Dong Mei, Henan Province
I am an ordinary person. I lived in a run-of-the-mill life. Like many who yearn for the light, I tried lots of ways to search for the true meaning of human existence, attempting to give my life more significance. In the end, all my efforts were in vain. But after I was fortunate enough to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days, miraculous changes occurred in my life. It brought more color to my life, and I came to understand that only God is the true Provider of people’s spirits and lives, and only God’s words are the true meaning of human life. I was glad that I had finally found the right way of life. However, whilst performing my duty I was once illegally arrested and brutally tortured by the CCP government. From this, my life’s journey gained an experience that I’ll never forget …
One day in December 2011 at around 7 a.m., another church leader and I were carrying out inventory on church assets when more than ten police officers suddenly burst through the door. One of these evil police rushed up to us and shouted: “Don’t move!” Seeing what was happening, my head reeled. In my mind I thought, This is bad—the church is going to lose a lot of assets. Next, the evil police searched us like bandits carrying out a robbery. They also ransacked each room, turning them upside down in short order. In the end, they found some church possessions, three bank cards, deposit receipts, computers, mobile phones, and so on. They confiscated all of them, then took the four of us to the police station. Continue reading
Zhao Rui Shanxi Province
My name is Zhao Rui. By God’s grace, our whole family followed the Lord Jesus in 1993. In 1996, I, sixteen years old, was attracted by the Lord Jesus’ love and began to work and preach. However, before long, I saw the bitterly disappointing scenes: The co-workers fought overtly and covertly, pushed others aside, and contended for power and interest. The Lord’s teaching of “loving one another” seemed to have long been forgotten. The church life brought no enjoyment at all. Many brothers and sisters were passive and weak and stopped attending meetings. Facing the desolate miserable condition of the church, I was distressed and helpless. On the evening of the Chinese New Year’s Eve in 1998, I fell down to the ground and wept out my grief to God, “O Lord, where are you? When will you come back? Without your leading, how shall I walk the future way?” I thanked God that he heard my prayer. In July, 1999, under God’s wonderful manipulation and arrangement, I heard the end-time gospel of Almighty God, the returned Lord Jesus. Through living the church life, I tasted the enjoyment brought by the working of the Holy Spirit. The brothers and sisters gathered together to have meetings, and the past religious life was gone. Everyone spoke freely, fellowshipping about the light from the Holy Spirit’s revelation and talking about how they experienced God’s word and how they relied on God to solve their corruptions and be purified. Moreover, the living out of the brothers and sisters was very godly and decent. If anyone had a defect or expressed a corruption, others would forbear with and forgive and help them with love. Nobody would belittle or look down upon anyone who had a difficulty, and we would fellowship about the truth to help solve it together. That was exactly the church life I had always wanted to have and the true way I had sought for years! I, who had been lost for many years, had finally come back to God again! I made a resolution to God, “I’m willing to bring before God those innocent souls that are still living in darkness, so that they can also live under the leading and blessing of the Holy Spirit’s working and receive the watering of the living water of life from God. This is my bounden duty as a created being and is the most meaningful and worthy life.” So, I joined in performing duty. Continue reading
By Wang Zihan, Shanxi Province
Interpersonal relationship is a topic that causes headaches for many people. This is also a topic that is encountered often throughout one’s life as a Christian. The Lord Jesus requires us to get along harmoniously with each other and to love others as we love ourselves. Many devout Christians are also willing to put the Lord’s teachings into practice. However, in reality, when we interact with others, we frequently encounter conflicts, and misunderstandings, so much so that our relationships become rigid and break down. This leads to pain for everyone. Now, what is the reason that we are unable to exist harmoniously with each other? How should we Christians interact with others in our lives in accordance with the Lord’s intentions? This has also been a problem that I have had difficulty with in the past. Thank the Lord for His guidance! Afterward, I was able to find the answer in a book that resolved my difficulties. Here, I will share a bit about my experience and understanding! 1. You must treat others fairly and equitably. You must not take action based on your emotions and preferences.
