Do you know how to listen to God’s voice and welcome the Lord?
Editor’s Note: As a Christian, are you still engaged in the bitter struggle with sin? Do you also want to escape the bondage and restraints of sin? Are you also disappointed by the fact that you cannot practice the Lord’s word? He believed in the Lord for more than 40 years, and once also was tormented by his inability to escape living in sin. In 2017, he welcomed the Lord’s return, and finally found a path to escape from sin. So, exactly how can we escape sin? Let’s look at his experience.
At the age of 20, I was baptized and returned to the Lord. From, I knew that the was personally crucified to redeem mankind and took on the sins of all people. As long as we prayed in the name of the Lord Jesus and repented to the Lord for our sins, the Lord would forgive our sins and bestow abundant grace upon us. I was moved by the Lord’s great love, and was determined to spend my life following the Lord’s teachings and expending for the Lord to repay His love.
Later, I found that I couldn’t keep the Lord’s teachings. Aside from continuing to serve God in the church, I was indistinguishable from a Gentile outside the church, spending my days eating, drinking, and amusing myself. Later, I even began to indulge in gambling to satisfy my desire to make money. Each time I prayed to the Lord, my heart was filled with self-blame as I knew gambling was detested by God. Many times I came before the Lord and swore to never gamble again, but I couldn’t overcome the temptation from my friends, and I was trapped deeper and deeper in sin and unable to extricate myself. I felt the Lord had abandoned me. In disappointment, I left the church in 1992.
In the years after I left the church, I lived like a zombie, endlessly busying myself to repay gambling debts. I yearned for the story of the prodigal son returning to happen to myself, but when I thought of what I had done, I felt too ashamed to come before the Lord. This way, my relationship with the Lord had grown more and more remote.
Later, at the age of 38, I passed the government’s civil servant exam. With a steady income, I no longer had to spend all my time repaying my debts. I knew the Lord still pitied me, and then, I found a church and began going to meetings again.
In the year 2000, I looked for a new church. At that time, although I was also eager to spread the gospel and took part in all kinds of service work in the church, I still lived a life of sinning during the day and confessing at night, which was very distressing for me. Once, I read that Romans in the Bible teaches us, “I beseech you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be you transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1–2). I felt even more upset and thought, “How come I often involuntarily commit sins? Then how can I renew and transform myself? Why can I never meet the Lord’s requirements?” These questions never stopped troubling me.
In August of 2017, I met two sisters on the internet, and our discussions went very well. After that, I decided to join their Bible study group.
Once, as we were researching the Bible, my sisters read me two passages of God’s word directed at why we always lived in a state of sinning and confessing and how to escape the bondage 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…” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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 to The Word Appears in the Flesh).
My sister then fellowshiped, “As we all know, the Lord Jesus was crucified, which has redeemed us from our sin. When we sin, if we pray to the Lord and repent, we are forgiven for our sins, but our sinful natures haven’t been resolved. We are dominated by satanic dispositions such as deceit, arrogance, cunningness, greed, evil, selfishness and despicability, so we still often sin and oppose God. Sometimes, in order to protect personal interests, we will tell lies and deceive others despite ourselves though we clearly know that God requests that we be honest people. Sometimes there are also misunderstandings with others; although we know God demands that we first remove the beams from our own eyes, our arrogant disposition still causes us to set our gaze upon others. What’s more, sometimes in order to experience fleshly greed, we follow the wicked trends of the world, focus only on eating, drinking and being merry, and live out a worldly life. God says: “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). It’s also written in the Bible that, “Holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). God is holy. If we don’t resolve our satanic nature, we will never be able to escape from the bondage of it, and what we live out will still be the filthy corruption in how we originally were. We are simply unqualified to see the Lord’s face or to enter into the heavenly kingdom. So, in the last days, the Lord will come again to do the new work of judging and purifying our sins, and completely save us from the bonds of sin, which fulfills these words in the Bible, ‘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). And 1 Peter 4:17 says, ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.’ Only by accepting God’s judgment and experiencing God’s work can our corrupt satanic dispositions be cleansed and transformed, and can we truly escape the bondage of sin, become a person in possession of the truth and full humanity, achieve full salvation and enter God’s kingdom.”
