Embarking on the Path of Belief in God
In 1991, by the grace of God, I began to followbecause of an illness. At that time I didn’t know anything about believing in God, but the amazing thing is that, when reading the words expressed by Almighty God, I enjoyed it. I felt that His words were so good, and when I sang or prayed I was frequently moved by to the point of weeping. That sweetness in my heart, that enjoyment was as if a joyous event had come upon me. Particularly when I was in gatherings with brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit would do such great work, and through singing hymns, reading God’s words, and fellowshiping on the truth, I felt so bright and at ease in my heart. I felt as if I had transcended the flesh and I was living in the third heaven, that everything belonging to the world had been cast to the winds. I was very joyful and happy. So at that time I believed that believing in God was just enjoying His grace and blessings.
As more and more of God’s words were being released (at the time they were being continuously sent to the churches, passage after passage), I also knew more and more. When I saw “firstborn sons” mentioned in His words and I learned that God bestows great blessings on His firstborn sons, I sought to become one, hoping that in the future I could reign with God. Later on, I saw His words as follows: “The days will come to an end; all things in the world will come to nothing, and all things will be born anew. Remember this! Remember this! There can be no ambiguity! Heaven and earth shall pass away but My words shall not pass away!” (“Chapter 15” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in). I felt even more urgency, and thought: I started believing in God so late; will I be unable to gain this blessing? I need to put more effort into it. So when the church arranged for me to perform a duty, I was very proactive. I wasn’t afraid of hardship. I decided to forsake everything to follow God so that I would be able to gain the blessing of being a firstborn son. In truth, God had never said definitively in His words that we could be firstborn sons. It was just because we were ambitious and had extravagant desires, we believed that because God had called us His sons and that He now uplifted us, that we would certainly become the firstborn. This was how I believed that I had, naturally, become a firstborn son. Later I saw words of God that had just been released that frequently mentioned “service-doers,” and there were more and more mentions of the judgment of service-doers. I didn’t take that to heart, but just thought happily: Luckily I am following Almighty God, otherwise I would become a service-doer. This is how, when I read about God’s blessings and promises for firstborn sons, I believed that a portion of that would be mine. When I read His words of comfort and exhortation for His firstborn, I also felt that they were addressed to me. I felt even more delighted particularly when I saw the following: “The great disasters will certainly not befall upon My sons, My beloved. I will look after My sons in every moment and in every second. You certainly will not endure that pain and suffering; rather, it is for the sake of the perfection of My sons and the fulfillment of My word in them, so that you may recognize My omnipotence, further grow in life, shoulder burdens for Me sooner, and devote your entire selves for the completion of My management plan. You should be glad and happy and rejoice because of this. I will hand over everything to you, allowing you to take control. I will place it in your hands. If a son inherits his father’s entire estate, how much more so with you, My firstborn sons? You are truly blessed. Instead of suffering from the great disasters, you will enjoy everlasting blessings. What glory! What glory!” (“Chapter 68” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I thought: Am I dreaming? Such incredible manna from heaven has landed upon me? I couldn’t completely dare to believe it, but I was afraid my brothers and sisters would say that my faith was too small, so I didn’t dare to not believe it.
One day, I excitedly went to participate in a meeting, and I saw that two leaders had come to the church. When I was in fellowship with them, they said that they were service-doers. After hearing this, I was shocked, and asked them: “If you are service-doers, aren’t we all service-doers?” They spoke the truth: “Nearly all of us in China are service-doers.” Hearing them say this, my heart sank: “It couldn’t be! Is this the truth?” But when I saw their heavy, pained expressions and that the others’ faces were also very somber, I couldn’t not believe it. I thought: As leaders, they have given up their families and careers, have suffered so much and paid such a great price for God’s work. I am quite lacking compared to them; if they are service-doers, what else could I say? I’ll just be a service-doer.
After going home, I once again took up the word of God and looked at what God had to say about service-doers, and I saw this: “Those who do service for Me, listen! You can receive some of My grace when doing service for Me. That is, you will know for a time about My later work and the things that will happen in the future, but you will absolutely not enjoy that. This is My grace. When your service is complete, leave at once and do not linger. Those who are My firstborn sons should not be arrogant, but you may be proud, for I have bestowed endless blessings upon you. Those who are targets for destructions should not bring trouble on yourselves or feel sorrow for your destiny; who made you a descendant of Satan? After you have done your service for Me, you may once again return to the bottomless pit because you will no longer be of use to Me and I shall begin to deal with you with My chastisement. Once I begin My work I do not ever stop; what I do shall be accomplished and what I accomplish shall last forever. This is applicable to My firstborn sons, My sons, My people, and this goes for you as well—My chastisements of you are everlasting” (“Chapter 86” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). As soon as I read these words I was beset by a pain I had never felt before. I quickly closed the booklet of God’s words and didn’t dare to look at it again. In one moment feelings of aggrievement, of confusion, of discontent all welled up in my heart. I thought: Yesterday I was in a cradle of happiness, but today I have been pushed out of God’s house. Yesterday I was God’s son, but today I have become God’s enemy, Satan’s descendant. Yesterday, the limitless blessings of God were awaiting me, but today the bottomless pit is my destination, and I will be punished into eternity. If He’s not bestowing blessings, then no matter, but why does He still have to chastise me? What on earth have I done wrong? What on earth is all of this for? The more I thought, the more I felt I couldn’t face this reality. I closed my eyes and wasn’t willing to think about it anymore. I hoped so much that it was just a dream.
