An Experience of Sharing the Gospel
By Fusu, South Korea
I started sharing the gospel after accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days. I quietly resolved that I’d do my duty well no matter what difficulties I faced so that God’s sheep could hear His voice and come before Him.
In February 2018, I met Brother Mel from the Philippines online. He was in divinity school and at first we talked a lot about things like the wise and foolish virgins, what the rapture is, and so on. When who could get into the kingdom came up, I asked Brother Mel, “Do you think all of us who believe in the Lord will get into the kingdom of heaven in the end?” He said proudly, “Of course. In Ephesians 2:8-9, Paul said, ‘For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.’ We’ve been justified by faith and we’ll be saved if we endure to the end. When the Lord returns He’ll take us straight into the kingdom. If we have any doubts about that, it’s a denial of the Lord Jesus’ salvation and a lack of faith.” After he said that, I asked him, “You say we’re justified by faith and saved by grace, so we can get into the kingdom. Is there a biblical basis for this? Did the Lord Jesus say that? Did the Holy Spirit say that? The Bible mentions being justified and saved by faith, but it doesn’t say that those things will get us into the kingdom. There’s no basis for saying this. Isn’t it just a human notion?”
Mel was stunned and muttered quietly, “Justification by faith doesn’t mean getting into the kingdom?” Then I sent him a few Bible verses: “Not every one that said to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). “Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). “[I]n their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:5). “[Y]ou shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). Then I said, “The Lord’s words are very clear on the conditions for getting into the kingdom. The Lord is holy, and He requires us to be as pure, honest, and guileless as little children, to cast off corruption and be cleansed, and to become people who obey God and do His will. Only that makes someone fit for the kingdom. And have we met those requirements? Would you dare say you never lie? Would you dare say you’re totally free of sin and have been cleansed?” Mel didn’t say a thing. I continued my fellowship: “If we confess and repent to the Lord, we’ll be justified by faith and saved by grace; that much is true. But what do justification by faith and being saved by grace really mean? We all know that in the Age of Law, God gave guidance for people’s lives by issuing the law and commandments through Moses, but by the end of that age, no one could keep the law. Everyone was sinning more and more. Everyone was in danger of being condemned or put to death under the law. This was the context to God becoming flesh and being crucified as man’s sin offering and delivering man from the law. After that, as long as people accepted the Lord Jesus as their Savior and confessed and repented, their sins were forgiven and they weren’t condemned for not keeping the law. That means the Lord no longer saw us as sinful, we could be called righteous because of the Lord’s redemption, and we were fit to come before God in prayer and enjoy the grace, peace and joy the Lord bestowed. That’s why justified by faith and saved by grace mean our sins are forgiven through faith and we’re not condemned under the law. But it doesn’t mean we’re free from sin or cleansed, that we’re truly righteous or worthy of the kingdom.”
