By Cao Xin, the United States
Since I was little, I followed my mother in believing in the Lord. As I was growing up, I came to know that thewas crucified to redeem us humanity of our sins, which moved me very much. Besides, after believing in the Lord, I enjoyed His abundant grace, this allowed me to have more faith in Him. Thus, I was determined to follow Him for the rest of my life and bear witness for Him to repay His love.
In 2002, after coming to America, I found a church to have gatherings, where I came to know a brother who involved in the work of preaching. In my eyes, preachers all were pious and loved the Lord, so I often sought from him regarding my issues. But to my surprise, one night, he asked me to go to the church and declared his love to me, and even pawed me. Fortunately, I ran away quickly. After this, I learned that while he had married in China, he got married again in America. And despite this, he still acted toward me this way. This made me see clearly his face of hypocrisy. I thought to myself: As a preacher, he actually did such a thing, acting one way to people’s faces and another behind their backs. Wasn’t this hypocritical? How can this glorify the Lord’s name? This matter came as a great blow to me and I was unwilling to go to the church anymore. But at the thought of the Lord Jesus’ salvation of me, I felt indebted to Him. As a result, I could only go to the church now and then.
Afterward, the situation of the church went from bad to worse. What the pastors preached was repetitious, not bringing us any enjoyment, and was often specifically about donating to the church. The believers either slept or played with their phones in gatherings and all they talked about was a life of pleasure and they lived like unbelievers. Seeing these, I was even more passive and weak. As a consequence, every year, apart from going to the church once or twice to donate, I usually persisted in praying and readingat home. In the course of time, I felt darker and darker in spirit, and couldn’t feel the Lord by my side in my prayers, and had no illumination from reading the Bible. In daily life, I couldn’t put the Lord’s teachings into practice but always lost my temper with my child and kept arguing with my husband about my child. Although I repented and confessed before the Lord every time after being in a huff, I repeated the same sins later and fell into an inescapable trap of sins. It really pained and depressed me, and also made me begin to doubt: Why has my faith in the Lord become ever weaker? Why does the Lord not hear my prayer? Why can I not be free of sins and change? Am I capable of entering the kingdom of heaven under such circumstances?
Just when I felt miserable and lost, I learned that my mother and my sister-in-law had received’s work of the last days, and saw that my mother’s became ever greater so when my father argued with her, she was able to practice tolerance and patience instead of making a fuss. Her changes caused me to ponder: Could it be that Almighty God’s work is really the work of God? Otherwise, how can my mother achieve these changes? This decided me to examine Almighty God’s work of the last days. With that, my sister-in-law invited brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God to fellowship with me.
During the gathering, Brother Zhang from The Church of Almighty God fellowshiped with me about the reason the churches are desolate: “In the latter days of the Age of Law, that the temple became desolate was, on the one hand, because the Jewish leaders did not lead the Jews to keep God’s commandments but walked their own path, and thus incurred the hatred and anger of God. On the other hand, the Lord Jesus performed new work, but they didn’t keep up with it; rather, they opposed and condemned Him, thereby being eliminated from the stream of the Holy Spirit’s work. This was why the temple eventually became a place that sold livestock and exchanged money. The same is true of the reason why the religious world today is desolate. In one regard, the pastors and elders don’t lead the believers to practice and experience the Lord’s words to achieve understanding the truth and knowing the Lord; rather, they only focus on interpreting the biblical knowledge and theological theory to bring the believers before themselves. As a result, the believers become those who believe in the Lord yet do not know Him, who resist Him. In another regard, God has been incarnated to do His new work and the work of the Holy Spirit has transferred. Only those who follow the footsteps of the Lamb and receive the judgment and cleansing of God’s words can receive the work of the Holy Spirit. Those who refuse to accept God’s work of the last days will be eliminated from the stream of the Holy Spirit’s work.” Hearing these words, I suddenly saw the light, understanding the causes of the desolation in the churches. Thereafter, Brother Zhang also fellowshiped about the method of the Lord’s arrival, said that the prophecies of the Lord’s return has already been fulfilled, and witnessed the return of the Lord Jesus, none other but the incarnate Almighty God, who has expressed several million words to do the work of judging and cleansing man. These fellowships sounded so great and I had gained a lot of spiritual supply. In all my years of faith in the Lord, I had never heard any preaching as good as this. This preaching was far better than that of the pastors in the church. I must listen carefully next.
Then Brother Zhang fellowshiped with me: “We all have experienced that though believing in the Lord, we still cannot help but often commit sins and are unable to extricate ourselves from living in sin. This is because we are deeply corrupted by Satan and all have satanic natures such as arrogance, deception, selfishness, greed and so on. These satanic natures have already become our life. Directed by them, we not only have no true patience or tolerance for each other, and tend to get angry whenever there is something that is not in accordance with our meaning, but are often devoured by jealousy and hatred. In order to defend our own interests, we often lie to and deceive each other, and can also conduct transactions with God in our faith and so on. The root of our sinning like this is our satanic natures, and they, if not resolved, will make us continue sinning and resisting God even though our sins have been forgiven. Then, what qualification do we have to enter the kingdom of heaven? So the Lord Jesus said He would come back. Actually, His coming is to do the work of thoroughly cleansing and saving mankind.
Next, Brother Zhang read two passages of God’s words: “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.” “Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons were already planted within him. After thousands of years of Satan’s corruption, man already has within him a nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than redemption, where man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before being worthy to serve God. Through this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within him, and he will be able to completely change and become clean. Only in this way can man be 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 refinement, man can cast 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.”
Brother Zhang fellowshiped: “God’s words show us that the Lord Jesus did the work of redemption at that time, and that He took upon Himself the sins of humanity through crucifixion, so when we sin again, as long as we confess and repent before the Lord Jesus, we will be forgiven, and no longer be convicted by the law and sentenced to death. Although the Lord absolved our sins, it doesn’t mean that we are not sinful and are not impure. We still have the corrupt disposition of Satan, which can cause us to sin and to resist and rebel against God anytime and anywhere. The Bible says: ‘and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). As you can see, if we live in sin and are not cleansed, we are unworthy of seeing the Lord, because He is holy. So, we can only enter God’s kingdom by getting rid of sinful nature and achieving purification. To get rid of our sinful nature, we must experience God’s work of judgment and chastisement of His words in the last days. Only this way will we know our own corrupt disposition and cast it away under God’s guidance, and then live out the likeness of a real man and become people who obey God and revere God. Only thus will we be saved into the.”
I nodded in agreement and said to Brother Zhang: “Brother, what you say is true. Despite believing in the Lord for many years, I can’t stop myself from sinning. Although the Lord taught us to be tolerant and patient, I couldn’t practice His words but always exposed hot blood, and afterward, I prayed and repented my sin to the Lord, but it was useless. Now I’m clear on this. The Lord Jesus only did the work of redemption and we gain only pardon of sins when we believe in Him, but our sinful nature remains. Therefore, we can’t resist sinning and opposing God.” “Yes.” Brother Zhang continued: “Now we understand that believing in the Lord only allows us to be forgiven of our sins. If we want to cast off our sinful nature, we still need God to carry out a stage of the work of judgment and purification in the last days, and only thus can we be saved from sin completely.
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