18. The Almighty God’s Love Conquered Me
Langfang City, Hebei Province
I was once a co-worker of the Praise Church. I remember that at the time when I just believed in the Lord, a preacher said that our generation was the most blessed and could be taken up in the air to meet the Lord when alive. The preacher also said that the Lord was right at the door now. Since then, I had been expecting the Lord’s return. And I made a resolution before the Lord that I would prepare enough oil to welcome his coming. The years went by, yet the Lord still had not returned. Our hearts, however, had become more and more distant from God, and everyone was in a slack and lethargic condition. Right at that time, I vaguely heard someone say, “The Lord has been incarnated in China.” I was just going to investigate what that was all about, but our leader said, “That is a heresy, a cult. If you follow them, you’ll never have good days. They will take away your child, hack off your arms and legs, and ruin your family….” After hearing the leader’s words, I made up my mind that I must stand the testimony for the Lord and not be deceived by the heresy or cult.
One day, my uncle came to my home. He was already over sixty years old and lived in a city far from my home. At that time, I thought, “What does he come all the way here for?” Unexpectedly, as soon as he walked in, he said to me, “God has been incarnated in China.” Just because of this word, I felt an aversion to him. Then I told him our leader’s words without missing anything and said impatiently, “At your age, why don’t you enjoy ease and comfort at home but come all this way here? Don’t come anymore. I don’t have time to listen to you.” My uncle did not seem to mind my attitude to him. He continued to come, once, twice, many times in a row, but I was not in the least moved by his persistence. Every time he came, I drove him away by many offensive words. I remember that one time, when he came to my home, he took out the Bible and asked me several questions, which even left me at a loss for a reply. I thought to myself, “How come he has known so much within only a few days?” After a while, two co-workers who were responsible for preaching in our church came to my home too. Now, I thought, the preachers would certainly be able to answer the questions he raised. However, during the fellowship, they were also rendered speechless. What surprised me more was that because of failing to answer my uncle’s questions, our preachers became angry from shame and rebuked him, saying, “You are of ‘the Eastern Lightning,’ and a deceiver. Don’t talk nonsense and pester us here anymore. …” At that time, I was very worried that they would clash, because I knew that my uncle had a bad temper and could not even put up with the slightest grievance at home at ordinary times. But surprisingly, he did not get angry at all. Instead, he fellowshipped with them calmly, saying, “Sisters, the truth is not gained through arguing and disputing. …” I saw all this and kept it to myself. At the same time, I felt very puzzled: My uncle wasn’t like that before; how come he has changed so much now?
My uncle did not stop coming to preach the gospel to me because of the two preachers’ rebukes. Several days later, he came again and brought along a brother. Seeing them, I ignored them and simply kept doing my housework. However, my uncle followed me in and out of the house, saying, “What do you want your uncle to say so you will listen? You have normal thinking, and you can discern for yourself whether it’s right or wrong. If you still don’t think it’s the true way after listening, I will definitely not force you….” His words made me feel kind of ashamed, so I sat down and listened to their fellowship impatiently. But because I had an aversion in my heart, I did not take in anything they spoke about. However, during the fellowship, I found that although I was very impatient, although I listened absently and did not even give them a sip of water in the whole afternoon, that brother still fellowshipped with me with great patience and sincerity. All this made me feel slightly touched in my spirit. I thought, “If it’s a false way, it won’t be possible for them to have such good behavior or such love.” But because I was afraid of being deceived, I was still unwilling to seek or investigate or even think about it. I simply believed that my leader’s words could never be wrong. So, that night I went to seal the church again, saying, “Brothers and sisters, now, if any strangers come, never receive them. Especially if they are those of ‘the Eastern Lightning,’ never ever believe them. …”
Unexpectedly, God still worked on me and made me see again that only followers of the Almighty God could live out love and have really good behavior. The next day, my child was sick, so I asked my husband to take the motor vehicle out and take the child to see a doctor. Since the vehicle was left unused in the chicken shed for a long time, it was covered with chicken droppings. On seeing that, my husband said, “So dirty. I won’t do it!” But the brother came up at once and said, “Brother, it’s most urgent to take the child to see a doctor. I’ll clean the vehicle for you.” As he said that, he went to get water and the broom. The brother was a city man, dressed neatly. I saw that he quickly rolled up his sleeves and began to brush the vehicle with the basin in one hand and the broom in the other. The water-drops with chicken droppings splashed on him from time to time, but he did not care at all. After a short while, the dirty and stinky vehicle became clean. The brother’s every move touched me deeply. I reflected, “Since he came to my home, I have had a long face toward him and never spoken a good word to him, while he has never minded that and always treated me sincerely. What could he gain? Now, if I am asked to preach the gospel for Jesus with endurance of such sufferings and with such great love, I think I certainly cannot do it.” From the brother’s living out and my uncle’s changes, I saw in them an exceptionally precious thing—love. I was deeply moved by this love, and my attitude toward them changed from disgust to goodwill. At night, lying in bed, I thought back to the brother’s words: “Without holiness no one will see the Lord. Now we are living in the condition of committing sins and confessing sins repeatedly, so will the Lord take us when he comes one day?” I was well aware that I had not become holy and was still a sinner. However, our preacher said before that the Lord’s precious blood could purify us from sin, and when the Lord came, our physical body would be transformed into a spiritual body. … So, I was stuck in a dilemma and did not know how to choose.
