Friday, May 12, 2017

The Last Salvation

Su Jing
In 1982, I began to believe in the Lord Jesus. I often heard the pastors preach, “‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). As long as we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent and confess, practice according to His teachings, and if we get along harmoniously, help each other, love, forbear, tolerate and forgive people around us, and if we endure, suffer and spend for the Lord, take up the cross, are sanctified from the world in what we do, we will no longer belong to sin, we will be new creatures, and the Lord will take us into the kingdom of heaven when He comes. …” From then on, I practiced according to what the pastors said. In order to be a new creature and enter the kingdom of heaven, I kept on observing the Lord’s teachings, bearing the cross, practicing forbearance and patience, suffering and spending, confessing and repenting…. However, later, I saw that the pastors and elders formed factions, raised jealousy and strife. There was no supply in their sermons, and I didn’t have any enjoyment in the spirit. I was very confused: They read the Bible and preach every day; why don’t they practice any of what the Lord taught? With such situation in the church, will we be able to see the Lord? When exactly will the Lord come? Has the Lord forsaken us? In distress and confusion, I still held on to this: As long as I keep watching and waiting, practicing the Lord’s teachings, confessing and repenting to Him, He will forgive me of my sins, and I will no longer belong to sin, will become a new creature, and will surely have the day when He comes to take me into the kingdom of heaven.
In August 1997, the work of Almighty God in the last days came upon me. At that time, I heard a sister from the Church of Almighty God fellowship, “… After man was corrupted by Satan, they all belonged to sin. In the Age of Law, Jehovah God set forth laws and commandments for people through Moses, and led them in their lives on earth. If someone offended the laws or commandments, they must offer the best firstborn cattle or sheep or doves to atone for themselves. If it was serious, they would be stoned to death. However, man became increasingly corrupt and committed more and more sins. As a result, at the end of the Age of Law, they were unable to keep the laws and commandments, and were in danger of being put to death under the laws for violating them. To redeem man from sin, in the Age of Grace, God became flesh and was crucified for mankind as a holy and sinless flesh, served as man’s sin offering, and bore their sins. the-state-of-sinning-by-day-and-confessing-by-night_hymn Are You Aware of Your MissionIn believing in the Lord, man only needed to pray and call upon the Lord Jesus, confess and repent to Him, and they would be forgiven of their sins. Though the Lord Jesus redeemed man from sin in the Age of Grace, it doesn’t mean the root of man’s sin has been removed. Man still lives in the state of sinning by day and confessing by night. Therefore, God becomes flesh again in the last days and does a stage of work of judgment, to thoroughly cleanse and change man, remove the root of sin within man, and completely save man from sin….”
When I heard the sister say that God does another stage of work in the last days to remove the root of man’s sin and save them completely from sin, I felt puzzled: to remove sins? It doesn’t have a biblical basis. The Bible never says that the Lord will do the work of removing sins when He comes. It says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). This verse says clearly that if one is in Christ, he will be a new creature. Since we believe in the Lord and follow His teachings, we’ve already been sanctified from the world and become new creatures. Why did they say that the Lord has come and does the work of removing the root of man’s sin? Aren’t they denying the Lord’s work by that? In the end, I made an excuse and left.
Several months later, Sister Wang came to my home, and said, “Sister, I’ve investigated it carefully this time. Almighty God is indeed the returned Lord Jesus. Please make an investigation. God’s work of saving mankind will not last forever. This is the last work of salvation. If you miss it, it will be too late to regret then. Sister, think it over, please. I’ll leave the book The Word Appears in the Flesh with you. You can read it. If you have any questions, we can rely on God and solve them together.” Then, she left.
