Not more than a few days after I had returned home, a sister came to notify me of a church gathering. When I heard the sister say that the tribulation was over, and that everything had returned back to normal, and that I could go and fulfill my former duty, I took a moment before I realized: “What? The tribulation is over? This was the tribulation? It will still be a few months before Hong Kong’s return to China. How could the tribulation have ended? This is not what I expected! All along these things we have been experiencing were the tribulation, now I am finished! What did I manifest during the tribulation? Besides being cowardly and afraid, I complained, escaped, and betrayed. I didn’t have any components of faith, not to mention loyalty and love. This time God has tested my work and I completely failed.” I hung my head in despair with all kinds of feelings in my heart. This time I was able to understand what God said before the tribulation began: “After My own work has been completed, the next step will be for people to walk the path that they should. Everyone must understand what path they should walk—this is a path of suffering and a process of suffering, and it is also a path of refining your will to love God. Which truths you should enter into, which truths you should supplement, how you should experience, and from which aspect you should enter in—you must understand all of these things. You must equip yourself now. If you wait until the tribulation comes upon you, it will be too late” (“How You Should Walk the Last Leg of the Path” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). This tragic lesson tells me: People cannot stand testimony in the tribulation if they do not have truth and if they rely on their own desires. People who live without truth in God’s work will certainly be thoroughly revealed; they will not be able to conceal themselves in the least bit or be able to fake it anymore. Without truth, you are built on a sand foundation, which won’t withstand the slightest test. Only with truth can you see things clearly, have faith and strength, be able to triumph over Satan and be able to put truth into practice to satisfy God and testify for God. I really hated myself: God has already patiently told us these things a long time ago, and why didn’t I believe it, why didn’t I take it seriously! Nothing can be taken back; there is no other choice but to diligently seek truth on the path ahead.When we were finished meeting, I heard a sister reveal some internal intelligence: The great red dragon is still aggressively going about arresting believers and it is getting even more intense. When I heard this, my heart of little faith again whispered: The environment is this tense and the brothers and sisters are all fulfilling their duties. Is this OK? But the fact allowed me to see that: Even though the situation is tense, people are not fearful as they were during the tribulation; when we fulfill our duties, our hearts are especially steadfast and peaceful as if everyone forgot about the piece of intelligence the sister told us. The Holy Spirit is also doing an enormous work in ; it won’t be long before the grand occasion when the is extended into every land. Our work is getting busier and every duty is being smoothly carried out. Nearly all the brothers and sisters are fulfilling their duties with their best efforts in their respective positions. The scene is progressing in full swing just under the great red dragon’s nose, but with the work expanding this vigorously, there have not been any arrests like that in the midst of the great tribulation. These facts allowed me to see a truth clearly: In fact, the great red dragon is always working to resist God, persecute God and coerce God’s chosen people; it has never stopped and wants to assassinate God and His chosen people. Sometimes the butcher’s knife in its hand does not fall down on us, and that is God watching over and protecting us. Sometimes we don’t even perceive its intention to kill, and that is God using His great wings to shelter us, it is not that the great red dragon put its butcher’s knife down and stopped its persecution. The great red dragon has never put down its butcher’s knife, it will never put it down; it wants to resist God to the end and the closer it gets to the end, the more frantic it becomes, because the great red dragon is Satan, the evil spirit. It knows that the glorious day that God completes His work of salvation is its last day. Therefore, the closer death draws near, the more it struggles. However, no matter what happens, God’s work uses the great red dragon as a foil, it is a serving object in God’s hands, it is a tool for testing God’s chosen people. Its cruelty cannot block God’s work, without God’s permission, it has no power over God’s chosen people. When God does not allow it to hunt, God’s chosen people will be under its nose and it won’t be able to catch them. It has no other choice but to be at God’s mercy. Just like God’s word says: “When I formally begin My work, all people move as I move, such that people throughout the universe occupy themselves in step with Me, there is ‘jubilation’ across the universe, and man is spurred onward by Me. In consequence, the great red dragon itself is whipped into a state of frenzy and bewilderment by Me, and serves My work, and, despite being unwilling, is unable to follow its own desires, leaving it no choice but to submit to My control” (“The Twenty-ninth Utterance” of God’s Utterances to the Entire Universe in The Word Appears in the Flesh). In the great tribulation, God allowed the great red dragon to persecute God’s chosen people, because He wanted to exploit the great red dragon and use it to benefit God’s chosen people so that they see clearly the substance of the great red dragon’s resistance against God. If God was always watching over and protecting us, and didn’t allow us to suffer even a little bit of persecution in the real environment, then we would not be able to truly believe the words God revealed about the substance of the great red dragon’s corruption; and we wouldn’t be aware of the faithfulness of God. Therefore, God allows us to see of the facts when appropriate. Only in this way can we see that everything God says is true and that the great red dragon is indeed the enemy of God, that it is an evil spirit, and that it slaughters people and swallows people’s spirits. If these facts were not revealed, I would still be fooled and cheated by it; I would still believe it when it said, “freedom of religion” and “legal rights of the citizens.” Today, I have personally experienced the pursuit and persecution of the great red dragon, I have seen the atrocious countenance of the great red dragon’s slaughtering of God’s chosen people with my own eyes. And I know now that the freedom and democracy that it proclaims is all a cover-up for its crimes. I now clearly see the evil and deplorable demonic substance of the great red dragon, and my heart truly despises it. I have made up my mind to betray it and follow God to the end.
