I Found the Path to Be Cleansed of Sin
By Weixiao, South Korea
“Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings, truly living in the light. They shall gain the truth, the way, and the life. They shall gain the truth, the way, and the life” (Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Almighty God’s words cleared up longstanding confusions for me. In my faith, I used to pray to the Lord and confess a lot but I still couldn’t help but lie and sin again later. If something didn’t go my way, I’d lose my temper, and I couldn’t keep the Lord’s teachings or free myself from sin. It really pained me. I asked lots of pastors about it but never found a solution. I’d think, “The Lord is holy, so how could someone like me who lives in sin get into His kingdom?” When I read Almighty God’s words, I finally found the path to be freed from sin and cleansed of corruption.
As a new believer I went to a Presbyterian church in South Korea. Our pastor would always say, “We are sinful, we are filled with sin. But fear not—the Lord Jesus was crucified to be our sin offering. As long as we pray and confess to the Lord, He will forgive us, and when He returns He’ll take us up into heaven.” I felt so grateful to the Lord and felt how great His love for us is. Every time I told a lie or sinned, I’d pray, confess, and repent and get a sense of peace and joy. I couldn’t wait for the Lord to come and take me into His kingdom. But over time I found that sinning and confessing had become routine for me. I was particularly stubborn and lost my temper easily. If my husband said or did anything I didn’t like, I’d get on his case and argue with him, but later I’d regret not having any patience. Especially when I read the Lord Jesus’ words “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39), I felt absolutely terrible. I felt incapable of being patient with my family, much less loving others as myself. I went to the pastor and exhorter with this frustration many times, seeking a path to escape sin, but they just told me to pray and confess more. My confusion remained and I wondered if I could meet the Lord’s will or get into heaven when I’d commit the same old sins after praying and confessing. No way. The Bible says, “For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins” (Hebrews 10:26). That frightened and unsettled me but I didn’t know what else to do. I just prayed more and asked the Lord to give me the strength to not sin. I’d try to control myself in the moment, but I was still in sin’s clutches. Over time this left me exhausted and depressed. I’d get out of bed at all hours and pray to the Lord in tears, asking Him to help me find a path to escape sin.
A friend later invited me to join her church. After going for a little while, I realized the pastor’s sermons were largely the same and contained no light and he didn’t talk about escaping sin. I was really disappointed, especially when I saw that an elder who’d served in the church for 40 years, who seemed devout and was well-respected, would go to fancy places to preach, greedy for the pleasures of the flesh. It was a real blow to me when I saw he hadn’t changed at all in his life. I thought of God’s words: “[Y]ou shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). Those living in sin are unworthy of beholding God, so can they enter His kingdom? That elder hadn’t changed at all in 40 years of faith so it seemed even harder for me to change. The pastor and elders would comfort us, saying, “The Lord Jesus was crucified and redeemed us of our sins, so we shouldn’t worry about sinning.” But the reality was, we constantly sinned and were full of filth after years of faith. God is holy, so how could sinful people like us look upon the Lord’s face? These thoughts were so painful and left me feeling lost. I wondered how to free myself from sin. I thought of my good friend Sister Zhixiu. She was a devout and thoughtful believer. I figured I’d talk to her. But then I remembered that she’d believed in Almighty God for years and our pastor insisted that we should stay away from believers in Almighty God. I hesitated at that point, but then I thought about how I was trapped in sin and that the pastor didn’t have any answers. She had also been a good friend for years and was of good caliber, so I thought she might have some suggestions. I decided to make a date to see her.
