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Gospel Reader

The Storm Caused at Home by the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case

235

Enhui

I’m an ordinary country woman, and I would often be weighed down by the strenuous burdens of the household. Because of this, my temperament became quite violent, and my husband and I were always at each other’s throats day in and day out. Our lives simply couldn’t go on like that. Whenever I was suffering, I would yell, “Heavens! Please save me!” In 2013, the work of Almighty God in the last days chanced upon me. Through reading the word of God and attending gatherings with brothers and sisters, I became certain that Almighty God had been the God whom I had cried out to in my suffering, and then gladly accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days.

The work of Almighty God in the last days chanced upon me

I have read in the word of God: “Since the creation of the world I have begun to predestine and select this group of people, namely, you today. Your temperament, caliber, appearance, stature, family in which you were born, your job and your marriage, the entirety of you, even the color of your hair and your skin, and the time of your birth were all arranged by My hands. Even the things you do and the people you meet every single day are arranged by My hands, not to mention the fact that bringing you into My presence today is actually My arrangement. Do not throw yourself into disorder; you should proceed calmly” (“The Seventy-fourth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It was only from the word of God that I came to know that all things are in God’s hands, and recognize that I had the fortune to come before the throne of God and accept God’s salvation in the last days and obtain the watering and supply of the word of God. All this was foreordained by God before the ages, and my husband and family were both predestined by God. I should accept and submit to what God has brought about and arranged. From then on, whenever things would happen that were other than what I wanted, I would no longer complain as I had before. Rather, I would have faith that those things had been arranged by God, and I would wish to continue obeying God in order to let Him guide me and learn to live with my family harmoniously. Gradually, I no longer quarreled with my husband. After he saw the changes that had taken place since I began to believe in God, my husband was also very supportive of my faith. When the brothers and sisters came to my house to attend gatherings, he was very polite to them, and would sometimes chat with them and ask how they were doing. At that time, I read God’s word every day, and would frequently attend gatherings and share experiences with the brothers and sisters. I felt enriched in my spirit and enjoyed the peace and joy that I had never had before, and felt how great it is to believe in God!

But all good things must come to an end, and on May 28, 2014, the case of Zhaoyuan, Shandong broke out. Those harmonious and tranquil days in our household were no more. At its root, this was an ordinary criminal case, but it changed fundamentally after three days when it was determined by the Chinese Communist Party government to have been perpetrated out of religious motivation. On this pretext, the CCP made The Church of Almighty God its focal point, and used the news media to plant false evidence, make false charges, and defame The Church of Almighty God in an unbridled and wanton manner. In an instant, people were inundated with every kind of rumor imaginable about The Church of Almighty God. After my husband saw something in connection with this reported on the news, he was misled by the CCP’s propaganda and it was as if he changed instantaneously. He began to do everything he could to oppose my faith in Almighty God.

