Almighty God Led Me Onto the Path of Obtaining Cleansing
In 2007, due to a lot of pressure in my life, I came to Singapore by myself to work to make a living. All year round, the climate in Singapore is very hot, so every day I would sweat profusely when I was working. It was so rough that I suffered an unspeakable amount, and on top of that it was an unfamiliar life without any relatives or friends, so I thought it to be boring and tedious. One day in August, I received a gospel leaflet on my way home from work which read: “But the God of all grace, who has called us to his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, settle you” (1Pe 5:10). Seeing these words gave me a warm feeling in my heart. Then a brother brought me to the church, and the brothers and sisters welcomed me cordially and served me delicious food. I had worked the better part of a year since leaving home, and the warmth of family and delicious home cooked food was something that I hadn’t enjoyed in such a long time. Since I was lonely and drifting aimlessly, hot tears immediately welled up in my eyes, and in that moment I had the feeling that I was back home. From then, the church was a place I need to go every Sunday.
I was baptized in December, and formally entered the path of believing in the Lord and of confessing and repenting for my sins. Once, in church, I heard the preacher reading from the chapter 18, verses 21-22 of Matthew: “Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” After I heard this, I thought to myself: “How can the forgiveness and patience of the Lord Jesus be so great? His forgiveness for people is seventy times seven. If people were really able to achieve this, then there would be love and warmth among people!” I was very moved in my heart, and determined that I would go act in accordance with the Lord’s teachings.
In the three years since I began to believe in the Lord, I was pretty enthusiastic in going to meetings and listening to sermons. Later, my boss put me in charge of managing a construction site, so I put all my energy into my work and gradually stopped attending meetings. Afterward, at the introduction of a friend, I met a boss Mr. Li, and working together with him established a construction company. I was very happy, and made up my mind to put forth a big effort. At that time, I had gotten totally sucked into the vortex of money, and stopped going to church. To make the project succeed for people to praise my abilities, I had no love or patience for my workers and was often berating them, and even often brought the team leader to tears with my abuse. The workers all looked at me timidly, and would even run away to try to avoid me. Even people who had once been my good friends turned cold toward me and didn’t want to share the words in their heart with me anymore. It was so hard for my heart to take this treatment! The Lord Jesus taught that our forgiveness toward others should be seventy times seven. I didn’t even forgive once, so how could I even seem at all like a Christian? I knew what I did was wrong, and wanted to have a transformation in my heart, but all along I suffered from being directionless. When I was depressed, all I could do was pray to the Lord and say everything that was on my mind, and only then could I feel some sense of relief.
In August of 2015, we suspended business operations because the company was not doing well, and I returned home. At that time, I felt very depressed, and would get drunk and play cards all day. When my wife told me I should stop drinking, I would horribly abuse her by saying: “It’s my money, I earned it, and I’ll spend it however I want….” I cursed her so horribly, and my daughter didn’t dare to say anything, but just stood nervously on one side watching. My wife could do nothing to me but sit to the side and cry. After every time I hurt my own family like this, I regretted it but I just had no way to stop myself. In those days I had already completely lost the decency of a Christian, and my behavior and actions were just like those of an unbeliever.
When I was helpless and suffering, I went back to the church again. In that period, I constantly prayed to the Lord Jesus: “Lord! I did many things that I didn’t want to do, and said many hurtful things to people. Every time I committed this sin, I regretted it. I especially hated myself, but I could never control it. I prayed and confessed my sins in the evening, but during the day I repeated the same sins, and so I’ve ended up today as someone nobody wants to have anything to do with. Everyone has drifted away from me. Oh, Lord! I beg You to save me. What should I do to finally be free of sins?”
On New Year’s day of 2016, I set foot on American soil, having come to make a living in New York. Not long after that, I went in to church to take part in a spiritual study course, and it was there that I met Sister Qing Lian. One day, Sister Qing Lian gave me a phone call to say there was some good news she wanted to tell me. I said, “What’s the good news?” She said, “A missionary has come here. Do you want to go hear him speak?” I said, “Great! Where is it?” She then arranged a time for me to go to her house.
