80. Judgment Is the Light
By Zhao Xia, Shandong Province
My name is Zhao Xia. I was born into 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 have a more prosperous life than others; I must not allow anyone say negative things about how I treat the elderly or about my behavior and conduct; I will ensure my child gets into a well-known university and has good prospects in order to bring me more glory. Therefore, I never quarreled with my in-laws. Sometimes when they spoke harshly with me, I would feel so wronged that I would secretly cry rather than show them any kind of attitude. When I saw others buy clothing for their parents during Chinese New Year or other holidays, I would immediately go buy some for my mother-in-law, and only of the best quality. When relatives came to visit, I would help with the shopping and cooking. I was still entirely willing even when it was difficult or tiring. Out of fear that I would fall behind others, I left my baby daughter behind just a month after giving birth to her to go straight back to work. As a result, she suffered from malnutrition, becoming just skin and bones because I wasn’t nursing her. It wasn’t until she had received 100 injections of nutrients that she took a turn for the better, while I was so tired that my back was aching every single day. Though it was difficult and tiring, I endured the hardship and expended myself tirelessly for the sake of gaining a good reputation. My hard work paid off, and in just a few short years, I became well-known as a good daughter-in-law in the village, and my family became wealthy and were envied by those around us. As a result, my in-laws, neighbors, relatives and friends were all full of praise for me. In the face of the praise and compliments from those around me, my vanity was greatly satisfied. I felt that my hardships over the last few years were not in vain—I felt really self-satisfied. However, my serene life was disrupted after my brother-in-law got married. His wife always spoke to me mockingly, saying that I had ulterior motives in treating our mother-in-law well because I was only interested in her money. She always said that our mother-in-law was biased toward us since she gave us more things than she gave them; she was always stirring up trouble over this. I felt very wronged and wanted to hash it out with her openly in order to proclaim my innocence, but I was afraid that it would ruin the positive image that I had built up with others. So, I would force myself to hold back, and when I could bear it no longer I would cry it out in private. Later on my sister-in-law really overstepped her bounds by taking over the land that had been parceled out for my side of the family. I was shaking with anger and couldn’t eat or drink for days. I even wanted to fight it out with her. However, realizing that it would cause me to lose face, damage my reputation, and make those around me look down on me, I just swallowed it. However, I was so pent up that I was in torment. I moped around, sighing all the time, feeling that life was too painful and tiring, wondering when there would be an end to a life like that.
Man’s end really is God’s beginning. Just as I was in pain and feeling helpless, Almighty God reached out to me with His hands of salvation. One day, my neighbor asked me: “Do you believe that there is a God?” I answered: “Who doesn’t? I believe in God.” She went on to say 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 within God’s blessings because they worshiped Him, but after being corrupted by Satan, they no longer worshiped God and thus came to live under God’s curse and in pain. She told me that Almighty God of the last days had come to bestow the truth upon people and to save them from the abyss of misery. She also shared fellowship on her own experiences in her faith. After hearing her fellowship, I felt that I had found my closest confidant, and could not help but spill out to her all the pain in my heart. Afterward, she read a passage of God’s words 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 tears from rolling down my face. In that moment, I felt just like a wandering child in pain who had suddenly returned to the embrace of her mother. I had an indescribable feeling of excitement and emotion. I kept on giving thanks to God for taking me into His house and caring for me when I had nowhere else to go. I quietly resolved to follow God with my heart and soul. From then on, I began reading God’s words, praying to God, and singing hymns to praise God every single day; I felt so relaxed and had such enjoyment in my heart. Through attending gatherings and interacting with brothers and sisters, I saw that they were just like a big family even though they were not related by blood. Their interactions were simple and open, without pretense, duplicity, jealousy, conflicts, or scheming. They did not bully the poor while favoring the rich, they were all able to treat everyone with sincerity and full equality, and we would share fellowship on God’s word and sing hymns in praise of God. I had a real sense of freedom in my heart. This is how I fell in love with this life of the church that is loving and warm, fair and joyous. I became convinced that Almighty God is the one true God who created the universe and all things, and I resolved that I would follow Him to the very end.
