An Awakening After Being Expelled

June 7, 2024

By Chongxin, China

Almighty God says: “When you suffer a little constraint or hardship, it is good for you; if you were given an easy time of it you would be ruined, and then how could you be protected? Today, it is because you are chastised, judged, and cursed that you are given protection. It is because you have suffered much that you are protected. If not, you would have long since fallen into depravity. This is not making things difficult for you intentionally—man’s nature is hard to change, and it must be thus for their dispositions to be changed. Today, you do not even possess the conscience or sense that Paul possessed, nor do you even have his self-awareness. You always have to be pressured, and you always have to be chastised and judged in order to awaken your spirits. Chastisement and judgment are what is best for your life. And when necessary, there must also be the chastisement of the facts coming upon you; only then will you fully submit. Your natures are such that without chastisement and cursing, you would be unwilling to bow your heads, unwilling to submit. Without the facts before your eyes, there would be no effect. You are too lowly and worthless in character! Without chastisement and judgment, it would be difficult for you to be conquered, and hard for your unrighteousness and disobedience to be overcome. Your old nature is so deeply rooted. If you were placed upon the throne, you would not know your place in the universe, much less where you were headed. You do not even know where you came from, so how could you know the Lord of creation? Without the timely chastisement and curses of today, your final day would have long since arrived. That is to say nothing of your fate—would not that be even more in imminent danger?(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Practice (6)). Reading this passage of God’s words, I reflected on how I had long lacked self-awareness, living with an arrogant disposition while doing evil and disturbing the church’s work, and then being expelled from the church. During that time, although I was in pain and suffering, I deeply appreciated that God’s chastisement and judgment toward people is indeed love, and also a great protection.

In 2007, I believed in God for just over a year before being chosen as a church leader. At that time, I was very enthusiastic, actively attending gatherings, watering newcomers, and spreading the gospel every day. After a period of doing this, the gospel work, watering work, and cultivating people all showed some results. Later, whenever any church experienced poor church life or work results, the upper leadership would ask me to go provide support. After I had been there for a while, every part of the work at that church would return to normal operation, and the brothers and sisters would especially admire me as a result. I would feel very proud and walk with my head held high. I thought, “I am better than other church leaders at resolving problems and I am more competent. The churches I supported for a while all showed results, and it seems that I am indeed a talented commander in the church.” In this way, I served as a church leader for seven consecutive years. I felt in my heart that I was cut out for leadership, so I became more and more arrogant.

In the winter of 2015, Sister Siyu and I were paired up to be responsible for the church’s work. She had believed in God longer than me, and did her duties conscientiously and with a burden, but after interacting with her for a while, I found that her discernment ability and fellowship of the truth were not as good as mine, and that her efficiency in doing her duties was also not as high as mine. From the bottom of my heart, I looked down on her, thinking that although she had performed various duties before, I was still better than her. Once, I heard a brother say that when he wasn’t achieving any results in spreading the gospel and was living in difficulty, Siyu didn’t see through the problem at the time and her fellowship and resolution were ineffective. After finding out this situation, I harbored strong disdain toward Siyu in my heart, and I loudly reprimanded her in front of our co-workers by saying, “With your kind of fellowship, how could you resolve problems? How could the brothers and sisters find the way?” Siyu bowed her head and said softly, “It was because of my poor fellowship.” At that time, not only was I unaware of my own issues, but I was unforgiving and continued to criticize her. I thought in my heart, “You really have nothing to show for! If it weren’t for you handling some general affairs, we could do without you!”

