In April of 2016, I started to believe in the Lord Jesus. At a gathering, the elder said to us, “We are all sinful. But the Lord Jesus Christ was crucified for our sins, and redeemed us by His blood, and thus our sins have been forgiven. As long as we persist in reading the Bible, love brothers and sisters, work and preach more, we’ll be able to enter the kingdom of heaven.” Hearing what the elder said, I thought: I must pursue hard to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven in the future.
However, after a period of time, I found that when I was scolded without cause by my colleagues, I felt wronged and angry and couldn’t forgive them, much less love them. Knowing I hadn’t put the Lord’s words into practice, I was very worried. Later, I found that in the church, we didn’t exalt the Lord at all but listened to the pastors and elders in all things. The believers all admired and looked up to them. In addition, the brothers and sisters engaged in disputes and jealousy. They would turn hostile immediately when encountering something against their will and would ignore each other even if they met. I thought: How can there be any work of the Holy Spirit in such a church? Is there any difference between the church and the world of the unbelievers? And we’re caught living in a cycle of sinning and confessing, having not escaped from sins. Can we enter into the heavenly kingdom? Can it be that those who still sin are permitted to enter into the heavenly kingdom? Thinking of these, I felt rather weak and negative and had less and less faith.
From then on, I seldom went to the gatherings. Gradually, I felt I was getting further and further away from the Lord. Every day when I was faced with disputes between my colleagues, I felt pained and helpless. And I had no way but to constantly pray to the Lord, hoping to be reunited with the Lord some day so as to put an end to the painful days.
In August of 2016, I happened to know Sister Lin when I was learning Japanese. After knowing she was a Christian, I asked, “Could I take part in your meetings?” She told me happily that they had small group meetings on the internet and invited me to join in.
The one who was in charge of our meetings was Brother Wu. From his fellowship, I found he was modest and very familiar with the Bible. I asked him, “Brother, the Lord Jesus said He would come again to take us into the kingdom of heaven. Can you tell me when the Lord will come back?” Brother Wu asked me in reply, “Can we surely be taken into the heavenly kingdom if the Lord comes back?” I said, “The elder of my church says that as long as we stick to attending meetings, work and preach more, the Lord Jesus will definitely bring us into the kingdom of heaven.” Brother Wu said with a smile, “Most believers in the Lord think that way. But can we really enter the heavenly kingdom by practicing in the way? We all know the Pharisees knew the laws of the Old Testament very well, and that they all worked hard and compassed sea and land to preach the gospel. But they didn’t recognize the Lord Jesus was the coming Messiah when He came to work. For the sake of protecting their own status and livelihoods, they, along with the Roman government, condemned the Lord Jesus, and even nailed Him to the cross, committing a grave sin. Can they enter the kingdom of heaven? They believed in God but didn’t know Him and even resisted and condemned Him. Therefore, no matter how great their faith was, no matter how much work they did, God wouldn’t allow them to enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
I was a little shocked at what the brother said, thinking in my heart: That’s the case. The Pharisees knew the Bible very well and did so much work, but they opposed and condemned the Lord Jesus. They certainly couldn’t enter the kingdom of heaven. It seems that we can’t judge whether or not a man can enter the heavenly kingdom by his external sacrifices and suffering. So I said, “Brother, we won’t necessarily enter into the kingdom of heaven even if we read more of the Bible, and work and preach more; then what should we do to enter the kingdom?”
Brother Wu said, “As is recorded in the Bible, the Lord Jesus said, ‘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’ (Matthew 7:21). Jehovah God said, ‘You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy’ (Leviticus 11:45). And Hebrews 12:14 says: ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.’ From the above verses we can see that only those who obey the will of the heavenly Father and those who seek to break free from the bondage of sin and to be cleansed can enter the kingdom of heaven. This is the standard of entering the heavenly kingdom. Even though we read the Bible more, and preach and work more, we still can sin and be controlled and bound by sins. For example, for the sake of our own profits, we often make a fuss over little things, criticize each other, and engage in jealous and disputes. We often lie and cheat. Being arrogant and haughty, we look down on others. We lust for the secular world, and pursue money, status and reputation. Similarly, the pastors and elders, when they work and preach, always elevate and aggrandize themselves so that the believers will adore them. Their hard work is for their status and livelihoods. So much corruption we have, which means we aren’t the ones who obey the will of the heavenly Father, much less become cleansed, so how can we enter the heavenly kingdom? God is righteous and holy and those who are impure won’t be permitted to exist in His kingdom. Therefore, if we want to enter the heavenly kingdom, we must get rid of our sins.”
