By Tian Ying, China
I used to be a believer in the Three-Self Church in China. When I first started participating in gatherings, the pastors would often say to us: “Brothers and sisters, it is recorded in the Bible that: ‘For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation’ (Rom 10:10). We’ve been justified due to our faith. Since we believe in Jesus, we have been saved. If we believed in any other, then we wouldn’t have been saved….” I held on to these words of the pastors. As a result, I ardently pursued and actively attended gatherings as I waited for the Lord to come and let me into the kingdom of heaven. Later on, as unlawful deeds kept occurring in the church, it made me feel fed up with the gatherings there. Among the pastors they were divided and partitioned, each trying to establish themselves at the top of the faction and set up independent kingdoms. The sermons from the pastors needed to obey the United Front Work Department (UFWD). The UFWD didn’t allow them to discuss the Book of Revelation out of fear that it would disturb popular sentiment, so the pastors didn’t preach it. The pastors would often preach about donation, saying that the more one donated then the more blessings they would receive from God…. So when I saw that these were the circumstances in the church I felt quite bewildered: Why did the church change into this current form? Do the pastors not believe in the Lord? Why do they not follow the Lord’s word? Why do they not have a heart of reverence for the Lord? From that point on I no longer wanted to go to gatherings at the Three-Self Church, for I felt that they did not truly believe in God, that they were false shepherds who acted in the name of believing in God in order to obtain the hard-earned money from brothers and sisters.
In the second half of 1995, I left the church without hesitation and joined a house church (adherents of sola fide). At first I felt that their sermons were not subject to the restrictions of the national government, and they even integrated the Book of Revelation and discussed the last days, the Lord’s return and so on. Their preaching was much better than the pastors’ in the Three-Self Church, and I felt there was more enjoyment to be had by gathering here compared to gathering in the Three-Self Church, which made me very happy. But after a period of time, I discovered that here too among the co-workers there were some who became envious, disputed things and wanted to break up the group. None of the brothers and sisters were living out the requirements of the Lord, they were without the love that they had in the past…. When I saw that this church didn’t have any real difference with the Three-Self Church I felt very disappointed, but I also didn’t know where I could go to discover a church that had the work of the Holy Spirit. For lack of a better option, all I could do was stay with these adherents of sola fide. As before, I pressed on with attending gatherings. The pastors and preachers all said “to be saved once is to be saved forever” and “so long as you exercise patience until the end, toil for God and defend the way of the Lord then you will be able to enter the kingdom of heaven.” So I kept thinking to myself at that time: Regardless of how other people are, as long as I press on in my faith in the Lord Jesus and do not depart from the way of the Lord, then when the Lord returns I will have a chance to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven.
In the blink of an eye it was already the second half of 1997, and God’s gospel of the kingdom had already spread to where we were, and the church had turned into a chaotic scene. Leader Li said to us: “Nowadays a group has emerged that is spreading, they are stealing sheep from various denominations, and they are saying that the Lord Jesus has already returned and that He is carrying out a new stage of work. The Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross for us, He has already paid the price of His life in order to redeem us. We have already been saved, we just need to wait patiently until the end, and when the Lord returns we will certainly be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. So, we must pay attention and we absolutely cannot receive these people in Eastern Lightning. Whoever receives them shall be expelled from the church! Also, you must be sure not to listen to what they say, and you must be sure not to read their book….” It seemed that co-workers at all levels were all talking about these things at pretty much every gathering. After listening to them, I felt conflicting ideas unwittingly arise inside of me regarding Eastern Lightning. I felt I needed to guard against them and exercise great caution, for I feared that I would be stolen away by Eastern Lightning and lose my opportunity to enter into the kingdom of heaven.