Mel responded with surprise, “So justified by faith just means our sins are forgiven and the Lord doesn’t see us as sinful, but not that we’re righteous and can get into the kingdom. Our pastor has never talked about this.” Then I read him these passages of Almighty God’s words: “At the time, Jesus’ work was the work to redeem all mankind. The sins of all who believed in Him were forgiven; as long as you believed in Him, He would redeem you; if you believed in Him, you were no longer a sinner, you were relieved of your sins. This is what it meant to be saved, and to be justified by faith. Yet in those who believed, there remained that which was rebellious and opposed God, and which still had to be slowly removed. Salvation did not mean man had been completely gained by Jesus, but that man was no longer of sin, that he had been forgiven his sins. Provided you believed, you would never more be of sin” (“The Vision of God’s Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of mankind sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even though the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition. … It is not easy for man to become aware of his sins; he has no way of recognizing his own deeply rooted nature, and he must rely on judgment by the word in order to achieve this result. Only thus can man gradually be changed from this point onward” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “You only know that Jesus shall descend during the last days, but how exactly will He descend? A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but you have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. You, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are therefore incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading God’s words, I said in fellowship: “In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus did the step of redemption work based on mankind’s needs. He expressed the way of repentance so people could confess and repent based on their knowledge of sin, seek to love the Lord, be salt and light, love others as themselves, and more. People learning good behaviors was the outcome of the work of redemption. When we’re redeemed by the Lord Jesus, our sins are forgiven and He doesn’t see us as sinful. But that doesn’t mean that we’re free of sin or we’ve been cleansed, because our sinful nature is still entrenched, and we’re always revealing our corrupt dispositions like arrogance, crookedness, deceit, evil and viciousness. For example, if we have a gift or a strength, or have some caliber, we think we’re amazing. We’re haughty and look down on others. When we make sacrifices or suffer a little in our work, we can’t help but show off and flaunt ourselves so others adore us. When we see that someone else is better than us, we can be jealous and hateful toward them. When something touches on our own interests, we might lie and cheat. In the face of tribulations, trials, disasters, illness, or a family crisis, we sometimes misunderstand and blame God, or even deny and betray Him. All these things show that we’re still chained by sin and we can still sin and resist God. For two thousand years, everyone has lived in this vicious cycle of sinning and confessing and not a single person has been free of it. This is clearly evident. If we compare ourselves to what the Lord requires, not lying, being free of faults, and being purified, we’re nowhere near that. We can’t possibly glorify or bear witness to God. How could people like us get into the kingdom? The Lord Jesus said, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the son stays ever’ (John 8:34–35). So if we want to be cleansed and get into the kingdom, we need God to return in the last days and work to rid us of sin, to resolve our satanic dispositions, and totally uproot our sin and our opposition to God.”
After this fellowship, Mel said that he got it now, that the Lord Jesus just did the work of redemption, and even though we’re justified by faith, we still sin and are still chained by sin, so we really can’t get into the kingdom. However, after giving it some thought, he asked, “But you said the Lord is going to do another step of the work of salvation in the last days. That seems like a denial of the Lord Jesus’ salvation. Our sins have been forgiven through our faith, so even if we’re not righteous, God’s salvation is perfect. The completion of the Lord Jesus’ work took care of that, so there’s no more salvation. We can’t be saved again when we’re already saved. Wouldn’t that mean the Lord’s salvation was useless? Sister, it seems like you only have these doubts because you don’t have faith in the Lord’s salvation.”
At this, I thought, “Brother Mel is pretty young but he’s got some strong notions. He agrees justification by faith doesn’t gain one entry into the kingdom, but he can’t accept God’s salvation work in the last days.” I prayed to God and asked for His guidance. After praying, I said to Mel, “It’s prophesied in the Bible that God will do another step of work in the last days. There’s 2 Corinthians 1:10: ‘[He] delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver: in whom we trust that He will yet deliver us.’ There’s also Hebrews 9:28: ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin to salvation.’ In 1 Peter 1:5 it says: ‘[You] are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.’ And John 12:47–48 says: ‘[I]f any man hear My words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.’ 1 Peter 4:17 says: ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.’ These verses mention ‘He will yet deliver us,’ ‘and to them that look for Him shall He appear the second time,’ ‘salvation ready to be revealed in the last time,’ and ‘the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.’ These all mean that God will do another step of work in the last days, not to redeem mankind of our sins, but to judge, cleanse, and fully save us. The Lord Jesus’ work of redemption absolved us of our sins and in the last days God will do the work of judgment to resolve our sinful nature once and for all, to fully free us from sin and cleanse us.”
Then Mel said in surprise, “So it turns out God’s going to do the work of judgment and cleansing in the last days and there’s another step of salvation. Tell me, how does God do this work of judgment?”