On hearing that God has come to do the last work of salvation and that the time is limited, I felt somewhat afraid in spite of myself: All these years, I’ve been enduring and suffering, bearing the cross, and being ridiculed by others. All I have done is just to expect the Lord’s coming. However, the sister of the Church of Almighty God said the Lord has been incarnated again and does a new work to remove the root of man’s sin. What exactly should I do? If I go astray, it will mean a betrayal to the Lord Jesus. But if it really is the Lord’s return, and I don’t accept it and miss God’s last work of salvation, then my wish for years will come to nothing…. I still didn’t know what to do after much consideration. So I prayed to the Lord again and again. At last, I thought of His words, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48). And it also says in Hebrews 9:28, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation.” The Lord Jesus said He shall judge man with His word in the last days. It’s also said in Hebrews that the Lord will appear for a second time to those who wait for Him when He comes in order to save them. Does it mean that the Lord will still do a stage of work of salvation? No matter what, I’ll read it first and then make a decision.
I took the book and saw what Almighty God says, “You do not know what God is, you do not know what Christ is, you do not know how to revere Jehovah, you do not know how to enter into the work of the Holy Spirit, and you do not know how to distinguish between the work of God Himself and the deceptions of man. You know only to condemn any word of truth expressed by God that does not conform to your thought. Where is your humility? Where is your obedience? Where is your loyalty? Where is your desire to seek the truth? Where is your reverence of God? I tell you, those who believe in God because of the signs are surely the brood that shall suffer destruction. Those who are incapable of accepting the words of Jesus who has returned to flesh are surely the progeny of hell, the descendants of the archangel, the brood that shall be subjected to everlasting destruction” (“When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Reading this, I thought of the Lord Jesus’ words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. … Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. … Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:3-8). The Lord Jesus also asked us to seek humbly and be meek and modest. Facing the questions of Almighty God, I was speechless: Where’s my humility? Where’s my obedience? Where’s my desire to seek the truth? I remember how I’ve been rejecting it without a longing, seeking heart when the sister preached to me God’s work in the last days. Now when I read these words, I find that they have authority and power, and cannot be spoken by man. I’d better be humble, seek and investigate it. Then I read another passage of Almighty God’s words, “ The return of Jesus is a great salvation for those who are capable of accepting the truth, but for those who are unable to accept the truth it is a sign of condemnation. You should choose your own path, and should not blaspheme against the Holy Spirit and reject the truth. You should not be an ignorant and arrogant person, but someone who obeys the guidance of the Holy Spirit and longs for and seeks the truth; only in this way will you benefit. I advise you to tread the path of belief in God with care. Do not jump to conclusions; what’s more, do not be casual and carefree in your belief in God. You should know that, at the very least, those who believe in God should be humble and reverential. Those who have heard the truth and yet turn their nose up at it are foolish and ignorant. Those who have heard the truth and yet carelessly jump to conclusions or condemn it are beset by arrogance. No one who believes in Jesus is qualified to curse or condemn others. You should all be someone who is rational and accepts the truth. Perhaps, having heard the way of truth and read the word of life, you believe that only one in 10,000 of these words are in line with your convictions and the Bible, and then you should continue to seek in that 10,000th of these words. I still advise you to be humble, to not be over-confident, and to not exalt yourself too highly. With your heart holding such meager reverence for God, you will gain greater light. If you carefully examine and repeatedly contemplate these words, you shall understand whether or not they are the truth, and whether or not they are life. Perhaps, having only read a few sentences, some people will blindly condemn these words, saying, ‘This is nothing more than some enlightenment of the Holy Spirit,’ or, ‘This is a false Christ come to deceive people.’ Those who say such things are blinded by ignorance! You understand too little of the work and wisdom of God, and I advise you to start again from scratch!” (“When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
These words are majestic with exhortation and warning, and reveal God’s love and concern for man. Only God is able to speak with such disposition, to lead and enlighten man. So, I read the book every day. The more I read, the more I felt these words are good. The more I read, the more I felt they carry authority and power. The tone of these words is just like that of the Lord Jesus. However, the sister said that God has come to do the work of removing the root of man’s sin in the last days. What is it exactly?
