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I Have Known What I Should Pursue in Believing in God
By Kent, Malaysia
I am a graphic designer. In 1998, I bought into my friend’s design company on invitation. Under my careful management, the company quickly stepped on the right track and opened branches. Four years later, unexpectedly, the company suddenly got confronted with financial loss and my partners would take the opportunity to withdraw their shares. In the end I undertook all the loss.
Just when I fell to the lowest point in my life, God’s salvation came upon me. At a preaching meeting, I accepted the gospel of the Lord. After that, the brothers and sisters often comforted and encouraged me. I was moved and knew all of this came from God’s love. Therefore, I began to focus on reading the Bible and knowing about the Lord Jesus.
But several years later, I found the brothers and sisters were not so humble and loving as I had imagined. Like the worldly people, they engaged in jealous disputes with each other for the sake of their own interests; they showed their disobedience on their faces when criticized. I wondered why those who had believed in the Lord for many years acted as the worldly people. As for myself, though I had learned to be humble and didn’t get angry easily, I would quibble with others over things that involved my interests, and I never compromised; I had disputes with my wife and constantly exposed hot blood when we had different ideas. Though having believed in the Lord for years, I didn’t grow in my life, so I went to another church. The elder in the new church often told us to have good faith in the Lord, and he also taught us how to treat our marriage and the people around us, and that we should behave ourselves honestly, and so on. I felt such teachings good, so I tried to treat others according to these teachings. Often as I exposed hot blood, I believed that as long as I kept pursuing, I would have more likeness of a Christian and win God’s acceptance.
In November 2017, from a fortuitous opportunity I got to know Sister Xinming and Sister Lili from Canada. When I communicateds God’s words with them, I found the two sisters understood God’s words thoroughly, and what they communicated was good. I was curious and envious: “Why do they have so much knowledge of God?” So I intended to learn more from them. Later on, we frequently communicated our respective faiths with each other. Meanwhile, I always told them the brothers and sisters in our church enthusiastically spread the Lord’s gospel, and that they loved the Lord and were able to suffer for Him, without jealous disputes with each other like those in other churches.
Sister Lili said, “Many true believers indeed are able to put some of the Lord’s teachings into practice; they possess some good behaviors, and they are also able to bear the cross for the Lord, suffer, and spread the gospel. However, can we surely be approved by God for these good behaviors? When it comes to some of our good behaviors, we are no match for the Pharisees. Walking barefoot into the temple in their priestly garments at dawn, burning the incense, offering sacrifices, then praying for the King and the people, they looked devout and loving. Moreover, they traveled sea and land preaching the gospel. But when the Lord Jesus came to work, in order to protect the existence of Judaism and their own status and livelihoods, not only did they refuse to accept the Lord’s gospel, they also wantonly fabricated rumors to slander and resist the Lord Jesus, and even nailed the Lord Jesus on the cross, all of which showed their satanic nature of resisting God. So, they were condemned and cursed by the Lord Jesus. It can be seen that one’s superficial good behaviors don’t mean that he can revere and obey God, or that he can surely gain God’s praise.” I approved of what the sister fellowshiped in my heart. We can merely see a person’s outward actions, but only God and he himself know the true thoughts in his mind. We indeed shouldn’t measure whether or not a person is approved by God based on his outward actions alone.
The sister continued, “What kind of people does God commend? The Lord, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment’ (Matthew 22:37–38). From this we see that God commends those who truly love Him, obey Him, and revere Him. For example, Abraham could offer his only son unconditionally when God required him to do so; Noah completely obeyed God without giving any excuses when God called him to build an ark; Job, when faced with trials—losing all his property and ten children and even having sore boils all over his body—he still praised God and His name. Only this type of person has true love for God and is truly submissive to Him and approved by Him. Then think about ourselves. Even though we can pay some price outwardly and practice some of the Lord’s teachings, when we encounter some unfavorable environments, we can still resist and expose hot blood, even misunderstand and complain about God, without true obedience to God in our hearts. God is holy, while we always live in corrupt dispositions, so can we gain God’s approval?” At her words, I reflected on myself and thought: “That’s right! Though I am much better in actions than before, I often expose my corrupt disposition, such as hot blood, arrogance, self-righteousness, and so on. I can even complain about God when confronting unfavorable environments. God praises those who completely obey Him, who fear Him and shun evil, but I can do none of these.” But then I thought: “Aren’t we all alike? Even Paul said, ‘For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not’ (Romans 7:18). Could it be that they have solutions to my problem?”
