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Personal Testimonies From the Church’s Life Fellowship Gatherings

really good TESTIMONIES thought provoking, uplifting and will inspire discussion about topics that are important to your faith.🧡

A Christian’s Diary: The Misunderstanding Between My Mother and Me Has Finally Been Resolved | GOSPEL OF THE DESCENT ...

Christian Life: The Misunderstanding Between My Mother and Me Has Finally Been Resolved

God has arranged such a fantastic environment for you. You have too many personal issues; you must learn to adapt, and not pick at the bad habits of others. Moreover, you have to be able to get along with them based on love, ...This is the attitude and practice of submission.

Testimonies of Life Experiences

What Does It Mean to Have Humanity? | GOSPEL OF THE DESCENT OF THE KINGDOM

What Does It Mean to Have Humanity?
Sep 2, 2018

Brothers and sisters, peace be with you! The majority of us understand “normal humanity” as, if nothing else but, living harmoniously with others, having a loving heart, tolerance and acceptance for others or being kind and charitable. Now, do you know how we should live out a normal humanity as God requests us to? As Christians, how can we practice and gain entry so that we can live out a genuine humanity in accordance with God’s will? The essay that will be shared today will provide us with a new understanding about this topic. Please listen …

Yue Ming

God said: “Normal humanity includes these aspects: insight, sense, conscience, and character. If you can achieve normality in each of these respects, your humanity is up to standard. You should have the likeness of a normal human being and behave like a believer in God. You don’t have to achieve great heights or engage in diplomacy. You just have to be a normal human being, with a normal person’s sense, be able to see through things, and at least look like a normal human being. That will be enough” (“Improving Caliber Is for Receiving God’s Salvation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). In the past, my understanding was that as long as one did not fight or quarrel with others and could live harmoniously with others, one was living out a normal humanity. Today, when I contemplate this passage of God’s word, suddenly I understand that when God is talking about normal humanity, it does not merely involve being conscientious and sensible when getting along with others. The key is being considerate of God’s will while one is fulfilling one’s duties, seeking to love and satisfy God and fulfill the responsibilities of one of God’s creations. When I compare God’s words with my own actions and deeds, I can see that I am quite far from fulfilling God’s demands. Many times, on the surface, I am fulfilling duties. However, when I encounter practical problems, I am not considerate of God’s will and I do not have a heart that loves God. Instead, I am very prudent in protecting my own interests and reputation. After many instances of God’s judgment and chastisement, my conscience has gradually started to perceive. I started to focus on practicing the truth to satisfy God during the daily fulfillment of my duties, thereby living out a bit of normal humanity.

David dedicated his entire life to constructing a temple for Jehovah God
Some time ago, it was mentioned in a sermon how David dedicated his entire life to constructing a temple for Jehovah God. After hearing this, I was very moved and I admired David’s humanity and the way he lived it. I became determined to be considerate of God’s will and to fulfill my own duties properly in order to satisfy God. However, my satanic nature is very deeply rooted. If something involves my own interests or reputation, I cannot help but choose the benefits of the flesh. As a result, I am unable to put the truth into practice in order to satisfy God. Living out a normal humanity has become my desire. God is faithful. He placed me in a suitable environment in accordance with my shortcomings so that I could be cleansed and so that He could change me. One morning, during our spiritual devotion, Sister Zhang complained to me, “Recently, I have encountered problems while fulfilling my duties. The suggestions that I have given have also not been accepted. I feel that I am unable to fulfill this duty. It is too difficult….” After I heard what Sister Zhang had to say, I felt blame in my heart. As I had given Sister Zhang the most suggestions on her work, I was worried that she was under my influence. However, if I neglected to offer suggestions when I saw issues, that was not protecting the church’s work! I should offer my suggestions. If Sister Zhang did not accept them, that was her problem. At that time, I thought about it a little and then went on with my day. However, after a bit of time, I thought back to this matter and I started to have some more anxiety about it. I thought, “If Sister Zhang is affected by me, and says that my humanity is not good, how would others see me? How would I interact with them? Later on, if I discover any other problems, I may as well not make a big deal out of it so that I do not offend Sister Zhang.” However, this was my duty and if I discovered issues and did not bring them up, I was going through the motions, deceiving God and not protecting the church’s interests. I could not turn a blind eye and protect my fleshly relationships with other people! But…. I thought about this matter over and over. If I did not put the truth into practice, I was afraid that I would be resisting God. If I put the truth into practice, I would be offending Sister Zhang. I felt very confused. One day, it was just before noon when, after Sister Zhang finished her work, Sister Li and I were inspecting to see if there were any issues. At this time, Sister Zhang anxiously said, “Hurry up and look. This work must be finished soon!” After repeating these words several times, Sister Zhang said to me, “Oh, sister. Is there yet another task? If you are busy, just let Sister Li inspect it by herself.” When I heard Sister Zhang say this, I felt that she was afraid that I would point out some more issues and she was deliberately trying to prevent me from inspecting her work. I thought, “If Sister Zhang does not want me to inspect her work, that is fine then! Why should I waste my time?” I embarrassingly returned to my own seat. However, my heart was not at peace. At this time, I thought about God’s words: “No one is responsible, everyone wants to wash their hands of it. No one wants to take responsibility, no one wants to put effort into it, and no one wants to lead the charge or suffer for it. So can the Holy Spirit do His work? (No)” (Records of Christ’s Talks). As I thought about God’s words, I felt that I was to blame. I felt that I was someone who wants to wash their hands of it that God was talking about. I shouldered no burden and was irresponsible in regard to the fulfillment of my duties. If I simply went through the motions in regard to the fulfillment of my duties, this would cause problems to arise in the project, it would delay the life entry of many brothers and sisters and it would affect the church’s operations. Why was I not prioritizing my work appropriately? Why was I not being considerate of God’s will? I had been consistently and frequently thinking about myself. I was truly selfish and despicable! At that moment, I wanted to go over to Sister Li and continue inspecting the work with her. However, when I thought about that day during our spiritual devotion when Sister Zhang told me how she was having difficulties with fulfilling her duties, I had misgivings. If I found more problems once again, should I mention them or not? If I mentioned them, would this cause Sister Zhang to become unhappy and think that I was specifically going after her shortcomings? I felt extremely anxious and unsure of what to do. At this time, I thought about another passage of God’s words: “All have said that they would be considerate of God’s burden and defend the testimony of the church. Who has really been considerate of God’s burden? Ask yourself: Are you someone who has shown consideration for God’s burden? Can you practice righteousness for God? Can you stand up and speak for Me?” (Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning). God’s words gave me the courage I needed to put the truth into practice. I took the initiative and went over to finish the inspection with my fellow sisters. After a while, Sister Zhang anxiously said, “Hurry and look. If there are issues, we may deal with them as soon as possible. This work has already been delayed for a couple of days!” Originally, I had wanted to mention the issues that I had spotted but once again, the courage that I was able to summon with such difficulty began to sway. During this moment of hesitation, Sister Li said, “Even though we have a strict deadline, we must not simply go through the motions! We must examine carefully and conduct a thorough inspection!” In the afternoon, Sister Li had something else to deal with so she had me conduct the inspection by myself. At this moment, I was in a very anxious state of mind and I thought, “If I find problems and I do not mention them, I am not protecting the church’s work. If I mention them, Sister Zhang would feel constrained. Alas! Once again, I am in the same situation. Just what is it that I should do?” Thereupon, I silently prayed to God in my heart, “God! The people and situations that I encounter each and every day have all been arranged by You. It is all according to Your will. I have something to learn, it is just that I do not know what I need to learn. Please guide me so that I can understand Your will. Amen!” I sought at the same time that I reflected. At this moment, I thought of the words “selfish and despicable.” Then, I read God’s words: “If a person lacks conscience and does not have the reason of normal humanity, then what kind of person is he? Generally speaking, he is a person without humanity, a person of bad humanity. If we speak specifically, how does this person manifest corrupt humanity such that people say he does not have humanity? Let’s analyze the characteristics of this kind of person. What kinds of characteristics do all such people have? What specific manifestations do they present? (Selfishness and baseness.) Selfishness is one type of manifestation, and baseness is another. Additionally, he is perfunctory in his actions, and stands aloof from things that don’t concern him personally. He does not consider the interests of God’s house and does not show consideration for God’s intention. He takes on no burden of testifying of God or performing his duty and has no sense of responsibility. What is it that he thinks about? His first consideration is, ‘Will God know if I do this? Is it visible to other people? If other people don’t see that I do this, that I expend all this effort and behave truly, and if God also does not see it, then there is no use for my expending such effort or suffering for this.’ Is this not selfishness? At the same time, it is also a very base sort of intent. When he thinks and acts in this way, is conscience playing any role? Is there any part of conscience in this?” (“You Can Obtain Truth After Turning Your True Heart Over to God” in Records of Christ’s Talks). After I finished reading this passage of God’s words, I felt pained in my heart. What God’s words revealed was my true state. When I thought of how Sister Zhang said that she felt constrained, I became afraid of offending her. Even though I could see quite clearly the issues that were present with her work, I was not willing to directly talk about them because I was afraid that she would become prejudiced toward me. When Sister Li asked me to inspect Sister Zhang’s work by myself, the first thing that I considered was my own interests. Since I did not quite understand some issues, I had to spend some time to contemplate the relevant principles. Most importantly, I was worried that I would spend so much time helping Sister Zhang with my inspection, yet she might not be willing to accept my suggestions. Wouldn’t I have wasted a lot of effort for nothing? When I thought about how I was trying to defend the good image of myself in Sister Zhang’s mind, it occurred to me that my attitude of evading the responsibility of my duties could be summed up in the following satanic poisons: “Everyone for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” “Be worldly-wise for the sake of personal survival and seek only to escape blame.” “The less trouble the better.” “Let go of things if they do not affect one personally.” I realized that what these thoughts revealed was treachery and suspicion. I was trying to protect my position and image in the mind of someone else. Even though I had assumed the responsibility of such an important task, I did not take sides with God. I was not considerate of God’s will and I was not protecting the interests of God’s family. When I encountered a crucial moment, I only thought about myself. I could see that I was very selfish and despicable by nature and that my thoughts and ideas hurt God and caused God to loathe me. Truly, I do not have humanity!

A Christian is reading God’s words.
Afterward, I read another passage of God’s words: “How you treat God’s commission is a very serious matter! If you cannot complete what God entrusts to you, you are not fit to live in God’s presence and should be punished. It is Heaven’s law and earth’s principle for man to complete what God entrusts to him; this is man’s highest responsibility, as important as his life. If you do not take God’s commission seriously, then you are betraying God in the most serious way; this is more grievous than Judas and is deserving of cursing. So, God commissions man: This is an exaltation and special favor from God, a most glorious thing. Everything else can be abandoned—even if one has to sacrifice his life he must still fulfill God’s commission. There is even more truth to be sought here” (“How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks). From God’s words, I could feel God’s righteous and majestic disposition that could not be offended. I reflected on myself and realized that when my individual interests clashed with the church’s interests, the majority of the time, I relied on my corrupt disposition of selfishness and despicableness to do things and abided by the principle of protecting my own interests. From God’s harsh words, I could see that if I irreverently approached the fulfillment of my duties, it is possible that I could bring loss to the church and disturb the work of God’s family. In the long run, this kind of transgression could bring ruin upon myself and my punishment would be even more severe than Judas’. Today, after reading God’s words, I finally realized the seriousness of the issues I was facing. My heart could not help but revere God. As a result, I turned to God and prayed a prayer of repentance, “God! When I fulfill my duties, at all times, I am only thinking about my own interests. I am truly not worthy of Your exaltation. I really do not have a conscience and I am not rational. I should receive Your curse and judgment. I hope to true-heartedly repent to You. I hope to be considerate of Your will while I fulfill my duties so that I can repay the grace of Your salvation.” Afterward, I read another passage of God’s words: “When you reveal selfishness, you realize it and say, ‘I am selfish,’ and ponder, ‘How can I not be selfish? I’ll first set aside my own interests.’ As you set aside a little at a time, time and again, the more you set aside the more at ease you will feel inside, and the more you will feel that being such a person is something to be proud of, that so being is worthy of the word ‘person,’ that living this way on the earth is open and straightforward, that it is being a genuine person who lives worthy of the life which God has given him and of all the things bestowed by God. The more you live like this the more your heart will be at ease and filled with light. This is getting onto the right track, isn’t it?” (“You Can Obtain Truth After Turning Your True Heart Over to God” in Records of Christ’s Talks). In a sermon, it says: “The fourth expression of dispositional change is having a conscience, having sense, and being kind-hearted, and becoming an honest person. To have conscience and sense means a person is enjoying God’s grace and knows to repay God’s love. They can fulfill their duty of a created being through believing in God because they have an understanding of God, they are kind-hearted, and have become an honest person” (“The Truth One Must Enter Into to Achieve Dispositional Change and Expressions of Dispositional Change” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (IV)). God’s words and the sermon helped me understand that living out a normal humanity involves putting the truth into action and doing things according to one’s conscience while fulfilling one’s duties. When one reveals a corrupt disposition of selfishness, one must consciously abandon or let go of his own interests, learn how to live in accordance with God’s words and prioritize protecting the interests of God’s family. Such people are those with a conscience and rationality. Even though I was quite far off from meeting the standards of living out a normal humanity, I was willing to forsake my flesh and abandon my own interests in order to practice entering into this aspect of the truth. If I highlighted the issues that I discovered while I was working so that everybody could seek the truth together in order to resolve them, this was the equivalent of protecting the church’s work. If I shared the light that I had received from God with my brothers and sisters, they could benefit and God’s heart would be comforted. This is a meaningful matter and this is a good deed! After I understood God’s will, my heart felt a lot more liberated. I was determined to forsake my flesh and fulfill this duty properly. After I prayed, I continued to inspect the remainder of Sister Zhang’s work. During this process, I found that there were still some existing difficulties. However, by relying on God, looking to God and pondering the relevant principles of the truth, I was able to resolve the problems that I previously did not understand. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, I finally finished my inspection. Even though this delayed the work for a period of time, I felt steady and at peace in my spirit because I had renounced my individual interests and protected the interests of God’s family. The second day, when we talked about the work, all of us felt that the results achieved this time were much better than before this inspection. We all felt that these results were attained through the Holy Spirit’s work. From this experience, I somewhat understood the truth of what it means to live out a normal humanity and I could see that God is particularly trustworthy. As long as we did things according to God’s words, God would enlighten, illuminate, guide and bless us. From then on, I was willing to reflect more on my corrupt impurities while fulfilling my duties, learn how to seek the truth in order to resolve my own corrupt disposition and try to focus on putting the truth into practice in all things and prioritizing the interests of God’s family.

