A Wandering Heart Comes Home
By Novo, Philippines
My name is Novo, and I’m Filipino. I have followed my mom in her belief in God since I was little, and would go listen to sermons at church together with my siblings. Although I had believed in the Lord for many years, I felt that I had not changed, and that I was the same as an unbeliever, in my heart thinking all day about how to make more money, and about how to spend my days in comfort and enjoy the good life. Furthermore, I also often went drinking with my friends, and the moment I had any spare cash I’d go gambling. I knew that doing these things was at odds with the Lord’s will, I would often pray to the Lord and confess my sins, and I would make firm my resolution to Him that I would give up these bad habits and never sin again from that day on. But with the cajoling and enticement of my friends, I simply couldn’t control myself. And so it was that I became more and more degenerate, my heart got farther and farther away from God, there was no longer any sincerity when I prayed to the Lord, and every week I would just say a few simple prayers, and do it in a slipshod way. Sometimes I would even feel such despair, as I knew that when the Lord returned He would judge each and every person based on their actions and behavior, and then decide for each person whether they would go up to heaven or down to hell. I felt I was so degenerate that God would not forgive me again. Afterward, I married and had kids. All I thought about was my wife and my children. When it came to my faith, I pushed it to the back of my mind. In order to provide a better future for my children and to achieve my desires to become rich, I decided to go work abroad. And so I came to Taiwan. After I found a job and made some money, I’d still not changed the way I used to live my life, and in my leisure time I would go with my workmates to drink and sing karaoke, living a life of revelry; I’d long since put my belief in God to the back of my mind.
In 2011, I worked as a welder in a factory in Taiwan. One day in 2012, a colleague in Taiwan learned that I was a Catholic, so she invited me for Mass at her church. One Sunday morning, she came to fetch me from the factory and she took me to her friend’s house. It was there that I met Brother Joseph. He asked me, “Brother, do you expect the second coming of the Lord?” I said that I did. Joseph asked me again, “Do you know what work the will do when He returns?” I replied, “I believe that when the Lord Jesus returns, He will sit upon a great white throne and judge mankind. Everyone will account for their sins kneeling before the judgment seat, and then the Lord will decide whether they are to go up to heaven or down into hell based on their actions and deeds.” Brother Joseph continued to ask me, “If we told you that the Lord Jesus has already come and is now doing His work of judgment of , thus fulfilling the prophecy that ‘judgment must begin at the house of God,’ would you believe?” I was quite surprised when I heard him say this. I thought: “Has the Lord Jesus already returned? How is this possible? I haven’t seen the great white throne appear in the sky, and I haven’t seen the Lord descending on a white cloud. And yet he says that the Lord has returned to do His work of judgment, thus fulfilling the prophecy that ‘judgment must begin at the house of God.’ It makes sense. God’s wisdom is unfathomable to man, so I’d better keep seeking.” As a result, I replied, “Brother, I don’t dare affirm whether the Lord Jesus has or has not returned, so please fellowship this with me.” Concerning the prophecy of the Lord’s return and His expressing and doing His work of judgment, they found many instances of this within , such as chapter 4, verse 17 in the First Epistle of Peter which says: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” And also chapter 16, verses 12–13 in the of John: “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: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.” Brother Joseph said this “Spirit of truth” refers to the return of the Lord and His expressing the truth and doing His work of judgment. In the last days, the Lord has returned incarnate, to appear and work as the Son of man. On the foundation of His work of redemption in the Age of Grace, He expresses the truth and does one stage of His work of judgment beginning at the house of God. In reality, this work of judgment is a work to thoroughly purify and save man. This precisely fulfills the Lord Jesus’ prophecies: “And if 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” (John 12:47–48). “For the Father judges no man, but has committed all judgment to the Son” (John 5:22). “And has given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man” (John 5:27). I listened avidly to the brother’s fellowship, and I believed that all these messages he was sharing with me were true because I believed that all the Lord’s prophecies had to be fulfilled and had to be achieved.
Afterward, Brother Joseph let me read two more passages of’s word: “The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it should naturally be done by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead. Because judgment is the conquering of the human race through the truth, it is unquestionable that God still appears as the incarnate image to do this work among men. That is to say, in the last days, Christ shall use the truth to teach men around the earth and make all truths known to them. This is God’s work of judgment.” “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. 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 the 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, those 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 just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed 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).