In February 2016, during one co-workers’ meeting with the preacher, when the preacher asked a question, Siyu answered first, and I felt unhappy in my heart, thinking, “Are you trying to steal my thunder? I’m here and I haven’t even spoken yet; why is it your turn to talk?” I then interrupted her to speak first. At this moment, Siyu said, “I feel constrained by you.” I was instantly furious, thinking, “You are telling on me in front of the preacher and several deacons, making me lose face. How can I stand firm in this church in the future? How will everyone see me?” I angrily said, “In what way am I constraining you?” Siyu dared not speak again. From then on, I developed a prejudice against her. During one gathering, when Siyu’s fellowship took a bit longer, I immediately became angry, interrupting her and saying discontentedly, “Just keep it brief. Don’t go into so much detail. You’re wasting time.” Even during co-workers’ meetings, I intentionally criticized her in front of several co-workers, embarrassing her, to show that I was better than her. When I noticed deviations in her performance of duties, I also criticized her. All of this caused her to feel even more constrained. After that, Siyu’s fellowship in gatherings decreased, and she always watched my reactions when speaking, and when things came up during my absence, she dared not make any decisions. Several deacons also directly consulted me to resolve any of their issues, and everything in the church had to be run by me and I had to make the decision. At that time, I felt somewhat uneasy, but I also felt that what I was doing was to uphold the church’s work, with a burden and sense of responsibility. Moreover, since I came to this church, the church life had indeed improved, and various work had made progress. I believed what I did was positive, so I didn’t think much more about it. Next, I continued as before, and whenever I saw my co-workers or brothers and sisters have slipups in their duties, I would stand in a superior position and rebuke them. The brothers and sisters were afraid that I would prune them and didn’t want to gather anymore. The sister I paired with felt repressed by my constraint for a long time, crying and wanting to resign. Seeing this result, I felt somewhat reproached, realizing that constantly rebuking and criticizing others was not appropriate. But then I thought, “I’m doing this for your own good; I don’t have any ill intentions.” After thinking this way, any remaining sense of reproach in my heart disappeared.

In September 2016, another church merged with ours, and two sisters from that church, Chang Qing and Zheng Lu, became group leaders. At that time, we needed to cultivate a group leader over watering. We considered Sister Zhao Rui: Although her fellowship on the truth was lacking, she was dependable and had a burden, able to do some real work, so we wanted to cultivate her. When Zheng Lu found out, she had some objections. She believed that another sister, although relatively new in faith and younger, had more potential for development and was more suitable than Zhao Rui. Siyu reported this back to me after returning, and immediately I felt a surge of anger in my heart, thinking, “This is the church I am responsible for, and I have the final say. Yet you’re sticking your nose in here. You’re from another church, yet you’re openly disrupting and disturbing in my area of responsibility. I won’t let you do your duty and I’ll isolate you so that you won’t be able to disrupt or disturb anymore. This is my territory; if you won’t listen to me, you can leave. You’re not staying in our church.” I angrily told several deacons, “Zheng Lu is disturbing the work; stop her duties and isolate her to prevent her from disrupting and disturbing here!” At that time, a sister reminded me, saying, “What you’re doing isn’t appropriate. If she’s doing something wrong, we should fellowship with her and provide guidance. Handling it this way seems like exclusion.” I thought to myself, “She’s not even part of our church. How could I not know who should be cultivated and who shouldn’t? Besides, although Zhao Rui has shortcomings, she is dependable and can do real work. I already can’t stand Zheng Lu and I don’t want to fellowship with her.” Later, without going through the church brothers and sisters, I isolated Zheng Lu.