Afterward, I devoted myself to the fulfillment of my duties with great faith and my work started to show some results. As my work load gradually increased, I became particularly busy each day. However, my brothers and sisters cooperated well with me. After experiencing a period of time like this, not only did I not feel tired, my heart felt enriched. It was as if I could engage in some honest work like an adult. Through fulfilling my duties, I also learned how to be considerate of God’s will. However, as the work results gradually improved, I could not help but live within self-satisfaction. I thought, “When the upper-level leaders see our work results, they will definitely praise me and say that I am capable of performing practical work.” When I thought of this, I was even more motivated to fulfill my duties. Just as I was basking in my feelings of pride, God’s judgment and chastisement once again befell me. It wasn’t until the work reports came out at the end of the month that I found out that I had only been able to accomplish one of the several tasks that I had been given adequately. This led to a serious decrease in the quality of the final project results. I did not do as good of a job as I had imagined I did. I never thought even though all along I felt that I was taking on a lot of responsibility, in fact, in terms of practical results, the duties that I fulfilled were not worthy of God’s blessings. Within this issue, there was definitely something that I could learn. Could it be that there were aspects of my service that were not in accordance with God’s will? For a moment, I did not know which aspect I should conduct a self-examination on. During my seeking, I read a passage of God’s words: “How great a role his conscience can have when he does not understand truth depends on what his humanity is like. If this person does things without understanding truth but does not act according to conscience so that you can’t see any area in which what he does shows consideration for God’s intention nor can you see any reverence for God in him—if you can’t see these, then does this person have a conscience? This person is not a person with a conscience. Does such a person have humanity? (No.) Then what kind of person is this? The standard saying and precise definition is that this kind of person does not have humanity and has fallen below the minimum standard of humankind. He has no conscience, and he does things neither according to reason nor according to conscience” (“You Can Obtain Truth After Turning Your True Heart Over to God” in Records of Christ’s Talks). In a sermon, it says: “What were the manifestations that indicate that David loved God? What indicates his love for God? His greatest objective was to build a temple for God so that the Israelite people could come before God. This was the manifestation that showed that he indeed loved God. … Isn’t this an example of devotion, being considerate of God’s will, reverence and fear? Which aspect of God’s will was David considerate of? In the wilderness, the Israelites had no place to worship God. David wanted to build a temple so that his people could worship God there, and he strived to achieve it. … Was there a difference with the common people? (Yes.) Where is the difference? How many aspects are there that differ? (This is similar to the topic that we just discussed. There are some people who only care about themselves. They do not care about God or the work of the church. What they defend are their own interests. They do not defend God’s interests or the interests of God’s family. This is the biggest difference.) (Our faith in God is for ourselves. However, David’s faith was not for himself. His faith was for the consideration of God’s will.) The crucial point is to see how David treated God. Would you say that the attitude with which David treated the common people was related to his attitude toward God?” (“The Principles and Standards of Weighing Humanity” in The Fellowship From the Above). From God’s words and the sermon we can see that fulfilling one’s duties should not be done for one’s individual benefit. Instead, one should focus on being considerate of God’s will and should suffer and pay a price in order to satisfy God. These are the things that someone with a normal humanity does. When I reflected back to the way I was fulfilling my duties and how I only wanted to improve the work results so that the upper-level leaders and my brothers and sisters would see that I was capable of handling practical work, I could see that underneath my facade of suffering and paying a price through the fulfillment of my duties, I still had my own deliberations and objectives in mind. I was doing all this so that others would praise me. I wanted others to think highly of me. I wanted them to say good things about me whenever they thought of me. This way, no matter what kind of suffering I went through, I would feel that it was worth it. When I was fulfilling duties, I was focused on improving my own reputation. I did not realize that only if each of us shoulders a true burden for our duties, only if our hearts are turned to God, the path we are walking was correct and our deliberations were correct, would we receive God’s guidance and blessings and would the results of our duties improve as a whole. However, I was only focused on the results that were before my own eyes and I became self-satisfied and self-congratulatory. If I fulfilled my duties in this manner, how could I do it for long and how could it produce real results? As for how David lived out his humanity, he used a life time’s worth of painstaking effort to build a temple so that the Israelites would worship God even better and David did this with no demands or expectations of reward. This caused me to see that the way I was living out my own humanity was lacking too much. Through the fulfillment of my duties, I was still living by the satanic nature of selfishness and despicableness. I basically was not considerate of God’s will and I was not doing things for God. I was struggling for my own individual benefit. This caused God to loathe me and convict me. At this moment, I could see clearly that even though I was very industrious in regard to fulfilling my duties, because my selfish nature had not been thoroughly resolved, there were many corrupt impurities with the fulfillment of my duties. I was not fulfilling my duties in order to obtain the truth and satisfy God. My suffering and paying a price was basically just exerting myself and doing manual labor. Even though my duties were completed, I did not understand much of the truth. Even if I worked harder, I would still not satisfy God’s will. I truly felt unworthy of God entrusting me with these tasks. At the same time, I learned that I was corrupted deeply by Satan and my selfish and despicable nature was deeply rooted. If I did not experience even more of God’s judgment, chastisement, trials and refinement, I would not be able to experience true change and live out the likeness of a genuine human being!

What Does It Mean to Have Humanity
Later, I read another passage of God’s words: “How does one act according to conscience? The particulars of following conscience are that when a person acts, he must do so relying on a true heart and live up to God’s having given this life and opportunity for obtaining salvation. Is this not the function of conscience? Once you have this most basic foundation you will have obtained protection, and won’t you then not so easily do things to disobey God…. Then you will not so easily just go through the motions or be perfunctory, and you will not so easily fall to scheming for your own position, fame, gain, and future—this is the role of conscience. The most basic and important components of one’s humanity are conscience and reason” (“You Can Obtain Truth After Turning Your True Heart Over to God” in Records of Christ’s Talks). “So what are the standards that God requires for how people conduct themselves? (Be honest.) Be honest—what else? (Pursue the truth.) Anything else? (Possess insight and rationality.) (Have humanity, character, and dignity.) Have character, have dignity, have a conscience, be rational, have a heart that is obedient to God and loves God—what else? (Revere God.) Yes, what God wants ultimately is that people revere Him; that’s what’s most important. What do all these things that people are capable of achieving relate to? (The truth.) They all relate to the truth. When people try and put them into practice, if they are able to achieve them, then what kind of person are they? (A real person.) … In God’s eyes, real people are those who possess the reality of the truth. God defines the standards for real people as follows: In addition to walking in the way of God—fearing God and shunning evil—they are those who have normal humanity, which means possessing the truth and entering the reality of the truth” (“Only With the Truth as Their Life Can People Live a Life of Value” in Records of Christ’s Talks). After reading God’s words, I discovered that in the past, my understanding of the aspect of the truth involving normal humanity was too one-sided. I believed that as long as I was able to get along well with other people, it meant that my humanity was good. Only after going through this instance of judgment and chastisement and reading God’s words did I understand that those who have a normal humanity, through the fulfillment of their duties, are able to be considerate of God’s will, be anxious about what God is anxious about and think about what God is thinking. They fulfill the duties they need to fulfill and they do so without heeding their individual reasons and conditions. They only want to satisfy God and fulfill the duties of one of God’s creations. God’s words really motivated me. Even though presently, every aspect of my corrupt disposition is deeply rooted and I am far off from the normal humanity that God demands, I am willing to focus on my own life entry each day as I fulfill my duties. I am willing to maintain a heart that reveres God in all matters and I am willing to seek God’s will and the principles of the truth. I am also willing to rank putting the truth into practice during the fulfillment of my duties as my number one priority. Only through focusing on putting the truth into practice will I be able to thoroughly break away from the control and bindings of my corrupt nature. In this way, the positive things in my heart will multiply, I will receive more opportunities to obtain the Holy Spirit’s work and I will have a path to live out the reality of the truth. As a result, I shared what I had acquired with my brothers and sisters. They all approved of what I had learned. Afterward, as we fulfilled our duties, we practiced accepting God’s observation in all matters, accepting God’s judgment and chastisement and abandoning our individual interests in order to satisfy God. We learned to seek God’s will in all things, seek the principles of the truth, execute in accordance with the truth, focus on seeking the truth in order to resolve the corruption that we reveal and no longer rely on our corrupt dispositions to do things. … When I stopped focusing on the so-called “results” and instead started focusing on putting the truth into practice, I never thought that the results of my duties would improve. From this, I could see the vivid and realistic nature of God’s disposition. God is at our side. Each day, He has arranged our environment so that we would seek His will and enter into the reality of the truth. God’s love is truly real!

Through seeking and pondering the aspect of the truth related to normal humanity, I gained a proper objective to pursue. Each day, as I fulfill my duties, I focus on putting the truth into practice. I no longer rely on my own corrupt disposition to do things. I make a great effort to “uphold my duty with all my heart and mind.” When I do this, my heart feels at peace and stable and my spiritual state is much improved when compared to before. Gradually, as I do things, I become principled. This has allowed me to appreciate deeply that only God’s judgment and chastisement can restore man’s insight, rationality and conscience. It has caused someone like me who has been corrupted deeply by Satan to understand how one should live out the likeness of a genuine human being. It is just as God said: “It is not the case that people become someone who has the truth as soon as they start doing their duty. Doing one’s duty is no more than one method and one channel to take. In the doing of their duties, people use these opportunities to gradually attain an understanding of the truth, an acceptance of the truth and gradually enter into the truth. They then reach a state whereby they get rid of the bonds and control of the corrupt disposition of Satan, and so they become someone who has the truth, someone who has the reality of the truth and they become someone with a normal humanity. Once people become someone with normal humanity, then the performing of their duties, their speaking and acting can be of benefit to others and can satisfy God. Only then can they become standard created beings; only then can they become the standard and qualified mankind created by God” (“To Attain the Truth, You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks).

Thanks for your listening. All the glory be to Almighty God!


Christian Testimonies

Bye Bye, Games!

“When people play games for a long time, their willpower would evaporate. The unbelievers have a word to describe this. What is it? It is ‘decadence.’ Always playing games, always playing on the computer—this kind of person is decadent.”

Hello everybody! Online games are one of the trends that are present in society these days. Many young people are deeply addicted to these games. Those that are harmed by these games also know that playing these games brings all sorts of negative consequences to their future prospects and their families. However, no matter what, they are unable to break free. Just how can they thoroughly break free from these games? Next, we will listen to Brother Zhangjin share about his experience. Afterward, from what he shares with us, you will be able to find the answers you need.


In June, 2016, during my spare time off duty, I started to search on the internet for all sorts of games with my tablet computer. One day at noon, I found a role-playing game. There were many aspects to that game that were similar to those of the internet games that I liked in the past. The 3D graphics were extremely detailed and the fight scenes were very exciting. Based on my experience of playing games, I could confirm that this game was exactly the type that I liked. Actually, I knew that playing games was not good. However, I thought that since I was only using my spare time to play this game a little bit, as long as I did not become lost within the game, it would be fine. In the afternoon, without scruple, I spent two hours of time on the game until I had a good command of all the operations associated with its different functions. Unconsciously, I was secretly delighted: I have finally found a good game to play! In this way, during a time when I let my guard down, temptation quietly befell me.

When I first started, I only used my spare time to play this game. As my ranking in the game began to improve, I began to become addicted. I started using more and more time to play. Within a week, my tablet and I had become inseparable. During the day, while I was fulfilling my duties, I secretly placed my tablet next to my computer monitor and left the game on auto-pilot so it could play for me. I was constantly monitoring the battle progress of my game. During the night, when everybody was sleeping, I would secretly play under the covers. I had my blankets wrapped around me tightly so that the light rays from the tablet screen would not be noticed by my brothers who had yet to fall asleep. Sometimes, I would play until very late at night. During the day, when I was fulfilling my duties, I had no energy left. At the time, I was completely engrossed within the game. Even when I went to the bathroom, I would take my tablet with me…. Since my heart was possessed by this game, I did not receive any enlightenment or illumination when reading God’s words nor was I willing to pray. Within, I could no longer feel God’s presence. Each day, my heart was empty. Since the game had different tasks all the time, whenever it came time to complete a task in the game, my heart would be disturbed. Sometimes, I would even stop performing a duty in order to finish one of the tasks in the game. Once I finished the task, I would once again pick up where I left off in regard to fulfilling my duties. However, my train of thought was broken and I basically had to start from the beginning. This caused my efficiency in fulfilling my duties to become very low. Sometimes, I would think of how treating the fulfillment of my duties lightly was equivalent to seriously betraying God. Sometimes, some of God’s words would pop up into my mind: “When people play games for a long time, their willpower would evaporate. The unbelievers have a word to describe this. What is it? It is ‘decadence.’ Always playing games, always playing on the computer—this kind of person is decadent. ‘Decadence’ is a word of the unbelievers. We say that these people have no normal humanity. They have been filled with the violence and killing of these games and with the things of virtual worlds. The things of normal humanity have been stripped away by these games, filled and forcibly occupied by them, and they have forcibly occupied the things within people’s thoughts as well as any room they have for thought; they are then decadent” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). In my heart, I knew clearly that games were not a positive thing. Playing games would cause me to degenerate, cause me to become decadent and even ruin me. I also knew that those were warnings from the Holy Spirit, yet I was not willing to accept the judgment that came from God, because I was fully aware that once I was serious about the truth, it meant that I must abandon my games. Since I was not willing to give up playing games, again and again, I chose to give up putting the truth into practice. As a result, I secretly played computer games for more than half a month. It was during this time when I was engrossed in this game and obstinately persisting in doing the wrong thing that God’s judgment and chastisement befell me.

One afternoon, I suddenly discovered that a source material in a particular card went missing. I became very alarmed: Could it be that I forgot to copy it when one of my brothers had given that card to me? I could not help but break out in a cold sweat. I thought, “If it really went missing, this could delay the progress of the work. Wouldn’t I be responsible for disturbing and interrupting the work of the church?” The more I thought about it, the more scared I became: It seems like this time, I have committed a transgression before God. After I confirmed that the source material really had not been copied, my heart rate increased as I quickly looked for the brother who had given me the card. I asked him whether he had a backup. He gave a card to me saying that only the source material in this card had not been deleted and that all the other material had been deleted. When I received the card and could see that there was still a shred of hope, I quickly prayed to God, “God! I know that I have become addicted to computer games. I have neglected my duties and caused You to loathe me. What happened today was Your way of warning me. Regardless of whether or not this card contains the source material that I did not copy, I absolutely will not continue on like this. …” After I returned, I opened up the card and saw that within was exactly the source material that I had forgotten to copy. A great weight was lifted off my chest. In my heart, I repeatedly offered thanks to God. My heart was clearly aware that the things that befell me on that day were definitely not incidental, and that God used this situation to speak to me and He used this situation to issue me a warning. I thought back to a passage of a sermon that I had once read, “What are the methods by which God speaks to us? One method is the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit. This is a way God directly communes with and speaks to us. What else? Speaking to or warning us through all sorts of people, things, and events, using various circumstances to guide us and speak to us, and speaking to us with facts through various trials and refinements. If you are truly a living being possessed of a spirit, you ought to be able to comprehend and understand this. If we experience God’s work in this way, is this true communion with God? Although we cannot see it with our eyes, we can completely sense it with our heart and our spirit…. If you ignore it one time or two times, then can you still be uncertain about it after eight or ten times? God hates people’s rebellion. When we willfully rebel against God, when we care about the flesh and satisfy ourselves, then God hides His face and becomes distant from us. At that time, our spirits feel darkness, depression, and pain. We are unable to touch God and are without happiness or enjoyment. What does God do to us here? The work of revealing His disposition. What does He tell us? ‘You’ve rebelled against God. I dislike you. I hide My face from you, I am distant from you, and I ignore you.’ This is what it means” (“Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word ‘Knowing God Is the Path to Fearing God and Shunning Evil’ (III)” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (X)). From this passage of fellowship, I understood that God was using the situations I was encountering to speak to me and to convey His will. That day, I had just gone through a daunting experience without any mishaps. This was God giving me a warning. At the same time, it was God conveying His attitude and disposition: God loathed my rebellion. Since I deliberately sinned, paying no heed to the Holy Spirit’s rebuke and willfully rebelling against God, God hid His face from me, and my inner state was dark. Recently, in this past half a month, I was fully aware that my heart had become possessed by this game and that I was absentmindedly performing my duties. I also was fully aware that my state was not normal and that my spirit had become dark and depressed. However, I did not repent to God but instead, I chose to avoid God. In order to satisfy my fleshly desires, I consciously disobeyed God. Since my thoughts and energy were consumed by the game, not only did that negatively affect my entry into life, it also caused me to neglect my duties and nearly delay the work of the church. If God had not defended His own work, it would not be possible to repair the damage that my transgression would have caused. After experiencing this episode of God’s warning and dealing, I had a bit of an understanding of God’s righteous disposition: Once I violate God’s words and the truth and start to live in evil, it is something that God really despises and loathes. For a period of time afterward, I did not dare once again to commit a deliberate violation and to wantonly indulge my own fleshly desires, especially when I was fulfilling my duties. Whenever I had the desire to play computer games, I consciously forsook my own fleshly desires and quieted myself before God. I was determined not to treat my duty lightly and make the same mistakes I had in the past.

