God’s Words Made Me Know Myself
By Miaoxiao, South Korea
Almighty God says: “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the essence of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. 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 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, the 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. … 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” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Reading God’s words, I can see that God’s work of judgment in the last days is done by expressing the truth to judge and purify us, so that we can know our own satanic natures through God’s words and see the truth of how deeply we’ve been corrupted by Satan. We are then able to feel remorse, hate ourselves, and truly repent. I used to always feel like I was someone with good humanity, that I was tolerant and patient with others, and when I saw someone going through a hard time, I’d do whatever I could to help. I thought I was a good person. But after accepting God’s work of the last days and experiencing the judgment and revelation of His words, I saw that even though I appeared to behave well on the outside and didn’t commit obvious sins, inside I had a lot of satanic dispositions—arrogance, deceitfulness, malice. I couldn’t help but go against the truth and oppose God. I saw that I’d been so deeply corrupted by Satan and I truly needed the judgment and cleansing of God’s words.
In March 2018, I had a duty in the church of making videos. I was new to the team, and I heard a sister say that Brother Zhao, the team leader, was pretty stern and had strict standards for work. I thought, “Being strict is responsible and it can push us to do our duty better. This is a good thing. Besides, I’m an easygoing person and can get along with anyone. I can’t imagine I’ll have any problems working with Brother Zhao.”
Brother Zhao downloaded some videos for us to go over to help familiarize us with the work more quickly, covering things like aesthetics, composition of shots, lighting, and color coordination. Learning about all this was kind of dull for me and my attention kept wandering. I thought, “There’s so much information, I’ll forget it in no time at all. I’ll gradually get the hang of it through practice. At this point it would be better to learn to make more realistic and sophisticated effects with new software, to pique our interest.” I brought up my idea, thinking that Brother Zhao would consider it, but to my surprise, he heard me out and then said very sternly, “Learning the professional knowledge is really important. We have to understand it to make good videos. We have to orient ourselves and take one step at a time. Let’s not bite off more than we can chew. Learning all this is to do our duty well. By adjusting our mindset, we’ll be more motivated to learn and it won’t seem boring.” Right after he said that, the other brothers and sisters looked over at me. My whole face and neck went bright red. I was so embarrassed. I thought, “What will they think of me when you talk to me like that? Will they think I’m just along for the ride in my duty? How will I be able to show my face after this?” But then I thought, “I can’t be so small-minded. Brother Zhao is saying this for our own benefit. How will I be able to cooperate in this duty if I’m so petty about everything?” From then on, I started earnestly learning these skills and I got a basic grasp on some aspects of them pretty quickly. After a while, I was feeling pretty smug, thinking that I was of good caliber and could pick things up quickly.
One day Brother Zhao taught us how to use some new software. I remembered it right away, but other brothers and sisters had to go over it one more time. Brother Zhao patiently taught it twice, but I was losing patience. I thought, “What’s so difficult? I’ve got a handle on it, there’s no use in repeating it.” I started to look through other materials. Seeing that I wasn’t focused on the task at hand, Brother Zhao said, “Sister, you’ve already got this? Come and try it out.” “What is there to even do?” I thought. “It’s just that you don’t believe me, right?” I tried it out, totally full of confidence, but I got stuck just halfway through. I didn’t know what to do next. The other brothers and sisters were just off to the side watching. My face started burning. I really wanted to find a hole to crawl into. With a stern look on his face, Brother Zhao said, “Sister, you’re too arrogant and self-righteous, and generally inattentive in whatever you’re learning. How can you do your duty well that way?” I totally disagreed with what he had to say. “You just don’t like me, do you?” I thought. “You’re not asking anyone else, just me. Isn’t it because you want to make a fool out of me? And you reprimanded me in front of everyone; wasn’t that to get everyone to think of me as arrogant? How will I be able to get along with everyone after this?” The more I thought about it, the more I felt that Brother Zhao was intentionally picking a bone with me, that he just wanted to make me look bad all-around. Despite myself, I began to feel prejudiced against him. From then on, I half-consciously started avoiding him. When he asked me anything about my duty, I’d barely acknowledge him, just saying this or that. I was afraid that he’d reprimand me if he discovered any more problems in my duty. But the more I tried to avoid him, the more issues and mistakes I encountered. I was constantly getting reminders and pointers from him. This left me really irritable, and more and more unhappy with Brother Zhao. I thought, “You’re always embarrassing me. Next time I see a fault of yours I’ll call it out in front of everyone, too, so you can get a taste of your own medicine.”
Later on, another sister joined our group. I gave her a basic orientation, and when it came to Brother Zhao, I just vented all of my opinions and prejudices about him. I felt a little uneasy after that, wondering if I was judging him behind his back. But then I looked at it another way. I was giving her my honest opinion so that she could know something about him and appropriately deal with his strengths and weaknesses. So, I didn’t think anything more of it.