Just as my arrogant disposition was becoming more and more inflated, some brothers and sisters reported me. Subsequently, the upper leadership arranged for someone to investigate the situation, and they read me the report letters from the brothers and sisters. Based on my consistent behavior of arrogance, self-righteousness, rebuking, and constraining others, I was determined as a false leader with bad humanity and removed. But hearing all this, I couldn’t accept it at all. I thought to myself, “How could I be dismissed? I’ve believed in God for over ten years, spending my days working and expending myself. I’ve always been at the forefront of everything in the church. How could I be dismissed?” I felt very wronged, and tears flowed uncontrollably as I walked home. At that time, no one had been assigned to take over the work, so I temporarily cooperated with some tasks. I didn’t think of this as an opportunity for repentance given by God. Instead, I thought that although I was dismissed, I could still continue to work. It seemed like the church couldn’t do without me. Before long, I would lead the church again. At a small group gathering, a sister said to me, “You look thinner these days.” I said, “I’ve been reflecting on myself and writing devotional notes at home. I hate myself and cry while writing.” The sister said, “You really pursue the truth. Even after being removed, you’re still writing devotional notes.” Another couple said, “Sister, you can endure a lot and expend yourself. We can’t accept that you’ve been removed. The leader even specially gathered and fellowshipped with us.” I hypocritically said, “I was a false leader and deserved to be removed. You shouldn’t stand by my side; you should stand on the side of the truth.” But inside, I was very happy, thinking, “It seems that the brothers and sisters found out about me and know I was wronged. They know I’ve done a lot of work in the church. The upper leadership could dismiss my partnered sister, but they shouldn’t have dismissed me.” I also thought about how most of the report letters read to me that day were from my co-workers. This made me even more resistant and unwilling to accept: I pruned them for their own good, but they said I was rebuking them and exposed me, leading to my removal. I clearly did positive things, but they didn’t see it. I really worked hard for no recognition! I would no longer point out their issues in the future, and I’d see how they could manage without me. During that period, outwardly I maintained my duties, but inwardly I resisted and struggled. I harbored hatred toward the co-workers who exposed me. When they spoke to me, I ignored them, barely speaking during gatherings. They were constrained by me, constantly watching my expressions, and the gatherings were not effective. Seeing this scene, I not only had no trace of remorse, but I actually felt that the pain I suffered was caused by their reports and exposure. They just didn’t know any better. I even vented my dissatisfaction in front of the brothers and sisters, saying, “I’ve been dismissed and they still asked me to attend the co-worker meetings. I’m not a leader anymore, so why should I go?” I even thought to myself, “I’ve been dismissed, yet they still asked me to do this and that. Everything still relies on me.” One month later, the leadership found out that I hadn’t reflected on myself after being dismissed and was even expressing dissatisfaction to the brothers and sisters, so they fellowshipped with and exposed me. However, I didn’t accept it and held a grudge against the sister who reported the situation, thinking, “I trusted you, and you betrayed me by reporting my issues. When I see you again, I’ll definitely criticize you.” During a gathering, I angrily accused the sister, saying, “I’ll never confide in you again. You reported me for talking about some of my corruption.” The sister sat there feeling helpless. Then I said with a sense of grievance, “I’ll never lead again. They dismissed me and won’t let me return home, making me embarrass myself here. It’s like getting hacked with a blunt knife.” The co-workers looked at me in surprise after hearing this, and the gathering was put into disarray by me again. Later, my partnered sister reminded me that this was venting negativity. But I didn’t realize it at all.

During that time, I had been resistant and unwilling to accept the dismissal, and I spread dissatisfaction, vented negativity, and disrupted and disturbed church life. Two months later, the brothers and sisters exposed more than twenty instances of me disrupting and disturbing the church work. Listening one by one to the brothers and sisters’ written accusations, I felt extremely uncomfortable, wishing I could disappear. The leader said, “Through the reports from the brothers and sisters, we see that you consistently constrained, rebuked, and even punished others in the church. You acted arbitrarily and recklessly, and the brothers and sisters felt constrained by you. You acted lawlessly in the church. After being removed, you remained resistant and dissatisfied, disturbing church life, spreading notions to mislead others, and causing the brothers and sisters to stick up for you. Based on your actions, you are expelled from the church as an antichrist.” I was completely stunned at the time. This was something I had never imagined. I’d believed in God for many years, yet I ended up in such a place. My heart was in extreme pain, and I felt like the sky was falling. Besides crying, I didn’t know what to do. Without God, what path lay ahead? I dared not even think about it. It felt like my life with God had come to an end. In the days that followed, when I prayed to God, I felt that He was far, far away. I no longer felt His presence. I flipped through God’s words aimlessly, feeling darkness and emptiness inside, and eating and drinking His words brought no light. I wanted to find a path in God’s words, but I felt that today was different from the past. I was no longer a member of God’s family, and He wouldn’t want me anymore. So every day passed in a constant state of fear. Then illness struck me. During that time, I only had a bowl of thin soup each day, often crying out in pain, living in a daze, like a walking corpse. I felt like I couldn’t go on living, so I urgently prayed to God. One morning, a passage of God’s words flashed in my mind: “God understands every person in the way that a mother understands her child. He understands each person’s difficulties, their weaknesses, and their needs. Even more than that, God understands what difficulties, weaknesses, and failures people will face while entering into the process of changing their disposition. These are the things that God understands best(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Path of Practice Toward Changing One’s Disposition). I realized clearly that this was God’s enlightenment. I felt that God hadn’t completely abandoned me; He was still beside me, watching over me. I cried and prayed to God, “God! So You haven’t given up on me. You are still by my side, accompanying and leading me …” I felt God’s words were especially comforting, pulling me back from the brink of death and giving me the courage to keep going. My heart was no longer so despairing. After that, I started praying to God to change my state.