After a while, my mind would occasionally wander and I would start to think about images from the computer game. My heart, just as before, would long for the game. Since I did not seek the truth to resolve this issue, gradually, my will began to waver and I started to yield to myself. I thought, “I should not have standards that are too high for myself. As long as I plan my time well each day and as long as playing my computer game does not interrupt the fulfillment of my duties, it should be fine.” That’s how, because I was unable to restrain myself, I once again started to play. While I was playing the computer game, in order to hide what I was doing from my brothers and sisters, I became like a thief, occasionally checking whether other people were looking at me. While my hands were engaged with playing the game, I would, from time to time, scan the environment from the corner of my eye to see if it was “normal.” This kind of dishonest expression and guilt could not stand up to God’s examination. I felt like I was a clown in God’s eyes, yet, I chose to continue ignoring God’s examination. Sometimes, in order to squeeze out a little more time to play, I would sleep a little less in the morning. When I woke up, the first thing I did was not to practice spiritual devotion. Instead, it was to complete the game’s task of the day. I thought that as long as this did not interfere with my duties, it would be okay. However, practically, it was a different story. When completing a task in the game conflicted with fulfilling my duties, I would want to play even though my duties had not been completed. Even though I reluctantly chose to fulfill my duties, my heart was disturbed by the fact that I wanted to complete one of the tasks of the game on time. In regard to fulfilling my duties, I was basically just going through the motions to complete the tasks that I was assigned. Sometimes, my brothers and sisters were dissatisfied with the source material that I produced. Sometimes, they would even have to completely revise it. Since my mind was preoccupied both day and night by the scenes of the computer game, I had no more mental resources for fulfilling duties, and while performing them, I didn’t receive the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination, and my spirit no longer felt God’s presence at all. When I attended gatherings, I had nothing to say, and I felt dry and constrained in my spirit. When I read God’s words, I was basically just going through formalities. I knew that I could not continue to play, and that if I did so, I would ruin myself. However, my heart could not escape the pull of the game. In this manner, I stubbornly played for another half a month. At this point, God’s discipline befell me.

One night after dinner, I took a walk with a few of my brothers. Nearby, there was a steel rope that was approximately 4m high and 50m long. We would usually attach ourselves to it with some rope and someone else would pull us from one end to the other. When it was my turn, my hands suddenly lost strength halfway across. I started falling from a height of 4m. As I was falling, my hands rubbed against the rope. Since I was falling quite fast, eight of my fingers were injured due to the friction caused by holding onto the rope. The skin of two of my fingers on my right hand was rubbed off. Within a minute after I fell, because the friction produced a lot of heat, the palms of my hands began to blister. It was indescribably painful. Since I was born, I had never experienced such a pain. After I came back, my hands were in so much pain, I could no longer operate a mouse or a keyboard. In my heart, I could see very clearly that the event that transpired that day was God’s discipline befalling me. That night, I read God’s words: “When you are once again faced with a trial, God wants to see whether your viewpoint, your ideas, and your attitude toward God have had any growth in the meantime…. God always observes people from their side, watching their every word and deed, their every act and movement, even their every thought and idea. Everything that happens to people: their good deeds, their faults, their transgressions, and even their rebellions and betrayals, God will record it all as evidence in establishing their outcome” (“How to Know God’s Disposition and the Result of His Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words I could see that God keeps watch at our side and examines everything. God can see man’s perspective on situations that he encounters as well as his attitude toward God. God keeps records of everything that we do and say. When I thought back to the previous two months, I realized that playing games had disrupted my spiritual life and my ability to fulfill my duties. Even though my heart frequently felt rebuked, I neglected the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and rebuke all along. In order to satisfy my own fleshly desires, I treated God like the air and I disobeyed God’s word time after time. I violated the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment and illumination and I did many things that would not be able to withstand God’s examination. I thought back to the period not long ago that I experienced God’s dealing and discipline for almost interrupting the work of God’s family and how even now, I still had not repented. Externally, I was just playing a game. However, in actuality, I was walking a path of disobeying God. Now, due to my injuries, I even had difficulties using a mouse and a keyboard. My heart knew that the reason I encountered God’s discipline was because I had ignored my duties. God’s words say: “Toward things that are evil, and sinful, and wicked, He is profoundly wrathful, such that He is unceasing in His wrath” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). As I was facing the temptation of playing the computer game, all along I knew that the violent depictions shown in the game were evil and that God does not commend people for seeking these things. However, I was still unable to forsake them. Only through my personal experience of God’s discipline and judgment was I able to learn that God’s attitude toward these evil things is one of hate and anger, and that God’s righteous disposition involves His cursing of these evil things. I thought, “If I continue to be engrossed in these things, I would be challenging God’s wrath. Now, the discipline that I encounter originates from God’s righteous disposition. It is God’s chastisement and judgment of my rebellious nature as well as His protection and salvation of me. If I obstinately persist in going down the wrong path, I would encounter God’s spurn and elimination.” This instance of discipline allowed me to deeply feel: God’s presence is so real. Additionally, God transparently and openly conveys His disposition. He examines my thoughts, ideas, deeds and conduct. Meanwhile, He has prepared a suitable environment to warn and discipline me and at the same time, He has also given me an opportunity, and He is waiting for me to turn around. This episode of discipline helped me to have some reverence for God. Afterward, I no longer dared to battle God. However, God’s test had not yet concluded.

After that episode of discipline, I deleted the computer game. For a while, I no longer played. Sometimes, when I inadvertently noticed my tablet that was close at hand, even though images from the game would appear in my mind, however, what was dividing my heart from the game was that experience of discipline that I had just encountered not long ago. What was in between my heart and the game was my experience of God’s disposition. These things were a defensive perimeter that constrained me from indulging in my flesh. Since the last episode of discipline, there was a period of time when I did not access the computer game. The scars on my hands had healed a long time ago and the pain had gradually subsided. However, not long afterward, a few of my brothers, who worked with me, almost all went out one time. I felt that, due to this situation, I would not need to be secretive with indulging in my flesh. The first few days, I was still able to resist. However, after a few days of persevering, my desire to play computer games became increasingly strong. Once again, I downloaded that computer game on my tablet. After I had installed the game, I was still hesitant about logging in. However, when I thought about the scenes in the game and all the different kinds of skills involved with playing the game, I wanted to play more and more. My heart started to beat faster and with fear and trepidation, I logged into the game once again. While I was playing the game, I could feel that God was watching me. I could also feel that this sort of action was testing God. However, I still engaged in wishful thinking: I’ll just play one time. Afterward, I will not play again. However, one time, turned into two times which turned into three times. Just like that, the computer game had returned into my life just as it did in the past…. However, this time around, when I played the game, my heart felt pain, self-blame, self-loathing and remorse most of the time. I hated myself for failing to live up to God’s expectations and not having a shred of will to put the truth into practice. When I felt indebted to God because I had failed to resist my fleshly temptations, I would shut myself into a room and hit myself on the face. While I was hitting myself on my ear, I could feel God’s heart was laden with grief. I thought of God’s words: “His sorrow is due to mankind, for whom He has hopes but who has fallen into darkness, because the work He does on man does not come up to His expectations, and because the mankind He loves cannot all live in the light” (“It Is Very Important to Understand God’s Disposition” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I could feel that God’s heart was sad and distressed when He was watching me fall into Satan’s net and be fooled and harmed by Satan and unable to throw it off. God hopes that man is able to accept the truth, put God’s words into practice, live under God’s care and protection and, as early as possible, break away from Satan’s harm. However, when facing temptation, I did not have the will to rebel against my flesh and break with Satan. Time and time again, I got trapped by temptation. I did not seek God’s will and demands, much less consider whether God’s heart was laden with grief. I was preoccupied with satisfying my own selfish desires. I gave in to my fleshly desires and continued playing games. I did not bear witness at all. I was truly very selfish and degenerate! Although I was so rebellious, God still did not give up on my salvation. When I realized that God’s heart was laden with grief and that God was concerned about me, I was very moved and cried uncontrollably. I prayed to God: “God! I am too rebellious and lowly! During this period of being exposed, I no longer have any confidence in myself. My addiction to computer games has only brought me pain and suffering and it has caused me to grow distant from You, to avoid You and to disobey You. Even though I have experienced Your discipline, I still have not been able to conquer this temptation. God! I do not want to live within darkness. I do not want to live in a situation where I am opposed to You and where I am rebellious and grieve Your heart. Moreover, I do not want to be loathed and rejected by You. God! You are my only support. Please save me and help me to break away from the lure of this computer game. Change my rebellious nature….” During that time, my heart no longer avoided God. I frequently brought this matter before God and committed it to Him as well as looked up to Him. Sometimes, I really wanted to make an oath to God. However, I was scared that I would not be able to fulfill my oath once I made it. During that time, my heart was all along in a state of struggle. One day, I listened to a sermon given by the man used by the Holy Spirit. The sermon said: “Who are the ones who love to have fun? People that love to play video games are among them, these people won’t amount to anything. They’ll be abandoned. The people I loathe and hate the most, and the people God loathes and hates the most are twentysomethings and thirtysomethings who have nothing better to do than play games. Video game consoles are the devil’s playthings. They love those kinds of things. Do you think that stuff is the truth? Do you think that stuff is a positive thing? Some people play games for hours without eating or sleeping. They are devils who will never accomplish anything. Those people will be abandoned, they are the dregs of humanity, worthless slovenly creatures, ones who do not attend to their proper duties. Among those who perform duties in God’s house now, are there ones who play games secretly when they have some free time? These people should be isolated. If they do not repent, they are not allowed to perform duty…. Don’t you think that people who cannot accept any truth are degenerates? They’re all degenerates. What do we mean by ‘degenerate’? People who cannot accept any modicum of truth and are beyond redemption. These people are degenerates. They cannot be saved” (Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life: Series 125). The man whom the Holy Spirit uses strictly pruned and dealt with those that play games and do not walk the right path, and I felt like each sentence was piercing my heart. It was as if God was judging and chastising me face to face. This helped me to understand that God’s attitude toward the people that play games is one of loathing and hate. I thought: “For the past two months, my heart was preoccupied with the game I was playing. I had no heart to pursue the truth or to fulfill my duties. What was in my heart was things that were sordid and unjust, and I decadently followed the evil trends of the world. Not only did playing games interfere with my duties, it also caused harm to my own life and it made me unworthy of God’s grace. God has provided me with the truth and the life. In response, not only have I not sought to obtain it, I also have not abandoned evil and chosen the truth. All along, I have not developed the resolve to completely give up playing games. Aren’t I just a demon? Aren’t I someone that is most deserving of God’s loathing and punishment? If I obstinately persist in going down this dark path and if I continue to turn my back on God and play games, my life would truly be ruined. Once God no longer treats me with patience and lenience, all that would befall me would be His spurn.” I was very afraid that I would be sucked back into the games and God, as a result, would eliminate me. I was also very afraid that my life of following God would conclude in this manner. So I really wanted to break free from the bindings of my computer game addiction. The dealing and pruning of the man used by the Holy Spirit inspired me, who was hesitating, with the courage to break free from my computer game addiction. When night came, I made an oath to God swearing that I would never play computer games again.

After that day, even though I no longer played computer games, when I thought about the past almost three months in which my heart had been occupied by computer games so that I was well aware of the truth, but I did not put the truth into practice, I disobeyed and resisted God over and over again and I did not take God’s commission seriously and instead simply went through the motions, I saw that I was very corrupt and my rebelliousness was very serious. So sometimes, I would think whether God would still save someone like me. In my heart, I could faintly feel there was quite some distance between God and me. I felt that I was not worthy to read God’s words or to pray to God. So I prayed to God about this state of mine. Afterward, I thought of David’s experience: David had committed adultery. However, when God’s judgment befell him, he quickly accepted it and obeyed. He was able to truly repent. He used the remaining years of his life to show that he was being sincere in front of God. When I contemplated David’s experience, I came to see this: God’s disposition is righteous and holy. Even if people whom God commends sin against God, they would likewise be chastised and cursed. Today, I have disobeyed God. Furthermore, my nature is completely one that resists God. How could I escape from God’s righteous judgment and chastisement? Through my reflections, I came to an understanding. There was an estrangement between me and God in my heart. That was simply because I did not want to face and accept the fact that God’s righteous disposition had come upon me. If I could truly accept in my heart that God’s disposition is righteous, not merely righteous toward other people, but also toward me, then, I should not be distant from God, I should not be on guard against God and I should not misunderstand God. Instead, I should, since I had personally experienced God’s righteousness, offer gratefulness and praise. When I pondered what God did in David, I also understood that God does not determine people’s final destination based on their transgressions. Instead, He bases this decision on their essence. He sees whether or not someone would truly repent after he has committed a sin. He sees what that person ultimately pursues in believing in God. If that person is willing to repent and start anew, God would change the attitude with which He deals with him. This is precisely as God said: “God’s disposition is a complete whole; it is not at all split. Regardless of whether He is expressing anger or mercy and tolerance toward people, these are all expressions of His righteous disposition. God’s disposition is real and vivid. He changes His thoughts and attitudes according to the development of things. The transformation of His attitude toward the Ninevites tells humanity that He has His own thoughts and ideas; He is not a robot or clay figure, but the living God Himself. He could be angry with the people of Nineveh, just as He could forgive their pasts according to their attitudes; He could decide to bring misfortune upon the Ninevites, and He could change His decision because of their repentance” (“God Himself, the Unique II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I obtained some understanding of God’s righteous disposition: God has principles when He deals with people. When someone stubbornly disobeys God, God will smite and discipline that person. If that person obstinately refuses to yield all along, God will punish and curse that person. However, if that person truly repents, God will be merciful and forgiving to him and He will give that person an opportunity to turn over a new leaf. I thought, “David used the remaining years of his life to verify that he had indeed repented by revering God and shunning evil. I have sworn an oath to God. Now, am I also able to use the rest of my life to uphold that oath?” At that moment, I understood that God’s righteous disposition befalling me was a great protection for me. God’s purpose was to guide me to walk the proper path of life. God’s righteous disposition not only contains majesty and wrath, it also contains mercy and leniency. God will not remember man’s transgressions. As long as man is able to turn back to God, keep far from the path of evil and no longer disobey and resist God, he will be able to obtain God’s mercy and God will not convict and eliminate him. At this moment, I was somewhat grateful that God’s righteous disposition had been revealed in me. I could feel that although God’s judgment, chastisement, smiting and discipline carried God’s righteousness and majesty, they had protected and saved me. This kind of true feeling resulted from God tolerating and being patient with my disobedience. It contained God’s painstaking price and it also contained God’s love. Even though I really did not want to face the period of time when I was playing games and disobeying God, however, in that period of time was bitter sweet. The bitterness involved me being chastised for being stubborn and disobeying God. The sweetness was that I was able to gain a true experience and understanding of the Creator’s righteous disposition, and additionally, I was grateful for God’s disposition of tolerance and mercy. As a result, I could not renounce my will and determination to pursue the truth.

