By Grace, Malaysia
I believe many brothers and sisters who have welcomed the Lordhave suffered obstruction of our unbelieving families. When facing these circumstances, we feel helpless, weak, and have nowhere to turn. However, don’t worry; God will give us a path of practice. Once, I relied on God to overcome my husband’s obstructions …
My Husband Warned Me Not to Believe in Almighty God Because of Believing the Rumors
With my phone in his hand, my husband angrily questioned me, “You believe in Almighty God? How come there is The Church of Almighty God app on your cell phone? Haven’t you seen how the CCP condemns The Church of Almighty God online? It says that the believers in Almighty God all forsake their families. I’m warning you, do not believe in Almighty God; otherwise, our family will be gone.”
Before I could respond, he had deleted The Church of Almighty God app and the contacts of my brothers and sisters in the church.
I felt both anxious and angry. He had never yelled at me during these ten years of our marriage, but now he did so because of believing the rumors online. How should I communicate with him to eliminate his misunderstandings about The Church of Almighty God?
One of the Ways to See Through Rumors Is to Discern the CCP’s Essence
I remembered that during meetings, the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God had fellowshiped that the rumors online were fabricated by the CCP to frame and defame The Church of Almighty God. The CCP is an atheistic government, and in essence a satanic regime against God. It despises God and people who believe in God so much. Ever since taking power, it has not desisted in persecuting religious faith, and has severely persecuted The Church of Almighty God, in particular.
Since 1991 when Almighty God appeared to do His work in China, in order to totally outlaw God’s work of the last days, the CCP has claimed that black is white and fabricated incidents to discredit and assault The Church of Almighty God. Also, it has frantically arrested Christians, which has resulted in many Christians being imprisoned—some have been sentenced; some have suffered brutal torture; some have even been beaten to cripples or death. Under these circumstances, Christians belonging to The Church of Almighty God have to uproot themselves and hide from place to place; their families have broken up and they cannot return to their homes; some have even been forced to flee abroad. So it isn’t that they abandon their families, but instead it is because of the CCP’s persecution that they have no choice but to flee their homes. However, the CCP places the blame on its victims, fabricates rumors, smears, and says that the Christians of The Church of Almighty God don’t care about their families. Isn’t this distorting the facts, upending right and wrong? The CCP is the evil ringleader that causes many Christians’ families to be shattered, and causes them to flee their homes and live as vagabonds.
Thinking this, I said a silent prayer to God: “O God, I know that the rumors online are the lies and nonsense of the CCP. They aren’t the plain facts at all. But my husband has been deceived by them and is trying to stop me from believing in You. God, what should I say to him so that he can discern the rumors and thus investigate Your work in the last days? May You lead me.”
Afterward, I said to my husband, unperturbed, “I have no idea what you’ve seen online. But don’t talk nonsense before you understand the truth of the facts. It’s not that you don’t know that the CCP is an atheist government and has always persecuted religious belief. It even condemns and oppresses the believers in the. From the outside it says that its citizens have the right to freedom of religious belief, but privately it uses various means to restrict their freedom of belief. This indicates that the CCP’s words simply cannot be trusted. Besides, the CCP sees that the people who have accepted Almighty God’s work in the last days and read God’s words, begin to understand some truths, walk the right path of life, and gain some discernment of its evil rule and God-resisting essence, so it fears that after being awoken they will reject it. In order to maintain its authoritarian regime, establish a godless realm on earth, and have people firmly in its grasp, the CCP fabricates all kinds of rumors to slander and tarnish The Church of Almighty God. However, as for what kind of church The Church of Almighty God is, you shouldn’t believe the rumors online but should study it practically, and then you will know clearly.”
My husband paused a few moments and then said, “Even though the CCP isn’t speaking the truth, I still don’t believe that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus.”
Then I said, “If you don’t believe this, fine, but my faith in Almighty God is up to me. I cannot give it up!”
