What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
The Bumpy Road of Returning to God – Christian Testimony
By Lili, Hong Kong
Nearly nine years passed after I first heard the Lord’ in 2007. During these years, I often read the , but I didn’t gain much knowledge of the Lord and remained puzzled about many scriptures. Besides, I was unable to free myself from the friction with my families. However, the pastor couldn’t provide me with any solution to these problems. I often felt distressed about that. So I came before the Lord and prayed to Him, “Oh, Lord, I can’t get released from sin by myself. I often lose my temper because of some family trifles. I know You are not pleased with this, but I always fail to change it. Lord, I really want to know You, but I don’t know what I should do. Please send someone who is devout and truly knows You to lead me so that I can know You.” Miraculously, the Lord listened to my prayer. Not long after that, I experienced His guidance.
One day in February 2017, Sister Zi’en of our church called me. She invited me to tea and said she would introduce a sister who knew the Bible well to me. It’s rare to meet someone who knows the Bible well, so I asked the sister many questions about the scriptures that I longed to understand, such as, why the Bible says five virgins out of ten can meet the Lord while the other five cannot, what is the inner meaning of Matthew 7:21: “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven.” And so on. The sister explained them clearly one by one, and her answers were very beneficial to me.
So, after several meetings with the sister, I understood many truths that I didn’t understand before in the church. She also shared with me the prophecies in the Book of Revelation, and testified thatis the return of the and that the word expressed by Almighty God is the little scroll opened in the last days. Although I had many doubts about that in my heart, I thought: If it were not for God’s enlightenment, no one would know these mysteries, and the sister would not answer the question so clearly either, which even the pastor can’t answer.
Later, the sister lent me a gospel book. This book has answers to many questions, and these questions were what I had never thought about before. I finished this book soon, and I went to the Internet and watched many gospel videos of in the last days.. They resolved a lot of my doubts. I thought it was impossible for a man to answer so many questions about the truth. So I made certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus’ appearance in the last days. Through having meetings with the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God, I also gained some knowledge of God’s work of judging and purifying man
One day, my husband suddenly said to me, “Do you know the? I heard when people believe in the Eastern Lightning, they will abandon their family. It doesn’t matter whether you care about me or not, but you ought to consider our daughter. There’s much more negative propaganda on the Internet about the Eastern Lightning, saying that they have strayed from the Bible. You have always known the Bible well, but how can you be so confused this time?” Hearing his words, I realized that my husband had believed the negative propaganda on the Internet. But thank God! His words didn’t have any influence on me. Because through my reading during these days, I saw that all of God’s words tell us to live out the likeness of a real man. They are all the truth and contain nothing negative at all. Reading God’s words made me have the resolution to walk the path of believing in God and following Him. Besides, both God’s words and various kinds of videos on the website of the Church of Almighty God touched my heart deeply. Especially the debates about the truths in the movies didn’t stray from the Bible to any degree, which utterly convinced me. So I made certain that all the negative propaganda on the Internet were slanders and rumors.
But that was not all of it. One night several days later, my husband had another talk with me after he came back from work. He said, “You’ve taken the wrong path. It’s not too late to turn back now.” Then he went on saying something more to oppose my belief in Almighty God. I retorted him, “What’s of God will increase and what’s of man will decrease. Only the true God dares to let His work be published on the Internet for all people to seek and investigate. So many truths expressed by God have been put on the Internet, but you don’t seek or investigate; you only believe what some people say and blindly follow them to condemn it. Aren’t you listening only to one side? Aren’t you foolishly following others?” But he didn’t take them in at all. Seeing that he couldn’t persuade me, he tried another way and said, “We’d better not believe in God.” At that time, I thought of 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 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” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God”).
God’s words enlightened me and I realized: The reason why my husband opposes me is that Satan is making a bet with God behind the scene. Satan wants to use my husband to hinder me from coming before God. I can’t fall prey to Satan’s trick. So I said, “You go to church for seeking God, don’t you? Now that God has returned, why don’t you seek Him? If you want to believe in Almighty God, we can investigate together. If you don’t seek, then we each go our own way.” When my husband saw that there was nothing he can do on me, he threatened that he would call the police to arrest the sister who preached the gospel to me. Hearing what he said, I was very angry. I said, “Are you still a believer in God? Don’t you know how many believers have been persecuted by Chinese government? As a believer in God, how can you hand over brothers and sisters to Satan? What’s the difference between you and Judas, the betrayer of the Lord?” After he saw that I was really angry, he said, “Someone told me to use this way to tempt you. They said those who believe in Almighty God all abandon their families. I’m afraid that you won’t want our family either.” Then I said to him solemnly, “I won’t do that. If you don’t do anything that opposes God, our family will only get better, because God’s words are meant to allow us to live out the likeness of a real man.” Seeing my firm attitude, he knew that he had no other way to convince me. So he told it to the pastor and asked him to persuade me.
