By Kemu, South Korea
The brothers and sisters then played a video for me, The Truth Exposed Behind the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case. It revealed several major suspicious aspects of the case and then dissected them layer by layer. I was really engrossed in it and did my own analysis of the case along with the video to find out the truth. The furrow in my brow gradually relaxed as the video went on and, as I saw layer after layer of lies being exposed, I let out a long breath. I realized that the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case was single-handedly concocted by the CCP government to stifle religious belief and eradicate. The offenders in the case, Zhang Lidong, Zhang Fan and the others, denied with their own mouths that they were members of The Church of , and said that they were completely unaffiliated with the church. But the CCP government completely disregarded the suspects’ testimonies and flagrantly went against the facts, insisting that the crime has been committed by people from The Church of Almighty God. What was even more outlandish was that even without a court trial or verdict, the CCP government rushed headlong into publicly and definitively planting the case on The Church of Almighty God through TV and Internet media, all to create a public uproar to suppress the church and wipe it out. The CCP government framed the church and created such a false case so that it could start to frantically suppress and arrest Christians in the church without a hitch. It’s just like how it suppressed the June 4 students’ movement in 1989—it first fabricated rumors to portray the students’ patriotic movement as a counterrevolutionary riot, and then it started carrying out arrests and murdering people. Faced with the facts, I finally saw with complete clarity that the CCP government’s tactic for eradicating any dissenters has been to first fabricate rumors and distort the facts, then frame them, and then violently suppress them. By turning the truth on its head, distorting reality and framing The Church of Almighty God, the CCP government makes it so that people who don’t know the truth are taken in by its lies and will misunderstand the church—the CCP government is so detestable! But something I still didn’t understand was that the brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God are upright people who are nothing like it says online, so why would the CCP government so frantically persecute the church and go to such pains to plant that murder case on The Church of Almighty God and arrest its members? What was really going on?
I spoke about my confusion and a sister responded, saying, “Let’s first read two passages from God’s words. ‘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 reason why Satan is exasperated and furious is thus: Its unspeakable schemes have been exposed; its plots are not easily gotten away with; its wild ambition and desire to replace God and act as God have been struck and blocked; its goal of controlling all of humanity has now come to nothing and can never be achieved’ (“God Himself, the Unique II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
After reading God’s words, she gave fellowship, saying, “God’s words expose the root cause of why Satan opposes God and harms mankind. If we then use God’s words to regard the CCP government’s actions in opposition to God and its persecution of Christians, we can clearly see that it is the embodiment of Satan, the devil, and it is the satanic regime that most hates the truth and resists God. It absolutely will not allow people to believe in God or take the right path so as to establish China as a zone of atheism—it wants to eradicate all religious beliefs. This is particularly true in the last days—Almighty God incarnate has appeared and worked in China, expressing truths to bring light to mankind. People from all religions and denominations who genuinely believe in God and love the truth, after reading Almighty God’s words, become certain that they are the truth, and, one by one, they are accepting His work of the last days. Many people have come to understand the truth by reading God’s words and have learned how to discern between good and evil. Thus they come to see clearly the CCP government’s evil essence and become willing to reject it, and they begin to pursue the truth and take the right path in life. As it sees more and more people gaining faith in God and following Him, its eyes burn with rage. It vainly hopes to drag people back into its camp so they can continue to be its slaves and remain downtrodden. To this end, the CCP government frantically persecutes and suppresses The Church of Almighty God by not only fabricating all manner of lies to frame and slander it, but also by employing all sorts of despicable tactics. It has issued confidential documents many times to mobilize huge numbers of armed police and military troops to frantically arrest and persecute Christians from The Church of Almighty God on a national scale in a deluded attempt to stop the spread of God’s gospel work and completely eliminate The Church of Almighty God. Particularly over the last few years, all sorts of gospel films and videos produced by The Church of Almighty God have been uploaded to the Internet one after another and God’s kingdom gospel has spread across the globe like wildfire. The CCP government is aware of its guilt, knowing that since coming to power, it has committed countless murders and done all manner of evil; its blood debt from persecuting Christians is a heavy one. It’s afraid that people all over the world will accept God’s work, understand the truth, clearly see its evil countenance and then reject it, which would then leave it without any footing in the world. Then its wild ambition to control all of humanity and be a god would be shattered. This is why the CCP government’s persecution of The Church of Almighty God has escalated. It meticulously crafted the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case in order to frame the church, in an attempt to rile up and confuse those who don’t know the truth into hating God and The Church of Almighty God, and doing evil along with it. We can see from this that the CCP government is perverse and runs contrary to Heaven, and that it absolutely detests God and hates the truth. It is the enemy of God—a demon that resists God. However, God is almighty and His wisdom is exercised upon Satan’s trickery. The CCP government’s ugly countenance is exposed to the light by its own mad opposition and oppression, and God’s chosen people can see its evil, reactionary nature even more clearly. They develop discernment of its despicable and evil nature, their will to follow God becomes even firmer, and they’d rather give up their very lives than stop following God. This shows that no matter how savage the CCP government is, it cannot stop true believers from following God, much less is it capable of stopping God’s work.”