Through reading God’s words, I came to understand God’s urgent desire to save mankind to the greatest extent possible, and saw that many brothers and sisters were doing their utmost to give and expend themselves for the sake of spreading the gospel of the kingdom, so I also became actively involved in the preaching of the gospel. One time, I went to preach the gospel to a potential believer. It was a very busy time for farming at the time. Seeing how busy she was with farm work, I went to work alongside her while sharing testimony of God’s work of the last days. I never imagined that after three days straight of sharing fellowship with her, she would not only have no intention of accepting the gospel, but would instead yell at me: “You really have some nerve! I already said I don’t believe but you won’t stop preaching.” Her words really struck a nerve with me. My face burned as though I had just had my face slapped in front of a crowd, while my heart ached with wave after wave of dull pain. I thought: “I came to preach to you with the best of intentions and exhausted myself helping you with your work until my back ached, but instead of accepting the gospel, 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 giving up like that was not in line with God’s will, so I prayed silently in my heart and held back my grievances so that I could continue to share fellowship with her while helping with her work. But no matter how hard I tried, I still could not get through to her. I collapsed like a deflated balloon upon returning home. Her words kept cycling through my head. The more I thought about it the more pain I felt: “Why bother? All I get in return for my good intentions are jeers, slander, and abuse. This is so unjust! No one has ever treated me this way. Spreading the gospel is simply too painful and difficult! No, I cannot go out to preach the gospel any longer! If I continue preaching I won’t have any face left to see anyone.” Just when I felt so wronged and in such 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). Reading between the lines of God’s words, all that was revealed was His concern as well as His worry and care for innocent people. God cannot bear to see people created by His own hands deceived and harmed by Satan. God continues to bitterly await 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 the person I was preaching to, I felt wronged and tormented and grumbled about the hardship and suffering. I even lost my willingness to preach the gospel because I had lost face. Where was my conscience and reason? I was not someone who was considerate of God’s will. In order to save us, corrupted humans in the last days, God has been continuously hunted and persecuted by the CCP government, abandoned, condemned, blasphemed and slandered by religious circles, and misunderstood and resisted by us followers of God. The pain and humiliation God has suffered is too much, too great! However, He has not abandoned His salvation of us, but has continued to supply mankind’s needs 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 thought of the fact 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 see the light and the hope of living. Having enjoyed such great salvation from God, I should bear the humiliation and pain to do my utmost to cooperate with God, fulfill my duty properly, and bring the innocents who are 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 must be endured! Thinking of this, I no longer felt that preaching the gospel is a painful thing, and instead felt that I was fortunate to be able to offer up my meager abilities for the sake of spreading the gospel of the kingdom. This was my honor as well as an exaltation of God. I made this resolve: No matter what kind of hardships I have to encounter in my gospel work, I will give my all and rely on God to bring more and more people who yearn for the appearance of God before Him to comfort His heart! After that I threw myself back into gospel work.
Following a period of practicing this, whenever I encountered someone I hoped to convert who had a bad attitude or spoke harsh words to me while I was fulfilling my duty, I was able to deal with it properly and continue to bear witness to God’s work of the last days with a loving heart. Because of this, I felt that I had changed somewhat and no longer cared as much about my face and status. One day, the leader of the church asked me how I had been doing lately and also fellowshiped with me on God’s current will 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, thinking: “Maybe I’ll be made the leader of the church after she leaves. If so, I must really do well in my work!” Just as I was feeling secretly happy, she said that another sister from my village would be coming tomorrow. My heart churned as soon as I heard that. I thought: “What is she coming for? Is she going to be made the new leader of the church?” I could not help but grow anxious: “She has not believed in God for as long as I have, and she’s from the same village as me. If she is made leader, how will that impact my face? How would our 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 at night, unable to fall asleep. During the gathering the next day, I honed in on the tone and attitude of everything the leader was saying, desperately wanting to know who would be chosen as the new leader of the church. Whenever the leader looked at me as she spoke, I felt there was some hope that I would be made leader. My face would fill with joy and I would nod and agree with whatever she said. However, whenever she faced the other sister while speaking, I would become certain that that sister would be named leader, and feel frustrated and in pain as a result. Over those couple of days, I was tormented by the concept of face and status to the point that I became anxious and distracted. I lost my appetite and even felt that time was passing particularly slowly, as though it had been frozen. The church leader saw what kind of state I was in, so she flipped through The Word Appears in the Flesh, and found two passages in God’s words “Why Aren’t You Willing to Be a Foil?” for me to read. God’s words say: “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?” Each line of God’s words was like a knock at the door of my heart, making me feel that God was beside me, monitoring my every word and movement. I could not help but reflect on my thoughts and actions over these past two days. I realized that my view of seeking was too base and too influenced by axioms of Satan 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.” I always desired status so that I could win more praise from others, which resulted in me being tormented by face and status to the point that I became anxious and distracted, lost my appetite, couldn’t sleep, and made a fool of myself like a buffoon. Only then did I understand that such an environment was set up by God in accordance with my own state, and that it was God’s love coming upon me. This work of God today was to save me, to help me escape the dark influences of Satan so I could achieve salvation, to have me see clearly that my mode of seeking ran contrary to God’s will. 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 path of faith in accordance with Your requirements, and put effort into Your word to achieve understanding of the truth and cast off my corrupt disposition. Regardless of whether I am made leader, I will pursue the truth and focus on changing my corrupt disposition to satisfy Your will.” After understanding God’s will, I felt especially calm in my heart and enjoyed fellowship with other sisters no matter which aspect of the truth of God’s words it was. After the gathering, the church leader said that, based on the recommendations of the majority of brothers and sisters, the other sister would be the new leader of the church, and that I would help with her work. Internally, I was very calm and accepted this readily, agreeing to work in harmony with her to fulfill our duty.
