Spiritual Warfare: A Septuagenarian Christian’s Joys and Sorrows Dealing With Her Family’s Resistance
By Jinbu, South Korea
A Septuagenarian Welcomes the Lord’s Return
I turned 74 this year. I used to be a member of the Three-Self Church in China, but after my husband passed away I came to South Korea to live with my daughter and her husband. I kept trying to find a church here that possessed the work of the Holy Spirit, but I discovered that the pastors and elders always preached on the same old things and I didn’t gain the least bit of spiritual sustenance. I was feeling really discouraged.
One day in February 2016, Sister Liu took me to The Church of Almighty God, and the brothers and sisters there bore witness to me that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus and that He had long ago come to mankind, expressed the truth, and done the step of work of judging and cleansing mankind through His word. They said that He is separating the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats—He’s separating all people according to their kind, doing the work of rewarding good and punishing evil, bringing the age to a close. All those who hear the voice of God, who accept and obey His new work, are those who love the truth and will be raptured up before God’s throne. These are people who seek the truth, accept God’s judgment, and can ultimately be cleansed and perfected by God. They are the wheat, the sheep, and they are those who will be fully saved by God. However, those who cannot recognize God’s voice or even resist or condemn God’s work of the last days are the ones who hate, who detest the truth. They will be exposed as the tares and the goats. They will all be cast out and punished by God. This perfectly fulfills these words from the Bible: “And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:30). I felt that what the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God fellowshiped was entirely in line with the Bible and the prophecies of the Lord’s return, so I decided to really look into Almighty God’s work in the last days. Through a time of seeking and investigation, I saw that Almighty God’s words possess authority and power, and they unveil all the mysteries of the Bible. I also saw that they can resolve all of the confusion I’ve had in my faith—I started to understand truths I hadn’t understood over many years of faith. This is how I determined that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, that He is the appearance of Christ in the last days. I joyfully accepted God’s work of the last days and shared God’s gospel of the last days with my two younger sisters in Korea—they also accepted God’s work and began to follow God with great faith. I then shared this with my son-in-law, and to my surprise, not only would he not accept it, but he found some of the CCP’s negative online propaganda about The Church of Almighty God and showed it to me. He became a hindrance to my faith, and thus a spiritual battle commenced …
Son-in-law Deluded by CCP’s Lies Stands in the Way of My Faith
One day my son-in-law said to me, “Mom, The Church of Almighty God has been condemned and is suppressed by the Chinese government. I strongly advise you not to believe in it anymore. It says online that the Almighty God you believe in is just a person….” I was very clear in my heart that the Almighty God I believe in is God in the flesh, that He is the returned Lord Jesus and not what they say about Him online, but without perfect understanding of that aspect of the truth, I didn’t know how to respond to him saying that. I felt really unsettled. I then went to church to seek out some brothers and sisters, and in response to my questions a sister read a couple of passages of God’s words for me. “The meaning of incarnation is that God appears in the flesh, and He comes to work among man of His creation in the image of a flesh. So, for God to be incarnated, He must first be flesh, flesh with normal humanity; this is the most basic prerequisite. In fact, the implication of God’s incarnation is that God lives and works in the flesh, God in His very essence becomes flesh, becomes a man” (“The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “God become flesh is called Christ, and so the Christ that can give people the truth is called God. There is nothing excessive about this, for He possesses the substance of God, and possesses God’s disposition, and wisdom in His work, that are unattainable by man. Those who call themselves Christ, yet cannot do the work of God, are frauds. The real Christ is not merely the manifestation of God on earth, but also the particular flesh assumed by God as He carries out and completes His work among man. This flesh is not one that can be replaced by just any man, but one that can adequately bear God’s work on earth, and express the disposition of God, and well represent God, and provide man with life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
