God created mankind; regardless of whether they have been corrupted or whether they follow Him, God treats human beings as … Read More God’s word of the day: “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I” (Excerpt 29)
God’s Words Led Me on the Way of the Purification of Sin
By Chennuo, Malaysia
I was born in Malaysia. My family planted pepper and cocoa for a living. Because my family was poor, I began to help my parents by working from childhood. Though tired, I could not but do that, or my mother would be unhappy and even wouldn’t talk to me. In that case, I would suffer more pains in my heart. Later, when I went to elementary school, one of my classmates incited others to turn their back on me, if she was not so keen on me. Therefore, no one gave me a hand when I had difficulties in my homework, and then my teachers often scolded me. Confronted with all of this, I was in distress. I didn’t know what mistakes I had made. Sometimes when taking these things to heart, I felt that my existence was unwanted. And I had the thought of death from time to time.
When I was in grade five, a pastor went to our school to teach us Sunday school. And so I came to know the Lord. Afterward, I was very happy on Sunday, for in Sunday school class I could sing songs and hear the pastor interpret the Bible. Once, the pastor told us, “For our sins, the Lord Jesus was crucified for us. Thus, no matter what sins we commit, the Lord will forgive us as long as we confess to Him.” As I had never enjoyed warmth, I was surrounded by the love I had never tasted before when hearing that the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross to save us. From then on, I no longer had the thought of death.
In 1990, I went to a big city for work. During this time, I often prayed to the Lord, living in peace and gladness. I felt supported in my heart and was no longer lonely. In the following several years, I prayed to the Lord Jesus on condition that I met troubles. By the Lord’s grace, I worked successfully, and led a good life bit by bit. Experiencing the Lord’s special care, I was filled with gratitude toward Him. Thereby, I often went to the church to worship the Lord. In 2000, unexpected things happened: Our church was split, because our pastor had a confrontation with elders due to the church’s money. As a result, our pastor drove the four elders out of our church, and the elders established a new church. Not long afterward, the elders fell into conflict, and then divided their church into two. Seeing the pastor and elders schemed against each other, and had jealous disputes with each other, I was very grieved. I couldn’t understand why our church got into such a situation. Later, I was more and more disgusted with the monotonous preaching of our pastor. If I didn’t hear, I felt indebted to the Lord. However, if I heard with reluctance, I really couldn’t receive any life supply. I lost my hope, and felt very weak and empty in spirit. At times, I sang the hymns alone with weeping at home. The Lord would return soon; I, however, was in such condition—I had no knowledge of the Lord, and usually had too many complaints for my mother, living in sin without being able to be free from it. Going on this way, I would surely be forsaken by the Lord. The more I thought this way, the more distressed I would be. However, I didn’t know what to do.
In July, 2016, while I was in suffering and in pain, I made the acquaintance of Sister Zhang on Facebook. She and a brother invited me to attend meetings and share the Bible together. At the first meeting, they shared a verse with me. The Lord, “Not every one that said to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). The brother fellowshipped with me, “In this scripture, the Lord Jesus clearly told us the qualifications for entering into the kingdom of the heaven—only those people who do the will of God can enter into His kingdom. For example, some people say that they’re believers in the Lord, but they seldom attend meetings, and seldom pray to Him, and also their actions are no different from those of the unbelievers. They’re not the people who obey God’s will. Still some believers can keep some teachings of the Lord on the outside, but once something against their will befalls them, then they will unknowingly commit sins, and cannot break away from the binding of sin. They also cannot do the will of the heavenly Father completely. Those who will must be cleansed of sin. They all do God’s will, obey, love and worship Him. The Bible says, “holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrew 12:14). God is holy. If people always live in a cycle of sinning and repenting like this, and complain against God, and disobey and resist Him when encountering difficulties, how can they be permitted by God to enter His kingdom? Thus, if we want to enter God’s kingdom, we still need God to do another stage work of judgment and chastisement, which thoroughly sets us free from the bondage of sin and makes us become men who are purified. Only in this way can we be purified and enter the kingdom of heaven.” After hearing his fellowship, I felt that he had a special understanding of these scriptures, and had enlightenment in his preaching. The meeting lasted three hours, but I felt no tiredness. Yet, I was a little worried, for I often committed sins as well, and failed to completely follow God’s will. But then I thought: It is good enough as long as we confess to the Lord after committing sins and repenting. By the precious blood of the Lord Jesus, our sins have been forgiven.
Later, we had another two meetings together. Brothers and sisters still kept talking about the problem of how to remove sin. The more I heard that, the more I felt something was wrong. I thought: Since the moment we received the Lord Jesus as our Savior, we’ve been purified by His precious blood. So, we needn’t accept the work of judgment and chastisement. There is no mistake in the words of the Bible. At the moment, I suddenly recalled that the brother had referred to the words “the incarnation” and “God’s work in the last days” in his fellowship. And I thought: It seems that these words are not mentioned in the Bible. Is it possible that … they are the followers of Eastern Lightning? Only the Eastern Lightning followers talk about God’s work in the last days. It reminded me that my pastor and elders had told us not to contact with the Eastern Lightning followers. Then I was a little afraid, so I decided to no longer gather with them.
