By Mengxing, Spain
From the time I was little, my condition at home wasn’t good and I suffered much, so after growing up, I told myself that I absolutely had to have a career to give my family a good life. After marriage, my wife and I started a small business. Because of too many affairs, both inside and outside of the house, my wife was becoming more and more irritable. However, after believing in Almighty God, she seldom lost temper and began to be patient to our child—our family was very happy. When our business wasn’t busy, my wife would play hymns of God’s words for me and advise me to have gatherings with her. I, however, thought that having God in my heart was enough and that I was too busy with business to attend gatherings, and so I told my wife just to believe in God properly herself. Yet what was to come shattered my life’s previous tranquility …
One time, when my sister and my aunt came here for a sightseeing trip, they saw that my wife sometimes went out to attend gatherings. Then my sister told me that there was a lot of negative information online in which the CCP condemned The Church of Almighty God by saying that the church took people’s money and that the boundaries between men and women were unclear. She also told me to keep close watch on my wife. Hearing her words, I felt very displeased and said my wife would never do anything to betray me. Subsequently, my aunt tried to exhort me, “Since the CCP government says this, could that be wrong? We are doing so for your own good and the good of your family. …” After she finished, I thought, “Since I was little, my aunt has taken good care of me and has always been considerate of me. Now that she also said that, could it be that my wife’s faith is incorrect? But my wife has changed for the better since believing in Almighty God.” Thinking of this, I changed subjects to put them off talking about the matter.
Two days later, after my brother who was working for the government came back from a meeting in the district, he came to urge me saying, “The central government once again issued secret orders to seriously crack down on The Church of Almighty God by secretly conducting mass arrests of its members. If your wife gets arrested because of her belief in Almighty God, not only would you be unable to continue doing business, but also your child would have his qualifications canceled for taking the college entrance examination and joining the army, and wouldn’t be able to find a job. Even I might get caught up in this. So you have to keep a close eye on your wife and stop her from believing in Almighty God.” Hearing this, I thought, “For the sake of peace in my family, in the past I supported my wife’s faith in God. Now the CCP government has constantly been arresting believers in God. If my wife gets arrested, how then will we be able to live in the future? Won’t our family be finished? No, I have to do something about my wife and cannot allow her to believe in Almighty God anymore.”
Afterward, I began to keep a close eye on my wife: I did not allow her to be in charge of the takings, nor to keep any cent of them except our living expenses. When I saw she was about to go to gatherings, I would stop her, using business as an excuse; sometimes she persisted in going out, but I wouldn’t allow her to ride our electric scooter. Although I had tried every possible way, I still failed to shake her determination to have gatherings. I felt bewildered: What power attracted my wife to attend gatherings in spite of my opposition? Could it be that she really had an affair? The more I thought about it the angrier I got, and I began to experience insomnia. I, who had quit smoking and drinking, started to go out drinking with my friends, and after returning home, I would quarrel with my wife to vent my dissatisfaction. During this period, my wife had been explaining to me and asking me not to believe the online rumors. She would advise me to investigate The Church of Almighty God and remind me to see the changes that had taken place in her since believing in Almighty God. Her words left me speechless. But then I thought of how there were so many frauds in this world—what if she got conned? And what if she got arrested by the CCP government? I was so concerned for my wife’s safety that no matter what she said, I simply wouldn’t listen and still kept scolding her. Seeing my wife so wronged and sad, I also felt very upset.
In the following days, in order to change my wife’s mind, I turned a cold shoulder to her and did not give her money. My wife, however, still took care of our family as usual, without a word of complaint. At that time, I felt very conflicted: If I continue trying to hinder her faith like this, it will hurt our relationship. But if I don’t do so and she gets arrested and imprisoned by the CCP government, won’t our family be finished? In order to protect our family, I told myself not to be soft-hearted but to try every means to stop my wife from believing in God. Due to my obstruction, our home lost the happiness it once had. This made me miserable.