This sister shared this fellowship: “We can know from God’s words that Christ is God’s Spirit in the flesh, that He is God’s Spirit materialized in the flesh with normal humanity, with normal human thinking. That is, He is God from heaven above come down to earth to work and save mankind. He possesses both normal humanity and full divinity. From the outside, Christ looks like a totally average person. He lives like anyone else, and He has the full gamut of emotions like anyone else—He does all the things that normal people do. However, Christ’s divine essence is something that no human being can possess. Christ is capable of opening up a new age and ending an old age; He can express God’s disposition, and what He has and is. What’s more, He can express truths that provide sustenance and salvation for mankind based on what we as corrupt humans need. Just like the Lord Jesus Christ incarnate—from the outside, He was just a regular Jewish man, but His appearance and work brought an end to the Age of Law and began the Age of Grace. The Lord Jesus expressed words opening up mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; He provided people with the way of repentance; He gave people a newer, loftier path of practice such as forgiving people seventy times seven times, loving and praying for your enemies, and to reflect on yourself when you have conflict with others. During the period of His work, the Lord Jesus displayed many miracles, such as healing the sick and casting out demons, feeding five thousand people with five loaves and two fish, calming a storm with a few words, and bringing people back from the dead. On top of all that, the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross as a sin offering for mankind. He wrested people back out of Satan’s grasp and freed us from the danger of being condemned or executed for violating the law. Through Him, we gained the privilege of being qualified to come directly before God in prayer and enjoy the rich graces of God. We can see His power and authority from His work and words, all of which reveal God’s life disposition, and what He has and is. These are things that no created human being could possess or achieve. However, the Pharisees just saw the Lord Jesus’ commonplace, normal presentation, that He was the son of a carpenter, and so they judged and slandered Him as a regular person. They madly condemned and opposed Him, they were complicit in the arrest and persecution of the apostles who followed Him, and they colluded with the Roman government to have Him crucified. But no matter how the Pharisees and the Roman government suppressed and condemned the Lord Jesus’ work, His gospel still spread to every corner of the world. Could that have been achieved if He had just been an average person? God personally upholds His own work and words, and no enemy forces can obstruct His will from being carried out. Just the same, Christ of the last days, Almighty God, has become flesh and come to China to work and save mankind. From the outside He appears to be a regular person, but He expresses truths that reveal the mysteries of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, the mysteries of God’s name, and the significance of the incarnation. He exposes and judges our satanic nature and the truth of our corruption as corrupt human beings. He has directed us onto the path of casting off our corruption and achieving dispositional transformation so that we can be completely saved from sin, and attain cleansing and full salvation from God. No one except for Almighty God in the flesh could possibly express these things, and this fully shows that He is God, that He has the essence of God. Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days completely fulfills these prophecies from the Bible: ‘For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son’ (John 5:22). ‘He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:48). ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17). All those who love the truth, have accepted the judgment and chastisement of the last days, have gained true understanding of their own corrupt dispositions, and have become willing to seek the truth and put God’s words into practice, have gradually experienced a change in their life dispositions. This is a fact that’s completely clear from our brothers’ and sisters’ testimonies of their life experiences. And in spite of the Chinese Communist government’s nonstop, crazed interference, His gospel has still spread across the entire Chinese mainland and has even reached many other countries. More and more people are accepting Almighty God’s work. Is this something that an average person could do? Anything that comes from God will certainly flourish—only God’s own work could achieve such results! However, the CCP denies and condemns Almighty God’s work in the last days; they deny Christ’s divine essence and insist on creating rumors and spreading slander, saying that we believe in a regular person. This is adequate proof that the CCP has the essence of Satan the devil that opposes God and hates the truth. It’s simply not remotely credible. Sister, give some thought to it—isn’t this the case?”
