Rongguang Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province
In 1991, by the grace of God, I began to follow Almighty God because of an illness. At that time I didn’t know anything about believing in God, but the interesting thing is that, when eating and drinking of the words expressed by Almighty God, I enjoyed it. I felt that His words were so good, and when I sang or prayed I was frequently moved by the Holy Spirit to the point of weeping. That sweetness in my heart, that enjoyment was as if a joyous event had come upon me. Particularly in get-togethers during the great work of the Holy Spirit, I felt as if I had transcended the flesh and I was living in the third heaven, that everything belonging to the world had been cast to the winds. I can’t say how joyful, how happy I was in my heart. I felt that I was the happiest person in the world. So at that time I believed that believing in God was just enjoying His grace.
As more and more of God’s words were being released (at the time they were being continuously sent to the church, passage after passage), I also knew more and more. Then, I was no longer fulfilled by merely enjoying God’s grace. When I saw “firstborn sons” mentioned in His words and I learned that God bestows great blessings on His firstborn sons, I sought to become one, hoping that in the future I could reign with God. Later on, when I saw in His words that His time was coming soon, I felt even more urgency, and thought: I started believing in God so late; will I be unable to gain this blessing? I need to put more effort into it. So when the house of God arranged for me to copy out documents, I was very proactive. I wasn’t afraid of hardship. I decided I wasn’t going to find a partner or a job so that I would be able to gain the blessing of being a firstborn son. If I could become a firstborn son, I was willing to throw anything out, to pay any price. In truth, God had never said definitively in His words that we could be firstborn sons. It was just because we were ambitious and had extravagant desires, we believed that because God had called us His “sons” and that He now uplifted us, that we would certainly become the firstborn. This was how I believed that I had, naturally, become a firstborn son. Later I saw words of God that had just been released that frequently mentioned “service-doers,” and there were more and more mentions of the judgment of service-doers. I thought to myself: Luckily I am following Almighty God, otherwise I would become a service-doer. When I read about God’s blessings and promises for firstborn sons, I believed that a portion of that would be mine. When I read His words of comfort and exhortation for His firstborn, I also felt that they were addressed to me. I felt even more delighted particularly when I saw the following: “The great catastrophe will not come upon My sons, the ones I love. Every moment, every second, I will look after My sons. You need not suffer those hardships or calamities. I will make My sons perfect, and I will fulfill My words in you so that you clearly see My omnipotence, so that you can mature in your lives and bear a burden for Me soon, and give all of yourselves for the completion of My management plan. You should be happy and joyful for this. I will give you everything and allow you to reign. I will put everything into your hands; the sons will inherit everything from the father, not to mention those of you who become the firstborn sons. You truly will be blessed that you will not suffer the hardships of the great catastrophe, but you will enjoy eternal blessings. How glorious! How glorious!” (“The Sixty-eighth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). I thought: Am I dreaming? Such incredible manna from heaven has landed upon me? I couldn’t completely dare to believe it, but I was afraid my brothers and sisters would say that my faith was too small, so I didn’t dare to not believe it.
One day, I excitedly went to participate in a meeting, and I saw that two workers had come to the church. When I was in fellowship with them, they said that they were service-doers. After hearing this, I was shocked, and asked them: “If you are service-doers, aren’t we all service-doers?” They spoke the truth without holding back: “Nearly all of us in China are service-doers.” Hearing them say this, my heart sank. It couldn’t be! Is this the truth? But when I saw their heavy, pained expressions and that the others’ faces were also very somber, I couldn’t not believe it. But then I changed my mind and thought: As workers, they had given up their families and careers, had suffered so much and paid such a great price for God’s work. I was quite lacking compared to them; if they are service-doers, what else could I say? A service-doer is a service-doer, so at the time, I didn’t feel too terrible.