One year later, due to the CCP’s large-scale development of the western region, the place for my business was torn down by force. Because of my failure to find another suitable storefront at the time, I became very anxious. Later, my friend asked me to do the automotive repair business with him and I felt very happy. But because I couldn’t afford two to three hundred thousand yuan which I had to invest and I failed to take out a loan, I lost the rare chance of fortune. At that time, thinking of how I was already in my thirties yet accomplished nothing and didn’t realize my hope of giving my family a good life, and how even then I had no source of income, I really felt hopeless. I couldn’t help but sigh: Why are people’s lives so painful and exhausting in this world? Why am I so useless and always inferior to others? I just couldn’t accept this as the truth and felt that rather than living exhausted like this, it would be better for me to die. My wife saw how dispirited I was feeling and she tried to persuade me to believe in God and said that Almighty God’s words could resolve all of our difficulties. I thought: I’m staying at home with nothing to do now anyway, so why don’t I listen to what they talk about in gatherings. Then I told my wife I was willing to attend their gatherings.
One day, my wife brought two sisters of The Church of Almighty God over to our house. They fellowshiped with me about the truths concerning God’s three stages of work and the meaning of. After that, they read two passages of God’s words, “There are still many satanic poisons in people’s lives, in their handling things, and in their conduct and dealings with others—they are almost without a shred of truth—for example, their life philosophies, their ways of doing things, and their maxims are filled with the poisons of the great red dragon, and they all come from Satan. So, what flows through people’s bones and blood are all things of Satan.” “No one actively seeks out God’s footsteps and the appearance of God, and no one is willing to exist in the care and keeping of God. Instead, they wish to rely on the corrosion of Satan, the evil one, in order to adapt to this world, and to the rules of existence that wicked mankind follows. At this point, the heart and spirit of man have become man’s tribute to Satan and become Satan’s foodstuff. Even more, the human heart and spirit have become a place in which Satan can reside and its fitting playground. Thus does man unknowingly lose his understanding of the principles of being human, and of the value and meaning of human existence. The laws of God and the covenant between God and man gradually fade away in man’s heart, and he ceases to seek or pay heed to God. With the passage of time, man no longer understands why God created him, nor does he understand the words from the mouth of God and all that comes from God. Man then begins to resist the laws and decrees of God, and his heart and spirit become deadened…. God loses the man that He originally created, and man loses the root of his beginning: This is the sorrow of this human race.”
After they finished reading God’s words, a sister fellowshiped this, “From God’s words we can see that after we humans are corrupted by Satan, it has used such things as school education, the impact of social contagion, and the influence of famous, great people to instill into us all kinds of satanic toxins such as ‘There has never been any Savior,’ ‘Man can create a pleasant homeland with his own hands,’ ‘One’s destiny is in his own hand,’ and ‘Hard work leads to success.’ Living by these poisons, we’re becoming incredibly arrogant, and always want to shake off God’s rule and create a beautiful future by depending on ourselves. Just like you, after growing up, you have always wanted to rely on your own ideas to do some business to give your family a happy life. This is living by the satanic poison that ‘Man can create a pleasant homeland with his own hands.’ Therefore, after your storefront was torn down, you did all you could to seek ways to earn money to realize your dream. When reality did not live up to what you wanted it to be, you felt an unbearable pain and even had the thought of death. Obviously, Satan’s poisons aren’t truths but fallacies and living by them can never help us realize our dreams but can only bring about more pain and make us live more and more with nothing to look forward to. In order to rid ourselves of Satan’s harm, we have to come before God, read God’s words and understand the truth, and thus see through Satan’s tricks, forsake and reject Satan.”
I then realized that the reason why my life was so painful and tiring was all because I lived by Satan’s poisons. I thought of how, because my family was poor in my childhood, I swore to myself that when I grew up I would rely on my desperate work to change my family’s poor life. After marriage, I also relied on my own ideas to struggle and seek ways to earn money. Although I ended up battered and bruised, I still wasn’t willing to admit defeat. Because of this, I had been living in pain. Although my wife asked me to believe in God and attend gatherings with her many times, I had no heart to heed her words because I thought that I was the backbone of the family and that I must earn much more money to make my family live life at the top. In order to make money, I had given a lot. Ay, Satan had done me so much harm!
