A Belated Awakening
By Lin Min, China
In 2013, I accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. At that time, I was very enthusiastic. I often read God’s word, went to meetings, and actively fellowshiped. Before long, my leader put me in charge of a few meeting groups, and also often encouraged me to pursue the truth and prepared to train me as a watering deacon. At the time, I enjoyed the feeling of being valued, so I put my effort into fellowshiping on the truth and solving the problems of brothers and sisters. I wanted everyone to look up to me and say I had good caliber, that despite believing for a short time, I could fellowship on the truth and resolve problems, and that I was someone who pursued the truth.
Soon, Sister Xiaozhen transferred to our church. At first, I was in charge of watering her and met with her. After some time, the church held elections, and the others saw that she pursued well, had good caliber, and received the truth purely, so they elected her as the watering deacon. At that time, I saw that the brothers and sisters looked up to her, and the leader valued her, and I felt I had been forgotten. I was jealous and very sad. I thought, “If Xiaozhen wasn’t here, the leader would be cultivating me instead, but now she’s come along and stolen my halo. If she practices a little longer, she’ll surpass me, and the brothers and sisters will look up to her more than me.” The more I thought about it, the more upset I was, to the point I couldn’t sleep. To stop the leader from cultivating Xiaozhen, several times, in front of the leader, I said, “Xiaozhen hasn’t believed long, so she doesn’t understand the truth, and can’t resolve problems with the truth. She isn’t suitable for watering work.” My leader saw that I was in a state of jealousy, and so fellowshiped with me and pointed out my problems, saying I desired status, was jealous of others, and couldn’t stand to see others surpass me, and that these were manifestations of bad humanity. I knew being jealous of Xiaozhen was wrong, that God hated it, and I couldn’t continue like this. After that, I outwardly reined myself in and stopped talking about Xiaozhen, but I couldn’t let go of the envy I felt for her. Sometimes, she didn’t know about things at work and asked me, and she arranged for me to support newcomers. This made me very frustrated. I thought, “I used to water you, but now that you have a position, you order me around. Do I have to take your orders? I may not be a leader or worker, but I’m no worse than you.” I thought, “I need to fellowship on the truth more to solve the problems of our brothers and sisters. That way, they’ll think I’m better than Xiaozhen. Then, I’ll have the greater share of their respect.” After that, whenever I saw my brothers and sisters have difficulties or suffer states, I proactively searched God’s word to fellowship and resolve them. Everyone said I could fellowship well, and that made me very happy.
One time, Xiaozhen pointed out Liang Jing’s problems, Liang Jing didn’t accept it, and shared prejudices and opinions about Xiaozhen at the meeting, and I was delighted when I heard it: “It’s good to see everyone has opinions about her. This way, she’ll have no place in the brothers’ and sisters’ hearts.” I quickly jumped in after Liang Jing and said, “I don’t have a good impression of Xiaozhen either. Now that she’s a watering deacon, I think she acts like some official. She always orders me around.” When I finished, Liang Jing and another sister both agreed. I said Xiaozhen had superficial experiences, didn’t understand things, and spoke too sharply. After hearing what I said, Liang Jing’s prejudice against Xiaozhen grew even greater. Later, at meetings, when Xiao Zhen fellowshiped, Liang Jing listened with a long face, and sometimes she constantly argued with Xiaozhen over minor things, which caused Xiaozhen to feel constrained, as well as disrupted and disturbed church life. At the time, I casually fellowshiped with Liang Jing that she should treat Xiaozhen correctly, but I was actually very happy. Liang Jing always argued with Xiaozhen, which definitely affected Xiaozhen’s state. If she became negative and failed to perform her duty well, she would be replaced, and then the brothers and sisters wouldn’t think so highly of her. I was surprised when Xiaozhen’s state quickly turned around. She still bore a burden in her duty, protected the church’s work, and had a sense of justice. A few months later, Xiaozhen was chosen to lead the church. The brothers and sisters went to her for everything, and I felt very aggrieved, I thought, “I can also solve some problems. I’m no worse than her. But now she is the leader, and from now on, the brothers and sisters will only have her in their hearts, not me.” As I thought of this, I felt jealous and resistant. Later, at meetings, I didn’t want to talk to her. When I saw that her fellowship wasn’t clear or some work wasn’t done well, I didn’t try to make up for it or fix it. I even deliberately dug up her problems and targeted her to make her look bad.