On the day we had arranged, I went to Sister Qing Lian’s house, and Sister Zhao was there as well. I saw them using a television to play a segment of a speech: “And so I say that man’s sense has lost its original function, and that man’s conscience, too, has lost its original function.… Man’s disposition should be changed starting from the knowledge of his substance and through changes in his thinking, nature, and mental outlook—through fundamental changes. Only in this way will true changes be achieved in the disposition of man. Man’s corrupt disposition stems from his being poisoned and trampled upon by Satan, from the egregious harm that Satan has inflicted upon his thinking, morality, insight, and sense. It is precisely because these fundamental things of man have been corrupted by Satan, and are utterly unlike how God originally created them, that man opposes God and does not understand the truth. Thus, changes in man’s disposition should begin with changes in his thinking, insight and sense that will change his knowledge of God and his knowledge of the truth” (“To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I was very moved upon hearing these words. “Isn’t it me they are talking about? I always looked down on others, trying to teach them this or curse them for that, without any morality or reason, and have lost the decorum of the saints.” These words all pierced me to the core of my being. I had never before read words such as these, nor had I heard any preacher speak like that. All along, I was distressed because of often committing sins, but had never been able to break out of being controlled by sin. These words showed me the path to leaving sin behind, and it was very strange to me: These words were spoken so well, but who could have written them?
Sister Zhao told me that this was the word of God and that the Lord Jesus had already returned in the flesh, doing the work of judging and cleansing people through His word in the last days. When I heard this news, I could barely believe my ears. Who among the believers in the Lord does not expect for Him to return? Now I was unexpectedly hearing the news about the Lord’s return, and I was at a complete loss: Had the Lord truly returned? I had to get the sisters to quickly fellowship to me about this. Sister Zhao said, “The Lord Jesus has truly returned, and He is Almighty God incarnate. He has expressed the truth about purifying and saving people, and has started to do the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. His goal is to completely save us from the domain of Satan and have us be obtained by God. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus only completed the work of redemption, redeemed us from sin, and absolved our sins so that we would not be convicted under the law, but He did not eliminate our sinful nature. We are all able to learn from experience that although the Lord absolved our sins, we still suffer the chains of our sinful nature. We often sin and offend the Lord, and there is no way we can break free from the control of sin. In the past, we didn’t know why this was, and it was only by reading the word of Almighty God that we came to know it. After we were corrupted by Satan, we had already become full of the corrupt disposition of Satan, such as being arrogant, conceited, crooked, treacherous, selfish, contemptible, greedy, malicious, and so on. Controlled by these corrupt dispositions, people fight and scheme with each other and compete for wealth and fame, and are unable to live in harmony; they also commit sins often and resist God. In order to completely rescue people from sin, one still needs God to come and do the work of eliminating man’s sinful nature, and only then will we be able to be cleansed, saved, and obtained by God. After reading some sections of the word of Almighty God, we will understand.” Sister Zhao opened up the book of the word of God and began to read: “Though man has been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it is only considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with man’s transgressions. However, when man lives in the flesh and he has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing the corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sin and forgiveness. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. As such, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it would not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has 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, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan” (Preface in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“The sins of man were forgiven because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live in the old, corrupt satanic disposition. As such, man must be completely saved from the corrupt satanic disposition so that the sinful nature of man is completely cast away and never again develops, thus allowing the disposition of man to be changed. This requires man to understand the path of growth in life, the way of life, and the way to change his disposition. It also needs man to act in accordance with this path so that the disposition of man can gradually be changed and he can live under the shining of the light, and that he can do all things in accord with the will of God, cast away the corrupt satanic disposition, and break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Sister Zhao fellowshiped in this way: After we have read these words of God, we are clear about it, right? Though we have believed in the Lord for many years, we are unable to break free of the bondage of sin. The reason is that in the Age of Grace God only did the work of redemption, but not the work of eliminating sin. So no matter how much we confess our sins and repent, and overcome our own selves, or fast and pray, we will not be able to attain a condition of not sinning. That means if we want to break free of the bondage of our sinful nature, only experiencing the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption is still not enough. We need to accept the work of judgment done by the returned Lord Jesus because only God’s work of judgment in the last days can expose the origin of the sins people commit and show people the path of breaking free of their sinful nature and of gaining purity. When we act in accordance with what God is saying today, the corrupt disposition within us will gradually be cleansed, and we will break free of the bondage of sin, and only then can we obtain true release and freedom. So the “atonement for sin” in the Age of Grace and God’s “eliminating sin” in the last days are two different kinds of work. “Atonement for sin” was just the Lord Jesus standing in for man’s sins, and exempting people from the punishment they should have suffered for the sins they committed. But it does not mean that people are without sin, nor that people will no longer commit sin and will be completely cleansed. Rather, “eliminating sin” means removing the source of people committing sins, causing them no longer to sin and to attain a transformation in their life disposition, and being completely cleansed. So, only by accepting the work of judgment of God in the last days can we receive salvation, be brought into the kingdom of God, and obtain God’s promise and blessing.
