After experiencing God’s chastisement and judgment this time, I gained some knowledge of my tendency to focus on face and status, and was willing to forsake my flesh andand fulfill my duty in accordance with His requirements. However, my contamination by the toxins of Satan was too deep. The depth of my soul was still controlled by Satan’s influence. To better save me from Satan’s harm, God stretched out His hands of salvation toward me once again. One day, I was informed that there was a sister in the church who was not in a good situation, so I consulted with the sister I was partnered with on how to resolve this problem. As my partner sister was not feeling well, I went alone to resolve the problem after our discussion. I sought out that sister that very night to communicate with her, and the problem was resolved very quickly. My heart was brimming with pleasure at the time, thinking that the upper-level leader would surely praise me because I had put in quite a lot of effort. However, just as I was waiting for the good news, the upper-level leader wrote a letter wanting to understand the sister’s situation. I thought it was to praise me, so I happily opened it up and read it. But when I saw that the content of the letter was specifically to ask my partner sister how she dealt with the problem, I immediately became indignant: I was clearly the one who resolved the issue. Why not write to me to ask about it? It seems I do not have a place in the leader’s heart and am looked down upon. I’m just an errand girl. No matter how well I perform I don’t get any credit because no one pays any attention to it. The more I thought about it, the more I felt wronged and depressed. I felt I had lost all face. At this time, my partner sister had the letter in her hand and was just about to talk to me. I could not restrain the feelings I had inside and shouted at her: “The upper-level leader doesn’t know how this issue was resolved. Are you not clear about this? I worked on it busily for ages but no one said a good word about it, and in the end you still got all the credit. In everyone’s eyes, I am just someone who runs errands and offers support. No matter how much effort I put into it, no one will appreciate it.” After saying this, I felt so aggrieved that I burst into tears. In that moment, the words of God echoed in my ears: “3. If you expended a lot of effort but I am still very cold toward you, will you be able to continue working for Me in obscurity? 4. If, after you have expended some things for Me, I have not satisfied your petty demands, will you be disheartened and disappointed toward Me or even become furious and shout abuse?” (“A Very Serious Problem: Betrayal (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God’s accusatory words slowly calmed me down, and my mind cleared up quite a lot too. The scene that had just taken place kept replaying in my mind like a movie. God’s revelation made me see that my nature is too horrible and dangerous, and that my belief in God and the fulfilling of my duty was not to satisfy God or achieve His approval, but to receive praise and compliments from other people. As soon as my desires were not satisfied, I would become full of resentment; my beastly nature would erupt, and betraying God moreover became an extremely easy thing to do. At this time, I saw that I had gone too far and that I was inhumane. The pain I felt was heartrending. As I repented, I prayed to God: “Oh God, I thought I had changed and no longer lived for face and status, and could also get along with the sister. But in Your revelation today, I once again exposed my satanic ugliness, always feeling like I had no status among people and suffering because my efforts were not praised by others. Oh God, Satan had really harmed me too deeply. Status, reputation, and vanity all became my shackles. I pray that You can guide me out of Satan’s influence again.” Afterward, I saw among God’s words the following: “Every one of you has ascended to the highest heights of the multitudes; you have ascended to be the ancestors of the multitudes. You are extremely arbitrary, and you are running amok among all of the maggots seeking a peaceful place to devour the maggots that are smaller than you. You are malicious and sinister in your hearts, surpassing those ghosts that have sunk to the bottom of the sea. You live in the bottom of the dung, disturbing the maggots from top to bottom so that they have no peace, fighting with each other for a while and then calming down. You do not know your own status, yet you still battle with each other in the dung. What can you gain from that struggle? If you truly had a heart of reverence for Me, how could you fight with each other behind My back? No matter how high your status is, aren’t you still a stinking little worm in the dung? Will you be able to grow wings and become a dove in the sky?” (“When Falling Leaves Return to Their Roots You Will Regret All the Evil You Have Done” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Each word of God’s judgment stabbed painfully into my heart like a sharp sword, awakening my spirit and making me realize that I fulfilled my duty not to exalt God and bear witness to Him, but because I always wanted to show off, bear witness to myself, and dreamed of standing high among people so they would admire and look up to me. Was there any fear of God in my heart? Wasn’t what I pursued exactly the same as that of the archangel who betrayed God? I am a created creature