I Was Revealed While Training Newcomers
By Xiaocao, Greece
As the gospel of the kingdom spreads, more and more people are investigating God’s work in the last days. This requires more people to preach the gospel and water newcomers. The most important thing is to train people with good caliber among the newcomers so that they can all perform a duty. After a while, I found that training newcomers wasn’t as easy as I thought. These newcomers were like newborn babies who didn’t know anything. They needed their hands held as they learned to do their duty. I had to discuss the content of their gatherings with them ahead of time every day, and they needed to be taught how to host gatherings. When they hosted gatherings, I had to keep an eye on the situation. If they spoke too quickly, I had to remind them to slow them down, otherwise some people wouldn’t understand. If they spoke too slowly, I also had to remind them to manage their time. Beyond that, I also had to teach them how to solve the problems and difficulties they encountered, so that the brothers and sisters they were responsible for watering could gather and read God’s word normally, and quickly lay a foundation in the true way. When these newly cultivated newcomers had various problems, I had to keep track of their state and fellowship with them on how to experience difficulties, so that their state wasn’t affected and they could perform their duties normally.
After a period of time, I felt that training newcomers was laborious and exhausting. Because I was the group leader, I was not only responsible for the overall work of the group, I had to water some people who had just accepted God’s work. These tasks required a lot of time and effort. But now I spent most of my time and energy on training newcomers, and as the time passed day by day, some of the people I watered didn’t come to gatherings, so I had to track them down for fellowship and support alone. This made me very anxious, and I complained training newcomers took too much time and affected my watering effect. After a month, I became the worst performer in my group. This was very embarrassing. Once, at a gathering, my leader said in front of many people that my watering work wasn’t effective, and I felt so embarrassed that I wanted to run away. As the group leader, if my watering was less effective than the others in the group, what would people think of me? I couldn’t accept this fact, and I was very miserable. I even started to get tired of my work of cultivating newcomers. I thought that if I had put all my energy into the brothers and sisters I watered, I couldn’t have possibly been the worst in the group. We couldn’t see the results of cultivating newcomers immediately, and the leaders, workers, and other brothers and sisters didn’t see the price I paid. When I thought of these things, I felt stifled, and my motivation to cultivate newcomers was suddenly gone. I even felt training newcomers was a burden. At the time, several newcomers I trained could already water others independently. If they took over watering some brothers and sisters who had just accepted God’s work, then beyond follow-up on their work, I would also have to assist them in watering. I would have more work to do, and I wouldn’t get credit for the results of the work. I started to calculate, thinking, “Then I just won’t let them water others independently. I’ll have them partner with me and water the brothers and sisters I’m responsible for. This would save me worry, improve my work results, and make me look better.” But at the time, I only thought about my reputation and status, and I didn’t realize what was wrong with this idea. This was until one day, during my devotionals, I read two passages ofthat gave me some knowledge of my state. God’s words say, “What is the standard by which a person’s deeds are judged to be good or evil? It depends on whether or not they, in their thoughts, expressions, and actions, possess the testimony of putting the truth into practice and of living out the reality of the truth. If you do not have this reality or do not live this out, then without doubt, you are an evildoer. How does God see evildoers? Your thoughts and external acts do not bear testimony for God, nor do they put Satan to shame or defeat it; instead, they shame God, and are riddled with marks that cause God to be ashamed. You are not testifying for God, not expending yourself for God, nor are you fulfilling your responsibility and obligations to God; instead, you are acting for your own sake. What does ‘for your own sake’ mean? To be exact, it means for Satan’s sake. Therefore, in the end, God will say, ‘Depart from Me, you that work iniquity.’ In God’s eyes, you have not done good deeds, but rather your behavior has turned evil. It will not only fail to gain God’s approval—it will be condemned. What does one with such a belief in God seek to gain? Would such belief not come to naught in the end?” (“Freedom and Liberation Can Be Gained Only by Casting Off One’s Corrupt Disposition” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). “For all who fulfill their duty, however profound or shallow their understanding of the truth, the simplest way of practice by which to enter the reality of the truth is to think of the interests of God’s house in everything, and to let go of selfish desires, individual intentions, motives, reputation, and status. Put the interests of God’s house first—this is the least one should do” (“Freedom and Liberation Can Be Gained Only by Casting Off One’s Corrupt Disposition” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). After reading God’s words, I understood God doesn’t evaluate people based on how much they suffer, what price they pay, or how effective they are in their duty. God looks at whether people practice the truth in the process of performing their duties, whether their motive and starting point in things is safeguarding the interests of God’s house, and whether they try to testify and satisfy God. If your intention in your duty is to stand out and make yourself look good, no matter how much you suffer, God will not approve, and He will condemn you as an evildoer. I knew that cultivating newcomers was an important task in God’s house. It could solve the shortage of watering personnel, and it could allow newcomers to perform their duties, equip themselves with the truth, and learn to experience God’s work. That way, they could grow faster in life. But I wasn’t considerate of God’s will, and I was irresponsible with the lives of the newcomers. I only considered the effect of my own work, my own image, and my own status, and I didn’t want to pay the price to train the newcomers. I was so selfish and despicable. How could I say I was doing my duty? All I was doing was pursuing prestige and status. I was doing evil.