Afterward, the sisters sent me some passages of words, and told me what kind of people God likes, what kind of people He loathes, and what kind of people can, and so on. They told me the words were God’s utterances, that the Lord has returned, opened the little scroll, and revealed all the mysteries of God managing and saving mankind. Suddenly hearing them say so, I thought it incredible. I began to treat their fellowships prudently.
The next day, the sisters sent a movie The True Light Appears. The movie told about the experiential testimony of a brother. As arrogant as I, he was always self-centered and strict with his subordinates, living in sin and having no path to take. But after accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days and experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, he had some knowledge of his arrogant nature, and then found the way to resolve his arrogant nature. Finally he had some changes in his arrogant disposition. After watching the movie, I was excited. Though I hadn’t been completely certain about God’s work of the last days, I sensed that God’s work this time was not simple. At the meeting, I told the sisters how I felt after watching the movie. They sent me another passage of God’s words, “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God.”
One of the sisters fellowshiped, “Because we have been corrupted by Satan, we have the sinful satanic nature in us, the product of which—our corrupt disposition—is much more serious than sin. We may seem reverent and spiritual from the outside, but if we have no changes in our satanic disposition, we will often sin and resist God. At the Age of Grace, according to people’s actual needs, the Lord Jesus did the work of redemption; so our sins will be forgiven if we act in accordance with the Lord’s teachings. At that time, what the Lord Jesus did was not meant to purify our satanic corrupt disposition. So even if we believe in the Lord, we will still involuntarily commit sins because our corrupt disposition hasn’t been eliminated. For example, when we have status, we are high, and we like to lecture others and let others listen to us; when others do something unsatisfying, we will expose hot blood, and even argue with them over right or wrong. These behaviors are a result of our arrogant and conceited corrupt disposition. Based on our needs, in the last days God has expressed the truth and done the work of judgment beginning at the house of God so as to purify and completely change our satanic disposition and make us into those who truly obey and revere God and win His praise.” The sister’s fellowship made me suddenly see the light. It turned out that it was because of my satanic nature within that I often lived in sin. My satanic nature is the root of my committing sins. If the root isn’t removed, then I cannot completely resolve the problem of sinning however I learn to be tolerant, patient and restrained. For example, it was the arrogant nature that caused me to stand high above the staff and blame others at will. If my nature can’t be changed, I will still expose my hot blood and naturalness. In the past, I believed that as long as I kept pursuing according to the pastor’s teachings, I would become more and more pious and loving. However, even the pastor, who has believed in the Lord for twenty or thirty years, still reveals the defiant and dissatisfied arrogant disposition when facing things that are not in line with his wishes: He also hasn’t changed yet. My imaginations seemed untenable.
At the end of the meeting, we watched a movie clip The Difference Between the Way of Repentance and the Way offrom From the Throne Flows the Water of Life. Then I came to a better understanding: God carries out His work of saving mankind in steps and according to His plan. Based on mankind’s needs, God’s work and the truth He expressed in each age are different. The message spread by the Lord Jesus was the way of repentance. When we practice the Lord’s words and confess our sins and repent, we are only forgiven of our sins. What Almighty God brings to mankind in the last days is the way of changing our corrupt disposition and purifying our sins. Only if we accept the work of Almighty God will we thoroughly free ourselves from the bondage of sin, achieve purification, and enter God’s kingdom in the end.
In the subsequent several meetings, in order to get me to be clearer about how God does the work of judgment in the last days, a sister sent me a passage of God’s words, “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.”