Once at a meeting, two sisters had a dispute because of their different viewpoints, and that disturbed church life. I reported this to Xiaozhen, but she was busy with other things and couldn’t fellowship to resolve it in time, so I latched on to this problem and said in front of everyone that she didn’t do practical work, hoping our brothers and sisters wouldn’t look up to her anymore. After some people heard this, they blamed her for not resolving problems, which made Xiaozhen feel a little negative and embarrassed. Later, at meetings, when Xiaozhen was present, I always competed with her. To make her look worse and make everyone look up to me, if anyone had a problem, I quickly figured out which parts of God’s word would solve it and was first to fellowship. I was terrified Xiaozhen would do it before me, and I would have no chance to show off. When Xiaozhen saw I resolved the problem, she didn’t fellowship any further. Because I showed off so often, everyone admired me. At the group leader meetings, all the brothers and sisters centered their attention on me, and expected me to fellowship and resolve any states or difficulties they had. One of the group leaders reminded me that I was pursuing reputation and position, and was walking the path of the antichrist, but I didn’t take it seriously. Later, Xiaozhen became increasingly constrained in her duty, fellowshiped less at meetings, and was in a negative state. She said it would be better for me to take over her duty. She even offered to resign several times. In the end, she was dismissed for being in a bad state and performing her duty badly. I was happy when I found out. I thought, “Xiaozhen was finally dismissed. Now she won’t look better than me, and the brothers and sisters won’t think I’m worse than her.”
Before long, my leader learned about my behavior and came to fellowship with me. She exposed me for not playing a positive role in the church, contending with Xiaozhen for status and often belittling, judging, and excluding her, which caused her to feel negative and constrained, made it impossible to perform her duty, and finally made her want to resign. This was attacking her, and it was disrupting church work. My leader also pointed out that resolving my brothers’ and sisters’ problems outwardly made me seem responsible, but was actually showing off and bringing others before myself. Finally, my leader dismissed me and isolated me from the others, and told me to reflect on myself. I accepted and obeyed on the surface, but inside, I felt like it was an injustice. I thought my leader was seizing on my corruption and making an issue of it to punish me. I vented my dissatisfaction at meetings, saying that my leader didn’t follow principles, arbitrarily punished me, and so on, causing everyone there to take my side and judge my leader. Because I contended for status, formed a clique, and seriously disrupted church work, and I didn’t reflect on myself in the slightest or repent after being exposed and dealt with several times by the leaders, workers, and brothers and sisters, I was finally purged from the church.
When I heard about this arrangement, I was stunned. I was in deep pain, and I cried a lot. I thought, “It’s completely over for me. I won’t be able to live church life and fulfill my duty, and I won’t be saved.” I felt that I was excluded from God’s house, so I was exposed and eliminated. When I prayed to God, I couldn’t feel His presence, and it felt just like being dead. Faced with the fact that my brothers and sisters exposed me, beyond my pain and despair, I had many grievances and resistance. I thought, “Have I really done so much evil? Is it that serious? How was I showing off? Wasn’t all my fellowship based on God’s word? Besides, I’ve only believed in God for four years, and I still don’t understand the truth, so even if I expose some corruption and do some wicked deeds, that’s forgivable, and not worth clearing me out, right? Wasn’t handling me this way too harsh?” The more I thought, the more negative I felt. I thought there was no hope for my belief in God, and that I had no ending or destination. My tears flowed uncontrollably. I couldn’t eat or sleep for days, and my head hurt as if it had split open. I felt miserable and hopeless. I thought, “Since life is so painful, it would be better to die and end everything.”
