Persecuted by My Relatives, I Relied on God to Bear Testimony to My Faith in God

By Xinyuan, Australia

The First Time I Encountered Obstruction at the Hands of My Sister and Her Husband

In May 2018, I accepted God’s work of the last days. After reading God’s words for a period of time, I came to verify that Almighty God is indeed the returned Lord Jesus. With happiness, I shared the gospel with my sister.

On the morning of July 20, my sister sent me a message saying that she wanted to meet up with me for a chat. I was thrilled, believing that my sister would accept God’s work of the last days. But things were not as I had imagined. When we met, I heard her use a scornful tone to read God’s words and she kept finding fault with the words; she simply had no desire to seek the truth. During our conversation, she clung to her own misconceptions, and advised me not to believe in it anymore. No matter how I gave fellowship to her, she wouldn’t listen. I felt really sad to see her adopt such an attitude, and our talk achieved nothing in the end.

After dinner that day, I was just clearing the table when there suddenly came a loud knocking at the door. My husband went to open the door and, much to my surprise, it was my sister and her husband.

My brother-in-law came to the kitchen door and said to me, “Your sister says you believe in Almighty God. Is that true?”

I said, “Yes.”

He went on, “The foundations of your belief are very shallow, and you understand too little. I’ve studied theology and am always expending myself and working for the Lord, and I have a better understanding of the Bible than you. It says in Acts 4:12: ‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.’ We can only believe in the Lord Jesus in our belief in God. Apart from Him, there is no other God that we can depend on to save us. Why do you want to go and accept another God?” His question made me very nervous, and I didn’t know how to respond just then. I glanced at my husband and he gestured for me to stay calm. I took a deep breath and calmed myself down, and then I thought of an aspect of the truth which brothers and sisters had fellowshiped with me about before.

After a while, I said, “‘Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (Act 4:12). This is true, but this does not prove that God’s name can only be Jesus. It was recorded in the Old Testament: ‘I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside me there is no savior’ (Isa 43:11). ‘This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations’ (Exo 3:15). If we explain these passages according to their literal meanings, which is God’s only name—Jehovah or Jesus?”

My brother-in-law retorted impatiently, “You are quoting out of context and twisting the Bible. No matter when, the name of the Lord Jesus will remain forever!”

I continued, “God originally had no name. God only took names because He had to perform the work of saving mankind. A name represents one stage of work, and each stage of work expresses part of the disposition of God. Regardless of how God’s name might change, His essence shall never change, and the three stages of work are done by one God. God’s name being forever means that His name does not change during that current age. It doesn’t mean that it never changes throughout God’s entire management work. When the age changes, God’s name will change accordingly. The name Almighty God precisely fulfills chapter 1 verse 8 in Revelation: ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’ Almighty God is the Lord Jesus come again.”

My brother-in-law raised his voice and, pointing at me, he said, “Regardless of what you say I’m not going to accept. I only keep the name of the Lord Jesus, and only by believing in the name of the Lord Jesus could we be saved. I advise you to repent immediately.”

My sister stood to the side and echoed what her husband had said. He saw that I was not budging, so he began to change subjects. He asked one question after another, but they wouldn’t listen to anything I said, and they said many blasphemous things about God. My husband, witnessing this spectacle, told them to go home. They hadn’t been gone long when my mother-in-law rang my husband to ask about my belief in Almighty God. And she stirred him up by saying, “You’re the head of your family. You should control things a bit more.”

Persecuted and Obstructed by My Relatives on My Path of Belief in God, I Relied on God to Bear Testimony to Faith

Hardships and Trials Are God’s Blessings

Faced with their persecution and obstruction, I felt a little crushed. After they’d gone, I immediately fell feebly into a chair, and I thought to myself: “I only meant well when I preached to them the gospel of the Lord’s second coming, so why don’t they believe in it, but instead try to obstruct me? I just want to believe earnestly in God, so why is it so hard? This path of belief in God is really not an easy path to tread!” Thinking this, I felt a little weak, and I began to cry. Hurriedly, I called Sister Zhang on the phone and told her of my difficulties. After listening to me, Sister Zhang read to me a passage from God’s words: “Do not be discouraged, do not be weak, I will reveal to you. The road to the kingdom is not that smooth, nothing is that simple! You want blessings to come easy, right? Today everyone will have bitter trials to face, otherwise the loving heart you have for Me will not grow stronger and you will not have true love for Me. Even if it is just minor circumstances, everyone must get through them, it’s just that they differ to some degree.

