87. Judgment Is Light
Zhao Xia Shandong Province
My name is Zhao Xia. I was born to an ordinary family. Due to the influence of dictums like “A man leaves his name behind wherever he stays, just as a goose utters its cry wherever it flies,” and “As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face,” reputation and face became particularly important to me. Everything I did was to earn other people’s praise, compliments, and admiration. After getting married, the goals I set for myself were: I will live a wealthier life than others; I must not let anyone say negative things about how I treat the elderly or about my behavior and conduct; and I will make sure my child gets into a famous university and has good prospects, so as to add more luster to my face. Therefore, I never quarreled with my in-laws. Sometimes, when they said harsh things to me, I would feel so aggrieved that I’d hide and cry rather than give them attitude. When I saw others buy clothes for their parents during Chinese New Year and other holidays, I would immediately go buy some for my mother-in-law, and it would be of the best quality too. When relatives came to visit, I would help buy food and cook. Even when it was a little tough or tiring I would still be completely willing. Afraid I would be less well off than others, I left my baby daughter behind a month after giving birth to her and went straight back to work. As a result, my daughter suffered from malnutrition and became only skin and bones because she couldn’t drink my breast milk. Her situation improved only after 100 nutritional injections, while I was so tired that I had a sore back every day. Though it was difficult and tiring, I endured the hardship and gave tirelessly for the sake of earning a good reputation. In just a few short years, I became a famous daughter-in-law in the village, and my family became wealthy and envied by people around us. As a result, my in-laws, neighbors, relatives and friends were all full of praise for me. In the face of praise and compliments from those around me, my vanity was greatly satisfied. I felt my hardships over the last few years were not in vain, and I was very flattered inside. However, my serene life was interrupted after my brother-in-law got married. His wife always spoke to me sarcastically, saying that I had ulterior motives in treating our mother-in-law well because I just wanted her assets. She always said that our mother-in-law was biased since she gave us more things than she gave them, and we often argued as a result of this. I felt very aggrieved and wanted to argue with her in public to protest my innocence, but it would ruin the good image I had built up in people’s hearts. Hence, I would force myself to hold back, and when I could bear it no longer I would have a big cry in private. Afterward, the sister-in-law pushed her luck by occupying the land distributed to my side of the family, which made me shake from anger and not eat or drink for days. I even wanted to fight it out with her. However, thinking that it would make me lose face, damage my reputation, and make those around me look down to me, I swallowed it all up, but inside I felt so suppressed that I was in torment. I looked sad and sighed all day, feeling like it was too painful and tiring to live and not knowing when there would be an end to such a life.
Man’s end really is God’s beginning. Right when I was in pain and feeling helpless, Almighty God reached out His hands of salvation toward me. One day, my neighbor asked me: “Do you believe in the existence of God?” I answered: “Who doesn’t? I believe God exists.” She then said that the God she believes in is the one and only true God who created the universe and all things, and that in the beginning, mankind lived in God’s blessings because they worshiped God, but after they were corrupted by Satan, they no longer worshiped God and thus lived under God’s curse and in pain. Almighty God of the last days came to bestow upon people the truth and save them from the abyss of misery. In addition, she also communicated her own experience of believing in God. After listening to her communication, I felt I had found my closest confidant, and could not help but tell of all the pain in my heart. Afterward, she read a passage of God’s word to me: “When you are weary and when you begin to feel the desolation of this world, do not be perplexed, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival any time. He is watching by your side, waiting for you to turn back. He is waiting for the day your memory suddenly recovers: becoming conscious of the fact that you came from God, somehow and somewhere once lost, falling unconscious on the roadside, and then, unknowingly having a ‘father.’ You further realize that the Almighty has been watching there, awaiting your return all along” (“The Sighing of the Almighty” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words flowed into my heart like a warm current, consoling my painful and sad heart, and I could not stop my tears from falling. In that moment, I felt like a wandering child in suffering who had suddenly returned to the embrace of her mother. There was an unspeakable excitement and emotion in my heart. I kept thanking God, for He took me to His house and cared for me when I had nowhere else to go. I shall follow God with my heart and soul! Since then, I read God’s words, prayed to God, and sang hymns to praise God every day, which made me feel especially relaxed in my heart. Through attending meetings, I saw that brothers and sisters were much like a big family, even though they are not related by blood. Their interactions were simple and open, full of understanding, tolerance, and patience, and without jealousy, conflict and scheming or pretension and duplicity. They did not bully the poor while loving the rich, and were all able to treat everyone with sincerity and equality. My heart would feel especially free when we sang hymns praising God together. I hence fell in love with this loving and warm, fair and joyous church life. I became convinced that Almighty God is the one true God and made up my mind that I would follow Him to the very end.
