Tag Archives: God

Breaking Through Encirclements

The northeastern China was freezing cold in November. The snow even did not melt when it touched the ground. Hunched and tucking their hands under the armpits because of cold, many pedestrians walked forward with caution. One morning, with the northwesterly wind howling, there were me, my brother-in-law and his wife, and more than a dozen brothers and sisters in my home, sitting on the warm kang. Every one of us was holding a book titled Judgment Begins With the House of God, with the Bible laid alongside. Two sisters from the Church of Almighty God were communicating with us about the truth of the three stages of God’s work. While drawing the picture of the three stages of God’s work they fellowshiped, “God’s work is from the Age of Law to the Age of Grace, and then to the Age of Kingdom, rising higher and deeper with each stage. During the last stage God expresses His words to judge, chastise and purify man….” I listened and nodded. My heart was so enlightened: It turns out that there are many mysteries about God’s management plan to save mankind. Who can illustrate them so clearly other than God Himself? So it must be the work of the true God. At the sunset of the next day, we all agreed to seek and investigate Almighty God’s work in the last days.

Later, they two communicated about the truth concerning the significance of God’s incarnation. As we were listening with keen attention, our church leader, Wang Ping, dropped by suddenly. She pointed at the two sisters from the Church of Almighty God the moment she stepped in and asked me, “What are they doing here?” I replied frankly, “They are Sister Zhang and Sister Mu….” Before I could finish my words, she became flustered, saying, “Sister Zhang? Sister Mu? I think they are just the preachers of the Eastern Lightening, just thieves of stealing sheep, just robbers….” What she said totally shocked everyone present. I thought: Sister Wang Ping always talks about loving your neighbor as yourself and loving your enemies. How could she make such far-fetched remarks just after entering the room and even judge and condemn the two sisters? As I thought of this, I heard Sister Zhang calmly talk to Wang Ping, “Sister, today we come only for preaching the gospel of the Lord’s return to you, nothing else….” But Wang Ping interrupted her, saying, “The Lord has come back? The leaders like me don’t even know; how could you know it? That’s impossible. The Lord Jesus has said, ‘All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them’ (John 10:8). You two get away immediately and never set foot here again.” Hearing Wang Ping’s words, I felt an aversion to her. How could she have no compassion? Then I said to her, “Sister Wang, it’s so late today. How could you let them go? The Lord taught us to even love our enemies, not to mention the two sisters who are also believers in God. If we treat them like that, do we still count as believers in God? …” Wang Ping became angry before I could get my words out. She pulled the hand of my brother-in-law’s wife and said to them, “Zhao Gang doesn’t tell them go away, then let’s go. Stop listening to them.” Then, she left in a rage with the couple. Continue reading

Deliverance From the Desperate Straits

In the early 1980s, I was in my 30s and worked in a construction company. As I was young, strong, and honest and had a perfect mastery of building technology, I believed that I would surely be able to accomplish something in the company and live a life better than others’ as long as I was conscientious in my work. I worked in this company for several years, but I was puzzled that although my behavior was faultless and my technical level was unquestionable, my efforts were not approved, for my grade on the pay scale had always been Grade III, which was far from Grade VI, the top of the pay scale of the company for the staff. Seeing my junior workmates inferior to me in technical level were all promoted on the pay scale, I felt so confused. Later, a workmate who was on good terms with me gave me advice with a smile, “The most important thing for you to do in this company is to have a close relationship with the manager. At least you should show regard for him at every festival and at New Year.” When I knew this, I felt very annoyed, for I disliked those bootlickers and detested those who didn’t labor but could be promoted on the pay scale by fair means or foul. But in order to establish myself in the company, I had to adapt to this hidden rule. At New Year, I showed my “regard” for the manager of our company, and he immediately promoted me to foreman.

After I became a foreman, I took the responsibility of the job more seriously. I exercised a close supervision over and gave strict instruction in the building of the projects and the construction quality, send-giftand cared for the safety of the team members all the time. My behavior and technical instruction won the approval of all the team members. So I thought that the company would approve of me and put me in an important position because of my endeavors. However, the reality countered my conception, for the reappointment of a person as foreman in the company was determined by the value of the gift that he sent to the manager. So, as I had experienced such a rule of survival last time, I complied with it again in order to continue to survive in the company. I gained a profound understanding of the real meaning of the phase “survival of the fittest in natural selection.” Continue reading

Seek and You Shall Find

I was born into an ordinary peasant family. I believed in the Lord Jesus because of illness at the age of 49. prayAs I read in the Bible that the Lord could make the dumb speak and the paralytic walk, I often prayed to Him and asked Him to heal my illness. Unknowingly, my heart disease was healed, and I was getting stronger by the day. I thought, “So many people have spent a lot of money on their heart disease but to no avail. Mine is healed thanks to the power of the Lord. I must follow Him firmly.” At that time, I had a great faith. Unable to afford the carfares, I, together with several sisters, got up early and walked to attend meetings, and I was never absent regardless of wind or rain. When I had time, I also went out to preach the gospel to repay the Lord’s love for me.

