I’m a Christian. If you ask me, “Have you experienced any suffering in your course of believing in God?” I’ll say, “Yes, I experienced the persecution of my family.” It is a problem that many Christian may encounter; it is also the greatest suffering I have experienced so far.
The First Argument
In March, 2015, I had the fortune to accept God’s work in the last days. Through a period of investigation, I affirmed that all the words Almighty God expresses are the truth, and that only by following God and practicing His words can we be freed of various corrupt satanic dispositions, live out the likeness of a true man and walk on the right path of human life. In the church, I often had fellowships with my brothers and sisters and we shared our experience and knowledge of God’s words together. Through this I had some understanding of God’s work and His management plan to save mankind, and my heart felt particular enjoyment. However, just as I was immersed in God’s love, the temptations of Satan came upon me.
One day, when my husband came home after work, he found that I was listening to some hymns of God’s words on my cell phone while cooking in the kitchen, then he turned it off and aggressively said, “Do you know what church you are believing in?” I was cowed by his abrupt question since I had never seen him get so angry before for all these years of our marriage. So, I hurriedly asked him, “What’s wrong with you? Why are you so angry, what happened?” He said heatedly, “I’ve searched The Church of Almighty God on the Internet. From now on you are no longer allowed to have meetings with people from it.” At that moment, I recalled that after I believed in God, my relationship with my sister-in-law became more and more harmonious and I was no longer prejudiced toward her because of some small matters like I had before. My husband was happy to see this and also supported my faith in God. But why did he change so quickly after seeing the negative propaganda on the Internet? Just as I was confused, 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.” It turned out that in such an environment, from the outside it was my husband opposing my faith in God after he saw the negative propaganda, but actually behind the scene it was Satan’s interference befalling me; God’s intention was to see whether I could stand testimony for Him in this environment.
I prayed silently to God in my heart: “God, I know that negative propaganda isn’t a fact. How should I fellowship with him? I’m begging you to give me wisdom.” Then I restrained the feelings of nervousness I had inside, struggling to compose myself and saying, “I don’t know what did you see on the Internet, but please don’t be so quick to judge. In these days when I got together with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, all we did was fellowship the truth, pursue to know God and practice to be an honest person as God requires; when someone had difficulties, others would support and help them. We were like a family. Our worshiping God together is walking the right path of life.” Seeing that I didn’t listen to him, my husband said angrily, “It’s only you who are easy to be deceived!” Then he went into our room.
After dinner, we went back to our room for a rest. My husband asked me to watch a video of an interview. It claimed that after people believed in Almighty God, their family might be torn apart because they often went out to spread the gospel, not caring about their families. I felt those viewpoints were so absurd that I said indignantly to him when only half of the video was played, “These are slander and rumors, they are distorting the truth. Before I believed in God, not only was I unable to get along with my sister-in-law, I also always asked too much of you. Once you didn’t obey me, I would give you the cold shoulder until you coaxed me. Now I believe in God, I conduct myself according to God’s words, and our family doesn’t separate but instead becomes more and more harmonious. I’ve experienced that God’s work is too practical and can save me and transform me. As a created being who has enjoyed God’s love, I should bear witness to God’s work for more people who are still living in darkness and longing for God’s appearance. This is my duty and mission; this is a glorious thing. Through the ages, those apostles who followed God left their families and careers to spread the Lord’s gospel, bringing the gospel to all the countries in the world. Could it be that they abandoned their families? Actually, expending for God to spread His gospel is the most righteous and glorious thing. Likewise, if nobody spreads God’s work of the last days, how can we gain God’s salvation?” To my surprise, my husband just wouldn’t listen to anything I said and he was very angry then. He warned me that I wasn’t allowed to go to The Church of Almighty God in the future and urged me to return the book of God’s words to the church.
The Negative Propaganda Provoked a Conflict Again
After that, my husband saw that his words couldn’t change my mind, so he simply stopped going to work and would stay at home to keep an eye on me. He wouldn’t let me have meetings, read God’s words, or contact my brothers and sisters, and he even took my cell phone away. At night he forced me to read the negative propaganda online, but I refuted them one by one. After he found what I said was reasonable and irrefutable, he was not as agitated as before. But still he believed that there is no smoke without fire, and said, “Since The Church of Almighty God is that good, why does it not open to all like the grand churches?”
Seeing that he was so stubborn and couldn’t distinguish right from wrong, I was annoyed. But because of my inadequate understanding of truths, I didn’t know how to use the truth to refute his viewpoints; all I wanted to do was to quickly fellowship with my brothers and sisters. But now he kept an eye on me all day long and followed after me wherever I went. I wanted to cry but had no tears, not knowing when I could have meetings with my brothers and sisters again. I missed the church life with them so much. Now, I not only was watched by my husband without a bit of freedom, but I also had to listen to the negative things that came out from his mouth. I was in agony and really didn’t know how long such life would last. Every time I had to hide myself in the bathroom to pray so that he would not see me. Those days I often prayed to God in tears, “O God, facing such an environment, I feel so weak. Believing in You and worshiping You is the law of heaven and earth, but now, because of the online negative propaganda, it becomes so hard for me to believe in You and follow You. God, I’m begging you to give me faith and strength so that I could be strong in spirit. May You lead me to know how to deal with my husband’s obstructions. May You give me wisdom and grant me the words I should speak so that I can use the truth to counterattack Satan’s tricks, letting him know that my taking the path of believing in God is right.”