One day, I was informed that there was a sister in the church who was not in a good state, so I consulted with the sister I was partnered with on how to resolve this problem. She was not feeling physically well at the time, so I went alone to seek out that sister that very night to have fellowship with her, and the problem was resolved very quickly. My heart was brimming with self-satisfaction, thinking that the upper-level leader would surely praise me because I had put in so much effort. Just as I was waiting for the good news, a letter came from the upper-level leader, inquiring after that sister’s state. I thought it was to praise me, so I happily opened it up and began reading it. But I was surprised to see that the message was just to ask the sister I was partnered with how she had dealt with the problem. I immediately became indignant, thinking: “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 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. Just then, my partner sister had the letter in her hand and was just about to come talk to me. I could not restrain the feelings I had inside and said harshly: “The upper-level leader doesn’t know how this issue was resolved. Aren’t you clear on this? I was busy working on it for ages but no one said a single kind word about it, and in the end you still got all the credit. In everyone’s eyes, I am just someone who runs errands. No matter how much effort I put in, 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: “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? … 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 reproving words slowly calmed me down and cleared my head a great deal. The scene that had just taken place kept replaying in my mind like a movie. What God had revealed caused me to 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 to gain His approval, but instead to receive praise and compliments from others. As soon as my wishes were not met I would become full of resentment; my beastly nature would erupt and betraying God became even easier. I saw then that I had gone too far and that I did not possess even a shred of proper humanity. The pain I felt was heartrending. In remorse, I prayed to God: “Oh God, I thought I had changed somewhat and no longer lived for face and status and that I could get along with this sister. But in Your revelation today, I once again exposed my satanic ugliness, always feeling like I had no status among others and suffering because my efforts were not praised. Oh God, Satan has really harmed me too deeply. Status, reputation, and vanity have all become my shackles. I pray that You can guide me to understand the truth of my corruption by Satan, and guide me back out of its influence.” Afterward, I saw the following words of God: “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, attempting 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). God’s words of 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 above others so that they would admire and look up to me. Was there any fear of God in my heart? How could this be fulfilling my duty as a creature? I thought of the archangel’s wild ambition, its delusions of being equal to God, and competing with God for status. I was always pursuing others’ high regard and trying to establish my own place and image with others. Wasn’t what I pursued exactly the same as that of the archangel who betrayed God? I am a created being deeply corrupted by Satan; I am like dirt that is not worth a single penny. Now that I received God’s grace and had the opportunity to perform my duty and be a new person, I should be worshiping God and fulfilling the duty of a created being with fear in my heart at all times, but I did not engage in honest work, instead always wanting to use my duty as an opportunity to show off, bear witness to myself and carry out my own business. 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 so that people will look up to and admire Him. Instead, He continues to quietly give His all to save mankind, never explaining 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. I couldn’t help but feel ashamed, like I had nowhere to hide, and I also felt that I had been too deeply corrupted by Satan and that I was too much in need of the salvation of God’s judgment, chastisement, trials and refinement. I therefore fell down again before God: “Oh, Almighty God! Through Your chastisement and judgment I can see my disobedience, 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, to live entirely upon Your words, and to cast off my satanic disposition.”