Through reading God’s words, I understood God’s urgent desire of saving mankind to the greatest extent possible, and saw that many brothers and sisters were doing their utmost to give and expend for the sake of spreading the kingdom gospel. I thus also became actively involved in the preaching of the gospel. God’s work of the last days is to save and change mankind. To purify and change me, God targeted my corrupt nature and executed His chastisement and judgment as well as mercy and salvation upon me time and time again. One time, I went to preach the gospel to a potential believer. When I found out she was a leader, I made up my mind to coordinate with God to bring her before Him no matter what. It was the busy farming season at the time. After seeing how busy she was with farm work, I went to work alongside her while giving her testimonies of God’s work of the last days. Who knew that after communicating with her for three straight days she would not only have no intention of accepting and would instead yell toward me: “How brazen you are! I already said I don’t believe it, and yet you won’t stop preaching.” Her words struck me right where it hurts. My face burned as though I had just been slapped several times in public, while my heart ached with wave after wave of dull pain. I thought: I came to preach to you with good intentions and exhausted myself helping you with your work until my back got sore, and yet instead of accepting it, you treated me like this. How heartless you are! I felt extremely humiliated and did not want to talk to her anymore, but I also felt that this was not in line with God’s intentions, so I prayed silently in my heart and suppressed my inner pain to continue communicating with her while helping with her work. However, no matter how hard I communicated I could still not get through to her. I collapsed like a deflated rubber ball upon returning home. The words of my preaching target kept showing up in my head. The more I thought about it the more I suffered: Why am I bothering? All I got in return for my good intentions were jeers, slander, and abuse. This really is too unjust! No one had ever treated me like that. Spreading the gospel is simply too painful and difficult! No, I cannot go out to preach the gospel anymore! If I continue preaching I won’t have any face left to see anyone. Just when I felt so wronged and in pain that I was no longer willing to preach the gospel, the words of God enlightened me: “Are you aware of the burden you shoulder, your commission, and your responsibility? Where is your historic sense of mission? … They are poor, pitiable, blind, and at a loss, wailing in the darkness, ‘Where is the way?’ How they yearn for the light, like a shooting star, to suddenly descend and disperse the force of darkness that has oppressed men for so many years. Who can know just how anxiously they hope, and how they pine day and night for this? These men who suffer deeply remain imprisoned in the dungeons of darkness, without hope of release, even on the day that the light flashes; when will they weep no longer? These fragile spirits who have never been granted rest are truly suffering such misfortune. They have long been sealed off by the ruthless ropes and the history that is frozen in place. Who has ever heard the sound of their wailing? Who has ever seen their miserable visage? Have you ever thought how grieved and anxious God’s heart is? How can He bear to see the innocent mankind He created with His own hands suffering such torment? After all, mankind are the unfortunates that have been poisoned. Though they have survived to this day, who would have thought that they have long been poisoned by the evil one? Have you forgotten that you are one of the victims? Out of your love for God, are you not willing to strive to save those who have survived? Are you not willing to use all your effort to repay the God who loves mankind like His own flesh and blood?” (“How Should You Attend to Your Future Mission” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). The lines between God’s words all revealed His concern and anxious sadness and care for innocent people. God cannot bear to see people created by His own hands fooled and harmed by Satan. God keeps bitterly waiting for mankind to return to His house soon and receive the great salvation He has bestowed upon them. Yet when I was faced with a few harsh words from my preaching target, I felt wronged and tormented and complained about the hardship and suffering. I was even no longer willing to cooperate because I had lost face. Where was my conscience and reason? To save us corrupted people in the last days, God has been continuously hunted and persecuted by the government, abandoned, condemned, blasphemed and slandered by religious circles, and misunderstood and resisted by us followers of God. The pain and humiliation God had suffered is too much, too great! However, God did not abandon His salvation of mankind, and continued to supply mankind’s need in obscurity. God’s love is too great! His essence is too beautiful and kind! My hardships today are nothing compared to the suffering God has endured for the sake of saving mankind! I recalled that I was also a victim, someone who had been harmed by Satan for years. If God had not stretched out His hands of salvation to me, I would still be struggling painfully in the dark, unable to find the light and the hope of living. Having enjoyed God’s salvation, I should bear the humiliation and pain to do my utmost to cooperate with God, fulfill my duty properly, and bring those innocent people still being harmed by Satan before God. This is more valuable and meaningful than any job in the world, and is worthwhile no matter how much suffering has to be endured! When I thought of this, I no longer felt that preaching the gospel is a painful thing, and instead felt fortunate to be able to coordinate with the kingdom gospel. This was my honor and also God’s exaltation. I made up my mind: No matter what kind of hardships I have to encounter in my gospel work, I will give my all and bring more and more people who hunger for God before Him to comfort His heart! Afterward, I threw myself back into gospel work again.