A few days later, a sister came to see me. She saw my pale face, heard my weak voice, and realized I was still in a negative state, so she fellowshiped with me. She said, “When environments like this come, God wants us to reflect on ourselves, come to know the source of our evil, repent, and change. But if we don’t understand God’s will, don’t properly reflect on ourselves, still consider our own outcomes, and passively oppose, if we continue like this, we will truly be detested and eliminated by God.” She also said, “The evil deeds of the people of Nineveh offended God, but when they genuinely confessed their sins and repented to God, God withdrew His wrath and showed them mercy.” After hearing my sister’s fellowship, I felt a little relieved.
After she left, I opened up the book of God’s words and read this passage. “Regardless of how angry God had been with the Ninevites, as soon as they declared a fast and donned sackcloth and ashes, His heart began to soften and He began to change His mind. When He proclaimed to them that He would destroy their city—the moment prior to their confession and repentance for their sins—God was still angry with them. Once they had carried out a series of repentant acts, God’s anger for the people of Nineveh gradually transformed into mercy and tolerance for them. … God used His attitude to tell people the following: It is not that God does not tolerate people, or that He does not want to show mercy to them; rather, it is that they rarely truly repent to God, and it is rare that people truly turn away from their evil ways and abandon the violence in their hands. In other words, when God is angry with man, He hopes that man will be able to truly repent, and indeed He hopes to see man’s true repentance, in which case He will then liberally continue to bestow His mercy and tolerance upon man. This is to say that man’s evil conduct incurs God’s wrath, whereas God’s mercy and tolerance are bestowed upon those who listen to God and truly repent before Him, upon those who can turn away from their evil ways and abandon the violence in their hands. God’s attitude was very clearly revealed in His treatment of the Ninevites: God’s mercy and tolerance are not at all difficult to obtain, and what He requires is one’s true repentance. As long as people turn away from their evil ways and abandon the violence in their hands, God will change His heart and His attitude toward them” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique II). After reading God’s words, I was very moved. Nineveh’s people did too much evil and offended God, and God would send disasters to destroy them. But when they heard Jonah’s proclamation, they were able to sincerely confess their sins, repent, cease their violence, and stop doing evil, at which point God changed His mind and showed them tolerance and mercy. God’s words gave me hope. My deeds disrupted the work of the church, which offended God’s disposition, so I was cleared out from the church. This was God’s wrath upon me, and also God’s righteous chastisement. But God wasn’t trying to eliminate me, God wanted me to recognize my corrupt disposition and genuinely repent. But what did I do? I didn’t reflect on myself, and I didn’t confess my sins to God and repent. I was still negative and opposed, and I even wanted to fight God with my own death. I didn’t know what was good for me. I was so irrational! Although I was cleared out by the church, God’s work of salvation wasn’t over yet, so I couldn’t give up on myself. I had to reflect on myself, seek the truth to resolve my corrupt disposition, and repent to God.
Then, I prayed to God and read God’s words to reflect on myself. Once, I saw two passages of God’s words, “Some people particularly idolize Paul. They like to go out and give speeches and do work, they like to attend gatherings and preach, and they like people listening to them, worshiping them, and revolving around them. They like to have status in the minds of others, and they appreciate it when others value the image they present. Let us analyze their nature from these behaviors: What is their nature? If they really behave like this, then it is enough to show that they are arrogant and conceited. They do not worship God at all; they seek a higher status and wish to have authority over others, to possess them, and to have status in their minds. This is the classic image of Satan. The aspects of their nature that stand out are arrogance and conceit, an unwillingness to worship God, and a desire to be worshiped by others. Such behaviors can give you a very clear view into their nature” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Know Man’s Nature). “For example, if you have an arrogant and conceited disposition, then being told not to oppose God makes no difference, you can’t help yourself, it is beyond your control. You would not do it on purpose; you would do it under the domination of your arrogant and conceited nature. Your arrogance and conceit would make you look down on God and see Him as being of no account; they would cause you to exalt yourself, constantly put yourself on display; they would make you scorn others, they would leave no one in your heart but yourself; they would rob you of God’s place in your heart, and ultimately cause you to sit in the place of God and demand that people submit to you, venerating your thoughts, ideas, and notions as the truth. See how much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature!” (The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition). God’s words revealed my manifestations. I had arrogant and self-righteous dispositions. I liked to show off in fellowship and make people revolve around me, and I wanted to occupy a place in people’s hearts and make them look up to and admire me. What I lived out was a demon’s nature, just like Satan. At first, the leader focused on cultivating me, and I enjoyed it very much. Later, I saw the leader valued and cultivated Xiaozhen. I felt a sense of crisis and worried she would take my place, so I was jealous of her, and I competed with her in all things, hoping to suppress her. At gatherings, whenever Xiaozhen was present, I tried to fellowship before she could out of fear she would steal my limelight. To make my brothers and sisters look up to me, I proactively used God’s word to fellowship and resolve any problems or states my brothers and sisters had to show off that I understood the truth and that I bore a burden for their life entry. I also showed off everywhere, which deceived all my brothers and sisters into looking up to and admiring me, and made them come to me with their difficulties and states. Wasn’t I simply bringing people before myself? I saw I had become arrogant to the point that I respected no one and had no God in my heart. I wasn’t contending for status with any person, I was contending with God for people, which offended God’s disposition.
