Xiaodong Sichuan Province
God said, “The Chinese nation which has been corrupted for thousands of years has continued on until today. All sorts of viruses continue to expand and are spreading everywhere like the plague; just looking at people’s relationships is enough to see how many viruses are in people. It’s extremely difficult for God to develop His work in such a tightly closed and virus-infected area. People’s personalities, habits, the way they do things, everything they express in their lives and their interpersonal relationships are all broken beyond belief …” (“The Path … (6)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The revelation in God’s words made me see how Satan’s corruption makes all relationships between people abnormal, because all are based on Satan’s philosophy of life, without containing even a shred of truth. Without God’s salvation, my eyes would still be covered and my emotions entrapped, but experiencing the work of God made me understand the essence of what it means to “help one another” and showed me the truth of friendship, love, and familial affection. I saw that only God’s words are the truth, and that only by living by God’s words could we escape the influence of Satan, and that only by comporting oneself according to the truth could one live out a meaningful life. My parents were both Christians, and at the time our faith in Jesus brought us a great deal of grace. Especially in business, God blessed us with much in the way of material comforts. Most of my relatives weren’t as well off as our family, and my parents took good care of them financially and materially. My relatives had a great deal of respect for my parents, and naturally they looked at me with the same eye. That was the kind of advantageous environment I grew up in. I thought my friends and relatives were wonderful, and no matter what our family needed, they would be willing to help. In 1998, my entire family accepted Almighty God’s work, and because of our desire for gaining blessings as well as because it was a difficult field, we stopped our family business. Some of our friends and relatives tried to persuade us otherwise, saying, “It’s such a shame to stop a business you spent so many years building.” There were others who mocked us behind our back, saying we’d earned enough to not need any more. Hearing these things made us sad, but we still decided to stop the business. Even though I had accepted Almighty God’s work, I still understood nothing about the corruption in mankind, so my heart still yearned for this world. I spent my days eating, drinking, and carousing with my close friends and relatives, and because I spent generously, I got more and more friends, and more and more classmate reunions, parties, classmates’ and friends’ birthdays and weddings, and other occasions couldn’t be held without inviting me, because I was too “important.” Beyond that, every Sunday I had to pick up and see off my girlfriend, and we often went out together. At that time, even though I never missed one of my three meetings a week at the church, I still had absolutely no understanding of God’s words, my heart still wandered in the world outside, and my belief in God felt like a yoke of rules. But God used environments to make me understand the truth. He showed me that relationships between people are based on nothing but mutual interest, and that there is no such thing as true feeling or love in them.After the business stopped, my parents repaired our house and had to pay tuition for my sister and me, such that our family’s savings were almost gone after a few years, and because I depended on them for my income, there was a reduction in my own spending. I avoided weddings and gatherings, large or small, whenever I could, so my circle of friends began to shrink, and my status in the eyes of my friends became lower and lower. As the fortunes of my poorer friends and relatives improved, they associated less with us as well. This period was refining for me, because I felt I had no status in the hearts of others. Especially my girlfriend, who became more distant because I didn’t spend money as generously as I had in the past, and finally left me for someone else in 2001. When I learned of it, I couldn’t accept that it was real. I didn’t show it on the outside, but the knowledge was like a knife in my heart. I was loyal to her, my efforts for her were sincere, so why did I get her betrayal in return? That’s how our five-year relationship ended. I didn’t know how to forget her, so all I could do was bury the pain deep in my heart. After that, I hated it when others mentioned the incident. I couldn’t understand how something like this could happen to me. Then one day, I saw this passage of God’s word, “Most people live in the foul place of Satan, and suffer its derision; it teases them this way and that till they are half alive, enduring every vicissitude, every hardship in the human world. After toying with them, Satan puts an end to their destiny. And so people go through their whole lives in a daze of confusion, never once enjoying the good things that God has prepared for them, but instead being damaged by Satan and left in tatters. Today they have become so enervated and listless that they simply have no inclination to take notice of God’s work” (“Work and Entry (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The revelation in God’s words is a true portrayal of human life. Thinking back on how I spent my days drowning in lovesickness, living in an imaginary world of “romantic love.” I was inextricably trapped, and I had no idea at all that these things were Satan’s tricks to fool people, ruses designed to trap people and make them live without any goals and without inclination to take notice of God’s work. Although I called myself a believer in God, I spent my days worrying and laboring over friendship and love, and if circumstances hadn’t changed for me, I would still believe in those “pledges of eternal love” and “loyal friends,” and I would never have escaped it. Because of the breakup with my girlfriend, I cut off all my relationships with my classmates; without such a noisy environment I could still my heart and devote myself to my faith in God. At meetings, I fellowshiped with my brothers and sisters, and slowly, my wounded heart began to heal. I felt the long-forgotten joy, no longer lost or living in my pain. Because there were no interruptions from the outside world, I was able to still my mind and focus on meetings. I became more and more interested in faith in God, and from then on I began fulfilling my duties. When my relatives learned I believed in God, there was no end to their disturbances. They thought I had no business believing in God at such a young age. My maternal aunt often asked me for favors, my paternal aunt asked me to do business with her, even my foster mother pushed me to get married, saying she would take care of my child after it was born (because she had no son of her own), and my grandmother cried, saying, “I have absolutely no objection to your parents believing in God, because they worked half their lifetimes and gave all they have to pave the way for you, so it’s time to let them rest. You should focus on starting a family and a career.” She then went on to describe how my father grew up in poverty, how he started from nothing, how much he suffered, how hard he worked, and said that I was in such a good environment, and that I had no ideals. Their sudden “concern” for me was very flattering. I was confused, because it seemed like what every one of them was saying was right, they all wanted the best for me, and since they were my closest relatives, of course they wouldn’t hurt me. If I didn’t do something when I was young, what would happen to me when I’m older? I was living in refinement, and even though I knew this was a spiritual battle, I didn’t have the strength to fight anymore. At a meeting, a leader showed me this passage from God’s word, “For thousands of years, the Chinese people have led the life of slaves, and this has so constrained their thoughts, concepts, life, language, behavior, and actions that they have been left without the slightest freedom. Several thousand years of history have taken vital people possessed of a spirit and worn them down into something akin to corpses bereft of a spirit. Many are those who live under the butcher’s knife of Satan…. On the outside, human beings appear to be higher ‘animals’; in fact, they live and reside with filthy demons. Without anyone to tend to them, people live inside Satan’s ambuscade, caught in its toils with no way of escape. Rather than saying that they gather with their loved ones in cozy homes, living happy and fulfilling lives, one should say that human beings live in Hades, dealing with demons and associating with devils” (“Work and Entry (5)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Through the revelation in God’s word and fellowship with my brothers and sisters, I realized that while they appear to be my relatives from the outside, and their words are in accord with the needs of my flesh, their thoughts, concepts, life, language, behavior, and actions are constrained because of Satan’s corruption. They are all unbelievers, all of their viewpoints and all they discuss come from Satan, and what they pursue are all the evil desires of the flesh, none of which are in accord with the truth, and because I have none of the truth and no discernment, further contact with them would only make me more degenerate. I would gain nothing from it, they could only bring me to ruination. At that time, I had some understanding of the saying “All unbelievers are the devil,” about which my brothers and sisters often fellowshiped, but I still didn’t fully grasp it. Later, God arranged circumstances that showed me the true essence of family ties.