Following a period of training, whenever I encountered a preaching target who had a bad attitude or spoke harsh words to me during the fulfilling of my duty, I would be able to deal with it in the right way and continue to cooperate with a loving heart. Because of this, I felt I had changed and no longer cared as much about face and status. But when God set up another environment to test me based on what I needed in life, I was thoroughly exposed once again. One day, the leader of the church asked me how I had been doing lately and also communicated God’s current intentions and way of practice. When I found out during the conversation that she would be transferred to another church to fulfill her duty, I could not help but feel a wave of excitement: It is possible that I could be made the leader of the church after she leaves. If so, I must really cooperate well! Just as I was feeling secretly happy, the sister said that another sister in my village would be coming over tomorrow. My heart churned as soon as I heard it: What is she coming for? Is she going to be made the new leader of the church? I could not help but grow nervous: She has not believed in God for as long as I have, and also she comes from the same village as me. If she is made leader, then what about my face? How would brothers and sisters see me? They will surely say that I don’t pursue the truth as much as she does. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I tossed and turned in bed at night, unable to fall asleep. During the meeting the next day, I paid constant attention to the tone and attitude of what the leader was saying because I desperately wanted to know who would be chosen as the new leader of the church. Whenever the leader looked at me as she spoke, I felt hopeful of being made leader. My face would fill with joy and I would nod and agree with whatever she said. On the other hand, whenever the leader faced the other sister while speaking, I would become certain that the sister would be named leader, and feel depressed and be in agony as a result. Over those couple of days, I was tormented by face and status so much that I became anxious and distracted. I lost my appetite and even felt that time was passing especially slow, as though it had been frozen. The church leader could see the situation I was in, so she found a passage of God’s word for me to read: “You are now followers, and you have some understanding of this stage of work. However, you have still not put aside your desire for status. When your status is high you seek well, but when your status is low you no longer seek. The blessings of status are always on your mind.” “Although you have gotten to this step today, you still have not let go of status, but are always struggling to ‘inquire about’ it and observing it daily…. The more you seek this way the less you will reap. The greater a person’s desire for status, the more seriously they will have to be dealt with and the more they must undergo great refinement. That kind of person is too worthless! They must be dealt with and judged adequately in order for them to thoroughly let go of that. If you pursue this way until the end, you will reap nothing. Those who do not pursue life cannot be transformed; those who do not thirst for the truth cannot gain the truth. You don’t focus on pursuing personal transformation and entering in; you always focus on those extravagant desires, and things that constrain your love for God and restrain you from getting close to Him. Can those things transform you? Can they bring you into the kingdom?” (“Why Aren’t You Willing to Be a Foil?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Each line of God’s words knocked at my heart, making me feel that God was beside me, monitoring my every word and movement. I could not help but self-reflect on my thoughts and actions over these past two days. I realized that my view of pursuit was too base and influenced by dictums like “As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face,” and “A man leaves his name behind wherever he stays, just as a goose utters its cry wherever it flies.” I always wanted status so I could win more praise from others, which resulted in me being tormented by face and status so much that I became anxious and distracted, lost my appetite and couldn’t fall asleep, and made a fool of myself like a buffoon. Such an environment was set up by God in accordance with my situation. It was God’s love falling upon me. God’s work today was to save me, to help me escape the dark influences of Satan so I could achieve salvation. The way I was pursuing ran contrary to God’s work and requirements. I would not have been able to receive God’s approval even if I had believed in Him until the end. I would have been left with nothing! I therefore prayed silently to God: “Oh God! I am willing to obey Your work, walk on the right path of believing in God in accordance with Your requirements, and put in effort on Your word to achieve understanding of the truth and get rid of my corrupt disposition. Regardless of whether I am made leader, I will pursue the truth and pay attention to changing the things on me that do not satisfy Your intentions.” After understanding God’s intentions, I felt especially calm in my heart and enjoyed communicating no matter what the content was. After the meeting, the church leader said that, based on the recommendations of the majority of brothers and sisters, the sister would be the new leader of the church, and that I would coordinate with her work. I was very calm inside and readily accepted, agreeing work in harmony with the sister to fulfill our duty.