I started reflecting on myself: “Ordinarily, I recognized that playing computer games was not good and I knew perfectly well that it was harmful to me, but why did I get trapped and why was it so hard to break free from it? There must be a truth concerning this that I need to seek.” Afterward, I read God’s words: “When your stature is immature and you have no discernment, you may first take those evil trends in and see them as positive, as things that are very normal. ‘Why can’t I imitate these things? Why can’t I desire them? They’re just normal.’ You then see them as legitimate things. This is one way in which Satan poisons people so, tell Me, is Satan not evil? There really are all manner of ways in which Satan corrupts man. You are probably able to see clearly that Satan does those things that are unimaginable to people, those things that are weird and hard to come to terms with, that normal humanity doesn’t engage in. Once you realize how scary and sickening these evil trends are, do you then have any discernment toward what Satan does? What should your attitude be? Should it be to abandon these things? When you have free time, you should put your thoughts in order and see what kind of strange things are still in your mind. There are many strange things in your minds. Why is that? Because your generation is too poisoned. There are way too many of these things, such as leaping over roofs and up walls, being Spider-Man, and being Batman. All the things that normal humanity shouldn’t have, the things that normal humanity doesn’t normally need, the things that normal humanity doesn’t possess—if you are determined to pursue these things, and are set on sampling them and experiencing them, then you may possibly bring on the work of another kind of spirit. Once people have been taken captive by an evil spirit then this is a cause of great trouble: God will no longer want them. This is then no longer a matter of whether it is dangerous or not. If you are taken captive by Satan, can God still want you? God won’t want you and you will be in danger. So how can this matter be resolved? You should implore God often, that you not fall into temptation, and that you not be deceived by Satan. In this evil age, in this age infested by unclean spirits and devils, you should pray that God’s kindness and protection will often be with you, that He looks after you and protects you, so that your heart won’t leave God, and you can strive to use your heart and your honesty to worship God. Is it a right way to follow? (Yes, it is.) So do you wish to walk this path? Are you willing to live often under God’s care and protection, often to be disciplined by God, or do you wish to live in your own free world? If God disciplines you, and sometimes causes your flesh to suffer pain, are you willing to accept this? (Yes.) I will see how you behave when the time comes. If any among you become seriously ill because you are disobedient or too rebellious, I will see whether or not you will complain. Despite your saying ‘yes’ now, ‘yes’ is a word that is hard to live up to. It is feared that young people are unsettled, are derelict in their duties and never think of anything serious” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). From God’s words, I understood that internet games are one of the tools that Satan uses to harm people. Satan uses internet games to entice people and cause people to get stuck within the games with no way of extricating themselves. When you play games, you feel that the real world holds no interest for you, and you live in a virtual world that is manufactured by Satan. The result is that you are divorced from reality and from everything within normal humanity, thereby distancing yourself from God and no longer having the inclination to accept God’s salvation. Previously, when my mind relaxed, the majority of thoughts that floated up were of the fight scenes that I had seen in movies, anime and computer games. I imagined myself being like the heroes with a sense of justice in those films and games who can fly around wielding their swords and doing whatever they please…. The things in those scenes are not what a person with a normal humanity should have. I just thought of these kinds of day dreams as a form of enjoyment. I never thought that there was anything wrong with it. Even more so, I did not consider it to be evil. During this period of time when I was engrossed within these scenes, my heart would frequently think about how I could improve my character’s rank and equipment in the game. My brain would frequently be thinking of these scenes when I ate, walked and even read God’s words. The higher the rank of my character in the game, the more his status improved and the more enjoyment I felt when playing the game. Imperceptibly, I began to personify the character that I played in the game. Unconsciously, I became imprisoned in Satan’s net. I was not aware of it at all. I had become Satan’s toy. From God’s words, I could see that when a man has nothing to do, if he always pursues, experiences, imagines and samples inhuman things, this could possibly attract another kind of spirit. Once someone has been taken captive by an evil spirit, God will no longer want that person, God will abandon him and we can well imagine what that person’s fate would be. Getting addicted to a computer game can cause someone to walk a road of no return. Immediately, I felt my blood run cold. “It turns out that these games conceal such evil and poisonous schemes of Satan.” Through God’s enlightenment and revealing I was able to differentiate Satan’s schemes. I started to have some lingering fears about my addiction and I thought of God’s warning to man, “You should implore God often, that you not fall into temptation, and that you not be deceived by Satan.” From that warning, I understood that when we cannot see through evil trends, we need to frequently implore God to watch over us and protect us, and that we should choose to live under the discipline of God rather than to wantonly live in our own free world. At that point, I had the will and the faith to rebel against my flesh and put the truth into practice. I resolved that I would no longer give an opportunity for Satan’s work and I would never again allow it to take advantage of me. After I learned of the source of my failure, whenever I encountered this type of temptation once more, I had a path that I could put into practice. Sometimes, when I was alone, I still had the urge to play games again. When I had these kinds of thoughts and ideas, I would consciously calm my heart down and reflect on God’s words. God’s words say: “Did you think that your oaths had already passed away? I tell you, even if your fleshes pass away, your oaths cannot pass away. At the end, I will condemn you based upon your oaths” (“Your Character Is So Lowly!” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Since I had already pledged an oath before God and also experienced God’s discipline and how God’s righteous disposition does not tolerate man’s offense, and had come to know that God examines my every word and every action and determines my ending according to my deeds and conduct, at that time, I was able to be careful of my own footsteps, and I did not dare try and disobey God or do things that test God’s disposition. Sometimes, when I couldn’t sleep at night, my mind would once again wander off into those scenes from the computer game, and when I felt the desire to follow those thoughts and experience those kind of feelings again, I would think of God’s words, “These games are the world of devils…. What things now constitute the majority of young people’s thoughts and souls? … One cannot use the words ‘dirty’ or ‘evil’ to describe the things they think about; so many of them are inhuman” (“Young People Should See Through the Evil Trends of the World” in Records of Christ’s Talks). When I thought of God’s words, I knew that those thoughts were Satan’s schemes and I was able to consciously forsake them and stop thinking about those scenes and scenarios from the game. While performing my duties, when I unintentionally viewed propaganda for an internet game, I wanted to pay close attention to it. At that moment, I thought of the words in a particular sermon: “A prudent man foresees the evil, and hides himself; but the simple pass on, and are finished” (“What Kind of Person Will Be Perfected by God” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (VII)). As I knew that my nature loved these kinds of evil things, that it was easy for me to tumble in this regard, and that I had to be even more cautious with my footsteps, through quieting myself before God, I was able to restrain myself and not give an opportunity for Satan’s work.

Bye Bye, Games
Now, more than a year has passed. Not only have I no longer played any games, also, when thoughts associated with computer games come up, I am able to distinguish them and I am able to forsake them. My spirit is set free and liberated. God’s righteous disposition has granted me protection and salvation! In this experience, I learned that when I committed an intentional sin and continued to disobey God, God revealed to me His righteous disposition that does not allow offense. This caused me to develop a heart that reveres God and my desire to play computer games subsided. If it had not been for God’s righteous disposition, I would still be engrossed in the world of computer games with no way to free myself and I would continue suffering Satan’s harm and tease. My time and energy would be wasted on evil things and I would end up living decadently, not knowing what the proper path of life is. God’s righteous judgment has saved me and helped me to break free from the temptation of computer games. Thanks be to God! Due to God’s righteous disposition, I am able to distinguish between good and evil and beauty and ugliness. Due to God’s righteous disposition, I flinch from the path of evil. Due to God’s righteous disposition, I now have a heart that loves positive things and turns toward the light. Through this experience, I have truly learned that God’s love for me is so real. There are still many things in me that are not in line with God’s will. However, from now on, I am willing to experience more of God’s judgment, smiting and discipline so that I can have a deeper understanding of God’s righteous disposition and soon become someone who reveres God and shuns evil, who has been obtained by God.

Thank you for listening. May all the glory be to Almighty God!

Seeing God’s Hand in the Hardships of Selling and Buying a Home | GOSPEL OF THE DESCENT OF THE KINGDOM

Buying or selling a home is a common occurrence in our lives—no one is a stranger to it. However, Sister Ma Ling encountered a particular predicament when selling and then buying real estate. Would you like to know how God guided her through this difficult period of time?

A Letter From a Recovered Cancer Patient to Her Sister | GOSPEL OF THE DESCENT OF THE KINGDOM

A Letter From a Recovered Cancer Patient to Her Sister
Sep 30, 2018
Little Sister:
Personal Testimonies From the Church’s Life Fellowship Gatherings

Hello! I got your letter a few days ago and it made me really happy. We haven’t been in contact for a long time, so now that I know you’re all well and that you’re living the proper church life, my mind can rest easy. You asked why I hadn’t been in touch with you for such a long time; you must surely have been worried that something had happened to me, right? Actually, I’ve been going through a trial of illness during this time, and the doctor gave me a death sentence. But I miraculously survived under the guidance of God’s words, and now I’m completely fine. You probably want to know how God guided me through this trial of illness, don’t you? Let me take you through everything that’s happened.

A Letter From a Recovered Cancer Patient to Her Sister
(Source: Shutterstock)

One day in October, I discovered by chance a hard lump in my left breast. It didn’t hurt or itch, but it kind of threw me: I couldn’t possibly have breast cancer, could I? So straight away I consulted some relevant information, and found that the various symptoms of breast cancer were the same as what I was experiencing. I couldn’t help but feel anxious and scared: Do I really have cancer? Cancer is incurable, so I could go and spend money at the hospital and still not be cured…. The more I thought about it, the more afraid I became, and unconsciously a thought to blame God arose within me. I thought: “I’ve been following God for nearly 20 years, I’ve always done my duty in the church and I’m busy from dawn till dusk every day. I’ve even suffered being persecuted and the danger of being arrested by the Chinese government, and suffered being rejected and slandered by unbelievers and not being understood by my relatives and friends, and none of this has ever shaken my resolution to follow God. So how can I suddenly have cancer?” But then I thought: “Don’t think crazy thoughts. This illness that’s come upon me is God’s trial. God’s words have said: ‘Almighty God, the Head of all things, wields His kingly power from His throne. He rules over the universe and all things and He is guiding us on the whole earth. We shall often be close to Him, and come before Him in quietness; never shall we miss a single moment, and there are things to learn at all times. The environment around us as well as the people, matters and objects, all are permitted by His throne. Do not have a complaining heart, or God will not bestow His grace upon you. When sickness happens it is due to God’s love, and His good intentions are surely behind it. Even when your body endures suffering, take no ideas from Satan. Praise God in the midst of illness and enjoy God in the midst of your praise. Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking and never give up, and God shall shine His light on you. How faithful was Job? Almighty God is an all-powerful physician! To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well. If you have but one breath, God will not let you die’ (‘The Sixth Utterance’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).” Thinking of God’s words gave me faith and strength. Although I didn’t understand God’s will right then, I still believed that God’s good intentions must certainly be behind this illness that had come upon me. I wanted to be like Job, not only not complaining to God, but also thanking and praising God for His righteousness. I thought, “God holds sovereignty over all things, and my life and death are also held in God’s hands. So long as the hour of my death has not yet arrived, even if I have but one breath left in my body, God would not let me die.” Being momentarily moved by God’s words, I felt a surge of faith, but the moment I returned to reality, I began to worry once again: “I have always spent all my time serving God and have never caused delays to the church’s work. If I’m now to cause delays to it because I’m ill, will God still approve of me? If I’m not able to earn God’s approval, won’t all these years spent expending myself and paying this price have been in vain? No, no matter what, I won’t give up my duty. But the longer I put off going to hospital, won’t my illness just get worse? What will I do if I really am going to die?” One worry after another caused me to sink into painful refinement. I didn’t know how to face everything that was happening to me, much less was I able to calmly perform my duty. As I was being refined, I prayed and went seeking to God many times, asking Him to guide me to understand His will. One day, I just so happened to read these words of God: “For all people, refinement is excruciating, and very difficult to accept—yet it is during refinement that God makes plain His righteous disposition to man, and makes public His requirements for man, and provides more enlightenment, and more actual pruning and dealing; through the comparison between the facts and the truth, He gives man a greater knowledge of himself and the truth, and gives man a greater understanding of God’s will, thus allowing man to have a truer and purer love of God. Such are God’s aims in carrying out refinement. All the work that God does in man has its own aims and significance; God does not do meaningless work, nor does He do work that is without benefit to man. Refinement does not mean removing people from before God, nor does it mean destroying them in hell. It means changing man’s disposition during refinement, changing his motivations, his old views, changing his love for God, and changing his whole life. Refinement is a real test of man, and a form of real training, and only during refinement can his love serve its inherent function” (“Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words shone a light on all before me. As it happened, by means of His refinement, God was enabling me to examine and know myself to an even deeper level, He was purifying me of my inner motives and impurities and changing my incorrect views on what to pursue in my belief in God so that I could achieve true love for God, whilst at the same time come to know God’s righteous disposition. Having understood God’s will, I knelt down and prayed to God: “Oh, God! I now understand the purpose and significance of Your work of refinement. But I still don’t know what corruptions I need to be purified of and what views of mine need remedying. May You enlighten and guide me, and enable me to learn the lessons I should learn.”

believe in God
After I’d prayed, I opened the book of God’s words and read: “How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? … How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? … When man asked Me to heal him, yet I heeded him not and moreover felt abhorrence for him, man went far away from Me and sought the way of witch doctors and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then all disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain” (“What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Every person constantly, and often makes such calculations within their heart, and they make demands of God which bear their motivations, and ambitions, and deals. Which is to say, in his heart man is constantly putting God to test, constantly devising plans about God, and constantly arguing the case for his end with God, and trying to extract a statement from God, seeing whether or not God can give him what he wants. At the same time as pursuing God, man doesn’t treat God like God. He has always tried to make deals with God, ceaselessly making demands of Him, and even pressing Him at every step, trying to take a mile after being given an inch. At the same time as trying to make deals with God, man also argues with Him, and there are even people who, when trials befall them or they find themselves in certain situations, often become weak, passive and slack in their work, and full of complaints about God. From when he first began to believe in God, man has considered God to be a cornucopia, a Swiss Army knife, and he has considered himself to be God’s greatest creditor, as if trying to get blessings and promises from God were his inherent right and obligation, while God’s responsibility were to protect and care for man and provide for him. Such is the basic understanding of ‘belief in God’ of all those who believe in God, and their deepest understanding of the concept of belief in God” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Every one of God’s words exposed the ulterior motives and aims I had in my belief in God, and they made me feel disgraced and abashed, and like there was no place I could show my face for shame. I thought, “Since I discovered I was ill, I have constantly tried to reason with God and believed that, since I’ve believed in God for so many years and have been serving full time in the church, God should watch over me and keep my flesh safe, and make everything all right, and that if God does not keep me from falling ill or from suffering, then He must be wrong. From the outside, I appeared to be persisting with my duty in the church, but in fact I was afraid that, if by chance I wasn’t able to perform my duty, then I would gain nothing when God’s work came to its end and my belief in God would end in failure. God has used this trial of illness to make me see my contemptible intent to make deals with God. I have undergone all the sufferings and expended myself through all these years in order to receive God’s grace and blessings in return, and in order to obtain the crown and reward in the end—I haven’t loved God at all. This exposure is so beneficial for my life growth, and it is God’s blessing to me and His great love for me.” At that moment, all I could do was prostrate myself before God and offer up a prayer: “Oh, God! Through this trial of illness, You’ve made me realize that all these years I’ve used You and cheated You. Oh, God! I’m so unworthy to live before You. Contracting this illness as I have now is entirely Your righteous judgment coming upon me, and it is the best way for You to purify and change me. I wish to accept it and obey. Amen!” After praying, I thought of the people of the city of Nineveh who, because they sincerely repented, obtained God’s mercy and forbearance. And I also thought of Job; while he was afflicted by illness, Job still didn’t deny God, but instead he extolled God’s name, and ultimately he received God’s blessing. So I also made a resolution to God that I would confess my sins and repent to Him like the people of Nineveh, and that I would obey God and not complain, and stand witness for God as Job had done.

I then read these words of God: “No matter how God works or what kind of environment you are in, you will be able to pursue life, seek to have God’s work carried out within you, and pursue the truth. You will have an understanding of God’s actions and you will be able to act according to the truth. This is your genuine faith, and this shows that you have not lost hope in God. You will still pursue the truth in refinement, you will be able to truly love God and will not develop doubts of Him. No matter what He does, you will still practice the truth to satisfy Him, and you will be able to deeply seek out His will and be considerate of His will. Only this is true faith in God. Before, when God said that you would reign as a king, you loved Him, and when He openly showed Himself to you, you pursued Him. But now God is hidden, you cannot see Him, and troubles have come upon you. At this time, do you lose hope in God? So at all times you must pursue life and seek to satisfy God’s will. This is called genuine faith, and it is the truest and most beautiful kind of love. … When you face sufferings you must be able to not consider the flesh and not complain against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or disappear. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design, and be more willing to curse your own flesh than to complain against Him. When you are faced with trials you must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping. Only this can be called true love and faith” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words gave me faith and strength, and they made me understand that I should have true faith in God during trials. Whether in pain or hardship, I must always obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements and not complain, and I must also seek to change the wrong motives and impurities I harbor within me so as to satisfy God’s will. As I contemplated God’s words, I perceived God’s hope, care and thought for me, and that God knew what method to use to allow me to gain the truth and be purified. Having understood God’s will, I was willing to face calmly the refinement of this illness. I thought that God had given me this breath I took, and whether I recovered from this illness or not, it was all in God’s hands; I was willing to obey God’s orchestrations and arrangements.

