From Serving Mammon to Entering the Mercy Gate
A SLAVE OF DESIRE
Before I came to know Christ, I
believed that as humans, we could rely on our own strength to overcome all
obstacles. I thought that as long as I worked hard, I could achieve any goal I
had in life.
My wife and I were classmates from
pharmaceutical college and we run a pharmacy store in Chia-Yi, Taiwan.
We worked very diligently. For six straight years, we did not take a day off. However,
I often saw people living comfortably without having to work hard. They simply
had good fortune or a family inheritance.
Four years after I opened my
store, I renounced atheism and started going to different kinds of Buddhist
temples like everyone else around me, hoping that these idols would help me
obtain a better career and make more money. It seemed that materially my life
had improved, so I continued my idol worshipping for several years.
But as my material life got
better, my desire for making more money also increased. I found that I could not
be satisfied with what I had. I became obsessed with the endless pursuit of
In order to accumulate greater
wealth, my mind constantly dwelled on how to invest money. My mother also told
me, “There is nothing wrong about borrowing money from banks. All the wealthy
people have gotten loans from banks.” So I acquired loans from banks and became
a committee member of the pharmacist association in order to fund my
In this way I became what is
recorded in the Bible—a slave to Mammon.
Looking back, I really regret what
I did. I ask myself, “For whom did I slave away like that?” But at the time, I
did not know the true depth of my enslavement.
My younger brother came into
contact with some members of True Jesus Church when he was studying in Canada.
He was there when my father was diagnosed with leukemia, so he called the
Chia-Yi church and asked the members there to help my mother.
My mother had grown up in a
Catholic family, but she had not been to church for many years and was
practically an atheist. My brother reminded my mother to rely on God.
At first, she prayed earnestly to
God, asking for His healing, and my father also showed some interest in the gospel.
During his stay at Tai-Chung hospital, many members from Tai-Chung church came
to visit and pray for him. But he passed away within three months and did not
get a chance to be baptized.
My mother suffered greatly from
the loss of my father and became reluctant to believe in God. She could not
understand why God did not listen to her prayers when others told her so often
that prayers are effective.
One day, as my mother was in her
room crying, God comforted her by letting her hear the wonderful voices of
angels singing hymns. At first my mother thought that it was the voices of
church members who had been coming to visit, but when she asked, she found out
that no one was singing. My brother told us later that he had often prayed and
asked God to comfort her.
This incident helped my mother
rethink her belief. Through the Lord’s continual comfort and her own
experience, she decided to accept Jesus Christ as her savior. She began to join
church services, and not long afterward, she received water baptism and became
a member of TJC. She joined Bible study, fellowship, and heard many miraculous
My mother lived with me, my wife,
and my daughter, and testified to us at meal times
hoping that the three of us would accept the gospel. She wanted to pass on the
precious belief of salvation in Jesus Christ to us, but I deemed it as rubbish.
That attitude brought real heartache to her.
Every time she brought up church,
testimonies, and Jesus Christ, I would get very angry. I debated and talked
back to her until she became speechless. I was convinced that a religious life
would be a waste of time because I was only interested in pursuing wealth,
power, and social status. My mother would often hide in her room, crying and
worrying about how to bring us to God.
Though I refused to accept Christ
at this time because I was interested only in money, I was not satisfied with
my life. With the business, my wife and I seemed to be pressed for time every
day. Losing even three hours of business cost us substantially and affected our
ability to keep a balance at the end of the month.
In order to increase our revenue,
my wife and I often held meetings to discuss and review details. We sought
improvement but instead always ended up in disagreements and fights. We became a
very unhappy couple. In others’ eyes we seemed to have everything: a nice
house, a car, money, and a daughter.
But I was still not content and
always compared myself with others. I realize now that all these material
things are superficial and insignificant, but I did not know it then.
REALIZATION IN ILLNESS
Our lives took a turn in early
April 2003. My wife asked to get a physical exam after feeling fatigued for
several days. She had had the same feeling before but never wanted to get
checked by a doctor, so it was miraculous that she asked.
A blood test showed that everything
was normal except her alpha-fetoprotein level. My wife had Hepatitis B so this
indicator should not have been over 20 mg/ml, but the reading was 30 mg/ml. There
was a 90% chance that my wife had liver cancer.
My wife and I were both just over
thirty years old. We were at the peak of our lives and had plans and goals yet
to be accomplished. If it were confirmed that my wife had cancer, there would
only be a 50% chance for her to live five more years after a successful
Knowing this, our life was full of
anxiety, worry, and tears. We did not know what to do. We felt our life to be
dark and without hope. We broke the bad news to my mother. She did not know how
to comfort me, but said the most important words, “You must pray to the Lord
At the time, I wanted nothing more
than for my wife to be cured. Even if the operation went well, the doctor could
not guarantee my wife’s survival. With this thought in mind, I said to myself,
“Why not take my mom’s suggestion and pray to Jesus Christ, because worshipping
idols seems to have been useless?”