So I shared this fellowship: “Hebrews 4:12 says: ‘For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.’” Then I read him some of God’s words. 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. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “The work done by God during this age is chiefly the provision of the words for the life of man; the exposure of man’s corrupt disposition and the substance of man’s nature; and the elimination of religious notions, feudal thinking, outdated thinking, and the knowledge and culture of man. These things must all be cleansed through being exposed by God’s words. In the last days, God uses words, not signs and wonders, to make man perfect. He uses His words to expose man, to judge man, to chastise man, and to make man perfect, so that in the words of God, man comes to see the wisdom and loveliness of God, and comes to understand the disposition of God, and so that through the words of God, man beholds the deeds of God” (“Knowing God’s Work Today” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I continued my fellowship after reading this. “In the last days, the returned Lord Jesus, Almighty God, has become flesh and come to earth and He’s using the truth to do the work of judgment. He expresses all truths which cleanse and fully save mankind, exposes and dissects people’s satanic dispositions, exposes our notions and absurd understandings of God, as well as the satanic philosophies, poisons, and perspectives we hold within us. This way we can understand all sorts of truths, know God’s righteous disposition, His holy and beautiful essence, and His almightiness and wisdom. God’s words reveal corruptions we’ve never noticed before, and we can gain knowledge of both God and ourselves through what’s revealed in His words. Our corrupt dispositions are then gradually cleansed and changed. Once we’ve read a lot of Almighty God’s words, understood some truths, and gained some discernment over our notions of justification through faith and salvation through grace, we see that wanting to enter the kingdom in spite of our filth and corruption is arrogant and unreasonable. Then we start to truly repent to God, and this means we start to accept the judgment of God’s words.”
After hearing this, Mel smiled and said, “I really do get the feeling of being judged by God. Thinking back on all my years of faith in the Lord Jesus, I thought that being justified by faith and saved by grace meant I could get into the kingdom and I didn’t doubt that this was true. Now I see that my faith was built on my notions and imaginings and it hasn’t been in line with God’s will at all.”
I said, “That’s right. If it weren’t for Almighty God’s words revealing all this, none of us would understand it.” After that, I read him another passage of Almighty God’s words. “Why is the work of conquest the final stage? Is it not precisely to make manifest what kind of ending each class of man will meet? Is it not to allow everyone, in the course of the work of conquest of chastisement and judgment, to show their true colors and then afterward to be classified according to their kind? Rather than saying this is conquering mankind, it might be better to say that this is showing what kind of ending there will be for each class of person. This is about judging people’s sins and then revealing the various classes of person, thereby deciding whether they are evil or righteous. After the work of conquest, then comes the work of rewarding good and punishing evil. People who obey completely—meaning the thoroughly conquered—will be placed in the next step of spreading God’s work to the entire universe; the unconquered will be placed in darkness and will meet with calamity. Thus will man be classified according to kind, the evildoers grouped with evil, to be without the light of the sun ever again, and the righteous grouped with good, to receive light and live forever in the light” (“The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I told him, “By being judged and exposed through God’s words, people’s corrupt dispositions are cleansed and they become truly righteous. They can be protected and survive the great disasters and enter God’s kingdom. But those who only think of grace and being saved while rejecting God’s judgment work of the last days will be exposed and eliminated by God. They’ll be weeping when the disasters come. This fulfills the prophecy in Revelation 22:11: ‘He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.’ That’s how the righteous will be separated from the unrighteous, and then God will begin rewarding the good and punishing the evil, dealing with people according to what they’ve done.”
Mel responded happily, “So the work of judgment in the last days is not just to cleanse people, but also to expose different types of people. God’s work is truly wise! What our pastor always preached, justification through faith and salvation through grace, aren’t right. I’ve never had discernment. I’ve just clung to those notions thinking that the Lord’s salvation is already complete and there’s no more salvation, and that we can get into the kingdom with that justification and salvation. It’s embarrassing to think about it now. I give thanks for the Lord’s mercy, allowing me to hear this. I’m willing to accept God’s judgment work of the last days.”
