Daily Archives: 2016-11-20

The Transformation of a Fallen Man

I was born in the countryside. I came from a line of humble farmers and on top of that our family was few in number, so we were often bullied. When I was 13 years old, there was a child beaten by someone from outside of our village. The villagers falsely accused my father of instigating it and they said they were going to search our house and confiscate our property, take away our pigs and even beat my father. There was also a time when another villager took our fishing net and kept it as his own. When my father went to get it back, the villager actually hit my father, relying on his own power and influence. My father had to just eat humble pie as he knew that he had neither money nor power. My mother told my brothers and me that we must fight for ourselves in the future, and never live a life of oppression like this. Being young and detesting the injustice in society, I was determined that in the future I would stand out from the crowd and earn their respect, and never be oppressed. So I studied very hard, but I wasn’t smart enough and I couldn’t get into any universities, so I chose to pursue development in the army and joined easily by going through connections.

When I first joined, I scrambled to take on all the difficult and dirty work and to show my proactiveness to impress my leaders and be promoted in the future. However, no matter how hard I tried, I could not even get a position of squad leader. I was also constantly made fun of and bullied by my comrades because of my shabby clothes and thriftiness, which just intensified my desire to stand out. Later, based on advice from my fellow villager, I learned that evaluations and promotion in the army did not depend on hard work, but rather gift-giving. Even though I found this kind of thing was disgusting, I had to take the only path to promotion. The Transformation of a Fallen ManTherefore, I determined to take all my savings to give gifts to my leaders and make connections, just like everyone else around me; after that I was finally able to enroll in the military academy. But after I graduated, I was assigned to cook in the canteen because I didn’t have enough money for gift-giving, and later I became a quartermaster, but in name only. After several years of army life, I understood that bureaucrats never discipline gift-givers and you can’t accomplish anything without licking their boots. If you want to keep a foothold, you have to try every means to make money and give gifts, otherwise you won’t achieve anything no matter how great your abilities are. In order to achieve my aspiration, I started to make money and raise funds everywhere: I over quoted and exaggerated the quantity on purpose when buying food, getting a little bit of extra dirty money; seeing other quartermasters selling rice, I secretly sold a truck of rice from the army and made several thousand yuan, and so on. Though I had believed in Jesus since childhood and clearly knew that these things I was doing were crimes, I was also constantly worried about being found out and convicted someday, the desire to be promoted drove me to do those things against my conscience. Once I had saved up some money, I started to flatter my leaders and give them gifts catering to their likes. Every time a leader came to see me I would busy myself going to drink with them, sing, get in touch with prostitutes…. I did every possible thing to curry favor with them. I tried to flatter them with any means possible. Whenever the leaders needed some help, I was happy to offer my services. Whoever had a good relationship with the leaders, I would try to get close to him in order to get a positive recommendation. During those years, I rose quickly to the position of battalion commander by resorting to this kind of worldly philosophy. I finally stood out and I could return home gloriously! After that, every time I went back home, the villagers would crowd around me, flattering and complimenting me, which greatly satisfied my vanity. My ambitions and my desires grew then. As people say, becoming an official is for the sake of fine food and clothing, power is gained to be used before it’s gone, and there’s no such thing as an official who’s not corrupt. So, I started to enjoy the privileges of an official. I would get things for free wherever I went, and if someone sought help from me, I would ask them for gifts and I wouldn’t help them if the gifts were inadequate. I started to go after fancy food and clothing, and began to put on airs. Relying on the fact that I was like a “golden child” with important leaders such as the commander and political commissar, I even became so arrogant that I would bully people by flaunting my powerful connections, requesting gifts from my subordinates in the names of these leaders. This was how I degenerated from a simple Christian country boy into a greedy, deceitful person of the devil.

Being corrupt and fallen, I even projected my own terrible nature onto others. I often suspected for no good reason that my beautiful wife who worked for a foreign company was having affairs; this led to more conflict between us and growing estrangement. In 2006, my wife was pushed to her limit and initiated divorce; this felt like a great disgrace to me, so I would not agree to it. Late at night I would often think about my life. I thought to myself: I have been determined to stand out since childhood and my wife and I are both successful in our careers. Conditions in our home are good in every way and other people envy us, so why am I living in such pain, and why has it gotten to the point that my wife wants to divorce me? Even our son is suffering along with us. Is my life the way I want it to be? What exactly am I living for? Just as I was feeling lost and confused, my wife accepted the grace of Almighty God’s salvation in the last days. Through frequent meetings and fellowship with sisters and brothers, she became more and more optimistic, stopped arguing with me, and never mentioned divorce again. Instead, she was busy preaching the gospel and fulfilling her duty. Later, driven by my wife and mother, I also started to believe in Almighty God.