Hearing this sister’s fellowship, I really brightened up. I realized that Christ is what God in the flesh is called, and not only does God in the flesh possess normal humanity, but He also possesses full divinity. Just like the Lord Jesus looked like a regular person from the outside but He was able to express the truth, provide people with the way of repentance, and be crucified to act as a sin offering for mankind so that we would no longer have to be condemned under the law. Christ of the last days, Almighty God also looks like an average person from the outside, but He is able to express truths to judge and cleanse our corrupt dispositions, to thoroughly save us from the bonds of sinfulness so that we may live out proper humanity. Now Almighty God has uttered so many words, plus there’s such an incredibly variety of gospel films, hymn videos, music videos, musicals, short sketches and crosstalks produced by The Church of Almighty God. All these things have been put online so that those from countries across the world who love the truth can see them. More and more people abroad in various countries are accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days. How could all of this be achieved if it weren’t actually God’s work? I can fully see from Almighty God’s work and words that He is God in the flesh. I can also see that the CCP is spreading rumors to deceive people on major websites from all over the world in order to oppose God, trying to get everyone to hate and oppose God as well. The CCP really is so evil, so detestable. Once I realized these things, I resolved that no matter how my family tried to hold me back, I would lean on God and stand witness for Him—I decided to resolutely follow God!
Led by God’s Words and Standing Witness Through Attack After Attack From My Daughter’s Family
When my son-in-law saw that I was determined to attend gatherings, he told my daughter, who was in China, about my faith. She started calling every day, telling me to give up my faith. I shared testimony with her on God’s work of the last days, but she had been subject to the CCP’s atheistic education since she was a little girl, so she was convinced there’s no such thing as God. Afraid that the Chinese Communist government was listening in on my phone conversations, I told her, “I can’t explain it over the phone. Let’s talk about it when you come to South Korea.” So after a bit of time, she and her 12-year-old daughter came to South Korea, and the three of them began their campaign to disrupt and hinder my faith.
My daughter said to me angrily, “Mom, there are so many churches here in South Korea. You could go to any of them, just don’t go to The Church of Almighty God. It’s opposed by the CCP government.” I thought to myself, “My daughter and her husband are standing in the way of my faith because they’ve been deluded by the CCP’s rumors. If I could get them to come to church and have the brothers and sisters share fellowship with them, they would understand God’s work of salvation. Then maybe they wouldn’t hinder me like this.” I suggested that they come to church with me to look into it, and then come to a conclusion. My daughter refused, but my son-in-law decided to go.
At the church, the brothers and sisters spoke with my son-in-law about God creating the heavens and earth and all things, as well as His management plan of carrying out three stages of work to save mankind. He didn’t dispute God’s words, but he lacked discernment over the CCP’s evil essence in opposition to God, and continued to insist that I couldn’t believe in Almighty God. He said he wanted to find another church for me to attend. I told him firmly, “Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, and God is carrying out a new step of work for the last days on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption some time ago. The religious world hasn’t kept up with God’s current work, so it’s become desolate. The pastor’s sermons are incredibly dry; they just talk about the same old things and I don’t get a shred of enjoyment out of it. I’m not going to any other church—just The Church of Almighty God. You heard the brothers’ and sisters’ fellowship just now—the words uttered by Almighty God can completely resolve our corrupt dispositions and they can show us how to live out proper humanity. All of this is positive. But isn’t the CCP trying to stop us from believing in God and taking the right path incredibly evil? Don’t stand in my way anymore. No matter what, I’m determined to believe in Almighty God.” Seeing how adamant I was, he didn’t say anything further.
After we got back home, my daughter said to me, “Mom, my son is still going to college in China and he’s a Party member. If you insist on believing in Almighty God and the CCP government finds out about it, he’ll be kicked out of the Party and it’ll have an impact on his future.” Hearing this, I thought, “No matter what, everyone’s fate is ruled by God, and no person or political party can change that. Whether my grandson will be kicked out of the Party and what his future will be like are all in God’s hands. The CCP government can’t rule over that—that’s not within their grasp.” Just then my granddaughter came running over and said, “Grandma, don’t go to that church anymore….” From the time she was little, she had always really liked going to church with me—I never thought that she’d listen to her parents and try to stop me as well. Seeing them banding together to stand in my way, I felt a whirlwind of emotions, plus irritation. I thought that for the time being, I wouldn’t go to church so that they wouldn’t disturb me anymore. After that, I didn’t go to church for a few days in a row, but unable to gather with brothers and sisters and read God’s words, I started to suffer; my spirit sank and felt dark. I didn’t know what to do going forward. I thought, “If I keep going to church, my family will certainly keep making a fuss, but now that I have this rare chance to welcome the Lord Jesus’ return I can’t just give that up.” Caught up in pain, I prayed to God, “Almighty God, I really want to follow You well, but my daughter and her husband oppose my faith. I don’t know how I should experience this—I’m feeling weak in my heart. Oh God, I implore You to guide me to understand Your will, to give me faith and strength, and help me overcome their disruption so that I have the faith to follow You.” I felt stronger inside after this prayer.