A few days later, I received the phone call from the pastor. He wanted to see me. I told it to Sister Zi’en. She said, “God’s words have already revealed that most pastors and elders in the religious world are opposers of God. God started this stage of work more than twenty years ago, and the pastors and elders of all sects and denominations have long ago heard about it. However, most of them not only do not seek or investigate it, but also hinder the believers from investigating the true way so as to preserve their position and job. Your stature is small now, and you don’t have discernment about their substance. So you’d better not go to see him at present.” But I had suspicions about her words: Is it true? The pastors and elders are all the ones who believe in God and serve God. There’s no reason for them not to accept God. Before I go to see the pastor, he called me again and arranged a time to meet me, and the second day he called me one more time to remind me. After a series of calls from the pastor urging me to meet him, I could not help but become afraid. My heart thumped violently, and I thought: I’m finished this time. What if the pastor, like what the sister said, really hinder me from accepting Almighty God? If he asked many people to go to meet me along with him, can I deal with them? What if I don’t know how to answer his questions? And I was even more afraid that I might say something wrong that humiliates God because I lack wisdom. … So before I left, I came before God and prayed to Him, “God, I’m going to see the pastor. But my stature is small, and I understand too little about the truth. I don’t know what to say. I ask You guide me to speak the words that should be spoken to testify to You through my mouth, and may You give me wisdom so that the words I speak can honor You.”
As soon as we met, the pastor said, “I heard that you have believed in Almighty God, is it real?” I answered, “Yes!” He said, “How long have you believed? When did you begin?” I said to him, “It has been almost nine years since I came to our church. But, actually all I have heard are superficial things; I can’t receive any life supply here, and I know little about God after so many years of believing in Him. However, when I went to listen to the sermons of the Church of Almighty God, I felt so good, and they are all the truth. They can clearly explain all the truths that I didn’t understand when I read the Bible in the past, which have enabled me to have a greater knowledge of God. That’s what I want to hear. So I make certain that this is the very work done by the returned Lord Jesus.” The pastor said seriously, “Do you know you have taken the wrong path?” I asked him in return, “You say that believing in Almighty God is going the wrong way. Have you read the words of Almighty God?” He answered, “No.” His answer reminded me of a movie “The City Will Be Overthrown,” in which two passages of God’s words say: “Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God” (“All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God”).
“Such a person always retains hostility against the new work of God, shows no intent to submit, and has never gladly obeyed or humbled himself. He exalts himself before others and never submits to another. Before God, he considers himself the most proficient in preaching the word and most skillful in working on others. … They became ‘king’ in the house of God, acting tyrannically through the ages. These demons seek to join hands and together destroy My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before Me?” (“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God”). And I also thought of what the sister had fellowshiped with me, and realized that it was really the case. I thought: As a shepherd, you have never investigated the words of Almighty God, then how can you say it is a false way? Not only do you have no intention to seek, but also you want to hinder me from investigating it. Aren’t you, as revealed in God’s words, the stumbling block that impedes the path of those who seek God?
The pastor continued to ask me, “Is it because what I’m doing not good enough? Or some brothers and sisters in the church are not good to you? Or some other causes that make you go to another church? …” I said, “Pastor, don’t talk about emotional things with me. Since we are believers in God, we should seek God in everything. I know I didn’t do many things well previously. I would lose my temper when something didn’t go the way I wanted it to; I would knowingly do the wrong things and say something that hurt others. But I can’t control myself. I was not satisfied with my husband all along. I complained that he didn’t fulfill the responsibility as a husband and father. I really hated him at that time. As a believer in the Lord for many years, I knew that didn’t please the Lord, for the Lord told us to be tolerant and patient, but I was unable to do it. However, after I have believed in Almighty God, I know the root of man’s sins from Almighty God’s words: Although we are no longer of sin after the Lord’s redemption, we still have the root of sin inside ourselves. We always put self first when encountering things, and the nature of every one of us is corrupt and selfish. Reading Almighty God’s words allows me to know what a corrupt disposition is, how to seek the truth, and how to act not according to my corrupt nature. Now I don’t complain about my husband anymore and feel released in my heart. For I understand from Almighty God’s words that he is also fooled by Satan and he cannot control his corrupt behaviors.” The pastor still tried some other ways to make me return to the church. He said, “If you insist on believing in Almighty God, we will hold the deacon meeting to remove your membership.” Hearing his words, I thought of the sister’s fellowship: Most pastors and elders are in essence hostile to God. They merely cared about their positions and jobs, and they don’t care about the believers’ life at all. So I said to him, “Do as you like. I come to the church to believe in God. Now that God has returned, of course I should follow Him. I’ve already found Him now. The membership makes no difference to me.” After that, I left with my husband.
On the way home, my husband said to me, “Now you are really something, and every word you said was reasonable. You simply didn’t give face to the pastor.” I answered him, “What I said are all facts. As a pastor, he doesn’t seek when he heard that the Lord has returned, and he only listens to negative propaganda. Is he right?” … My husband knew that I wouldn’t go back to the former church no matter what he did, so he gave up hindering me.
Thank Almighty God! Through the hindrance of my family and the pastor, I experienced God’s guidance in a practical way, and appreciated His love and salvation for me. Now whenever I’m free, I read God’s words eagerly, and if I come across anything that I do not understand, I will seek together with brothers and sisters in the meeting. I truly enjoyed the personal guidance of God and have a feeling of being face to face with God. All the glory be to Almighty God!