Why Does God Do His Work in Secret
Thank God for His enlightenment, that I had an inspiration: In order to make my husband lay aside his suspicion, I enrolled in some classes. He thought that I went out every day to attend classes, so he went back to work. Before long, my brothers and sisters learned of my situation so they found a place near my house to have meetings with me. I told my sisters about my problems, and we prayed and sought the truth together. They read me a passage of God’s words, “All of this work is carried out in your midst and opened up only to you; none among the unbelievers knows of this, for the time has not yet come. These people here are near to being made complete after enduring chastisements, but those on the outside know nothing of this. This work is much too hidden! To them, God become flesh is hidden, but to those in this stream, one can say that He is open. Although in God all is open, all is revealed, and all is set free, this is only true for those who believe in Him; as far as the rest, the unbelievers, are concerned, nothing is made known. The work being carried out here now is strictly closed in order to keep them from knowing. Should they become aware of this work, then all they would do is condemn it and subject it to persecution. They would not believe in it. To work in the nation of the great red dragon, this most backward of places, is no easy task. If this work were to be put out into the open, it would be impossible to continue. This stage of work simply cannot be carried out in this place. If this work were to be carried out in the open, how could they allow it to go forward? Would this not put the work under even greater risk? If this work were not concealed, but rather carried out as in the time of Jesus, when He spectacularly healed the sick and cast out demons, then would it not have long ago been ‘taken prisoner’ by the devils? Would they be able to tolerate the existence of God? If I were to now enter into the halls to preach and lecture man, then would I not have long ago been dashed to pieces? And if this had happened, how could My work have continued to be carried out? The reason that no signs and wonders are openly manifested at all is for the sake of concealment. So, to unbelievers, My work cannot be seen, known, or discovered. If this stage of work were to be done in the same manner as that of Jesus in the Age of Grace, it could not be so steady as it now is. So, to work secretly in this way is of benefit to you and to the work as a whole. When God’s work on earth comes to an end, that is, when this secret work concludes, then this stage of work will explode into the open. All will know that there are a group of overcomers in China; all will know that God become flesh is in China and that His work has come to an end.”
A sister fellowshiped, “Think back to the Age of Grace: When King Herod learned that the Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem, because he was afraid of losing his throne, he killed all the male babies two years old and younger in Bethlehem. As we can see, people don’t know God, much less do they welcome God’s arrival; they are all resisting God.
“Later on, the Lord Jesus began to perform His ministry, preaching and spreading the gospel openly in various places. While He worked in public, He also did some work in secret. For example, Matthew 8:4 says: ‘And Jesus said to him, “See you tell no man; but go your way, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony to them.”’ And Matthew 16:13–20 say: ‘When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” … And Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” … Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.’ From these verses we can see that the Lord Jesus also did work in secret based on the needs of His work; this is God’s wisdom. On the one hand, the identity of the Lord couldn’t be known by the public too early, lest it bring obstructions to His work; on the other hand, at that time the Pharisees were trying to arrest and frame Him everywhere, and the Lord’s work on earth had not yet been finished and the time for crucifixion had not yet come. Therefore, the Lord urged them not to tell other people what they had seen and heard, lest they disrupt God’s work.
“Today, God has returned to flesh to carry out His work in a secret way. What He is faced with is still the abandonment, resistance, and condemnation from us mankind. We don’t understand His work, so we think that since He is God and He comes to save man, then He should not work in secret, but should be open to all. We all know that even though the Lord Jesus worked in Judea where people believed in God, He was nailed to the cross in the end; now God does His work in the authoritarian and atheistic country—China, and how could it welcome God’s arrival and tolerate God’s existence? Even among the believers in God, how many of them have humbly sought and investigated to welcome God’s arrival?
“We all know that God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts; His wisdom is unfathomable to man; all He does is love and salvation toward man. Thanks to His hidden work in the last days, we people who accept it can enjoy His words and gain His salvation in a relatively peaceful environment. The significance of God’s hidden work in the last days is too deep.”
Hearing the sister’s fellowship, my heart felt much brighter. I understood the significance of God’s hidden work: On the one hand, we mankind are corrupted too deeply, neither knowing God nor welcoming His arrival. Even though God’s work is so hidden, it is still condemned and slandered by the atheistic party and the religious world; if He worked openly in China, then His work would be met with much greater hindrance. Also, God performing His work in secret is for the sake of better expanding His work, so that more people could have the chance to come before Him and accept His salvation. This fully manifests the wisdom of His work and His love for mankind.
Hidden Within Trials Were God’s Good Intentions
At this time, I thought of another passage of God’s words, “God works, God cares for a person, looks upon a person, and Satan dogs His every step. Whoever God favors, Satan also watches, trailing along behind. If God wants this person, Satan would do everything in its power to obstruct God, using various evil ways to tempt, harass and wreck the work God does in order to achieve its hidden objective.” Today, God permitting my husband to persecute and obstruct me contained God’s good intentions; He used this environment to make me gain some true discernment about Satan’s evil plot. Satan just wanted to use my husband to tempt me, disturb me, and wreck my relationship with God. Its goal was to make me forsake God, return to its domain, and perish along with it in the end.
Thank God for His leadership. Now I finally had some understanding of this aspect of the truth, as well as confidence. So I prayed to God in my heart, “O God, thank You for Your leadership, allowing me to have some knowledge of Your will. May You give me confidence and strength so that I can use the truth to battle with Satan and withstand the disturbance and temptation next time, stand by Your side to satisfy Your will.”
My husband attempted to obstruct me from believing in God, which made me distressed. Only after I experienced this spiritual warfare did I realize this was a wager made by God and Satan and was God’s blessing in disguise as well.