After experiencing God’s chastisement and judgment this time, I gained some knowledge of my tendency to focus on face and status, and was willing to forsake my flesh and believe in God and fulfill my duty in accordance with His requirements. However, my contamination by the toxins of Satan was too deep. The depth of my soul was still controlled by Satan’s influence. To better save me from Satan’s harm, God stretched out His hands of salvation toward me once again. One day, I was informed that there was a sister in the church who was not in a good situation, so I consulted with the sister I was partnered with on how to resolve this problem. As my partner sister was not feeling well, I went alone to resolve the problem after our discussion. I sought out that sister that very night to communicate with her, and the problem was resolved very quickly. My heart was brimming with pleasure at the time, thinking that the upper-level leader would surely praise me because I had put in quite a lot of effort. However, just as I was waiting for the good news, the upper-level leader wrote a letter wanting to understand the sister’s situation. I thought it was to praise me, so I happily opened it up and read it. But when I saw that the content of the letter was specifically to ask my partner sister how she dealt with the problem, I immediately became indignant: I was clearly the one who resolved the issue. Why not write to me to ask about it? It seems I do not have a place in the leader’s heart and am looked down upon. I’m just an errand girl. No matter how well I perform I don’t get any credit because no one pays any attention to it. The more I thought about it, the more I felt wronged and depressed. I felt I had lost all face. At this time, my partner sister had the letter in her hand and was just about to talk to me. I could not restrain the feelings I had inside and shouted at her: “The upper-level leader doesn’t know how this issue was resolved. Are you not clear about this? I worked on it busily for ages but no one said a good word about it, and in the end you still got all the credit. In everyone’s eyes, I am just someone who runs errands and offers support. No matter how much effort I put into it, no one will appreciate it.” After saying this, I felt so aggrieved that I burst into tears. In that moment, the words of God echoed in my ears: “3. If you expended a lot of effort but I am still very cold toward you, will you be able to continue working for Me in obscurity? 4. If, after you have expended some things for Me, I have not satisfied your petty demands, will you be disheartened and disappointed toward Me or even become furious and shout abuse?” (“A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s accusatory words slowly calmed me down, and my mind cleared up quite a lot too. The scene that had just taken place kept replaying in my mind like a movie. God’s revelation made me see that my nature is too horrible and dangerous, and that my belief in God and the fulfilling of my duty was not to satisfy God or achieve His approval, but to receive praise and compliments from other people. As soon as my desires were not satisfied, I would become full of resentment; my beastly nature would erupt, and betraying God moreover became an extremely easy thing to do. At this time, I saw that I had gone too far and that I was inhumane. The pain I felt was heartrending. As I repented, I prayed to God: “Oh God, I thought I had changed and no longer lived for face and status, and could also get along with the sister. But in Your revelation today, I once again exposed my satanic ugliness, always feeling like I had no status among people and suffering because my efforts were not praised by others. Oh God, Satan had really harmed me too deeply. Status, reputation, and vanity all became my shackles. I pray that You can guide me out of Satan’s influence again.” Afterward, I saw among God’s words the following: “Every one of you has ascended to the highest heights of the multitudes; you have ascended to be the ancestors of the multitudes. You are extremely arbitrary, and you are running amok among all of the maggots seeking a peaceful place to devour the maggots that are smaller than you. You are malicious and sinister in your hearts, surpassing those ghosts that have sunk to the bottom of the sea. You live in the bottom of the dung, disturbing the maggots from top to bottom so that they have no peace, fighting with each other for a while and then calming down. You do not know your own status, yet you still battle with each other in the dung. What can you gain from that struggle? If you truly had a heart of reverence for Me, how could you fight with each other behind My back? No matter how high your status is, aren’t you still a stinking little worm in the dung? Will you be able to grow wings and become a dove in the sky?” (“When Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots You Will Regret All the Evil You Have Done” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Each word of God’s judgment stabbed painfully into my heart like a sharp sword, awakening my spirit and making me realize that I fulfilled my duty not to exalt God and bear witness to Him, but because I always wanted to show off, bear witness to myself, and dreamed of standing high among people so they would admire and look up to me. Was there any fear of God in my heart? Wasn’t what I pursued exactly the same as that of the archangel who betrayed God? I am a created creature deeply