God Brought Me To His Home
Testimony by Deng Feng, Year 2012 – Singapore
In the name of Jesus I bear testimony.
The theme of my testimony is how God brought me to His home. I separate this into two parts. The first part is some background of who I am before I knew Christ.
The Bible says God has set eternity in the hearts of man. Perhaps God did that in mine since young. As a child, I used to imagine many things. Though I was brought up in Mainland China with Atheist ideology, I strongly believed that far away there is a God. My family was of lower to middle income group. I had experienced first-hand the corruption in the school system whereby rich students who did not do well academically could use their wealth to buy an instant degree while the rest of us had to study hard for three years. Similarly, while I had to study very hard to gain admission to a good secondary school, the rich students could easily get their way with their wealth. I used to yearn for justice to have a blessed family. Although then I did not see God, I held on to the belief that God is up somewhere watching over us. He would give justice.
I grew up in a society where people perceived religion as a way to control a person’s thoughts and therefore a means to restrict the freedom of thoughts. Hence I would intentionally or sometimes unintentionally avoid Christians even though there were not many in China at that time.
Like many people, I feared death. During the Communist revolution, my mother once asked me if I were captured one day, would I be a traitor. I replied it depends on how I was being tortured. If the tortures were inhumane and horrific, there is a possibility for me to become a traitor. Pr Chiang commented in one of his sermon that perhaps Eve did not really understand what death meant that she was courageous to take the forbidden food. It is the fear of death that will drive us to search for eternity.
One night when I was laying in bed, I suddenly thought of my inevitable death. I would think how happy people would be when I die. I had worked so hard and I gained so much, but I will still die. What about those who didn’t work that hard and didn’t gain much? They will still die, so it is not worth it. The world still spins. Maybe you do not need much time and no one will ever remember who you are anymore. So when I think about all these things, I would have this feeling of being pricked, then for at least 20 minutes I will not be able to sleep and became tormented by this great fear within me.
Living in Singapore now is definitely not my initial plan. After coming to Singapore I met with many Christians and this made me uncomfortable. They preach to me very zealously but deep in my heart, I really hated them a lot though I would not show it. I would force a smile on my face hypocritically, and said, “Thank you, I am busy.”
A member from True Jesus Church who was my supervisor at the work place had invited me several times to join him for bible studies. I rejected them with the excuse I am busy. At that time, I was self righteous, pride myself thinking I was a good child to my parents, a role model in school. I committed no sins.
In the latter part of this testimony, I will like to share on some of my experiences with God, the many works of God and events I had never imagine would happen to me.
I once believed that a upright and good person will not need God, but now I truly feel that because of this pride that is in us that is the biggest problem that causes many of us to be unable to humble ourselves down to search for God in a truthful manner.
The greatest grace that God gives us is given when we are at our weakest.
I was very tired at work and no matter how hard my superior and I worked, we were not efficient. One night, I dreamed of a person with great wings. I immediately knew this person was God. He said to me, “Come to me, I will give you strength. You will no longer feel the sense of helplessness or despair.” After that I woke up. I felt very weird but at the same time it touched my heart.
Two days later, I had another dream. This time, there was a white chicken with a shiny cross on its claws. At that scene, I woke up again. I had the feeling that I was the white chicken since I was born in the year of the rooster. This dream piqued my interest. The Chinese believes if certain event happens once, it is chance. If it happens a second time, it is coincidence. However, on the third time, it is destiny.
So I asked God to give me a third experience if He is real, but for a long while after that, I did not have any dream anymore. I completely forgotten about the two dreams I had earlier. Then the third dream came. This time the message has more impact on me. In the middle of the night, I found myself with five or six other people in the middle of the ocean. None of us could swim. Suddenly we saw a bright light at the horizon. Then I heard a very familiar voice, “Are you all willing to be saved by me?” As I feared death, I quickly raised my hand and said, “I am willing.” Strangely, none of the other people around me raised their hands. They would rather die than to accept Christ. So I told them I would return to save them after I have been saved. After I said this, I turned into a “merman”. My legs turned into a tail of a fish. Suddenly I felt strong and I could bring the rest to shore. Then it was daybreak and I went back deep into the ocean, to the place where I saw the bright light.
When I pieced the three dreams together, I felt that God was searching for me. I started to ask questions like, “Why do you believe in God? What is this God to you?” I approached a member from True Jesus Church and one of my previous teacher. They shared with me many teachings concerning Christianity. The more I hear the more I wanted to know. I started to read the Bible but in my limited understanding and wisdom, I found the God in the Old Testament to be very cruel. I thought if God was merciful and loving, why did He kill many innocent people, including children? By the grace of God, gradually I began to understand our loving God to be just too. He is merciful but He is also righteous to judge the unrepentant people.
My thirst to listen more to the words of God brought me first to a Presbyterian Church. After a few services, I felt the pastor was only zealous in his preaching and nothing more to it. I also went to a mega church but I felt that the pastor there was merely holding a concert! The Holy Communion was freely given to anyone who wanted to partake it. A friend once told me it was only for people who have received baptism. Maybe I am rather conservative, I could not accept that when the pastor appears, it is as if everyone was waiting for a superstar. When he stepped onto the stage, everyone shouted amen. I was very confused, what does “amen” means? Is amen the name of the pastor?