What the brother said caused me to think: In my work, when the opinions or suggestions my colleagues put forward don’t accord with my will, my heart will be filled with hatred. The Lord demanded us to love our neighbors as ourselves, and love our enemies, but I can’t put it into practice anyhow. Besides, in the church, the brothers and sisters have jealous disputes with each other and the pastors often exalt themselves when preaching. We have so much corruption indeed, then how can we enter God’s kingdom? And how can we resolve our corrupt disposition? If it cannot be resolved, doesn’t that mean we will never enter the kingdom? I still had many questions in my heart.
Though I had a lot more to chat about, we had communicated for over two hours before we stopped that gathering. And I benefited greatly from what the brother said. Thinking that it had been a long time since I gathered the last time and that this could be another opportunity God gave me to know Him, I decided to seize this opportunity.
About a week later when I was online a second time, I talked to Brother Wu about my questions. He said that if we want to resolve our sin at its root, we need God to do a stage of judgment and cleansing work in the last days, and that only by accepting God’s judgment work of the last days can we be cleansed of our sins and qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. Then he told us that the Lord Jesus has already returned in the flesh to express the truth, and started doing the judgment work beginning with the house of God. Hearing Brother Wu say that the Lord has returned, I was stunned: The Lord has come back? How could that be? And how could he know that? I couldn’t accept this fact right now, thinking: Who on earth is this brother? Why did he know so much? The return of the Lord is important, and I have little discernment so what if I believe by mistake? I must first become clear on this matter. So at the rest of this gathering, I didn’t hear a single word that the brother said.
That night, I lay tossing in bed, thinking that I wondered at what time the Lord would return or whether He had already returned, when the pastor said that it is now the last days, and the Bible’s prophecies surrounding the Lord’s return have basically come true, which shows that the Lord is coming back. However, facing the fact that the brother said the Lord has returned, I felt it was too unexpected. It concerns my destiny and end. What should I do? I felt very confused and had to come before the Lord to pray and seek. I remembered that during our whole gathering, all we did was fellowshiping the truth and the Lord’s will, and their communication let me feel quite fulfilled in my heart. In case what he said is true but I refuse, will I not be unable to receive the Lord? No, I’ll go on to listen and seek.
At the next gathering, I said embarrassedly, “Brother, I’d like to ask something. We’re sinful, but the elder says that we are no longer of sin for the Lord Jesus has used His precious blood to redeem us, and absolved us of all sins. So why does God still need to do His work of judgment and purification? Can you explain it to me?” Then the brother sent two passages of God’s words for me to read, “For you, you who are still of your old self, it is true that you were saved by Jesus, and that you are not counted as a sinner because of the salvation of God, but this does not prove that you are not sinful, and are not impure. How can you be saintly if you have not been changed? Within, you are beset by impurity, selfish and mean, yet you still wish to descend with Jesus-you should be so lucky! You have missed a step in your belief in God: You have merely been redeemed, but have not been changed. For you to be after God’s heart, God must personally do the work of changing and cleansing you; if you are only redeemed, you will be incapable of attaining sanctity. In this way you will be unqualified to share in the good blessings of God, for you have missed out a step in God’s work of managing man, which is the key step of changing and perfecting. And so you, a sinner who has just been redeemed, are incapable of directly inheriting God’s inheritance.” “Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and this work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.”
The brother said, “From God’s words, we see that the Lord Jesus used His precious blood to redeem us and forgave our sins, but it just means that God does not remember our sins and doesn’t treat us in accordance with our transgressions. However, our internal sinful nature still exists, such as our arrogance, tortuous deceit, despicable selfishness, being self-seeking, etc. These corrupt satanic dispositions are still rooted within us. Under their control, we involuntarily commit sins, living in the state of sinning in the day and confessing at night. We haven’t attained true purification; how can we enter the heavenly kingdom? Therefore, we need God to do greater work to completely rid us of our disposition corrupted by Satan. And so, in order to fully save us from the domain of Satan, God has become flesh again, expresses words to do the judgment beginning at the house of God. If we want to never again sin to oppose God, we must experience the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. Only then can we cast away the corrupt satanic disposition and achieve purification and change and thus be brought into the kingdom of heaven.”
After listening to these words, I could understand it at last: The reason why we sin constantly is that we have corrupt satanic dispositions. The work the Lord Jesus did was just the work of redemption, rather than the work of changing our disposition. In order to get rid of our sins, we need God to do the work of judgment and purification. Then I asked, “Brother, how does God do the judgment work of the last days? How does He cleanse our corrupt disposition? Would you please talk to me in detail?”
