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Gospel Reader

The Riches of Life

41

By Wang Jun, Shandong Province

The years since my wife and I accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days have been spent under the oppression of the CCP. During this time, although I have had weaknesses, pain, and tears, I have gained a great deal from experiencing the persecution of the CCP. These bitter experiences have not only made me clearly see CCP’s reactionary, evil satanic nature and its ugly countenance, but I have also known my own corrupt essence. It has also allowed me to experience God’s almightiness and wisdom. I have truly experienced and recognized the actual significance of God utilizing the CCP as a foil, and my confidence in following God has become firmer and firmer.

The Riches of Life

After accepting God’s work in the last days, my wife and I fulfilled our duty by providing hospitality in our home. At that time, there were brothers and sisters living with us and they were frequently going in and out of our house. So, we were relatively well-known in the area for believing in God. In the winter of 2003, the oppression of the CCP became more and more severe. One day, our leader said to us: “The police have their eyes on you. You’re in danger of being arrested at any moment; find a safe place to hide as soon as possible so that you’re not arrested.” After hearing this, I was shocked. I can’t put words to the feeling in my heart when I thought of leaving my home. I thought: “This tile-roofed house that I worked so hard to build, that we have lived in for less than a year—I’m not willing to leave it just like that! Oh God, if You could just let us live here for a few years before we have to leave, that would be fine. Living somewhere else isn’t as convenient, as comfortable as living at home.” But due to the oppression of the CCP, I had no other choice but to sell our new house and move. As I was looking around our newly-built house, I felt a wave of sorrow and pain. I really couldn’t bear to part with it; I felt that selling it at that time was such a shame. Just as I was accounting for the gains and losses of the flesh, I thought of the following words from God: “Abraham offered up Isaac. What have you offered up? Job offered up everything. What have you offered up? So many people have given their lives, laid down their heads, shed their blood in order to seek the true way. Have you paid that price? By comparison, you are not at all qualified to enjoy such great grace” (“The Significance of Saving the Descendants of Moab” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words pierced to the core of my heart like a double-edged sword. I felt terribly ashamed. It was true! In order to meet God’s requirements, Abraham was willing to bear great pain to part with what he loved, to return his only son as a burnt offering to God. When Satan and God made a bet, although Job lost all of his possessions and his ten children, he was still able to praise and extol the name of Jehovah God. Even in the end when he suffered the tortures of being abandoned by his friends and family and being stricken with illness, he would still rather curse the day of his birth than blame God. He made a strong and resounding witness for God and Satan suffered a complete and humiliating defeat. There were also all those saints and prophets through the ages—in order to follow God’s will, some of them gave up their youth and their marriages, some of them gave up their families and relatives and the wealth of the world. Some even laid down their own lives for God’s work. But looking at myself, even though I was enjoying the rare grace of salvation that generations of saints never enjoyed and rich words for life bestowed by God, what had I given up for God? What had I offered up for God? Because of the CCP’s current oppression and arrests, I had no choice but to leave home so that I wouldn’t fall into their evil clutches and be subjected to brutal persecution. However, all I cared about was my new tile-roofed house and the enjoyment of the flesh. I didn’t even value the safety of my own life just for the sake of a bit of fleshly enjoyment right in front of me. I really am greedy for comfort and I value money over life! Today, I wasn’t willing to leave my home behind even for the sake of my safety. If I were asked to turn my back on my own personal interests and devote myself to God or give up my life for God’s work, how could someone like me—who loves money as life itself, who covets the enjoyment of the flesh—be willing to devote himself to God? Would I not just run away straight away? I thought of myself often shooting off my mouth, saying: “I am willing to follow Peter’s example and be a pioneer for loving God. I am willing to give up everything and to expend everything for God. I only want to satisfy God.” But when faced with an actual situation, all this had become lies. I only thought of my own immediate interests, and I actually tried to bargain with God for fleshly enjoyment. Then, I asked myself: Could it be that this is the love I have to return to God? God has said: “If you love, then you will gladly sacrifice and endure hardship, and you will become compatible with Me. You will give up your all for Me…. Otherwise your love would not be love at all, but rather deceit and betrayal! What kind of love is yours? Is it a true love? Or false? How much have you given up? How much have you offered up? How much love have I received from you? Do you know? Your hearts are filled with evil, betrayal, and deceit” (“Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I made an oath in front of God but did not honor it. Isn’t this trying to deceive God, to fool Him? When I thought of that, I couldn’t help but prostrate myself in front of God and pray: “Oh Almighty God! I always used to believe that I was willing to host any number of brothers and sisters without ever whining about any hardships, and that this was an expression of my love for You. But only now have I seen the revelation of the facts that my so-called love was conditional and selective. It was all based on what I wanted, and I only had it in a comfortable environment. But when You required me to endure fleshly hardships and compromise my own interests, my ‘love’ just disappeared. From that I saw that I didn’t really contain love for You and that I was not at all performing my duty to repay Your love, but it was to use a small price I paid to barter for great blessings. I really am an opportunist through and through. I simply am not fit to live in front of You, and I am even less fit to receive all the sustenance for life that You provide! Oh God, I am no longer willing to deceive You and rebel against You, to hurt You. I am willing to keep my vow, to put aside my own personal benefit, and to obey Your orchestrations and arrangements.” After that, I sold that new house, bought a two-room apartment in an unfamiliar place, and we resumed our hosting duties there.