Since I did not know how to pray,
I just said “Jesus, if you are God, please listen to my prayer.” I poured out
everything from inside of me to God. I also remembered a lot of my wrongdoings
from the past, but I asked, “If the Lord permits, please save my wife.”
A few days later, my wife went to
a better hospital for a detailed check-up. From the ultrasound, they found a
black spot around two or three centimeters in size. A CAT scan was scheduled
for the next afternoon for a more accurate analysis.
The next morning, I prayed in my
own way and knelt down before a Bible my mom gave to me. When I studied in
Catholic school, the Bible was just decoration in my room to show that I was a
knowledgeable person; I never read it. Now that the Bible was right in front of
my feet, I thought, “I will take whatever verses I turn to after the prayer as
God’s instruction to me.”
After I prayed, I opened my Bible
and it fell on John 4:46-53, which records how Jesus healed the nobleman’s son.
I was so thrilled after reading these verses. I ran downstairs to tell my wife
that she would be okay in the exam that afternoon because Jesus Christ showed
me that she would survive.
On the way to the hospital, I
thought to myself, “Jesus, Jesus, if the CAT scans show that my wife does not
have cancer, the two of us will believe in you the rest of our lives.” Before
we got to the hospital I told my wife my decision, and she expressed that she
would believe as well.
That afternoon the report
indicated that the black spot was a benign tumor, but behind the black spot was
another tumor 1 cm in size. This tumor was possibly malignant. With that in
mind, my wife and I went home and began to pray.
A STUBBORN HEART
I did not know how I should pray
or if Jesus was even listening to our prayers. I flipped through the Bible and
saw James 5:16, which reads, “Confess your trespasses
to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The
effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” I was very touched
by this verse.
I knew that I was not righteous, and
neither was my wife, for we had worshipped many idols and lived a proud and
irreverent life. So I went to my mother, hoping that she would pray for my wife,
and I also asked my mother for the members in church to pray for us. My mother
said, “Sure, but there is a spiritual convocation coming up soon, people might
be busy now.”
My mother called Pastor Lin of
Chia-Yi church right away and he and a few other brothers and sisters wanted to
come to my house and pray for us the next day. My wife and I were not happy about
that because we wanted to believe in Jesus, but we were not ready to convert.
I had worshipped many idols in the
past, but that turned out to be useless. If these church people were like the
people in the Buddhist temples, it would be hard to escape from them. But
because I brought up the request to my mom first, I had to treat them as my
guests. I decided that if they tried to force us to join the church, I would just
pretend that I didn’t hear them.
The next day, the pastor and the
members came to the house. They chatted with us, prayed for us, and did not
force us to come to church. It was different from what I expected. I was
touched by their love and felt a little ashamed of myself.
I asked the pastor about Matthew
19:16-21, which records the story of the rich young man who asked Jesus what he
had to do to receive eternal life. And Jesus told him, “‘If you want to be
perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have
treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me’” (Mt 19:21).
I told the pastor that I would do the
same if I could receive peace from God. The pastor replied, “Do not take it
literally, the teaching is meant for those who are enslaved to money.” I
pondered what the pastor said but still did not want to go to church.
One Thursday night about two weeks
after the pastor’s visit, I was very heavy-hearted, so I took my daughter for a
ride on my motorcycle. We passed by Hou-Ping
Street and saw a building with the sign, True
Jesus Church, Chia-Yi.
It was about seven in the evening
and the church was very well lit with the door and windows wide open. I saw a
few people singing hymns inside, but no one was in the back of the chapel. All
of a sudden, I thought maybe I should go inside to pray. I thought maybe the
Lord would hear my prayer and answer it if I came into His church, because the
chapel is the house of Jesus.
I asked my daughter if she wanted
to go inside and pray. She said, “Okay.” We went into the chapel and sat down
in the very last pew. I bowed my head, closed my eyes, and began to pray. When
the prayer ended, the chapel was filled with people, and they were a bit
shocked to see me, a total stranger, with tears all over my face.
The service proceeded, but I just
worried about my own things and kept looking at the ceiling, thinking that God
might live there. I stared at the ceiling and prayed to God to relieve my soul
from my burden, as tears fell down my cheeks.
At the end of the service, the
pastor said, “If anyone wants to pray for the Holy Spirit, they are welcome to
come to the front.” I thought that maybe God was not able to hear my prayer
since I sat so far in the back, so I moved to the front.
Kneeling down in the front
surrounded by people with the Holy Spirit, I thought, these people must be the
so-called “righteous people” mentioned in James 5:16. It would be so great if
they could all just pray ten seconds for my wife. Then I thought about those
fighting in the Iraq
war; I was filled with compassion for them and started to pray for them. This
thought occurred in my mind three times and I continued to pray earnestly.
When the prayer ended, the pastor
announced that a first time truthseeker had received the Holy Spirit. I was
that truthseeker. For the first time in a month I felt that my burden was
lifted from my shoulders and that my fear and worry were gone.