Several days later, Sister Wang came to invite me to a sermon at her home, which was given by a brother from the Church of Almighty God. Feeling conflicted, I went to her home. After I arrived and took a seat, I asked doubtfully, “You said God’s work of the last days is to remove the root of man’s sin. However,the Bible says, ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus once was crucified on the cross, and He has become the sin offering forever. We believe in the Lord and obey His teachings carefully, so we have been sanctified from the world and become new creatures. How come the Lord still comes to carry out the work of salvationto remove the root of man’s sin?”
The brother answered, “According to this verse alone, we think that as long as we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, confess to Him, and have some outward practices, then we’ll be sanctified from the world and become a new creature without sin. This is completely our notion and imagination, and is not after the Lord’s will. The Bible says, ‘Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14). Though we have some outward good deeds in believing in the Lord, we are still not purified and transformed. We often live in the situation of committing sins in the day and confessing them at night. satanic-dispositions_satans-corrosionThe satanic dispositions, such as arrogance, self-conceit, selfishness, baseness, mercenariness, crookedness, craftiness, still remain within us. We can still raise jealousy and strife, engage in intrigue for seeking fame, gain, and position. To safeguard our own interests, we lie and deceive frequently. We even often run around and spend in exchange for the blessings of the kingdom of heaven. And we can’t free ourselves from the bondage of sin. How could we say we’ve become new creatures?
Let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s words, ‘The sins of man were forgiven because of the work of God’s crucifixion, but man continued to live in the old, corrupt satanic disposition. As such, man must be completely saved from the corrupt satanic disposition so that the sinful nature of man is completely cast away and never again develops, thus allowing the disposition of man to be changed. This requires man to understand the path of growth in life, the way of life, and the way to change his disposition. It also needs man to act in accordance with this path so that the disposition of man can gradually be changed and he can live under the shining of the light, and that he can do all things in accord with the will of God, cast away the corrupt satanic disposition, and break free from Satan’s influence of darkness, thereby emerging fully from sin. Only then will man receive complete salvation. When Jesus was doing His work, man’s knowledge of Him was still vague and unclear. Man always believed that He was the son of David and proclaimed Him to be a great prophet and the benevolent Lord who redeemed man’s sins. Some, based on faith, became healed just by touching the edge of His garment; the blind could see and even the dead could be restored to life. However, man could not discover the corrupt satanic disposition deeply rooted within him and neither did man know how to cast it away. Man received much grace, such as the peace and happiness of the flesh, the blessing of the entire family upon the faith of one, and the healing of sicknesses, and so on. The rest were the good deeds of man and their godly appearance; if man could live based on such, he was considered a good believer. Only such believers could enter heaven after death, which means that they were saved. But, in their lifetime, they did not understand at all the way of life. They merely committed sins, then made confession in a constant cycle without any path toward a changed disposition; such was the condition of man in the Age of Grace. Has man received complete salvation? No! Therefore, after that stage was complete, there is still the work of judgment and chastisement. This stage makes man pure through the word so as to give man a path to follow. This stage would not be fruitful or meaningful if it continued with the casting out of demons, for the sinful nature of man would not be cast away and man would only stop upon the forgiveness of sins. Through the sin offering, man has been forgiven his sins, for the work of the crucifixion has already come to an end and God has prevailed over Satan. But the corrupt disposition of man still remains within them and man can still sin and resist God; God has not gained mankind. That is why in this stage of work God uses the word to reveal the corrupt disposition of man and asks man to practice in accordance with the right path. This stage is more meaningful than the previous one and more fruitful as well, for now it is the word that directly supplies life for man and enables the disposition of man to be completely renewed; it is a stage of work more thorough. Therefore, the incarnation in the last days has completed the significance of God’s incarnation and completely finished God’s management plan for the salvation of man’ (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words have explained it very clearly. The Lord Jesus’ redemptive work is only half of the work of salvation. Though man’s sin is forgiven, his sinful nature still remains within him. So man lives in the cycle of sinning and confessing, without breaking free from sin. The Lord Jesus forgave man’s sins, not man’s sinful nature. Man’s sinful nature has taken such a deep root within him that he commits sins and resists God involuntarily. So, God becomes flesh again in the last days and does a stage of work of judgment and chastisement by the word to solve man’s sinful nature, that is to say, to purify man’s sinful nature and make him utterly free from sin and be saved by God. Thus, God gains man completely and man is qualified to enter the kingdom of God, inherit God’s inheritance, and enjoy His promises and blessings.”