After that, I read God’s words again. “No matter what duty the antichrists perform, they will try to put themselves in a senior position and take charge. They could never calmly be an ordinary follower. And what excites them the most? It is standing in front of people giving orders and telling people off, making people do as they say. They never think about how to perform their duty properly—much less, while performing their duty, do they seek the principles of the truth in order to practice the truth and satisfy God. Instead, they rack their brains for ways to distinguish themselves, to make the leaders think highly of them and promote them, so that they themselves can become a leader or worker, and can lead other people. This is what they spend all day thinking about and hoping for. Antichrists are not willing to be led by others, nor are they willing to be an ordinary follower, much less to go quietly about fulfilling their duties without fanfare. Whatever their duties, if they cannot be front and center, if they cannot be above others, and the leader, they find no purpose in fulfilling their duties, and become negative and start slacking. Without the praise or admiration of others, it is even less interesting to them, and they have even less desire to fulfill their duties. But if they can be front and center while fulfilling their duties and get to have the final say, they feel fortified, and will suffer any hardship. In their hearts, they understand their duty to be standing head-and-shoulders above others, satisfying their need to surpass others, and satisfying their desires and ambitions. While performing their duties, in addition to being highly competitive—competing, in every regard, to stand out, to be on top, to get above others—they’re also thinking about how to solidify their status, reputation and prestige. If there is anyone who threatens their status or reputation, they stop at nothing, and give no quarter, in bringing them down and excluding them. They even use despicable means to attack those who are able to pursue the truth, who perform their duty with loyalty and a sense of responsibility. They are also full of envy and hatred toward brothers and sisters who perform excellently in their duty. They are especially hateful toward those whom the other brothers and sisters endorse and approve of; they believe such people to be a serious threat to what they strive for, to their status and prestige, and in their hearts they swear that ‘It’s you or me, me or you, there isn’t room for the two of us, and if I do not bring you down and get rid of you, I cannot live with myself!’ Toward brothers and sisters who have a different opinion, who expose some of their shortcomings, or who threaten their status, they are relentless: They think of anything they can to get something on them, to vilify and undermine them, and they will not rest until they do” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Nine (Part Seven)). “Regardless of by what means antichrists deceive people and try to rope them in, one thing is for certain: For the sake of their own power and status, they will rack their brains and use every means at their disposal to achieve their aims. Something else is for sure, too: No matter what they are doing, they are not performing their duty, much less is it in order to perform their duty well, but in order to achieve their aim of taking power within the church. What’s more, no matter what they are doing, they never take into account the interests of God’s house, much less do they give any consideration to the interests of God’s chosen ones. You will never find either of these things in the antichrist’s dictionary; both are naturally absent in them. No matter what level of leader they are, they are totally indifferent to the interests of God’s house and the chosen ones. To their mind, the interests and work of God’s house have nothing to do with them. Both are disdained by them; they only consider their own status and interests. From this, we can see that the nature and essence of antichrists are not only evil, but also deeply selfish and despicable. They act only to serve their own fame, fortune and position, they don’t care whether others live or die, and they will use any unscrupulous method to suppress, exclude and brutally attack anyone who poses a threat to their status” (The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. They Deceive, Draw In, Threaten, and Control People). Reading God’s words really struck