When we met, I saw a few unfamiliar faces there. They all looked dignified and upright and they were really friendly. I figured they were from The Church of Almighty God, so I started to get my guard up. When they started discussing faith I wasn’t really taking in what they said and I didn’t want to talk much. Then one sister said in fellowship, “A lot of believers think that the Lord Jesus took on our sin by being crucified, that God no longer sees our sin, so we’re not sinful anymore and the Lord will take us up into His kingdom when He comes. But is that right? Even though our sins are forgiven through faith in the Lord Jesus, we don’t sin as obviously and we appear to behave well, does that mean we’ve been thoroughly cleansed of our sin? We constantly lie and sin, we’re jealous and hateful. We’re full of arrogance and deceit, and we’re always talking down to others. We follow secular trends, we’re greedy and vain, we judge and blame the Lord when something we don’t like happens. This shows that we haven’t remotely escaped the bonds and fetters of sin, and this is the state all believers live in. Just like Paul said in Romans 7: ‘[F]or to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do’ (Romans 7:18–19). The apostle Paul had his sins forgiven by the Lord Jesus but his greatest frustration was that he was still bound by sin and could not escape it. He just couldn’t help but sin all the time, which is why he cried out helplessly, ‘O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?’ (Romans 7:24). Don’t we share Paul’s frustration?” Her words stirred my heart. That truly was my greatest frustration. I couldn’t hold back this question: “What you just said is true. I really do keep sinning and confessing, living in sin, and it’s painful for me. But what I don’t understand is, the Lord Jesus already redeemed us and forgave our sins so why do we keep sinning? Why can’t we escape sinfulness? At this rate, will we be taken into His kingdom when the Lord comes?”
She read a couple of passages of Almighty God’s words in response. Almighty God says, “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” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering; He did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to become the sin offering and bear the sins of man, but it also required God to do even greater work to rid man completely of his satanically corrupted disposition. And so, now that man has been forgiven of his sins, God has returned to the flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment. This work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and they shall gain the truth, the way, and the life” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The sister then fellowshiped, “In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus was crucified as mankind’s sin offering, so as long as we accept Him as our Savior and confess and repent, our sins are forgiven and we won’t be condemned or put to death under the law. We can pray directly to the Lord and enjoy His grace. This is the true meaning of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption. However, He just forgave man’s sins through His redemption work. He didn’t absolve us of our satanic dispositions or sinful nature. Although our sins are forgiven through our faith, our sinful nature and satanic dispositions are still within us. These include arrogance, selfishness, baseness, deceit, evil, and greed. These things are even more stubborn than sin and they’re the root of us sinning and resisting God. If we don’t resolve our sinful nature, we just sin, confess, and sin again, never free of the shackles of sin and totally unworthy of God’s kingdom. God said, ‘[Y]ou shall therefore be holy, for I am holy’ (Leviticus 11:45). 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). The Lord is holy, so no unholy person can look upon Him. How could people like us who often sin and resist the Lord be worthy of seeing His face or entering His kingdom? So then, how can the problem of our sinful nature be resolved? The Lord Jesus prophesied: ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth’ (John 16:12–13). And 1 Peter 4:17 says: ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.’ In the last days, God becomes flesh again and expresses truths to do the work of judgment beginning at the house of God. This is mainly to resolve mankind’s sinful nature, completely free us from sin and cleanse us of our corruption so we’re fully saved by God and can enter His kingdom. God’s work in the Age of Grace enabled us to be forgiven of our sins, but it couldn’t totally rid us of sin or cleanse us. God’s work of judgment in the last days is the core and the focus of His work of cleansing and salvation. It’s the most crucial stage of His work to save mankind. Only the judgment work of the last days can work all the truths we need into us so we can truly know God, have our life dispositions transformed, and become people who obey and worship God, who meet His will. This will complete God’s management plan to save mankind.”
Her fellowship really opened my eyes. I realized I couldn’t help but keep sinning and confessing because my sinful nature hadn’t been resolved. I still hadn’t experienced the most crucial stage of God’s work in my faith. I was dying to know how Almighty God actually does His work of judgment in the last days to cleanse people. The pastor had always condemned The Church of Almighty God so I was wary. Reconsidering it, though, all those years he’d claimed we were no longer of sin but I was trapped in the pain of sinfulness. My experience of this was all too real! I knew I couldn’t blindly listen to the pastor anymore but I had to properly read Almighty God’s words and see if His utterances really were the voice of God. Sadly, it was getting late so we couldn’t continue our fellowship.