I was later chosen to be a church leader, cooperating with another sister to perform our duty. Due to my previous failures, I continually reminded myself that I needed to be of one accord with this sister in order to perform the church’s work properly. At first, I would discuss everything with her and we would seek God’s guidance together so that all aspects of our work would bear fruit. But after some time, I found that she had a good caliber, her fellowship on the truth was clear and illuminating, and that her work capabilities were stronger than mine. During gatherings, brothers and sisters were all happy to listen to her fellowship and they all consulted with her when they encountered problems. Faced with this kind of environment, I once again fell into Satan’s snare, and I thought: “This sister is better than me in every respect and is admired by brothers and sisters regardless of where she goes. No way! I must surpass her no matter what, and have our brothers and sisters see that I am not inferior to her.” To this end, I bustled around the church non-stop every day, having meetings with brothers and sisters, and no matter who ran into problems, I would rush to them to help resolve the issues. I may have seemed loyal and obedient from the outside, but how could my inner ambitions possibly escape the observation of God? My disobedience aroused God’s anger, and He hid His face from me, and as a result I fell into darkness. When reading God’s words I gained no enlightenment, I had nothing to say when praying, I communicated drily during gatherings, and I even became afraid of gathering with brothers and sisters. I became completely shackled by face and status. I muddled through every single day, as though I was shouldering such a great burden that I could not take a deep breath. I could also no longer clearly see some of the issues within the church and my work efficiency dropped sharply. Faced with such a revelation from God, I still did not try to know myself and I was also unwilling to open up to my brothers and sisters about my state and seek the 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 much that I could not comfortably sit or stand. The torment of this illness and my dissatisfaction from not achieving status left me hovering between life and death. Because I persisted in my misguided course and could no longer do the church’s work, the church had no choice but to replace me. 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, particularly 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 my pain, I could not help but ask myself: Why is it that others believe in God and understand more and more truth, whereas I continue disobeying and resisting God time and time again for the sake of face and status? So, I prayed to God many times and asked Him 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; they like when people listen to them, worship them, and surround them. They like to have status in the minds of others and appreciate when others value their image. Let us analyze their nature from these behaviors: What kind of nature does this type of person with these behaviors have? 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 occupy them, to have status in their minds. What stands out about his nature is arrogance and conceit, unwillingness to worship God, and a desire for the worship of others. This is a classic image of Satan. You can see clearly into his nature from these behaviors” (“How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks). Then I read these words in a sermon: “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 to 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 on Entry Into Life I). Contemplating these words, I could not help but tremble with fear. I saw that what I had lived out was completely Satan’s image—arrogant and conceited, and not worshiping God. 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 allow them to have a place for God in their hearts, as well as fear and obey Him. But I was not considerate of God’s will in fulfilling of my duty, and felt no burden to help brothers and sisters achieve entry into life. Instead, I always wanted to have others 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 I stubbornly competed with others for superiority. From the outside, it seemed I was competing with men, but in fact I was fighting against God. This is something that seriously offends God’s disposition. He chastened and disciplined me, and deprived me of status to make me self-reflect and repent. God’s love for me was too deep and too great! Coming to this realization, 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 looked into myself, the more clearly I saw that the dictums I had 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 uses these things to paralyze people’s souls, distort their minds, and to have them develop wrong outlooks on life, so that people strive bitterly to pursue empty things such as status, fame, fortune and face, and that they are ravaged and harmed by it at will, then in the end are swallowed up by it. This is Satan’s plot. Now, I would never go against God again while enjoying His mercy. I should completely reform myself, thoroughly forsake Satan, totally give my heart to God, and live out the likeness of a true human being to comfort God’s heart. After that, I sought how to continue on my future path, and how to pursue the truth to be after God’s will. I thanked 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’s wish is that people, regardless of whether they have status or what environments have befallen them, will do their utmost to pursue the truth, and that they will obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements, 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 being should walk. I thus made my resolve before God: Oh God, thank You for showing me the right path in life. My status of the past was due to Your exaltation, and being without status today is also due to Your righteousness. I am just a minuscule created being. From now on, I only wish to pursue the truth and obey all Your arrangements.
Thereafter, my state quickly normalized through reading God’s words and living a life of the church. The church again arranged a suitable duty for me. I began to focus on pursuing the truth in the fulfillment of my duty, and when I revealed my corruption, I would find the corresponding words of God to resolve it. When faced with things that involved face and status, even though some thoughts came to mind, through prayer, seeking the truth from God’s word to understand the essence of fame and gain, gradually I became 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 had not believed in God for as long as me entrusted with commissions, by seeking the truth, I was able to understand that what duty one fulfills at which time is predestined by God, and that I should obey God’s arrangements. As a result, I was able to handle these situations correctly. 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 was because it was God’s love coming upon me, which was greatly beneficial in changing my life disposition. In the past, I was overly focused on my face and was not willing to open up to anyone, for fear that others would look down on me. Now, I practice being an honest person in accordance with God’s requirements, and if I have any problems I open up to my brothers and sisters. This brings me a feeling of release and happiness deep in my soul. Seeing these changes in myself, I could not help but thank and praise God, for these are the fruits borne in me by God’s chastisement and judgment work of the last days.
I have now followed Almighty God for some 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. I am now rid of the harm of Satan and have achieved relief and freedom through time after time of God’s chastisement and judgment. I have recovered my conscience and reason, and I also have the correct target to pursue, following God onto the bright and right path in life. Through God’s chastisement and judgment, I have truly experienced God’s selfless and sincere love; I have enjoyed the blessing and received the love that people of the world cannot enjoy. Only God can save man from Satan’s sea of misery, and only God’s work of chastisement and judgment can cleanse us of the satanic toxins and make us live out the likeness of true human beings, and walk on the right path in 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). Thanks be to God’s chastisement and judgment for saving me and allowing me to be reborn! In my future path of faith, I will spare no effort to pursue the truth, receive more of God’s chastisement and judgment, and thoroughly cast off Satan’s toxins to achieve purification, achieve a true knowledge of God, and become a person who genuinely loves God.