By Jianding, United States
I was born into a family of Catholics. My mother taught me to read the scriptures from my childhood, when Communist rule was established. Because of the religious persecution of the CCP government, I wasn’t allowed to listen to sermons in the church until I was in my twenties. At that time, the priest often said to us, “When trusting in God the Father, we should confess our sins and repent, do more good deeds, not do evil. Moreover, we must persevere in attending Mass. It is because God will come to judge man in the last days. People who commit major sins will suffer eternal punishment in hell. People who commit minor sins can enter into the kingdom of heaven if they have faith in God and confess their sins and repent sincerely. People who do not will not be able to enter into the kingdom of heaven, no matter how kind they are.” Hearing this, I was very thankful that I had been a follower of God from birth. I thought: I must dedicate myself to my pursuit, go to Mass and confess my sins and repent so that I could and not suffer in hell. Hence, I insisted on going to the church to hear Mass. At that time, the priest told us that God would return in 2000. However, we didn’t see the return of God after 2000. Consequently, people lost their faith. Fewer and fewer people went to the church for Mass. I was inevitably disappointed too. However, regardless of others, my heart with which I believed in God would not change, because I was well aware that I would have lost my life without God’s protection. On one occasion, I was almost hit by a train. On another occasion, I was saved from drowning. And once, I nearly died falling off my bike after drinking. Time and time again, I headed off danger under God’s care.
Afterward, I heard about that America was a paradise. So, it was fortunate for my whole family to immigrate to America in December 2014. However, the reality was not as wonderful as I imagined. When I went to America, at first I was unfamiliar with the place and the people. The environment and climate here were very different from those of Mainland China. On account of this, I had some discomfort and often felt tired, weak and listless, despondent. Then I went to the hospital for examination but there was nothing serious. Feeling helpless, I prayed to God more sincerely for His protection. In addition, I began to look for a church to attend Mass. In the beginning, I went to a church where there were only Americans. Sharing no language in common, I then went to a Chinese church. However, there were no significant differences between churches of today and the society. Outwardly, everybody was enthusiastic, but actually they treated others according to power and money. I felt a bit disappointed with such a church condition. I thought: Oh, Lord! What time will You come back? When You return, the good and the evil will be separated and the world will be purified. Although I still went to Mass, I couldn’t feel the presence of the Lord in the church. Many a time I was overcome with depression and disappointment, without any faith.
In July 2015, I worked in another state. My wife said to me happily on the phone, “God has come and expressed words to do the work of judgment in the last days. Come back quickly and accept God’s new work.” Hearing her words, I couldn’t help but think in disbelief: Has God come back? How could it be possible? He will come to judge the world and separate the good and the bad. But now the mankind hasn’t been classified. How come God has come? Has she accepted another way? We have believed in God half of our lives. We can’t go astray. So, I hurriedly handled my work and went home.
After arriving home, I asked my wife, “How do you know that God has returned? Have you taken the wrong way? You said God has returned to do the work of judgment. But good men and bad men have not been separated; how could God possibly have come back?! Although we are expecting His return, we cannot be unfaithful to Him!” She said to me patiently, “Yes. God has returned. He is doing the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. Just calm down. As I have just come to know that Almighty God is exactly the returned the Lord, I can’t speak it clearly. Now, the Church of Almighty God is testifying that God has come back. God has said, ‘My sheep hear My voice: and I know them, and they follow Me’ (John 10:27). Let’s go and make an investigation and then we will know whether God has really come back.” What she said indeed made sense. Moreover, God would do the work of judgment when He returned, which was also appropriate. I was also expecting the return of God. I’d better see what was going on first. So I promised to make an investigation with her.