It wasn’t long before I heard that a sister had told a church leader about some of Brother Zhao’s issues in his duty. I thought, “This is a good chance for me to share my thoughts, too. The leader will probably deal with Brother Zhao based on what we say. He is always criticizing me, so this time he’ll know what it feels like. And maybe after being dealt with he’ll even be removed from his duty and sent home for self-reflection, so I won’t have to face him day in and day out anymore.” With this in mind, I shared his corruptions and faults with the leader. I thought he’d be replaced, but surprisingly, a few days later when the leader summed up everyone’s evaluations, she said that Brother Zhao revealed some corrupt disposition but also had some self-awareness, and that he took responsibility for his duty and could do practical work. He was allowed to keep his role as team leader. I was pretty disappointed when I heard that. Later on, the leader sought me out for fellowship. She said, “Sister, when discussing Brother Zhao’s issues, you only mentioned his corruptions and faults. Are you prejudiced against him? He’s a very direct person, so when he sees someone do something wrong, or something contrary to the principles of the truth, he doesn’t beat around the bush. Sometimes he comes on a bit strong, but he just wants to help brothers and sisters and uphold the church’s work. We can’t take the wrong approach here. If we switch him to another duty it would disrupt the church’s work. Regarding how we talked about Brother Zhao’s issues, we have to examine whether what we were saying and doing was in line with the principles, if our motives were proper, and what corruption was mixed in….” The leader’s reminder made me think I might have a serious issue. I thought back on how I’d behaved since I knew Brother Zhao, and I felt a bit uneasy. I took my state before God in prayer and began to seek the truth.
Later I read these words of God: “Those among brothers and sisters who are always giving vent to their negativity are lackeys of Satan and they disturb the church. Such people must one day be expelled and eliminated. In their belief in God, if people do not have a heart of reverence for God, if they do not have a heart of obedience toward God, then not only will they be unable to do any work for Him, but on the contrary will become those who disturb His work and who defy Him. Believing in God but not obeying or revering Him, and instead resisting Him, is the greatest disgrace for a believer. … People who genuinely believe in God always have Him in their hearts, and they always carry within them a God-revering heart, a God-loving heart. Those who believe in God should do things cautiously and prudently, and all that they do should be in accordance with God’s requirements and able to satisfy His heart. They should not be headstrong, doing whatever they please; that does not befit saintly propriety. People must not run amok, waving the flag of God all over the place while swaggering and swindling everywhere; this is the most rebellious sort of conduct. Families have their rules, and nations have their laws—and isn’t it even more so in the house of God? Aren’t the standards even stricter? Aren’t there even more administrative decrees? People are free to do what they want, but the administrative decrees of God cannot be altered at will. God is a God who does not tolerate offense from humans” (“A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words really cut to the quick. I felt that God’s disposition brooks no offense, that there are administrative decrees in God’s house, and that He has requirements. If someone speaks and acts without reverence for God, running amok, covertly judging others, sowing discord, forming cliques, and disrupting the church’s work, then that person is an unbeliever, a minion of Satan. God would never allow someone like that to remain in the church. I thought about my own behavior and what I’d revealed in my duty with Brother Zhao. I’d become biased against him only because he’d pointed out a flaw of mine in front of others, wounding my pride. I also vented my prejudices about him to a new sister and judged him behind his back, trying to pull her over to my side and isolate him. When I heard that someone else was reporting on some issues in his duty I jumped on the chance to point my finger at him, eager for the church leader to replace him and send him packing. Wasn’t I showing a malicious, satanic disposition? How was that the likeness of a person of faith? I realized that, by pointing out my faults and shortcomings in my duty, Brother Zhao was being responsible for the work of God’s house, and he did it to help me. But I became biased against him because it hurt my sense of pride. I kept trying to get something on him, judging him, and creating dissension, hoping to squeeze him out. What kind of role was I playing? I didn’t focus on seeking the truth or practicing the truth when encountering an issue, but acted according to my satanic dispositions, disrupting and sabotaging the work of God’s house. Wasn’t I being Satan’s minion? This thought frightened me. If the church leader hadn’t dealt with it based on the principles of the truth and kept Brother Zhao in his duty, the team’s work would have been impacted. I felt regret and self-reproach, and a little guilty. I saw I was totally lacking humanity. If it hadn’t been for the harsh judgment and revelation of God’s words, then as numb as I was, I wouldn’t have reflected on or known myself at all. I would have kept doing evil and disrupting the church’s work, and God would have hated and eliminated me. I finally realized how dangerous it would be if my malicious satanic disposition weren’t resolved. I started to reflect on things, wondering what the real root behind the satanic disposition I had revealed was.