Seeing that my attitude was unyielding, my husband related to me a lot of negative publicity online that was circulating about The Church of Almighty God. But I did not listen to him because I had gained some discernment of the CCP’s God-defying essence and known that all the negative publicity were baseless rumors. Upon seeing this, he directly took my phone away and then left in a huff. After he was gone, I quickly prayed to God, “O God, I don’t know whether my husband will try to stop me or not. I only beg You to protect my heart and give me faith. No matter how he tries to hinder me, I’ll persist in attending gatherings.”
My Husband Invited Our Pastor to Try to Change My Mind
One day, our pastor came to my home and said, “I’ve heard that you believe in Almighty God. You don’t understand the Bible very well, so why didn’t you ask us pastors before investigating? Haven’t I said before that God’s words and work are within the Bible? The work and words of Almighty God have gone beyond the Bible, and anything that strays too far away from what is in the Bible is heresy. I advise you to leave The Church of Almighty God as soon as possible and study the Bible together with us.”
I retorted, “At that time, the Lord Jesus preached the way of repentance, didn’t keep the Sabbath, healed the sick and cast out demons, and so on. These are all things that were not recorded in the Old Testament. If we go by what you say and say that any departure from the Bible is heresy, are we not condemning the work of the Lord Jesus? John 21:25 says, ‘And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.’ The Lord Jesus worked for three and a half years and spoke very many words. The Bible is only a very limited account. God is the spring of living waters. How can we limit God’s work and words to what is within the Bible? The Lord Jesus prophesied long ago, ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come’ (John 16:12–13).
“From these verses we can see that the Lord Jesus kept many things from people when He worked then, and that only when He comes again will He tell us. It proves that these words aren’t recorded in the Bible. So, God performs a new work and utters new words beyond the Bible when He comes again in the last days—this completely conforms with the Bible’s prophecies. My acceptance of Almighty God’s work in the last days came after a period of investigation. Through reading many of Almighty God’s words, I’ve finally become sure that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned. I advise you to investigate it as well.”
Hearing this, the pastor said a little angrily, “Am I not always exhorting you not to have anything to do with this church? Our church has many theology classes. If you have any questions, you can directly ask me or other pastors and we’ll tell you the answers. Why do you insist on studying The Church of Almighty God?”
Seeing that I did not listen to him, the pastor tried to use negative videos online to deceive me. He said, “I’ll show you a video and then you’ll know what kind of church The Church of Almighty God is.” After he finished, my husband opened the May 28 Shandong Zhaoyuan Incident video and had me watch it. After a while, the pastor had other things to do and then left.
Halfway through, pointing at the closed captions “Murderers in the Shandong Zhaoyuan Case” and “Members of The Church of Almighty God,” my husband said to me, “Zhang Lidong and his group, members of The Church of Almighty God, killed the person who refused to give them her telephone number. Wouldn’t you be scared too if it were you? Do you still dare to contact the people from the church?” Hearing this, I felt a little nervous, worrying that my inappropriate words would increase his misunderstandings about The Church of Almighty God. Thereupon, I prayed to God silently and asked Him to give me wisdom and help me expose these rumors, so that my husband could understand the truth of the facts.
After praying, I thought of the video The Truth Exposed Behind the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case.
It mentioned that the Shandong Zhaoyuan Case is just a criminal case, bears no association with The Church of Almighty God whatsoever, and is a homicide case crafted by the CCP to frame, defame and entrap The Church of Almighty God. The CCP created something out of nothing with the aim to attack and eliminate The Church of Almighty God, to deceive more people who don’t know the truth, to make them not dare to look into the work of Almighty God and thus losein the last days. This is the CCP government’s sinister intentions. Moreover, there are principles to The Church of Almighty God’s preaching of . It can only be preached to those with a good humanity, who sincerely believe in God, who are willing to seek the true way and who can accept the truth. We do not preach to wicked or bad people. As for Zhang Lidong, The Church of Almighty God would never preach to such a wicked person, much less accept him.