The brother said, “Of course. First let’s read some of God’s words.” Then the brother sent me another section of God’s words: “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, expose the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes it over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only methods of this kind are deemed judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God.”
The brother said, “We all know we have been corrupted by Satan, but we have absolutely no awareness of the truth and substance of our corruption, nor do we know God’s righteous and holy disposition. As a result, we don’t feel we’re in danger even when we live in the state of sinning and confessing. So according to the needs of us corrupt mankind, God has become flesh a second time and has expressed all truth that we corrupt man need to be saved. He has revealed to us His righteous, majestic, and unoffendable disposition, and has revealed our satanic nature, such as our arrogance and conceit, selfishness and baseness, crookedness and treachery and so on. And moreover, He has revealed our corruption in our words and behavior, and even in our thoughts and ideas. For instance, after we were corrupted by Satan, our thoughts and actions are all to maintain our own interests. We behave ourselves narrow-mindedly, plot against each other, and lie to and deceive each other. As long as others do something contrary to our will, we’ll hold a grudge against and oppose them. Though we believe in God, we still advocate money, fame, profit and status. We also follow the world’s evil trends, and constantly commit offense, rebel against and resist God. Even though we work and preach, we are not to perform our duty as one of creation but to obtain blessings, to be rewarded, and to enter the kingdom of heaven. Exposed by God’s words, we can realize that our thoughts and actions are all rebellion and resistance against God. At this time, we have some real knowledge of the extent of Satan’s corruption of us. We begin to hate our corrupt disposition and no longer want to live under the corrupt satanic disposition. With the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, we come to know what kind of person God likes, and what kind of person He hates. Besides, we get some understanding on the righteous and unoffendable disposition of God, beget a God-fearing heart, and thus have aspirations to forsake the flesh and practice the truth. Furthermore, God’s words have pointed out to us the path of practice, such as how to be honest, how to obey God, how to live in the way of a true person, and so forth. When we rebel against the flesh and practice the truth again and again, we gradually be able to obey God and fear Him, and increasingly live out the likeness of a human being. This is the result that the judgment and chastisement of God’s words has achieved on us. When we live completely by God’s word, we’ll be released thoroughly from the bondage of sin and be cleansed. If we don’t accept God’s judgment work of the last days, we’ll never get rid of the bondage and constraint of the corrupt satanic disposition or gain passage into the kingdom of God.”
After listening to the brother’s communication, I seemed to be awakened suddenly and I said excitedly, “Now, I see. God does His work of judgment to let us know our own corruption and God’s righteous disposition from God’s word so that we can attain the fear of God and the obedience to Him. When we truly submit to God, He will be satisfied with what we do and we’ll have the opportunity to be taken into the kingdom of heaven. Oh, God’s work is so practical. Thanks be to God! If I didn’t investigate God’s work of the last days, I would still think the judgment means that our human transgressions would be revealed one by one and then we would be punished and condemned according to our transgressions, suffering in hell or being destroyed forever. It seems that when we don’t know God, we surely will misunderstand His will based on our conceptions and imaginations.”
The brother said, “That’s true. The Lord Jesus said: ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come’ (John16:12–13). In the last days, God has expressed millions of words and opened up all mysteries, including the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan, God’s disposition, what the outcome and destination of every kind of man is, how Christ’s kingdom is realized upon the earth, and so on. Whatever conceptions we have, as long as we have the eagerness to seek the truth and revere God, all of them can be resolved by God’s word. Because God’s word is the truth, the way, and the life.”
In the following days, I eagerly read God’s words, tried to grasp the will of God, and attended gatherings and communicated with the brothers and sisters. After a period of seeking and investigation, I completely confirmed that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. I have been finally reunited with the Lord. Now I have gained not only some knowledge of God’s work but also certain understandings regarding the essence of my own nature. I no longer deal with people and things based on my hot blood as I did in the past. Instead, I’ve learned to try to understand which area of my corrupt disposition God is to reveal through individuals and things around me, and which aspect of truth I should practice and enter into. Bit by bit, through my practicing and experiencing God’s words, my viewpoints and corrupt dispositions have been changed a little. Every day, I am very happy in my life and work. I attend gatherings actively and often sing hymns to praise God with the brothers and sisters. I think such a life is meaningful and I’m feeling more and more relaxed. Thanks be to Almighty God!