Maru the Philippines
I am Maru from the Philippines and my whole family are all Christians. I began to believe in the Lord from childhood and used to go to church to listen to messages regularly every week. The pastors often explained us James 4:4, “know you not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” Though acquainted with this verse, I lived a life the same as the unbelievers’. Every day my heart was fully occupied with learning tasks and various kinds of activities in school. When staying with my classmates, I always followed them to absent myself from school to go to the shopping mall, and pursue worldly trends and keep up with fads. Thus, I had no ample time to read or pray to God and had no place for God in my heart at all. Every time when hearing the pastor’s preaching, I would wish to change myself, yet my life remained the same afterward.
At usual times, I was a self-righteous girl. I had no regard for my parents and elders at all, showed little respect for them, much less listened to them. In addition, I used to find out their faults and defects and then disdained them. But sometimes I would think of the Lord’s words, “And why behold you the mote that is in your brother’s eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye? Or how will you say to your brother, Let me pull out the mote out of your eye; and, behold, a beam is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3-4). These words made me feel remorseful inside, but I still could not be patient and forbearing of others’ shortcomings and weaknesses.
Moreover, every time I gave some help in the church, such as cleaning or preparing materials for Sunday school, I always hoped that they could pay attention to me and praise me for my work. I did these to win their praise rather than satisfy God. I remembered what the once said, “Take heed that you do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise you have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when you do your alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Truly I say to you, They have their reward. But when you do alms, let not your left hand know what your right hand does: That your alms may be in secret: and your Father which sees in secret himself shall reward you openly” (Matthew 6:1-4). Thus I always brimmed with guilt and felt that I was very selfish, because what I had done was to win others’ favor for admiration. At that time, I frequently thought of Ecclesiastes 11:9, which said, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes: but know you, that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.” When I thought of this teaching, I always had a feeling of guilt inside and was sorry for my sins.
Therefore, I usually prayed to the Lord, asking Him to forgive my sins, “O Lord! I’m sorry. I know that Your words have the power to change my life, but I always satisfy my flesh, and fail to practice Your teachings. Please forgive me.” Meanwhile, I was kind of worried whether the Lord would abandon me when He comes back. He had forgiven our sins by His crucifixion, but I couldn’t practice His teachings, living in sin and being unable to extricate myself from it. Although I didn’t understand what the cause was, I knew I couldn’t leave the Lord Jesus, and hence I could only follow Him in this way.
One evening in July of 2016, Aunty Vilce, who came back from Manila, told us excitedly that the Lord Jesus has come back and is doing the work of judgment beginning with God’s family. She said to us, “ is the returned Lord Jesus. He has already come to earth to do the final stage of work in His six-thousand-year management plan. His intention is to purify mankind and rid them of the root of sin.” Told by the aunty that the Lord Jesus has come back, we all began to discuss at once. I asked cautiously, “I still often commit sins involuntarily and can’t practice the Lord’s words. Will the Lord want me when He comes back?” The aunty said, “The Lord Jesus once said that all those who don’t follow the will of the heavenly Father won’t enter the kingdom of heaven. If we can’t practice the Lord’s teachings, certainly we won’t be able to enter the kingdom of heaven. Yet we do not have to be discouraged and negative. The Lord only did the work of redemption in the Age of Grace but not the work of removing sinful nature, so, we still commit sins and fail to practice His teachings. Today Almighty God has come, and He does the work of judgment and purification with the word based upon the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, saving us from Satan’s domain completely. Let’s first read two passages of Almighty s. Almighty God says, ‘The sins of man could be forgiven through the sin offering, but man has been unable to resolve the issue of just how he can no longer sin and how his sinful nature can be cast away completely and be transformed. The sins of man were forgiven because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live in the old, corrupt satanic disposition. As such, man must be completely saved from the corrupt satanic disposition so that the sinful nature of man is completely cast away and never again develops, thus allowing the disposition of man to be changed. This requires man to understand the path of growth in life, the way of life, and the way to change his disposition. It also needs man to act in accordance with this path so that the disposition of man can gradually be changed and he can live under the shining of the light, and that he can do all things in accord with the will of God, cast away the corrupt satanic disposition, and break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation’ (‘The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, reveal the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should , how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and disposition of God, and so on. These words are all focused on the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that reveal how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against God. … What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that could not be understood by man. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of such work is actually the work of opening up the truth, way, and life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God’ (‘Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
Aunty Vilce continued, “In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus did the work of redemption. Although we have been forgiven our sins through the sin offering, our sinful nature has not been solved. Bound by our satanic nature, we can still often sin and resist God and live in painful torments resulted from the bondage and control of our satanic nature. We can’t refrain ourselves from rebelling against God, unable to practice God’s words. We are doubtful frequently inside: How can we be after God’s heart and enter the kingdom of heaven since we commit sins often? So in the last days, Almighty God does a stage of work of judging and purifying man according to the need of the corrupt mankind to help us break away from Satan’s influence thoroughly and by Him. Almighty God expresses the truth to judge and reveal the substance and truth of man’s deep corruption by Satan as well as the root of man’s sinning and resisting God. In the judgment of Almighty God’s words, we can see our nature is filled with satanic disposition, such as arrogance, self-conceit, selfishness, craftiness, greed, evil and being bored of the truth, etc. Through the experience of God’s judgment and chastisement, so long as we pursue to look into ourselves and to know God’s righteous disposition which allows no offense, and truly repent, our life disposition will be transformed. And we will be more conscientious and reasonable, will be able to put the truth into practice and live by God’s words. Eventually, we can live out the model of a real man. Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days is exactly to solve the root of our tendency to sin and oppose God, and to conclude mankind’s millennia-long life of sinning and confessing, making us thoroughly break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, and then be saved and gained by God. Only being purified in the work of judgment can we be brought into God’s kingdom. Thus accepting Almighty God’s work of judgment in the last days is really too important for us.” From Almighty God’s words I completely understand that we have merely received redemption through our faith in the Lord Jesus, yet our sinful nature hasn’t been completely cast away, so that we can still sin and resist God. No wonder I used to be unable to practice the Lord’s teachings. It turns out that there is the root of sin inside me. Almighty God is now expressing His word to judge and purify man, so as long as I accept and experience His work of judgment, I will have a chance to enter the kingdom of heaven. I shed tears with excitement for there is no need for me to worry about being sent to hell any longer.