Later, I read another passage of God’s word, “Antichrists give serious consideration to how to treat the principles of the truth, God’s commissions, and the work of God’s house, or how to deal with something they are faced with. They do not consider how to fulfill God’s will, how to keep from damaging the interests of God’s house, how to satisfy God, or how to benefit the brothers and sisters; these are not the things they consider. What do antichrists consider? Whether their own status and reputation will be affected, and whether their prestige will be lowered. If doing something according to the principles of the truth would benefit the work of the church and bring benefit to the brothers and sisters, but would cause their own reputation to take a hit and make a lot of people realize their true stature and know what sort of nature and essence they have, then they will definitely not act in accordance with the principles of the truth. If doing some practical work will cause more people to think highly of them, look up to them, and admire them, and enable their words to carry authority and make more people submit to them, then they will choose to do it that way; otherwise, they absolutely will not give any consideration to the interests of God’s house or of the brothers and sisters and then choose to discard their own interests. This is the nature and essence of antichrists. Isn’t it selfish and vile?” (“Item Nine: They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part Three)” in Exposing Antichrists). God’s word revealed that antichrists are very selfish and despicable. They put their own interests above all else, without any consideration for the church’s work or others’ life entry. They only consider their own interests. I reflected on what I did and realized it was the same as an antichrist. I knew that cultivating newcomers was important to spreading the gospel, but when I saw that training newcomers required spending time and paying a price, my personal interests were the only things on my mind. I felt that training the newcomers took too much time, and that it delayed my follow-up of my other work and made me less effective, which damaged my image. I felt this was unfair, and I vented my grievances on the work of cultivating newcomers, and even had the newcomers who could do their duty independently help me to improve my work results and make myself look better. Through the revelation and analysis of God’s word, I saw that I was selfish and despicable. I cultivated newcomers not to satisfy God or uphold the work of God’s house, but to maintain my position. This was the path of resisting God. It was only after I read God’s words that I realized it. After that, I prayed to repent to God, saying I wanted to obey and work hard to cultivate newcomers. Afterward, I told a few newcomers to start watering on their own. They were happy and grateful to God. They said they knew there would be many difficulties in this duty, but they were willing to rely on God to do their duty, and believed that God would help them solve all their difficulties. I was very motivated to see the newcomers’ proactive attitudes toward their duty, and I wasn’t content with just teaching them to host gatherings anymore. Rather, I wanted to really help them do their watering work better. I wrote out some good watering ideas and discussed it with them to teach them how to better water those who had just accepted God’s work. After each gathering, I fellowshiped on and summarized the problems I noticed. Sometimes, when they had difficulties in their watering work, I also helped them solve the problems. When it came to cultivating newcomers, I no longer resisted and complained as much, and I didn’t think it was too much trouble to help them anymore. Instead, I felt that this was my responsibility and work that I should do well.
