The Storm Caused at Home by the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case
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.
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!
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!
At noon on the following day, my husband came back home, and threw down the newspaper in his hand in front of me. He said, “Take a good look! It says in the newspaper that they can be arrested as long as one is discovered to believe in Almighty God. Prison is not a place you want to spend any time at all. Not only are people beaten, but dozens of them are crammed together in a single cell. If someone goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night, they have nowhere to sleep when they get back. If you’re arrested, I’ll have no money to bail you out. If you’re arrested and sentenced for several years, you’ll be submissive!” Listening to my husband’s merciless talk, I was deeply pained in my heart. Even more than that, I hated the demonic CCP. If not for them creating confusion through rumors, their compulsion, and their persecution, my husband would support me in my faith in God. He wouldn’t be compelling me like he was at the time. For lack of any better option, I just implored God in my heart: “Almighty God! I know that everything the CCP is disseminating is just rumor and slander, libel, and blasphemy against You. The CCP is none other than Satan, Your enemy. But now, I am experiencing some weakness in my heart, and I wish that God would protect me, give me more wisdom, allow me to be able to see through the tricks and craftiness of Satan and to be able to stand resolutely with God and not be intimidated by the evil forces of the CCP….” After I prayed, I had no desire at all in my heart to shun God, and thought of the word of Almighty God: “When the Lord Jesus did something such as bringing Lazarus back from the dead, His goal was to give proof for humans and for Satan to see, and to let humans and Satan know that mankind’s everything, mankind’s life and death are determined by God, and that even though He had become flesh, as always, He remained in command of the physical world that can be seen as well as the spiritual world humans cannot see. This was to let humans and Satan know that mankind’s everything is not under the command of Satan. This was a revealing and a demonstration of God’s authority, and it was also a way for God to send a message to all things that mankind’s life and death is in God’s hands. The Lord Jesus’ resurrection of Lazarus—this type of approach was one of the ways for the Creator to teach and instruct mankind. It was a concrete action in which He used His ability and authority to instruct mankind, and to provide for humans. It was a way without words for the Creator to allow mankind to see the truth of Him being in command of all things. It was a way for Him to tell mankind through practical actions that there is no salvation other than through Him. This type of silent means of His instructing mankind lasts forever—it is indelible, and it brought to human hearts a shock and enlightenment that can never fade. The resurrection of Lazarus glorified God—this has a deep impact on every single one of God’s followers. It firmly fixes in every person who deeply understands this event the understanding, the vision that only God can command mankind’s life and death” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). This fact of God allowing Lazarus to rise from the dead deeply encouraged me, and I had strength again in my heart, and I rose up again unyielding: Yes! God controls all things in the universe, and people’s life and death are in the palm of God’s hand. No person can be in charge of it, and whether or not I am arrested is also in God’s hands. The word of God once again protected me, and the faith in my heart in God was once again increased. The panic and fear in my heart was also greatly settled.
The rumors of the CCP destroyed the peace and happiness that we once had in our household. In order to avoid any further disturbance at home, I had to be very cautious and careful in attending meetings and doing my duty, and I felt very oppressed by this. Later, after my father heard about the May 28 Case of Zhaoyuan, he began to oppose me. He said, “Believe whatever you want, but you may not transmit the gospel to anyone else or go out to attend gatherings. At such an old age I won't be able to handle any trouble. You have to think about the whole family, young and old! Believing in God is good, but you weren’t born in a country with freedom of belief. The weak can’t contend with the strong, and the CCP treats people who believe in God as political prisoners. You know all this, so don’t make us feel the same level of anxiety as you.” My own family compelling me against my will and their lack of understanding made me feel deeply tormented. In that time, my heart was in worry and suspense all day, living in fear that I myself would be arrested by the CCP and would bring trouble to my family at the first slip-up. So whenever I would go out, I would carefully conceal the books of the word of God and anything that had to do with believing in God. When I attended gatherings, I was afraid that I would be reported by someone, and that I would cause my family to be implicated. For this reason, my mind was constantly in a state of high alert and defensiveness, and whenever I saw a police car or an officer my heart would involuntarily jump into my throat. This was indescribable suffering, and I felt that believing in God in China was like living one’s life on the edge of a knife blade. I couldn’t help but feel even greater hatred for this evil atheist CCP: What was it that was bad about us following the correct path? Why don’t they let people believe in God? Why do they frantically oppress, seize, and persecute people whom they see believing in God? Why do they hate it so much when people believe in God? It’s so evil!