One day, I heard an experiential hymn titled “God’s Words Raise Me Anew”: “God’s words judged me like a blade to my heart, and I saw how profoundly I had been corrupted. I resembled nothing human. I was so arrogant that I lacked any shred of reason, and any fear and submission toward God. My disposition had not changed, I was still of Satan, I was truly of the kind that resists God. Only after repeated judgment was I awakened; only then was there remorse and self-loathing in my heart. Amid pain, God’s words comforted and encouraged me, enabling me to stand up once more from my fallen state. I wish to be loyal and submissive to repay God’s love, and to practice the truth and perform the duty of man. Thanks be to God for judging and cleansing my corruption. I have experienced just how great His love is—O God! I wish to pursue the truth well, to live out a new image and bring comfort to Your heart” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). I kept listening to this hymn on repeat, tears constantly streaming down. Every line of the lyrics was touching my heart, expressing exactly what was on my mind. My conscience was deeply convicted. Reflecting on the accusations and removal I faced, all of these were environments set up by God. The purpose was to awaken me, to turn me back to God in repentance. This was God’s love and salvation. But I kept pushing it all away. Not once did I accept it from God and learn the lessons God was trying to teach me. I missed the opportunities God gave me time and again. Now there were no more chances left. I was filled with remorse and indebtedness, my tears flowing uncontrollably. Later, I realized that I was just a created being, and this breath I had was given by God. Even if God didn’t want me anymore, as long as I was alive, I should still repay God’s love. I couldn’t stop believing in God just because I was expelled. Before my last breath was taken away, I must continue to follow God and reflect and know myself. When I recognized these things, I began to ponder why, after so many years of believing in God, I ended up being expelled.