Tribulations come from God, and the timing of their ending is surely in God’s hands. When God’s work produces results, God will certainly not procrastinate the time. Just like God said: “The time of the tribulation will not be too protracted—it will not even be a year. If it were to last for a year it would delay the next step of work, and people’s stature would be inadequate. If it were too long they wouldn’t be able to withstand it—their stature has its limitations” (“How You Should Walk the Last Leg of the Path” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God has His plan, and He does not delay the next step of spreading His gospel. God has a thorough understanding of us, He knows our statures, He knows our circumstances, and He is not willing to allow our lives to have losses. God has made exact plans for us in His work, He has thought about our lives in every way; but in my tribulation, all I thought about was my own safety and whether or not I was suffering hardships; I didn’t think about God at all. I am truly selfish and deplorable; I don’t have a rational conscience and am not worthy to live in God’s presence. In my tribulation, God revealed my actual stature, which caused me to have a realistic understanding of myself. I saw how poor, pitiful and blind I was; I saw that I had no faith or love for God, but only had rebellion and resistance to the point that I would betray at any time and any place. At this time, I was able to see my danger, and I felt the importance of being equipped with truth; since then I have had a thirst for truth. At this time I read the words God revealed about man’s corrupt nature and felt that God’s word came alive in me like a two-edged sword piercing my joints and marrow and revealing the filth and injustice in the depths of my heart. It caused me to see that I was deplorable and ugly and to see that I was deeply corrupted by Satan. I began to despise myself and have desire to change myself; I thirsted to be a genuine person. I felt the work ofand chastisement was truly cleansing people and as long as I sincerely sought after truth, I would surely be cleansed and saved. The first time I felt the preciousness of God’s words and the importance of truth, my heart inwardly became gladdened: I have finally entered into my belief in God, I am striding toward a new beginning and can see the hope of obtaining salvation. Consequently, I set a resolution: No matter how bumpy the path is ahead of me, I will always be firm and unmoving in following God and walk in the correct path of life.
God’s wonderful arrangements allowed us to unwittingly enter the tribulation and to unwittingly rise out of the tribulation. The harvest we reaped from this was clear and easy to see. Through the tribulation, we can see that God is almighty and wise; we see that the great red dragon is incapable and foolish. It is unbridled and savage, and has no other choice but to be involuntarily tossed to and fro by God’s work; it will forever be defeated in God’s hands. The great red dragon vainly attempts to scare God’s chosen people through cruel persecution and disturb and dismantle God’s work. It doesn’t realize that God is using this to perfect God’s people. Even though on the outside it looks like the great red dragon’s persecution has come upon the people, in reality, it is all arranged by God’s almighty hand. He scatters people and gathers people, He leads people into tribulations and leads people out of tribulations; He allows people to endure until they want to leave, but He has always supported people, pulled people, and caused people to not be able to leave. It is amidst these wonderful arrangements of God that people are able to clearly see the ugly face of the great red dragon and to truly despise the great red dragon from the bottom of their hearts. People are also able to see God’s great power and experience God’s love, almightiness and wisdom. They are more steadfast and unwavering in following God, and can see their true statures and deficiencies; their hearts have a greater thirst for God and truth. There is so much significance in God raising the great tribulation; there is so much wisdom in God’s work. No one can fathom it. I was able to take part in the great tribulation arranged by God; it was truly God’s exaltation and abundant love and my honor in this life. Every time I reflect on this I am overwhelmed with emotion and want to give my heartfelt thanks and praise to God. If I didn’t experience the tribulation, I would have had no other choice but to follow blindly like a layman standing outside of the ranks of the training of the kingdom who ultimately would sink and be destroyed. If I didn’t experience the tribulation, I wouldn’t have true faith in God and wouldn’t understand the difficulty of God’s work and that saving people was not easy. If I didn’t experience the tribulation, I would not be able to see the true face of the great red dragon and I would still have delusions about this dark society, I would still have a fondness for this world and would not be able to follow God with an iron heart. It is God’s wonderful and wise work that has conquered me; it is God’s omnipotence and great love that has led me to where I am today! From now on, no matter what trials and tribulations I face, I will be willing to rely on my faith and love for God to stand witness for God and comfort God’s heart.
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