to the heart. I saw that my manifestation and disposition were the same as antichrists which God reveals. Antichrists are selfish, despicable, and only consider their own reputation and status. They never consider other people’s feelings or safeguard the work of God’s family. If anyone poses a threat to their position, they envy, hate, and even unscrupulously attack and exclude such people, and aren’t satisfied until such people are negative and beaten down. I realized I was the same. When Xiaozhen was chosen as the watering deacon, was held in high esteem by the leader, and admired by the brothers and sisters, I regarded Xiaozhen as a thorn in my eye, and always wanted to push her down. I also repeatedly exposed her shortcomings in front of the leader, eagerly hoping the leader would replace her, so that the brothers and sisters would focus on me. As watering deacon, Xiaozhen was within her rights to arrange for me to do things, but I couldn’t bring myself to submit. I always gave her attitude and refused to cooperate with her work, causing her to feel constrained in her duty. She just started out as a leader, so it was normal that some work wouldn’t be done properly. But to make my brothers and sisters reject her and not listen to her, I nitpicked and seized on deviations and oversights in her duty, exposed her shortcomings, belittled her, and judged her in front of our brothers and sisters, and I sowed discord behind her back, causing some people to be prejudiced against her, not support her work, and isolate and exclude her. This not only disrupted church life, it made her embarrassed and negative, and finally want to resign. Seeing Xiaozhen feel negative and oppressed, I not only didn’t blame myself, I rejoiced in her misfortune, feeling that I could stand out once she was dismissed. I was so vicious and despicable! Although Xiaozhen had believed for a short time, had some deficiencies and shortcomings, she had good caliber, she was honest and had a sense of justice. When she saw others have problems and deviations, she could give guidance and help, and she could also safeguard the interests of God’s house. Having her as a leader was beneficial to the work of God’s house and the life entry of our brothers and sisters, and I should support her and cooperate. But to protect my own reputation and status, without considering the work of God’s house, I used unscrupulous means to fight with her and suppress her out of jealousy. and I wouldn’t stop until she couldn’t perform her duty any longer. What I did not only brought pain and harm to Xiaozhen, it disrupted and disturbed the work of God’s house. I saw that I had very bad humanity and a vicious disposition. To gain status, I was ready to punish others. I thought of how the great red dragon, to stabilize its regime, when any person or force endangers its status, tries every means to defeat and criticize, and even put people to death. I saw that my nature was just as vicious and evil as the great red dragon’s! Once I realized this, I felt regret and hatred for myself. God gave me a chance to fulfill a duty so that I could pursue the truth, rid myself of corruption, cooperate with my brothers and sisters, learn from their strengths, and protect church work. Instead, I undermined it and repeatedly did wicked deeds that disrupted the work of God’s house. I had no conscience or humanity at all, and I didn’t deserve to be called a human being. My brothers and sisters reminded me so many times to help me, but I was carried away with reputation and status and didn’t take it seriously at all, and even resisted and didn’t want to repent. After being dismissed, I didn’t reflect on myself, complained about my grievances, spread my dissatisfaction with the leader, drew in my brothers and sisters to judge the leader, and continued to disturb church life. I insisted on taking this dead-end path, and I only started to reflect and know myself once I was cleared out from the church. My disposition was too stubborn, and I despised the truth. Despite being dealt with and disciplined many times, I didn’t repent, I was still stubbornly hostile to God, and I used despicable means to bring down and defeat a good person who pursued the truth, hindered and squabbled in the place of God’s work, disrupting the work of God’s house, and ruined the opportunity God gave me to gain the truth and be saved. It was God’s righteousness that I was cleared out from the church. It was my own fault. I hadn’t been wronged at all.