corrupted by Satan. Before God, I am like dirt, a maggot. I should be worshiping God and fulfilling my duty with fear in my heart at all times, but I did not engage in honest work, and always wanted to use fulfilling my duty as an opportunity to show off and bear witness to myself. How could God not hate and detest this? God is so holy and great, full of authority and power, and yet remains humble and concealed, never revealing His identity to make people look up to and admire Him. Instead, He continues quietly to give His all to save mankind, never justifying Himself or claiming credit, and never demanding anything from mankind. God’s humility, nobility, and selflessness made me see my own arrogance, lowliness, and selfishness, making me feel that I have been too deeply corrupted by Satan and am too much in need of the salvation of God’s judgment, chastisement, trial and refinement. I therefore fell down again before God: “Oh, Almighty God! Through Your chastisement and judgment I can see my disobedience even more clearly, as well as Your nobility and greatness. From now on, when I fulfill my duty I only hope to behave like a proper human being with a heart that fears You, and dispose my satanic disposition by relying on Your words.”
After experiencing God’s chastisement and judgment over and over again, my views on pursuit gradually changed, but my life disposition had not yet truly achieved change. To more thoroughly cleanse me and lead me to walk on the right path of life, God once again bestowed His salvation upon me. Later, I was chosen to be a church leader, cooperating with another sister to perform our duty. Due to my previous failures, I kept reminding myself all the time that I need to be in one accord with the sister in order to perform the church’s work properly. In the beginning, I would discuss everything with the sister and pursue God’s guidance together, so we achieved results in all facets of work. But after some time, I found that the sister had good inherent qualities, her communication of the truth was clear and illuminating, and her work capabilities were stronger than mine. During meetings, brothers and sisters were all willing to listen to her communication and all consulted her when they had problems. In the face of such an environment, I was once again trapped in Satan’s snare and fooled by it: The sister is better than me in every respect and is admired by brothers and sisters regardless of where she goes. No way! I must exceed her no matter what, and let brothers and sisters see that I am not inferior to her. For this reason, I bustled around the church non-stop every day, arranging meetings for brothers and sisters and no matter who ran into problems I would rush to them to help resolve the issue. … I may have seemed loyal and obedient from the outside, but how could my inner ambitions possibly escape the eyes of God? My disobedience aroused God’s anger, and as a result I fell into darkness. I received no enlightenment when reading God’s words, had nothing to say when praying, drily communicated during meetings, and was even afraid of meetings with brothers and sisters. I became completely shackled by face and status. I went through every day without a clue, as though I was carrying a big burden on my back and could not breathe from the pressure. I could also no longer see through some of the church’s issues, and my work efficiency dropped sharply. Faced with such a revelation from God, I did not try to know myself and I was also unwilling to open up to brothers and sisters about my situation and seek truth to resolve it, for fear that they would look down on me. Later, God’s chastening and disciplining descended upon me. My stomach suddenly began hurting so bad that I could not sit or stand in peace. The torment of illness and the dissatisfaction from not achieving status left me hovering between life and death. Due to my refusal to acknowledge my problems and my failure to cooperate with the church’s work, the church could only replace me and send me home for spiritual devotion and self-reflection. Having lost my status, I felt like I had been condemned to hell. Emotionally, I fell to my lowest point and felt that I had lost all face. I became even more tormented inside especially when I saw brothers and sisters all actively fulfilling their duties, while I had lost the work of the Holy Spirit and was unable to fulfill any duty. In pain, I could not help but ask myself: Why is it that others believe in God and understand more and more truth, whereas I keep disobeying and resisting God time and time again over face and status? I begged God many times to lead me to find the root of my failures. One day, I saw the following among God’s words: “some people particularly idolize Paul: They like to give speeches and work outside. They like to meet together and speak; they like when people listen to them, worship them, surround them. They like to have stature in the minds of others and appreciate when others value their image. What do we discover about a man’s nature from this kind of behavior? Let us analyze his nature: What kind of nature does this type of person with this sort of behavior have? How could it be verbally summarized? Ordinary people cannot see through this but can only view the behavior. What is the relationship between the behavior and the person’s nature? What is his nature? You cannot identify it, can you? If he really behaves in this way, then that is enough to show that he is arrogant