By Novo Philippines
My name is Novo, I am a Filipino. Since I was little, I believed in God with my mother. I went to church with my brothers and sisters to listen to sermons. Even though I had believed in the Lord for many years, I felt that I was like an unbeliever. Within my heart, I would think about how to earn more money and live a better life all day long. Furthermore, I would frequently go out and drink with friends. Once I had extra money, I would go out and gamble. Even though I knew that what I was doing was bad and I would frequently pray to God saying that I would change these bad habits of mine, I basically never put it into practice. In this way, I became increasingly degenerated. I did not pray sincerely to God. Each week, I would only pray a few simple prayers in a perfunctory way. Sometimes, I felt very desperate because I knew that when the Lord returned, He would judge everybody’s actions. He would then decide whether each person would go to heaven or go to hell. I felt that I was a degenerate and that God would not forgive me. Afterward, I married and had kids. All I thought about was my wife and my children. When it came to my faith, I pushed it to the back of my mind. In order to provide a better future for my children and to achieve my desires to become rich, I decided to leave the country to find work. As a result, I came to Taiwan. Even after I found work, I still had not changed my past lifestyle. During my leisure time, I would still go out to drink and sing with my colleagues. I was living the life of an unbeliever.
In 2011, I worked as a welder in a factory in Taiwan. One day in 2012, a colleague in Taiwan asked me if I was a Catholic. I replied that I was. Afterward, she invited me for Mass at her church. Then, one Sunday morning, at dawn, she came to the factory to pick us up and brought us to her friend’s house. There, I met Brother Joseph. He asked me, “Brother, do you expect theof the Lord Jesus?” I said that I did. Joseph asked me again, “Do you know what work the Lord Jesus will do when He returns?” I replied, “He will sit upon a white throne and judge mankind and divide people into different groups. Afterward, God will decide, based on each man’s conducts and deeds, whether he will go to heaven or hell.” Brother Joseph continued to ask me, “If we told you that the Lord Jesus has already come and is doing the work of judgment, would you believe?” I was quite surprised when I heard him say this. I thought: Has the Lord Jesus already returned? How is this possible? Wouldn’t He judge us if He has already returned? I haven’t seen the judgment before the great white throne! However, I did not directly ask him these questions because I felt that God’s judgment is a mystery and God’s wisdom is unfathomable to man. My viewpoints may not be right. I felt it would be better for me to listen to their viewpoints first. As a result, I replied, “This is something that I do not yet dare confirm. Please continue to speak.” Afterward, Brother Joseph and others showed me many passages from the Bible that talked about the judgment work that He would do once He returned. Two verses from this selection are as follows: “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” (Jhn 12:48). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1Pe 4:17). After I saw these predictions, I focused my attention on what these brothers and sisters had to say. I believed that what they had shared with me was the truth because I knew that the Bible had recorded the work of God.
Afterward, Brother Joseph let us read two more passages of God’s word: “The work of judgment is God’s own work, so it must naturally be done by God Himself; it cannot be done by man in His stead. Because judgment is the conquering of man through the truth, it is unquestionable that God still appears as the incarnate image to do this work among men. That is to say, in the last days, Christ shall use the truth to teach men around the earth and to make all truths known to them. This is God’s work of judgment.” “In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, reveal the essence of man, and dissect his words and deeds. 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 the normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and disposition of God, and so on. These words are all focused on the essence of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, those words that reveal how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan and an enemy force against 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. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of such work is actually the work of opening up the truth, way, and life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God” (“Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth”).