Later, I read two passages of God’s words. “I have done so much work and spoken so many words among you—how much of it has truly entered your ears? How much of it have you ever obeyed? When My work ends, that will be the time when you stop opposing Me, when you stop standing against Me. As I work, you act against Me constantly; you never comply with My words. I do My work, and you do your own ‘work,’ making your own little kingdom. You are nothing but a pack of foxes and dogs, doing everything in opposition to Me! … Your image is even greater than God’s, your status even higher than God’s, to say nothing of your prestige among men—you have become an idol that people worship. Have you not become the archangel? When people’s outcomes are revealed, which is also when the work of salvation will draw near its end, many of those among you will be corpses beyond salvation and must be eliminated” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Practice (7)). “I will subject all those who provoked My anger to My punishment, I will rain down the entirety of My anger upon those beasts that once wished to stand beside Me as My equals yet did not worship or obey Me; the rod with which I strike man will fall upon those animals who once enjoyed My care and once enjoyed the mysteries that I spoke, and who once tried to take material enjoyments from Me. I will be forgiving of no person who tries to take My place; I will spare none of those who attempt to wrest food and clothes from Me. For now, you remain free from harm and continue to overreach in the demands you make of Me. When the day of wrath arrives, you will not make any more demands of Me; at that time, I will let you ‘enjoy’ yourselves to your heart’s content, I will force your face into the earth, and you will never be able to get up again!” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God). God’s majestic and wrathful words stirred my heart. I felt God’s wrath, and saw that God’s disposition is righteousness and cannot be offended. God hates all those who contend with Him for position. Such people will be cursed and punished by God, and no one can escape. To gain status, I contended with others for fame and fortune, and attacked and rejected those who pursue the truth, I also showed off everywhere and brought people before me. I was contending with God for position and for people, and this seriously offended God’s disposition. I felt that I had done great evil and committed an unforgivable sin. It was as if I had knocked open the gates of hell. I was so terrified that it felt hard to even breathe. I didn’t know if I could still receive God’s mercy. God might not forgive me. Would He kill and destroy me at any time? In pain, I came before God time and again to pray, confess my sins, and repent. I said, “God, I have done evil, resisted You, and offended Your disposition. I live in panic every day, afraid that punishment and curses could come to me at any time. God, I wish to repent. Please save me.” After I prayed, I felt a little calmer.
During my spiritual devotionals, I saw these words of God, “Today God judges you, chastises you, and condemns you, but you must know that the point of your condemnation is for you to know yourself. He condemns, curses, judges, and chastises so that you might know yourself, so that your disposition might change, and, moreover, so that you might know your worth, and see that all of God’s actions are righteous and in accordance with His disposition and the requirements of His work, that He works in accordance with His plan for man’s salvation, and that He is the righteous God who loves, saves, judges, and chastises man. If you only know that you are of lowly status, that you are corrupt and disobedient, but do not know that God wishes to make plain His salvation through the judgment and chastisement that He does in you today, then you have no way of gaining experience, much less are you capable of continuing forward. God has not come to kill or destroy, but to judge, curse, chastise, and save. Until His 6,000-year management plan comes to a close—before He reveals the outcome of each category of man—God’s work on earth will be for the sake of salvation; its purpose is purely to make those who love Him complete—thoroughly so—and to bring them into submission under His dominion. … Think about it: If My intention in coming were to condemn and punish you rather than save you, could your days have lasted so long? Could you sinful beings of flesh and blood have survived until today? If My goal were merely to punish you, then why would I have become flesh and embarked upon such a great enterprise? Could punishing you mere mortals not simply be done by uttering a single word? Would I still need to destroy you after purposely condemning you? Do you still not believe these words of Mine? Could I save man merely through love and compassion? Or could I only use the crucifixion to save man? Is My righteous disposition not more conducive to making man completely obedient? Is it not more capable of thoroughly saving man?” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will to Bring Salvation to Man). After reading the words of God, I was very touched. I also understood that God used stern words to expose and judge me, even to condemn and curse me, but He didn’t do this to doom me. Rather, it was so I could know myself and clearly see my satanic nature of resisting God, and be able to repent and change. It also allowed me to know God’s righteous disposition. When people contend for status or disrupt and ruin the work of God’s house. God hates this and finds it intolerable. God is the source of all positive things, and God does not tolerate the presence of negative and evil things. The church is where God’s chosen people worship God and pursue the truth. It is also the place where God’s will is unimpeded. But me? I didn’t play a positive role in the church. All I did was disturb and demolish things, so God’s wrath came upon me and I was purged from the church, which was God’s righteousness. All these years, I wasn’t pursuing the truth, I was only pursuing fame and status. When someone jeopardized my position, I became jealous and dissatisfied, and disrupted the work of God’s house, which is the path of the antichrist. I did so much evil, and deserved to be punished by God, but God didn’t treat me according to the evil I did. When I was in pain and despair, and thinking of dying, God feared I would fall for Satan’s tricks, so He used my sister’s fellowship with me and His words to enlighten me, guide me, and bring me out of my negativity. I felt deep in my heart that all of this was God’s love and salvation.