Soon after, your brother-in-law took me to the hospital. After the doctor had examined me, he reproached me, saying: “Why are you only now coming to be examined? The best time for treatment has already passed because of your delay.” Standing beside me, your brother-in-law asked anxiously: “Doctor, can it still be operated on?” The doctor flipped through the case files and helplessly shook his head, and said: “Not anymore.” Hearing the doctor say this, despairing thoughts flashed through my heart, as I knew what late-stage cancer meant…. Imperceptibly, feelings of despair and terror enveloped me, and my heart trembled with fear. Just at that moment, God’s words enlightened me: “Jehovah God not only holds the status of the God who created light, and air, and all things and living beings, of the God who holds sovereignty over all things and living beings, but also of the God who commands mankind, and commands Hades, the God who controls the life and death of all living things” (“God Himself, the Unique I” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “When the Lord Jesus did something such as bringing Lazarus back from the dead, His goal was to give proof for humans and for Satan to see, and to let humans and Satan know that mankind’s everything, mankind’s life and death are determined by God” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself III” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s words greatly eased my heart, and I silently prayed to God: “O God, I wish to entrust my life and death to You, to place myself in Your hands whether I live or die and, even if I do die, it is because of Your righteousness and I will still give thanks to You and praise You.” Your brother-in-law cried and implored the doctor to cure me no matter what (at that time, a large lump had grown on my collarbone, and the lump in my breast had begun to ulcerate and weep, and both my armpits hurt so much that I couldn’t lift my arms). The doctor said helplessly: “We’ll do a PET-CT scan first and see. We’ll be able to talk about the exact situation once we have the results.” When your brother-in-law heard that the doctor was willing to treat me, he hurriedly nodded his head and agreed. He stayed behind as the doctor beckoned me out of the room, telling me that they would fill out the registration forms for me, and that the hospital would be in touch at a later date to arrange a check-up. (Only later did I find out that the doctor had told your brother-in-law that my illness had already reached an advanced stage, and that we should go home and enjoy celebrating New Year together.) I thank God for protecting my heart, as I wasn’t afraid at all. I knew that this strength was given to me by God, as I simply didn’t have that much faith myself. When the results of my tests came back, the doctor said in amazement: “You’re so fortunate! From an external examination of your illness, I thought the cancer had long since spread to your brain, lungs and liver. But the test results show that the cancer is only in your breast, armpits and on your collarbone, so there’s still hope for you to be cured. It just depends on whether or not you respond to the medication. We need to put you on chemotherapy, and then operate once the tumors have shrunk. The results of this treatment will also depend on your luck. If you respond to the medication, then the tumors will shrink and we will have the opportunity to operate; if you do not respond to the treatment, then the tumors will not shrink, and there will be no hope of a cure.” As I listened to the doctor talk, I silently called to God in my heart: “Oh, God! All things are in Your hands and my life even more so. The doctor can treat my illness, but he can’t save my life. If You permit me to live, then my illness will be cured. But if it can’t be cured and I die, then I will still obey You and praise You for Your righteousness!” As I was undergoing chemotherapy, my heart got close to God all the time, and as per the expected plan, I was very soon to be operated on. Just as I was about to go into the operating theater, I couldn’t help but feel terrified, so I called on God in my heart: “May God protect me so that I may quiet my heart before You and submit in this situation.” After praying, my heart felt incredibly peaceful and at ease, and all feelings of fear and terror were gone—I knew this was because of God’s protection. After the operation was over, the doctor said it had been very successful. Moreover, I hadn’t suffered the kind of pain and suffering other people suffer when undergoing chemotherapy. The doctor said that because I underwent preoperative chemotherapy, it would take a long time for the incisions to heal, but in actual fact, the opposite happened. It can take two to three weeks for people to have their tubes taken out (drainage tubes left in from the operation), but I hadn’t even been home for two weeks before mine could be taken out. As the doctor was removing my tubes, he said: “The incisions are healing really well and really quickly.” Hearing the doctor say this, I realized very clearly that this was an act of God, and I couldn’t help but offer up my thanks and praise to God. Little Sister, I finished my treatment more than six months ago and my test results are all fine. I have now come to really appreciate God’s faithfulness, and I have seen His almightiness and sovereignty. Although I suffered some pain during this trial of illness, it has been so beneficial for my life progression. Through this illness, I came to see that I used to believe in God for the sake of gaining blessings and rewards, and that I was on the road to destruction. I now wish to start again, to examine and know myself in every situation God arranges for me, to seek to practice and enter into even more truths and to have my corrupt disposition changed. No matter what my end will be, I will always follow God and obey His orchestrations and arrangements.

closer to God
Little Sister, please don’t worry about me. Although I can’t serve full time in the church like I did before, I can write down and share with even more brothers and sisters my experiences from all my years of belief in God, and perform my duty to the best of my ability. Now that I’m constantly practicing writing articles of experiences and testimony and reflecting on myself, and I’m going over every tiny thing God has ever done to me, I feel so much closer to God, and I feel a peace and sense of ease that I’ve never felt before. Little Sister, I’m sure your worries and misgivings will all be set aside now that you’ve read this experience I’m sharing with you. I look forward to your next letter, and make sure to share your experiences and understanding with me too!

All the glory be to Almighty God!

Your Big Sister, Ma Ting

August 3, 2018

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An Arrogant Believer’s Process of Transformation | GOSPEL OF THE DESCENT OF THE KINGDOM

An Arrogant Believer’s Process of Transformation

Mar 5, 2015
By Zhang Yitao, Henan Province

Personal Testimonies From the Church’s Life Fellowship Gatherings

“O God! Your judgment is so real, full of righteousness and holiness. Your revelations about the truth of mankind’s corruption have left me thoroughly exposed. I think of how I expended myself and busied myself for years solely to gain Your blessing. I imitated Paul, toiling and working, so that I could stand out from the crowd. Your words of judgment made me see how selfish and contemptible I was. I fall to the ground feeling ashamed and abashed, too unworthy to look upon Your face. So many times I have looked back at the path I have walked. It was You who watched over me and protected me, leading me each step of the way up to now. I see how much it costs You to save me, it’s all Your love. O God! By experiencing Your judgment, I have tasted Your true love. It is Your judgment that allows me to know myself and truly repent. I am so corrupt that I really need You to judge and cleanse me. Without Your judgment, I would only flounder in darkness. It is Your words which have led me onto life’s path of light. I feel that loving You and living for You is the most meaningful pursuit. So many times I have looked back at the path I have walked. Your judgment and chastisement are Your blessings and true love. I will understand the truth and achieve a purer love for You. I’m willing no matter how much I suffer” (“God Has Given Me So Much Love” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Every time I sing this hymn, I think of God’s salvation for me through all these years, and I am full of gratitude for Him. It was God’s judgment and chastisement that changed me. It made me—an arrogant, ambitious, rebellious son—appear a bit more like a human being. I sincerely give thanks for God’s salvation of me!

Christian testimony, Christian faith,
I was born in the countryside. Because my family was poor and my parents were guileless, they were often cheated. From the time I was little people looked down on me, and being beaten and bullied became a common occurrence. This frequently made me sad to the point of tears. I put everything I had into my studies so that I would no longer have to lead that type of life, so that in the future I could have a position as a government official, be someone in charge, and everyone would look up to me. But when I was preparing for the high school entrance examination, the Cultural Revolution started. The Red Guards revolted, workers went on strike, students walked out. Every day was caught up in the revolution. It was pandemonium, the people were in a panic, and the college entrance examination system was banned. So, I lost the opportunity to test into a school. I was devastated—I felt as terrible as if I had become seriously ill. Later, I thought: Even though I can’t test into school or become a government official, I’ll work hard to earn money. As long as I have money people will think highly of me. From then on, I was looking everywhere for ways to make money. Since my family was poor, I didn’t have any funding to start doing business. Through relatives and friends, I managed to borrow 500 yuan to start a shop selling braised pork. In order to lead a better life than others, I worked late every day without taking a break and endured many hardships. After several years of hard work, my skills became more and more refined, and my business was booming more and more. My family quickly became more well-off, and many people looked at me with envy.

In the spring of 1990, someone in my village preached to me about the Lord Jesus, and I came to believe in Him. After that, I worked hard to study the Bible, seeking knowledge of the Bible, focusing on memorizing some passages, and before long I had learned many famous chapters and verses by heart. I read Matthew 16:26 where the Lord Jesus said: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Then I also read about the Lord Jesus calling upon Peter, and he immediately forsook his fishing nets and followed Christ. I thought to myself: Having enough money to get by is fine; if I earn more, what use is it when I die? If I want to gain the praise of the Lord, I have to follow the example of Peter. So I gave up my business, and began busying myself in the church full time. I was very passionate at the time, and through my relatives and friends I had evangelized to 19 people before long, and then that was expanded to more than 230 people through those 19. Then, I read the words of the Lord Jesus: “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” (Mat 7:21). I felt even more self-satisfied, thinking that based on what I had given up and what I had expended and how I had proclaimed the Lord Jesus’ salvation, I was already following the Lord’s way. I thought that I was on the road of following the will of the heavenly Father, and in the next age when the kingdom of God is realized, I would reign as a king on the earth. Under the domination of this ambition, my enthusiasm became even greater. I set my determination that I absolutely had to follow the Lord Jesus’ words to “love your neighbor as yourself” and “be tolerant and patient,” as well as to lead by example, and to be unafraid of enduring hardship. Sometimes when I went to the homes of my brothers and sisters, I would help them carry water, light fires, and do farm work. When they were sick, I’d go visit them. When they didn’t have enough money, I’d help them from my own savings; I would go help whoever was experiencing difficulties. I quickly gained the praise of all of my brothers and sisters as well as the trust of the upper leaders in the church. A year later I was promoted to be a church leader, to shepherd 30 churches. I was managing about 400 believers. Once I had obtained this position, I felt great. I felt that all my hard work and effort had finally paid off, but at the same time I formed an even loftier ideal in my heart: to pursue a higher position, to gain the praise and adoration of even more people. Through another year of hard work, I became a high-level church leader, leading co-workers in five counties, shepherding 420 churches. After that I was more afraid to slack off, so I paid particular attention to my good behavior on the surface, and to establishing my image among my co-workers and brothers and sisters. For the approval of my co-workers and so my brothers and sisters would look up to me, I opposed extravagant meals in the church, and I prohibited all contact between members of the opposite sex and unhealthy practices. My “uprightness and sense of justice” gained support and approval from my co-workers and other brothers and sisters. My arrogant nature also swelled and became more out of control. On top of that, I knew some of the more common passages of the Bible backward and forward, and when meeting with and preaching to some of the lower-level church leaders and co-workers, I could recite passages without looking at my Bible. My brothers and sisters really admired me, so I always had the final say in the church. They all listened to me. I always thought that what I said was correct, that I had an elevated understanding. Therefore, whether it was church governance, sectioning out churches, or promoting people to church leaders and co-workers, I never discussed things with others. What I said always counted; I truly did “have the reign of a king.” At that time I particularly enjoyed standing at the pulpit, speaking eloquently and endlessly, and when everyone was gazing at me with admiration, that feeling of being on top of the world was enchanting to me and made me forget about everything. I particularly felt this when I read John 3:34: “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God: for God gives not the Spirit by measure to Him.” I really basked in this, and I shamelessly believed that I had been sent by God, that God had imparted me with the Holy Spirit, and God’s will was expressed through me. I believed that because I could interpret the scriptures, I could understand “mysteries” that others couldn’t, and I could see “connotations” that others couldn’t. I only cared about immersing myself in the pleasure brought about by my position, and I had entirely forgotten that I was just a creation, that I was merely a vessel of the grace of the Lord.

preacher, church ministry, family church, church sermons
As the church continued to grow, my reputation also grew, and everywhere I went I was pursued by the police. I was caught by the police one time when I went back to get some clothing. I was sentenced to three years of reeducation through labor. During those three years I underwent every kind of cruel persecution and torture. It was as if a layer of skin had been peeled off from head to toe, and every day truly did feel like a year. But after I got out, I still continued to preach the gospel with the utmost confidence, just the same as ever, and I was also reinstated to my original position. After another six months, I was once again arrested by the local government and sentenced to another three years of reeducation through labor. During that time, they tortured me in every possible way, and then put me in a detention center for another 70 days. After that, I was put into a labor camp where I was carrying bricks. At the time it was the seventh lunar month and the weather was sweltering. The temperature in the kiln was around 70 degrees centigrade and I had to carry more than 10,000 bricks every day. My hunger combined with the previous cruel torture had made my body extremely weak. I could not physically tolerate that type of labor in the heat, but the vicious guards didn’t care about any of that. When I couldn’t complete my tasks they handcuffed my hands behind my back, made me kneel down, and placed bottles in my armpits and behind my knees. Then they beat me with electric prods until the handcuffs dug deep into my flesh. It was unimaginably painful. Subjected to this type of cruel torture, I had only completed seven days of labor when I passed out inside of the kiln. I wasn’t rescued until 52 hours later, but I had nearly become a vegetable. Aside from being conscious and being able to see and hear, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t eat, talk, or walk. I wasn’t even aware of my own bodily functions. After being ravaged this way by the CCP government, my arrogant nature had been largely defeated. That feeling of power and arrogance that I had in the church had just vanished. I had become dark and pessimistic; I was living in the midst of boundless suffering and helplessness. Later the people in the detention center came up with a warped idea and found a doctor to create falsified records saying that I had a “genetic disorder.” They called my wife and had her pick me up and bring me home. In order to treat my condition, everything in our home was sold, and when my relatives came to see me they were sarcastic, rude and ridiculing. Faced with this situation, I was disheartened and felt that the world was too dark, that there was no familial affection or love between people, that there was only cruel persecution and slander. Facing the torture of this painful illness and the hopelessness of my life, I didn’t know how I could continue on.

Just as I was sinking into desperation, Almighty God extended a hand of salvation to me. After I had been back at home for over a month, two brothers came to preach God’s gospel of the last days to me and that He was working on a new stage of work, His second incarnation to save mankind. At the time I didn’t believe it at all, but because I couldn’t speak, I found some passages in the Bible to show them. This was how I refuted them. They gently replied to me: “Brother, when we believe in God we should hold a heart of humble seeking. God’s work is always new; it is always moving forward, and His wisdom cannot be comprehended by mankind, so we cannot be too caught up in the past. If you hold on to God’s work in the Age of Grace will you be able to enter into the Age of Kingdom? Not to mention, what the Lord Jesus said in the Bible all has its own meaning and context.” Then, they opened up a book of the words of Almighty God for me to read, and after that found many prophecies in the Bible for me to read regarding God’s work in the last days. Through God’s words and the fellowship with my brothers, I came to understand the meaning of the name of God, the inner truth in His three stages of work, His purpose in His management of mankind, the mysteries of His incarnation, the inner truth in the Bible, and more. These were things I had never heard of in my life, and they were also mysteries and truths that I had not been able to understand when I had been working so hard on studying the Bible for years. I listened to it with relish; I was utterly convinced. After that, my brothers gave me a book of the words of God, saying: “After you’re better, you can preach the gospel to your co-workers and brothers and sisters.” I very happily accepted the book of God’s words. At that time, I was only able to lie in bed all day and read God’s words. As I read it, I prayed. I felt a longing and enjoyment that was like a fish returning to water. I was so happy and gratified. Before long, my health was gradually improving. I could get out of bed and walk around a bit, and I was able to be more independent in my life. After that I was living the life of the church in my home, and I had meetings twice every week.