Thinking this, I said to my husband, “From the beginning to the end, these murderers in this case never admitted to being members of The Church of Almighty God, and Lyu Yingchun and Zhang Fan even claimed to be God. People like them, who declared themselves God, were clearly a bunch of psychopaths who had lost their normal humanity and reason. However, the CCP government blatantly distorted the facts. Barely three days after this homicide case had happened, the CCP hurriedly had all major media outlets report it and qualified it in public without any evidence. Anyone with discernment can understand right away that this was the CCP government trying to frame and defame The Church of Almighty God and that the case was premeditated. We are all deceived and fooled by the lies made up by the CCP government. The CCP confuses truth and falsehood, persecutes Christians, and also uses such despicable means to deceive people and stop them from investigating God’s work in the last days. It really is so insidious and crafty! We must have discernment and cannot easily believe these rumors spread by these videos online. To determine whether or not Almighty God’s work in the last days is the true way, you should go to The Church of Almighty God to seek and investigate.”
“Stop talking. I only listen to the pastor. In short, I won’t look into it if he doesn’t accept it.”
My husband’s attitude made me feel sad. He had passionately severed the Lord for many years and had been longing to welcome the Lord’s return during his lifetime. Now the Lord had returned, but he listened to the pastor and not only did not humbly seek but also tried with the pastor to stop me from believing in Almighty God. The pastor was just the same. When God came to perform a new work, not only did he not believe in God, but he also prevented us believers from accepting God’s work—he really went too far. This fulfilled the Lord Jesus’ words rebuking the Pharisees, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in” (Matthew 23:13).
As I did not go to work during the holiday, my husband did not give me my phone in order to keep me from attending gatherings with my brothers and sisters. Unable to get in touch with them, all I could do wasand ask Him to open a way out for me.
God’s Words Enabled Me to Understand Spiritual Warfare and Have Faith
After the three days’ holiday came to an end, I finally got my phone back. When I arrived at school, I used it to contact Sister Huang from The Church of Almighty God and told her about how my husband and the pastor used rumors to try to stop me during these days. Then she read to me a passage of Almighty God’s words, which gave me more faith to experience this adversity. God’s words say, “In every step of work that God does within people, externally it appears to be interactions between people, as if born of human arrangements or from human interference. But behind the scenes, every step of work, and everything that happens, is a wager made by Satan before God, and requires people to stand firm in their testimony to God. Take when Job was tried, for example: Behind the scenes, Satan was making a bet with God, and what happened to Job was the deeds of men and the interference of men. Behind every step of work that God does in you is Satan’s wager with God—behind it all is a battle.”
Sister Huang fellowshiped this, “From the outside, it seems like it is obstruction and suppression from your husband, but in reality, behind all this is a spiritual battle and it is Satan taking up a wager with God. Satan sees that we have accepted God’s work in the last days and walked the path of attaining, but it does not want us to gain God’s salvation, so it becomes exasperated and uses all manner of underhanded methods and means to disrupt and block us from believing in God. It is trying to use your husband’s obstruction to have you distance yourself from God, betray God, and perish along with it. We must see through the essence of this matter. When Job encountered temptations, for example, from the outside, it seemed as though his wealth was all taken away and his children came to unfortunate ends and he himself developed terrible boils all over his body, but in reality, behind this was a wager between Satan and God. Satan attempted to employ such means to force Job to betray God. But Job feared God and shunned evil, and believed that these environments he was faced with were permitted by God, so he did not complain about God in the slightest. When his wife advised him to abandon his , he rebuked her for being a foolish woman and said, ‘[S]hall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?’ (Job 2:10). He stood witness for God, thus causing Satan to flee in humiliation. Your husband’s attempts to coerce you are not only Satan’s temptations, but also God’s tests to see whether you have faith to continue following God. So, we must have discernment of Satan’s evil motive, see through its cunning schemes, and have faith and rely on God to stand witness.”