The sister fellowshiped, “In the Age of Grace the Lord Jesus brought the way of repentance. We only know our superficial sins according to the Lord’s teachings, but we have no way to know our corruption in the deepest corner of our spirits. The truth that Almighty God expresses in the last days discloses not only our mistaken outward practices, but our minds and thoughts and corrupt disposition hidden in the deepest corner of our spirits. In the judgment and chastisement of God’s words we see that we have been so corrupted by Satan that we have no human likeness. So we hate ourselves, and thus have the resolution to forsake our flesh and to practice the truth. When practicing in accordance with God’s words and truths, we have tasted the happiness of practicing the truth within, so that we become more willing to live by the truth. Through continuously experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, we gradually gain changes in our corrupt disposition, and walk the path of salvation. In the past, because I had no knowledge of my own satanic nature, in interacting with others, I often had disputes with them when having disagreements with them, and moreover, I firmly held on to myself. After accepting God’s work of the last days, through the revelation of God’s words, I came to realize that as a result of the satanic viewpoint ‘I’m my own Lord,’ my nature was especially arrogant, and I was self-righteous, self-important, and looked down upon others. I felt I was superior to others, and that my thoughts and views were the most correct. Therefore, when some of God’s words and work didn’t accord with my notions, I would involuntarily judge and resist them. Seeing my arrogant nature had caused me to be resistant to God in every aspect and totally irrational, I was particularly worried and fearful, so I prayed to God and asked Him to arrange environments to reveal me more so that I was able to have a deeper knowledge of my arrogant nature. Later, through God’s revelations one after another, I found my conceptions and imaginations all came from Satan, which didn’t comply with the truth. Afterward, I practiced setting aside and denying myself whenever I encountered a problem. In this way, I began to have changes in my life disposition, having some likeness of a true human being. Through my experiences, I truly realized that only Almighty God’s words of judgment and chastisement can make us have knowledge of our corrupt substance. Only through experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement and the revelations of trials, can we be purified, changed, and finally made complete into a person after God’s heart.”
The sister’s fellowship and testimony moved me deeply. As it turned out, the arrogant nature could bring about such serious results. Though I greeted the brothers and sisters with smiles and got along well with them in the church, when facing my subordinates or my wife and child at home, I would still reveal hot blood sometimes; in interacting with others, when encountering things that involved my interests, I would argue with them. Weren’t these behaviors of sin as well as the revelations of my corrupt disposition? They were not in line with the Lord’s will. Before, I thought that I was after God’s will as long as I had good behaviors outwardly, so I didn’t pay attention to these daily expressions. Now I understood that, without a change in my arrogant nature, I would not have true obedience and reverence toward God no matter how well I did on the surface. So dangerous it is to have an unchanged disposition! Meanwhile, what the sister communicated made me realize this: What the churches in the Age of Grace conveyed are some instructive words, teaching us to be tolerant and patient and to get along well with each other, but we are unable to know ourselves, much less know God. On the contrary,the brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God come to know themselves and seek transformation in their disposition through accepting the judgment and chastisement of God’s word. They have borne true testimonies, which can’t be achieved by those believers in various denominations, no matter how many years they have believed in the Lord. At that time, I came to understand that only by accepting God’s work of judgment in the last days can I achieve changes in my disposition, be made into a new person and become qualified to come before God.
From then on, I thirsted for God’s word more and more. I often attended meetings with some sisters and read God’s word. I felt that in order to save us mankind, God incarnate in the last days has paid a painstaking price, and sometimes I was moved to tears. Meanwhile, the sisters often communicated with me their experiences about how they got to know themselves in the environments arranged by God. Their fellowship practical and showed me the way, which, at the same time, led me to be able to know my corrupt nature in everything.
Now, no matter whether I interact with my colleagues or treat my family members, when what they say dissatisfies me, I will pray and call out to the name of Almighty God, ask Him to help me calm down first and not to treat them according to my flesh, then I will seek God’s words to handle this matter. Gradually, I become more and more rational. And my friends say I become wiser, and they are willing to be with me. Thank God! This is all because of God’s words of judgment and chastisement. Thanks be to God! I have found the true direction on the path of faith. I’m willing to follow God for the rest of my life.
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