Afterward, I read a passage of God’s words: “If you have believed in God for many years, and yet have never submitted to Him, and do not accept the entirety of His words, and instead ask that God submit to you and act according to your notions, then you are the most rebellious of all, you are a disbeliever. How could such people be able to submit to the work and words of God that do not conform to the notions of man? Most rebellious of all are those who intentionally defy and resist God. They are the enemies of God, the antichrists. Theirs is always an attitude of hostility toward the new work of God; they never have the slightest inclination to submit, nor have they ever gladly submitted or humbled themselves. They exalt themselves before others and never submit to anyone. Before God, they consider themselves the best at preaching the word, and the most skillful in working on others. Never do they discard the ‘treasures’ in their possession, but treat them as family heirlooms for worship, for preaching about to others, and they use them to lecture those fools who idolize them. There are indeed a certain number of people like this in the church. It can be said that they are ‘indomitable heroes,’ generation after generation sojourning in the house of God. They take preaching the word (doctrine) to be their highest duty. Year after year, generation after generation, they go about vigorously enforcing their ‘sacred and inviolable’ duty. None dare touch them; not a single person dares openly reproach them. They become ‘kings’ in the house of God, running rampant as they tyrannize others from age to age. This pack of demons seeks to join hands and demolish My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before My eyes?(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Submit to God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God). The judgment in God’s words awakened my numb heart, especially the words “disbeliever,” “antichrist,” and “demon,” which pierced me to the heart and made me feel particularly distressed. I kept reflecting and asking myself, “After years of believing in God, sacrificing my family and career, enduring suffering, and doing my duties diligently, how did I become labeled as a disbeliever, an antichrist, and even a demon?” Looking back, I thought I had been leading for many years, accomplishing more work than several co-workers, resolving more problems, and being highly valued by the upper leadership. I took these as my credentials, believing that I had better caliber than others, possessed work ability, and was a talent. This led me to become arrogant. Especially when I was sent to support weaker churches and quickly saw improvements through practical cooperation, I credited this success to myself, feeling capable of excelling in everything and considering myself superior to others. I became disdainful of everyone. When the preacher came to ask about the work, I saw myself as a bigwig in the church, the one with the most authority to speak. When I saw my partnered sister speaking first, I thought she was stealing my limelight. During my tenure of duty, I ignored the strengths of my co-workers and often arrogantly lectured and criticized them based on my seniority. In front of my partnered sister, I acted like a boss, rebuking her at every turn if she did anything that displeased me, causing her to feel constrained by me and act timidly in her duties, always watching for my emotional state. I made all decisions in the church’s work by myself, completely sidelining my co-workers. When the group leader expressed doubts about my choice, feeling that she didn’t respect my leadership, I couldn’t tolerate her and isolated her without consulting anyone, ending her duties, in order to establish my own prestige. Looking back at all these actions, was I really doing my duty? I was domineering and arbitrary in the church, making all the brothers and sisters listen to me and act according to my will. Wasn’t I just monopolizing power and making all the decisions in the church? Due to my numbness and intransigence, I committed so much evildoing without even realizing it. When God used brothers and sisters to report me and I was dismissed from my position, I did not consider this as God’s love and righteousness coming upon me. I failed to reflect and know myself. Rather, I remained defiant and dissatisfied, using my past sacrifices and expending as capital, believing I was a meritorious official who should not have been dismissed. I even thought that my co-workers’ exposure of me was because they couldn’t get along with me. During co-worker gatherings, I behaved like a shrew, causing chaos and acting aggrieved, seriously disturbing church life. On top of that, I falsely portrayed my knowledge of myself, misleading the brothers and sisters into standing on my side and defending me. I monopolized power in the church, making people listen to me, and even attacked and excluded those who opposed me. I refused to submit to the dismissal, clamoring against and opposing it, spreading notions to mislead the brothers and sisters. Looking at my actions, they were just as God’s words exposed: “Not a single person dares openly reproach them. They become ‘kings’ in the house of God(The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Submit to God With a True Heart Shall Surely Be Gained by God). No one dared to provoke or offend me; no one could bring themselves to expose or accuse me. My arrogant nature had escalated to a hysterical level. I revealed not just an ordinary corrupt disposition but an eruption of a satanic nature. Therefore, it wasn’t an exaggeration to categorize me as an antichrist. The way God’s house handled me was God’s righteousness, and I accepted it willingly. I committed so much resistance against God. Even death could not repay my evil deeds, and I deserved to be cursed! I repeatedly prayed to God, “Oh God! I have done too much evil. If it weren’t for my expulsion and Your righteous disposition revealed to me, I don’t know how much more evil I would have done. God, I am willing to confess and repent before You. Even if You let me die now, I am willing to dutifully submit.”