Source from: https://www.findshepherd.com/the-transformation-of-a-fallen-man.html

Eastern Lightning | The Church of Almighty God came into being because of the work of the returned Lord Jesus—the end-time Christ, “Almighty God”—in China, and it isn’t established by any person. Christ is the truth, the way, and the life. After reading God’s word, you will see that God has appeared.

The Secret Held Deep Within My Heart

In the spring of 2006, I was stripped of my position as leader and sent back to where I had come from because I was considered too much of a “yes-man.” When I first got back, I plunged into a crucible of torment and agony. I never thought that after years of leadership things would go downhill on account of being a “yes-man.” This was the end for me, I thought, everyone familiar with me would know of my failure and I would be held up as a bad example in the church. How could I face others after all this? The more I thought, the more negative I became, until I finally lost the faith to continue seeking the truth. However, when I thought of all the sacrifices and expenditures I had made in these past few years, I couldn’t bring myself to quit. If I completely write myself off and accept failure, won’t all my efforts be for naught? Won’t people then think even less of me? I can’t let that happen! I’ve got to stand up for myself and not let others look down their noses at me. Now, no matter how hard I must try, how many wrongs I suffer, I’ve got to buck up—I can’t quit halfway! As long as I remember the lessons of failure and focus on seeking the truth, maybe one day I can become a leader again. With these thoughts in mind, all the negativity and sadness faded and I felt a renewed energy in my pursuit.

From that moment onward, I put in long hours every day, actively eating and drinking God’s word to equip myself with truth while reflecting and making insight into my past transgressions. I wrote countless essays detailing my experience of life, as well as sermons. A while later, when I saw that two of my essays had been selected, I felt even more faith in my pursuit. I thought to myself: Just keep working and soon enough my dream will become a reality. In that way, I continued in my pursuit and felt comforted that my condition had more or less returned to “normal.”

One day during spiritual cultivation, I was drawn to a certain passage of The Secret Held Deep Within My HeartGod’s word: “To know oneself, one must know one’s true condition. The most important way of understanding one’s condition is through examination of one’s thoughts. In every stage of life, something will dominate your thoughts—if you can grasp your thoughts, you can grasp that which lies behind them” (“Those Who Are Constantly Demanding of God Are the Least Rational” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church). Thinking over God’s word, I suddenly turned the question back on myself: What dominates my thoughts now? What lies behind all my thoughts? I began to carefully reflect on my thought process and, with God’s guidance, came to realize that ever since I had been replaced, my thoughts had been dominated by the desire that “I must wrest back my former reputation and status and stand up for myself. I can’t keep being looked down upon by others.” This thought had been like a spiritual pillar, allowing me to persevere through the crucible of my own despair and giving me the drive to pursue my goal. With this thought in mind, I had remained “staunch and unyielding” under the constant barrage of “insults and humiliation.” At this moment, I realized that my pursuit was impure, full of desire and not in the least bit positive.

Thinking back, I see that God had exposed me to allow me to reflect on myself and understand my own satanic nature so that I could be grounded and forthright in my pursuit of truth, cast of evil and sin and receive the salvation of God. However, I certainly did not thank God for His gift of salvation, nor did I hate myself for the evils I committed. What’s more, I didn’t reproach myself or feel repentant for failing to live up to God’s hopes. Rather, driven by the arrogant nature that “I must prevail at any cost,” I poured myself into the scheming of this plot, thinking only of the day when I would rise again, be reanointed as a leader, and regain the reputation that I had so thoroughly damaged. Effectively, I was hoping to rebuild a satanic image of myself for others to admire and worship. Clearly, I had grand ambitions—so grand that I was willing to go fist for fist against God to the very end. I was arrogant in the extreme and had not the least bit of reverence or fear for God in my heart. Reflecting back on my former state, I felt the hair stand up on my neck. I never would have imagined that such wild ambition lay behind my thoughts. No wonder God said, “if you can grasp your thoughts, you can grasp that which lies behind them.” Indeed. In the past, I viewed my thoughts as fleeting notions and never took the time to analyze and understand them. Only now do I understand that grasping one’s thoughts and actively analyzing the things held deep within one’s heart is of grave importance to understand one’s inner nature!

Thank God for this enlightenment, which has lifted me out of blindness. If not, I would still be hoodwinked by my own falsity—careening forth with blind ambition toward my own imminent demise. How incredibly scary! In the process, I also realized that in replacing me, God was protecting me and granting me salvation. For someone with such arrogance and mad ambition, if I had not gone through the tormenting crucible of God’s chastisement and judgment, I would invariably become an antichrist and invite my own demise. Dear God, I vow to abandon all wrongful pursuits, turn away from my arrogance and ambition and obey Your every command. I will pursue the truth in earnestness, fulfill my every duty and live as a real and true person to comfort Your heart.

Source from:

https://www.findshepherd.com/the-secret-held-deep-within-my-heart.html