Sister Zhang gave fellowship, saying, “This situation that has befallen us today is God’s blessing. God is using this situation to achieve our faith and love for Him. It is only in difficult and constraining environments that He can reveal whether our love and faith for God are true or not. In comfortable environments, we can say that we love God and satisfy God, but it’s not real. If we can rely on God, satisfy Him and we are able to stand firm in our testimony to Him when real situations arise and in times of hardship and trial, then only this is true faith and love for God, and only then will we be people who sincerely believe in God. When we encounter persecution at the hands of our own families, it is a rich feast laid on by God in order to perfect our love for Him, and it is a good thing.”

Yes! If I only read God’s words but did not experience these hardships, that would not test whether my faith and love for God were real. If I became weak because of this minor situation, that would show that I do not sincerely believe in God. When Job was undergoing trials, his wife and his three friends all advised him to abandon his belief in God, but Job persisted in his devotion to God and did not abandon God—Job was someone who sincerely believed in God. Compared with him, what did my experience of my family’s minor persecution amount to? No, I thought. I must emulate Job, and no matter how my family coerces me, I must keep my faith and my love for God!

When I Experienced My Family’s Obstruction and Opposition Again, God’s Words Led Me to Stand Witness

On the morning of July 21, my sister sent me a message saying that she would come over to my place that evening, and I agreed. At about 7 pm, I heard a knock at the door and my husband went to open it. Unexpectedly, my husband’s cousin was also there. I quailed a little at this sudden development, and then I said a silent prayer to God in my heart: “O Almighty God! Yesterday evening, I found it very hard to respond when confronted by that theology student. Now my husband’s cousin has suddenly appeared as well. I’m afraid to face so many people. O God! Please give me faith and strength, let me not fear and not shake, and make me able to face this situation.” After praying, I thought of God’s words, “Do not fear, Almighty God of hosts will surely be with you; He has your back and He is your shield.” Yes! With God as my shield what on earth was there to be afraid of? I believed that God would surely guide me through this situation, and then my heart felt much more peaceful and at ease.

My husband’s cousin said in a harsh tone of voice, “You say that the Lord has returned and has been incarnated. How could it be possible? The Bible records, ‘Behold, he comes with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen’ (Rev 1:7). The Lord will unquestionably return upon a cloud and will not come in the flesh!”

Hearing my husband’s cousin’s tone, just then I didn’t know how to respond, but I wasn’t left panic-stricken like I had been the last time. Instead I was quiet before God and I prayed and sought in my heart. Suddenly I thought of an aspect of the truth which brothers and sisters had fellowshiped with me about at a meeting.

Feeling calm and collected, I then said to my husband’s cousin: “We can’t wait for the Lord’s return only according to the prophecy that the Lord will descend on a cloud. Revelation 16:15 says, ‘Behold, I come as a thief.’ Since this verse says that the Lord will come as a thief, this refers to the Lord coming in a secret way and no one will know. Luke 17:24-25 say, ‘For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.’ Given that He is called the Son of man, it refers to God in the flesh. A spiritual body can’t be called the Son of man. In this verse it is also said that ‘first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.’ If God were to appear in His spiritual body, then it goes without saying He’ll not suffer for it and He can’t be rejected by this generation.”

My husband’s cousin interrupted me and slapped his hand on the table. “I think ‘be rejected of this generation’ here refers to the age of the Lord Jesus,” he said.

I went on to say, “The Lord Jesus underwent much suffering and was rejected by the generation when He came. Here, it refers that in the Lord’s second coming, He will be incarnated in a flesh and be rejected by the generation. Let’s think about it. If it were God appearing to all of humanity in public atop clouds, it would be incredibly powerful and shock the world. Everyone would drop to the ground and no one would dare resist. In that case, would the returned Lord Jesus still endure a lot of suffering and be rejected by this generation? I understand few truths, so it’s best if I show you God’s words!”

My husband’s cousin roared, “Don’t bother! We’re not going to accept it no matter what you say. We’ll just wait for the Lord Jesus to come on a cloud to take us! I advise you to change course quickly.” My sister and her husband also chimed in. They then continued to advise me to give up my belief in Almighty God and, seeing that I was not going to budge, they said a prayer and left.