Soon, over one month passed by. Over this period of time, I fell back into my old condition, living in emptiness without direction. Every day, the brother ceaselessly invited me to attend meetings by messages, but I merely replied him with some polite remarks every time. When he spoke of attending meetings, I would use all sorts of excuses to refuse him. Sometimes, I mulled it over: He had more enlightenment and light than my pastor in fellowshiping about the scriptures. He could relieve me from confusion, and give me supply and enjoyment in spirit. Rather than being in a condition of dryness, why do I not listen to new enlightenment? However, as soon as I remembered the words of my pastor, I told myself: I’ve been saved by the Lord, so I needn’t hear that.
Some days later, a net friend asked me, “Why does the Bible say when God comes back, all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him?” Regarding this question, I didn’t know how to answer. Just then, it reminded me of the brother who had light in his fellowship about scriptures. So, I sought the answer to this question from him. He said, “Those who shall wail refer to the ones who resist and slander God’s new work. In the last days, God comes back to do the work of judgment and chastisement through expressing His words, which means the work of saving, purifying, and perfecting man. God will make a group of people into overcomers by His words before the disasters, and then publicly appear to us. As a result, those who don’t accept God’s judgment but oppose and condemn Him won’t know that the One they resist is the Lord Jesus, whom they have been expecting night and day, until God appears to them; they shall be condemned by God and weep and gnash their teeth due to their resistance to God. Just like when the Lord Jesus became flesh to do His work on the earth, the Pharisees always didn’t recognize that the Lord Jesus was Messiah that people had been longing for, and even nailed Him on the cross. They were condemned by God, for they resisted Him. It can be seen that if man stubbornly holds on to his own notions and imaginations, neither having knowledge of God’s new work, nor investigating it, he surely will oppose God and be punished by Him at last because of his conceptions and imaginations.”
After hearing his fellowship, I felt a little afraid: It seems to describe me. Although I believe in the Lord, attend meetings, and hear preaching in the church, yet I have little knowledge of the Lord. I believe in the Lord but don’t know God. I may oppose God at last without knowing it. What a terrible result! Oh, no, I should keep on listening to his fellowship. If I don’t accept God’s new work, not only will I fail to enter into the kingdom of heaven, but I also will be punished in the end. In that case, won’t I really become the one who mourns and grinds his teeth?
Later, the brother read a passage of sermons to me, “The Bible says, ‘For on that day shall the priest make an atonement for you, to cleanse you, that you may be clean from all your sins before Jehovah. It shall be a sabbath of rest to you, and you shall afflict your souls, by a statute for ever’ (Leviticus 16: 30-31). Everyone who is familiar with the Bible knows that in the Age of Law, the tenth day of the seventh month is the day of atonement for Israelites in every year. At that feast, all the people must offer the firstling among cattle and sheep without blemish upon the altar as a sin offering, in order that their uncleanness and transgressions in the year could be purified. No one may transgress it, forever and ever. But by the end of the Age of Law, as people committed more and more sins, they became increasingly corrupt and degenerate, and lost their reverence for God Jehovah, so that they took what had been lame, blind and sick as offerings to sacrifice on the altar. If such situation had continued, people surely would have died according to the Law. However, God didn’t have the heart to have the mankind He created with His own hands destroyed like this. Therefore, based on His management plan and man’s need, God was incarnated as the Lord Jesus Christ to bear man’s sins by being nailed to the cross, using His sinless flesh as a sin offering to redeem all mankind. Since then, as long as we believe in the Lord Jesus, our sins can be forgiven. However, we only have been redeemed, but our root of sins has yet to be resolved. So, we still need God to do another stage of work of purifying and removing our sins.”
After that, he sent me a passage of God’s words: “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons were already planted within him. After thousands of years of Satan’s corruption, man already has within him a nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than redemption, where man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before being worthy to serve God. Through this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within him, and he will be able to completely change and become clean. Only in this way can man be worthy to return before the throne of God” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)”).
He fellowshiped, “Since man’s ancestors Adam and Eve were tempted by Satan, its poisons had been planted within our hearts. So we have possessed satanic nature and began to commit sins ceaselessly. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus did the work of redemption through His crucifixion for us, and God no longer regards us as sinners. However, our satanic dispositions like arrogance, selfishness, and craftiness still remain within us. As long as our satanic dispositions have not been resolved, we can still commit sins and resist God endlessly. Just as what God says: ‘A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity’ (‘Concerning Appellations and Identity’). God searches people’s hearts, and knows we live in sin and are bound by sin, unable to get rid of it. Therefore, in the last days, according to the need of corrupt mankind, God expresses words to do the work of judging and purifying man, which is based upon the work of redemption the Lord Jesus did. Only by accepting God’s judgment and chastisement and by pursuing in the way God points out, can we have transformation in our corrupt disposition. After we have our satanic corrupt disposition transformed, have God’s words as our life, and no longer resist and rebel God, we then will truly be gained and saved by Him.”