One time the church arranged for a young girl of 17 or 18 to come meet with me. She was the daughter of a brother from my original denomination, and before when I was the church leader I had gone to her home frequently. I thought to myself: What’s wrong with the church leader’s arrangements? Having a child come guide me—do they look down on me? Under the rule of my arrogant nature, I said with disdain: “I’ve believed in God for more years than you’ve been alive. When I used to go to your house you were just a few years old. I would play with you then, but now you’re coming to guide me….” My little sister turned red from what I had said, and she didn’t dare to come again. The church had no choice but get another sister to come give me fellowship. Seeing that she was also quite young, I didn’t say anything, but I thought: Whether it’s number of years or qualifications of believing in the Lord, knowledge of the Bible, or experience in church governance, I am so much better than you in every regard! From your age, I can see that you’ve been a believer for three or four years at the most. I’ve believed for 21 years. How can you possibly be qualified to come guide me? But who could know that this sister was actually very articulate—she spoke frankly and sharply. When meeting, right away she opened God’s words and read out loud: “Some people particularly idolize Paul. They like to go out and give speeches and do work, they like to meet together; they like people listening to them, worshiping them, and surrounding them. They like to have status in the minds of others, and they appreciate it when others value their images. … If they really behave in this way, then that is enough to show that they are arrogant and conceited. They do not worship God at all; they seek a higher status and wish to have authority over others, to possess them, and to have status in their minds. The aspects of their natures that stand out are arrogance and conceit, an unwillingness to worship God, and a desire to be worshiped by others. This is a classic image of Satan. Such behaviors can give you a very clear view into their natures” (“How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks). God’s words pierced my heart like a two-edged sword, making a direct hit on me. It was an incisive revelation of my despicable intentions and ugly performance in my actions of believing in God, as well as the true essence of my nature. I was full of shame and wanted nothing more than to just disappear. As for what was exposed in God’s words, when I thought of what I revealed, only then did I realize that my nature was too arrogant and that in essence I was being hostile to God. In the past, in order for people to look up to me and admire me, to be someone in charge of others, to be on a higher level, I worked hard at reading the Bible and put everything into equipping myself with knowledge of the Bible. Because of this, I attained a status and title that I had only dreamed of as well as the support of everyone. I gained enjoyment from others’ admiration, and I preached in order to satisfy my own vanity. Through my monopoly on power, I revealed myself and showed off. I was always happy to enjoy the feeling of being on top of the world when standing at the pulpit, and I even shamelessly used passages from the Bible to bear witness to and exalt myself. I believed that I had been sent by God. I was overbearingly arrogant. That day, I looked down on that sister, using my many years of preaching as capital. I believed that because I had believed in God for more years and I had greater knowledge of the Bible, greater experience in church governance, I was better than everyone. I didn’t think much of anyone, and I underestimated and scorned those two sisters. My words were targeted and hurtful, and I arrogantly forfeited my sense and humanity. Only then did I realize that my pursuits were in resistance to God and opposed Him. I was struggling with God for His chosen people. What I lived out was the classic image of Satan. Facing the words of God, I couldn’t not be convinced. I prayed to God, saying: “Oh God, I am too arrogant. When I had status I was high and mighty, and when I didn’t have status I still didn’t listen to anyone. I used my old credentials and authority to rule over people, to look down on them. I am so shameless! Today I received Your salvation. I am willing to accept the revelation and judgment in Your words.”

After that, the sister opened to another passage of God’s words for me to read. They were: “Man’s sense has lost its original function, and that man’s conscience, too, has lost its original function. The man that I look upon is a beast in human attire, he is a venomous snake, and no matter how pitiable he tries to appear before My eyes, I will never be merciful toward him, for man has no grasp of the difference between black and white, of the difference between truth and non-truth. Man’s sense is so benumbed, yet he still wishes to gain blessings; his humanity is so ignoble yet he still wishes to possess the sovereignty of a king. Who could he be the king of, with sense such as that? How could he with such a humanity sit atop a throne? Man truly has no shame! He is a conceited wretch! For those of you who wish to gain blessings, I suggest you first find a mirror and look at your own ugly reflection—do you have what it takes to be a king? Do you have the face of one who could gain blessings? There has not been the slightest change in your disposition and you have not put any of the truth into practice, yet you still wish for a wonderful tomorrow. You’re deluding yourself!” (“To Have an Unchanged Disposition Is to Be in Enmity to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading God’s words, I couldn’t stop the tears flowing down my face. I felt that every sentence of God’s words pierced my heart, I keenly felt His judgment, and I felt particularly ashamed. Scene after scene of my disgraceful pursuit of reigning like a king in my former church appeared in front of me: Among my brothers and sisters I was always high and mighty, I ordered people around, I wanted control of everything, and not only did I not bring my brothers and sisters in front of God and help them know Him, but I led them to treat me as if I were so high up, so great. The more I thought about it, the more I felt that my actions disgusted God, that I was sickening, undeserving, and that I had let my brothers and sisters down. At that time I felt ashamed beyond measure. I saw that the price I had paid for my own ambitions and desires was worth nothing. My desperate pursuit of status and being looked up to by others was absurd. I was rushing around day and night; I endured hardships, worked hard, and went to prison. I was persecuted and tortured, and was half dead. It did not make me have an understanding of God; on the contrary, my arrogant nature swelled up more and more, I had less and less regard for God to the point that I delusionally thought that I could reign as a king when the kingdom of God is realized. At the same time, I also realized that when I had been persecuted by the CCP in my former church, God was using that to make me better able to accept His work in the last days. Otherwise, based on my prestige and status in my former church, based on the fact that I didn’t have regard for God and my overbearingly arrogant disposition, I absolutely would not have been able to easily let go of my position and accept Almighty God. I definitely would have become an evil servant who hindered others’ return to God, who opposed God and in the end would suffer His punishment! I couldn’t help but thank God from the bottom of my heart for His salvation, and His great forgiveness of me. So I became much more low-key because of what was revealed through God’s words, and I no longer dared to be so impudent and unreasonable with my brothers and sisters.
Under God’s care and protection, my illness gradually improved. One day, the church leader arranged for me to take on hosting duties. After hearing this I felt very unwilling to do it. I believed that acting as a host was a waste of my abilities, but I also couldn’t refuse, so I grudgingly agreed. While I was hosting, some brothers and sisters were meeting at my house and they asked me to be outside the door to keep watch. Once again my inner thoughts arose: Just acting as a host, keeping an eye on the door—what will I get out of this? In the past I stood behind the pulpit and I was so haughty, but in my duty today I don’t have any face or any status. My rank is so low! So after a period of time, my internal resistance became greater and greater, I felt more and more wronged, and I was no longer willing to fulfill that duty. Later I could no longer hold myself back and said to the church leader: “You need to give me another duty to perform. All of you are preaching the gospel and caring for the church, but I’m at home acting as a host and guarding the door—what will I get in the future?” That sister smiled and said: “You’re mistaken. In front of God, there is no major or minor duty, there is no greater or lesser status. No matter what duty we’re performing, we each perform our own function. The church is a whole unit with different functions, but it is one body. Let’s look at a passage of God’s words.” Then she read this passage to me: “In the current stream, every person that truly loves God has the opportunity to be perfected by Him. Regardless of whether they are young or old, so long as they keep in their hearts an obedience to God and reverence for Him, they will be able to be perfected by Him. God perfects people according to their different functions. So long as you have done all in your strength and submit yourself to the work of God you will be able to be perfected by Him. At present none of you are perfect. Sometimes you are able to perform one type of function and sometimes you are able to perform two; so long as you give all your strength to expend yourselves for God, ultimately you will be perfected by God” (“On Everyone Performing Their Function” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After listening to these words of God and the sister’s fellowship, my heart settled and brightened. I thought: So, God’s perfection of people does not depend on whether or not they have status, or what duty they do; what God makes perfect is people’s hearts, their obedience, and their loyalty. What He looks at is whether they end up having a change in disposition. No matter what duty they perform, as long as they can give it their all and are utterly devout, and if they can also focus on pursuing the truth and cast off their corrupt disposition, then they can be perfected by God. Even though different people perform different functions in the church, the goal is always to satisfy God. They are all fulfilling the duty of a creation. If we really fulfill our duty as created beings for the sake of satisfying God without personal intentions or impurities, even if others look down on the duty we are performing and think it’s not worth much, in God’s eyes it is cherished and treasured. If we perform our duty only to satisfy our own intentions and desires, no matter how great our work and what duty we perform, it will not please God. After that, I saw these words from God: “As a created being, man ought to fulfill his duty, do what he ought to do, and do what he is able to do, regardless of whether he will be blessed or cursed. This is the very basic condition for man, as one who seeks after God. You should not do your duty only to be blessed, and you should not refuse to act for fear of being cursed” (“The Difference Between the Ministry of the Incarnate God and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I understood from these words of God that as a creation, fulfillment of my duty is right and proper. I should not have my own choice, and I definitely should not discuss conditions or conduct transactions with God. If my belief in God and the fulfillment of my duty are to gain blessings or a crown, then they are from an improper perspective, and are without good conscience and reason. I was reluctant to do “small work” and to fulfill “small duties”—didn’t that mean that I was being dominated by the intent to gain blessings and the ambition to pursue status? In my mind, I believed that God would like me if I had status and power and could do great work and lead others, and I believed that the more I worked, the more I would receive God’s praise, and the more I would be rewarded by Him. So I would not let go of status, and I was always seeking to do great work and perform great duties so that in the end I would receive a great crown. It was precisely because I harbored such an erroneous viewpoint that I felt dissatisfied with the duty the church had arranged for me, so much so that I misunderstood God’s will. I complained about it and believed that fulfilling the duty of a host was making little use of my great skills, that it was a way of looking down on me. I was so arrogant and ignorant! Under the judgment of God’s words, I once again felt ashamed. And also because of the enlightenment from God’s words, I understood His will. I knew what type of person God likes, what type of person He perfects, and what type of person disgusts Him. I gained a heart of obedience for God. After that I set my will in front of God and was willing to be the smallest, most unassuming person in the church, to complete my duty as a host, to safeguard our surroundings, to allow my brothers and sisters to meet at my house in peace without being disturbed. I would use practical actions to comfort God’s heart.

Through this experience, I realized how great God’s words are, that He has expressed the truth and all of His will to save mankind. We only need to diligently read His words to understand the truth in all things, to understand His will, to resolve our own notions and beliefs. From then on, I developed more of a thirst for His words, and I started getting up at four or five every morning to read His words. After some time, I was able to remember a portion of His words, I gained a small grasp of His will, and I truly enjoyed it in my heart. Later on, there was a brother responsible for the work of the gospel who frequently stayed at my home. Several times when he was preaching the gospel and encountered difficulties, he asked me to look for God’s words to resolve them. He saw that I could find them very quickly, and after that as soon as he ran into problems he would ask me to help find some words from God. He really admired me. Unintentionally, my arrogant nature once again started acting up. I thought to myself: Despite the fact that you’re responsible for preaching the gospel, I still have to help you resolve issues. You haven’t read the word of God as much as I have, and you don’t understand as much of it as I do. I have already gained the truth. If I were in charge of preaching the gospel, I would definitely be better at it than you are. So in my heart I began to look down on my brother, and after a while I even started to give him the cold shoulder. One day, the church leader came to my house and asked me: “How have you been doing recently?” Full of confidence, I replied: “I’ve been fine. I read God’s words and pray every day. That brother has seen that I understand quite a bit of God’s word, so he’s always having me help him find words from God to resolve issues….” The church leader heard the arrogance in what I said, and picked up a book of God’s words and said: “Let’s read a few passages of His words. God says: ‘Because the greater their status, the greater their ambition; the more they understand of the doctrines, the more arrogant their dispositions become. If, in your belief in God, you do not pursue the truth, and instead pursue status, then you’re in danger’ (“People Make Too Many Demands of God” in Records of Christ’s Talks). ‘Regardless of which aspect of the reality of truth you have heard, if you hold yourself up against it, if you carry out these words in your own life, and incorporate them into your own practice, you will definitely gain something, and will definitely change. If you stuff these words into your belly, and memorize them in your brain, then you will never change. … you must lay a good foundation. If, at the very beginning, you lay a foundation of letters and doctrines, then you’ll be in trouble. It’s like when people build a house on a beach: The house will be in danger of collapse no matter how high you build it, and won’t last for long’ (“The Most Fundamental Practice of Being an Honest Person” in Records of Christ’s Talks).” After hearing these words of God, I was utterly ashamed. I realized that my own arrogant satanic nature was coming out again. In my belief in the Lord Jesus in the past, I had focused on gaining deep knowledge and understanding theories in the Bible, and I used that as a basis for being high and mighty, for becoming more and more arrogant. Now I was fortunate that I could read so much truth in God’s words, but I had gone back onto my old path and was relying on my own intellect. I had memorized some sentences from His words and believed that I had gained the truth; I once again became arrogant and wouldn’t listen to anyone. I vied for status with others and competed with them. It really was so shameful! I saw that equipping oneself with literal theories can only make one more and more arrogant, and that only understanding the truth from God’s words can change people’s disposition and enable them to live as human beings. That brother had believed in God longer than I had and he understood more than I did, but he was able to humbly seek my help. This really was a strength of his, and it was a fruit born of his experience of God’s work and word, and of his understanding of the truth. Not only did I not learn from him and focus on putting the word of God into practice in my life, and live out proper humanity, but I looked down on him and gave him the cold shoulder. I truly was arrogant, blind, and ignorant! My heart at that time was in so much pain. I felt that this arrogant nature of mine was truly shameful and ugly. It was too disgusting! And this type of arrogance to the point that lacked all reason very easily offends God’s disposition. Without changing myself, without genuinely pursuing the truth I only could have ruined myself. When I realized all of this, I truly felt that the judgment and chastisement in God’s words really were His love and salvation for me. This caused me to feel some hatred for my own arrogant nature, and I understood that in my belief in God, I should pursue the truth and pursue a change in disposition.

After that had passed, I began to look for the root of my arrogance and lack of reason, for what was guiding my thinking, what made me frequently expose my satanic nature of arrogance. One day, I saw these words from God: “Everything Satan does is for itself. It wants to surpass God, break free from God and wield power itself, and possess all of the things that God has created. After man was corrupted by Satan, they became arrogant and conceited, selfish and base, and concerned solely with their own profits. Therefore, man’s nature is Satan’s nature. … Man’s nature has a great deal of satanic philosophy contained within it. Sometimes you yourself are not aware of or clear about it, but you are living based on that every moment. And you think that it’s very correct and very reasonable. Satan’s philosophy becomes man’s truth, and people live in complete accordance with its philosophy without the slightest contradiction. Therefore, man is always revealing Satan’s nature, and is living by satanic philosophy in all aspects. Satan’s nature is man’s life” (“How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks). Pondering these words of God, my heart brightened more and more. I thought: It turns out that after mankind was corrupted by Satan, our nature also became as arrogant, as unruly, and without worship of God as Satan itself, and we pursue others thinking highly of us and worshiping ourselves as if we were God. Through societal influence and the words from famous people, Satan has instilled its thinking, its philosophy of life and its laws of survival into the human heart, becoming something that people rely on in their lives; these are guiding mankind’s thinking, dominating their actions, and causing them to become more and more arrogant and unreasonable. I reflected on the fact that since I was a child I was bullied and discriminated against and I began to envy those who had power and status. In addition, the satanic laws of survival of “One should rise above others and bring honor to his ancestors,” “People struggle to go upward, but water flows downward,” and “I am my own lord throughout heaven and earth” had been firmly implanted in my heart from an early age, dominating my life. So, whether it was out in the world or in the church, I was doing my utmost to pursue status and reputation; I was seeking to rank higher than others, to be in charge of others. Poisoned by these toxins from Satan, I saw myself very highly; I saw myself as really great. I would always put my qualifications of being a longtime believer in the face of my brothers and sisters and compare my strengths to other people’s weaknesses. Everything was beneath my notice and I always had the final say, and I was so arrogant that I even believed myself sent from God, and I wanted to reign as king together with God. These poisons of Satan had made me so arrogant that I had lost my human reason. Just like Satan, I wanted to seize power in everything, and I wanted an elevated position to rule over mankind. What I was living out was entirely the image of Satan, the devil. These poisons of Satan harmed me so terribly, so deeply. I prayed to God, saying: “Oh God, I am no longer willing to live based on these things. I have suffered terribly for them, I have been living in unbearable ugliness and have disgusted You. Oh God, I am willing to do my utmost to pursue the truth, to become a proper person who truly has a conscience and reason, to live out the likeness of a true person, to comfort Your heart. Oh God, I beg You not to take Your judgment and chastisement away from me, I beg for Your work to purify me. As long as it is possible for me to change my disposition and live out the likeness of a true person and be gained by You soon, I am willing to accept even more severe judgment, chastisement, smiting, and discipline from You.”

One day, I read God’s words saying: “God has no elements of self-rightness and self-importance, or those of conceit and arrogance; He has no elements of crookedness. All that disobeys God comes from Satan; Satan is the source of all ugliness and wickedness. The reason that man has qualities alike those of Satan is because man has been corrupted and worked on by Satan. Christ has not been corrupted by Satan, hence He has only the characteristics of God and none of those of Satan” (“The Substance of Christ Is Obedience to the Will of the Heavenly Father” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). My heart was once again moved by God’s words. God is so lofty and great, yet so humble and hidden. In His work amongst man, He has never testified that He Himself is God, nor has He publicized His identity or position, much less style Himself as God. Instead, He lives, unknown and unrecognized, amongst man, expressing the truth to supply and guide man, and performing His work to save mankind. God is so great, so holy, and in His life there are no elements of self-rightness and self-importance, because Christ Himself is the truth, the way, and the life. He is supreme as well as humble and lovely. Seeing what Christ has and is, I felt even more how shameless and ignorant my arrogance is. I longed to follow the example of Christ, and I was willing to pursue living out the likeness of a true person to satisfy God. After that, following Christ’s example and living out the likeness of a true person became the goal that I pursued.