I read these words of God: “Born into such a filthy land, man has been severely blighted by society, he has been influenced by feudal ethics, and he has been taught at ‘institutes of higher learning.’ The backward thinking, corrupt morality, mean view on life, despicable philosophy for living, utterly worthless existence, and depraved lifestyle and customs—all of these things have severely intruded upon man’s heart, and severely undermined and attacked his conscience. As a result, man is ever more distant from God, and ever more opposed to Him. Man’s disposition becomes more vicious by the day, and there is not a single person who will willingly give up anything for God, not a single person who will willingly obey God, nor, moreover, a single person who will willingly seek the appearance of God. Instead, under the domain of Satan, man does nothing but pursue pleasure, giving himself over to the corruption of the flesh in the land of mud. Even when they hear the truth, those who live in darkness give no thought to putting it into practice, nor are they inclined to seek out God even if they have beheld His appearance. How could a mankind so depraved have any chance of salvation? How could a mankind so decadent live in the light?” (“To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “People think like this: ‘If you’re not going to be kind, then I won’t be just! If you’re rude to me, then I’ll be rude to you as well! If you don’t treat me with dignity, why would I treat you with dignity?’ What sort of thinking is this? Is it not a vengeful way of thinking? In the views of an ordinary person, is this type of perspective not viable? ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth’; ‘Here’s a taste of your own medicine’—among unbelievers, these are all rationales that hold water and completely conform to human notions. However, as someone who believes in God—as someone who seeks to understand the truth and seeks a change in disposition—would you say that such words are right or wrong? What should you do to discern them? Where do such things come from? They come from the malicious nature of Satan; they contain venom, and they contain the true face of Satan in all its maliciousness and ugliness. They contain the very essence of that nature. What is the character of the perspectives, thoughts, expressions, speech, and even actions that contain that nature’s essence? Are they not of Satan? Are these aspects of Satan in line with humanity? Are they in line with the truth, or with the reality of the truth? Are they the actions that followers of God should do, and the thoughts and points of view that they should possess?” (“Only Resolving Your Corrupt Disposition Can Free You From a Negative State” in Records of Christ’s Talks). I understood from God’s words that revealing this malicious disposition and doing this kind of inhuman thing wasn’t just showing momentary corruption, but it was because I was controlled by Satan’s poisons and nature. Through national education and social conditioning, Satan steeps people in so many of its poisons, like “We will not attack unless we are attacked; if we are attacked, we will certainly counterattack,” “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” and “Here’s a taste of your own medicine.” Corrupted and poisoned by these satanic philosophies, people become more and more arrogant, selfish, deceitful, and underhanded, and they become willing to go to any lengths to protect their own interests and image. People can’t interact with each other properly, they have no understanding, much less any patience. As soon as another person’s words or actions impinge on their own interests they become biased against them, despising and excluding them, or even taking revenge. It’s just like the CCP. To maintain its dictatorship and protect its image as “great, glorious, and correct,” no one is allowed to reveal its evil deeds, no matter how many. People can only sing its praises. Anyone who tells the truth and exposes the Communist Party, hurting its “glorious” image, will certainly be punished. It imprisons people on all sorts of fabricated charges, even killing them to silence them. The great red dragon is so evil and savage! I’ve been poisoned by the great red dragon’s toxins since I was little and I’m full of satanic dispositions. I’m so arrogant, I don’t accept the truth, and I don’t let others expose my corruption. I can’t get along with anyone who compromises my own interests, and I even treat them like a bitter enemy. When Brother Zhao dared to be honest, to point out my actual shortcomings, not only did I fail to handle it properly, to humbly accept his help, but I developed a grudge against him because it impacted my reputation and status. I gossiped, undermined him, and couldn’t wait for him to be replaced. I was acting as Satan’s lackey without even realizing it, disturbing the church’s work. Only then did I see how deeply Satan had corrupted me. I was arrogant, deceitful, selfish, and malicious by nature. I revealed only my satanic disposition without any human likeness. I saw that if my satanic disposition wasn’t resolved I was bound to be destroyed by God. Now I know that, when I’d thought of myself as tolerant, patient with others, and of good humanity before, it was because my personal interests hadn’t been infringed on, but as soon as something did, my satanic nature showed itself. I started to hate myself more and more. I didn’t want to live within my satanic disposition and oppose God anymore. I then said a prayer of repentance to God, willing to pursue the truth, to accept the judgment and cleansing of God’s words, and cast off my satanic disposition as soon as I could.
A little later, I read this in God’s words: “If, in their belief in God, people do not frequently live before Him, then they will not be able to have any reverence for Him, and so will be incapable of shunning evil. These things are connected. If your heart often lives before God, you will be held in check, and will fear God in many things. You will not go too far, or do anything that is dissolute. You will not do that which is loathed by God, and will not speak words that have no sense. If you accept God’s observation, and accept God’s discipline, you will avoid doing many evil things. As such, will you not have shunned evil?” (“Only If You Live Before God at All Times Can You Walk the Path of Salvation” in Records of Christ’s Talks). I saw from God’s words that having reverence for God in one’s faith is absolutely critical. We have to always live before God and accept God’s scrutiny in our words and actions. Even though it’s hard to accept or we may feel resistant when something touches upon our interests, with a heart of reverence for God, through prayer, we can set ourselves aside, seek the truth, focus on the work of God’s house and our duty, and not do anything that offends God. Once I began to practice in line with God’s words, I gradually let go of my prejudices against Brother Zhao and felt that him pointing out my problems could help me improve, and that he did it to achieve better results in our duty. Now when I run into a problem, I’m able to consult with him with the right mindset, and through his suggestions and help, I’ve improved on my weak points. I’ve started to do better in my duty, and I feel at ease and at peace. It was only through the judgment and chastisement of God’s words that I was able to know myself and experience this change. I saw how practical God’s work to save mankind is.