By Qiuhai, Malaysia
I have believed in the Lord for 23 years. In the very beginning, when my wife preached the Lord Jesus’ gospel to me, I didn’t accept it for fear that my parents would be against it because they all worshiped idols. By chance, I went to a church, and when I heard a pastor read the Lord Jesus’ words “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6), instantly I was filled with peace and joy. In the past, when my wife told me that the souls of the believers in the Lord Jesus would be received to the heavenly kingdom, I didn’t believe it. Not until that day did I know it was true. On that day, I prayed with determination and started to believe in the Lord Jesus.
Later on, the pastor told us: “As long as we truly believe in the Lord and never depart from Him at any time, we will enjoyfrom the Lord in the end. Faith in the Lord is a relationship between the Lord and oneself; besides believing in the redemption of the Lord in our heart, we also need to work hard for the Lord and spread the gospel more, and not commit sins. This way, when the Lord comes, we will be raptured to the kingdom of heaven.” So whenever I had time, I would attend the small group meetings, study together with the pastors, say prayers, and so on.
In 2009, I retired. After that, I began to lead services, take the holy communion, and generally serve in the church. I also actively visited the weak brothers and sisters. I felt that I had limitless strength and energy. At the same time, I constantly reminded myself to never commit sins; only in this way would I be approved by the Lord and meet the Lord in the heavenly kingdom someday. What a great joy it would be!
Calling on the Lord in the Midst of Desolation
Several years later, the pastor of our church left because he disagreed with the pastors of the head church. The preacher began to take charge of our church. At every meeting he just read some verses but the believers couldn’t feel any new light. Gradually, fewer and fewer believers attended meetings. When I went to visit them, they were mostly indifferent. Some believers even used foul language like unbelievers, and had none of the decencies of normal Christians. And even though the preacher said that we should be of one mind and have tolerance for and patience with each other he was often arbitrary and repugnant. I was very puzzled: Why was the church in such a condition? Some believers had believed in the Lord for more than ten years, but they had changed very little.
Afterward, my general mood also became affected by all this, and when I was in a bad mood I would scold my children and quarrel with my wife bitterly. I was in mental agony, so I sought out a pastor and he told me that if I single-mindedly made a declaration to the Lord with the words of David in Psalms, I would be touched by the Lord. After that, I often prayed in the middle of the night using the words of David, but I still couldn’t feel the power of the Holy Spirit. Whenever I encountered something untoward, I would lose my temper with my children and quarrel with my wife. When I thought about how more and more believers had departed from the church, and that all the brothers and sisters in the church still committed sins, I felt weaker and weaker. In helplessness, I prayed to the Lord many times: “O Lord, what’s wrong with our church? Why is it that we still live sinfully and can’t practice the truth? Lord, if we go on like this, will we be able to meet You? Will we still enter the heavenly kingdom? How should we walk the way to the kingdom of heaven?”
In early 2017, I had nothing to do, so I began to learn to use Facebook. In late September, I got acquainted with Sister Xi’nuo on FB; we shared our experiences of believing in the Lord and some other things in our lives with each other, and we also often discussed Bible verses together. Though I had never met her before, I felt she was very sincere and kind. Seeing that I desired to understand the Bible, Sister Xi’nuo wanted to introduce Sister Liuxin to me. I thought: “Now, in our church, nobody can speak with the light of truth. Maybe some overseas pastors and preachers have some new enlightenment.” Therefore, I happily agreed.
Seeking the Way to the Kingdom of Heaven
In October, 2017, during a meeting, Sister Liuxin asked us what we cared about most in believing in the Lord. I said: “Entering the heavenly kingdom, of course.” Then she sent me several verses, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21–23). She asked me: “Brother, do you know who the people are in these verses that call the Lord?” “They should be those who don’t.” I replied. Sister Liuxin said: “Actually, those who call the Lord are all believers in the Lord. Believers in the Lord have two kinds of outcome. Those who do the will of the heavenly Father can enter the kingdom of heaven. But some believers recognize the Lord’s name, but don’t follow the Lord’s words; they lust for the secular world, are arrogant and conceited, and create envy and strife. What they do is no different from the unbelievers. Though they pray in the Lord’s name, they rarely practice God’s words. Are they following the will of God? Those who truly follow the will of God are those who can listen to God’s words and obey God’s work, who can put God’s words into practice after hearing them, and who have true obedience to God, fear God, and shun evil. If people believe in the Lord but don’t practice His words, aren’t they evildoers in the eyes of God? Can God bring such people into the kingdom of heaven?” After hearing the sister’s fellowshiping, I was a little upset: According to the Lord’s requirements, I also was not following the will of God. So I wouldn’t enter the heavenly kingdom. Then, wouldn’t my over twenty years of faith in the Lord have been in vain?