One day, my wife and I went to Brother Zhang’s home, who believed in Almighty God. Brother Wang and Sister Li, who also believed in Catholicism, were there too. I was relieved to see sisters and brothers in the church who also came to investigate. After greeting each other and being seated, I asked sisters and brothers: “Concerning the return of God, my understanding is: When God returns to do the work of judgment, the good and the bad will be divided; the good will be taken to heaven by God to meet with Him and the bad will go down to hell to be punished. You tell us God has come back and is doing the work of judgment. Why haven’t I seen these things happen?” Brother Wang said, “Brother, I held the same viewpoints as you before. However, by reading Almighty God’s words, I knew it was nothing but my conception and imagination, which was not accordant with the reality of God’s work. The Bible says, ‘Who hath forwarded the spirit of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor, and hath taught him? With whom hath he consulted, and who hath instructed him, and taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and shewed him the way of understanding? Behold the Gentiles are as a drop of a bucket … behold the islands are as a little dust’ (Isaiah 40:13-15). The wisdom of God soars higher than the heavens. In the eyes of God, man is as insignificant as dust, so how can man fathom His work? God is God who can do new things and work wonders. Each of us, with mind, thinking and imaginations, may suppose God’s work as we wish, but God will not do the work according to our imaginations. If He worked according to our imagination, wouldn’t we become His counselors and surpass Him? This is the performance of man’s arrogance! So, how exactly does God do the work of judgment to divide the good and the bad? We will be clear after reading Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, ‘The last days have already arrived. All things will be classed according to kind, and will be divided into different categories based on their nature. This is the time in which God reveals the end and the destination of man. If man does not undergo chastisement and judgment, then there will be no way of revealing the disobedience and unrighteousness of man. Only through chastisement and judgment can the end of all things be revealed. Man only shows his true colors when he is chastised and judged. Evil shall return to evil, good shall return to good, and man shall be classified according to kind. Through chastisement and judgment, the end of all things shall be revealed, so that the evil shall be punished and the good shall be rewarded, and all people shall become subject under the dominion of God. All the work requires righteous chastisement and judgment to be achieved. Because man’s corruption has reached its peak and his disobedience has been too serious, only God’s righteous disposition, which is principally one of chastisement and judgment, and is revealed during the last days, can fully transform and complete man. Only this disposition can expose evil and thus severely punish all the unrighteous’ (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
‘The purpose of My work to conquer is not solely for the sake of conquest, but to conquer so as to reveal righteousness and unrighteousness, to obtain proof for the punishment of man, to condemn the wicked, and furthermore, I conquer to perfect those with a heart of obedience. In the end, all will be separated according to kind, and all those perfected have their thoughts filled with obedience. This is the final work done. Those filled with rebellion will be punished, sent to burn in the fires and forever be cursed’ (“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). In man’s conceptions, he believes that God comes to judge man to directly separate the wheat from tares, the sheep from goats, which is to say, God will separate the good from the bad. Let’s think it over: Today, the Christians and Catholics are over 2 billion in the world. All of them deem that they are true believers who love God. Then how to distinguish between good and evil? If God comes to determine that you are good and I am bad, then I will be reluctant; if God determines that I am good and someone else is bad, he will be reluctant. In that case, how can God’s righteousness and justice be manifested? In the last days, God expresses words to conquer mankind, that is, God does the work of judgment by words in order to separate wheat from tares, the sheep from goats, the good from the evil. Then, it will be totally revealed by Almighty God’s words that whether a person is good or bad. The wise virgins are those who truly believe in God and love the truth. When they hear that someone bears witness to God’s coming, they will go out to meet Him and investigate His words as well as His work. From His words they recognize the voice of God and accept His work in the last days. So that they can be cleansed through His judgment in the end and be protected in great disasters, ultimately being taken by God into the Age of Millennial Kingdom. While holding on to their notions and imaginations, or believing the rumors, those foolish virgins neither seek or investigate the work of God in the last days. Such people are those who have been revealed to be eliminated and to be punished in catastrophes in the end. At that time, they can only weep and gnash their teeth.”