However, the new year had just begun in 1998 when one day I unexpectedly ran into someone fromand had the fortune of listening to the way of Eastern Lightning for the first time. That day, my elder sister gave me a call and invited me to her house. She had also invited Sister Hu from her village to come over too, and when she saw me she smiled and said: “Oh good you came, a distant relative of mine who is a believer is visiting, come, let’s all gather together.” I agreed happily. Before long, Sister Hu came back with her relative. When the sister saw us she greeted us with enthusiasm. Although I had never met her before I felt a sort of closeness to her. She said: “There is widespread desolation in the church nowadays. The preachers don’t have anything new they can sermonize about, and at every gathering when they aren’t discussing how to resist Eastern Lightning, it’s all just listening to tapes and singing songs. These are the gatherings. Co-workers grow jealous over one another and get into disputes, they collude and connive, they are all extremely self-righteous and everyone refuses to obey everyone else; the brothers and sisters are negative and weak, and they are without faith and love. Many have left the Lord to return to the world to make money.” Deep inside me I felt the same way, and as I nodded my head I said to the sister: “This is what it’s like where I attend too. Before we would have 20–30 people at our monthly meetings, but now there are just a few elders, even the preachers have gone into the world to make money! There is no pleasure to be had in the gatherings.” The sister nodded her head and said: “This kind of situation isn’t just at certain churches anymore, it is a widespread phenomenon throughout the religious world. This shows that the work of the Holy Spirit is not found within the church any longer, so unlawful deeds will always continue to emerge. This is a sign of the Lord’s return. It’s just like the end of the Age of Law, when the temple became a place that sold livestock and exchanged money. It was because God had already stopped carrying out His work in the temple. Instead, God had become incarnated as the Lord Jesus to carry out a new stage of work outside of the temple.” I listened attentively and nodded frequently. The sister continued speaking: “Sister, in Luke 17:24–26 it says: ‘For as the lightning, that lightens out of the one part under heaven, shines to the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.’ How do you interpret these lines from Scripture?” I thought seriously about them for a while, and with an awkward smile I said: “Sister, aren’t these lines from Scripture talking about the Lord’s arrival?” The sister replied, saying: “These lines from Scripture are discussing the Lord’s arrival, however, they are not talking about the Lord Jesus who came during that time. Rather, they are referring to the arrival of the Lord of the last days. Sister, right now the faith of the believers in the church has grown cold, they are negative and weak. This is because God has become flesh once again to carry out a new stage of work. God’s work is moving forward, and everyone who does not follow God’s new work will lose the work of the Holy Spirit….” As soon as I heard the sister say that the Lord Jesus has already returned I immediately guessed that she belonged to Eastern Lightning, and my heart immediately sank. The smile on my face also disappeared as the words from my leaders who sealed off the church at once started floating around in my head: “To believe in Jesus is to be saved, to be saved once is to be saved forever! … Do not receive those from Eastern Lightning! …” As I thought about these words from my leaders I wanted to rush back home. But when this idea came across my mind the Lord enlightened me by having me remember a verse from a song: “Jesus is our refuge, when you have troubles hide with Him, when the Lord and you are together what do you have to fear?” That’s it! If I have the Lord by my side then what do I have to fear? The things I am afraid of do not come from God, they come from Satan. At this time, the sister said: “If anyone has any questions, go ahead and share them, the word of God will be able to solve all the problems and difficulties that we have.” When I heard the sister say this, I thought to myself: I hope you will not be stumped with my questions! Today I’d like to hear about what has really been preached in Eastern Lightning, which is able to steal away so many of the good sheep.
As I thought about this I started to say: “Our leaders are always saying that the Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross for us, and that He has already paid the price of His life in order to redeem us, so we have already been saved. It is recorded in Scripture: ‘For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation’ (Rom 10:10). Since we have been saved once we have been saved forever, so long as we exercise patience until the end and wait for the Lord’s return, then we will certainly be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. This is the promise that the Lord has made to us. So, we do not need to accept any new work being carried out by God.”