deeply corrupted by Satan. Before God, I am like dirt, a maggot. I should be worshiping God and fulfilling my duty with fear in my heart at all times, but I did not engage in honest work, and always wanted to use fulfilling my duty as an opportunity to show off and bear witness to myself. How could God not hate and detest this? God is so holy and great, full of authority and power, and yet remains humble and concealed, never revealing His identity to make people look up to and admire Him. Instead, He continues quietly to give His all to save mankind, never justifying Himself or claiming credit, and never demanding anything from mankind. God’s humility, nobility, and selflessness made me see my own arrogance, lowliness, and selfishness, making me feel that I have been too deeply corrupted by Satan and am too much in need of the salvation of God’s judgment, chastisement, trial and refinement. I therefore fell down again before God: “Oh, Almighty God! Through Your chastisement and judgment I can see my disobedience even more clearly, as well as Your nobility and greatness. From now on, when I fulfill my duty I only hope to behave like a proper human being with a heart that fears You, and dispose my satanic disposition by relying on Your words.”
After experiencing God’s chastisement and judgment over and over again, my views on pursuit gradually changed, but my life disposition had not yet truly achieved change. To more thoroughly cleanse me and lead me to walk on the right path of life, God once again bestowed His salvation upon me. Later, I was chosen to be a church leader, cooperating with another sister to perform our duty. Due to my previous failures, I kept reminding myself all the time that I need to be in one accord with the sister in order to perform the church’s work properly. In the beginning, I would discuss everything with the sister and pursue God’s guidance together, so we achieved results in all facets of work. But after some time, I found that the sister had good inherent qualities, her communication of the truth was clear and illuminating, and her work capabilities were stronger than mine. During meetings, brothers and sisters were all willing to listen to her communication and all consulted her when they had problems. In the face of such an environment, I was once again trapped in Satan’s snare and fooled by it: The sister is better than me in every respect and is admired by brothers and sisters regardless of where she goes. No way! I must exceed her no matter what, and let brothers and sisters see that I am not inferior to her. For this reason, I bustled around the church non-stop every day, arranging meetings for brothers and sisters and no matter who ran into problems I would rush to them to help resolve the issue. … I may have seemed loyal and obedient from the outside, but how could my inner ambitions possibly escape the eyes of God? My disobedience aroused God’s anger, and as a result I fell into darkness. I received no enlightenment when reading God’s words, had nothing to say when praying, drily communicated during meetings, and was even afraid of meetings with brothers and sisters. I became completely shackled by face and status. I went through every day without a clue, as though I was carrying a big burden on my back and could not breathe from the pressure. I could also no longer see through some of the church’s issues, and my work efficiency dropped sharply. Faced with such a revelation from God, I did not try to know myself and I was also unwilling to open up to brothers and sisters about my situation and seek truth to resolve it, for fear that they would look down on me. Later, God’s chastening and disciplining descended upon me. My stomach suddenly began hurting so bad that I could not sit or stand in peace. The torment of illness and the dissatisfaction from not achieving status left me hovering between life and death. Due to my refusal to acknowledge my problems and my failure to cooperate with the church’s work, the church could only replace me and send me home for spiritual devotion and self-reflection. Having lost my status, I felt like I had been condemned to hell. Emotionally, I fell to my lowest point and felt that I had lost all face. I became even more tormented inside especially when I saw brothers and sisters all actively fulfilling their duties, while I had lost the work of theand was unable to fulfill any duty. In pain, I could not help but ask myself: Why is it that others believe in God and understand more and more truth, whereas I keep disobeying and resisting God time and time again over face and status? I begged God many times to lead me to find the root of my failures. One day, I saw the following among God’s words: “some people particularly idolize Paul: They like to give speeches and work outside. They like to meet together and speak; they like when people listen to them, worship them, surround them. They like to have stature in the minds of others and appreciate when others value their image. What do we discover about a man’s nature from this kind of behavior? Let us analyze his nature: What kind of nature does this type of person with this sort of behavior have? How could it be verbally summarized? Ordinary people cannot see through this but can only view the behavior. What is the relationship between the behavior and the person’s nature? What is his nature? You cannot identify it, can you? If he really behaves in this way, then that is enough to show that he is arrogant