In the blink of an eye it was the spring of 2004 and unexpectedly, the CCP police once again had their eyes on us. They sent two spies to our house pretending to be fortune-tellers to get some information. I gave thanks to God for His enlightenment and guidance; we saw through their scheme, and relying on God, we employed wisdom and ushered them out. After the church learned of this, our duties were suspended. They suggested us to find jobs in order to safeguard our environment. From that time on, we had almost no contact with our brothers and sisters. The local situation became more and more tense. Six months later, we unexpectedly received a notification from the church saying that a Judas had sold us out and that we needed to move as quickly as possible to avoid falling into the hands of the CCP. Facing this situation, I couldn’t help but have a hatred for the CCP. I thought of the past when I had heard the CCP’s words proclaiming: “Citizens have freedom of religion, and their legitimate rights and interests are protected.” There were also churches being built; my adoration of the Party really increased. But that day, in the face of reality, I finally clearly saw the ugly face of the CCP. I saw through its machinations and realized that what it proclaimed and what it did were worlds apart—the things the CCP said and did were nothing but lies and deception. They were all despicable means to deceive and blind people. The CCP was sinister and ruthless, cunning and deceitful, perverse, against Heaven, and utterly reactionary. It was a demon that devoured and brought harm to people! God incarnate came to the earth to save His creation, mankind. This was something that was right and proper; it was an enormous, joyous thing, but the CCP would not allow God to come among mankind, would not allow people to worship God and walk a proper path in their lives. It did everything it could to frantically hunt Christ, it cruelly persecuted the chosen people of God, and tried to disrupt and destroy God’s work. It attempted to exterminate God, to kill all the chosen people of God, and to demolish God’s work in the last days. It truly was utterly reactionary and intolerable by Heaven! Just then these words of God just came into my mind: “Religious freedom? The legitimate rights and interests of citizens? They are all tricks for covering up sin! … Why put up such an impenetrable obstacle to the work of God? Why employ various tricks to deceive God’s folk? Where is the true freedom and legitimate rights and interests? Where is the fairness? Where is the comfort? Where is the warmth? Why use deceitful schemes to trick God’s people? Why use force to suppress the coming of God? Why not allow God to freely roam upon the earth that He created? Why hound God until He has nowhere to rest His head?” (“Work and Entry (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through God’s words I was able to clearly see the ugly face of the CCP, to clearly see the truth of its resistance to and persecution of God as well as its harm and restraints of people. I thought of how many brothers and sisters who, under its oppression and pursuit, could not return home and led the lives of vagabonds, of the homeless. I thought of how many brothers and sisters had suffered the destructiveness of its inhuman torture, how many brothers and sisters had been imprisoned on false charges and passed so many dark days, leading hellish lives no better than a dog or a pig, only because they believed in God and performed their duty. I also thought of how many brothers and sisters who had no freedom at all under its surveillance; they could not lead a normal life. Today, us believing in God and offering hospitality for our brothers and sisters was merely performing our duty as creations. We were carrying out our responsibilities, and absolutely had not contravened the laws or regulations, but we were still subject to CCP’s baseless strictures and oppression. We could only uproot ourselves and go to yet another place to fulfill our duty. In spite of this, the police did not relax in their pursuit of us, they actually disguised themselves as fortune-tellers to dig up information, thinking they could find some evidence to arrest and persecute us. The CCP truly is immeasurably sinister, treacherous, despicable, and vicious! At that thought, I felt even greater righteous indignation and was full of deep hatred for the CCP. Thanks be to God! It was God’s practical work and words that completely removed the mask of the CCP and fully exposed the ugliness of its hypocrisy with an appearance of dignity. This finally opened my eyes which had been blind. My spirit was awakened, and I saw the clarity of the truth that the CCP builds up its name by deceiving the public and the truth of its deceit and harmfulness. So I had the confidence and determination to firmly forsake it, to reject it. Meanwhile, I gained an even greater understanding of God’s righteousness, holiness, brightness, beauty and goodness. I saw His great salvation and care for us corrupt humans. No matter how harsh the environment was, no matter what kind of resistance and oppression there was from the CCP, God has never given up His salvation for us. He is still enduring all suffering to do the work He must do. In this filthy, evil world, God is all we can rely upon—He gives us the greatest love and the greatest salvation. This has led to my aspiration and longing for a lifetime of pursuing the truth, and following Christ. Thanks be to God for laying out such a feast for me to partake of, that in the midst of misery I can gain discernment and insight. From now on, no matter how the CCP persecutes or pursues me, I will rely on God, not be intimidated by its despotism, and break through the control of the forces of darkness. I only wish to closely follow God and fulfill the duty of a created being in order to repay the grace of God’s salvation.

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