After Hardships and Trials, I Saw God’s Deeds

Just before she left, my sister said she was going to tell our parents about my belief in Almighty God, and I couldn’t help but worry: On the Chinese mainland, the CCP makes up many rumors about The Church of Almighty God, so when they hear about my belief, would my parents hurry over to obstruct my belief in God? I felt a lot for my parents, so if they came, I really didn’t know how I would face them. I felt weaker and weaker and I felt very distressed. In pain, I came before God to pray: “O God, I feel very weak right now and very afraid. I ask that You help me and let me rely on You to stand firm. Amen!” After praying, I thought of God’s words that say: “You must have My courage within you and you must have principles when facing relatives who do not believe. But for My sake, you must also not yield to any of the dark forces. Rely on My wisdom to walk the perfect way; do not allow the conspiracies of Satan to take hold. Put all your efforts into placing your heart before Me and I shall comfort you and give you peace and happiness in your heart. You shall not seek the approval of men; isn’t it more valuable and weighty to satisfy Me?” God’s words showed me the way. Since I had already become sure that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned, then I should hold to this way and stay loyal to God. Even if my parents opposed me, I should not betray God. Thinking these things, my heart felt much more liberated.

Two days later, my husband’s cousin and aunt came again. Though my husband’s aunt was also a student of theology and went around sermonizing in churches, facing them this time I felt no fear whatsoever. On the contrary, I felt filled with faith and joy. My experiences over the last few days had allowed me to truly realize that the truth can overcome all fallacies and that, as long as I relied on God, God would guide me and lead me to rebut these people with the truth. I hadn’t expected them to feel so downcast, and they just sat in their chairs looking blankly at me, and said, “Don’t know why, but we always feel helpless when it comes to this matter. We don’t really know what to say.” Hearing this, I silently thanked God in my heart. When I found my faith to undergo this trial, Satan was put in a quandary. These people really could find nothing to say, and so they left. They then mobilized other people in the family to come and harass me one after another, but I did not budge in the slightest.

I Developed Discernment Through This Trial

One day, I saw these words of God: “Do many people not oppose God and obstruct the work of the Holy Spirit because they do not know the varied and diverse work of God, and, furthermore, because they possess but a smidgeon of knowledge and doctrine with which to measure the work of the Holy Spirit? Though the experiences of such people are superficial, they are arrogant and indulgent in nature, and they regard the work of the Holy Spirit with contempt, ignore the disciplines of the Holy Spirit and, moreover, use their trivial old arguments to confirm the work of the Holy Spirit. They also put on an act, and are wholly convinced of their own learning and erudition, and that they are able to travel across the world. Are such people not those who are despised and rejected by the Holy Spirit, and will they not be eliminated by the new age? Are not those who come before God and openly oppose Him myopic little people, who are merely trying to show how clever they are? With but a meager knowledge of the Bible, they try to straddle the world’s ‘academia,’ with but a superficial doctrine to teach people, they try to reverse the work of the Holy Spirit, and attempt to make it revolve around their own thought process, and short-sighted as they are, they try to behold in one glance 6,000 years of God’s work. Do these people have any reason to speak of?” Through my family’s repeated harassment and the revelations of God’s words, I saw clearly that these theology students and preachers were the ones who were arrogant and indulgent in nature, and who regarded the work of the Holy Spirit with contempt, as revealed in God’s words. They are without a God-fearing heart, but only measure God’s new work by the scanty biblical knowledge they possess, and they condemn God’s work. Was there any difference between them and the chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees? The chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees in those early days were well-versed in the Old Testament, but when the Lord came to perform His work, they went according to the literal meanings of the Bible and condemned God’s work, and ultimately, they nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross. My family was just the same. When they encountered God’s work of the last days, they had no desire to seek the truth whatsoever, but instead blindly clung to literal meanings in the Bible, and they resisted and condemned God’s work—they were so arrogant and self-opinionated! I thanked God for allowing me to develop discernment in this situation, and I came to understand a little about God’s work.

Thanks be to God for choosing me from the boundless sea of humanity and bringing me back to Him. Though I experienced weakness and negativity during this trial, God was always with me, using His words to support, supply and guide me, thus enabling me to stand firm. I no longer feel alone or afraid, for I know that God is always by my side on the path to the kingdom. So long as I rely on God and stride bravely onward, then I can dispel all obstructions and follow God to the very end.

 

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