I stopped going to church myself. There was a new church at about 15mins walk from my house so I went there with a friend (member of True Jesus Church). We returned home with cold sweat. The air-conditioning was very strong and there were not many members present. They sang hymns for an hour. To be specific, they were not really singing hymns, but some songs that they composed themselves. They were singing, shouting and jumping around. I regretted going to church and conclude that finding a church was really hard.
The last church I came to was the True Jesus Church. I attended its services twice. My impression of the church was better on the second visit. At the first visit, I was shocked by the prayers in tongue. I did not think everyone was in some form of pretence. I tried to speak like them but of course I could not. At one point of the prayer, I thought my body vibrated and swayed. I told Bro Thaddeus my experience but he brushed it off saying it was my imagination.
My second visit was during a Spiritual Meeting. Bro Victor invited me to the front to pray for the Holy Spirit. Again being proud and filled with doubts, I said, “If God wants to give me the Holy Spirit, I can just kneel down here and I can receive the Holy Spirit.” Of course I did not receive the Holy Spirit that day.
At that time, I could not accept the doctrine of speaking in tongues. From the book of 1 Corinthians, I misunderstood Paul reference to forbid speaking in tongues when preaching the gospel which is widely interpreted as such by other secular churches. Only later did I understand we should speak in tongues when we pray for we are speaking directly to God.
Meanwhile I had a short trip back to China to collect some personal documents. After I returned to Singapore, Bro Thaddeus noticed that my behaviour had become worse – I became quarrelsome. In fact I was frustrated that I could not find a church that suits me and I could not accept the True Jesus Church’s doctrine on speaking in tongues. He asked me to put this issue aside and continue to attend services and let God guide me in making a choice. I decided to heed his advice and it actually sealed my fate. Initially I couldn’t accept God speaking in tongues as a sign of receiving the Holy Spirit, but I do not know why that night itself was different, I think God opened my heart.
But on one of the sermon, the teachings of the bible became very clear to me. Though I had heard it before, it was not obvious to me until then. So I prayed silently, “God, thank you. I have found it.” At the last prayer, I voluntarily went to the front to pray. I asked God, “Oh God, give me your precious Holy Spirit. I believe the Holy Spirit is true.” Halfway through the prayer, I could not say the word “Hallelujah” anymore. My tongue started rolling and made sounds I did not understand. God made me understand that this is the Holy Spirit. My heart softened. I felt unworthy and undeserving. There were skeletons in my closet that no one knew yet God was still willing to give me the Holy Spirit. Before receiving the Holy Spirit, I did have other issues of faith. Miraculously, the Holy Spirit helped me to lose all my doubts. I could only feel joy in my soul.
After that I attended services and studied the bible more. I also started to attend services more regularly. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I understand the bible is a book filled with the wisdom of God. Though the Old Testament (OT) and New Testament (NT) were recorded at different time, there were no contradictions and I know the prophecies in the OT were fulfilled in the NT. I also realised the common wrong practice of some secular churches in extracting a portion in the bible to interprete the teachings without references to its entire context in which it was written. I also learnt and find out why the sermon that is preached here is so different from the sermon that is preached elsewhere. Through the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I come to understand and realise that the bible is a book filled with the wisdom of God. We need to explain the bible based on what is written in the bible rather than just extracting a certain portion from the bible and explain base on that extracted portion.
It is very important to pray and ask God to guide you every time before you read the bible, so that when you read the bible, you start to find messages hidden there that you have not noticed before. This is because the Holy Spirit is the spirit of God, only His Spirit will understand what He is speaking.
After researching the truth over a period of time, I decided to receive baptism at the True Jesus Church. Coincidentally, Preacher Shee suggested to me a name. I know that before I came to the Lord I lose my temper easily. I need to find this peace in the heart, so he thought of the name Solomon for me, because the word Solomon means peace. There is also another reason why I chose this name for myself, because I find myself similar to Solomon in a way. I pursued for wisdom. Maybe in the past I searched for academic knowledge but now through this name I want to remind myself to seek from God spiritual wisdom.
Another important point, in the latter years of Solomon’s life, he forgotten God. Even though how much God loved him when he was young. So I gave myself this name to remind myself not to be like Solomon who left God at the latter years of his life.
I admire my seniors in church for though they are not young anymore, they have the heart to draw close to God and serve the church. To me, this will be the greatest blessings in my life if I could draw near to God and never want to leave Him.
My experience taught me a few lessons. Firstly, when we draw near to God, He will draw near to us. Secondly, never to lean on our own understandings in the matter of God’s salvation plan. Do not challenge the sovereignty of God. We should just put forth our questions to God in our prayers and ask for wisdom to understand. The God has promised us, “Seek me with all your heart and I will be found by you.” Thirdly, prayers help us when we are weak. Be humble to confess our weaknesses to God and entrust our cares and doubts in His hands. God will guide us.
“With God, all things are possible.”
All glory to God.