Following that, I read these words of God: “This temptation transformed Job’s standing from that of a rich man to someone who had nothing, and it also allowed him to experience Satan’s abuse of mankind. His destitution did not cause him to loathe Satan; rather, in Satan’s vile acts he saw Satan’s ugliness and contemptibility, as well as Satan’s enmity and rebellion toward God, and this better encouraged him to forever hold firm to the way of fearing God and shunning evil. He swore that he would never forsake God and turn his back on the way of God because of external factors such as property, children or kinfolk, nor would he ever be a slave to Satan, property, or any person; apart from Jehovah God, no one could be his Lord, or his God. Such were the aspirations of Job” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). While pondering these words, I thought of how Job experienced Satan’s temptation. He lost all of his family possessions, hillsides full of livestock, plus several children. He himself was covered with boils. He suffered greatly, but he continued to maintain the path of fearing God and shunning evil; he maintained his faith in God, believing that whether he was enjoying blessings or suffering misfortune, it was all God’s rule and arrangements, so as a created being he should accept and submit to it, and never blame God. God held the most important place in Job’s heart, and so when his wife and friends all lashed out at him, he was not constrained by his emotions, but still held firm to his faith. He absolutely didn’t abandon or betray God, but stood witness for Him. At that time, Job didn’t even have God’s words to enlighten and guide him, but his faith in God was still that great. But as for me, I had read so much of God’s words and knew that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus, but when faced with the disruption and hinderances of my daughter and her husband, my faith in God faltered and I became weak and negative. I didn’t even go to church. My stature really is so small! I then thought of something my brothers and sisters had shared in fellowship—when they had just accepted God’s work of the last days, their nonbeliever family members also hindered them. They also said that what was behind that disruption in the home was a spiritual battle, that it was Satan making a bet with God to see if we could firmly stand witness, if we could stay on the true way without retreating. It’s just as God says: “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” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After thinking of all this, my heart brightened and I knew that Satan just wanted to use my family’s hindrances and disruptions to force me into abandoning God and losing His salvation of the last days. I had to stop being so weak and negative; I needed to follow Job’s example and persist in my faith, and no matter what my daughter and her husband did, I would follow God.
When I set my resolve to satisfy God, something suddenly occurred to me: When I was doing business in China before, I had a customer who said he was at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989, and he personally saw the CCP soldiers pulverize the protesting students with their tanks. He said it was a horrific sight. My daughter also knew about this, so I asked her if she remembered. She nodded. I then said to her, “The students’ June 4 protests were just for democracy and freedom, but they were heartlessly suppressed by the CCP government. So many young lives were mercilessly exterminated—wouldn’t you say the CCP is incredibly evil? The CCP has always employed tactics of suppression and elimination against groups, religions, or ethnicities with different ideological views, or different faiths. In recent years, in order to protect its dictatorship, the CCP has been trying to force everyone to listen to it, and has been persecuting so many human rights activists and dissidents. It’s also oppressed and slaughtered the ethnic minorities in Tibet and Xinjiang so many times, plus its oppression of Christians is just brutal. The CCP is an atheistic party that hates God and the truth and doesn’t allow its people to believe in the true God or take the true path. Ever since coming to power it has madly arrested and persecuted Christians, cracking down on and suppressing house churches. It will stop at nothing to stand in the way of Christians having faith and following God. Particularly when God in the flesh began His work of the last days in China, the CCP’s opposition became even crazier. All of us in China have personally seen that the CCP’s persecution of The Church of Almighty God is fiercest. They fabricate all sorts of rumors out of thin air to slander and blaspheme God’s work. Their goal is to deceive the people into hating God so they’ll stand on the CCP’s side, also in opposition to God, so that they will ultimately all be destroyed by God. Many people cannot see through the CCP’s despicable motives, so they are taken in by the rumors and fallacies they spread. Then they don’t investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days, and even hinder their family members and keep them from accepting God’s salvation. Isn’t that just going along with the CCP in doing evil and opposing God? Sweetheart, we absolutely cannot listen to the CCP’s lies and act in opposition to God.” After that my daughter never again said anything about my faith, but she still didn’t say anything about letting me go to church. I quietly prayed to God, “Oh God! Please give me wisdom and open up a path for me.”
