The Lord has come secretly before disasters. How can we welcome Him?
By Su Xing, Taiwan
“You believe in the Lord and yet you lose your temper at the drop of a hat. Why haven’t you changed at all?” This was my husband’s rebuke to me. I used to feel such distress that I was unable to live out the Lord’s teachings, and I often implored the Lord to lead me to cast off the bonds of sin. During my search, I heard the utterances of theof the Lord, and I finally found the path to resolve my anger. I’d like now to tell you all about my experiences.
In my daily life, I lived constantly within a cycle of sinning and confessing. For example, one time, because my child was too fond of playing and was too sloppy with his schoolwork, I grew angry and scolded him. My husband couldn’t stand by and watch me scolding him in such a way, so he criticized me for it. I didn’t accept what he said, so we got into an argument. This kind of scene became a regular occurrence, and every time my temper cooled after an outburst, I would feel very distressed and would reproach myself, especially when I thought of the verses: “Be you holy; for I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16), and “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). The Lord is holy and yet I always lived in sin. I couldn’t stop myself from losing my temper and I couldn’t get along peacefully with other people, so how could I possibly delight the Lord?
In order to bring about some change in myself, I strengthened my spiritual devotions, I readand prayed more, I attended gatherings with more zeal, and I would actively participate in every church service, but I still couldn’t resolve the issue of my fiery temper, and so I felt lost and disheartened. I often thought: The pastor says that, once we believe in the Lord and we pray and repent, then the Lord forgives our sins and we are made anew. So how come I don’t feel as though I have a new life, but instead just constantly commit sin, my spirit becoming ever darker, and I can’t feel the Lord beside me? And so, I often prayed to the Lord in tears: “O Lord! I can never control my anger and I cannot free myself from the bonds of sin. I ask You, Lord, to guide me to cast off sin.”
One day in June, I met Sister Weiwei and Brother Kevin. They were both pious Christians, and we often gathered together to fellowship on the Bible. Their fellowships were filled with light and I found them to be highly beneficial. I also told them of my pain at living in sin and being powerless to free myself from it. One time, Brother Kevin said cheerfully to me, “Thewhom we have yearned for has returned, and on the foundation of His work in the Age of Grace, He is performing the work of judgment through words. Only by keeping up with God’s new work can we obtain the supply of the water of life.” When I heard that the Lord had returned, I felt both happy and excited. I tripped over myself to ask the brother: “You said the Lord has returned—can it be true?”
Brother Kevin said, “It is indeed true. He has returned in the last days to save us utterly from sin and to enable us to be free of this painful life of sinning and confessing. It fulfills precisely this biblical prophecy: ‘So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation’ (Hebrews 9:28). As we all know, the first incarnation of God performed the work of redeeming mankind and our sins were forgiven by the Lord. What is undeniable, however, is that we still continually commit sin and that we know perfectly well what the Lord requires of us, and yet we are very rarely able to put it into practice, and we live bound by sin. And what exactly is the reason for this?”
I had always been confused about this and was never able to work it out. I really wanted to understand, and so I listened in earnest as Brother Kevin went on with his fellowship.
Then the brother sent me two passages of, “At the time Jesus’ work was the redemption of all mankind. The sins of all who believed in Him were forgiven; as long as you believed in Him, He would redeem you; if you believed in Him, you were no longer a sinner, you were relieved of your sins. This is what it meant to be saved, and to be justified by faith. Yet in those who believed, there remained that which was rebellious and opposed God, and which still had to be slowly removed. Salvation did not mean man had been completely gained by Jesus, but that man was no longer of sin, that he had been forgiven his sins: Provided you believed, you would never more be of sin.” “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 men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even if 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.”
Brother Kevin gave fellowship, saying, “God’s words are very clear. The work performed by the Lord Jesus was the work of redemption, and as long as we accept the Lord Jesus as our Savior and we pray and repent to the Lord, then our sins shall be forgiven, and by our faith are we justified. We are then no longer sinful, but this does not mean that we no longer commit sin, for it is because our sinful nature still exists that we live within this cycle of sinning and confessing and are constantly unable to free ourselves from the bonds of sin. Under the domination of our satanic nature, we often reveal corrupt dispositions, such as being arrogant and conceited, selfish and contemptible, lying and cheating and being wicked and greedy, and so on. When others do things that we do not agree with, we lecture them condescendingly and we harm them, so that not one family is able to live in peace and harmony together. We scheme against each other for the sake of our own interests, we strive and struggle against each other, and friends become enemies. In order to safeguard our own prestige, we often lie and cheat. Though we may appear on the outside to expend ourselves and to give things up in our, we actually harbor no true love for God, and when sickness or adversity comes our way, we can still blame God to the point of betraying Him…. The Bible says, ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). We still live often in the midst of sin, committing sins and resisting the Lord, and we are unworthy to see the face of the Lord. We therefore need the Lord to perform a further stage of salvation and purify our sinful nature.”
Hearing Kevin’s fellowship filled me with light. I thought of how I knew perfectly well what the Lord requires of us, and yet was never able to put it into practice, and about how I was always intolerant and impatient in my dealings with my husband and my son, and would often lose my temper and lecture them. As it turned out, this was all happening because my sinful nature still existed within me, so of course, no matter how much I prayed, read the Bible or tried to master myself to be able to bear my cross, I could never rid myself of the bonds and constraints of sin, and I realized that we do indeed need the Lord to perform a further stage of salvation.