Several years passed in a flash. Then, gradually I found that every time we came to the meetings, Brother Shi, the preacher, always gave us messages on Genesis. He preached repeatedly on what God made on the first day, on the second day … on the sixth day. In the afternoon, the elder would teach us to recite the Bible verses. He also asked us to recite some verses at home. He said that only by doing so could we remember the words of the Lord and have eternal life. After returning home, I recited the verses every day. Sometimes for fear of failing to recite them in the meetings, I even wrote them on my hands to have a look at them at times of forgetting. However, I still failed to recite them when the elder asked me to do so in the meetings. The other brothers and sisters were the same with me. As time went on, we believers began to feel bored and said it was useless and very tiring to recite the Bible verses. Everyone complained. Once, in a meeting, Brother Shi, the preacher, walked onto the pulpit, and he started to preach on Genesis again. My heart sank at what he preached, and I thought, “Why can’t he preach something new? Every time I gain nothing after a whole day of meeting. I have left a pile of work undone at home and sometimes cannot cook in time for my husband. All I wish is to understand and gain something here, but I don’t gain anything.” As I thought of this, I really couldn’t bear it anymore. So I nerved myself to walk up to the pulpit and asked Brother Shi if he could preach something deeper. He said with his head down, “Auntie, to be honest, I can preach nothing more than this; otherwise, would I not have given a deeper preaching?” I felt so bad to hear his words, but I could do nothing other than go back to my seat. Thus, the meeting attendance gradually dropped off. Whenever I looked at the empty gathering place, I felt so awful. I came before the Lord and prayed tearfully, “O Lord! Why is the church like this now? Why have we completely lost our former enthusiasm? I don’t know where the brothers and sisters have gone. Besides, the preacher is unable to deliver good sermons. Have You forsaken us? O Lord! Where are You? Please guide me!” After the prayer, I suddenly remembered the hymn “Many Crowd the Savior’s Kingdom.” I thought, “Have those brothers and sisters who are absent from the meetings all entered the kingdom?” This thought made me somewhat anxious. So I began to ask where those brothers and sisters had gone, but nobody could give me the answer. Continue reading

Finding the Salvation of the Last Days on Facebook (Part 3)

Only through Almighty God’s words and Sister Lin’s fellowship did I understand a little about how the Lord does the work of judging man and purifying man when He comes. Sister Lin sent me some of Almighty God’s words, “…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). “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, reveal 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 disposition of God, and so on. These words are all focused on the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that reveal how man spurns God are spoken in regards to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. When God does the work of judgment, He does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words, but carries out revelation, dealing, and pruning over the long term. Such manner of revelation, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only such manner of work is deemed judgment; only through such judgment can man be persuaded, be thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and 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 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 could not be understood by man. 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 such work is actually the work of opening up the truth, way, and 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). Sister Lin fellowshiped, “From Almighty God’s words, we can see that in the last days, God becomes flesh and expresses the words to do the work of judgment and chastisement to purify man. He discloses and dissects man’s corrupt nature and the root of man’s sinning from different perspectives, so that man can have a knowledge of them and get purified. eat-and-drink_read-almighty-gods-wordsThis stage of work of judgment and chastisement with the word is to remove everything that is not clean within man, so that he can completely break free from the bondage of sinful nature, have a knowledge of God’s inherent righteous disposition, and thus can obey God and worship God. Though we’ve been redeemed by the Lord Jesus, the root of our sin within hasn’t been removed yet. We truly need God’s further work of judgment and purification. Now, Almighty God has come and does the work of removing sins, which follows on from that of the Lord Jesus. Only those who accept God’s judgment and chastisement can have a knowledge of their corrupt nature, understand the ways to be transformed in their disposition and be saved and gradually get purified, live out the likeness of a real man to be saved by God, and have the qualification to enter the kingdom of heaven. However, those who don’t love the truth, reject the judgment and chastisement of God, and even openly judge, resist, condemn God’s work in the last days, and who cling to the notion that whoever does not ride upon a white cloud is not the returned Lord Jesus, are right antichrists, false believers, and unbelievers who are revealed by God and who detest the truth and hate the truth. They have long ago lost the work of the Holy Spirit, fallen into darkness, and become the objects condemned and eliminated by God. In the end, God will take those who have experienced His judgment and get purified into a wonderful destination. And He will destroy all those broods of Satan that are revealed to be resistant to God. This is the final result of God’s expressing the truth to do the work of judgment and is the full salvation God prepares for man in the last days.” Continue reading