After hearing Almighty God’s words and this sister’s fellowship, I understood that the CCP government persecutes The Church of Almighty God because its very essence is one that hates the truth and is an enemy to God. It wants to control the people, to have people firmly in its grasp, but the truths expressed by Almighty God take root deep in people’s hearts. The CCP government certainly wouldn’t want the people to all walk with God, so it does everything it can to fabricate rumors to deceive the public and concoct false cases, fostering public outrage in order to persecute The Church of Almighty God. That’s how the May 28 Zhaoyuan Case came about. My doubts about The Church of Almighty God were dispelled once I had understood the truth. However, I still had a concern: Since the CCP government is so oppressive of the church, would it be safe for my wife to believe in God?
The brothers and sisters then played a movie for me, The Lies of Communism. There was a passage of God’s words in it that really touched my heart. “We trust that no country or power can stand in the way of what God wishes to achieve. Those who obstruct God’s work, resist theand 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 could feel God’s authority and majesty from His words. No evil force of Satan nor any human being can possibly hinder God’s work. Although those in the CCP government are racking their brains to discredit and condemn The Church of Almighty God, even diabolically arresting and persecuting the church’s brothers and sisters, the brothers and sisters still persist in believing in and following God, and the gospel movies, choral works, and dance and song videos they produce are constantly being released online, totally unhindered by the CCP government. I finally saw how almighty God is and that no force can possibly stop His work. In her belief in God, my wife has God as her backup force, so there’s nothing for me to worry about. After understanding all of that, the worries and misgivings in my heart all disappeared. Smiling, I said to my wife, “It’s right for you to believe in Almighty God. I was so blind before—I mistakenly believed what I had heard and caused you to suffer so much. It was so wrong of me. From now on, I’ll fully support you in your faith.” Tears welled up in her eyes and she said with emotion, “It’s thanks to God that you’ve been able to see through the CCP government’s lies and emerge from the fog of confusion. This is God’s guidance and leadership!”
From that point on I started occasionally watching videos made by The Church of Almighty God with my wife, and I listened to her talk about her faith. However, I still felt that faith in God was a simplistic kind of belief. Sure, I could believe in God in my heart. But I still had to earn a living and raise my family, and provide enough so that we could live a good life. It was only later, after undergoing a bout of ill health, that I gained a completely new understanding about belief in God.
Around dusk one evening as our family was having dinner, I started to experience terrible stomach pains and huge drops of cold sweat began to run down my face. My wife quickly got me to the hospital where I was diagnosed with a burst appendix. It was a critical situation that required immediate surgery. I felt a sense of helplessness and fear that I’d never felt before—if I didn’t make it, how would my wife and young daughter get by in a foreign country? Who would be there for them? Seeing what I was thinking, my wife held my hand and said, “I know what you’re worried about. God is almighty, and all things are in His hands. He has the final say over whether the surgery is successful, too. We have to lean on God and, no matter how the operation turns out, we can’t blame God, but must submit to His rule and arrangements.” I nodded after hearing what she had to say. Once the door to the operating room had closed, I closed my eyes and prayed to God. “O Almighty God! I’m terrified. Please give me faith so that I’m no longer afraid. I’m willing to lean on You.” I felt less afraid after praying, and an excerpt of God’s words from a video came back to me: “[E]verything man has—peace and joy, blessings and personal safety—is in fact all under God’s control; He guides and decides the fate of every individual” (“God Himself, the Unique VI” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “It’s true,” I thought. “God is almighty and my life is in His hands. The success of my surgery today depends on God’s rule and arrangements, so by handing everything over to God, there is nothing for me to worry about.” God’s words gave me faith; my uneasy heart was calmed, and I was no longer so concerned about the possible failure of the surgery. I gradually lost consciousness under the effect of the anesthetic. When I came to, the doctor told me that the surgery had been a success, and I knew that God had protected me. I offered up my praise and thanks to God over and over.
