By Martha, Indonesia
Is It Possible toWhen Living in Constant Sin?
My mother is a devout Catholic; I was educated in Catholic schools from the time I was little and often listened to the sermons of a priest from Germany.
Once I grew up I didn’t go to church as much because I was so busy with work; my mom was really concerned for me. In Catholicism, it’s said that anyone who hasn’t been baptized can’t go to heaven after they die, so under my mom’s strong advisement I studied the Catechism for about eight months and was baptized in 2011. After that I attended Mass every Saturday evening, but for some reason I couldn’t figure out, I just couldn’t get any enjoyment out of any of the sermons. I was always anxious for it to be over so I could go home. Not only that, but I saw that a lot of other people in the church were lacking faith and were constantly sinning in their regular lives. I was the same. Sometimes when my mom said or did something that I didn’t like, I would get mad or even argue with her. The priest said that any sins would have to be cleansed in purgatory after death, and the more sins you had, the longer you’d be in the fires of purgatory until you had been burned clean. Only then could you enter the kingdom of heaven and see God. The thought of being burned was terrifying, so I told myself that it would be better to just not sin—I didn’t want to go to purgatory. So, I often chanted the sacred scriptures and went to confession but I was still sinning every day, whether they were behavioral sins, or sins within my heart. I was confused: Why can’t I stop myself from sinning? How can I stop sinning? I felt really lost and read the Bible to seek the answers, but some of the Scripture was too profound and I just couldn’t fully understand it. So I prayed to God hoping that He could bring another congregant to me who really understood the Bible well to help me.
The Wonderful Surprise That God Has Already Come
Then one day in early 2018, I met Sister Liu Jia on Facebook, who’s in Italy. I told her about my difficulties in understanding the Scripture. This sister was really caring—she said another sister she knew, Sister Lin, had a really good understanding of the Scripture and she introduced the two of us. I had a few gatherings with Sister Lin, which were so helpful for me, and I heard so many preachings I did not understand before. I learned about that there are three stages in God’s six-thousand-year management plan. The first stage was the Age of Law when Yahweh led the Israelites in their lives by issuing the law and commandments. The second stage was the Age of Grace, when thebestowed great grace upon mankind, was crucified for us, and redeemed us of our sins. The third stage is the Age of Kingdom when God expresses words to do the work of judgment and chastisement so that our corrupt dispositions can be cleansed and transformed. Finally, Sister Lin told me that the Lord Jesus has already come back, His name is Almighty God, and He has opened the seven seals. He has expressed all truths to purify and transform mankind and allow us to reach full salvation. He is doing the work of judgment beginning with the house of God, which fulfills the prophecy in 1 Peter 4:17 that God’s judgment must begin with God’s house. Hearing this astounded me, and I also felt really perplexed. However, I also thought that the Lord coming to purify and transform mankind was certainly a great thing and was just what I needed, so I was willing to seek God’s work of the last days.
It Turns Out Constant Sinning Comes From the Root of Sinfulness
During a gathering once, I asked Sister Lin, “I often find myself full of sins such as pride, lies, selfishness, and being temperamental. I’ve been relying on chanting the sacred scriptures or having a priest chant scriptures for atonement, but after that I just can’t stop myself from sinning again and again. Why is this?”
Sister Lin responded, “Sister, this is a great question. I always used to be perplexed by this too, but when I read Almighty God’s words my confusion was resolved. Let’s start our fellowship on this today by reading a passage from His words. Almighty God says, ‘For all that man may have been redeemed and forgiven of his sins, it can only be considered as God not remembering the transgressions of man and not treating man in accordance with his transgressions. However, when man, who lives in a body of flesh, has not been set free from sin, he can only continue to sin, endlessly revealing his corrupt satanic disposition. This is the life that man leads, an endless cycle of sinning and being forgiven. The majority of mankind sin in the day only to confess in the evening. This way, even though the sin offering is forever effective for man, it will not be able to save man from sin. Only half the work of salvation has been completed, for man still has a corrupt disposition.’
“From God’s words, we can see the reason we’re living in a constant state of sinning and then confessing those sins, never able to free ourselves from the binds and strictures of sin. It’s primarily because we still possess corrupt natures—this is the root of sin. In fact, the Lord Jesus being nailed to the cross and redeeming mankind was to save us from the binds of the law. When we sin, as long as we confess and repent to God, our sins are forgiven. However, God has not absolved us of our satanic natures, which is why people frequently reveal all sorts of corrupt dispositions. That’s just like us often showing arrogance in our daily lives—no matter what we do we want other people to do things our way, otherwise we’ll show a bit of temper or even argue with people. And a lot of the time we lie or do dishonest things to protect our own name or status, plus we follow along with evil trends of the world, greedy for enjoyments of the flesh and unable to honor God as great. The list goes on. So, according to His plan of work and the needs of corrupt mankind, God prophesied that He will return in the last days to continue to save and purify us, and that He will express more words to guide us to enter into all truth and tell us the things that we didn’t understand before (See John 16:12-13). This is the salvation in the last days mentioned in 1 Peter.”