When this sister later invited me to visit the Church, I didn’t turn her down, and I accepted a book of God’s words she gave me. So I began to seek and investigate this way, and I read a lot of Almighty God’s words. I saw that He unveils so many mysteries, like the mysteries of God’s incarnations, His names, the inside story of the Bible, and more. Everything was so new, and they were all truths and mysteries I’d never heard before. I thought, “Almighty God has revealed these heavenly mysteries and He can express God’s will to save mankind. No human being could do that. Almighty God’s words very likely are the Holy Spirit’s words to the churches, the voice of God. I really have to look into this.”
I also told these brothers and sisters about my own problem of lying and sinning, losing my temper with others, lacking patience, and not keeping the Lord’s teachings. I told them my life in sin pained me. I asked a sister, “How does God do the work of judgment in the last days to cleanse people? Through my years of faith I’ve always thought it would be great to live free of sin, then life wouldn’t be filled with suffering.”
She gave me some passages of Almighty God’s words. “God’s work in the present incarnation is to express His disposition primarily through chastisement and judgment. Building on this foundation, He brings more truth to man and points out to him more ways of practice, thereby achieving His objective of conquering man and saving him from his own corrupt disposition. This is what lies behind the work of God in the Age of Kingdom” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as through refinement, man can purge away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading this, the sister went on with her fellowship: “In the judgment work of the last days, Almighty God expresses all truths which cleanse and save mankind, He unveils the mysteries of God’s 6,000-year management plan, He reveals the purpose of God’s three stages of work to save mankind, the inside story of each stage of work, and what each stage achieves. He shows us the path to dispositional change and purification in our faith. Almighty God also reveals the nature and essence of mankind’s corruption by Satan, and the root of our sinfulness. This allows us to reflect on ourselves and know our satanic nature and dispositions that rebel against and oppose God, see how deeply Satan’s corrupted us and that we totally lack a human likeness. Then we start to hate ourselves and we don’t want to live in our corruption anymore. We also see how righteous, holy, and unoffendable God’s disposition is and we can’t help but develop reverence for Him. We’re no longer arbitrary, and we don’t speak and do as we please anymore. Instead, we start to forsake the flesh and practice the truth. We gradually cast off the bonds of our satanic dispositions and this resolves the problem of our sinfulness and opposition to God at its root. This is something that can never be achieved by those who believe in the Lord but who don’t accept God’s judgment and cleansing of the last days.”
The brothers and sisters also shared their testimonies of undergoing judgment through God’s words. A sister told us that when she started out as a church leader she just cared about her name and status. She loved lording over others and being listened to, and when someone had a different opinion she’d always make them accept her own view. She always showed off, preaching doctrine. But by being judged and exposed by Almighty God’s words, she realized that she was just showing off in her duty and getting people to idolize her. This was a satanic disposition. It was deceit and entrapment. In fact, she was vying with God for status, just like the archangel. She was opposing God. She was filled with regret when she realized that and hated how arrogant and shameless she was. She’d been offending God’s disposition. If she didn’t repent, she knew she’d be eliminated and punished by God. She also saw how righteous, holy, and unoffendable God’s disposition is and she came to fear God. Being judged and chastised this way multiple times, she truly understood her own arrogant nature, then came to detest herself. She wasn’t as arrogant or showy in her duty anymore, and became able to really open up about her own corruption. She also learned to listen to others’ opinions, learn from them, and cooperate with others. She could live out a human likeness.
Hearing her fellowship was really edifying for me. I learned that the only way to be freed from sin and have my corruption cleansed was to accept Almighty God’s work of the last days and experience the judgment and cleansing of God’s words. I never had that kind of experiential testimony from years of faith. I’d spoken with so many clergy members and gone to so many churches but I’d never heard that kind of testimony. The experiences of these brothers and sisters showed me the path to be cleansed and fully saved, and to get into God’s kingdom. I was thrilled and I knew from my heart that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned. Only God is so concerned for us. God knows our pain of living in sin, so He has personally become flesh and expressed truths to save mankind. His love for us is so very real.
After that, I eagerly attended gatherings, read Almighty God’s words, and reflected on my corruption in light of His words. After my husband saw I’d accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days, that I wasn’t as condescending and I’d changed, he started to read Almighty God’s words and also accepted His work. Wonderful! Thank God!