The next day I just lay in bed; I didn’t have an appetite and didn’t feel like talking to anyone. I was like that for three or four days in a row. When my daughter asked me what was wrong, I told the two of them, “You aren’t believers and you haven’t read God’s words, so you’ve been deceived by the CCP’s rumors. But no matter whether you believe or not, the heavens and earth and all things were created by God and so were we humans. The water, the sunlight, and the air that we need for our lives were all given to us by God. Getting oxygen in the hospital is really expensive, but anyone can breathe the air that created by God for free. He gave it to us asking for nothing in return. We are able to enjoy everything that God created, so we should have faith in Him and worship Him. Sweetie, I worked hard and did my best to raise you. I’m old now and I’m not asking you for anything. I just want to practice my faith. You really can’t even give me that? I’ve had faith for all these years, and finally, my hopes for the Lord Jesus’ return have been realized. No matter what, I will not depart from God. Starting tomorrow I’m going back to church—don’t stop me anymore.”
Hearing me say this was a bit of a shock for them. They thought about it for a bit, and then my daughter said, “Mom, if that’s what you want, then practice your faith. We won’t stand in your way anymore. But don’t share the gospel with my aunts.” (They didn’t know that my two younger sisters had already accepted God’s work of the last days.) I felt so happy hearing her say she wouldn’t hinder me anymore, and I gave thanks to God for giving me a way out.
Experiencing God’s Almightiness Through My Niece’s Disruption
When I went to church for gatherings after that, my daughter and her husband no longer hindered me—my life became peaceful as it had been before. But when my sister’s daughter found out that I had shared God’s gospel of the last days with her mom, yet another spiritual battle commenced …
One day I received an unexpected call from my niece in China. She said to me, “Don’t you know that the CCP government is fighting against faith in Almighty God? Don’t talk to my mom about this stuff anymore or else I’ll cut off ties with you. Soon I’m going to make a trip to South Korea to bring my mom back to China.” I never expected that my niece, who had always been such a nice girl, would talk to me that way. She didn’t even politely call me “Aunt”—I was very surprised and very upset. My niece then told my daughter that I had shared the gospel with my sister, so my daughter immediately called me to chew me out. But no matter what she said, it didn’t have the same impact on me as it had before. I thought to myself, “No matter what all of you say or how you try to hinder me, this time I won’t pull back. We three sisters will be firm in our faith.” After that our kids started keeping an eye on the three of us, looking at our phone records, and not letting us meet or call each other. We could only talk or meet up when they weren’t home, and as soon as we got off the phone we’d rush to erase our call history. Day after day went by, but whenever I thought of my niece saying she was going to come to South Korea to stop us from practicing our faith I felt awfully uncomfortable. I was afraid she’d keep us from going to church, and I was concerned that my sisters would be turned away from their faith. The more I thought about it the more emotional I felt, and I just couldn’t find any peace. I couldn’t help but think, “There are so many barriers, so many roadblocks to having faith. Why does it have to be so hard?” I realized that I was falling prey to their disruptions so I rushed to pray to God and read His words.