After hearing me say this, the sister smiled and said to me: “Many believers think that the Lord Jesus has already been nailed to the cross for them, and that since He paid the price of His life they have been redeemed and they have been saved. They think that to be saved once is to be saved forever, that all they need to do is exercise patience until the end, to wait for the Lord’s return when they will certainly be raptured into the kingdom of heaven, and that they do not need to accept any new work carried out by God. But is this way of thinking really correct or not? Does it really conform to the Lord’s will? Actually, this idea that ‘to be saved once is to be saved forever, and when the Lord returns we will be raptured into the kingdom of heaven’ is just man’s conceptions and imagination, it simply does not conform to the Lord’s word. The Lord Jesus never once said that ‘those who have been saved by their faith may enter into the kingdom of heaven,’ rather, He said, ‘but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven’ (Mat 7:21). To ‘be saved’ and ‘doing the will of the Father which is in heaven’ are not the same thing. When we speak of ‘being saved for your faith,’ this ‘being saved’ refers to being forgiven for your sins. That is to say, if someone was supposed to be put to death according to law, but then they came before the Lord and repented, receiving the Lord’s grace and having the Lord forgive them for their sins, then this person would break away from the law’s conviction, they would no longer be put to death according to law. This is the true meaning of ‘being saved.’ But to be saved doesn’t mean that a person has broken away from sin and been cleansed. We all know this to be deeply true through experience. Even though we have believed in the Lord for many years, often admit our sins to the Lord and repent, and also enjoy the joy and safety of being forgiven for our sins, we still often involuntarily commit sins, we become bound by our sins. This is a fact. For example: Our arrogance, slyness, selfishness, greediness, evilness and other parts of our corrupt disposition still continue to exist; we still enjoy pursuing the trends of the world, and wealth and fame, and the pleasures of the flesh, and cling to sinful pleasures. In order to protect personal interests we are also able to often tell lies and deceive others. So, to ‘be saved’ does not mean that one has attained full salvation. That is a fact. It is recorded in Scripture: ‘… you shall therefore be holy, for I am holy’ (Lev 11:45). God is holy, but is He able to allow those who often sin and resist God to enter the kingdom of heaven? If you believe that those who have been saved by their faith may enter into the kingdom of heaven, then why does the Lord Jesus also say the following words? ‘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’ (Mat 7:21–23). Why is it said that when the Lord returns He will separate the goats from the sheep and the wheat from the tares? We believe that it is completely invalid to say that ‘those who have been saved by their faith may enter into the kingdom of heaven!’ It completely deviates from the words of the Lord Jesus! These are words that resist those of the Lord! So, if we do not receive and believe in the Lord’s word, but rather hold on to the fallacies disseminated by the pastors and elders, if we rely on our own conceptions and imagination in our faith in God, then we will never be able to achieve God’s requirements, and we will never be able to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven.”
I mulled over the sister’s words and felt that what she said made a lot of sense, so I sat there listening quietly. The sister continued talking: “The word ofhas already opened up the mystery of ‘being saved’ and ‘attaining full salvation,’ so let’s take a look at the word of Almighty God and see what He has to say about this. Almighty God says: ‘At the time Jesus’ work was the redemption of all mankind. The sins of all who believed in Him were forgiven; as long as you believed in Him, He would redeem you; if you believed in Him, you were no longer a sinner, you were relieved of your sins. This is what it meant to be saved, and to be justified by faith. Yet in those who believed, there remained that which was rebellious and opposed God, and which still had to be slowly removed. Salvation did not mean man had been completely gained by Jesus, but that man was no longer of sin, that he had been forgiven his sins: Provided you believed, you would never more be of sin’ (‘The Vision of God’s Work (2)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘Before man was redeemed, many of Satan’s poisons had already been planted within him and, after thousands of years of being corrupted by Satan, he has within him an established nature that resists God. Therefore, when man has been redeemed, it is nothing more than a case of redemption in which man is bought at a high price, but the poisonous nature within him has not been eliminated. Man that is so defiled must undergo a change before becoming worthy to serve God. By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. … For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of men sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even if the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition. … running deeper than sin, it is something planted by Satan and deeply rooted within man. It is not easy for man to become aware of his sins; he has no way of recognizing his own deeply rooted nature, and must rely on judgment by the word in order to achieve this result. Only thus can man gradually be changed from this point onward’ (‘The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘You only know that Jesus shall descend during the last days, but how exactly will He descend? 