Later, I saw these words from God: “[T]he first thing they must understand is where human beings come from, why people are alive, who dictates human fate, and who provides for and has sovereignty over human existence. This knowledge is the true means by which one lives, the essential basis for human survival—not learning how to provide for one’s family or how to achieve fame and wealth, not learning how to stand out from the crowd nor how to live a more affluent life, much less learning how to excel and to compete successfully against others. Though the various survival skills that people spend their lives mastering can offer an abundance of material comforts, they never bring true peace and consolation to one’s heart, but instead make people constantly lose their direction, have difficulty controlling themselves, and miss every opportunity to learn the meaning of life; these survival skills create an undercurrent of anxiety about how to face death properly. People’s lives are ruined in this way. The Creator treats everyone fairly, giving everyone a lifetime’s worth of opportunities to experience and know His sovereignty, yet it is only when death draws near, when its specter looms, that one begins to see the light—and then it is too late!” (“God Himself, the Unique III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
My heart brightened after reading God’s words and I understood that we don’t just live on this earth so we can lead mediocre lives to feed our families and be prosperous, or to be envied and looked up to by others, seeking fame and profit. We human beings are God’s creations and only by believing in and worshiping God, pursuing and understanding the truth, achieving knowledge of God, and clearly understanding that God rules over all things in our lives and that our fates are in His hands can we truly obey His rule and arrangements and behave and conduct ourselves according to His words. That is the only way to live with meaning and value; it’s the only way to not live this life in vain. I thought back on how I had felt before, that faith in God was a simplistic sort of belief, and that earning money for my family was what I should do with my life. Only when I had that life-threatening illness did I finally wake up. No matter how much money we earn or how high our status is, when we fall ill, those things can’t alleviate our suffering or the fear and helplessness deep in our hearts. On the brink of death, money, fame, and fortune can’t possibly give us back our lives or increase our longevity. I give thanks to God—it was He who gave me faith and strength through His words when I was faced with illness and felt so afraid and helpless. He gave me something to lean on so that I could calmly face everything that was to come. In particular, it was only God’s care and protection that allowed me to get through my surgery without a hitch. Through that experience I truly came to feel that God is both real and alive, that He can be our help and support at any time, and that He is also our strong backup. What we as humans should most pursue throughout our lives is belief in God, worshiping God, and we should understand and submit to God’s rule. That is what our spirits are most in need of, and that is the most meaningful life that we should pursue. That experience also changed my mistaken impression that faith in God was a simplistic kind of belief and I resolved to practice my faith alongside my wife, to read God’s words, and take the path of pursuing the truth and knowing God.
Brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God heard that I had fallen ill, so they came to visit me in the hospital. When they learned that I wouldn’t be able to work for some time and our family wouldn’t have any source of income, they helped me apply for a hardship grant and apply for reimbursement for the larger part of my medical expenses. In such a cold, indifferent society, the sincere helpfulness of the brothers and sisters really gave me a feeling of warmth, like we were all part of the same family. After staying in contact with them for some time, I saw that they were all deeply kind people who relied on God’s words in their interactions with others, that they treated other people sincerely, were upright and dignified in their words and actions, and that their humanity and the way they lived their lives were exactly they should be for Christians. They were entirely different from the people I worked with—there were hardly any people like them left in the world. I felt that the words of Almighty God really could change people and guide us onto the right path, and I felt that this church was full of love and that it gave people a great sense of warmth.
I think of the past when I was blinded by the CCP government’s lies and refused over and over again to seek or investigate God’s work of the last days, and even stood in the way of my wife’s faith, but God didn’t give up trying to save me. Using His words which the brothers and sisters read to me and the videos they played for me, God allowed me to see through the CCP government’s lies and clearly see the sinister truth behind them. When I was concerned about the outcome of my surgery and was living in fear, God’s words enlightened and guided me, they gave me faith and strength, and corrected my mistaken viewpoints. When I couldn’t work after surgery, God helped and supported me through the brothers and sisters. I experienced God’s love and mercy for me as well as the authority and preciousness of His words, and I very gladly accepted God’s work of the last days. Now, I frequently attend gatherings with my wife and read God’s words, and my heart is fulfilled and full of joy! I give thanks to God for saving me!