Triumph at Every Step Under the Guidance of God’s Word
Yili United States
I was born in a Chinese family. When I was young, my grandmother often took me to the church to attend gatherings and sing hymns to praise God. Later, only as I grew up did I gradually understand that the Lord’s love for man was faithful, and that the Lord’s word was possessed of authority and power and could bring hope for man. Whenever I sang hymns or prayed to the Lord, I would feel ease and peace within. In 2007, I moved to the United States. In October, 2010, I received baptism in the church, and started serving the Lord. At that time I was fervent within. As I lived far away from the church, every time when there was a gathering I had to take the subway to the church at 5 a.m. Still I felt sweetness inside, thinking it was all worthy as long as I could satisfy the Lord. At that time I took part in everything of the church, whether big or small, and I was often particularly enlightened when reading the . However, a few years later, somehow, I became sleepy once I listened to sermons, had no apparent enlightenment when reading the Bible, and often felt weak and down in my spirit. The pastors of the church talked the same platitudes without any new light. Every time after the gathering, my brothers and sisters would talk about matters that had nothing to do with believing in the Lord. Some sold insurance, some introduced boyfriends or girlfriends, and some talked about traveling…. I couldn’t help recalling what was recorded in the Bile: At the end of the Age of Law when the Lord came to do His work, people were selling oxen, sheep, and doves in the temple. The walked into the temple and, seeing this, overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of the dove sellers, and rebuked them for turning the temple where people worshiped God into a den of thieves. Nowadays seeing the church become just like the temple of that time, I felt very distressed and helpless within. I couldn’t figure out why the church was like this. I often went before the Lord and cried, “O Lord! Where are You? The church is no longer a church. People all worship You only with their lips and their hearts are far away from You. Everything they have done is not approved by You. Lord, where are You? When will You return and receive us? …”
Just when I was in distress and confusion, I was acquainted with a sister, and she witnessed the work of of the last days to me. Not until hearing her fellowship of Almighty did I realize that the reason why the church was desolate and people were cold in faith was that long ago God had done a new work, work of judging and cleansing people of the last days. The work of the had been transferred, so the church was in chaos. The sister talked from the significance of God’s work during the Age of Law in the Old Testament to the significance of the Lord Jesus’ work of crucifixion, and then to the results that Almighty God’s work of judgment during the last days would achieve. She explained every step of God’s work in a very thorough manner with solid evidences in the Bible, and made me fully convinced. So I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. In August of 2012, I started living the church life. Gradually I felt no more thirst in my spirit. Three months later, in order to make more people return to God’s throne, I started to cooperate in preaching the to the brothers and sisters in my former church. However, I received sieges from my families who believed in the Lord and from the pastors and preachers of the church. Thanks to the guidance of , I overcame Satan’s temptations step by step and stood firm in my testimony to God.
One day in January, 2013, I took Sister Liu of to Sister XX, who was in my former church, to preach the gospel to her. When we were fellowshiping, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law rushed in. My mother-in-law pointed to Sister Liu with her finger and shouted, “What are you doing here? Why are you stealing sheep from our church? …” For the moment, I was astonished by this unexpected scene. I couldn’t figure out why my mother-in-law, who had believed in the Lord for many years and was always kind, suddenly became like this. In order to let Sister Liu keep on witnessing God’s work of the last days to Sister XX, I hurriedly persuaded my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and brought them home. After getting home, my mother-in-law said angrily, “If Sister XX’s mother hadn’t called me, I wouldn’t have known that you went to her home to preach the gospel. The preachers and co-workers in the church said believing in Almighty God was straying from the Lord Jesus. The pastors have believed in the Lord for decades; do they not know much more than you? Could they deceive us? You are too young and lacking in experience. You have taken the wrong way.” Hearing her words, I thought of the words I had read in the meeting concerning the truth about “The Difference Between Following God and Following People.” Almighty God says, “for where there are the new words of God, there is the voice of God, and where there are the footsteps of God, there are the deeds of God. Where there is the expression of God, there is the appearance of God, and where there is the appearance of God, there exists the truth, the way, and the life” (“The Appearance of God Has Brought a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Those who do not understand the truth always follow others: If people say that this is the work of the Holy Spirit, then you, too, say it is the work of the Holy Spirit; if people say it is the work of an evil spirit, then you, too, become doubtful, or also say it is the work of an evil spirit. You always parrot the words of others, and are incapable of distinguishing anything by yourself, nor are you able to think for yourself. This is someone without a position, who is unable to differentiate—such a person is a worthless wretch!” (“Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words I realized that if one wanted to follow God he must seek the truth, and that where there is the expression of the truth there is the work of God. I had seen the word expressed by Almighty God was all the truth that couldn’t be spoken by any person. God’s words also told me to have my own views, not to repeat what others said especially when it came to the matter of investigating the true way. My mother-in-law didn’t seek or investigate in person but complied with the pastors blindly; was she not following people? This kind of practice wasn’t in accordance with God’s intention. So I said to my mother-in-law, “Mom, I have made a careful investigation. From the words of Almighty God, I’m sure that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. Jehovah set forth laws in the Age of Law, the Lord Jesus redeemed mankind in the Age of Grace, and Almighty God does the work of