From then on, as soon as I thought of myself as a service-doer, I felt an unspeakable pain in my heart, and I didn’t dare to read the words of God again. But God is very wise, and His words which chastise and reveal people are not only permeated with mystery, but there are also prophecies of the future catastrophe as well as the kingdom outlook and similar things. These were all things that I wanted to know, so I still could not turn my back on His words. When reading God’s words of revelation, His razor-sharp words repeatedly pierced my heart, and I couldn’t help but accept His judgment and chastisement. I felt that His majestic and wrathful judgment was always upon me. Aside from the pain, I knew the actual truth of my having been corrupted by Satan. It turned out that I was the child of the great red dragon, Satan’s descendant, and the target of destruction. In despair, I no longer dared to greedily hope for any blessings, and I was willing to accept God’s predestination that I was a service-doer. However, God examines people’s innermost hearts, and He knew that I had not truly let go of the motive to gain blessings. When I felt that I was willing to be a service-doer, God once again arranged an environment that brought out the corrupt disposition that had been hidden in me. One day when reading God’s words, I saw: “After I have returned to Zion, those on earth will continue to praise Me as in the past. Those loyal service-doers remain waiting to render service to Me but their function will have come to an end. The best that they can do is to contemplate the circumstance of Me being on the earth. At that time I will begin to bring down disaster upon those who will suffer calamity, but just as[a] all believe that I am a righteous God, I will certainly not punish those loyal service-doers and they will only receive My grace” (“Chapter 120” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Seeing this, I thought to myself: I will no longer think of the status of firstborn son and I will no longer want great blessings. Now I will only pursue being a loyal service-doer. This is now my sole pursuit. In the future, no matter what the church arranges for me to do, I will do it as devoutly as I can. I absolutely cannot lose the opportunity to be a loyal service-doer. If I am not even capable of being a loyal service-doer but am simply a service-doer, after I have completed my service I must return to the bottomless pit or the lake of fire and brimstone. In that case what is it all for? I didn’t dare to express this thought to anyone, but I couldn’t escape the searching from the eyes of God. I read God’s words saying: “No one can fathom the nature of man except Me, and they all think that they are loyal to Me, not knowing that their loyalty is impure. These impurities will ruin people for they are a scheme of the great red dragon. It was long ago laid bare by Me; I am the almighty God, and would I not understand something so simple? I am able to penetrate your blood and your flesh to see your intentions. It is not hard for Me to fathom man’s nature, but people try to be smart alecks, thinking that no one but themselves knows their intentions. Don’t they know that the almighty God exists within the heavens and earth and all things?” (“Chapter 118” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Most people now harbor a small hope, but when that hope turns to disappointment they become unwilling to go any further and ask to turn back. I have said before that I don’t keep anyone here against their will, but take care to think about what the consequences will be for you, and this is a fact, it is not Me threatening you” (“Chapter 118” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading this, my heart was pounding. I felt that God truly examines the deepest parts of man’s heart and has a thorough understanding of man. Whatever thoughts I have within me, God knows; I secretly hold some little hope in my heart and God hates it and is disgusted by it. Only at that time did I have a bit of a heart of reverence for God. I determined that I would no longer conduct transactions with God, but I would honestly act as a service-doer and obey His designs.
I Have Only Just Begun Walking the Right Path of Life
God elaborately arranged various environments, people, things, and occurrences, and led and guided me step by step using His practical work, allowing me to walk on the right path of life. Every environment and every manifestation was all elaborately planned by God, and behind each lies God’s great love for me.
Through the Great Tribulation, I Have Reaped Great Benefits
God’s wonderful arrangements allowed us to unwittingly enter the tribulation and to unwittingly rise out of the tribulation. The harvest we reaped from this was clear and easy to see. Through the tribulation, we can see that God is almighty and wise; we see that the great red dragon is incapable and foolish.
Judgment Is the Light
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.”
I will never be able to forget God’s love and salvation for me. If it hadn’t been for God designing my environment and dealing with my ambitious desires in the early stages of my life, how would I have been willing to let go of the faith that I had been living by for many years and that had become my life?