This Is Putting Truth Into Practice

In the past, I was paired up with a sister to work on some duties. Because I was arrogant and conceited and did not seek after truth, I had some preconceived ideas toward this sister which I always kept in my heart and didn’t openly communicated with her. When we separated, I had not entered the truth of a harmonious working relationship. Later, the church arranged for me to work with another sister and I established a resolution before God: From now on, I will not walk in the paths of failure. I’ve learned my lesson and so this time I will certainly have more open communication with this sister and reach a harmonious working relationship.

Every time there was a conflict or a gap between us as we performed our duties together, I would take the initiative to communicate with the sister and speak my heart. I would ask her which aspects I was performing improperly. The sister would then point out that I was arrogant and conceited and that I would always reject her viewpoints in our communications. She said sometimes I would point out her circumstances and unfairly label her, and that during gatherings, I made all the decisions about reading God’s word. I nodded in agreement to all these things the sister pointed out about me. I thought: “Since you say I am arrogant, then I will speak with more humility from now on and pay particular attention to speaking wisely and tactfully. If I discover any problems you have, then I will downplay them when I mention them. If you don’t recognize them, then I won’t talk about them. During gatherings, I will eat and drink whatever you tell me to eat and drink, and I will listen to everything you say. Wouldn’t this resolve every issue?” After this, I began to put this into practice. Before speaking, I would think how I could avoid negating the sister’s idea. When our viewpoints were not aligned with each other, I would defer to her viewpoint and carry out her idea. When I saw the sister doing something the wrong way, I wouldn’t clearly explain it to her. But after a period of time of behaving this way, I realized that my “forsake the flesh and put truth into practice” ideology had not changed our relationship at all. Rather, it reinforced her preconceived ideas about me. In seeing these results, I felt wronged. I thought: “I have already tried my best to put truth into practice, why isn’t it working? This sister is not easy to get along with, she doesn’t have the least amount of sensibility.” Therefore, I sank into negativity and my heart became extremely pained.

One day, a leader came to us to inspect our work and ask how our situations were during this time period. I then expressed what my situation was. After listening, the leader said: “This method of yours is not putting truth into practice. You are impure inside. You are doing this for your own purpose and are not acting in accordance with truth.” Following this, we read two passages of God’s words. God said: “On the outside it seems as if you are putting truth into practice, but in reality, the nature of your actions is not putting truth into practice. There are many people who show some outward actions, who believe ‘I am putting truth into practice…,’ but God says: ‘I do not acknowledge that you are putting truth into practice.’ Then what is it? This is a type of practice, and seriously speaking, you could be condemned by God. It is unworthy of praise and commemoration. Even more seriously speaking, in dissecting this, you are doing evil, your practice is in opposition to God. Your outer appearance looks like you are not interrupting, disturbing, or damaging anything, and as if you aren’t violating any truth. It seems your actions are being logical and reasonable, but you are doing evil and resisting God. So in the end, you should seek the source of God’s requirements for knowing whether there is a change in your disposition or whether you have put truth into practice, rather than seek whether it conforms with the imaginations and opinions of man or with your preferences. It is not these. It is God who says whether you are conforming with His will. It is God who says whether your actions have truth and whether or not they are up to His standards. Measuring yourself against God’s requirements is the only right way” (“The Knowledge That Ought to Be Possessed of Changes in Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church). “Man’s own ideas frequently look good and right to others and they look like they do not violate truth. People feel that doing it this way is putting truth into practice, they feel that doing it this way is submitting to God. Actually, people are not really seeking God and praying to God about this. They are not striving to satisfy God’s will, nor striving to act according to His requirements. There is no such truthful situation, there is no such desire. This is the greatest error people make in their practice, because you believe in God, but God is not in your heart. How is this not a sin? How is this not deceiving yourself? What effect will believing this way have? How can the significance of believing in God be realized?” (“Seeking God’s Will and Putting Truth Into Practice to the Greatest Extent Possible” in Records of Christ’s Talks With Leaders and Workers of the Church). I tried to figure out God’s words and compared them with my so-called situation of “putting truth into practice.” My heart lit up. So, the way I was doing things was not intended to satisfy God. It was intended to protect my own vain dignity. I was afraid the leader would say my nature was flawed, that I didn’t seek truth, and that I didn’t work well with anyone. In addition, I thought it was a pretext for easing my relationship with the sister and breaking away from the embarrassment and pain produced by the conflict. I thought it would redeem the image other people had of me and allow them to see that I had changed. It can be seen that my so-called “putting truth into practice” was for my own purposes. It was all done in front of others and was not established on the basis of seeking to satisfy God. I didn’t despise myself and sincerely forsake the flesh because I wasn’t aware of my arrogant and conceited nature. In reflecting on working with the sister, it was because I didn’t recognize my arrogant and conceited nature, and because I thought highly of myself and always thought I was better than others that when I spoke, I was unwittingly standing on a pedestal belittling others. When handling matters, I loved to be in charge; I did things my own way, and never consulted other people’s ideas. When the sister pointed out these problems that I had, I didn’t seek out the corresponding truth to analyze and understand the substance of my nature. More so, I didn’t seek out how I should put it into practice in accordance with God’s requirements and in accordance with truth. I only changed a few outer actions, thinking that since I stopped doing things that were wrong, I was putting truth into practice. Actually, everything I was practicing was truth based on my own notions. It was all outward actions and had nothing to do with God’s word. God would not acknowledge that I was putting truth into practice. Because I was not practicing in line with God’s requirements and was not practicing in accordance with truth, and everything I did was done to satisfy my personal desires and reach my own purposes, therefore my actions were wicked in God’s sight; it was resisting God.

