The “Seven-Year Trial” Made Me Know Myself a Little
In the first half of 1999, I accepted God’s end-time work. When I heard that God’s work would end at the end of the year, I was very happy. I thought to myself, “I’ll seize this opportunity to go all out to satisfy God. However hard or difficult it may be, there is only one year left. Is it of any use to have much money? Is it of any use to build beautiful houses? In the future, everything will be destroyed.” So, I resolutely quit my job, and whatever God’s family assigned me to do, I did it happily. I even held my head high when walking, feeling that it was so good to offer loyalty to God in this way. I was completely bathed in my own imagination, just like what God’s word says, “It can be seen that dreaming good dreams and desiring pleasant errands are a common nature of all people corrupted by satan and they are not a masterwork of a certain person.”
Imperceptibly, the second half of the year came; the year 1999 would end soon; and nothing happened in the world. Why hasn’t God’s family said anything about the ending of God’s work? I began to doubt: Will God’s work actually end or not? Will it last for two thousand years just like the work in the Age of the Grace? Ay! Don’t think about it anymore. I’d better be “simple.” Maybe at an unexpected time catastrophes will be poured down. Just when I was puzzled, a work arrangement came. It says that there would still be seven years of trials to undergo. I was stunned: “There are still seven more years! Did I mishear it? Is it possible?” So I asked a sister, “Are there any other explanations for this ‘seven years’?” The sister said, “‘Seven years’ is ‘seven years.’ No other explanations for it.” All at once my pleasant dream was shattered. I had thought that my hope would become reality by the end of this year and I could enter into the kingdom, but I never expected that there would still be seven more years! How shall I pass these seven years? I’ve had no job, and my money has almost run out. How shall I maintain my two sons in the future? I was disappointed. “Isn’t it said that God’s work will end at the end of this year? How come there are still seven more years? Even if there are seven more years, why didn’t God’s family tell us that earlier? Ay! I could only blame myself that I was so impulsive at the beginning that I gave up everything. Otherwise, how nice it would be to have a job while believing in God; and I would not have any difficulties….” After I got home, I threw myself headfirst onto the bed and really wanted to have a good cry. “It’s unlikely to enter the kingdom for the moment. I’d better make a plan for my future living: I might as well go to earn money and let my wife keep following God; then I’ll come back to believe in God when there are only two years left.” At that time, I thought of these words of God: “Seeing that God’s words have not been fulfilled, some people want to run away. Whoever wants to run away may run away right now. No one will restrict you! You may try to run away and see if you can run away. After you run away, you will still have to come back. God controls you by the word. If you leave the church and leave God’s word, you cannot live. If you do not believe, you may experience. Do you think you can leave lightly? God’s Spirit controls you, so you cannot leave. This is God’s administration!” Ay, what should I do? I really had no strength to go forward and no courage to draw back. Just like this, I fell into a painful trial.
After a period of time, there came the fellowship from above. It says, “From people’s reactions to the seven-year trial, we have also seen clearly that there are mixtures in all people’s intent of believing in God; they all have a strong wish to gain blessings and harbor great extravagant desires. They are eager to sit on a bridal sedan chair and directly enter into the kingdom right now, unwilling to undergo any suffering or trial. This is the true inner state of all people and is also an open secret. Otherwise, how could they have so strong a counter-emotion toward the seven-year trial? How could they become so seriously passive? If one has a strong intent to gain blessings and has extravagant desires within, how can he understand God’s intention? And how can he obey this arrangement of God?” “More disgustingly, some people even have regrets about their previous contributions and expenditure, as if they should have prepared the ways of escape for themselves. They may think it as a loss to have expended and contributed to God, and that they have nothing left now and God seems to leave them uncared, and they can survive only if they have money and food and without them they can’t survive or live in the future. Their viewpoints on things are too ridiculous. Where is their true faith? Will they be able to save themselves when they have stored up grain and prepared money? Can people imagine the future trials and men’s living environments? When all kinds of disasters are cast down, can people escape them?” These passages of fellowship exposed all the ugliness within me, and I really felt disgraced and ashamed. Look back at my expending and it was completely governed by the intent of receiving blessings; furthermore, what I believed was the day of God. When my pleasant dream was shattered, my devilish features were completely exposed. I saw that I was too greedy by nature and I had no reason; I did not have any submission to God. From this, I have also realized that God’s righteous nature is not to be offended by man, and that if there was any mixture in our belief, God will not let us off and his merciless judgment and chastisement will come upon us, and more sufferings and trials will come upon us. It was just like what God’s word says, “I loathe people for their zeal, because they only cheat me with nice words but none of them worships me with a true heart. … Your extravagant desires and greedy intents, even more, are intolerable to the ear. You all become moths in my family and become the ones rejected by me. This is because you all are not the ones who love the truth, but the ones who like to receive blessings, who like to go to heaven….”
O Almighty God! All that you’ve done is so good! Without this seven-year trial of suffering, I would never know myself, and even less would I gain knowledge of you. Through the work of this seven-year trial, you have revealed my filthy and sordid and ugly soul, my intent of receiving blessings, and my greedy and extravagant desires. And you’ve also made me know your supreme, holy, righteous nature that does not allow any filthiness to remain. O God! It’s indeed your great uplifting and also my special gain that I could experience your work like this. From now on, I’m willing to set my intent right, and no matter what sufferings or trials come upon me, I will seek your intention from them, cooperate with you, remove the mixtures from within me, and try to be a loyal and obedient created being!
Fuyang City, Zhejiang Province