Because Sister Xi’nuo had to go to work, our gathering had to come to an end. At that time, my wife was cooking, and after she heard what we discussed, she said to me: “Their sermons are superior to those of the pastors and elders in our church. What they said is so good and enlightening.” I also said excitedly: “Yes! We are all believers in the Lord, but their acceptance is very pure. Such gatherings are really extremely beneficial to us.”
Finding the Root of Sin
Thank the Lord! Two days later, we were all online again. Sister Liuxin said: “Brother, last time we fellowshiped that only those who do the will of the heavenly Father can enter into the kingdom of heaven. Then, how shall we enter into the kingdom of heaven? The Bible says, ‘For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that you should abstain from fornication’ (1 Thessalonians 4:3). ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrew 12:14).is that we should be holy. So have we been cleansed?” “No,” I said, “the Lord taught us to love others as ourselves, but I can’t control myself and often quarrel with my wife. And then there is the condition of the church—though I pray to the Lord, I still have no faith. Not just I, but many brothers and sisters and even the preacher in our church all live in the cycle of sinning and confessing.” The sister said: “As a matter of fact, from the Age of Law until today, few people have been able to keep God’s words and get rid of the bondage of sin. And even Paul said, ‘For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwells no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not’ (Romans 7:18).” I said: “The pastors tell us that as long as we have faith in the Lord, the Lord will pardon our sins.”
Then the sister sent me a passage of God’s words, “A sinner such as you, who has just been redeemed, and has not been changed, or been perfected by God, can you be after God’s heart? For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus—you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.”
The sister then fellowshiped this: “After we humans were corrupted by Satan, we have had a nature that resists God. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus did a stage of work of redemption. So long as we believe in the Lord and accept His grace, our sins will be forgiven. However, we haven’t gotten rid of the bondage of sin. For example, though we believe in the Lord, we still pursue social trends, want to satisfy our flesh, and enjoy the pleasure of sin; we work hard for the Lord not in order to follow the will of God but to gain God’s blessings and get the grace of the kingdom of heaven. When we have contact with others, we often expose our naturalness, reveal our arrogant and conceited corrupt disposition, and have no tolerance for or patience with people. We generally can’t live out any of the likeness of true Christians. Sinners like us surely cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. So working hard can’t get us into the kingdom of heaven; only by casting off our corrupt disposition and being cleansed and changed can we gain the approval of God. Now, God has come to do a stage of work of purifying people, that is, the work of judgment by words; only through experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words can our corrupt disposition be cleansed and can we attainand enter the kingdom of heaven.”
The sister’s fellowshiping was quite fresh. I thought: “Though I’ve worked for the Lord and have done many good deeds outwardly, I still blame the Lord when encountering difficulties, and I always quarrel with my family and don’t practice the Lord’s words when I am with them. It turns out that I too have this sinful nature.” I also understood that we can’t enter the heavenly kingdom only by believing in and following God in a blind way. Because God is righteous and holy, He doesn’t allow filthy people to enter His kingdom. So, we need to accept God’s judgment work ofand only in this way can we have a chance to be cleansed and changed, can we be saved and enter the heavenly kingdom.
Judgment Has Begun in the House of God
One day, in a meeting, Sister Liuxin fellowshiped this with us: “The Book of Revelation prophesies that in the last days the seven seals will be loosed and the book will be opened, and that the book can only be opened by God. In fact, the Lord Jesus has already come back; He has incarnated as, and appeared among mankind to work more than twenty years ago. The Lord has opened the book personally and revealed the mysteries in the Bible. In the last days, God has expressed millions of words and done the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. People from many denominations, both at home and abroad, are returning before God one after another when they hear the voice of God. They are the ones who are raptured before the throne of God.” Then the sister fellowshiped with us about God’s six-thousand-year management plan, how human beings have developed up until the present, what kind of person God praises, what kind of person God condemns and eliminates, and all other aspects of the truth.