communication-openly-revealed-position

After becoming aware of this, I consciously combined God’s word to understand my own corrupt nature in life. When I expressed my corruption or I became aware that my situation was not right, I openly revealed my position and I analyzed it and looked for the source according to God’s word. When I did this, my speech and actions were naturally subdued, and I knew the position I should stand. I had respect for people and submitted with patience. Forsaking the flesh became much less difficult and we could also have heart to heart communication. Our association had become much more harmonious than in the past.

Through these experiences, I have come to understand that putting truth into practice should be based on God’s word and should be established on the principles of truth. If one leaves God’s word, then everything becomes an outer action, that is, putting the truth of their own notions into practice. Even if I did things well and correctly, it still wouldn’t be considered putting truth into practice, and it more so wouldn’t bring changes to my life disposition. From now on, regardless of what I am doing, I want God’s words to be the principles of my actions and fully put God’s word into practice so that my conduct will be in accordance with truth and with God’s will and obtain God’s satisfaction.

Source from: https://www.findshepherd.com/this-is-putting-truth-into-practice.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.

It’s Not Easy Being an Honest Person

blueberries
Zixin     Wuhan City, Hubei Province

Through eating and drinking God’s word and listening to preaching, I came to understand the importance of being an honest person and thus began practicing to be an honest person. After a period of time, I found that I gained some entry in being an honest person. For example: While praying or conversing with someone, I would be able to speak the truth and from the heart; I could also take fulfilling my duty seriously, and when I revealed corruption I could open myself up to other people. Because of this, I thought being an honest person was quite easy to practice, and not at all as difficult as it was made out to be by God’s words: “Many would rather be condemned to hell than to speak and act honestly.” It was not until later that I was able to appreciate through experience that it really is not easy for corrupt man to be an honest person. God’s words really are absolutely true and completely unexaggerated.

When I was editing articles one day, I saw that a sister from the editing team of a district was better than me, regardless of whether it was at writing or editing articles. I then thought: I must be stricter to the articles she edited, in case the leaders see that she edits articles better than I do and promote her, which would put my own position at risk. After this intention surfaced, I felt accused inside. After examining and dissecting, I recognized that this was a display of struggling for fame and gain, being jealous of real talent, and excluding those different to me. During a meeting, I originally wanted to openly declare my corruption, but then I thought: If I communicate out my own evil intentions, how would my partner and the host family sister see me? Would they say my heart is too malicious and my nature is too wicked? Forget it, I better not say it. It was just a thought, and it’s not like I had really done it anyway. And just like that, I merely casually mentioned how I was very nervous that I would be replaced when I saw someone else edit articles well, while hiding away my true dark side. Afterward, the blame in my heart increased significantly. I hence vowed before God that this would only happen once, and that next time I would definitely practice being an honest person.

Continue reading

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.