Later, I read this in God’s words: “If, in your heart, you truly understand the truth, then you will know how to practice the truth and submit to God, and will naturally embark on the path of pursuing the truth. If the path you walk is the right one, and in line with God’s intentions, then the work of the Holy Spirit will not leave you—in which case there will be less and less chance of you betraying God. Without the truth, it is easy to do evil, and you will do it despite yourself. 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, and make you venerate your own thoughts, ideas, and notions as the truth. So much evil is done by people under the dominance of their arrogant and conceited nature! To resolve the problem of doing evil, they must first resolve their nature. Without a change in disposition, it would not be possible to bring a fundamental resolution to this problem(The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition). From God’s words, I understood that my ability to monopolize the church, take charge, rebuke and constrain my co-workers, and exclude those different from myself, stemmed from being governed by an arrogant and conceited nature. It was this arrogant and conceited nature that made me think so highly of myself, believing that everything I did was right, and that the brothers and sisters must obey me. Anyone who disagreed with me was excluded and punished. The poisons of Satan, such as “In all the universe, only I reign supreme,” and “Let those who comply with me thrive and those who resist me perish,” made me more and more arrogant and conceited, doing whatever I wanted in the church, becoming an unruly, uncontrollable snob, and losing all conscience and reason, devoid of any humanity. If I didn’t change, I would ultimately be eliminated and punished by God for having enmity with Him. I thought about how God raised me up and gave me opportunities to practice leadership. His intention was for me to pursue the truth through such opportunities and also to fellowship the truth to support and help brothers and sisters. However, I played king and monopolized power in the church, rebuking and berating any brother or sister who revealed corruption, treating them like slaves to be scolded and punished. Whenever anyone questioned my decisions, I suppressed and punished them. I was so vicious! No matter how much pain I caused to my brothers and sisters, how much disturbance I brought to church life, I remained callous and unfeeling. Even after the church dismissed me due to my actions, I still didn’t repent, thinking I was talented and indispensable to God’s house, and I continued to disturb, disrupt, and spread dissatisfaction within the church, drawing the brothers and sisters to my side to defend me. The nature of these actions was defiance against the church’s treatment of me. It was resistance to and enmity with God. Being expelled from the church fully revealed God’s righteousness, and it was entirely my own fault. Remembering each scene of the past, I felt deeply condemned. I hated myself so much that I slapped myself several times, but my transgressions were irreparable. Thinking about the brothers and sisters I had hurt, I first went to a sister’s house whom I could reach out to. I cried and said to her, “I see now that I had no human likeness. When we worked together, I found every reason to look down on you, and said hurtful things to rebuke and constrain you. I realize now that I was not even human; I was too arrogant. I apologize to you!” The sister fellowshipped with me and comforted me, urging me to learn my lesson from this circumstance. When I finally submitted to this expulsion, I felt much more at ease. The overwhelming feeling of fear and helplessness began to lessen. Reflecting on all that I had done, it was like thorns piercing my heart, making it unbearable to look back. Even if I didn’t have a good outcome in the end, I was willing to submit and repent! In order to make up for my debt, I supported weak and negative brothers and sisters to the best of my ability. I also hosted brothers and sisters at my home for gatherings. I immersed myself in God’s words, wrote experiential testimony articles, and unknowingly began to feel God’s presence again. I experienced the guidance and leadership of God’s words, and my heart felt much more fulfilled.

Two years later, there came a day when I heard a sister saying that the church wanted to accept me back. I was happy inside, but I still couldn’t quite believe it. I thought to myself, “If I ever return to the church, I won’t engage in evildoing the way I did before.” Unexpectedly, two days later, the leader met with me and said, “We found out about your repentant behavior after being expelled, including hosting and supporting the brothers and sisters, and exposing your own evildoing. Based on an assessment according to principles, the church has decided to restore your church life. Are you willing to come back?” I was so excited that I kept saying, “I’m willing, I’m willing.” Walking back home, my heart was filled with joy, and I wanted to shout out loud, “God! God! I’m back in Your house again.” At that moment, everything felt wonderful, and the bitterness of the past had dissipated. When I got home, I was so excited that I didn’t know what to say to God. I just prayed with tears in my eyes, “God, I can once again live a church life with my brothers and sisters. God, I thank You! God! I thank You!” Afterward, I performed my duties again. I cherished this opportunity to do my duties, and I didn’t want to resist God with evil deeds like before. I deeply experienced that God’s righteous disposition is vivid and real. Whether God is angry or merciful and tolerant toward people, it is the manifestation of His righteous disposition. I saw how God’s actions toward people are all out of love and for salvation.