I was thrilled to see that he wanted to accept God’s judgment of the last days. But I was surprised when we met a few days later and Mel said he’d gone to his pastor’s house over the weekend and shared my fellowship with him. His pastor said I was wrong, that justification by faith and salvation by grace were right, and that there was no need to be judged by God in the last days. He also told Mel to cut off contact with me. I could tell he was feeling pretty down when he said that and I saw he was now unsure about accepting God’s judgment of the last days. I quickly prayed to God, asking Him to guide me in my testimony. Then a passage of God’s words came to mind. “When bearing testimony for God, you should mainly talk more about how God judges and chastises people, what trials He uses to refine people and change their dispositions. You should also talk about how much corruption has been revealed in your experience, how much you have endured and how you were eventually conquered by God; talk about how much real knowledge of God’s work you have, and how you should bear witness for God and repay Him for His love. You should put substance into this kind of language, while putting it in a simple manner. Do not talk about empty theories. Speak more down-to-earth; speak from the heart. This is how you should experience. Do not equip yourselves with profound-seeming, empty theories in an effort to show off; doing so makes you appear quite arrogant and senseless. You should speak more of real things from your actual experience that are genuine and from the heart; this is most beneficial to others, and most appropriate for them to see” (“Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks). It’s true. Bearing witness isn’t just telling people about God’s work of the last days. The key is to use our own experiences to testify that God’s work of judgment really can cleanse and save people. I figured I’d undergone God’s judgment, so why not tell him about my own personal experiences? This thought calmed me and gave me a path forward.
I said to Mel, “God does another step of salvation in the last days. The Lord returns and does the work of judgment and it’s a fact nobody can deny. After being corrupted by Satan, we don’t love the truth by nature and we really can’t put it into practice. Some people can control themselves, or they fast and pray, but no one can totally escape sin. As they say, ‘It’s easier to shift mountains and rivers than one’s nature.’ Without accepting God’s judgment and cleansing in the last days, our satanic nature will remain firmly rooted within us and can make us reveal our satanic dispositions at any moment or even make us resist and rebel against God. Take me, for example. I was a pretty arrogant person. I had some caliber and I’d done a lot and made sacrifices to serve the Lord. I always felt like I was someone who brought joy to God, but when I heard testimony that the Lord Jesus had returned and was doing the judgment work of the last days, I refused to accept it. I thought we were justified by faith, saved by grace. So at the time I just said without even thinking it over, ‘There’s no way. God isn’t going to do more work. We don’t need to accept His work of judgment.’ The brothers and sisters kept sharing fellowship on Almighty God’s words after that and my notions were finally corrected. After accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days, I read some passages of Almighty God’s words in my devotionals one day that made me feel really ashamed. Almighty God says, ‘Do not think that you are a natural-born prodigy, only slightly lower than the heavens but infinitely higher than the earth. You are far from being smarter than anyone else—and, it could even be said that it is simply adorable how much sillier you are than any of the people on earth who are possessed of reason, for you think too highly of yourself, and have never had a sense of inferiority, as if you can see through My actions down to the tiniest detail. In point of fact, you are someone who is fundamentally lacking in reason, because you have no idea of what I intend to do, and you are even less aware of what I am doing now. And so I say that you are not even the equal of an old farmer toiling on the land, a farmer who has not the faintest perception of human life and yet puts all his reliance on the blessings of Heaven as he cultivates the land’ (“Those Who Do Not Learn and Remain Ignorant: Are They Not Beasts?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘Let go of your opinions about the “impossible”! The more that people believe something is impossible, the more likely it is to occur, because the wisdom of God soars higher than the heavens, God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts, and the work of God transcends the limits of man’s thinking and notions. The more that something is impossible, the more it has truth that can be sought; the more something lies beyond man’s notions and imagination, the more it contains the will of God’ (“The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘If you desire to witness the appearance of God, to follow God’s footsteps, then you must first walk away from your own notions. You must not demand that God do this or that, much less should you place Him within your own confines and limit Him to your own notions. Instead, you should ask how you are to seek God’s footprints, how you are to accept God’s appearance, and how you are to submit to the new work of God: This is what man should do. Since man is not the truth, and is not possessed of the truth, he should seek, accept, and obey’ (“The Appearance of God Has Ushered in a New Age” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