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’” (“Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The sister continued fellowshiping: “From the word of Almighty God we can see that every stage of work carried out by God is carried out in accordance with the needs of the corrupt human race. At the end of the Age of Law, man no longer had the strength to struggle free from the binds of sin due to the temptations and corruption of Satan. Man had offended the laws of Jehovah and was confronted with the dangers of being stoned to death and burned by the fires of heaven. God loves the human race. He incarnated Himself to become the likeness of sinful flesh, and He was nailed to the cross to save man from sin. So, as long as we believe in the Lord Jesus then we will be saved. The Lord no longer remembers our sins. We can come directly before God and pray to Him, and enjoy the abundance of grace bestowed by Him. But although we have been saved, that does not prove that we are without sin. We, the human race, have been corrupted by Satan for thousands of years. Satan’s poison has taken root deep inside of us, it has become our life; it has become our nature. We are controlled by our satanic natures, including conceit and arrogance, deception and crookedness, selfishness and contempt, and greed and evil. We are still able to often lie, deceive and sin in resistance to God. This is the root of our cyclical life of constantly committing sins and then confessing them. So, God, based on the needs of the corrupt human race and God’s management plan for saving the human race, has come to carry out a new stage of work in the last days to judge and chastise man in order to cleanse him and change his corrupt disposition, so that in the end the men who have attained salvation and who have been perfected may enter into God’s kingdom. If we still now hold on to the notion that ‘to be saved once is to be saved forever,’ then we are refusing to accept God’s work of judgment in the last days. If that’s the case, then the poison of Satan that is in our blood will never be cleansed, and we will never be able to attain God’s salvation, not to even mention being brought into the kingdom of heaven. These consequences are very serious. So, now, in these last days, only by walking away from the Age of Grace and accepting Almighty God’s judgment work of the last days, will man be thoroughly cleansed, attain God’s salvation and go to a good destination.”
As I listened to the fellowship by the sister, I thought to myself: “Yes, Almighty God’s words are spoken so practically. During these last several years, haven’t I been living a life where I commit sins during the day but then confess them at night? We really have only been forgiven for our sins because of our faith in the Lord, but our sinful nature still exists. We can still sin and resist God. The Lord is holy. How can those who often sin and resist Him be raptured into the kingdom of heaven? Almighty God’s words have untied these issues in my mind that have weighed heavily on me for many years. Almighty God’s words really do have a truth to them that can be sought out. Could it be that Almighty God really is the returned Lord? I really do need to look into this properly …”
I was gradually getting rid of the guards I had put up against the sister, but just as I was thinking about looking into the matters we had discussed, a loud and urgent knocking sound suddenly came from the door. Sister Hu rushed to open the door, and let in a pastor who stormed into the room. He looked at me, and then he looked at the sister who was spreading the kingdom gospel of Almighty God, and then he said to me in a tone of astonishment and anger: “What are you doing here? Didn’t I tell you not to go around listening to strangers preaching? How could you still run over here and listen to them? Go home at once, do not listen to them anymore or you will be deceived and it will be too late for you to repent!” After the pastor had finished chiding me he then turned to threaten the sister: “And you people who are spreading Eastern Lightning, you do nothing else but come to our church and steal sheep! Leave at once, if you do not go I will not be so polite!” Witnessing the pastor treat the sister in this way made me feel quite disgusted, so I said to him: “Pastor, this sister just had some really good things to say, and it keeps with the Bible. I feel that it’s really quite possible that Almighty God is the returned Lord. Why don’t you just give it a listen, and then we can decide. Besides, doesn’t the Bible say that ‘Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares’ (Heb 13:2)? We who believe in the Lord ought to have love, we cannot treat people this way. To rush this sister out like this, doesn’t that go against the Lord’s teachings?” After the pastor heard me say this he yelled out at me: “What do you understand? We who believe in Jesus have already been saved, we do not need to be saved again! They have come here to steal sheep, do not receive them!” At this time the sister who had been spreading the gospel smiled and said: “We are all waiting for the return of the Lord, why can’t we sit down and have a conversation? If we miss out on the Lord’s return we will regret it very much—” Without waiting for the sister to finish talking, the pastor started shoving her out, saying: “Do not speak, even if you had better things to say I still would not listen to them! Leave at once!” And just like that, the pastor went so far as to push, pull and swear at the sister to drive her out of the house. After the sister left, the pastor went back to threatening me: “Hurry back home. From now on you are no longer allowed to be in contact with people from Eastern Lightning. Otherwise you will be expelled from the church, and if this happens you will never have the opportunity to receive the praise of God and enter into the kingdom of heaven….” At that time I had already heard the fellowship by the sister, I understood that the work of the Lord Jesus was that of redemption, but not of purifying man, and that only when the Lord returns to carry out His work of judgment in the last days will He thoroughly cleanse and save man. Without receiving God’s work of judgment in the last days, man’s corrupt disposition will not be changed, and he will not be able to attain God’s salvation and enter into the kingdom of heaven. So, the pastor’s words did not have much of an effect on me, I just had to deal with what happened and nod my head, and afterward I returned home.