and conceited. He does not worship God at all; he seeks high status, and he wants to have authority over others, to possess them, to have stature in their minds. This is a classic image of Satan” (“How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks). In addition, it says in “Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life”: “The essence and nature of Satan is betrayal. It betrayed God from the very start, and after betraying God it deceived, fooled, manipulated, and controlled the men on earth created by God, trying to stand with God as an equal and establish a separate kingdom. … You see, isn’t Satan’s nature one that betrays God? From all that Satan has done on mankind, we can see clearly that Satan is a genuine God-resisting demon and that Satan’s nature is one that betrays God. All of this is absolute” (“How to Achieve Knowledge of Your Own Corrupt Substance” in Sermons and Fellowship About Life Entry (I)). Contemplating these words, I could not help but tremble with fear. I saw that what I had lived out was totally in Satan’s image, and I was the genuine embodiment of Satan—arrogant and conceited, and not worshiping God at all. God exalted me to fulfill my duty in the church, so that I could bring brothers and sisters before God with fear of Him in my heart, and make people have a place for God in their hearts, as well as fear and obey God. But in the face of God’s exaltation, I was not considerate toward God’s intentions in the fulfilling of my duty, and felt no burden to help brothers and sisters achieve entry into life. Instead, I always wanted to make people pay attention and listen to me, and for the sake of my own desires, I always tried to build myself up no matter where I went. I was even jealous of the good and envious of the strong, and stubbornly competed with others for superiority. From the outside, I was competing with men, but in fact I was fighting against God and was struggling with God for status and power. This is something that severely offends God’s disposition and is conduct that should be punished by God! However, God did not deal with me in accordance with what I had done. He only judged and chastised, chastened and disciplined me, and deprived me of status to make me self-reflect and repent. I saw that God’s love for me was too deep and too great! I could not help but feel regret and self-blame inside, and moreover hated that my corruption was so deep. I followed God but did not pursue the truth, and instead only blindly toiled for status and face. I had really failed to live up to God’s love and salvation. The more I introspected, the more clearly I saw that the dictums I lived by, such as “As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face,” and “A man leaves his name behind wherever he stays, just as a goose utters its cry wherever it flies,” were lies used by Satan to corrupt and harm mankind. I realized that Satan used these things to paralyze people’s souls, distort their minds, and make them develop wrong outlooks on life, making them strive bitterly to pursue empty things such as status, fame, fortune and face, and eventually stray from and betray God, so they could all abide by its fallacies and work for it and be ravaged and harmed by it at will. I was one of those people who developed the wrong outlook on life based on Satan’s lies, becoming arrogant, conceited, supercilious, and with no place for God in my heart. I lived in corruption and treated God as the enemy. Now, I must never go against God again while enjoying His mercy. I shall completely reform myself, thoroughly forsake Satan, totally give my heart to God, and live out the likeness of a true person to comfort God’s heart. After that, I sought how to continue my future path, and how to pursue the truth to satisfy God’s will. Thank God for once again guiding me. I then saw God’s words: “Today, even if you are not a worker, you should be able to perform the duty of a creature of God, and seek to submit to all of God’s orchestrations. You should be able to obey whatever God says, and experience all manner of tribulations and refinement, and though you are weak, in your heart you should still be able to love God. Those who take responsibility for their own life are willing to perform the duty of a creature of God, and such people’s viewpoint toward pursuit is the right one. These are the people that God needs. … As a creature of God, man should seek to perform the duty of a creature of God, and seek to love God without making other choices, for God is worthy of man’s love. Those who seek to love God should not seek any personal benefits or that which they personally long for; this is the most correct means of pursuit” (“Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Like a beacon, God’s words enlightened my heart, pointing out to me the path I should take. God hopes that people, regardless of whether they have status and what environments have befallen them, can do their utmost to pursue the truth, and can obey God’s orchestration and arrangement and seek to love and satisfy God. This is the most correct way of pursuit as well as the right path of life that a created creature should walk. I thus made up my mind before God: Oh God, thank You for showing me the right path of life. My status of the past was due to Your exaltation. Being without status today is also due to Your righteousness. I am just a tiny created creature. From now on, I only wish to pursue the truth and obey all Your arrangements.