judgment during the last days. These three stages of work are different work done by one God in different ages, and the aim of the three stages of work is to save mankind. So accepting the work of Almighty God is following the footsteps of the Lamb rather than betraying the Lord Jesus. It is just as when the Lord Jesus came to do His work; His followers not only didn’t betray Jehovah but rather kept pace with God’s work. It is the same with today. Almighty God has done a stage of work of judgment beginning with the house of God on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work. Accepting God’s work of the last day is exactly following the newest work of God. How could we say it is a betrayal of the Lord? Mom, faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of the Christ. We shouldn’t believe the pastors blindly. We should investigate it before we can discern the true way from the false way. Moreover, when we don’t understand, we should have a heart that reveres God and not sin through our words in case we become the Pharisees of modern times …” Just when I said this, my mother-in-law interrupted me and said, “What? Did you say I am a Pharisee? As early as 1997 I heard the Church of Almighty God witnessed that the Lord Jesus had come back and did the work of judgment of the last days. But the pastors and elders said this way was wrong. So you should give up your belief in it. If you insist on believing in Almighty God, then we will end our relations, my son will have to divorce you, and you shall leave without carrying anything….” My sister-in-law also accused me. I felt scared and sad within, so I prayed to God unceasingly, “O God, You know I am of little stature. Now I am afraid that my mother-in-law will act according to what she said. O God, I am very weak. May You give me faith and strength, and make me know Your will and stand firm in my testimony to You.” After the prayer, my heart calmed down a lot. Then I recalled the words in the Bible, “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes” (Revelation 14:4), and the lyrics of a hymn, “Don’t be disheartened, don’t be weak. God will reveal to you, God will reveal to you. The road to His kingdom can’t all be smooth sailing. You want to breeze your way to blessings? Nothing comes that easily! Everyone today must be tried by suffering, or else your love for God won’t strengthen, and your love for God won’t be real, won’t be real. Even if it’s a little bit of a situation, everyone, everyone has to go through it. It’s just to different extents. Oh, your situation is . How many, how many often kneel before God to seek His blessing?” (“Suffering Is God’s Blessing” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). At this thought, I understood that there was God’s permission when the matter came upon me. Through the words of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law, God was testing if I still had the faith in following Him. The way of believing in God is full of hardships. Since I was certain this was the true way, no matter how many hardships and obstacles there would be, I should follow God and keep going along this way. This was what a Christian should abide by. After understanding God’s will, I felt ease within, and told myself in my heart, “Never give up the chance to pursue the truth just because of the physical suffering, and much less miss this rare opportunity of being saved by God for the sake of a peaceful family.” With the faith given by God’s words, I made the resolution: No matter how my mother-in-law and sister-in-law hinder me and resist Almighty God, I will follow Almighty God to the end.
After that, word came to the pastors that I had believed in Almighty God. A pastor and a preacher got very angry when they saw I, together with the sisters of the Church of Almighty God, set up a stall and preached the gospel. Since then, they often came to my house to lecture me. My life was disturbed and troubled, and I felt painful within. One day, the preacher came to my home again and said, “Sister, you must come back as soon as possible. How could a smart person like you be stolen? You should have discernment….” The other co-worker said, “Indeed, the good sheep in the church have all been stolen. The people of the Church of Almighty God are really powerful! They only steal the good sheep.” I cried out to God to help me in my heart. Then I said, “Brothers, if you want to seek the way of Almighty God, I am glad to discuss and fellowship with you. I can also invite the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God to our church to witness God’s work of the last days, so that all the brothers and sisters can listen and see if Almighty God’s word is the utterance of God. But if you still want to persuade me to give up believing in Almighty God, then you don’t need to say anymore.” The preacher immediately used my words against me, “You said Almighty God’s word is the word of God; do you have any evidence? How do you know it is God’s word?” I said, “When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, He didn’t say He was God. The people who followed the Lord at that time had a pure and seeking heart, so they gained the enlightenment from the Holy Spirit and recognized that the word of the Lord Jesus is the truth. For example, both Nathanael and the Samaritan woman recognized that Jesus was the coming Messiah from His word, and then followed the Lord Jesus. So today when hearing someone preaching the gospel, we should seek and investigate, seeing if it is God’s utterance. I have read many of the words of Almighty God and found they indeed are not spoken by any man. Almighty God’s words can disclose and judge the substance and truth of man’s corruption, tell man’s deviations in their belief in God, and point out the right way for man, letting them know what to do to satisfy God’s will. After reading Almighty God’s words, I am no longer thirsty in my spirit, and have recovered the faith that I had when believing in the Lord Jesus at first. Who could possess such power except God Himself?” Seeing I couldn’t be persuaded, the preacher said many words in exasperation that condemned Almighty God, but I refuted them all according to Almighty God’s words. In the end, I said, “It is recorded in the Bible, ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7). If there is someone preaching the gospel of the Lord’s return and you don’t listen or study but condemn it at will, it’s not in accordance with the Lord’s teaching, and also you will offend God’s disposition. Just like the Pharisees of that time, you will be nailing God to the cross again.” When I said that, I saw sweat broke out on the face of the preacher. At that time, my old granny was sitting nearby, and she said, “You won’t be able to persuade her. The way she believes in now is really high.” Seeing what I said was irrefutable, they left exasperatedly.