Several days later, they came again and brought me a book of the Almighty God’s word. When they put the book in front of me, I was in a quandary—if I read it, I might be obsessed by it; if I refuse to read it, I might regret all my life losing the opportunity of accepting the true God’s work. After undergoing the war for a long time, I thought, “If this book can clear up the doubts in my mind and can convince me in heart and in mouth, I’ll believe…” The brother seemed to have read my mind. He said, “Sister, read it for yourself. This is God’s personal utterance, and it can certainly solve your difficulties.” So, I opened it at the first page and read “Preface.” God says: “Although many people believe in God, few people know what it means to believe in God and how to be after God’s heart. The very reason for this is that although people know the word ‘God’ and the words like ‘God’s work,’ they do not know God, much less know God’s work. It is no wonder that all those who do not know God believe foolishly. People are not serious about the matter of belief in God, and that is because they are too unfamiliar with it and too strange to it. Thus, they fall far short of God’s requirement. In other words, if people do not know God or God’s work, they cannot be fit for God’s use, much less satisfy God’s heart. ‘Belief in God’ means to believe that there is a God. This is the simplest concept of ‘belief in God.’ To go a step further, believing that there is God is not a true belief in God but a simple belief, which has a strong religious color. True ‘belief in God’ means that people can, on the basis of believing that God is the ruler of all things, experience God’s word and God’s work and thus cast off their corrupt nature, satisfy God’s heart, and know God. Such a course is belief in God. But people often consider the matter of belief in God to be very simple and light. Those who believe in God like that do not have meaning to their belief in God. Even if they believe to the end, they won’t be able to receive God’s approval, because the path they walk is not right. Those who still believe in God in letters and believe in God in empty doctrines today still do not know that they do not have the substance of believing in God and cannot receive God’s approval. They are still praying to God to bless them with peace and sufficient grace. We might quiet our heart and think carefully: Is belief in God the simplest thing in the world? Does belief in God only mean to receive a lot of grace? Could those who believe in God but do not know God and who believe in God but resist God satisfy God’s heart?” Every word of God went to my heart. In these many years of my believing in God, I only knew to receive grace and ask for peace from God but never knew how to satisfy his heart’s desire. Only after reading God’s word today did I truly know that I believed in God foolishly.
Then I turned to the piece of God’s word “A Word About Address and Identity.” God says: “You only know that Jesus will come in the end time, but how will he come? As you, such sinners, have just been redeemed, could you be after God’s heart without being transformed and without being perfected by God? It is true that Jesus has saved you who are an old man now. You are not of sin, and this is because of God’s salvation, but it does not prove that you have no sin or filthiness. You have not been transformed, so how could you be holy? You are still filled with filthiness within and are selfish and contemptible, and yet you want to come with Jesus. Could there be such a good thing? You lack a process in your believing in God. You have only been redeemed but have not been transformed. If you want to be after God’s heart, God has to personally work to transform and purify you. Otherwise, as you have only been redeemed, you cannot possibly be holy. Then you won’t be qualified to enjoy the wonderful blessings with God, because you have lagged one stage behind in God’s work of managing man, that is, the crucial stage of transforming and perfecting man. So, you, a sinner, who have just been redeemed, cannot directly inherit God’s inheritance.” Reading those words, I truly understood “Without holiness no one will see God.” In the past, I had believed that when the Lord came, our physical body would be transformed into a spiritual body and we would be taken up in the air to meet the Lord and enjoy the wonderful blessings with him. Now, I knew that this was purely man’s imagination and was far too unrealistic.