and conceited. He does not worship God at all; he seeks high status, and he wants to have authority over others, to possess them, to have stature in their minds. This is a classic image of Satan” (“How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks). In addition, it says in “Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life”: “The essence and nature of Satan is betrayal. It betrayed God from the very start, and after betraying God it deceived, fooled, manipulated, and controlled the men on earth created by God, trying to stand with God as an equal and establish a separate kingdom. … You see, isn’t Satan’s nature one that betrays God? From all that Satan has done on mankind, we can see clearly that Satan is a genuine God-resisting demon and that Satan’s nature is one that betrays God. All of this is absolute” (“How to Achieve Knowledge of Your Own Corrupt Substance” in Sermons and Fellowship About Life Entry (I)). Contemplating these words, I could not help but tremble with fear. I saw that what I had lived out was totally in Satan’s image, and I was the genuine embodiment of Satan—arrogant and conceited, and not worshiping God at all. God exalted me to fulfill my duty in the church, so that I could bring brothers and sisters before God with fear of Him in my heart, and make people have a place for God in their hearts, as well as fear and obey God. But in the face of God’s exaltation, I was not considerate toward God’s intentions in the fulfilling of my duty, and felt no burden to help brothers and sisters achieve entry into life. Instead, I always wanted to make people pay attention and listen to me, and for the sake of my own desires, I always tried to build myself up no matter where I went. I was even jealous of the good and envious of the strong, and stubbornly competed with others for superiority. From the outside, I was competing with men, but in fact I was fighting against God and was struggling with God for status and power. This is something that severely offends God’s disposition and is conduct that should be punished by God! However, God did not deal with me in accordance with what I had done. He only judged and chastised, chastened and disciplined me, and deprived me of status to make me self-reflect and repent. I saw that God’s love for me was too deep and too great! I could not help but feel regret and self-blame inside, and moreover hated that my corruption was so deep. I followed God but did not pursue the truth, and instead only blindly toiled for status and face. I had really failed to live up to God’s love and salvation. The more I introspected, the more clearly I saw that the dictums I lived by, such as “As a tree lives for its bark, a man lives for his face,” and “A man leaves his name behind wherever he stays, just as a goose utters its cry wherever it flies,” were lies used by Satan to corrupt and harm mankind. I realized that Satan used these things to paralyze people’s souls, distort their minds, and make them develop wrong outlooks on life, making them strive bitterly to pursue empty things such as status, fame, fortune and face, and eventually stray from and betray God, so they could all abide by its fallacies and work for it and be ravaged and harmed by it at will. I was one of those people who developed the wrong outlook on life based on Satan’s lies, becoming arrogant, conceited, supercilious, and with no place for God in my heart. I lived in corruption and treated God as the enemy. Now, I must never go against God again while enjoying His mercy. I shall completely reform myself, thoroughly forsake Satan, totally give my heart to God, and live out the likeness of a true person to comfort God’s heart. After that, I sought how to continue my future path, and how to pursue the truth to satisfy God’s will. Thank God for once again guiding me. I then saw God’s words: “Today, even if you are not a worker, you should be able to perform the duty of a creature of God, and seek to submit to all of God’s orchestrations. You should be able to obey whatever God says, and experience all manner of tribulations and refinement, and though you are weak, in your heart you should still be able to love God. Those who take responsibility for their own life are willing to perform the duty of a creature of God, and such people’s viewpoint toward pursuit is the right one. These are the people that God needs. … As a creature of God, man should seek to perform the duty of a creature of God, and seek to love God without making other choices, for God is worthy of man’s love. Those who seek to love God should not seek any personal benefits or that which they personally long for; this is the most correct means of pursuit” (“Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Like a beacon, God’s words enlightened my heart, pointing out to me the path I should take. God hopes that people, regardless of whether they have status and what environments have befallen them, can do their utmost to pursue the truth, and can obey God’s orchestration and arrangement and seek to love and satisfy God. This is the most correct way of pursuit as well as the right path of life that a created creature should walk. I thus made up my mind before God: Oh God, thank You for showing me the right path of life. My status of the past was due to Your exaltation. Being without status today is also due to Your righteousness. I am just a tiny created creature. From now on, I only wish to pursue the truth and obey all Your arrangements.