At that point, another sister who was online asked, “Brother Kevin, we all want to cast off the bonds of sin, and I have tried to do it many times in different ways, but I have never found the right path. Please could you fellowship with us about how the second coming of the Lord will save us from the bonds of sin?” After listening to the sister’s question, I also waited in anticipation for the answer.
Kevin said, “Yes, sister, this question you have asked is very important to the matter of our salvation and to us entering into heaven. With regards to how God saves us from sin, let’s first read a few verses of Scripture: “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” (John 16:12–13). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “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). These prophecies are very clear: God shall return in the last days and He will express the truth and perform the work of judgment beginning in God’s house, and He shall do this work to enable us to cast off the bonds of sin, and to completely purify our satanic corrupt dispositions. Let’s look at two more passages from God’s words. God says, ‘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.’ ‘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.’”
Kevin gave fellowship, saying, “God has once again become flesh and, on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, is performing the work of judgment beginning in God’s house, using words to judge our inner satanic nature and to expose our corruption, whilst at the same time telling us His will and what He requires of us. By accepting the judgment of God’s words, we come to a true understanding of our satanic dispositions, such as our crookedness and deceit, our arrogance and conceitedness, our being selfish and contemptible, and our wickedness and greed. Simultaneously, through the judgment of God’s words, we come to know what kind of person God loves and what kind of person He hates, and we come to understand that God’s disposition is not only merciful and loving, but is also righteous, majestic and wrathful. Only by the majestic judgment of God do we come to have a God-fearing heart, and whether we reveal the corrupt thoughts in our minds or we act sinfully, we no longer repent in word only and we no longer just appear from the outside to be restraining our own behavior, but instead we accept the judgment of God’s words, we come to know our own satanic nature and essence, true hatred toward our inner satanic nature arises and we are then able to practice in accordance with God’s words. The more we accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, the more we see clearly our own corrupt essence, and the stronger our resolve to practice the truth becomes; as we put more and more truths into practice, unbeknownst to us, our life dispositions then undergo a change.”
Listening to Kevin’s fellowship allowed me to perceive just how practical God’s work of judgment truly is and I was much moved to hear it. By living every single day in a state of sinning and confessing, I was truly in need of God to perform this work of judgment in order to save me.
Later, I downloaded from the Internet the app of The Church of Almighty God, and I read the words of Almighty God every day and often attended gatherings with my brothers and sisters. Over time, I came to understand many truths I had never understood before during my belief in the Lord, such as the mystery of, the mystery of , the aim of God’s three stages of work to save mankind, how we can discern between false Christs and the true Christ, and how we can discern between false churches and the true church, and so on. My spirit had obtained the supply of the water of life and I enjoyed the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I became certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned, and I began to learn to slowly experience God’s work in my life.
One time, my son came home after school, and when I flipped through his school journal, I saw a message from a teacher: “Chengcheng has had a spat with his schoolmates at school today and he would not admit fault no matter what was said to him, and he lost his temper with me. Please make sure you educate your son.” Reading this, I could not contain my anger and I exploded. This son of mine really was causing me a lot of worry and was always being a pain. I’d received many such notes over the years, and I often had to apologize to the teachers and the other parents. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got, and I gave him a good telling off. Seeing him look so wronged and afraid after my scolding, I felt upset and reproached myself. I then went before God to seek, and I saw these words of God: “Once a man has status, he will often find it difficult to control his mood, and so he will enjoy seizing upon instances to express his dissatisfaction and vent his emotions; he will often flare up into rage for no apparent reason, so as to reveal his ability and let others know that his status and identity are different from those of ordinary people. Of course, corrupt people without any status will also frequently lose control. Their anger is frequently caused by damage to their individual benefits. In order to protect their own status and dignity, corrupt mankind will frequently vent their emotions and reveal their arrogant nature.” Only when I read these revelations in God’s words did I become aware of the root cause of why I lost my temper with my son—it was because my reputation had been damaged. Whenever a teacher sent a message saying how my son had done this wrong or done that wrong, I felt like my son was not reflecting well on me and was making me look bad, and that is why I lectured him so condescendingly. I also came to understand that getting angry was an expression of my satanic arrogant disposition. In the past, to make my son change his bad habits, I would often lose my temper with him and lecture him condescendingly, compulsively trying to change his bad habits. From the outside, I looked as though I was doing this because I meant well for my son, but in essence, I was treating my son by relying on my satanic arrogant disposition, and I was harming him as well. I finally saw that the life I was living out had no semblance of a genuine human being, and that I was too selfish and too arrogant. When I thought about it carefully, I realized that it was normal for children to make mistakes and that I should be guiding him in a better, more systematic way, so that he learned to change his bad habits, and not lecturing him by relying on my arrogant disposition.
Afterward, whenever my son did anything wrong and I wanted to lose my temper at him, I would promptly come before God and pray. I would entrust God with my son, and I learned to use God’s words to guide him. I discovered that my son was beginning slowly to change somewhat, and his teachers only very rarely sent messages to me saying that he had been in a fight with a classmate at school. What’s more, my relationship with my son got better and better, and this allowed me to appreciate the joy that comes from practicing the truth.
Thanks be to God! I have had the fortune to be able to come back to God’s family, and to experience God’s love and salvation. I now have a path to follow when it comes to pursuing dispositional change, and I am able to put some of God’s words into practice. My husband said happily to me, “You’ve changed a lot since you started to believe in Almighty God, and there has been laughter and the sounds of joy in our home.” I know that this is all because I was changed by God’s words, and because they enabled me to live out some genuine human likeness. God’s words are so precious!