In November 2020, during the church election, I was chosen as the gospel deacon. Thinking back on how my past evildoings disturbed and disrupted the church’s work, I realized that this time, God’s house had given me an opportunity to repent, and I must do well. I couldn’t rely on my arrogant disposition to do my duties anymore. One day, I read a passage of God’s words: “As a leader or a worker, if you always think yourself above others, and revel in your duty like it’s a government post, always indulging in the benefits of your status, always making your own plans, always considering and enjoying your own fame, gain and status, always running your own operation, and always seeking to gain higher status, to manage and control more people, and to expand the scope of your power, this is trouble. It is very dangerous to treat an important duty as a chance to enjoy your position as if you are a government official. If you always act like this, not wishing to cooperate with others, not wanting to dilute your power and share it with anyone else, not wanting anyone else to upstage you, to steal the limelight, if you only want to enjoy the power on your own, then you are an antichrist. But if you often seek the truth, practice rebelling against your flesh, your motivations and ideas, and are able to take it upon yourself to cooperate with others, open up your heart to consult and seek with others, attentively listen to others’ ideas and suggestions, and accept advice which is correct and aligns with the truth, no matter who it comes from, then you are practicing in a wise and correct manner, and you are able to avoid taking the wrong path, which is protection for you. You must let go of leadership titles, let go of the filthy air of status, treat yourself as an ordinary person, stand on the same level as others, and have a responsible attitude toward your duty. If you always treat your duty as an official title and status, or as a kind of laurel, and imagine that others are there to work for and serve your position, this is troublesome, and God will detest and be disgusted with you. If you believe that you are equal to others, you just have a little more of a commission and responsibility from God, if you can learn to put yourself on an even footing with them, and can even stoop to asking what other people think, and if you can earnestly, closely, and attentively listen to what they say, then you will cooperate in harmony with others(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Eight: They Would Have Others Submit Only to Them, Not the Truth or God (Part One)). God’s words showed me the path to practice. God’s requirement for us is to let go of the air of our leadership and cooperate harmoniously with others, not insisting on our own ways, listening to others’ advice more, and learning from their strengths. Only by doing so can we perform our duties adequately. In the past, I used to think that I had performed leadership duties for many years and had work experience, and that this was a kind of capital. I always believed I was better than others, unable to see the strengths of my brothers and sisters, and all I caused them was harm. All I contributed to the work of the church was disturbance. Now I realized that my partner sister was stable and burdened in performing her duty. If she noticed someone acting against principles, she would offer guidance and help. However, I didn’t appreciate her strengths and often looked down on her. Most of the time, I didn’t heed her advice and even constrained her. Reflecting on this, I felt ashamed and regretful toward my sister. Everyone had their strengths. God paired us up so that we could help each other, learn from one another, and keep each other accountable to prevent ourselves going astray. This kind of practice was beneficial for the church’s work. Now I needed to make a change. In doing my duties, I had to seek the truth, listen to others’ advice more, and not rely on my own experience and qualifications. I had to follow the path shown by God’s words.

During one gathering, we were discussing the difficulties and issues concerning a potential gospel recipient. I had a different viewpoint from one sister, and when I shared my viewpoint, she disagreed with me. I felt a bit embarrassed, thinking to myself, “I’ve had some results in spreading the gospel recently following my own approach. How could you, being younger and inexperienced in gospel work, understand how to address these issues?” I started to arrogantly insist on my own opinions in my heart. At that moment, I remembered these words of God: “If you believe that you are equal to others, you just have a little more of a commission and responsibility from God, if you can learn to put yourself on an even footing with them, and can even stoop to asking what other people think, and if you can earnestly, closely, and attentively listen to what they say, then you will cooperate in harmony with others(The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Item Eight: They Would Have Others Submit Only to Them, Not the Truth or God (Part One)). It was then I became aware that the sister’s denial of my viewpoint could help me let go of my high posture, learning to collaborate in harmony with others, and to listen to their advice. Upon careful consideration, I found that the sister’s suggestion was appropriate and had merit. At that moment, I realized that in the past, I had been too self-righteous, thinking myself superior and not heeding others’ advice. I was too arrogant. I also saw how the Holy Spirit works differently in each person. No matter who offers their suggestions, we must try to listen and seek more, learning from each other’s strengths and shortcomings in order to do the work well. Now that the sister’s suggestion was suitable, I should accept it. I said, “Let’s proceed with your plan.” When I set aside my own opinions and listened to the sister’s advice for the sake of the church’s work, I felt very assured. Later, when facing issues in doing duties, everyone shared their viewpoints. I adopted any appropriate suggestions from my brothers and sisters that could solve the problem. Sometimes, when my brothers and sisters pointed out my issues, although I felt uncomfortable, I could accept and reflect on them. After practicing this way for a while, I made progress and could interact normally with my brothers and sisters.

Though I felt very pained after the expulsion, it helped me know more about my deeply ingrained arrogant nature. Without experiencing such circumstances, it would’ve been difficult for someone like me, who is so arrogant, to change. Ultimately, without change, I would be revealed and eliminated. This dismissal and expulsion are God’s great love and salvation for me. From the depths of my heart, I offer genuine praise to God!

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