been deceived?” Finally, my father and my sister’s mother-in-law forced my sister and me to close our eyes and asked the leader to for the Lord Jesus to forgive our sin. While the leader was praying, my sister and I didn’t pray and remained silent. …
After I returned home that evening, I considered the words of the leader and recalled the days of my contact with Sister Zhang, who was not at all like what the leader said. I also turned over the words of Almighty God in my mind, feeling that they indeed couldn’t be spoken by man. The positive and negative thoughts kept recurring to me, and I tossed and turned in bed, unable to fall asleep. When I got up next morning, I felt dazed and distressed. I didn’t feel like eating breakfast and had no heart to do anything. Owing to my poor sleep the night before, I got into bed after lunch, and my youngest sister came when I had just lain down. She said, “We’ve been deceived. We are believing in a wrong way. So just back out.” I said, “I have read through The Scroll Opened by the Lamb several times. The word of Almighty God is indeed God’s voice, and Almighty God is really the Lord Jesus we’ve been yearning for. I don’t think we are on the wrong path.” Then my sister left as she couldn’t persuade me. I thought, “It is absolutely true that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. But what explains those things the leader said about the Eastern Lightning?” While I was thinking of this, my husband told me that my father called and asked me to go to meet him at once. I knew he would interfere with me again, so I didn’t want to go, but my husband pushed me into his car forcefully. When I got to my parents’ home, I found my youngest sister and her mother-in-law were also there. Upon seeing me, my father said sulkily, “… Yesterday evening the leader prayed to the Lord Jesus for the forgiveness of your sin, but you haven’t confessed and repented for your own. Today you are invited here to pray and fully repent before the Lord and promise Him that you will no longer believe in Almighty God. Only in this way will the Lord forgive your sin.” I thought to myself, “I’ve kept up with God’s work by accepting Almighty God. What sin have I committed?” I refused to pray and repent. Then my father, my sister’s mother-in-law, and my mother all jumped at me. They also exaggerated those dreadful rumors about the Eastern Lightning and slandered and blasphemed Almighty God. My head was already groggy due to the poor sleep in the night, and their threats left it even more so. I felt tired out, and gradually didn’t know my own mind. I thought, “It seems that if I don’t make a prayer of repentance, they simply won’t give over. Their continuous disturbance is just killing me. Oh! I’d better continue to believe in the Lord Jesus lest I suffer this.” When they saw I still didn’t pray, they assailed me again and even forced my sister and me to close our eyes and pray and repent. Facing their aggressive behavior, I couldn’t restrain my tears any longer. I closed my eyes and prayed to the Lord Jesus in tears, “O Lord Jesus! I know Almighty God is You who have come back, but now I don’t dare to believe in Almighty God. I beg You to pardon me and forgive my sin …” I choked and couldn’t go on. After the prayer, I suddenly felt so weak that I didn’t have any strength or faith within. I said to my sister, “Before I prayed, I still had some strength, but after the prayer, I felt all my strength was gone abruptly, as if the forsook me. Actually, Almighty God is our longed-for Lord Jesus. We shouldn’t have prayed and repented; that is betraying God.”
Although I had prayed the prayer of repentance, in my heart the struggle never stopped. I thought, “I have read so many words from Almighty God, and I am certain they are the utterances of God and that the Lord Jesus has truly come back. If I reject Almighty God, I will not only miss the salvation but even be condemned by the Lord. But if I insist on believing in Almighty God, the leader and my parents won’t let me go, and I won’t have a peaceful life.” I was also afraid that the rumors my parents and the leader spread about the Eastern Lightning were true. I was terribly upset and in a quandary about what to do, and my head ringing. I really couldn’t bear it and my nerves were almost in shreds. I said to myself, “I might as well return the book of and the hymn book to Sister Zhang when she comes next time, and then I will be free from such pain and trouble.”
A few days later, Sister Zhang came to water me at my shop. I was nervous, dreading that my husband would see her and tell it to my father. I poured out to her all that had happened to me during those few days, and then quickly took out the book of God’s word and the hymn book from under the goods and gave them to her, saying, “Sister, the disturbance of my parents and husband and the rumors they spread about the Eastern Lightning have torn my hair out and overwhelmed me. It’s better for me to continue my belief in the Lord Jesus. Take away the books, please.” Sister Zhang said to me earnestly, “Sister, each time God carries out His work, the religious leaders use rumors to deceive and control God’s chosen people and oppose God’s work. At that time when the Lord Jesus worked, the Jewish chief priests, the scribes, and the Pharisees used the rumors to deceive people. They said that the Lord Jesus drove out demons by Beelzebub, the prince of the devils, and was a glutton and drunkard. After the Lord Jesus was resurrected, they bought off the soldiers and asked them to spread the word that His body had been stolen by His disciples. Their very purpose was to prevent the Jews from coming before the Lord Jesus. Similarly, today the religious leaders purposely use the rumors to deceive and control people, prevent the believers from receiving God’s salvation, and disturb and impair God’s work. Your parents and husband disturbed you because of the rumors spread by the leader, and they are victims too….” I knew what Sister Zhang said was all true, but I hung back and didn’t dare to keep the books in case my father kicked up turmoil at my home. Seeing me in a dilemma, Sister Zhang gave me a phone number and said, “All right, sister, I’ll take the books away and keep them for you. When you want to read them, call me, and I will bring them back to you right away.” I agreed and walked her to the door. Then my husband came bowling over and pointed at Sister Zhang shouting, “Go away quickly with the books. Never come again, or I won’t be easy on you!” Sister Zhang left with the books reluctantly. Looking at her receding figure, I felt an inexplicable poignancy.
I had imagined that after I returned the books, I could resume my former peaceful life since my father wouldn’t come to disturb me. But, on the contrary, I felt a nameless emptiness inside and didn’t have a clue how to deal with things properly. God’s words and the hymns recurred to me now and then, and the leader’s words and the scenes of my father and others disturbing and besieging me also often flashed in my mind. I struggled in agony, as if I had fallen into an abyss and were unable to climb out of it no matter how hard I tried. I was in a daze all day, my head almost splitting. I had no appetite, slept badly and couldn’t bear the mental stress, so that I wasted away. In agony, I thought of praying. I knelt down and called out to God, “The only true God who created the heavens and earth and all things, I’m suffering terribly in my heart and feel perplexed now. I know Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, but my stature is too small, and I am timid and fearful at the thought of my father and others’ disturbance and siege. O God, I am at a crossroads, not knowing what course to take. I ask You to guide and lead me….” During prayer, I unknowingly thought of God’s words: “Do not fear this or that. No matter how many difficulties and dangers there are, you should be stable before Me and not be hindered by anything, letting My will be carried out smoothly. … Remove your fear. I am your rear guard, so who can block the way? Remember! Remember!” (“The Tenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words of God gave me strength. “That’s right! With God as my rear guard, what do I have to fear? Since I am certain that this is the true way, I should not be restrained by anyone; I should break through the forces of darkness and follow God unflinchingly.” Thinking of this, I immediately took out Sister Zhang’s phone number from the drawer and called her. She agreed to bring the books to me at a certain place.
After I got the books back, I read God’s words and sang hymns with avidity when my husband was out. The more I read, the more I felt gratified, and the more I sang, the more I felt joyful. I was very happy. My former faith returned to me, and my distress disappeared completely. Three months later, Sister Zhang took me to the meetings of the Church of Almighty God.