Once, I read a passage of God’s words and I could not understand it. I didn’t know what it meant, but for the sake of saving face, I was unwilling to put myself aside and seek fellowship with my brothers and sisters. I was afraid they would look down on me because I had always resolved other people’s issues and had never brought up any of my own problems to seek help from others. Afterward, I realized that my unwillingness to open up to fellowship was still the domination of my arrogant nature and not wanting to be looked down on by others. I rebelled against the flesh to seek fellowship with my brothers and sisters. I had never imagined that not only did they not look down on me, but they patiently communicated God’s will with me, and my difficulty was very quickly resolved. There was another time that a brother had me deliver a letter related to the work of the church. Because of my arrogance and that I completed the task based on my own ideas, it wasn’t delivered on time. When he saw that it was going to hold up the work, this brother became very anxious. He dealt with me and exposed me. At the time I was very uncomfortable and felt embarrassed, but I also knew that this was God dealing with me and pruning aspects of me. It was God testing whether or not I had obedience, and whether or not I could put the truth into practice. I prayed to God: “Oh God, today I was dealt with by my brother, I felt uncomfortable. I also wanted to resist it because I was always in the higher position and scolding others, and I had never submitted to the truth. I was always living out the image of Satan. Now, I have experienced so much of Your work and I understand that a person who is able to accept being dealt with and pruned is the most reasonable. This is a person who is obedient to God and fearful of God. Only this type of person has integrity and a human likeness. Now I am willing to forsake my own flesh with a heart of loving God. I am willing for You to move my heart, to realize my resolution.” After this prayer, I felt much peace and enjoyment in my heart. I was able to put aside my own face and status and was happy to accept being pruned and dealt with by my brother. After that happened, my brother was concerned that I would be unwilling to accept all this, so he communicated with me on God’s will. I talked about my understanding about my own experiences. We laughed about it together, and from my heart I gave thanks for God’s salvation, for Him changing me.

The salvation of God, the love of God, God’s loveliness
So, through time after time of Almighty God’s judgment and chastisement, my arrogant disposition was gradually changed. I could become a low-key person, I was no longer so arrogant and unwilling to listen to others. Whatever came up, I no longer had to have the final say. I could solicit the opinions of my brothers and sisters on some issues, and I could collaborate harmoniously with them. I had finally had a little bit of human likeness. Since then, I feel that I have become a much simpler person. I live so easily, so happily. I give thanks to Almighty God’s salvation of me. Without His salvation, I would still be struggling bitterly in the midst of darkness and sin without ever being able to escape from corruption. Without God’s salvation, my nature would only have become more and more arrogant, even having people worship me like God, to the point of offending God’s disposition and suffering His punishment yet being oblivious to it. Through time after time of God’s judgment and chastisement, I saw that His love is so real, and that He has always used His love to move me, waiting for me to turn myself around. No matter how rebellious I was, no matter how hard I was to deal with, how many complaints and misunderstandings I had of God, He had never made an issue of it. He had still painstakingly set up every type of environment to wake up my heart, to awaken my spirit, to rescue me from the affliction of Satan, to let me live in the light of God and walk the true path of human life. God was patient and waited more than 20 years, paying an immeasurable price for me. God’s love truly is vast and immense! Now, God’s judgment and chastisement have become my treasure; they are also a precious source of wealth from my experiences and something I will never be able to forget. This suffering has value and meaning. Although I still fall far short of God’s requirements, I am confidently pursuing a change in disposition, and I’m willing to more deeply experience God’s judgments and chastisements. I believe that He can surely turn me into a true person who can be compatible with Him.
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How God’s Words Helped Her Overcome the Temptation of Losing Her Wealth | GOSPEL OF THE DESCENT OF THE KINGDOM

How God’s Words Helped Her Overcome the Temptation of Losing Her Wealth

Personal Testimonies From the Church’s Life Fellowship Gatherings

“The factory’s out of business, it’s been closed.”

Hearing that urgency in her younger brother’s voice over the phone, Lianying felt for a moment like something had exploded in her head and then her heart leapt into her throat. How could that be possible? She hoped she had heard wrong. Half-aware, she asked: “The factory … closed? What on earth happened?”

Her brother choked out the words: “It’s been cordoned off. I was … cheated. There’s … nothing.”

“Cheated?” Lianying’s vision went blank and she nearly passed out. She gripped the phone tightly, feeling incredible anxiety. She asked her brother question after question, feeling an urgent need to understand every single thing that had happened with the factory.

The minutes ticked by and every one of her brother’s answers left her with little hope. She slowly put down the phone, leaning back on the sofa and staring blankly. She felt a burst of heart-wrenching pain that her waif-like frame could hardly withstand.

After her husband heard the news he rushed home from his job at the clinic.

“We invested over a million and that’s all gone? That’s the hard work of half of our lives! No, it can’t be! I need to go to Guangdong.” He waved his hands around and looked at the clock to see what time it was.

Lianying’s heart was racing and she was anxious to hop on a flight to Guangdong.

The next day she didn’t feel like talking to anyone. She had never imagined that her hard-earned money would just fall prey to someone’s cheating, all for nothing. She couldn’t wrap her head around it—how could a factory that had been doing such great business suddenly just becoming nothing? Could it be that they had offended someone, that someone was plotting against them or wanted to exact revenge? Thinking of all the hard work to manage the factory that ended up being closed just like that, Lianying felt like her heart had been cut open.

The winter night was so quiet and long, and the clock on the wall kept ticking along. Lianying tossed and turned in bed, seeing that it was already 3 a.m. She so hoped that this had all been a bad dream.

Lianying visibly aged quite a bit over just a few short days, and she felt really down. She didn’t understand why something so major would befall her. In her pain and despair she prayed to God: “Oh God! I’m in pain and very weak. I don’t understand what Your will is in what has befallen me. I want You to guide me. Amen!”

While pulling Lianying inside, Sister Dong said: “What happened? Why do you look so haggard? Come on, it’s cold outside. Come on in.”

Sister Dong poured a cup of hot water for Lianying. Feeling that warmth from her, Lianying poured out her heart to Sister Dong.

Sister Dong topped up Lianying’s cup with hot water and said considerately: “I understand how you feel. Anyone would be upset if something this major happened to them! The ways of the world are so dark. If we didn’t have faith we wouldn’t have a path to take. Lianying, this has already happened. Just living within this will only bring you suffering. I think you should quiet yourself, pray to God, and seek His will. Understanding the truth is what’s most important. Let’s read some fellowship.”

Lianying nodded.

Sister Dong spoke while turning on her tablet computer, then read: “Sometimes God allows Satan to do something. Some disasters are carried out by Satan, but it is what God has arranged and allowed; it is God’s maneuvering. Satan is a tool in God’s hands! Isn’t that the truth? (It is.) This was exactly the case in the example of Job’s trials. What was the root of Job being tested? (God and Satan making a bet.) God made a bet with Satan, allowing it to tempt and attack Job, and as a result when Job was just living his life, he was suddenly robbed; quite a few other things like that happened in just one day! If someone didn’t know that God and Satan had made a bet in the spiritual world, looking at it from the material world they would think: ‘Wasn’t that a calamity coming upon Job? Didn’t he suffer an attack by those robbers? How could that have anything to do with God? Most likely Job had done something to offend the robbers!’ Isn’t that what people think? (It is.) That’s what it looks like from the outside, but is this thinking wrong? It is and it isn’t, but if you think that’s all there is to it, that’s wrong. While thinking that you have to see that behind the scenes, God is ruling and arranging all things, that He orchestrates everything. God allowed the robbers to do that, otherwise who could do anything to Job? No one would be able to. You can see from this how fully you understand this issue. If you just look at the surface of it you won’t recognize that it was God’s rule and arrangement, that it was God’s action and He was bringing all things into play so they could do service to perfect Job. That means that you’ve been deluded by the superficial presentation of this, and you will never grasp the truth and essence behind it. Are there a lot of people like that? (Yes.) How many? (Almost everyone thinks that.) All of us frequently think that way, and no one is an exception. We all think of things on the most superficial level and we fail to think of what is just below the surface. … What’s the problem here? It’s not recognizing God’s rule and arrangements, being unable to grasp God’s will. That’s the root of it” (“Sermons and Fellowship About God’s Word ‘God Himself, the Unique III’ (III)” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (XIII)).

How God’s Words Helped Her Overcome the Temptation of Losing Her Wealth
Sister Dong then shared this in fellowship: “Reading this from Sermons and Fellowship made me think of when Job first encountered a trial. Over the course of just one day, several gangs of robbers carted off all of his possessions. From the outside it seemed that it was the robbers who had taken Job’s wealth, but in fact, without God’s permission, Satan wouldn’t have been able to do anything at all to Job. It’s recorded in the Bible that Satan said: ‘Does Job fear God for nothing? Have not you made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he has on every side? you have blessed the work of his hands, and his substance is increased in the land. But put forth your hand now, and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face’ (Job 1:9-11). From this we can see that God approved of Job; Satan made this accusation of Job because it was not convinced, which is why God allowed Satan to tempt Job so that he could stand witness for God in the face of Satan, perfecting Job’s true faith in God. Job believed that everything comes from God and would rather have cursed the day of his own birth than deny the name of God, and in the end he bore a beautiful, resounding witness for God. We can also see from this that the issue you’re encountering now is a battle in the spiritual realm, and if we seek God’s will from within all of this, we will be able to understand God’s kind intentions from within this trial and refinement. If we only look at the surface of things but fail to see their essence, we won’t be able to see through Satan’s trickery. We will then be likely to live within temptations and lose hold of our testimony!”

The pain in Lianying’s heart abated after hearing Sister Dong’s fellowship. She nodded and said: “So on the surface, the factory being closed down and my financial losses seemed on the outside like a trap set up by other people to fool and rip off my brother, leading to us losing the factory. But in fact, all of this had God’s permission, and what I have to do is seek God’s will! Now that I think of it, Job encountered such great trials without losing faith in God, but when I faced the closure of the factory there was no God in my heart. I became weak and negative; I became disheartened. My stature really is too small. I will no longer judge things as they appear and fall prey to Satan’s trickery. I must follow Job’s example, and no matter how much I suffer, I will stand witness for God.”

Sister Dong nodded and smiled, and the two continued talking …

After she got home Lianying looked much less anxious and her state had taken a dramatic turn for the better. She no longer felt entwined in the question of whether their wealth had suffered from others’ schemes. But after quieting her heart and then thinking of the money she had lost, over 1 million yuan, she couldn’t help but still feel anxious and upset. Before she knew it, she no longer had the heart to perform her duty.

In her pain she came before God many times in prayer and seeking: How could she actually come out from that state?

One day, while doing her devotionals Lianying read these words from God: “Something is revealed through the human disposition of the people in this world, including each and every one of you. How is this interpreted? It’s the worship of money. Is it hard to get this out of someone’s heart? It is very hard! It seems that Satan’s corruption of man is thorough indeed! So after Satan uses this trend to corrupt people, how is it manifested in them? Don’t you feel that you couldn’t survive in this world without any money, that even one day would just be impossible? (Yes.) People’s status is based on how much money they have as is their respectability. The backs of the poor are bent in shame, while the rich enjoy their high status. They stand tall and proud, speaking loudly and living arrogantly. What does this saying and trend bring to people? Don’t many people see getting money as being worth any cost? Don’t many people sacrifice their dignity and integrity in the pursuit of more money? Don’t many more people lose the opportunity to perform their duty and follow God for the sake of money? Isn’t this a loss for people? (Yes.) Isn’t Satan sinister to use this method and this saying to corrupt man to such a degree? Isn’t this a malicious trick? As you progress from objecting to this popular saying to finally accepting it as truth, your heart falls completely under Satan’s grasp, and therefore you unwittingly come to live by it” (“God Himself, the Unique V” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

Lianying carefully pondered God’s words. She then understood that the reason she couldn’t let go of her million-yuan loss was that she saw money as too important, always feeling that in this technologically-advanced, materialistic, money-focused society, being poor couldn’t be okay, and that in their lives people should work to earn money by relying on their own ability. She thought that having money meant having everything, that it brought authority, status, and the admiration of others, that only living that way had value and meaning. She had taken satanic laws for survival such as “money above all” and “money can’t achieve everything, but without money you achieve nothing” as her own personal mottos. As a result, losing money was like losing half of her life.

With the book of God’s words in her hands, Lianying lifted her head to look out the window, deep in thought: “It’s true. The money our family earned from the clinic we opened was enough, but I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted to earn even more and enjoy even more, to be flashy and have others look up to me. Every time someone called me boss or manager I was delighted, and I felt it was all worth it no matter how difficult or tiring it was. These last few years I’ve believed in God and have been performing my duty, and even though I’ve had my brother help manage the business, I’ve frequently been preoccupied with the factory, hoping we would get big orders and earn even more money. I would frequently call him to give him tips on having business talks and managing the factory. Particularly when I saw that it wasn’t doing very well, I was really racking my brains to think of how to improve things. My body has been here performing my duty, but my heart went elsewhere long ago. Now, the factory has disappeared in the blink of an eye and it feels like my heart has been yanked out. I’m always in pain and upset, as if I’ve lost my spirit. I thought that I was able to let go of such a large family business and let someone else look after it and I could perform my duty in the church to show that I was faithful to God, but now I’ve seen that my faith was just to gain blessings and benefit. On the surface I was performing my duty but I had not handed my heart over to God. I wasn’t focused on seeking the truth. As a result, my perspectives on things still haven’t changed even now; when a trial came upon me I was tortured half to death by the issue of money.”

How God’s Words Helped Her Overcome the Temptation of Losing Her Wealth
The more she thought this over, the more Lianying’s heart brightened. She realized that money had become her very life long before, and that Satan was using fame and money to keep firm control over her, dragging her farther from God step by step. She thought of the Lord Jesus’ words: “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:26). “There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt” (Ecclesiastes 5:13). She discovered that she was entirely preoccupied with her desire for money every single day and had not been performing her duty well. In her faith, she had tried to keep her feet on two boats: money, and the truth. If she continued on that way until the conclusion of God’s work, God would destroy her for having failed to gain the truth! Lianying understood that God allowing that kind of trial to come upon her was not to have her experience fleshly suffering, but was to better save her!

Lianying let out a long breath and lifted her head a bit to look out the window. The sun had come out and the snow on the ground was sparkling; she realized how beautiful winter mornings are. She then felt much more relaxed and was full of gratitude to God.

Lianying prostrated herself on the floor and prayed to God: “Oh God! Even though someone cheated us and we lost over a million yuan from the factory’s closure, I have gained understanding of Your rule through this trial as well as discernment over Satan’s trickery. God! I’ve finally understood through Your words that in my faith, if I don’t really pursue the truth and gain the truth as my life, I cannot be saved by You. No matter how much money I earned, no matter how nice my food and clothing were, I was really just a shell of a person and would only be destroyed alongside Satan in the end. Oh God! I don’t want to become a slave to money and I particularly don’t want to become its sacrificial victim. All I want is to really pursue the truth and perform my duty well to repay Your love.”

The factory had closed, but Lianying’s story wasn’t over yet …

The clinic that Lianying’s family had been running for three decades had a great reputation, but her husband fell ill. She not only needed to take care of him, but also had to manage the clinic. She was overwhelmingly busy.

While peeling an apple, Lianying mentioned to her husband: “How about we have your apprentice temporarily take care of the clinic?”

Lying in bed, he thought it over.

She handed the apple to him and followed up with: “We don’t have a better option now. Our children aren’t in the area and you need someone here taking care of you. I’ve been thinking and thinking about this and it’s the only thing to do. Once you’re well it can be handed back to you. Won’t it be all the same?”

Her husband considered it for a little while and then agreed to her idea.