Afterward, I finally understood the truth of the matter when I read the word of Almighty God. The word of God says: “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. What is its objective? It does not want God to have anyone; it wants all those that God wants, to possess them, control them, to take charge of them so they worship it, so they commit evil acts alongside it. Is this not Satan’s sinister motive? … This issue has made Satan’s hideous countenance and its essence very clear. Satan is at war with God, trailing along behind Him. Its objective is to demolish all the work God wants to do, to possess and control those whom God wants, to completely extinguish those whom God wants. If they are not extinguished, then they come to Satan’s possession to be used by it—this is its objective” (“God Himself, the Unique IV” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The word of God allowed everything to become clear to me: Looking at it from the outside, it was the CCP government forcing us not to believe in God, but behind the scenes it was a spiritual battle taking place. It was God and Satan battling with each other over mankind. Because Satan is the arch enemy of God and is the demon which betrays and resists God, it has wanted ever since it corrupted mankind to take control of them, as well as not to allow people to worship God or to allow God to obtain mankind who God created. So since the beginning of God’s work in saving mankind all the way up to the present, Satan has been doing its utmost in causing disturbances and trying to tear down God’s work. Satan makes use of every kind of despicable means for obstructing us from returning to God. Today, in order to obstruct me from believing in God, Satan uses rumors to incite disharmony among me and my family members. It uses affections and psychological tactics to threaten, entice, menace, and attack me. Its goal in doing all of this is to cause me to shun, deny, betray God, and to attempt to control me in its hands and make me its slave, and ultimately to cause me to be destroyed alongside it by God. The CCP’s intentions are truly insidious, and it resists God frantically in being the enemy of God. It is certainly a demon which devours the souls of the people, just as is said in the word of God: “Satan wins its fame through deceiving the public. It often establishes itself as a vanguard and role model of righteousness. Under the banner of safeguarding righteousness, it harms man, devours their souls, and uses all sorts of means to benumb, deceive and incite man. Its goal is to make man approve of and follow along with its evil conduct, to make man join it in opposing God’s authority and sovereignty. However, when one grows wise to its schemes, plotting and vile features and does not wish to continue to be trampled upon and fooled by it or to continue slaving away for it, or to be punished and destroyed together with it, Satan changes its previously saintly features and tears off its false mask to reveal its true evil, vicious, ugly and savage face. It would love nothing more than to exterminate all those who refuse to follow it and those who oppose its evil forces” (“God Himself, the Unique II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The revelations in the word of God have let me see through to the true face of the CCP, and see that it is genuinely the embodiment of Satan, and that it is the most evil influence of Satan. It uses the May 28 Case of Zhaoyuan to start rumors and frame The Church of Almighty God in an attempt to deceive and incite people, and to get those people who don’t understand the truth of the matter to stand together with it and resist God along with it. The purpose of the CCP concocting the case of Zhaoyuan and shifting the blame onto The Church of Almighty God was to search for grounds and excuses for seizing and persecuting Christians. It is a futile attempt to snatch up all Christians in one net and eliminate them root and branch, and to thoroughly prohibit The Church of Almighty God and religious belief, reaching all the way to their wild scheme of establishing an atheist zone in China. The essence of the CCP truly is extremely treacherous and evil!