After I read God’s words and heard the brother’s fellowship, my mind was very clear, and I felt that these words were very practical and related well with the facts. Though I believed in the Lord, because I could not get along well with my parents when I was young, I brooded over the past things and even frequently got angry with them for no reason. I knew my actions were unbeloved by the Lord, so I prayed to Him more than once to find the path to solve it, but I always failed. Many times, I doubted whether I had been forsaken by the Lord. For this reason, I often sunk into pain, unable to extricate myself from it. Not until I heard today about God’s words, did I know the reason why I couldn’t break free from the bondage of sin was that the root cause of sin still existed inside of me. Therefore, it was not enough for me only to accept the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption. Only by my accepting Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days, then can the root of my sin be removed, and can I be truly purified by God. In this way, I will be qualified to enter the wonderful destination God has prepared for us. At the moment, the notion I insisted on in my heart finally was resolved that I had been saved only by believing in the Lord Jesus. My heart was filled with joy.
However, I was not very clear about how God judges and purifies us with His words. Then we read God’s words together: “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” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth”).
He fellowshiped with me, “The words of judgment and chastisement expressed by Almighty God in the last days are mainly to resolve our satanic nature of resisting God. Only through the judgment and revelations in God’s words, can we truly understand the actual facts of our having been corrupted by Satan and our nature, substance, and know the root cause of our rebelling against and resisting God. When we see that after being corrupted by Satan, we’re arrogant and haughty, selfish and despicable by nature and often resist God involuntarily, then we can truly hate ourselves. Moreover, from the judgment in God’s word, we can understand God’s disposition of righteousness and holiness, so then find the fear of God in our hearts. And we are willing to accept God’s judgment, and pursue living out God’s words. Finally, we’ll have transformation constantly in life disposition, completely get rid of the condition of committing and confessing sins, and be saved and gained by God.” Through his fellowship, I understood how God does the work of judgment and purification in the last days. And I also knew the fruit of God’s work of judgment and chastisement with His words. That is, God exposes our corrupt disposition to make us have true knowledge of it, and then we can hate ourselves and be unwilling to live in dependence on our satanic nature; thus, we can forsake our flesh and practice the truth, and thereby break away from the bondage of sin gradually.
Later, I attended meetings of the Church of Almighty God formally. Once I got time, I would read God’s words on the website of the Church of Almighty God. However, I had not experienced the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, nor had gained a true knowledge of man’s various states revealed by God. Therefore, when brothers and sisters said we believed in God, but we still conducted transactions with God, I couldn’t accept it in my heart. I thought: God has accompanied me over these years. I’ve experienced so great salvation of God. I’m a true believer in God. How could I carry out a transaction with God? Until one day, I saw God’s words: “How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? How many believe in Me only so I would use My powers to drive unclean spirits out of their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth, and how many believe in Me just to spend this life in safety and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, yet I acknowledged him not and felt abhorrence for him, man went far away from Me and sought the way of witch doctors and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then all disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain” (“What Do You Know of Faith?”).
God’s words pierced the bottom of my heart like a sharp sword, and every word exposed the thoughts hidden deep in my heart. Looking back to the journey of my belief in God, I only prayed to God when encountering difficulties. And I asked God to bestow peace and joy on me, and to bless me with a successful work and a rich life. Later, when hearing that man believing in God could go to heaven, I followed God closely without giving up. So many nights, I prayed to God in tears, entirely because I worried that I would be forsaken by the Lord, and that my dream of obtaining blessings would be shattered, rather than because my deeds couldn’t satisfy God’s will. However, I always deemed my heart that believed in the Lord was real. Today, the intention in my deep heart was revealed by God’s words: In fact, as a believer in the Lord for twenty years, I had been demanding things from God and carrying out a transaction with Him. I realized that I was so selfish and mean, so lacking in humanity. The judgment of God’s words put me to shame.
Tasting the judgment of God’s words in person, I was cut to my heart and pained, but after that, I was full of gratitude to God in my heart. Without God’s judgment, I would never realize my despicable intentions to barter with God by believing in God; without God’s judgment, I also would not know my selfish and base satanic nature; without God’s judgment, I would be eliminated by Him due to my filthiness and corruption, and never have the chance to enter God’s kingdom. I was grateful that Almighty God caused brothers and sisters to constantly witness God’s work to arouse my heart little by little, and to allow me to accept the judgment of God’s word and walk the path to being cleansed and perfected. All the glory be to Almighty God!
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