Later, they arranged for a young sister to stay at my home and help me in eating and drinking God’s word. The young sister never talked much at my home, much less did she speak of any subject unrelated to belief in God. At that time, my child was young, but she helped me with the washing and cooking, busy with the housework all day. I thought then to myself, “Our leader says that if I accept their way, they will control me and I will never have good days. But how come what I have seen today is so different from what the leader says?” Whenever I fell into a bad state, the young sister got very anxious. She fellowshipped with me in one way or another until my state turned around, and then a smile crept over her face. When I quarreled with my husband sometimes, she tried hard to mediate between us until we two made it up. … Well, the people of our church had no love at all. The co-workers formed factions among themselves and scrambled for power and gain; the brothers and sisters had jealousy and strife and intrigued against each other. However, the words and deeds of the brothers and sisters who believed in the Almighty God were truly admirable. I could not find any fault with either their living out or their fellowship. I had seen in them an especially real and pure love. I felt that this was the true way. However, I was a person who cared so much about my vainglory and face. I always had a worry: If I accept the Almighty God, what the leaders and co-workers in our church will say about me? If I do so, will it let them down? Then I was in a dilemma again. So I came before God and prayed, “O Almighty God! What should I do? How should I choose? Please guide me and show me the way.” Unexpectedly, only several days later, God revealed everything to me.
One day, while the young sister was leading us to eat and drink God’s word at my home, several leaders in our church suddenly came to my home, looking fierce. After they entered the room, without saying a word, two of them grabbed the young sister’s hair, brought her to the ground, and started to beat her. They two punched her one after the other and cursed at the same time, “You say God has come. Show me…” The young sister’s clothes were torn and her hair was disheveled. However, she did not fight back at all while they were giving her blows and kicks. She only said, “Aunty, aunty, don’t hit me. Let’s calm down and talk…” Before she finished her words, one of the leaders shouted, “Who will listen to you? You wretched girl! I’ll definitely send you to the police station today!” I really could not bear to see it anymore, so I gave that leader a strong pull. Unexpectedly, it brought her to the ground. “Well! How dare you hit me? …” that leader shouted at me fiercely. Seeing all this, I was dumbfounded. I could not believe that these two were the leaders I admired, and even less could I believe that the leaders, who taught others on the platform every day with the Bible in their hands to love their enemies and be humble and patient, lost all their usual “gentleness” and betrayed such cruelty and vileness today. At that moment, I was completely disillusioned with them. Where was the reality of their loving their “enemies”? Where were their humility and patience? I was reminded of the believers in the Almighty God whom I had contact with in this period of time. Their words and deeds really impressed me, and they were totally different from what the rumors had said. From then on, I was more certain about the work of the Almighty God, for I realized from my practical experiences that only followers of the Almighty God could live out true love and only the Almighty God was the true love.
Thank the Almighty God for saving me. Thank the Almighty God for sending his messengers to move me with love so that I have been certain that the Almighty God is the only true God. Without such love, I would still be living in the deception and fooling of satan, and I would still be living in the darkness and never get free from it. Dear brothers and sisters, the rumors describe believers in the Almighty God as devils, deceivers, and ones who entrap people, but from my personal experiences, I have seen that the most prominent thing in them is love. I have been conquered by this love, for this love comes from God. In Matthew 7:17-20, Jesus said: “Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” Brothers and sisters, God is love. Where there is God, there is love. As for those who do not have the working of God, no matter how well they disguise themselves at ordinary times, they will expose their true self completely once under suitable circumstances. Brothers and sisters, I am telling you with my practical experiences that the Almighty God is precisely the One we are waiting for. We should discern carefully. Don’t lose the opportunity to be saved!