After hearing what Sister Huang had said, I understood that behind my husband’s attempts to obstruct me and coerce me was a wager between Satan and God, but it was also permitted by God. God wanted me to bear witness and He was also using these circumstances to give me true discernment on Satan’s meanness and shamelessness and sinister intentions, and to increase my faith to do battle with Satan. I realized I had to emulate Job, have the attitude of fearing God, and could not fall into Satan’s schemes. In the future no matter how my husband tried to stop me, I must hold onto my faith in God and stand witness to satisfy God.
When I had some discernment of Satan’s schemes and developed a degree of faith in God, Satan did not accept it without a fight and once again used my husband to escalate the persecution of me. And so another spiritual battle began …
My Husband Persecuted and Controlled Me
When I returned home after work every day, my husband would immediately grab my phone and carefully check it to see whether I attended meetings online or read Almighty God’s words. More frightening was that, every night he would force me to watch the videos online with him in which the religious world and the CCP attacked The Church of Almighty God. Seeing that they unite to resist and condemn Almighty God and His church, I became extremely angry. I could not help but think of the Jewish Pharisees of that time who allied with the Roman government to crucify the Lord Jesus. Now the history of religious community’s resistance to God is repeating itself—pastors and elders of religious circles collude with the CCP to resist Almighty God. Are their ways any different from the Pharisees’? Their aim is to prevent us believers from accepting the true way and resist the work of the returned Lord. They condemn and blaspheme God in such a way, so sooner or later they will be cursed and punished by God.
Because of my husband’s persecution and control, I was only able to sleep around three or four hours a night. In the daytime I would give lectures in school and when returning home after work, I had to do housework and take care of my child. And I had no way to gather together with my brothers and sisters. After a period of time, I felt physically and mentally exhausted.
Once, when I woke up in the middle of the night, I discovered that my husband was discussing over the phone with Brother Ma from my old church how to have me give up my faith in Almighty God. After learning that Brother Ma offered my husband counsel for his persecution of me, I felt extremely angry and thought, “Is he still a believer? Isn’t this fomenting discord between my husband and me?” At the same time, I also blamed my husband’s lack of views of his own. In the matter of the Lord’s return he did not personally investigate but just listened to Brother Ma. Sooner or later he would be like what the Lord Jesus said when He cursed the Pharisees, “[T]hey be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14). In order to have my husband wake up as soon as possible, I decided to go find Brother Ma and fellowship with him, hoping that he could better understand The Church of Almighty God and investigate it together with my husband.
The following day, I found Brother Ma and talked a lot to him, but unexpectedly, he told my husband about our conversation that day.
So, as soon as I arrived home, my husband said, “Why did you reason with Brother Ma? He said that the Lord Jesus was crucified to redeem us and forgive our sins, and so we have been justified by faith and are forever saved. When the Lord returns we will be directly raptured into the kingdom of heaven. It is unnecessary for God to return and do the work of salvation and cleansing. I advise you to listen to Brother Ma and stop believing in Almighty God.”
I said to my husband, “The Lord Jesus said, ‘Not every one that said to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven’ (Matthew 7:21). These words state clearly that only those who do the heavenly Father’s will can enter the kingdom of heaven. In the crucially important matter of receiving the Lord’s coming, we should listen to the words of the Lord rather than those of people. The Lord Jesus absolved us of our sins but never said that we have been totally cleansed through this absolution and are now eligible to enter the heavenly kingdom. The Bible says, ‘[Y]ou shall therefore be holy, for I am holy’ (Leviticus 11:45). Because God is holy, we must cast off our corruption if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven and live together with Him. For people like you and me, who frequently get mad, who are intolerant and impatient with others, and who sin and confess day after day, living bound by sin, do you think that we can enter the kingdom of heaven? The Lord Jesus prophesied long ago that when He returns in the last days, He shall speak His words and perform the work of judging and purifying people. He said, ‘He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:48). From this we can see that to enter the kingdom of heaven we must accept God’s work of judgment of the last days, for only in this way can we cast off the binds of sin and become people who follow God’s way.”