But, among these newcomers, there was a sister named Anna who rarely bore a burden in her duty. Sometimes, after she promised to do a job, she didn’t pay the necessary price to do it. More than half a month passed, but the newcomers she was responsible for still didn’t understand basic truths such as God’s incarnation and the three stages of work, and some hadn’t come to gatherings yet, so I urged Anna to support them. But sometimes I couldn’t even contact Anna, and I had no choice but to do it myself. I felt a little disgusted with Anna. It seemed that she wasn’t doing real work, she was holding me back. I was already busy with my duty, and now I had to solve problems for her. It was as if I was doing two duties. It was more worry and effort. I would have been better off not training her, or finding someone better to train. That would have saved me the anxiety. Just as I was thinking of giving up on cultivating Sister Anna, I remembered the passage of God’s word I read a few days ago, “When selfishness and opportunism appear in you, and you realize it, you should pray to God and seek the truth in order to address this. The first thing you should be aware of is that in essence, acting in this way is a violation of the principles of the truth, it is harmful to the work of the church, it is selfish and despicable behavior, it is not what normal people ought to be doing. You should put aside your own interests and selfishness, and should think of the work of the church—that is what God wills. After reflecting on yourself through prayer, if you truly realize that acting thus is selfish and despicable, putting aside your own selfishness will be easy. When you put aside your selfishness and opportunism, you will feel grounded, you will be at peace, joyous, and will feel that there should be conscience and sense to how you conduct yourself, that you should think of the church’s work, that you should not fixate on your own interests, which is so selfish, despicable, and devoid of conscience or sense. Acting selflessly, thinking of the work of the church, and only doing what satisfies God is righteous and honorable, and will bring value to your existence. Living this way on earth, you are being open and honest, you are living out normal humanity, and the true image of man, and not only do you have a clear conscience, but are also worthy of all the things bestowed upon you by God. The more you live like this, the more grounded you will feel, the more peaceful and joyous you will be, and the brighter you will feel. As such, will you not have set foot upon the right track of faith in God?” (“In Giving One’s Heart to God, One Can Obtain the Truth” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). God’s word pointed out a clear path of practice. We must let go of our personal interests to safeguard the interests of God’s house, and act in ways that go with our conscience. Sister Anna had only accepted God’s work of the last days for two months, she didn’t understand the truth, and lacked a burden in her duty, so I should give her more fellowship out of love to help her understand the meaning of doing her duty and do watering work well. This was my responsibility. But when I saw her shortcomings, not only did I have no love or patience, I saw her as troublesome and wanted to give up on her. I really had no humanity. After that, I found related parts of God’s word and fellowshiped with Anna, and what she wrote about her understanding after reading God’s word was very moving. She said, “In the past, I did my duty without burden or sense of responsibility. I need to see those who have just accepted God’s work of the last days as my friends, preach God’s word to them clearly and kindly, and show them that we accept God’s work of the last days to achieve salvation. I have to put myself in their shoes and understand their difficulties. I must be responsible and love the duty I perform.” After that, Sister Anna bore more of a burden to perform her duty. One night, after midnight, I asked her why she hadn’t slept yet, and she told me she was checking who didn’t come to the gathering so she could fellowship with them tomorrow. She also told me about the situation of other brothers and sisters. During the conversation, I heard her cough and nasal congestion sound, so I asked her if she had a cold. She told me that she and her family had the coronavirus and were still in treatment. Although she sometimes was physically uncomfortable, she wouldn’t put her duty aside, and she would rely on God to overcome the disease. Crying, she said to me without the words ofto give her faith, she might have fallen apart. If this duty hadn’t motivated her, she might have died in torment, but God had protected her. I cried when I heard her fellowship, and I was very moved by her experience. I realized deeply that cultivating newcomers is very meaningful. Although Sister Anna was very ill, she did not succumb to it. Instead, she had more confidence to rely on God to perform her duty. I knew this was the result of the work of the Holy Spirit. After a week, she fully recovered. I was very grateful to God when I heard this news. At the same time, I was ashamed of my selfishness and despicableness. Because I always considered my own interests, I nearly made Sister Anna lose the chance to perform her duty.