Hearing the word of God and what the sisters fellowshiped, I felt that it corresponded very closely with the truth and was very realistic. I thought back on all those years when I was arrogant and uninhibited, the people in my work unit being afraid of me and keeping their distance from me, my wife and daughter at home also being afraid of me, nobody wanting to be friends with me. I was even unable to find anyone to speak intimately with, and I felt a deep sense of pain and that I was a failure as a person. I also hated myself but had no way to change. We indeed need the Lord Jesus to return and do the work of salvation and cleansing. Hearing today about the Lord Jesus returning to express the truth and do the work of cleansing and transforming people, I really was fortunate! That day, when I was leaving for home, the sister gave me a copy of the book of God’s word God’s Sheep Hear the Voice of God and said that at first she had lived in sin and had been unable to extricate herself from it just like me. Later, after she read the words in this book, she finally found the way to practice. I happily took the book and determined to have good faith in Almighty God!
Ever since I accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days, I read much of the word of God, and gradually understood something about the three stages of God’s work, the mystery of the incarnation, the meaning of God’ names, the inside story of the Bible, and other aspects, and I also had better faith in God. When I had just begun, I was cut to my heart and pained when I read the words about God judging people’s satanic nature. I still had some notions inside me, and thought that God spoke too sternly. Later, I read in the word of God: “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, reveal 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 disposition of God, and so on. These words are all focused on the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that reveal how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. When God does the work of judgment, He does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words, but carries out revelation, dealing, and pruning over the long term. Such manner of revelation, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only such manner of work is deemed judgment; only through such judgment can man be persuaded, be thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and gain true knowledge of God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I understood from the word of God that God’s work of judgment in the last days uses the truth that man does not possess at all to show people’s rebelliousness and corruption and to analyze people’s speech and behavior. Only through God’s long-term exposing, dealing and pruning can they be able to know their corrupt disposition and essential nature little by little, and to see clearly their own corrupt, ugly manners, and reach a state of hating themselves and then transforming themselves. If God did not work in this way, I would not know my own corrupt disposition, so how could I break free of my sinful nature and obtain cleansing? The more I read the word of God, the more I felt that God’s work of judgment was very good! The word of God can indeed cleanse, transform, and save people.
Once, in a meeting, when I was sharing my own experiences where I always would say phrases like “I think,” and “here’s what I think,” a brother pointed out that this habit in my speech was an indication of arrogance. If anyone else had exposed me like this before, I would have argued with and quickly refuted him. But at the time, I chose to be silent without arguing and justifying myself, because I thought of the words of “Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life”: “If you always say ‘I think’ when it comes to any subject you encounter, well, it is best that you let go of your opinions. I urge you to let go of your opinions and seek the truth. Examine the words of God. Your ‘opinion’ is not the truth! … You are too arrogant and self-righteous! In the face of the truth, you cannot even let go of and deny your own conceptions and illusions. You do not want to obey God in the slightest! Of those that truly seek the truth and truly have a heart that reveres God, who still says ‘I think’? This saying has already been eliminated. This is the revealing of the satanic disposition.” So I felt that what the brother had just said was right, and I had no grounds on which to refute him. What man thinks is true can’t substitute for the truth. Whatever man thinks comes from Satan. If someone always uses the word “I” at the beginning of what they say, this is a state of not having God in one’s heart, and is a mark of not revering God. How arrogant was it of me to always talk like that!