Hearing me say this, my husband said angrily, “I’ve never thought that after believing in Almighty God for just a few days, you’ve made this much progress and could refute me with Bible verses.” Then he asked me some questions and I integrated Bible passages and fellowshiped with him.
He saw that my fellowship was really well-founded, and so he was entirely unable to refute me. After a while, when he saw that I showed no inclination to give up my faith, he could not be resigned to this and then forced me to watch the negative publicity videos. Seeing him act so aggressively, I didn’t know how much longer his persecution would last. I thought, “My husband has time and time again tried to stop me from believing in God and also doesn’t allow me to attend gatherings. If this continues, what should I do?” Thinking this, I unknowingly became a little weak and started wanting to give up, but I knew that this thought was wrong.
In my weakness, I prayed to God, “O God, in the past when my father was strongly opposing my faith in the Lord, I was able to persist in it. But now faced with my husband’s repeated attempts to obstruct me, I feel weak. O God! Now Satan’s attacks are making me miserable. May You give me faith so that I can resolutely follow You to the end.”
God’s Words Gave Me Strength in My Weakness
Thank God. During my time of weakness, Sister Zhang from The Church of Almighty God sent me this passage of God’s words, “Do not be discouraged, do not be weak, and I will make things clear for you. The road to the kingdom is not so smooth; nothing is that simple! You want blessings to come to you easily, do you not? Today, everyone will have bitter trials to face. Without such trials, the loving heart you have for Me will not grow stronger and you will not have true love for Me. Even if these trials consist merely of minor circumstances, everyone must pass through them; it’s just that the difficulty of the trials will vary from one person to another. Circumstances are a blessing from Me.” Then she fellowshiped, “We feel weak and pain in the spiritual battle, but God tells us not to be discouraged. It is difficult to walk this path to the kingdom, during which time, in order to make us lose God’s salvation in the last days, Satan certainly will constantly tempt and disturb us. God also uses such circumstances to enable us to develop true love for Him and truly rely on Him amid pain and tribulation, so that we will end up receiving His blessings for us. This fulfills the Lord Jesus’ words, ‘Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake’ (Matthew 5:10).”
After hearing her fellowship, I felt God’s earnest intention to save people. I also saw my own true stature—when I was faced with my husband’s repeated persecutions, my faith became weak, and it truly was so small. Thereupon, I made a resolution to God: No matter what, I cannot allow myself to be controlled by Satan and I will stand witness for God and humiliate Satan.
The following days, when I got off work my husband would still check my phone, and would delete the new friends I added on Facebook as soon as he saw them. Because he kept a close watch over me, I could not have meetings at home at all. In order to get in touch with my brothers and sisters, I bought another phone and gathered with them online during breaks at work.
My Husband Threatened Me With Divorce
Afterward, my husband discovered that I had contacted brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God on Facebook. He threatened me, saying, “How can you contact the sisters from The Church of Almighty God again? During this time, I’ve been trying every means to keep you from associating with them, so why do you not consider my feelings? If you insist on believing in Almighty God, then let’s get a divorce and sell the house. You leave and I’ll take our child. Think about it.”
Faced with this situation, I felt incredibly distressed. I thought of how we encouraged and supported each other when we believed in the Lord, but now he wanted to divorce me due to my faith in Almighty God. This really hurt me. If we got divorced, what would happen to our child without me taking care of her who was so little? My parents would certainly scold me if they learned that I divorced due to my faith.