After hearing my sister’s fellowship, my heart was touched. In the past, I didn’t understand why we continued to live in sin and couldn’t escape the bondage of sin. Now, I know that what the Lord Jesus did was only the work of redeeming the human race. Only our sins are forgiven in our belief in the Lord, yet the sinful nature inside us has not been eliminated, and due to the control of our sinful nature, we still frequently sin and oppose God. In the last days, to save us sinners, the Lord has come to the world to do the work of judgment to thoroughly purify our sinful nature, save us from Satan’s dominion, and bring us into His kingdom. The Lord’s love for us is truly great.
She went on to say, “Brother, the Lord Jesus has actually already come among men, He is the incarnate Almighty God, and He has expressed more than a million words and revealed all the mysteries in the Bible, and is now doing His work of judging and purifying people. These truths that I fellowship about with you today are understandings I came to by reading the words expressed by Almighty God.”
The Lord Jesus has already returned? This news was very exciting to hear. But I thought again, “No, if the Lord has returned to do the work of judgment, it would be a major event. Why haven’t I heard of such a thing? Our pastors and elders haven’t told us such a thing either! What’s going on?”
With doubts in my mind, I hurried to search online for information about The Church of Almighty God. I saw that the pastors and elders of Hong Kong’s religious world were condemning and resisting it, which instantly made me conflicted. I thought, “The sister’s fellowship was in accord with the Bible, so why is The Church of Almighty God resisted and condemned by religion? What’s this all about? Forget it. Now that the majority of the pastors and elders of the religious world are condemning the work of Almighty God, there’s no use investigating further.” So I quit the group and blacklisted the sisters with whom I had studied before.
Although I had quit the group, the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God continued to attempt to contact me. After finding me, Sister Liuxin from The Church of Almighty God tried to alleviate my confusion through fellowship about the disturbance she experienced from her pastor when she had just accepted the work of Almighty God in the last days. After that, this sister showed me two gospel films from The Church of Almighty God, “Who’s Nailing God to the Cross Again?” and “Stay Out of My Business.”
After we watched the films, she again fellowshiped with me, “Brother, the truth is, each time God appears to work, His appearance is accompanied by the disturbances and attacks of Satan’s forces. Just like in the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus was incarnated to do work, the Pharisees saw that the Lord Jesus had come, and was not called the Messiah and did not lead the Jews to escape the rule of the Roman government, but instead gave sermons onand taught tolerance, patience, and love of your enemies. The Lord Jesus’ work refuted the notions and imaginings of the Pharisees, so they denied the fact that the Lord Jesus was Christ and God Himself. Especially when the Pharisees discovered that there was authority and power in the work and utterances of the Lord Jesus, and that many people had turned toward the Lord one by one, they—in order to protect their positions and status—wildly judged and condemned the Lord Jesus, made up rumors and released fallacies to blaspheme the Lord Jesus, and even allied with the Roman government to have the Lord Jesus crucified. The Pharisees publicly resisted God and contended with God for status, and they were exposed as antichrists by the Lord Jesus’ work. In the last days, how the pastors and elders of the religious world condemn God’s work of the last days is the same as how the Pharisees resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus’ work. Many pastors and elders have known that The Church of Almighty God has been bearing witness to the return of the Lord Jesus, and some of them have also read the words expressed by Almighty God; they know that Almighty have authority and power, but they still cling to their conceptions and refuse to accept them. To preserve their own status and positions, they openly judge and condemn Almighty God’s work in the last days and use all kinds of methods to obstruct and disturb the brothers and sisters from investigating the true way. They even unite with the atheist CCP government to get the people from The Church of Almighty God arrested. From the religious world’s pastors’ and elders’ defiance and condemnation of Almighty God’s work of the last days, we can see that they are all people who despise the truth and resist God, and that they are stumbling blocks and obstacles to people accepting the true way, and are antichrists who stand as enemies to God. Just as the words of the Lord Jesus when cursing the Pharisees: ‘But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for you neither go in yourselves, neither suffer you them that are entering to go in. … You serpents, you generation of vipers, how can you escape the damnation of hell?’ (Matthew 23:13,33).