Hearing this, I suddenly saw the light, and said, “Oh … What you said makes me understand: The root of sin is precisely man’s sinful nature. Once it is removed from man, man will not sin anymore and completely get rid of the bondage of sin. In the past, when I saw the church lapsed into chaos, and that the believers engaged in intrigue and had jealous disputes, just like unbelievers, I felt confused and wondered why man could not get rid of sin. I thought that as long as we prayed to the Lord, He would no longer see us as sinners. After your fellowship today, my heart suddenly brightened. Only by accepting God’s work of judgment in the last days can man’s sinful nature be thoroughly solved. Then how does God do the work of removing the root of man’s sin and solving his sinful nature in the last days? Please fellowship more with us.”
The brother said with gratification, “Let’s first read some words from Almighty God, ‘When God does the work of judgment, He does not simply make clear the nature of man with just a few words, but carries out revelation, dealing, and pruning over the long term. Such manner of revelation, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words but with the truth that man does not possess at all. Only such manner of work is deemed judgment; only through such judgment can man be persuaded, be thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and 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 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 could not be understood by man. 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’ (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘Through this work of judgment and chastisement, man will fully come to know the filthy and corrupt substance within him, and he will be able to completely change and become clean. Only in this way can man be 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 refinement, man can cast 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. In truth, this stage is that of conquest as well as the second stage of salvation. Man is gained by God through judgment and chastisement by the word; through the use of the word to refine, judge and disclose, all of the impurities, notions, motives, and individual hopes within man’s heart are completely revealed’ (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).almighty-gods-word_When It Comes to God, What Is Your UnderstandingGod uses the word to do the work of judgment and chastisement in the last days. That is, through words God reveals man’s substance of resistance and disobedience to God, the improper motivations, views, impurities of his belief in God, all kinds of conceptions and imaginations about God, his vague ways of pursuit in belief, the improper relationships between people, as well as all kinds of corrupt dispositions like arrogance, self-conceit, selfishness, crookedness, craftiness, perfunctoriness in his duty, and so on. Thus, man can compare himself to God’s word, look into himself, repent, and finally practice the truth and live by God’s word. In addition, God arranges various circumstances to try and refine man, making him know the substance and truth of his corruption, forsake himself and his flesh, get rid of his corruption, and thus submit to God. Only through such judgment and chastisement can man know God’s righteous and majestic disposition, God’s holy substance, what He has and is, and thereby have a heart that fears God. Eventually, man can obey God, no longer disobeying or resisting Him. He does not live for himself any more, but for God, and he can care for God’s will. That is to say, he has recovered his conscience and sense. He desires nothing but to fulfill his duty as a created being to repay God’s love and satisfy His will. This is a real created being, and a real man with human likeness, one who has been conquered and truly saved by God.”
Hearing Almighty God’s words and the brother’s fellowship, I finally understood that only those whose corrupt dispositions have been purified are truly new creatures who have indeed broken free from sin and achieved purity. Almighty God’s end-time work is exactly the work of saving and purifying man. Through the fellowship over several days, I was certain that Almighty God is exactly the returned Lord Jesus. Almighty God’s work of judgment and chastisement by the word is indeed the last work of salvation. If man misses it, his sins can never be purified, no matter how much he has suffered and run about. God will never acknowledge his belief, and even more he cannot possibly enter the kingdom of God. Later, when I learned that God’s work of the last days is coming to an end, I was so happy that I broke into tears. I am so lucky to receive Almighty God’s salvation of the last days. I am willing to accept God’s judgment and chastisement in the last days, pursue the truth, and become one who obeys, satisfies, and loves God.
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