Once I understood God’s will, I didn’t want to be depressed any longer. Next, I read another passage of God’s words, “As one of the creatures, man must keep his own position, and behave conscientiously. Dutifully guard that which is entrusted to you by the Creator. Do not act out of line, or do things beyond your range of ability or which are loathsome to God. Do not try to be great, or become a superman, or above others, nor seek to become God. This is how people should not desire to be. Seeking to become great or a superman is absurd. Seeking to become God is even more disgraceful; it is disgusting, and despicable. What is commendable, and what the creatures should hold to more than anything else, is to become a true creature; this is the only goal that all people should pursue” (The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God Himself, the Unique I). God’s words made me feel embarrassed and ashamed. I am just a tiny created being, a filthy, corrupt person, yet I wanted to be looked up to and admired by others. I showed off everywhere, tried to steal the limelight wherever I went, and used God’s word to fellowship with others. I really had no sense at all! I possessed none of the realities of truth, and no genuine knowledge of myself. All I said were letters and doctrines, yet I talked on and on. The essence of my words was to confuse. I had absolutely no knowledge of myself, yet I attacked and excluded Xiaozhen. I was so unreasonably arrogant. I was so ugly, and so disgusting! I should let go of my ambitions and desires, behave myself, stay in my proper place, and perform my duty in a down-to-earth manner. This is the reason a created being should possess. No matter what my outcome would be, I swore I would perform my duty well. As long as I’m alive, I knew I had to pursue the truth, escape my corruption, and live out a human likeness to comfort God’s heart. After that, I prayed to God every day to ask Him to guide me in reflecting on myself so that I could repent and change. When I read God’s word, I focused on comparing myself to it, and contemplating and examining what I exposed each day. Slowly, I gained some knowledge of my arrogant disposition, my wicked deeds, and my identity and status. I also did my best to spread the gospel to my relatives, friends and acquaintances, helped the church with its work in the places I could do my part, and often hosted my brothers and sisters. I felt very happy, and I made up my mind that no matter how God treated me or whether I had a good destination, I would not attempt any transactions or demands, and I would perform my duty well.
Unexpectedly, one day in December 2020, my leader informed me that I was accepted back into the church, and I could live church life again. When I heard this news, I was so excited that tears welled up in my eyes. I thought to myself, “I did so much evil, but when I truly repent, I’m accepted back into the church. This truly is God’s love and mercy.” Looking back, I always felt that I pursued well, bore a burden in my duty, and loved my brothers and sisters. Only through being exposed, cleared out, and judged and revealed by God’s word, did I see that I had been corrupted by Satan to the point of being inhuman and that all I thought of was evil. If not for God’s judgment and chastisement, I would continue to pursue status to satisfy my ambitions and desires, never reflect on myself, and never wake up. I really experienced what God says, “Know that God’s chastisement and judgment is the light, and the light of man’s salvation, and that there is no better blessing, grace or protection for man” (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment). After experiencing these things, I have seen God’s righteous disposition. I’ve also seen God’s protection and salvation for me. Although my corrupt disposition is still very serious, I am willing to work hard to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, accept the pruning and dealing of my brothers and sisters, and pursue changing my disposition and living out human likeness.
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