After returning home, I kept thinking over the fellowship made by the sister, and I thought to myself: That little sister today was so loving, she really was nothing like what the pastor said she was. Also, what she was saying is all in the Bible. It really was ill-founded of me before when I believed that “to be saved once is to be saved forever.” I thought back on all the years I have believed in God and realized that I was constantly living in circumstances where I would commit sins and then confess them, but all along I couldn’t solve this, and I personally went through a lot of suffering. I felt that if I went on believing like this, in the end I could not attain God’s praise. After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I became even more certain that if people believing in the Lord want to attain salvation and enter into the kingdom of heaven, then they really do have to receive the work carried out in the Lord Jesus’ return that judges and cleanses man. So then, what really is Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days? How does Almighty God cleanse and change man? … As I was thinking these things over I was flipping through the Bible until I saw a passage where the Lord Jesus says: “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (Jhn 16:12–13). I also saw the Bible say: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17). “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Rev 2:7). When I read this it felt like I had finally awoken from a dream: As it turns out the Lord Jesus had long ago prophesied that in the last days God would express more of the truth and carry out a new stage of work. Wouldn’t this be Almighty God coming to carry out the work of judging and cleansing man? Alas! If the pastor didn’t come in and disturb me today I would have been able to listen more carefully about the way of Almighty God. Before I had always listened to the words of pastors and elders, but I had never sought out and investigated Almighty God’s work in the last days, I just listened to whatever it was the pastors and elders talked about. It wasn’t until today that I recognized that I had no place for the Lord in my heart. In studying the Lord’s return, I didn’t seek the Lord’s will but listened to the words of the pastors and elders. I really was too stupid! Those of us who believe in the Lord should honor God as great, and we must actively seek out God’s footsteps with regard to the Lord’s return, only in this way will we be conforming to God’s will. Today I saw that the pastor’s actions simply do not conform to God’s will. I can no longer just blindly listen to what they have to say, I must seek out and investigate the way of Almighty God.
First thing in the morning of the following day, I decided to go to Sister Hu’s home and look for the sister who had spread the gospel of Almighty God so that we could continue fellowshiping. Who would have thought, before I had even gone out the door Sister Hu had brought the sister over to my house. This was truly guidance from the Lord. She first asked me with concern whether or not I had been disturbed by the pastor yesterday. I said very definitively: “No, after yesterday’s fellowship, I came back here and carefully thought over everything, and I realized that we really cannot be cleansed just by believing in the Lord Jesus, our corrupt nature will still exist, and with it we will not be able to attain God’s salvation. What’s more, I also read a passage in the Bible that really prophesied that the Lord will return to carry out His work of judgment in the last days. The thing that I want to now know about the most is: What really is the work of judgment that Almighty God is to carry out in the last days? How will Almighty God’s work of judgment both cleanse and change man?”
