Whenever I read God’s exposing of man “Your lips are kinder than doves, but your heart is more sinister than the ancient serpent,” I thought this word of God was directed at those in various sects and denominations who had not accepted God’s new work or those evil ones who had been purged or expelled by God’s family. I felt that although I was not very kind, I at least could not be considered as malicious.
Some time ago, persecution came upon a church. The brothers and sisters were so frightened that they did not dare to perform their duties, much less dare to attend meetings. The small-district leader and her assistant had been there several times, but failed to call all the people out. Although some were called out with difficulty, they were full of fear, and it could not be helped no matter what was fellowshipped about. Knowing the situation, I not only didn’t try to find a way to solve it, but on the contrary I had a malicious thought in my heart: Humph! These people are cowards and unbelieving ones revealed in the persecution. Simply purge them away. What is the use of having them? But when I told such a thought to my leader, she said, “Do you know the true situation? How did you fellowship about the persecution? Is there really no one among them who can stand? Do you really know the principles of purging people? You treat the souls of these people so lightly and want to push them out of God’s family casually. Have you ever thought of God’s will?” At her words, I was quite unconvinced in my heart: How do you know I didn’t make efforts to fellowship? It’s very obvious that these people do not pursue the truth and they are devils being revealed. But now, you blame me that I haven’t fellowshipped properly. I’ve really done a thankless job. Humph! If only God would punish them right away! I was full of grievances, and even hatred.
Once, when I read the principles of purging and expelling people in The Manual of the Principles for the Church Work, I was dumbfounded, for I found that none of the principles said that those who did not attend meetings when persecution happened should be expelled. Instead, I saw that God saves man to the utmost: one cannot be given up if there is a gleam of hope for him. God truly loves man to a degree and treats every soul with so much care; he always loves man to the utmost and tolerates man to the limit, always shows compassion and mercy to man, comforts and sustains man, and is full of kindness. At that moment, I could not but remember these words of God: “Each part of the work that God does is considerably difficult. Each step of the work that God does on earth embarrasses God. How hard his work on earth is! How difficult God’s footsteps in working on earth are! For man’s weaknesses, for man’s deficiencies, for man’s immaturity, for man’s ignorance, and for man’s everything, God makes thorough plans, considering them all carefully. … Although the words are sincere and earnest and without any malice, who is willing to accept them? Who is willing to be completely subject to them? God’s heart has been broken. He works hard for man day and night, worries about man’s life, and also sympathizes with man’s weaknesses. He experiences many twists and turns in doing every step of the work or speaking every word, being always in a dilemma, and thinks about these day and night: man’s weaknesses, man’s disobedience, man’s immaturity, man’s fragility, etc. …” Under the inspiration of God’s words, I felt terribly ashamed. In the light, I saw my malicious inherent nature. I was moved by God’s being of love. Tears of self-reproach involuntarily ran out of my eyes. God loves man so much! God knows man’s weaknesses, knows the difficulty to deal with man, and even more knows how deeply man has been corrupted by satan. God has done step on step of work of saving man directed at man’s corruptions and has never complained about the difficulties nor given man up…. As to myself, I have also been weak and passive many times, and sometimes I even wanted to leave God, but God has always been drawing me with his hand of love and guiding me with his word, so that I have been kept and walked up to today. God has not put me to death because of my disobedience, but let me repent and make a fresh start. Why did I have no mercy on others? When persecution came upon a church, I didn’t sincerely fellowship with the brothers and sisters about how to hold the testimony and perform duties properly to satisfy God under such a circumstance, but rather, I judged them casually and sentenced them to death, and I wished God to punish them soon so that I could be freed from some worries. My heart was too malicious! Was I different from the insidious ancient serpent? Through this matter, my malicious inherent nature has been completely exposed, and I have realized that what God’s word discloses is my substance. I am completely convinced of God’s word.
Ruzhou City, Henan Province