At that time, I was extremely excited. I said to my wife: “The Lord Jesus has come back. But we are still watching and waiting, praying and fasting in order to ask the Lord to help us revive the church; we really are too foolish and ignorant. It is so lucky that we have been chosen by God and can follow the footsteps of God. Otherwise, we would still be living a life of sinning in the morning and confessing at night.” My wife also said excitedly: “Thanks be to the Lord!” Meanwhile, I finally understood why our churches have no work of the Holy Spirit and why the believers are all passive and weak. It turns out that the Holy Spirit’s work has moved on. Only those who accept God’s work of the last days can gain the watering of the God’s living water of life. No wonder the sister’s fellowshiping was so enlightening.
Subsequently, Sister Liuxin sent us another passage of God’s words, “In the last days,uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.”
The sister then fellowshiped this: “God does the judgment and purification work according to corrupt mankind’s needs and also uses it to target our satanic nature of resistance to Him. He judges our inner unrighteousness and rebelliousness through the judgment, exposure, admonishment, and exhortation of His words, and through other methods, so that we can know God’s righteous disposition that tolerates no offense and have some true knowledge of our own evil and ugly satanic features. When seeing that we are deeply corrupted by Satan, we will produce a determination to hate ourselves and betray our flesh. Then, we can accept God’s words and practice according to them, and our life disposition will change subsequently. This way, we can get rid of the bondage of sin and be cleansed. When I originally believed in the Lord, I was often arbitrary in doing things, had strong personal ideas, was always self-centered, and never accepted good advice from the brothers and sisters. After I accepted God’s new work, under the judgment and revelation of God’s words I came to see that I was too arrogant. Dominated by the idea of ‘putting oneself above all else,’ I treated all others with contempt and had no place for God in my heart. I regarded my own opinions as truths. All my deeds were all ruled by my satanic, corrupt disposition. Not until I accepted God’s new work did I see that I was deeply corrupted by Satan, and was completely without any human likeness. At that time, I produced a determination to hate myself and betray my flesh. After that, I could consciously practice the truth and put myself down. When encountering something, I would discuss it with the brothers and sisters, and as long as what they said was right, I could accept and obey it. When I revealed my arrogant disposition, I could also accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words and reflect on and know myself according to God’s words. From then on, I lived by God’s words, practiced the truth and betrayed my flesh. Gradually, my corrupt disposition changed somewhat; I was not as insolent and when I encountered some problem, I could become quiet before God to seek the truth. After having experienced God’s work, I truly tasted that God’s judgment and chastisement is precisely salvation and love. Only through the judgment and chastisement of God’s words can we achieve obeying and fearing God, and live in the light of God.”
Thinking about the sister’s fellowshiping, I sighed: I had believed in the Lord over 20 years, but in regard to the verse “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17), I didn’t know what it meant. How will God do the judgment work? Why does God want to do the judgment work? Nobody could explain it clearly. The pastors and elders just told me perfunctorily that this is God’s work, and we are not qualified to research it, so never mind it. We just need to be obedient and submissive and attend gatherings. Through the sister’s fellowshiping, I came to know that judgment is the only way for us to be cleansed and the only means to bring us to the heavenly kingdom. Except for this, there is no other way.
My Whole Family Have Attended the Feast of the Lamb
After that, the sister fellowshiped and shared with us according to when I had time every day. Each gathering made me feel brighter, and also resolved my confusions and questions about believing in God. I saw that God’s words really are the truth, the way, and the life, and can give me the way to practice. Later on, I preached the gospel to my family. In the past, my wife was passive and weak and was unwilling to attend gatherings. After she accepted God’s new work, she has gained great faith and every day she will wait online for the sister ahead of time. My wife and I attend gatherings every day, and never feel they go on for too long.
Thank God! Now nine members of my family all have followed the footsteps of the Lamb and attended the feast of the Lamb. We often watch the movies of God’s family together, fellowship and share with each other, and happily enjoy. Thanks be to God. It is God’s selection and predestination that has allowed us to enjoy God’s endlessly abundant supply in God’s family. All the glory be to the supreme Almighty God!
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