I went home and told my wife that
I got the Holy Spirit. She asked, “What is the Holy Spirit?” In fact, I did not
have very much knowledge about the Holy Spirit either. All I knew was that my
burden was lifted away in prayer.
Three days later, I returned to
church wanting to know more about the Holy Spirit, for it gave me such a great
feeling of relief. I also continued to study the Bible and wanted to have a
sound basis in my belief. I did not want to worship the wrong god as I had done
I told my wife that her illness
could not be cured by doctors or advanced medical techniques. I stressed that
only through prayers could she be healed. Sometimes we got into arguments
because of this. But she had been praying secretly without my knowing.
One night, I reminded my wife
again about prayer and asked why she did not pray more. She said, “I have been praying.” We both started to cry.
Before we slept, I held her hand in mine and prayed fervently. She lay in bed
and tears fell down her face. She could not go to sleep until 2 a.m. so I went
to the other room and continued to pray.
The next day, while I was in my
study, she ran to me in great excitement and said that she had just received
the Holy Spirit. Four days later, my
mother, who had been baptized for two years, received the Holy Spirit as well.
Thank God, in just one week, three of us in the family received the Holy
My wife continued to take monthly
MRIs. Her situation seemed to have stabilized. At the suggestion of a brother,
we decided that a liver biopsy would give a better indication of her condition,
so we scheduled one in August.
When it came time to do the biopsy,
we began to get anxious and scared because of the risks associated with it. But
then I thought, now that I believe in Jesus, I should not be afraid. I began to
pray to the Lord for His help.
One night, in my prayer I pleaded
to God, saying that if He wanted me as His disciple, to let me fear no more. I
also asked God to show me some evidence so that I could be at peace. I knew
that God is an almighty God, so this request was not meant to test Him.
Not long after, God sent me a vision.
In my prayer I saw four angels appear in front of me. One of the angels was
bigger and had six wings (three pairs), and the body looked shiny and
transparent. The angel started to lay hands on me.
Meanwhile, my wife was sleeping on
the floor with her body curled up. The other three angels went over to her and
laid hands on her head. One of them went
near her back and seemed to be working on something. I asked, “What does this mean?”
The angel replied, “Did you not ask for evidence? God has heard what you asked,
so do not doubt.”
I then asked for the angel’s name,
and the angel replied, “My name is not important; the one you believe, Jesus
Christ, is important.” I asked once more for the name before I woke up.
The next morning, my wife told me
that her back was sore. She wondered if she had been sleeping in an
uncomfortable position. She still complained about the soreness in her back later
that night, so I told her my vision and asked her not to worry. I also said
that I would only tell my mom about this, and no one else.
A week later, before we went back
to the hospital for the ultrasound, we kept praying to God and hoping that the
tumor would not be larger. Thank God, the ultrasound showed that the black spot
had totally disappeared. The doctor looked at the ultrasound carefully, but
could not find anything. It was gone completely.
Six weeks passed. My wife thought
everything was okay, so she went for a blood test without telling me, and did
not pray about it beforehand. After going through all these trials, I had
learned that I needed to rely on God in everything, so I was unhappy to find
out what my wife did.
The report came back that night. It
showed that one indicator of liver cancer had doubled. Such a high number
indicated a 95% chance that she might have liver cancer. Suddenly, we lost our
faith. Doubts and worries filled our hearts. To be prudent, we scheduled
another exam in a better hospital the next Monday.
The Sunday before her examination,
Chia-YiChurch held a gospel tea fellowship. At
the prayer session at the end of the fellowship, my wife and I both knelt down
and prayed fervently for God’s healing. In the prayer, I heard a clear voice
say, “Take heart; I love her more than you do.” The voice repeated this three
After we went home, my wife told
me that in her prayer at church she asked God to comfort me because she knew
that I was so worried about her. On Monday, the indicator had dropped from 400
mg/ml to 200 mg/ml. Thank God, this was another miracle, and we both rejoiced
I knew God would answer our
prayers according to our faith. God is almighty, and if we hold steadfast to
our beliefs He will save us in the end. As recorded in Romans 8:28, “And we
know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who
are the called according to His
We came to realize that everything
that happened to us was according to God’s wonderful will. Thank the Lord our
family of three got baptized in March 2004. God had given us the precious Holy
Spirit, and we now belong to His holy name.
Though human eyes cannot see God,
through the abidance of the Holy Spirit, God is manifested within us. It was
affirmed to me that the True Jesus Church has the Holy Spirit, complete gospel,
and abidance of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that we can always rely on this
Spirit of Truth that has been given to us.
Ever since I came to know the
Lord, my life has changed drastically. I know that the purpose of living our
lives is to glorify Jesus Christ, to love our family, and to keep the faith. We
must also help others find the true meaning of life by preaching to them.
Because of the blessings from God, I now live a happy and fulfilling life.
I wish that everyone can come to
this church to study the truth and learn that Jesus is the true God; He is the
Lord who gives life to us. His merciful gate is always open to everyone, and
whoever comes to Him will receive abundant grace and understand the true
meaning of life.
May all the glory be unto His