Following that, the sister played a hymn of God’s words for me. The lyrics of it are sung thusly, “The fate of man is controlled by the hands of God. You are incapable of controlling yourself: Despite man always rushing and busying himself on his own behalf, he remains incapable of controlling himself. If you could know your own prospects, if you could control your own fate, would you still be a created being?” God’s words deeply touched my heart. Yes. God is the Creator. We human beings are God’s creations. Our fates are ruled in God’s hands. No matter when, we cannot escape God’s rule and arrangements. Although we can plan our own future and have our own dreams, we never can change our fates by relying on our own thinking and two hands. This is God’s authority. In order to escape all this pain, I should come before God, accept and obey His orchestration and arrangements. After understanding, I no longer felt distressed because of my inability to open a business and earn big money. Instead, I was willing to calmly face my future life, submit my own destiny to God, and allow Him to arrange. Through that gathering, I had some understanding of God’s sovereignty—I felt very liberated and looked forward to our next meeting.
One day, my wife went out to work and the two sisters came to a gathering at the time we had arranged. After we had fellowshiped for a while, one of the sisters said that she would leave to attend to other business. I really wanted to listen to their fellowship, so I asked the other sister to continue communing with me. Never had I thought that she said to me, “It’s not appropriate. Each home has its customs, each country its laws, and there are also administrative rules in The Church of Almighty God. The Administrative Decrees of the Kingdom states, ‘Man has a corrupt disposition and is moreover possessed of emotions. As such, it is absolutely prohibited for two members of the opposite sex to work together unaccompanied when serving God. Any who are discovered doing so will be expelled, without exception.’ God knows that after being corrupted by Satan, we human beings all have affections and lust. So it is stipulated by the house of God that a man and a woman can’t be alone together and that whoever is discovered doing so will be expelled, without exception. The administrative decrees of God’s house are truths and must not be offended by anyone. The regulations of God’s house are all there to protect us. Since we are members of The Church of Almighty God, we should practice according to God’s words, for only that accords with God’s will. So, let’s stop here for today and continue fellowshiping next time!”
After listening to God’s words and the sister’s fellowship, I felt very surprised: So God’s house has this system of administrative decrees! It is indeed different from the world. At that point, I felt ashamed and deeply remorseful for my previous wild conjecture about my wife. Also, I had discernment of the online rumor that “The boundaries between men and women of The Church of Almighty God are unclear.” After that, I began to attend gatherings alongside my wife.
Once, after a meeting I overheard the brothers and sisters discussing work, “Due to the needs of the church’s work, we have to rent an apartment. …” I thought, “When my wife was a believer in the Lord, she was supposed to make donations. However, since I’ve been following Almighty God, the books of God’s words, gospel videos and movies, and MVs are all free. Now the church work needs money, I, as a member of the church, have a responsibility to offer up my share.” Therefore, in the next gathering, I took out some money to make an offering, but the sisters did not accept it and said that they were not enjoining people to make donations but just discussing work. Moreover, they told me, “The church’s rule is that God’s chosen people making offerings must be done through reading God’s words, understanding God’s will to save man in the last days and the meaning of making offerings, and being willing to repay God’s love and out of willing obedience to God. Only then will the church accept the donation. Plus, the money offered by brothers and sisters is an offering made to God, used for the church work; it is not made for any one person in particular.”
Hearing their fellowship, I thought: In The Church of Almighty God, there are principles not only on the coordination between men and women, but also for the offering of money. How can such a church be like it says online and try to take people’s money? At that time, I realized that the CCP’s words were all rumors and lies meant to deceive people, vilify and besmirch The Church of Almighty God. Coming to this realization eliminated all my misunderstandings about my wife and I quietly resolved to practice my faith alongside her and to read God’s words. However, later, frequent appearances of the CCP’s negative publicity on The Church of Almighty God on the Internet and TV were great tests for me, who hadn’t laid the foundation of my faith in God.