The way Sister Lin spelled it out, I finally understood that the Lord Jesus’ work was that of redemption; it was the Lord Himself being nailed to the cross to take on the burden of our sins so that they would no longer all be counted. However, that did not mean that we became free of sin. We were not freed from our sinful natures, so we have continued to sin and sin.
Digging Up the Root of Sin
Then I said, “Sister, through your fellowship I’ve understood that the root of our sin hasn’t been dealt with yet and we still cannot control ourselves from committing sins. I’d like to ask you, since you have said God will continue to save and purify us according to our needs, then how does God cleanse us in the last days?”
Sister Lin said, “Thanks be to God! Let’s read a couple of verses of Scripture that address this question. ‘And if any man hear my words, and keep them not, I do not judge him: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that despiseth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him; the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day’ (John 12:47–48). The Scripture is clear. It states that God will come in the last days to express words, that is, He will use the truth to judge and cleanse us. These prophecies have now been fulfilled—of the last days, Almighty God, appeared some time ago and began His work of judgment beginning with the house of God. He has opened the seven seals; He has opened the scroll. The words within this scroll are all God’s words of judgment for us in the last days, and all those who accept His work of judgment and seek the truth can be continually cleansed and perfected by God’s words. Let’s read a couple of passages of Almighty God’s words and it’ll be clearer! God’s word says, ‘In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the essence of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. 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 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, the 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 a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called 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.’ ‘By means of this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within his own self, and he will be able to change completely and become clean. Only in this way can man become worthy to return before the throne of God. All the work done this day is so that man can be made clean and be changed; through judgment and chastisement by the word, as well as through refinement, man can purge away his corruption and be made pure. Rather than deeming this stage of work to be that of salvation, it would be more apt to say it is the work of purification.’
“The Lord Jesus will come in the last days to express words to save us. Now Almighty God has expressed millions of words in the last days. These words have very meticulously explained God’s management and salvation work for mankind, His will, as well as all aspects of the truth that people should put into practice. In particular, they have very penetratingly exposed our satanic natures of sinning and resisting God. Through the judgment of God’s words we come to recognize our own arrogance, crookedness, deceitfulness, wickedness, greediness, selfishness, despicableness, and other satanic natures. We also see our incorrect perspectives in our faith, like believing in God just to be blessed and get into the kingdom of heaven, not at all to pursue the truth or live a life of meaning. We also see that the way we think and behave in our lives is entirely out of line with. At this point we just have to prostrate ourselves before God, cry and repent, acknowledge that we are the progeny of Satan, and that we are entirely lacking the likeness humans originally had. And through the revelations and the judgment of God’s words we see God’s holy, inviolable, righteous disposition and come to understand that God exposing and judging us is to allow us to better understand ourselves. We then become happy to accept His judgment and chastisement and can more quickly escape from our satanic corrupt dispositions, becoming honest people who love and obey God, and comfort His heart.
“Take me, for example. I used to always lord over others and always wanted everyone to listen to me. Otherwise, I’d get really testy, which led a lot of people to feel really constrained by me and they would start avoiding me. It was only later on that I could see from God’s words that I was entirely relying on my arrogant disposition in life, always wanting to have the upper hand and control other people and wanting them to listen to me. That was entirely the essence of the archangel. Without repenting and reforming, I would have continued seriously offending God’s disposition and would have been chastised by Him! Once I realized the terrifying consequences of living in that kind of arrogant disposition I trembled with fear, so I confessed to God and reformed. I consciously forsook the flesh, put the truth into practice, and I stayed in my own place. When encountering an issue I would seek and learn how to listen to other people’s ideas. After a period of time my relationships with everyone around me slowly started to improve. I give thanks to God for this.”
Hearing Almighty God’s words and Sister Lin’s fellowship showed me that I needed to accept God’s judgment work of the last days in order to be cleansed of my sins, as I wished to be, and that only by being exposed by God’s words can we truly know and detest ourselves, and achieve true repentance. I felt that God working this way to save mankind is so practical. None of what we used to imagine was very realistic, that we could be cleansed by chanting the sacred scriptures and gaining atonement for our sins, or by being in the fires of purgatory later. It’s just like when the Lord Jesus came to do the work of redemption. He didn’t just say a few words and save all of mankind from our sins, but He really was incarnated in the flesh, He was nailed to the cross for us, and only then did He complete the work of redemption. God has returned and is now doing the work of ridding us of our sinful natures, which also requires practical work—speaking about, judging, and exposing our corruption so that after we understand this, we can forsake the flesh and put the truth into practice. Then we can replace our internal corrupt dispositions with the truth bit by bit; this is the only way we can gradually achieve transformation and be cleansed. Understanding this bolstered me with strength, and I joyfully accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days.
I give thanks for God’s love, that I often have meetings with brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God. I reap something from each and every gathering; I can feel that the Holy Spirit is with me, and I am in a wonderful spiritual state. Now in the day-to-day issues I encounter, I don’t fix my eyes on others, but instead focus on knowing myself. I accept Almighty God’s words of judgment and I feel that I’m living out more and more of a human likeness. I give thanks to God—I have accepted His work of judgment in the last days and I have found the path to escape from sin!