I read in the word of God: “Today, most people don’t have that knowledge. They believe that suffering is without value…. The suffering of some people reaches a certain point, and their thoughts turn to death. This is not the true love of God; such people are cowards, they have no perseverance, they are weak and powerless! … Thus, during these last days you must bear testimony to God. No matter how great your suffering, you should go on to the very end, and even at your last breath, still you must be faithful to God, and at the mercy of God; only this is truly loving God, and only this is the strong and resounding testimony” (“Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). What was revealed by God’s words was precisely my own state. I had been making a big deal out of being obstructed and hindered by my family because of my faith—isn’t that really feeble? I thought of all those brothers and sisters who have been put into prison and brutally tortured by the CCP, but they still stayed strong in their faith. Even in the face of such great difficulties, they never folded to Satan, but resolved to believe in and follow God. My little bit of discomfort doesn’t even count for anything. I have gained this rare chance to welcome the Lord’s return—how could I be knocked down by just a little hardship? I then thought of how before, my daughter and her husband had stood in the way of my faith, I prayed to God and relied on Him, and His words enlightened and guided me. They gave me faith, strength, and wisdom, allowing me to overcome Satan’s temptation and see God’s deeds. They were no longer able to stand in my way. Wasn’t that entirely God’s guidance that got me through? And now my niece was saying that she would come to South Korea to keep us from practicing our faith, and that she was going to take my sister back to China; from the outside it looked like human interference and disruption, but behind that it was actually Satan employing its tricks. I couldn’t fall prey to it—I knew I had to lean on God and stand witness for Him.
I later read these words from God: “Man’s heart and spirit are held in the hand of God, everything of his life is beheld in the eyes of God. Regardless of whether or not you believe this, any and all things, whether living or dead, will shift, change, renew, and disappear in accordance with God’s thoughts. Such is the way in which God presides over all things” (“God Is the Source of Man’s Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It’s so true. God rules everything and has everything in His grasp. As human beings, we are all in His hands, and our thoughts and concepts shift with God’s intentions. Whether my niece would come to South Korea and whether she would try to hinder our faith was all in God’s hands. However, the moment I heard that she intended to come, I started to worry about her stopping me and my sisters from going to church. Wasn’t this a lack of faith in God and a lack of belief that He manages everything? My worries, my concerns were so unnecessary! My niece is also a created being and she is also within God’s grasp. If she were to come to stand in the way of our faith, it would be with God’s permission; God would be using that to test our faith and devotion to Him. Thinking of this felt very liberating for me, and I prayed to God, “Oh God! From Your words I’ve seen that everything is under Your rule. I am too weak and my faith in You is so small that I feel worried and afraid when my family stands in my way. God, I’m willing to put my niece into Your hands and go through whatever is ahead relying on You. No matter what she does, I will stand witness for You and Satan will be shamed.”
In the time that followed my sisters and I would frequently use chatting apps to share God’s words, share fellowship, and encourage each other. My niece did end up coming to South Korea, and my sister employed her wisdom to deal with her daughter. She made sure her daughter didn’t know when she went out to gatherings, and then my niece never again brought up the topic of faith. Also, my other sister’s two children weren’t happy about her faith at first, but later stayed out of her way. Thanks be to God!
Over more than two months of spiritual battles, I was able to triumph over Satan’s temptation step by step, all with the guidance of God’s words. Through all of these experiences I clearly saw how evil and despicable the CCP is. I also really and truly saw that God’s rule is almighty, and that when I stand witness for God by genuinely leaning on Him and relying on His words, Satan is shamed and retreats. My family stopped trying to hold me back or get in my way. Now I go to church every day to gather with my brothers and sisters and fellowship on God’s words. I watch the church’s videos and films at home, and my daughter and her husband no longer take issue with it. My younger sisters are also performing the duties in the church that they are able to. This is all thanks to God’s guidance!