Thinking this, I felt very conflicted and didn’t know what to do for the best. So I hurriedly prayed to God, “O God, my husband is trying to use divorce to make me give up my faith in You. I know it is Satan’s temptation coming upon me, but I’m a little worried and scared. I don’t want to get divorced, nor do I know how to face it. God, may You give me faith so that I can overcome Satan’s tricks.” After this prayer, I felt a sense of peace.
Then I said to my husband, “I’ve never thought of divorce. You’ve seen my love for you and our family over these years of marriage. I haven’t neglected our family after believing in Almighty God. I don’t know why you insist on forcing me to make a choice. If you want me to deny Almighty God and give up my faith in Him, I cannot do it. I hope you can calm down.” After hearing this, my husband went back to the study without a word.
The Key to Overcoming Temptations Is to Know God’s Sovereignty
In the following days, I couldn’t put my mind at rest, worried that my husband would once again bring up the matter of divorce. Although I was resolved to follow God, I did not want to lose my marriage and family. For this reason, I lived in anxiety.
Once, after a meeting, Sister Zhang learned about my situation and then sent me two passages of God’s words, “Almighty God, the Head of all things, wields His kingly power from His throne. He rules over the universe and all things and He is guiding us on the whole earth.” “Faith is like a single log bridge, those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over without worry. If man has timid and fearful thoughts, they are being fooled by Satan. It fears that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God.”
God’s words gave me faith and strength. God rules over and administers all things, and people’s thoughts and ideas are also in God’s hands, so whether my husband divorced me or not was also up to God to decide. I couldn’t give in to Satan just because of something my husband said, but should have faith in God and entrust everything to God’s hands. I was one of God’s created beings, one who should worship God. Even if my husband did divorce me, this was permitted by God. I should obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements and rely on my faith to follow God to the end.
After that, Sister Zhang shared more fellowship with me, saying, “Now due to clinging to his own mistaken notions and believing negative publicity, your husband doesn’t understand you and tries to obstruct your belief in God. At this time, we must have faith in God and rely on God and stand firm. No matter when and whatever matters we encounter, God will lead us to overcome them as long as we rely on Him. We cannot allow ourselves to be constrained and become negative and in retreat because of our family’s obstruction and persecution. Now there are many truths we don’t understand, so we must equip ourselves with more of the truth through attending gatherings and reading God’s words. When we understand many truths, we can fellowship with our family and bear witness to Almighty God’s work in the last days. Now in order to avoid your husband’s obstruction and conflict, you can employ wisdom to attend gatherings. God will open a way for us as long as we rely on Him sincerely.”
After listening to her fellowship, I felt a great sense of release and knew how to practice next.
Later, to keep my husband from falling out with me over my attending gatherings, each time a meeting was scheduled, I would pray to God ahead of time and ask Him to give me wisdom and open a way for me. When I had some time after class, I would meet with my brothers and sisters in a park. Sometimes, when my husband asked me what I was going to do, I would wisely say that I was to keep an appointment with my colleagues to discuss things in the school library. After some time, my husband thought that I no longer contacted the brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God, so he did not mention anymore my faith in Almighty God or divorce. This is how I attended gatherings every week. Enjoying church life, I came to understand more and more of the truth, and moreover, I began to perform my duty in the church. When I had time I would spread the gospel along with my brothers and sisters. I felt very happy and liberated.
Having experienced repeated spiritual battles, I truly came to appreciate that Almighty God is my rock, and that He was always with me, leading me to see through Satan’s cunning schemes with His words and allowing me to have faith and strength and stand witness. Though now my husband still doesn’t support my faith in Almighty God and in the future I may experience many environments on the path of following God, I believe that with God’s words supporting me, as long as I rely on and look up to God, He will lead me through all the difficulties.
Editor’s Note: Faced with such spiritual battles, although Sister Grace suffered much, she never denied or betrayed God. I’m moved by her faith, and hope that she can continue to rely on God and bear victorious witness in the spiritual battles hereafter. Also, may all of us pray for her with one mind.