60. How a Disobedient Son Changed
Linyi City, Shandong Province
I had been a co-worker of the Justification by Faith Church. The thought that I had served God for many years and was versed in the Bible always made me feel that I was something. So, I often made judgments on God’s work like “God cannot work in this way” or “God cannot work in that way.” As a result, when God’s new work came upon me, I condemned and blasphemed it blindly without seeking or investigation. I even sealed off the churches in many places, and said to the brothers and sisters, “The ‘Eastern Lightning’ is a heresy, a cult. Whoever preaches about the work of the last days is a deceiver. You mustn’t receive any stranger in future…” Whenever I remember my previous resistance against God, I am filled with remorse and hatred for myself!
On June 28, 1998, a strange sister came to our church while we were having a co-workers’ meeting. I asked her, “Where are you from? What are you here for?” She answered, “I’m a believer in Jesus. I want to attend your meeting as I heard this is a church.” I winked at the brothers and sisters to show that we should guard against her to prevent her from joining our church. After a short conversation with her, I knew that she came to preach the “Eastern Lightning,” so I abused her for being shameless and tried to drive her away. I pushed her into a puddle outside the door formed from a heavy rain that day, gave her two kicks and said, “Go away! …”
However, a few days later, the sister came to my home. I sicced the dog on her without a word, trying to frighten her away. Yet she didn’t move. The dog lunged at her, but it only smelled her and didn’t bite her. The sister said to me with a smile, “Brother, did you see? Did you see that God is caring and keeping me?” I was tongue-tied. And I remembered the biblical verses which told us how Daniel was kept by God in the lion’s den. Nevertheless, I still didn’t believe her words and told my wife to drive her out. My wife struck her with a club, and the blow felled her to the ground. After quite a while, she stood up and found herself limp. Then my wife dragged her out and pushed her into the filthy pool outside our house. She crawled out of it, limping, filth all over, and her shoes were left in the pool… Our neighbor saw it and took her home to let her wash herself and gave her a pair of shoes. It was already dark when she came out from the neighbor’s home. Yet she didn’t air any grievance and limped away.
My resistance and blasphemy against Almighty God and inhuman cursing and beating of the brothers and sister incurred God’s punishment soon afterward. A serious illness came upon me. I found it very hard to breathe, and each breath I took caused sharp pain in my chest. It left me unable to do any work. After examinations by different instruments in several hospitals, which cost over 1,500 yuan, the cause of my illness was still unknown. I was very puzzled: Did those instruments all go wrong? Greatly tortured by the illness, I could not but come before God to pray and examine myself, “O God! Why did I get such a strange illness? Did I offend or resist You? Is this Your punishment for me? I’m really confused. God! Please enlighten me and reveal it to me…”After prayer, I thought of that sister. I wondered why she had such great love and perseverance so that she came to my home to preach the kingdom gospel of Almighty God again and again. Faced with our beatings, curses, and insults, she never retaliated but still came wearing a smile and without any complaint… By contrast, we were not like believers in God at all, even worse than the unbelievers! What we did was really a shame to the Lord’s name! Thank God for His enlightenment. I pondered over it carefully. “Why did she spend so much trouble on us? Is there anything worthy of such a great price? …” I thought a lot about it, and then said to my wife, “If the sister comes again, we can’t treat her as before. We should quiet down and have a fellowship with her. My illness may have something to do with this.” Then I began to expect the sister to come again.