Thereafter, my situation quickly went back normal through reading God’s words and living the church life. The church again arranged a suitable duty for me. Also, I focused on pursuing the truth in the fulfillment of my duty, whenever anything happened I would seek God’s intentions, try to know myself, and find the corresponding words of God to resolve it. When faced with things that involved face and status, even though I would have some thoughts in my mind, through prayer and God’s word I would seek the truth and forsake myself, and gradually I was able to not be controlled by these things and could fulfill my duty with peace of mind. When I saw some brothers and sisters who have not believed in God for as long as me entrusted with commissions, I would be able to, through seeking the truth, understand that what duty one fulfills is predestined by God, and that I should obey God’s arrangements. As a result, I was able to treat it the right way. When brothers and sisters dealt with and exposed my nature and essence, even though I felt I had lost face, I was able to become obedient through prayer. This is because God’s love has fallen upon me, and it has greatly benefited in changing my life disposition. In the past, I focused on my face too much and was not willing to open up to anyone, for fear that others would look down on me. Now, I practice to be an honest person in accordance with God’s requirements, and if I have any problems I will open up to brothers and sisters, which makes me feel especially relieved and happy in the depths of my soul. Seeing these changes in me, I could not help but thank and praise God, for these changes are brought to me by God’s chastisement and judgment work of the last days.
I have now followed Almighty God for several years. Thinking back, it was Satan’s toxins that had eroded my soul. I had lived under the domain of Satan and was ravaged and fooled by it for many years. I did not know the value and meaning of life. I could not see the light, nor could I find true happiness and joy. I sank into the abyss of misery and was unable to extricate myself. Now, it is through time after time of God’s chastisement and judgment that I managed to get rid of the harm of Satan and achieve relief and freedom. I have recovered my conscience and reason, and I also have the correct target to pursue, following God onto the bright and right path of life. Through God’s chastisement and judgment, I truly experienced God’s selfless and sincere love, and enjoyed the blessing and received the love that the world of man cannot enjoy. Only God can save man from Satan’s sea of misery, and only God’s chastisement and judgment work can cleanse mankind of the satanic toxins inside them and make them live out the likeness of a true man and walk on the right path of life. God’s chastisement and judgment is the light. It is the greatest grace, the best protection, and the most valuable wealth of life bestowed by God upon man. Just as the words of Almighty God say: “… chastisement and judgment by God was man’s best protection and greatest grace. Only through chastisement and judgment by God could man awaken, and hate the flesh, and hate Satan. God’s strict discipline frees man from the influence of Satan, it frees him from his own little world, and allows him to live in the light of God’s presence. There is not better salvation than chastisement and judgment!” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Thank God’s chastisement and judgment for saving me and allowing me to be reborn! In my future path of believing in God, I will spare no effort to pursue the truth, receive more of God’s chastisement and judgment, and thoroughly get rid of Satan’s toxins to achieve purification, achieve a true knowledge of God, and become a person who genuinely loves God. All the glory be to God. Amen!