When I was a student, I became a Christian. At that time, my mom often took me to the church after she learned that there was a free remedial course there, which offered me a chance to come into contact with Christianity. I guess that was from God’s sovereignty and arrangements.
Under the influence of the pastors and brothers and sisters in the church, I was favorably inclined toward Christianity. Through studying the Bible and communicating with brothers and sisters, I had some knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and knew that He was crucified in order to save us sinners. Though I wasn’t familiar with Christianity and didn’t fully know about the history of the Bible at that time, I thought I had found spiritual sustenance and knew that I should pray to the Lord Jesus for peace and entrust my everything to Him. Besides, I also saw the Lord’s work in brothers and sisters: They served the Lord fervently, and they lived in harmony with each other and helped each other. I was deeply moved by these and was resolved to accept the Lord Jesus as my Lord and join this big family.
I was formerly an ordinary believer of the Praise Church. One day in October, 2011, two young brothers came to my home and preached the gospel to me, saying, “The Lord Jesus that we have been longing for has returned and done a new work. His name is Almighty God.” Hearing this, I thought: It says clearly in the Bible that there is none other name under heaven given among men, and that only Jesus is the Savior. So I said to them, “You say that the returned Lord Jesus is called Almighty God. That is impossible. The Bible clearly records, ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8). ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). The name of the Lord will never change and we believers in the Lord will only hold onto the name of the Lord Jesus. I don’t want to listen to you anymore! Go away.” Afterward, I pretended I had something else to do and turned them away.
One day when I was browsing the web, I saw a short story The Frog in the Well Knows Nothing of the Great Ocean. Although I had read it from the textbook as a child, when reading it again I still couldn’t help laughing: The frog was so shortsighted and ignorant. If it jumped out of the well to broaden its outlook, it would certainly be able to see a vaster sky and a wonderful world. At this thought, it suddenly occurred to me that in the past when I believed in God, I was also shortsighted and lived within my conceptions and imaginations. Thank God for His gracious gift. It was after I attended the feast of the Lamb that I gained a bit of true knowledge of God and His work. Looking out of the window, I thought back to the past unconsciously.
In 2011, I came to America alone. I was quite strange to everything here and felt perplexed about my future. By a chance opportunity, Brother Luo preached the gospel of the Lord Jesus to me. Then I started to go to the church to have meetings. I originally thought that I would understand more and surely be more knowledgeable of God in this way, but never did I expect that the fact was contrary to my imaginations. Although I attended meetings at the church for more than half a year, there was no enjoyment in my heart. What the pastors and elders preached was just empty Bible knowledge, which couldn’t solve my practical problems that I confronted in my life or help me in knowing God. Moreover, while the pastor was preaching on the pulpit, the believers sitting in the congregation would just play on their phones or doze off. The brothers and sisters all talked about a life of pleasure when they gathered. Worse still, many advertisements of letting house and jobs were released in the church … I felt very disappointed to see those, and so I didn’t go to church gradually.
My aunt is a Catholic. When I was eight or nine years old, together with my family, I believed in Catholicism with my aunt. At that time, I particularly liked to hear my aunt talk about the miracles performed by the Lord Jesus, such as: feeding five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, making the blind see, walking on the sea, and so on. Through my aunt’s interpretation, I knew that this one true God is the Lord Jesus: He not only rules over all things in the universe, but also dominates and arranges the fate of all mankind. And I knew that after our ancestors Adam and Eve, because of not keeping God’s words, were enticed by the devil and ate the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then mankind began to sin. After being corrupted by Satan, mankind became more and more degenerate, lived under Satan’s influence, and suffered its affliction. God didn’t want to see us being abused by Satan, so He personally became flesh on earth and took on humanity’s sin through crucifixion. God’s love is so great. I was moved by the great love of God, and determined to be a person who likes what God likes and hates what God hates.