Thereafter, my situation quickly went back normal through reading God’s words and living the church life. The church again arranged a suitable duty for me. Also, I focused on pursuing the truth in the fulfillment of my duty, whenever anything happened I would seek God’s intentions, try to know myself, and find the corresponding words of God to resolve it. When faced with things that involved face and status, even though I would have some thoughts in my mind, throughand God’s word I would seek the truth and forsake myself, and gradually I was able to not be controlled by these things and could fulfill my duty with peace of mind. When I saw some brothers and sisters who have not believed in God for as long as me entrusted with commissions, I would be able to, through seeking the truth, understand that what duty one fulfills is predestined by God, and that I should obey God’s arrangements. As a result, I was able to treat it the right way. When brothers and sisters dealt with and exposed my nature and essence, even though I felt I had lost face, I was able to become obedient through prayer. This is because God’s love has fallen upon me, and it has greatly benefited in changing my life disposition. In the past, I focused on my face too much and was not willing to open up to anyone, for fear that others would look down on me. Now, I practice to be an honest person in accordance with God’s requirements, and if I have any problems I will open up to brothers and sisters, which makes me feel especially relieved and happy in the depths of my soul. Seeing these changes in me, I could not help but thank and praise God, for these changes are brought to me by God’s chastisement and judgment work of the last days.
I have now followed Almighty God for several years. Thinking back, it was Satan’s toxins that had eroded my soul. I had lived under the domain of Satan and was ravaged and fooled by it for many years. I did not know the value and meaning of life. I could not see the light, nor could I find true happiness and joy. I sank into the abyss of misery and was unable to extricate myself. Now, it is through time after time of God’s chastisement and judgment that I managed to get rid of the harm of Satan and achieve relief and freedom. I have recovered my conscience and reason, and I also have the correct target to pursue, following God onto the bright and right path of life. Through God’s chastisement and judgment, I truly experienced God’s selfless and sincere love, and enjoyed the blessing and received the love that the world of man cannot enjoy. Only God can save man from Satan’s sea of misery, and only God’s chastisement and judgment work can cleanse mankind of the satanic toxins inside them and make them live out the likeness of a true man and walk on the right path of life. God’s chastisement and judgment is the light. It is the greatest grace, the best protection, and the most valuable wealth of life bestowed by God upon man. Just as the words of Almighty God say: “… chastisement and judgment by God was man’s best protection and greatest grace. Only through chastisement and judgment by God could man awaken, and hate the flesh, and hate Satan. God’s strict discipline frees man from the influence of Satan, it frees him from his own little world, and allows him to live in the light of God’s presence. There is not better salvation than chastisement and judgment!” (“The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Thank God’s chastisement and judgment for saving me and allowing me to be reborn! In my future path of believing in God, I will spare no effort to pursue the truth, receive more of God’s chastisement and judgment, and thoroughly get rid of Satan’s toxins to achieve purification, achieve a true knowledge of God, and become a person who genuinely loves God. All the glory be to God. Amen!
The Origin of the Eastern Lightning’s Prosperity