Later, I also read a passage in the book “Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life” that said: “People become arrogant after they’ve owned some assets. If someone is of good caliber and has a certain level of capability, he will think, ‘I’m better than other people.’ In so doing they reveal their arrogant disposition, and they have no regard for anyone else. This is normal, because they are skilled and capable. If they truly knew themselves, they would think they weren’t even worth a penny. What would they have to be arrogant about then? He thinks it’s not worth being arrogant about, and had no assets to be arrogant about, then he wouldn’t become arrogant. Isn’t this the case? There are some people who think themselves better than anyone else, and that they can understand any matter clearly, so what is bound to happen one day? When they suffer a big setback, and are humiliated in failure, will they still be able to be arrogant? They’ll feel like they can’t raise their head, don’t dare to see anyone. So when those people with arrogant and conceited disposition experience failure or are humiliated several times, or are dealt with and pruned in a big way several times, their arrogant disposition will naturally be resolved. All people come around like this. By experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, by being pruned and dealt with, by being disciplined by the Holy Spirit, and by suffering some failures and setbacks, people will become much more honest. Their arrogance will become less and less, and they won’t be as self-righteous. Even if they understand something thoroughly, they will still seek the truth about it, seek other people’s ideas, to take precautions against the possibility of making a mistake. This is all the result reached through God’s judgment and chastisement. So no matter how arrogant and self-righteous you are, don’t be afraid, and don’t worry. As long as you experience God’s judgment and chastisement, and accept more of pruning and dealing, especially the discipline of the Holy Spirit, gradually you’ll start to change. No one can help you with this, so you have to rely on praying to God, and seeking the truth, and gaining the work of the Holy Spirit, because once the Holy Spirit works upon you all your problems will be resolved.” This passage was fellowshiped quite penetratingly, and really got the job done! I realized that previously on the job site, or at home, I was always in a high position lecturing others, and this was all because of the control by the arrogant nature of Satan. Thinking myself to have ability, to be able to make money, I showed off my seniority, and looked down on everyone besides myself, and thought that no one was as good as me, and always put myself on a pedestal. After accepting God’s work in the last days, I read many words with respect to God judging and revealing people’s arrogant nature, and also through what brothers and sisters fellowshiped at gatherings I began to have a shallow understanding of my own arrogant nature. I saw that I was not in fact better than anyone else, and that my ability and wealth were all bestowed by God, so I had nothing to boast about. At the same time, I also found the way to transform my arrogant nature in the word of God, which is accepting being dealt with and pruned by brothers and sisters even more, comparing myself to the word of God and reflecting on myself more, gaining true knowledge of myself and hatred for myself, and no longer relying on satanic disposition in what I do but acting according to God’s word. Through the course of having experienced being pruned and dealt with like this many times, and what I came to know through self-reflection, my arrogant nature began to gradually gain some transformations.
Along with reading more of the word of God, and constantly living the life of the church, I came to feel more and more how fortunate I was that I could accept God’s work in the last days. In The Church of Almighty God, all the brothers and sisters are very passionate, treat each other with sincerity. They are all pure and simple, and fellowship their own experiences to each other, and even if their corrupt dispositions are revealed, they are able to reflect on and know themselves on the basis of the word of God. I have seen that the word of Almighty God is genuinely able to cleanse and transform people. God expressed the word Himself to lead us to break free of sin and attain salvation, so we are truly blessed! Thinking of how many people there still are who believe in God sincerely and are anxiously waiting for the Lord Jesus to return, and yearning to break free of the chains of sin and to obtain cleansing, I made a resolution in praying to God: I am willing to spread the gospel of the kingdom to even more people, and to get them to be like me, to follow the footsteps of God, and to obtain God’s salvation of the last days.