Not long afterward, the sister really came. She said smilingly as soon as she came in, “Uncle, here I am again. Are you still angry with me?” I was somewhat embarrassed. I said, “We felt great regret for it. We’ve seen God’s love manifested on you. So, we want to have a good talk with you.” She said happily, “Thank God! Uncle, auntie, it is Almighty God who has changed your heart! I came here today because Almighty God gives me the strength. Without the working of the Holy Spirit, no one could have love or faith. Men are all weak, selfish, and self-oriented, aren’t they? It is all because Almighty God has strengthened me that I can do these. It’s the work done by God. Today I’ve brought you a priceless treasure. I hope you can accept it.” With that, she took a book out of her bag and handed it to me. I took it over and saw it was entitled The Expression of the Christ. I quickly opened it and read the Preface. God says: “‘God’ and ‘man’ cannot be spoken of as equals. His substance and His work are most unfathomable and incomprehensible to man. If God does not personally do His work and speak His words in the world of man, then man would never be able to understand the will of God, and even those who have devoted their entire life to God would be incapable of gaining His approval. Without God’s work, no matter how good man’s doing, it will count for nothing, for the thoughts of God shall always be higher than the thoughts of man, and the wisdom of God is unfathomable to man. And so I say that those who ‘clearly see’ God and His work are ineffectual, they are all arrogant and ignorant. Man should not define the work of God; moreover, man cannot define the work of God. In the eyes of God, man is smaller than an ant, so how can man fathom God’s work? Those who are constantly saying, ‘God does not work in this or that way’ or ‘God is like this or that’—are they not all arrogant? We should all know that people, who are of the flesh, have all been corrupted by Satan. It is their nature to oppose God, and they are not on a parity with God, much less can they offer counsel for the work of God. How God guides man is the work of God Himself. Man should submit, and should not hold such and such a view, for man is but dust. … Since we believe that there is a God, and since we wish to satisfy Him and to see Him, we should seek the way of truth, and should look for a way to be compatible with God. We should not stand in stiff-necked opposition to God; what good could come of such actions?” Reading those words, I felt somewhat afraid. I thought, “Aren’t these words directed at me? Could it really be God’s work, God’s personal word?” I hurriedly turned to another page and read these words: “Almighty God is the all-powerful, all-accomplishing, and complete true God! He not only takes the seven stars, bears the seven Spirits, has the seven eyes, breaks the seven seals, and opens the scroll, but He is much more in control of the seven plagues and seven bowls and reveals the seven thunders. And He has already sounded the seven trumpets!” “When the seven thunders utter their voices, it means that I have saved all those who love Me and who sincerely want Me. All those who belong to Me and who are predestined and selected by Me can be called by My name and can hear My voice. This is God’s call. Let all the ends of the earth see that I am righteous and faithful, I am love and mercy, I am majesty and a consuming fire, and in the end I am merciless judgment. Let the world see that I am really and completely God Himself. Everyone is sincerely convinced and none dare to resist, judge, or slander anymore. Otherwise, curses will immediately come upon them and disasters will befall them. And they will only weep and gnash their teeth and be destroyed.” After I read those words, I couldn’t help shedding tears. “So, Almighty God is the One who breaks the seven seals and opens the scroll! He is really the returned Jesus! Then isn’t what I did a resistance to God? No wonder I got this undiagnosed disease. It is God’s punishment for my resisting His work…” At that thought, a fit of dizziness came over me. And I heard my wife sobbing, “We should accept it. The sister suffered our beatings and curses for the sake of bringing us to God. Treated like that, she still didn’t lose faith and came to preach to us by love. This is enough to show that it is God’s work, because only God has such love.”
Afterward, my wife and I followed Almighty God determinedly, and I gradually recovered from the illness which tortured me for long. I thanked Almighty God very much! I had been so disobedient to Him and resisted Him so much, yet He was still so gracious to me. Facing God’s selfless love, I felt more remorseful. “O God! Your salvation to me not only shows me Your majesty and wrath but Your salvation of love as well. After reading Your words today, I really hate what I did in the past! Though I have believed in You for many years, I didn’t know You and limited You within my notions. It’s all because I’m too blind and ignorant! O God! I really don’t deserve Your such uplifting. I resisted You and offended Your disposition. It is justifiable for You to take away my life according to it. But You still gave me the opportunity to repent and start anew. God, I’m willing to start all over again and spend the rest of my life repaying Your love for me!”
Brothers and sisters, what do you think after reading the experience of how I changed? Whatever thought you may have, I’d like to give you this advice: It is most senseless to condemn and resist God’s work blindly without seeking and investigation. It can only harm and forfeit yourself. Take me as a warning, brothers and sisters. God’s work of salvation in Mainland China is drawing to an end. Accept His salvation as soon as possible. You will regret all your life if you miss it!