Ever since I have any memory, my parents have been doing odd jobs and worship in the temple. I once asked my mom, “What kind of god do you believe in?” She said, “I don’t know, yet I have to worship because this has been handed down through generations.” I thought: If she herself doesn’t know what she worships, what’s the meaning of her worship? Therefore, I think my mom is blindly worshiping. Afterward, I grew up gradually, and began to search for my own belief. At that time, I had a middle school classmate who was a Christian. After graduation from middle school, she invited me to attend a preaching meeting, and I accepted her invitation happily. At the preaching meeting, I heard the pastor read the following scripture: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” I was deeply touched, feeling God’s love is so great that He has bestowed mankind His Son in order that they could gain eternal life through Him. Therefore, after the preaching meeting, I asked the pastor to pray for me and decided to return to the Lord. After believing in the Lord, I was eager to read the Bible. Gradually, I understood some biblical knowledge, and began to serve in the English church service.
When I was small, I followed my aunt in her belief in the Lord and we would often attend Sunday worship. Toward the end of 2017, I found I had no time to attend gatherings at church because I was so busy at work, and so I began attending Bible study classes online. I met Sister Xu in my Bible study group and saw that she was quite compassionate. No matter what questions I had, she would always patiently fellowship with me so that my problems could be resolved. Later, Sister Xu testified to me that the Lord had returned in the last days and was performing a new stage of work, that of using His words to judge and purify our sins, and that He will lead those who have been purified into His kingdom. She also read many of Almighty God’s words to me and gave me fellowship on such truths as God’s three stages of work, the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan and the mystery of God’s name. I’d never before heard about these things and I felt this way to be fresh and new, and I wanted to continue looking into the way she was preaching.
One afternoon two weeks later, however, I saw in my Christian group on Facebook a post condemning The Church of Almighty God, and I thought to myself, “How can you condemn The Church of Almighty God like that?” I’d had contact with the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God and the words of Almighty God they’d read were very authoritative, and were words I’d never heard before. Furthermore, they were so good to other people, so sincere and loving. But when I saw online that the people from The Church of Almighty God read the book, The Word Appears in the Flesh, and not the Bible, I began to have misgivings. Because my pastor always preached that, “If one believes in the Lord then one has to read the Bible, and to depart from the Bible is heresy,” I felt very worried, and I didn’t know whether I wanted to keep looking into it. But then I thought of how the words of Almighty God my brothers and sisters had read to me during our gatherings were possessed of such authority and how Almighty God had unveiled so many mysteries. When I heard these things, my spirit felt such enjoyment and I believed that Almighty God’s words came from God. If Almighty God was the Lord returned and I didn’t follow Him, then I would be weeded out and abandoned by God. My heart was in a turmoil of conflict….
One morning, when walking in the alley of a park, I saw the cherry trees beside me were wreathed. The fragrance assailed my nose, and made me feel fresh. At that point, I came to realize the spring had already come. With people being eagerly anticipation, the spring came and brought us gladness and hope. Similarly, aren’t we who believe in the Lord hoping for the return of the Lord Jesus night and day? But we have no idea at all that He has already come into the world and secretly worked for many years, bringing people a new age and bestowing upon people higher truth and life. When thinking of this, I couldn’t help being grateful to God inside, because when the flowers blossomed in spring last year, I was reunited with the Lord, welcoming the “spring” of my life of faith …
The Bible says, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8–9). “For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:10). Based on these, many brothers and sisters believe that the Lord Jesus was crucified and took on all of our sins, that we have gained righteousness through our faith in Him and we are forever saved, and that when the Lord comes, we will be directly raptured into the kingdom of heaven.
However, the situation is unfavorable. Many believers live lives of sinning by day and confessing by night, are bound and depressed by sin. And many are confused about the following, “Since the Lord is holy, are people like us who are still living in sin truly qualified to enter the heavenly kingdom?” Brother Jin Xianzhe was once confused by this as well. However, after a period of seeking, finally he not only found the way to be free from sin and enter the kingdom of heaven but also welcomed the Lord’s return.
My Spirit Languished in Darkness, but by Chance I Came Across a Special Bible Study Class
“Mommy, mommy, how can you be asleep again?”
When my daughter woke me up, I realized that I’d fallen asleep again during prayers, and I felt very guilty. I slapped my legs that had gone numb from kneeling for so long, stood up, and walked over to the window. As I gazed at the clear, bright moon hanging in the night sky, I couldn’t help but slip into recollections of the past.