After a while, the church arranged for me to train two newcomers. At first, I was very attentive in helping them, but later, I saw that the results of the work I was responsible for hadn’t been able to improve. I also thought that to train these two newcomers well, there was still a lot of work to do, that would require a lot of time and effort, and I couldn’t help but start thinking again, “Now I’ve already cultivated some newcomers. I have to work hard to water the brothers and sisters I’m responsible for now. Otherwise, my work won’t be effective. What will my brothers and sisters think of me then?” So, I transferred these two newcomers to others to cultivate. Unexpectedly, less than three days after the two newcomers were transferred out, due to certain reasons, they couldn’t continue to perform their duties. What saddened me even more was that, Sister Jenny, who I was cultivating, would have been able to water independently, but she suddenly quit the group and blocked me. I later learned that Sister Jenny left the group because of practical difficulties at home. Her son was sick, and she wanted to take him to a doctor. During that time, she was very weak, but I didn’t understand her difficulties and support her. Even when she wanted to talk to me, I ignored her on the grounds that I was busy with work. As a result, her difficulties weren’t resolved in time, so she became passive and withdrew. In the face of these sudden occurrences, my mind was blank, and my heart was in pain. I tried to calm myself down and prayed to God, asking Him to guide me in understanding His will and learning lessons.
After that, my leader sent me a passage of God’s word as we chatted about my state. “If someone says they love the truth and that they pursue the truth, but in essence, the goal they pursue is to distinguish themselves, to show off, to make people think highly of them, to achieve their own interests, and the performing of their duty is not to obey or satisfy God, and instead is to achieve prestige and status, then their pursuit is illegitimate. That being the case, when it comes to the work of the church, are their actions an obstacle, or do they help move it forward? They are clearly an obstacle; they do not move it forward. All who wave the banner of doing the work of the church yet pursue their own personal prestige and status, run their own operation, create their own little group, their own little kingdom—is this kind of person performing their duty? All the work they do essentially interrupts, disrupts, and impairs the work of the church. What is the consequence of their pursuit of status and prestige? First, this affects how God’s chosen people eat and drink God’s word and understand the truth, it hinders their life entry, it stops them from entering the right track of faith in God, and leads them onto the wrong path—which harms the chosen ones, and brings them to ruin. And what does it ultimately do to the work of the church? It is dismantlement, interruption and impairment. This is the consequence brought about by people’s pursuit of fame and status. When they perform their duty in this way, can this not be defined as walking the path of an antichrist? When God asks that people put aside status and prestige, it is not that He is depriving people of the right to choose; rather, it is because, while pursuing status and prestige, people harm the work of the church, they interrupt the brothers’ and sisters’ entry into life, and even have an influence on others eating and drinking God’s words normally and understanding the truth, and thus achieving God’s salvation. What’s even more serious is that, when people pursue their own prestige and status, such behavior and actions can be characterized as cooperating with Satan in harming and obstructing, to the utmost extent, the normal progress of God’s work, and stopping God’s will from being normally carried out among His chosen people. They are deliberately opposing and arguing the toss with God. This is the nature of people’s pursuit of status and prestige. The problem with people pursuing their own interests is that the goals they pursue are the goals of Satan—they are goals that are wicked and unjust” (“Item Nine: They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part One)” in Exposing Antichrists). When we pursue prestige and status, our motives and starting points are all hostile to God and come from Satan, and what we do is to hinder and disturb the work of the church. All of this is evil. I realized I used tricks in cultivating newcomers time and time again. Whenever things took time and effort, I always picked the work that could make me stand out, and even newcomers I was cultivating were something I could throw to others. I knew there were many disadvantages in doing this. Transferring newcomers means another trainer has to get to know them and their states, and if the newcomers had a new trainer, they might not be adaptable or be able to keep up with the changes. But I didn’t think about their actual situations, and I didn’t consider their feelings at all. For my prestige and status, to free up time to improve the effectiveness of my work, I forcibly pushed newcomers away. My heart was so cold! Especially in the case of Sister Jenny, when my sister was in trouble, negative, weak, and wanted to ask me for help, I didn’t care about her at all. My behavior made my sister feel so heartbroken. The more I thought about it, the more I hated myself, and I wanted to slap myself. After being revealed by the facts, I saw that I considered personal interests everywhere, and pursued prestige and status. Not only did I delay the work of cultivating newcomers, I caused a newcomer to withdraw and ruined her chance of being saved. I was doing evil, and this was a transgression! I felt very guilty. For several days, I called and texted the newcomer again and again. I really wanted to find her again and apologize, but the damage couldn’t be undone. I felt deep remorse, and saw that my views of pursuit were disgusting.