Jesus said: “For if you love them which love you, what reward have you? do not even the publicans the same? And if you salute your brothers only, what do you more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be you therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:46–48). From the Lord’s words, I understood that God demands that Christians treat others in accordance with God’s words in their lives. They must not do so in accordance with their own emotions and preferences. When I reflect on how we interact with others, I realize that when we acquire benefit or help from others, we become happy and grateful toward that other party. However, when others say or do things that harm us, we become disgusted at the other person and we no longer pay attention to them. When we encounter someone that we like, we draw closer to them and rope them in; when we encounter someone that we do not like, we reject them and we move away from them. Whoever has high status or great power, we fawn on them and try to curry favor with them. Whoever does not have status or power, we reject and disparage them. When someone for whom we have a preference points out our imperfections, we are able to accept it. If someone for whom we do not have a preference does something similar, we do not accept it, we justify it and sometimes we are even disgusted by them, conflict with them and even attack them. These are all examples of following one’s own emotions and preferences and not treating others equitably. This is also the method by which unbelievers treat others. If a Christian treats others in this way, then, they are walking the same path that an unbeliever walks, they are not worthy to be called a believer of the Lord and what they are doing is not in accordance with God’s intentions. As believers in the Lord, we must put His teachings into practice. We must love others as we love ourselves. As long as someone’s humanity is good, they genuinely believe in God and they love the truth, regardless of if they are compatible with our preferences, temperament, character, whether they are someone that we like and regardless of if they are ordinary brothers and sisters or church leaders, we should treat them sincerely and impartially. We must show them tolerance, patience and love. We must not deceive and discriminate. Only by doing so would we be in accordance with God’s intentions. Continue reading
The church is a collective unit of believers pursuing the truth to be saved by God. It is also a place where the Holy Spirit works. There must therefore be normal order and administrative management principles to ensure that God’s chosen people can eat and drink God’s words, enter the reality of God’s words, gain the truth, and be made complete by God without hindrance. If the church tolerates Satan’s disruption and destruction, and allows demons to run rampant in it, God’s chosen people will be disturbed and deceived and it will be hard for them to enter onto the right track to believing in God. The work of God will hence be left unfinished, and we who serve God will have committed an unforgivable sin! We would be wronging both God and God’s chosen people. Accordingly, all those who serve God should be mindful of God’s intentions. We must not let Satan continue to disrupt and destroy the work of God’s house or let all sorts of evil spirits and antichrists continue to deceive God’s chosen people. We must thoroughly cleanse the church of such satanic types. This is an obligatory responsibility of all people who serve God.
Cleansing the church must be done in accordance with regulations relating to expelling and removing people from God’s house. No matter who it is, if they fall under the regulations of God’s house, they should be removed and expelled. Reasons not covered by the removal and expulsion regulations of God’s house cannot be used as an excuse to remove and expel people. As God’s disposition toward everyone is righteous, God only shows mercy to, and bestows a wonderful destination upon, those sufficiently equipped with good deeds. Those who don’t do good deeds, but have instead committed too many sins, must be removed or expelled. Only this conforms to God’s intentions. We must be especially careful in expelling and removing people from the church, and must not make mistakes by wrongly accusing innocent people. When expelling and removing people from the church, there are four situations in which the church may give a person a second chance and cancel the expulsion: Continue reading
Soon after, three new sisters came to work in Jiandan’s group. Jiandan thought of how she was now the person in the group who had done this duty the longest, and in her heart she silently told herself to be sure to take real responsibility for the work, to pick up the pace with finalizing these articles and to remedy her lingering regrets.
In the days that followed, whether in dealing with articles or group meetings, Jiandan acted positively and pro-actively, she diligently supervised and checked up on the articles her sisters had finalized, and when she discovered any problem, she spoke out without reserve.
While Jiandan was checking over the work, she discovered some issues with the articles a new sister, Li Yue, had finalized. She spoke frankly about this with Li Yue several times, but Li Yue wore an unnatural expression, and looked somewhat embarrassed. Every time this happened, Jiandan would feel worried in her heart: “I point out the issues with Li Yue’s duty so straightforwardly, will Li Yue have an opinion of me? Even if she does, I can’t be like I was before any longer, maintaining fleshly relationships with other people. Now that I’ve discovered some issues, I have to speak up, adhere to principles and stick up for the church’s interests.” After practicing this way for a while, Jiandan felt secretly glad. She felt that she was at last free of the constraints of vanity, and that she could now practice the truth.