Then I told him, “Reading God’s words struck me deeply. I saw how arrogant I am. When God’s work of the last days came to me, I didn’t seek or investigate it and I didn’t earnestly read God’s words to see if they were His voice. I just arrogantly said God wouldn’t do more work as if I had a window into God’s work. I’m just another person corrupted by Satan. How could I fathom the work of God? God is the Creator and any work He does is in accordance with His management plan. As if God would have to seek my approval for His work, have it accord with my notions! My assertion of ‘no way’ was me delimiting God, and it also showed that I was resisting and condemning God. That was like the Pharisees, who were always waiting for the Messiah to come, but when the Lord Jesus did appear and work, they didn’t know Him. They judged and condemned Him based on their notions and even had Him nailed to the cross. They ended up offending God’s disposition and being punished by Him. My behavior was no different from the Pharisees who resisted the Lord Jesus! Realizing this, I also understood that enjoying the Lord’s grace and doing some good things can’t replace dispositional change. Without being judged and cleansed by God, my arrogance would act up the moment something I didn’t like happened, even to the point of losing all reason. I thought I was defending the true way and was devoted to God, all the while resisting and condemning God. I was totally lacking perception. It’s so frightening. I gained some understanding of my arrogant disposition through the judgment of God’s words and then when I was about to show my arrogance, I would read God’s words of judgment and chastisement and reflect on myself. Before I knew it, I became a humbler person and I regained some of my innate conscience and reason. I became able to seek the truth when something I didn’t like happened instead of randomly judging and delimiting things, or stubbornly sticking to my own views. I also gained more reverence for God and slowly gained a human likeness. I came to appreciate that judgment and chastisement mean gradual change and cleansing, and this is the process of changing our satanic dispositions through God’s words. God’s words are harsh and pointed, but this is His even greater, even deeper love for mankind. As they say, ‘Bitter medicine heals what ails you.’ God judging and exposing us this way is to better change our corrupt dispositions. God does this because He loves us so much. Once I understood all this, I became willing to accept more judgment and chastisement from God’s words and cast off my arrogance as soon as possible, to live out a human likeness. I also came to appreciate that God’s work of judgment in the last days is exactly what we need in our lives and only this kind of judgment can save us from sin. Judgment and chastisement really are God’s salvation for us and that love is greater than grace or a sin offering.”
After hearing my fellowship, Mel said happily, “In all my years of faith in the Lord Jesus, I’ve never heard another church member talk about their own corruption. They just show off how good they are. Everyone practices tolerance with each other on the surface, but when their own interests are involved, all the love disappears. Now I see it’s because of our satanic dispositions, and without experiencing the judgment and purification of God’s words, we’ll never know ourselves or listen to God’s words and submit to Him. We won’t really be able to love others as ourselves, either. Judgment and chastisement really are God’s salvation for mankind, and this is what we need. Almighty God’s words really are the truth. I won’t listen to other people anymore. I’ll only believe in Almighty God and accept His words!” As he said this, he changed the name of our chat group to “It’s my real family.” This grown man broke down in tears and said, “I’ve found God; I’ve found my family. Anywhere I can read God’s words is my family!” I was really moved to hear him say this.
My experience of sharing the gospel with Mel gave me a deep appreciation that without understanding the truth, people can be taken in and confined by all sorts of religious notions and fallacies. We really need to rely on God, read God’s words to them and fellowship on the truth, using our real understandings from experiencing God’s work to bear witness to His salvation. People need to understand the truth and develop discernment over their notions to truly come before God. I’ve also experienced how hard God’s work to save mankind is. I want to work alongside God and bring more people with true faith before God to bring Him comfort.