After going home, I once again took up the word of God and looked at what God had to say about service-doers, and I saw this: “Those of you in service to Me, listen! When you are in service and you gain a small bit of My grace, that is, I allow you to momentarily know future work and future things, but you do not enjoy it, this is My grace. When you have completed your service you leave immediately; you may not remain. Those who are firstborn sons cannot be proud, but they can feel honored. This is because I have bestowed upon you limitless blessings. As those who will be destroyed, don’t vex yourselves or feel sad for your own destiny. Who told you to be the descendants of Satan? When you have completed your service of Me, you can return to the bottomless pit because you are no longer of use in front of Me. I will begin to use My chastisement on you, I will complete it no matter what it takes. It must be completed, and once completed it must be eternal. It is the same for My firstborn sons, My sons, and My people, as well as for you. My chastisement must be eternal” (“The Eighty-sixth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). As soon as I read these words I was beset by a pain I had never felt before. I quickly closed the book of God’s words and didn’t dare to look at it again. In one moment feelings of aggrievement, of confusion, of discontent all welled up in my heart at once. I thought: Yesterday I was in a cradle of happiness, but today I have been pushed out of God’s house. Yesterday I was God’s son, but today I have become God’s enemy, Satan’s descendant. Yesterday, the limitless blessings of God were awaiting me, but today the bottomless pit is my destination, and I will be punished into eternity. If He’s not bestowing blessings, then no matter, but why does He still have to chastise me? What on earth have I done wrong? What on earth is all of this for? I wasn’t willing to face this reality; I was unable to face this type of reality. I closed my eyes and wasn’t willing to think about it anymore. I hoped so much that it was just a dream.
From then on, as soon as I thought of myself as a service-doer, I felt an unspeakable pain in my heart, and I didn’t dare to read the words of God again. But God is very wise, and His words which chastise and reveal people are not only permeated with mystery, but there are also prophecies of the future catastrophe as well as the kingdom outlook and similar things. These were all things that I wanted to know, so I still could not turn my back on His words. When reading God’s words, His razor-sharp words repeatedly pierced my heart, and I couldn’t help but accept His judgment and chastisement. I felt that the majestic wrath of God’s judgment was always upon me. Aside from the pain, I knew the actual truth of my having been corrupted by Satan. It turned out that I was the child of the great red dragon, Satan’s descendant, and the target of destruction. In despair, I no longer dared to greedily hope for any blessings, and I was willing to accept God’s predestination that I was a service-doer. When I felt that I could put my heart into being a service-doer, God once again brought out some things that had been hidden in me. One day when reading God’s words, I saw: “After I return to Zion, there will still be endless praise on earth, and those devout service-doers will be, as always, waiting to do service for Me, but their use will have been completed. They will only be pining for the scene of My presence on earth. At that time I will begin to bring the catastrophe upon those who will suffer afflictions, but everyone will believe I am the righteous God, and I absolutely will not punish the devout service-doers. I will only bestow My grace upon them” (“The One Hundred and Twentieth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Seeing this, I secretly thought to myself: I will no longer think of the birthright of the firstborn and I will no longer want great blessings. Now I will only pursue being a devout service-doer. This is now my sole pursuit. In the future, no matter what the household of God arranges for me to do, I will do it as devoutly as I can. I absolutely cannot lose the opportunity to be a devout service-doer again. If I am not even capable of being a devout service-doer but am simply a service-doer, after I have completed my service I must return to the bottomless pit or the lake of fire and brimstone. In that case what is it all for? Then it’s better to not believe! I didn’t dare to express this thought to anyone, but I couldn’t escape the searching from the eyes of God. God used words as sharp as swords to pierce my heart and cut open my soul. His words were: “Only I can comprehend man’s nature. They all believe that they themselves are utterly ‘devout’ to Me. Do they not know that there are impurities in their ‘devotion,’ and that these impurities will be their ruin? This is because these impurities are the machinations of the great red dragon which have long been laid bare by Me. I am the almighty God—how could I not understand something so simple? I can see through your very flesh, your very blood to see what lives in your heart. Man’s nature is not at all difficult for Me to comprehend, however, mankind yet thinks of himself as clever and believes that his own intentions are unknown to anyone but himself, but don’t they know that the almighty God exists in the heavens and earth and all things?” “Now, most people still hold some hope, but when their hope becomes disappointment, they will give up and want to retreat. I have said that I will force no one to stay, but beware what the consequences will be for you. This is not Me threatening you; this is fact” (“The One Hundred and Eighteenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading this, my heart was pounding. I felt that God truly does see into every facet of man’s being. We think of something and God knows; we secretly hold some little hope in our hearts and God is disgusted; He does not allow this. Only at that time did I have a bit of a heart of reverence for God. I determined that I would no longer conduct transactions with God, but I would honestly act as a service-doer and obey His designs.