The sister said delightedly: “Thanks be to God! This question you have asked really is very crucial, for it has to do with the important topic of how our faith in God will really enable us to attain salvation and enter the kingdom of heaven. Let us first look at how this is said in the word of Almighty God. Almighty God says: ‘When God becomes flesh this time, His work is to express His disposition, primarily through chastisement and judgment. Using this as the foundation, He brings more truth to man, shows more ways of practice, and so achieves His objective of conquering man and saving man from his corrupt disposition. This is what lies behind the work of God in the Age of Kingdom’ (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘When it comes to the word “judgment,” you will think of the words that Jehovah spoke to all the places and the words of rebuke that Jesus spoke to the Pharisees. For all their severity, these words are not God’s judgment of man, only words spoken by God within different environments, that is, different settings; these words are unlike the words spoken by Christ as He judges man in the last days. In the last days, Christ 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’” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading the word of God, the sister kept fellowshiping: “Through the word of God we understand that Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days uses a lot of aspects of the truth to expose man and dissect man, and that this work of judgment is carried out using His righteous and majestic disposition that is intolerant of offense by man. God uses words to reveal the substance and truth about man’s corruption, and to judge our satanic nature that resists God and betrays God. Through experiencing the judgment and chastisement of God’s words various kinds of our corruption are cleansed, such as having plenty of conceptions and imagination about God’s work, or taking our own conceptions as the truth in our examination of God’s work, so that we judge God, condemn God and resist God as we wish; although we believe in God we really are no different from nonbelievers, we both pursue fame and fortune, willing to pay whatever price for it, but not a single person is living in order to satisfy God; we also look at a lot of things with viewpoints that are incompatible with God, such as our belief that so long as we believe in the Lord then we will be saved, and that when the Lord comes we will be raptured into the kingdom of heaven, when in fact God actually says that only by following the will of God will man be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. Through God’s judgment and chastisement, these corrupt dispositions, erroneous ways of thinking and Satan’s rules for living will be cleansed and transformed, and we will more truly obey God, and at the same time, through God’s judgment and chastisement, we will also come to recognize that God’s righteous disposition is intolerant of offense by man, we will know what kind of person God likes, what kind of person God despises and God’s will of saving man, we will have reverence for God, we will know how to pursue the truth and properly carry out our duties to attain God’s praise. Through experiencing and practicing God’s words we will understand more of the truth. For example: We will know what it means to have faith in God; we will know what it means to truly attain salvation; we will know what it means to obey God and love God; we will know what it means to follow God’s will. Our corrupt dispositions will all change to varying degrees, and our life views and values will also be transformed. This is the work of judgment and chastisement that God carries out among us, you could also call it God’s loving salvation. So, only by receiving judgment before the seat of Christ of the last days—Almighty God will we be able to receive the truth, only then will we be able to break away from sin and be cleansed and attain salvation. Sister, are you able to accept this fellowship?”
Through reading God’s words and through the sister’s fellowships, I came to understand God’s work and His will. I nodded my head, feeling deeply moved, and I said: “Thanks be to God, through listening to the word of Almighty God, I have come to understand that in the last days God uses the truth of His word to carry out the work of judging and cleansing man. My past pursuits were so vague, they were impractical, but now I understand that it is only through receiving God’s work of judgment and chastisement in the last days that man will be able to be cleansed by God and attain salvation so that he may enter into the kingdom of heaven. Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus! I am willing to accept Almighty God’s work in the last days, accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words so that my corrupt disposition may someday soon be changed.” As she listened to me say this, the sister smiled happily, and continuously gave her thanks to God.
Almighty God’s words freed me of the conceptions I had in my mind, and they showed me the way to throwing off my corrupt disposition and being cleansed. I feel that I have a clear path to go down in pursuit of attaining salvation, and my spirit feels bright and steady, as if it’s been liberated. As I looked outside through the window I felt that the sky on that day was especially clear and sunny. I plopped down on the ground and prayed to God: “Oh God, I give my thanks to You. In my lifetime, I am so honored to welcome Your return and witness Your appearance. This is my blessing! But I am blind and ignorant, for I believed the rumors that were spread by the pastors and elders, I held on to my conceptions and imagination, and I almost lost my eternal salvation! Oh God, I am so ignorant and numb! I am willing to repent, and I treasure this extremely rare opportunity to attain salvation. I am also willing to bring more brothers and sisters into Your presence so that they may attain salvation! Amen!”