One evening, my husband returned home fuming with rage, and loudly reproached me: “What is it, really, that you believe in?” Confronted with his unusual attitude, I thought it completely unfathomable. I answered, “I believe in the returned Lord Jesus—Almighty God, who we used to call ‘Heaven.’” He said, “You believe in Almighty God! Look what they’re saying on television!” As he spoke, he turned on the TV, and the news was broadcasting the May 28 Murder Case in Zhaoyuan, Shandong. It said many accusatory things about The Church of Almighty God. It went on to say that those who believe in Almighty God were disturbing social tranquility, and the Public Security Bureau in Shandong prepared to attack forcefully and to round them up with great severity. Seeing this, I was filled with righteous indignation, and right away said to my husband, “All this is slander and rumors. This murderer absolutely is not a believer in Almighty God! In spreading the gospel, The Church of Almighty God follows a certain principle, which is to only transmit it to good people who believe in God and who are kind-hearted. They do not transmit it to wicked people. As the evil Zhang Lidong does not conform whatsoever to this principle of The Church of Almighty God in transmitting the gospel, he certainly can’t be someone who believes in Almighty God. Another thing—when Zhang Lidong asked the other person for their phone number and they didn’t give it, it was out of humiliation that Zhang flew into a rage and committed the homicide. We brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God never try to force people to accept the work of God when spreading the gospel, because God clearly stipulated in ‘The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom’ that ‘Kin who are not of the faith (your children, your husband or wife, your sisters or your parents, and so on) should not be forced into the church. God’s household is not short of members, and there is no need to make up its numbers with people who have no use. All those who do not believe gladly must not be led into the church. This decree is directed at all people. In this matter you should check, monitor and remind each other, and no one may violate it.’ When the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God spread the gospel, they never drag people to it against their will, and this is something no one can violate. This news is just slander and falsehood. It’s nothing more than lies and defamation of The Church of Almighty God at the hands of the CCP.” Who would have guessed that after hearing this, my husband opened his eyes wide and roared at me, “It doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. As long as the CCP is opposed to it, you can’t believe in this! I don’t want the government to come and ransack our house. My son still hasn’t even got married yet!” Seeing those rumors and lies created out of whole cloth on the TV and my husband who had been deceived by these false words, my heart was full of hatred: The CCP was doing everything in its power in repressing and persecuting The Church of Almighty God for the sake of suppressing religious belief! It was using the case of Zhaoyuan to frame and make false charges against The Church of Almighty God, and what a cruel and wicked means it is!

It was using the case of Zhaoyuan to frame and make false charges against The Church of Almighty God

That evening, neither my husband nor I was able to sleep like a log. My husband urged me to go into hiding and to put the book of the word of God in a good hiding place, or if not that then to return it to the church. Otherwise, when the CCP finds it one day, they would raid our home. After hearing what my husband said, I thought of the experiences of the brothers and sisters in the past I had heard of who had been seized, been fined, and been imprisoned, and whose houses had been raided, and I also thought of my own cousin. He got into a dispute with the chief of the local police station because he couldn’t bear the sight of the man always obnoxiously bullying the common people, and was sentenced to a year of reeducation through labor. The whole house suffered, young and old. The CCP is a demon that can’t be reasoned with. If I were arrested and imprisoned because of my faith, and if our house was raided, would that be fair to my husband and child? I tossed and turned restlessly and had trouble falling asleep, constantly imagining myself in a scenario where I was being taken away and my house was raided by the CCP, and my husband and child were implicated…. I couldn’t help but feel a wave of desolation and fear in my heart. I felt how difficult it was in China to believe in God, be a good person, and follow the right path, and that my life is in danger at any time. But if I were to betray God out of fear of the CCP, my conscience would be condemned for the rest of my life. Even if I were drifting along in life without purpose, I would be essentially a walking corpse. If I died I would also be barred from seeing God again. At that time, I was confused and pained in my heart, was totally powerless, and had reached an extreme in being negative and weak.

Just when I was suffering, I recalled the words of the Lord Jesus: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Mat 10:28). “For whoever will save his life shall lose it: and whoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it” (Mat 16:25). The words of the Lord Jesus gave me faith and strength, and dispelled anxiety and fear from my heart. I thought: “God is sovereign over all things and living creatures, and my life and household are also under God’s control. All that I have come from God, and I cannot betray God at this crucial time.” At this time, I thought about Job’s circumstances when his household was plundered and his children were killed, and he was left with nothing, yet he was still able to maintain his loyalty to God. He praised the holy name of Jehovah and stood witness to God. And yet, merely in the face of the rumors and disturbances manufactured by the CCP government, and not even having been arrested or raided at home, I was weak and negative. I saw that my stature was in fact pathetically low, and that I had not one iota of true faith in God. Thinking of this, my heart was filled with shame before God. I silently made the resolution: No matter what, I must not betray God, and I would keep my faith no matter how much suffering or difficulty I faced!

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