Lianying drew up and signed a private agreement with the apprentice, Wu Mei, to have the management of the clinic temporarily handed over to her until Lianying’s husband had fully recovered, at which point he would resume management authority.

A year later when he had regained his health, Lianying and her husband went to see Wu Mei in preparation to return to their family clinic.

In the car on the way there as her husband was driving, dark clouds suddenly bore down and it started raining. Looking out of the window, all Lianying could see was a thick gray haze.

When the two of them arrived at the apprentice’s house, they were shocked to find …

“You own your own house and your own car. I’ve been managing the clinic for almost a year and I’ve just bought a house, but no car yet. Didn’t you used to say that you would treat me just like your own child? Since that’s the case, just let me keep running the clinic, okay? If I go somewhere else I won’t have any business, so it would be better for you to find another place. If you’re going to be a good person and help someone out, don’t do it halfway.” Wu Mei sat there on the sofa with an imperious air.

It seemed that Wu Mei had become an entirely different person in just one short year. Lianying looked at her and found it hard to believe that she could do something like that just for the sake of money. She felt helpless in the face of it, and a wave of pain welled up in her heart.

No matter what they said to her, Wu Mei had no intention of backing down.

Lianying no longer wanted to waste her breath; she could only return home and think of another plan. But when she thought of the clinic they had worked so hard to run over the last three decades and the current state of affairs, she and her husband really couldn’t swallow it. He fell ill and became bed-ridden again.

Lianying felt utterly miserable. “I really can’t wrap my head around why things have happened this way. This apprentice was at my home for seven years and I’ve always treated her like my own child. I even made arrangements for her wedding—how could she treat us this way now? Isn’t that just being a classic miscreant? This person has no feelings for others to speak of!”

How God’s Words Helped Her Overcome the Temptation of Losing Her Wealth
Lianying was infuriated, and she went to the clinic one more time to try to reason with Wu Mei, but no matter what she said, Wu Mei would not hand the clinic back to them and had absolutely no intention of compromising.

“Don’t even think of getting the clinic back. We won’t give it to you. You’ve been doctors for many years and you could go anywhere to open a clinic—it’d all be the same.” Wu Mei’s mother-in-law was leaning against a medicine cabinet with such a cold expression that Lianying truly did feel chilled.

Wu Mei and her family all chimed in, but all that came out of their mouths were absurdities. Lianying felt very pained and was so angry she couldn’t utter a single word. Both her hands were shaking and her entire body was constantly shivering. She didn’t have an ounce of strength, and couldn’t even stay standing steadily. Seeing the clinic she had worked so hard to manage for three decades being forcibly occupied by someone else, she felt as if her insides had been ripped out, as if everything had been sucked out of her.

Crying as she walked back home, the more Lianying thought about it the angrier she became, and the more wronged she felt. She felt such a weight in her chest that she could hardly get a full breath. As soon as she thought of her husband who was so upset he had fallen ill and become bed-ridden again she felt hopeless and blamed herself for taking the initiative to hand the clinic over to the apprentice to manage. Otherwise, how could that ever have happened? She couldn’t help but cry out in her heart: “What kind of world is this?! Evildoers are in power everywhere—how could I be so unlucky?”

Dejected, Lianying sat on a bench by the side of the road. Her pain and hopelessness were so intense that she couldn’t help but cry out in her heart: “Oh God! Our factory is already gone and now the clinic has been taken over by the apprentice. Society is so unjust. Good people are always bullied and evil people are in control. Our family relies on this clinic—what will I do from here on out? Oh God! I ask You to lead and guide me on how to undergo this environment I’m facing.”

Lianying’s legs felt leaden—she didn’t know how she even walked home.

Right after she got back her family and friends all arrived. They knew the answer from the look on her face, and everyone jumped into a lively debate.

“That apprentice of yours is so inhumane; she’s not even a person.”

“How could a clinic you’ve run for three decades just be snatched away by an apprentice? Without the clinic how will you make a living?”

“Let us handle this. We’ll make things right again—we don’t think this can’t be straightened out. She and her family only dare to bully you this way because you two are just too nice.”

“Say the word and we’ll go find her. Whatever may happen will be no concern of yours.”

Hearing all these things her friends and relatives had to say, her mind was whirling: “That apprentice doesn’t care if we live or die. It looks like she’s going to behave shamelessly until the very end, so why should I have any regard for her? I’ll let them deal with it; my husband and I won’t show our faces.” For a moment Lianying felt emboldened and decided to let them resolve the issue. But then she suddenly felt uneasy and realized that as a Christian, if she acquiesced to her family getting the clinic back through drastic means, would that really be in line with God’s will? Wasn’t that using human solutions and resolving the issue through hot-bloodedness? A passage from Sermons and Fellowship then occurred to her: “When trials befall you, remember first to hurry and pray before God to grasp God’s intention and know God’s love, which is most important. You will be in trouble if you run to Satan instead. When Satan tells you some nonsense, you will be confused, and you will betray God. Therefore you need to hurry and come before God so Satan will have no opportunity to exploit. If you go to those unbelievers for consultation, then you will be done for even more. You will give Satan an opportunity to exploit. You will only blame God, and then use the methods of man to eliminate, escape from and resolve them. And you will end up with nothing” (“Only by Satisfying God’s Final Requirements Can One Be Saved” in Sermons and Fellowship On Entry Into Life (II)).

Lianying suddenly had an awakening: “Yes! On the surface of things it looks like the apprentice snatched away our family clinic, but in fact, isn’t it just like Satan tempting Job and having the robbers carry off his possessions? This is also a trial coming down on me from God, but I didn’t seek or pray, instead just trying to solve it through my own means. Isn’t that being fooled by Satan? Satan wants to sow discord in my relationship with God, to incite me to blame God, live within Satan’s snare, and lose my testimony. Not to mention the fact that everyone is really worked up right now, so if they go stir up trouble wouldn’t that just be falling prey to Satan’s scheme and being even more controlled, mocked, and toyed with by Satan?” Once she thought of all that she quickly told her friends and relatives: “It would be better if you just go back home now. I’ll get in touch after I’ve given it more thought.”

After they left, Lianying prayed to God: “Oh God! This environment I’m faced with is very difficult to submit to. When I think of having so submissively allowed someone else to take the clinic after having managed it for more than thirty years, I really don’t want to do it. God! My heart is really in torment and I want to use human means to resolve this, but I know that wouldn’t be in line with Your will. May You guide me out from this predicament.”

How God’s Words Helped Her Overcome the Temptation of Losing Her Wealth
After she was done praying, Lianying read a passage from Sermons and Fellowship: “One thing we’ve seen from the Bible is that there’s a person named Job in it. He feared God and shunned evil, and at the time he was a perfect person. In order to test him, God made a bet with Satan which resulted in trials befalling him. Then within a single day, all of Job’s family wealth and a mountainside of livestock were all taken from him by robbers. Even his house was burned down—everything he owned was gone. At the time Job was not sinful; he was a God-fearing man, a perfect man. Everything he had was God’s blessing, was bestowed upon him by God. So what did Job have to say when this kind of trial befell him? Did he blame God? Not even a little bit. So what did he say? He said: ‘Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah’ Job did not complain. When this came upon Job, was he at fault at all? He wasn’t. Disaster suddenly struck from the heavens and all of his wealth was ruined, yet he didn’t have a word of complaint” (“How to Achieve True Self-Knowledge” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (I)). Lianying sat at her desk and gave it some serious thought. Why was it that Job was able to fear God and shun evil, that he was a perfect person in God’s eyes? When Job encountered that trial all of his wealth and his children were taken away, yet he didn’t complain, show any hot-headedness, resolve it through human means, start conflict or try to settle accounts with other people. Rather, he praised and paid tribute to God. When Job was faced with a trial he especially wasn’t deceived, roped in, or tempted by others, but he was able to calm himself down and seek the truth, in the end standing witness. He said: “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21).

When she thought of that, Lianying nodded her head and thought: “That’s true, even though trials are very painful, they are what most reveal whether people have true faith in God or not. Even though I had read about Job’s experience many times and had frequent fellowship with brothers and sisters on how Job stood witness for God, when I lost my own wealth and needed to do the same, there was no God in my heart. I didn’t come in front of God to pray, but instead was impulsive and relied on my own hot-headedness, trying to resolve it through human means. How could that kind of display shame Satan, and how could that be someone who fears God and shuns evil?”

Lianying reproached herself for being so rash. Seeing how she could not at all compare with Job when faced with a trial, she silently prayed to God and set her resolve: “Oh God! I want to be as reasonable as Job was and seek the truth in the present environment. I am willing to stand witness for You, and even if I am left with nothing in the end, I will still give thanks to You and praise Your name!”

One day, Lianying was in her living room watching a video, earnestly listening to a recitation of God’s words. “Common sense dictates that, having been given such abundant assets by God, Job should feel ashamed before God because of losing these assets, for he hadn’t looked after or taken care of them, he hadn’t held on to the assets given to him by God. Thus, when he heard that his property had been stolen, his first reaction should have been to go to the scene of the crime and take inventory of everything that had gone,[c] and then to confess to God so that he might once more receive God’s blessings. Job, however, did not do this—and he naturally had his own reasons for not doing so. In his heart, Job profoundly believed that all he possessed had been bestowed upon him by God, and had not come off the back of his own labor. Thus, he did not see these blessings as something to be capitalized upon, but took holding on to the way that he should by tooth and nail as his living principles. He cherished God’s blessings, and gave thanks for them, but he was not enamored of, nor did he seek more blessings. Such was his attitude toward property. He neither did anything for the sake of gaining blessings, nor worried about or was aggrieved by the lack or loss of God’s blessings; he neither became wildly, deliriously happy because of God’s blessings, nor ignored the way of God or forgot the grace of God because of the blessings he frequently enjoyed. Job’s attitude toward his property reveals to people his true humanity: Firstly, Job was not a greedy man, and was undemanding in his material life. Secondly, Job never worried or feared that God would take away all that he had, which was his attitude of obedience toward God in his heart; that is, he had no demands or complaints about when or whether God would take from him, and did not ask the reason why, but only sought to obey the arrangements of God. Thirdly, he never believed that his assets came from his own labors, but that they were bestowed unto him by God. This was Job’s faith in God, and is an indication of his conviction” (“God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

How God’s Words Helped Her Overcome the Temptation of Losing Her Wealth
After watching this recitation of the passage of God’s words, Lianying felt suddenly enlightened. She could see from Job’s attitude toward his family wealth that he recognized God’s rule and knew that everything he had was given to him by God, and that God taking it away at any time was God’s own affair; whatever God did would be right. Whether He allows someone to be blessed, to suffer calamity or pain, they must accept and submit to it because people are nothing more than miniscule beings of creation who are not qualified to complain to God or demand anything of Him. They are particularly not qualified to make assessments of God’s deeds. Lianying saw that she still didn’t possess the rationality of Job, always thinking that it was she who had earned her family’s fortune, that it was because of her skill and capability. That was why it was so painful for her when she lost it, and she even fell into Satan’s snare, complaining to God and nearly losing her testimony.

Lianying’s eyes moistened with tears. She saw that in Job’s faith and his path following God, what he focused on was how to follow God’s way, how to stand witness for God and glorify Him. That is why he was able to calm himself, pray, and seek God’s will when such a great trial befell him, and why in his heart he only thought of how to satisfy God, the Lord of creation. Job bore a resounding witness before Satan and all of mankind. His faith, obedience, and reverence for God defeated Satan, shaming the devil, and in the end was praised by the Lord of creation.

Job’s testimony was incredibly moving for Lianying. It was then that she finally understood God’s will, that God allowing that kind of trial to come upon her was to have her recognize God’s rule and perfect her true faith in God so that she would be able to have true obedience and reverence for God through trials and refinement. If she just praised God when everything was smooth sailing but in trials and adversity denied Him and complained to Him, how could that count as someone with true faith?

Another passage of God’s words then came to mind, and she hurriedly grabbed her book of God’s words from the coffee table, opening it up to: “Man’s life originates from God, the existence of the heaven is because of God, and the existence of the earth stems from the power of God’s life. No object possessed of vitality can transcend the sovereignty of God, and no thing with vigor can break away from the ambit of God’s authority” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Lianying understood that the heavens and earth and all things originate from God, so wasn’t everything they had also bestowed by God? She and her husband were just average people who weren’t highly educated. If it hadn’t been for God’s care and protection, how would they have been able to start with nothing, then open a clinic, and then open a factory? Wasn’t all of that due to God’s rule and arrangements? When Satan made its accusation it was God allowing Satan to have a temptation befall her. Someone schemed against the factory and it was closed, and the clinic was taken over by a trusted apprentice. She had once again become someone who owned nothing. All of that contained temptations from Satan, but more than that, it was God perfecting her! All worldly possessions are things we do not bring with us from birth, and things we cannot take with us through death. But in this worldly life of hers, she was fortunate to have heard God’s voice and experienced the leadership and cleansing of God’s words. That is what is most precious! Lianying then thought of Job understanding God’s will when trials befell him, that he stood witness for God and was fortunate enough to see God’s back. At that time a trial had come upon her and she should also submit to God’s rule just as Job had, standing witness for God and be capable of developing true understanding of God within that environment. Even though submitting meant accepting a great deal of suffering and possibly facing financial difficulties, mockery from others, and the distancing of friends and family after losing her wealth, she knew that it was God’s blessing coming upon her and that He was giving her a chance to stand witness for Him. No matter how much she suffered or how many tears she shed, she was willing to follow Job’s example and stand on God’s side. Just then a passage of God’s words rose to the surface of Lianying’s mind: “Each time they put the truth into practice, each time they undergo refinement, each time they are tried, and each time God’s work comes upon them, people endure extreme pain. All of this is a test for people, and so within all of them there is a battle. This is the actual price that they pay. … If, on the road to loving God, you are able to stand on the side of God when He does battle with Satan, and you do not turn back to Satan, then you will have achieved the love of God, and you will have stood firm in your testimony” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

Having understood God’s will, Lianying felt like an entirely new person in body and spirit.

Early in the morning when the air was fresh, a patch of rosy clouds appeared in the east just as Lianying was in her room listening to hymns of God’s words through earphones. Her husband was by her side doing his exercises.

“Mom, Dad. I’m home.”

“Tingting.” Seeing that her second daughter had come home, Lianying stood up in excitement.

After they finished eating Tingting went to put her clothes away; Lianying went over to help her.

“Mom, I know all these things that have happened in our family have been really hard on you and Dad, but as they say, it’s a ‘blessing in disguise.’ We’ll get through this together—maybe this cloud has a silver lining! Mom, I’ve given it thought and I’m back because I want to join you in your faith. I don’t plan to leave again. I know that you want to perform your duty and Dad isn’t in good health. I’ll stay and take care of him. I’m grown up now, so I’ll take care of everything at home.”

Hearing what her daughter had to say, tears formed in Lianying’s eyes. She was incredibly moved and she knew that this was God opening up a way forward for her, that it was His grace. She praised God’s love in her heart.

In the days that followed, her daughter attended gatherings while also running an online business. Her business did so well that she was earning 20 to 30 thousand yuan every month, completely resolving the issues of their son attending school, her husband’s medical fees, and their home expenses. And without the entanglements of the factory and the clinic, Lianying felt much more relaxed and had more time and energy for gatherings and performing her duty. Lianying couldn’t help but offer up a prayer to God: “Oh God! You know the needs of my life; You set up that environment to test and refine me so that I could enter into the reality of the truth. But I didn’t understand Your will and even complained and misunderstood You. When I was suffering most, was at my weakest, and could not withstand it, You stayed silently at my side supporting me, helping me, and protecting me without a word. This gave rise to all sorts of people, things, and events appearing to help me resolve my problems and relieve my anxieties. This has made me see Your love and blessings for me. Oh God! I am so in Your debt. I am willing to perform my duty well to comfort Your heart.”

Every time Lianying thinks back on that experience, she has a feeling of warmth and that God being concerned for her is a very happy thing. Although she suffered a bit through her trials and refinement, shed many tears, and was very sad, after undergoing all of that Lianying came to understand God’s kind intentions. She became willing to perform her duty well and pursue the truth from then on so that she could repay the grace of salvation given to her by God.

From the factory’s closing until today, Lianying has gained so much …

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