“God is almighty. God’s wisdom is exercised based on Satan’s scheming. God uses the CCP’s political power and the wild condemnation, resistance, and persecution of the antichrists in the religious world to reveal every type of person. Those in various religions and denominations who trulyand love the truth, hear that The Church of Almighty God has already testified to the return of the Lord and then actively seek and investigate. Through reading the words expressed by Almighty God, they recognize and one by one, they have accepted God’s work of the last days. But those who loathe and despise the truth cling to their notions and imaginings, refuse to seek or investigate God’s work of the last days, and even wildly resist and condemn God’s work of the last days. They have been exposed and eliminated by God long ago, and those who seriously resist are cursed by God and punished by God for offending God’s disposition. This fulfills the prophecies in the Bible that in the last days, God will do the work of separating the wheat from the chaff, the lambs from the goats, and the good from the evil servants. So, in the matter of welcoming the Lord’s return, we must learn to be wise virgins, learn to hear the voice of God, and must distinguish the rumors and fallacies of the religious world and not be deceived by them, because only in this way can we welcome the Lord’s return and dine at the Lamb’s wedding feast. This precisely fulfills the prophecy in chapter 3, verse 20 of the Book of Revelation, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.’”
After hearing her fellowship, my heart felt light. When the Lord Jesus came to do His work, the Jewish Pharisees wildly defied, condemned and judged Him. Today in the last days, the religious pastors and elders, for the sake of their own positions and jobs, also wildly resist and condemn the work of God, and prevented their believers from investigating the true way. The pastors and elders of the religious world are contemporary Pharisees. In this moment I thought of the following verse from the Bible, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). I understood, as I investigated the true way, I shouldn’t blindly believe the words of the pastors and elders of the religious world. Instead, I should listen more to the words of Almighty God, because only this way would I have the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s return. Therefore, I decided to conduct a thorough investigation of the work of Almighty God in the last days.
In the days to come, I attended online meetings with brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God almost every day. At one meeting, a sister smiled and asked me, “Brother, we all know that God’s work of the last days is the work of judgment and purification, so do you want to know how God does the work of judgment to change and cleanse people in the last days?”
I happily nodded and had an urgent desire to know the answer to this question, so my sister opened a book of God’s word and began reading, “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose 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 the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those 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 just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed 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” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “He employs all manner of environments to deal with the corrupt disposition of man, and uses various things to lay man bare; in one regard He deals with man, in another He lays man bare, and in another He reveals man, digging out and revealing the ‘mysteries’ in the depths of man’s heart, and showing man his nature by revealing many of his states. God perfects man through many methods—through revelation, dealing, refinement, and chastisement—so that man may know that God is practical” (“Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The sister fellowshiped, “The words of Almighty God are very clear. In the last days, Almighty God works primarily by expressing the truth to judge and purify us. God’s words expose our deeply rooted satanic dispositions, and we are totally convinced and realize that after being corrupted by Satan, we are very arrogant and crooked, selfish and despicable, evil and greedy, and are all fed up with the truth by nature. After believing in God, even though we forsake and expend to some extent, our intention is still to exchange with God for the blessings of the heavenly kingdom. They are full of deals and contaminants. In our sermons, we do not exalt or testify God, but instead show off and testify ourselves to make others look up to and admire us. When the work of God is not in line with our notions, we will blame God and even contradict and betray God. To become successful and enjoy wealth and luxury, we can still follow the evil trend and enjoy the pleasures of sin. And so on. At the same time, God arranges various environments in our real lives to reveal our rebelliousness and deficiencies, uses the people, matters, and things around us to expose, deal with, and prune us so that we can more clearly see the fact of how we are corrupted by Satan: We do not have any conscience, reason or human dignity; we rely on our satanic dispositions, philosophy, and logic, and live lives in which we can do things that resist God at any moment, which makes God hate and loathe us. Only then will we truly experience God’s righteous and holy disposition that is intolerant of man’s offense, which thereby produces a heart within us that fears God and makes us truly hate and curse ourselves, and willing to betray the flesh and live according to God’s requirements. After experiencing God’s chastisement and judgment over and over again, we understand how much effort goes into God’s salvation of each person. We also understand that God chastises us because He hates our sins and disobedience, and because He means to save us from our satanic disposition and gain us.