After listening to Almighty God’s words and Brother Wang’s fellowship, I realized it was indeed vague that the priest said when God came, the good would be separated directly from the bad. We were living in the condition of sinning and confessing, and unable to extricate ourselves. Who was a truly good man? Thank God for His guidance. My visit was worth it. I understood that God distinguishes between good and evil, good people and bad people based on their attitudes toward His words. In other words, it depends on whether man obeys the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, which makes manifest the righteousness of God. He will separate the wheat from the tares, the sheep from the goats, wise virgins from foolish virgins, as well as the good from the evil by His words. That is to say, He will use His utterances to separate the true believers from the false believers, the ones who love truth from the ones who are weary of the truth. How wise God is! However, the priest had said that God would judge people one by one, judge their sins one after another, then determine whether their outcomes are ascending to heaven or going to hell. But now, why haven’t I seen the scene? When I raised the question, Brother Zhang read a paragraph of Almighty God’s words for me: “Some believe that God may sometime come to earth and appear to man, whereupon He shall personally judge the whole of mankind, testing them one by one without anyone being omitted. Those who think in this way do not know this stage of work of incarnation. God does not judge man one by one, and does not test man one by one; to do thus would not be the work of judgment. Is not the corruption of all mankind the same? Is not the substance of man all the same? What is judged is mankind’s corrupt substance, man’s substance corrupted by Satan, and all the sins of man. God does not judge the trifling and insignificant faults of man … but judges the unrighteousness of the whole of mankind—man’s opposition to God, for example, or man’s irreverence against Him, or disturbance of the work of God, and so on. What is judged is mankind’s substance of opposition to God, and this work is the work of conquest of the last days” (“Corrupt Mankind Is More in Need of the Salvation of God Become Flesh” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Brother Zhang fellowshiped: “In man’s conceptions, he believes that people will be judged one by one when God comes to do the work of judgment, and that each one of the sins of man throughout his life will be judged by God. But in truth, this is the misunderstanding of His work of judgment, which results from his ignorance of the nature and substance of man. They believe hitting and cursing others are sins; they believe not honoring father and mother is a sin; they believe stealing and robbing are sins; they believe inner hatred of people and lust after opposite sex are also sins, etc. In fact, in God’s view, all of these are external matters. God’s work of judgment in the last days is mainly to judge the corrupt satanic disposition of man, such as arrogance, conceit, selfishness, craftiness, deceit, evil and so on. God also judges man’s viewpoints like the pursuit of fame, position and power which are not in conformance with God, notions and imaginations about God and His work, as well as man’s outdated feudal thinking, etc. These things result in man often passing judgment on God, attacking Him, disobeying Him, opposing Him and even betraying Him. These corrupt dispositions exist in everyone. So, God speaks words to every person and judge the whole mankind. Only through the judgment of God’s words, can man see the truth that he has been corrupted by Satan and the essence of his nature in being hostile to God. At the same time, he can see God’s righteous and holy disposition, and understand the truth. When man obtains the truth from God’s work of judgment, his corrupt satanic disposition will be purified and his satanic viewpoints on things and outlook on life will be changed. Thus man can be able to live by God’s word, no longer disobey and resist God. And, man can truly obey God, attain the fear of God and shunning of evil, becoming a person who is after God’s heart., At that time, the trifling and insignificant faults of man will naturally go away. This is the result attained through God’s judgment in the last days.”
Hearing Brother Zhang’s fellowship, I felt that God’s work of judgment is too practical and realistic! I could accept and approve of it in my heart. It is true that people pursue fame and position, living in various corruptions. When God dispels all filth and corruptions by the judgment of His words, man will become a genuinely good person. It seems that what I heard from the priest——people will be judged one by one when God comes to judge and each one of the sins of man throughout his life will be judged by God——is man’s notion and imagination, which doesn’t correspond to the fact of God’s work. The words of Almighty God indeed are the truth, and are the voice of God. At that time, I was determined to carefully investigate the words of Almighty God.
Later, I watched some films and videos of the Church of Almighty God such as The Days of Noah Have Come, How Important God’s Love for Man Is, The Mystery of Godliness, Caught the Last Train. Besides, I read many words of Almighty God. Brothers and sisters communicated with me and helped me patiently, which made me become certain that Almighty God is the ’ . He is the only one true God, the return of the Lord whom we long for night and day.
Since I believed in Almighty God, I have often gathered together and listened to sermons with brothers and sisters, living a very happy life. Through having meetings, I understood more and more truths. My brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God are different from others. They are very warm, friendly and sincere. While communicating with others, they are not defensive or deceitful, but completely sincere. Despite revealing corrupt dispositions, they always seek to know themselves from God’s words. I feel that they are real brothers and sisters and the Church of Almighty God is a real church. In particular, I see that all the hymn MVs and song-and-dance videos of the Church of Almighty God are produced to exalt the truth and testify to God and His work of the last days. Coming to the Church of Almighty God, a big family, I have enjoyed unprecedented freedom and release and had more confidence to follow Almighty God.