Later, I also read Almighty God’s words, “Though many people , few understand what faith in God means, and what they must do to be after God’s heart. This is because, though people are familiar with the word “God” and phrases such as “the work of God,” they do not know God, much less do they know His work. No wonder, then, that all those who do not know God are possessed of a muddled belief. … ‘Belief in God’ means believing that there is a God; this is the simplest concept of faith in God. What’s more, believing that there is a God is not the same as truly believing in God; rather, it is a kind of simple faith with strong religious overtones. True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God” (Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words of God encouraged me to believe in God with my heart. There was a time when I believed in God just with my mouth and my life was like the unbelievers’: pursuing the trend of the world, seldom praying or reading the Bible, and having no true faith in God either. I was thankful that God’s words allowed me to realize my belief in God should not merely stop at my mouth. Rather, I should have true faith in God, believe that He rules over everything, and try my best to experience and practice His words to change myself, be freed of my corrupt disposition and satisfy His will.
Subsequently, while experiencing God’s work, my corrupt disposition has already been changed a little. Once, when I was doing my own thing, the elders in my family asked me to go outside to fetch something for them. At that time, I just wanted to lose my temper with them. No sooner was I about to be irritated than a reproach occurred inwardly: Is it good or bad that I act in this way? Is it really proper that I act like this before God? Don’t I want to be purified? These questions continually reminded me not to get angry but to consider how to practice the truth to glorify God. Afterward, I read Almighty God’s words, “Of course, corrupt people without any status will also frequently lose control. Their anger is frequently caused by damage to their individual benefits. In order to protect their own status and dignity, corrupt mankind will frequently vent their emotions and reveal their arrogant nature. Man will flare up in anger and vent his emotions in order to defend the existence of sin, and these actions are the ways with which man expresses his dissatisfaction. These actions brim with defilement; they brim with schemes and intrigues; they brim with man’s corruption and evil; more than that, they brim with man’s wild ambitions and desires” (“God Himself, the Unique II” in Continuation of The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Be it big or small, when something happens to you, you must first put yourself to one side and regard the flesh as the most lowly of all things. The more you satisfy the flesh, the more liberties it takes; if you satisfy it this time, next time it will ask for more, and as this carries on, you come to love the flesh even more. The flesh always has extravagant desires, it always asks that you satisfy it, and that you gratify it within, whether it be in the things you eat, what you wear, or in flying off the handle, or pandering to your own weaknesses and laziness…. The more you satisfy the flesh, the greater its desires become, and the more debauched the flesh becomes, until it gets to the point when people’s flesh harbors even deeper conceptions, and disobeys God …” (“Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s words, I came to realize that whenever something displeasing to me cropped up, I would lose my temper with others, which was caused by the damage to my personal benefit and was also the revelation of my arrogant nature. It was following the fleshly desires to do things. And the more I did so, the easier I would get angry, without transformation. Hence, I must put aside my own interests, calm down to seek God’s will and learn submission. When I reflected upon myself, my emotion was controlled and my temper was held back. Afterward, I saw that a normal man should follow etiquette, be well-behaved, and respect the old and love the young from the fellowship “The Proper Form of a Believer of God,” from which I realized that I should respect the people who were senior to me. At that time I was very calm and had real forbearance and patience. I realized that it was God’s chastisement and judgment that came upon me, letting me submit to the truth and enabling me to break free from corrupt satanic disposition gradually.
I saw the words from “Beholding the Appearance of God in His Judgment and Chastisement” expressed by Almighty God, “The love of God extends forth like the water of a spring, and is given to you, and to me, and to him, and to all those who truly seek the truth and await the appearance of God.” God is indeed the God who loves man, because His love gives me the opportunity to accept His salvation in the last days, and He has never left me. Now my life has changed. I actively attend meetings on weekends, and perform some duty as best as I can, no longer chasing the things of the world as I did before. Besides, I have already learned to obey first when something against my will befalls me, and then to seek what to do to be in line with God’s will. I believe that as long as I continue to seek the truth and pursue to know Almighty God, He will change me step by step and deliver me from my corruption completely, so that I can be gained by Him.