To solve my corrupt disposition and not relapse into my old ways, I sought relevant parts of God’s word to eat and drink. In God’s word, I read, “Though most people say they happily pursue the truth, when it comes to putting it into practice or paying a price for it, some people just give up. This is betrayal in essence. The more crucial a moment is, the more you are needed to give up fleshly interests and cast aside vanity and pride; if you are unable to do so, you cannot gain the truth, and it shows that you are not obedient toward God. If the more crucial a moment is, the more able people are to submit and let go of their self-interests, vanity, and pride, and perform their duties properly, only then will they be remembered by God. Those are all good deeds! Irrespective of what duty people perform, or what they do, which is more important—their vanity and pride, or God’s glory? Which should people choose? (God’s glory.) Which are more important—your responsibilities, or your own interests? Fulfilling your responsibilities is what is most important, and you are duty-bound to them. … When you practice according to the principles of the truth, there will be a positive effect, and you will bear testimony to God, which is a way to bring shame upon Satan and bear testimony to God. Using various methods to bear testimony to God and to make Satan see your determination to forsake and reject Satan: This is shaming Satan and testifying to God—it is something that is positive and in line with God’s will” (“Only to Gain the Truth Is Truly to Gain God” in The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days). “When someone pursues the truth, they are able to be considerate of God’s will, and are mindful of God’s burden. When they perform their duty, they uphold the work of the church in every regard. They are able to exalt God and testify to God, they bring benefit to the brothers and sisters, and support them, and provide for them, and God gains glory and testimony, which brings shame upon Satan. As a result of their pursuit, God gains a creature that is truly capable of fearing God and shunning evil, that is able to. As a result of their pursuit, too, God’s will is carried out, and the work of God is able to progress. In the eyes of God, such pursuit is positive, it is upright. Such pursuit is of tremendous benefit to God’s chosen ones, as well as being wholly beneficial to the work of the church, it helps push things forward, and is praised by God” (“Item Nine: They Do Their Duty Only to Distinguish Themselves and Feed Their Own Interests and Ambitions; They Never Consider the Interests of God’s House, and Even Sell Those Interests Out in Exchange for Personal Glory (Part One)” in Exposing Antichrists). As I contemplated God’s word, my heart was stirred. As a created being, I shouldn’t pursue prestige and status, I should perform my own duty. The more it is a critical moment, the more I should let go of my own interests and vanity and do my duty well, This is a good deed. Now, the gospel of the kingdom is spreading, and God hopes that more people will rise up to preach the gospel and testify God, so that those who live in darkness can hear God’s voice, come before God, and accept God’s salvation. At the same time, He hopes that more newcomers can take up their own duties in the spread of the gospel. So, cultivating newcomers was my most important work. I could no longer live so selfishly and despicably for myself. I had to reverse my fallacious pursuits and ideas and live before God with a pure and honest heart. No matter what the leaders and workers or my brothers and sisters thought of me, I just wanted to train newcomers in a down-to-earth manner and do my duty well.
After that, I opened up and fellowshiped with the brothers and sisters, analyzed the corruption and wrong views of pursuit I displayed in cultivating newcomers, and proactively took over the training of newcomers with cultivation potential. Among these newcomers, a brother was so busy with work every day that he couldn’t host every gathering. I knew it would take more time and energy to cultivate this newcomer, but I didn’t resist like I used to. This time, I had more patience with the newcomers I was cultivating. No matter what difficulties they had, I did my best to help. By the end of the month, their watering results were better than mine, and I was very happy. Seeing this result, I felt very secure and at ease. I also understood that what God wants is not just how much I achieve in my work. He hopes even more that I can be considerate of His will in my duty, not scheme for my personal interests, and fulfill my responsibilities, and train newcomers so that they can do their duties. Although my watering results that month weren’t as good as others in the group, I wasn’t as miserable as I used to be, my desire for prestige and status wasn’t as strong, and I bore more of a burden in the work of cultivating newcomers. I knew that this was the result of God’s work in me. Thank God!