“In the past, we hadn’t yet accepted God’s work of judgment, so despite the fact that we wished to pursue loving and satisfying God, we did not know God’s righteousness and His substance of holiness and beauty, did not have a true understanding of our own satanic ugliness and disobedient and God-resisting nature, and did not know how to distinguish negative things and mistaken views that come from Satan, which made it difficult for us to betray the flesh and practice the truth. Now, when we accept the judgment and revelation in God’s word, we can understand who God likes and despises, we can understand what things are positive and what things are negative, and know thatrequires pursuing the truth, living by God’s word, and becoming someone who fears God and shuns evil. Only this type of person can be approved by God and live out a life of meaning. The more we accept the judgment and chastisement in God’s word, the more we have knowledge of God’s righteousness, the more we can understand the truth, the more we can practice the truth, and the more we can live out the true likeness of man. So, by accepting God’s work of judgment in the last days is the only path by which we can escape the bondage of sin and achieve purification and change.”
God’s words and my sister’s fellowship made me suddenly understand. I used to think that God’s judgment of the last days was to condemn each person’s sin, but now I learned that God in last days was using His words to judge, chastise, prune and deal with people for the purpose of allowing us to escape our corrupt dispositions and achieve purification and change and to not be deceived and harmed by Satan. God’s work of judgment of the last days is so practical. I had believed in the Lord for so many years, yet been unable to find a way to resolve my sinful nature. Now, I had finally found it from Almighty God’s words. I became determined in my heart that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus.
Despite my excitement, I thought of how I had believed in the Lord for more than 40 years, and even left the Lord for nearly 10 years, and I committed so many sins. Was it still possible for sinners like me to be saved? I couldn’t help but worry.
At a meeting, I expressed my concerns to brothers and sisters, and after hearing me, a sister read me a passage of God’s word, “Each and every person who has accepted the conquering of words will have ample opportunity for salvation. God’s salvation of each one of these people shows them His utmost leniency, meaning that they are showed the utmost tolerance. So long as people turn back from the wrong path, so long as they can repent, then God will give them the opportunity to obtain His salvation. When people first rebel against God, God has no desire to put them to death, but instead does all He can to save them. If someone really has no room for salvation, then God will cast them aside. That God is slow to punish someone is because He wants to save all those who can be saved. He judges, enlightens and guides people only with words, and does not use a rod to put them to death. Using words to save people is the purpose and significance of the final stage of work” (“You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understandfor the Salvation of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
She fellowshiped, “Brother, from God’s word, we see that God’s essence is good. The purpose of God’s work of the last days is to save people, to allow us to understand the truth and not live based on Satan’s corrupt disposition and rule of existence, and in the end to be saved and obtained by God. We have all been deeply corrupted by Satan, and while the degree of the various types of corrupt satanic dispositions within us is different, our essence of our nature is to resist God, and we all need to accept God’s salvation. God is waiting for us to turn back toward Him. As long as we can accept God’s judgment and chastisement today and sincerely repent to Him, then God will not abandon us, and will always guide us with His words, create a variety of environments to purify and change us, and ultimately allow us to become people in accord with God’s will. Just as in the time of Noah, people were feasting, marrying and giving in marriage, and were wicked and corrupt to the point where God couldn’t stand to look at them any longer. So God decided to send a flood to eliminate them, but before He did, God gave them a hundred years in which to repent. The people of Nineveh were corrupt, evil, and did not worship God, so God sent Jonah to warn them, and when they repented in sackcloth and ashes, God had mercy on them, allowed them to continue, and guided them in their continued existence on the earth. So, we must believe that God’s essence is righteous and faithful. As long as we truly repent, God will not give up on saving us.”
After hearing God’s word and my sister’s fellowship, the weight bearing down upon my heart disappeared. I felt God’s great mercy and salvation. Only God could be so tolerant of us and love us. God’s essence is so good, and my heart was especially moved. Thanks be to God for His salvation, and that today I am able to come before Almighty God and accept God’s work of judgment in the last days. This is really God’s exultation and grace. Therefore, I resolve to pursue the truth, strive to escape my corrupt dispositions, to live out a human likeness, and to satisfy God’s will. Thanks be to God, and all glory be to Almighty God!