44. Whatever God Says Is the Very Judgment of Man
By Xunqiu, Henan Province
I used to think that God judged and chastised man only when revealing man’s inherent corruption or conveying harsh words determining someone’s final destination, but those gentler words were not words of judgment and chastisement. It was only much later that an experience led me to realize that even God’s gentle words are also His judgment and chastisement. I realized then that every word God utters is His judgment of man.
Recently, the elderly sister of my host family was upset because she and her daughter-in-law had butted heads. I had fellowship with her several times, but there was no shift in her state. Gradually I became impatient, thinking to myself, “I have fellowshiped with you quite a few times, but you haven’t changed. You probably have no interest in the truth. I will never fellowship with you again.” After that, I seldom asked her what kind of state she was in. One day, the sister working with me brought up that sister’s state and suggested that we have more fellowship and pray with her. Hearing that, I didn’t say anything aloud but I thought to myself: “I’ve shared fellowship with her a number of times and it’s all been fruitless. As I see it, having more fellowship with her is just a waste of time.” I knew this revealed my arrogance, which was a disposition of Satan. I was giving her the cold shoulder and showing no love for her. However, I just couldn’t change my state. When we prayed together, I still found it hard to let go of my prejudices against her, so much so that I sank into spiritual darkness and could not feel God with me. I also felt suffocated, as if something was blocking my heart and could not be cleared. Later, I brought my predicament in front of God and prayed, “God, I am aware of my arrogance and my inadequate humanity. I showed neither consideration nor sympathy for my sister; I don’t want to live in this situation, but my heart simply cannot change. God, I beseech You to enlighten me, to have me understand the truth, and to know myself.” As I offered that prayer, I vaguely recalled some words of God. I immediately opened the book of God’s word and found the following statements: “Why is it said that the extent of your resolve to love God, and whether you have truly renounced the flesh, depends on whether you are prejudiced toward your brothers and sisters, and on whether, if you are, you can push such prejudices aside. Which is to say, when your relationship with your brothers and sisters is normal, then your conditions before God are also normal. When one of your brothers and sisters is weak, you will not loathe them, despise them, make fun of them, or give them the cold shoulder. If you are able to be of service to them, you will commune with them…. If you feel you are unable to provide to them, then you can pay them a visit. This doesn’t have to be done by the church leader—it is the responsibility of every brother and sister to do this work. If you see that a brother or sister is in a bad state, you should pay them a visit. This is the responsibility of every one of you” (“The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words that “when your relationship with your brothers and sisters is normal, then your conditions before God are also normal” were clearly imprinted in my mind. I pondered these words of God while engaging in seeking. Through the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, I felt this seemingly gentle statement actually embodied majesty and judgment, and it pierced my heart like a sword. God has always clearly told man that only on the basis of God’s words can humankind establish normal relationships among brothers and sisters, and that if their relationships with brothers and sisters are normal, then their state before God can also be normal. But in my interactions with others, all that I manifested was the corrupt disposition of Satan: I disdained, rejected, and delimited others. I didn’t have a normal relationship with people, so how could I enjoy a normal relationship with God? It is the immutable responsibility of people who believe in God to visit and serve brothers and sisters who are passive and weak. It is the life to be lived by people who seek to love God, and it is the conduct of brothers and sisters who love one another. On the contrary, when I saw that sister was in a bad state, although I appeared to have fellowship with her, I was not helping and supporting her with a heart of love for God, wanting to satisfy God, or a heart of love for brothers and sisters. Nor did I understand her suffering of living in darkness or patiently fellowship with her to help her out of the negative state. Instead, I made demands on her based on my own personal standards, thinking that she should just turn around as soon as I had shared fellowship with her. When her state still hadn’t changed after fellowship, I looked down my nose at her, even deciding that she had no intention of pursuing the truth. Therefore, I disdained her and shunned her. This is very far from what God requires. I thought of my arrogant and self-righteous nature, that I frequently revealed that kind of corrupt disposition, but God did not delimit and disdain me because of my corruption and stubbornness. Instead, He continued to patiently guide me and through the judgment and chastisement of His words as well as setting up people, events, and things around me to prune me, deal with me, and discipline me, I was made to recognize the truth of my corruption and clearly see my own corrupt essence. Throughout this process He led me and guided me through words so that I could understand the truth, shake off the binds of my corrupt disposition step by step, and find a way forward. God has paid such a price for the sake of purifying and saving me; this is the only reason I’ve now had this little bit of change in me! In fact, I’m not any better than that elderly sister, so what right do I have to look down on her? I had fellowship with her just a few times and then lost patience. I delimited and disdained her. My humanity is so lacking! At that time, I lost a normal relationship with God and became subject to His chastisement, my soul suffering in spiritual darkness. Wasn’t it the case that God’s righteous disposition had come upon me? The more I thought about it, the more strongly I felt that this very statement was God’s face-to-face judgment of me. I was ashamed and deeply remorseful. But at the same time, my reverence for God welled up spontaneously and I realized that God’s disposition is one of majesty and wrath. I realized that God is indeed supremely righteous and holy. God can examine my each and every thought, so there is no escape from His judgment.
The judgment of God’s words helped me let go of my prejudice against the elderly sister and I became willing to fellowship with her with a spirit of love and kindness. Unexpectedly, though, before I fellowshiped with her again, she had received enlightenment from God and come out from her negative state by praying and listening to hymns of God’s word. At that moment, I felt happy that her state had improved. I was grateful that God had led us, as He always will. I also felt ashamed of the satanic disposition I had exhibited.
Thanks be to God! Despite the fact that I had shown only rebellion and corruption throughout this experience, I learned that God’s gentle words are also His judgment and chastisement of man, and that every word from Him is the truth, and they are all things that corrupt human beings lack within their humanity. This is why every word from God is judgment of man. I will never again regard God’s words through my own notions and imaginings. I will accept God’s judgment and chastisement of words with absolute submission, so that I can gain and understand more truths and transform my disposition as soon as possible.