When I came to know the actual situation of the spiritual war and the evil essence of the CCP, another question arose in my mind: Isn’t God omnipotent? Why does God allow the CCP government to persecute us? The word of Almighty God unraveled the confusion in my mind, where it says: “I once said that My wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s schemes. Why did I say that? Is that not the truth behind what I am saying and doing right now?” (“The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “God intends to use a portion of evil spirits’ work to perfect a portion of man, so that these people can completely see through demons’ deeds, and allow everyone to truly understand their ancestors. Only then can humans completely break free, not only forsaking the posterity of the demons, but even more so their ancestors. This is the original intent of God completely defeating the great red dragon, to make it so that all of man knows the great red dragon’s true form, completely tearing off its mask, and seeing its true form. This is what God wants to achieve, and it is His final goal on earth for which He has done so much work; He aims to accomplish this in all of man. This is known as the maneuver of all things for God’s purpose” (“Interpretation of the Forty-first Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I understood from the word of God that God was making use of the compulsion by satanic evil influence of the CCP to do service for the perfection of His chosen people. Through the CCP’s resisting, accusing, and starting rumors to besmirch The Church of Almighty God, and compelling and seizing Christians, God lets us see through to the satanic essence of the CCP’s enmity for the truth and for God. He lets us truly distinguish and forsake it and allows us never again to suffer its confusion, to get out from under the domain of Satan, and to return to the presence of God. At the same time, God also makes use of the seizure and persecution by the demonic CCP to reveal all kinds of people, and to separate people according to their class. Those who are timid, of false belief, and are like Judas are revealed and eliminated in the ferocious persecution of the CCP; those who truly believe in God and pursue the truth and who have the loyalty to God stand witness to God under the ferocious persecution of the CCP and become overcomers made by God. When I understood all this, my misunderstandings, complaints, and perplexity about God were all removed. Furthermore, I saw how wise and almighty God is, and that God’s wisdom is certainly established upon Satan’s ruses.
I also read in the word of God: “We trust that no country or power can stand in the way of what God wishes to achieve. Those that obstruct God’s work, resist the word of God, disturb and impair the plan of God shall ultimately be punished by God. He who defies the work of God shall be sent to hell; any country that defies the work of God shall be destroyed; any nation that rises up to oppose the work of God shall be wiped from this earth, and shall cease to exist” (“God Presides Over the Fate of All Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I saw God’s righteous and majestic disposition in the word of God, and saw that no power can resist or surpass God’s almightiness and authority. Although the CCP government always frantically resists God, suppresses, seizes, and persecutes the chosen people of God, and concocts all kinds of rumors to mislead and obstruct people from returning to God, God’s work has still spread throughout the whole of China. Furthermore, a group of overcomers has been made in China, and the gospel of God’s kingdom is in the process of extending to the entire world. No one can obstruct God’s work. Those who resist God and disturb and destroy God’s work are fated to suffer the righteous punishment of God and to be annihilated. This is decided by the righteous disposition of God. The word of Almighty God allowed me to have a sudden flash of insight and for everything to become clear. I was enlightened in an instant, and could not help sighing in my heart, and praising God’s miraculous work. God’s wisdom truly surpasses all the heavens. It is truly wise for God to use the CCP to do service. God’s salvation of mankind is very practical, and makes me convinced in my speech and heart, praising Him without end! In my heart, I silently prayed to God, “God! I don’t want to become chaff that You throw out from the threshing floor, and I don’t want to be blown away by the evil wind of the CCP. I want to become grain stored by God. God! Before, I have never satisfied You, but in the frantic coercion of the CCP, I hope to exhibit sincerity, and to pursue the truth hard, and not to surrender in the face of the evil influence of the CCP government. I also hope to be a person who thirsts for justice and yearns for light, to stand witness to God, and to let God obtain glory….”
After I had this knowledge, I became strong in my heart. I understood that when I was faced with my family members not understanding me and obstructing me, this was all allowed to be so by God, and that it is God who meticulously appoints them to perfect my faith and loyalty and obedience. Never again will I complain about the environment around me, nor will I ever again suffer being controlled by the environment around me. Rather, I will be grateful to God, and secretly resolve the will that no matter what kind of environment God arranges for me, I must always stand witness to God, and loyally do my duty, and that I must absolutely not betray God! Afterward, when I had seen the way God acts, my husband did not oppose me or force me to stop as he had before. Rather, he told me: “It’s not that I don’t allow you to believe, and I admit that you have changed since you began believing in God; it’s just that later you have to be careful and cautious when you go out to attend gatherings!” When I heard what my husband said, there were hot tears in my eyes. In my heart I gave thanks and praise to God for His action, because I had seen that truth and justice is able to overpower all that is dark and evil. Satan’s evil force will die out in God’s work! In this experience, even though I suffered some of the hardship of being refined, I gained some knowledge of the wise work of God. I gained as well the ability to distinguish between positive things and negative things, and all this is wealth in my life that has aroused my resolution and faith to pursue the truth and yearn for light.