After I finished reading Almighty God’s word, they continued to talk to me. They helped me understand that God’s work was very real and it was not supernatural. God’s judgment work of the last days was not how I had imagined it—God would set up a large table in the sky and sat upon a big white throne. Everybody stood before God as He listed out our sins to determine whether we were good or evil. Afterward, He decided whether we would go to heaven or go to hell. Instead, God realistically incarnated in order to express His words and reveal man’s corruption and disobedience. He judges the sins of man and helps man have an understanding of his own corrupt nature. Afterward, He eliminates our sinful nature within and ends the pain of our life of sinning in the day and confessing in the evening. He helps us have a genuine understanding of Him so that we can achieve cleansing and salvation. In this way, man will be qualified to enter into the kingdom of heaven. Those who do not accept the judgment work of the last days and do not change their life disposition will be thrown into the lake of fire in the very end. By doing His work of judgment in this way, God indeed conforms with the realistic needs of man. I thought about myself: Even though I have believed in the Lord for many years and frequently prayed to God and confessed my sin, I still led a life of sin. I gambled, drank, told lies and deceived. I constantly committed sins, confessed them and then committed them again. My life was full of suffering. Apparently, we indeed need God to come to do His work of judgment and salvation. The Bible says: “and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Heb 12:14). The Lord is holy. If man does not wash himself of his sins, he is not worthy to see the Lord’s face. Suppose it is the way we imagine it to be. God comes in the last days and sets up a white throne in the air in order to judge man. He directly determines man’s ending. If this is the case, how does man eliminate his sins? Hasn’t man been condemned and punished? It seems that Almighty God most likely is the returned Lord Jesus. I should seek and investigate seriously. I must not miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord.
Afterward, they gave me the book The Word Appears in the Flesh. I was very happy. After I returned to my residence, I began to read God’s word all night. I read Almighty God’s words: “Your mouths are filled with words of deceit and filth, of betrayal and haughtiness. Never have you spoken words of sincerity and holiness to Me, nor the words of experiencing My word and obeying Me. What faith is this? Your hearts are filled with desires and wealth; your minds are filled with material things. Every day, you calculate how to gain from Me, assessing how much wealth and how many material things you have gained from Me. Every day, you await ever more blessings to come down upon you so that you may enjoy more and greater pleasurable things. That which is in your thoughts every moment is not Me or the truth that comes from Me, but rather your husband (wife), sons, daughters, or what you eat and wear, and how you can enjoy even better, greater pleasure. Even if you stuff your stomach to the brim, are you not still little more than a corpse? Even if you adorn your form gloriously, are you not still a walking corpse that has no life? You toil for the sake of your stomach until gray hairs are upon you, yet none are willing to sacrifice a single hair for My work. You journey, toil, and rack your brain for your flesh, and for your sons and daughters, yet none worry about or give thought to what is in My heart and mind. What do you wish to gain from Me?” (“Many Are Called, but Few Are Chosen”).
I felt God’s word pierced my heart like a sharp sword. These words revealed my life condition exactly. They described the real circumstance of my inner heart. I knew that only God can examine man’s heart and only God can reveal man’s corruption. I felt that the words of Almighty God are indeed the word of God. From God’s word, I understood that my own faith was full of lies and greed. I only acknowledged God’s name but my heart did not have God. I was only concerned about my family, my work and my own prospects. Each day, I only thought about how I could earn more money and how I could help my family live a more abundant life. Even though I often told God that I would love Him, I did not do what I said I would do. I kept on deceiving God. Also, all along, I prayed to God and asked Him to bless me even more, for I believed that God was eternally a God of love and God was full of mercy for man, and that even though I sinned, God would still pardon my sins, have mercy on me and bless me. However, after I finished reading Almighty God’s words, I understood that nobody is allowed to offend God’s righteous disposition. My heart started to revere God. God’s words of judgment and chastisement caused me to feel a lot of remorse for my past. I was very sad and I cried in my bed. For the first time, I cried bitterly as I prayed to God and repented, “God, please forgive me for my sins. I have resisted You in all things. I have deceived You. I am not qualified to ask You to be with me. I should be punished. God, thank You for giving me an opportunity to repent and be saved. From now on, I will do my utmost to pursue the truth. I will love You with a true heart….” After I prayed, I told myself that I needed to receive God’s judgment so that I could change my own life which was stuck in a cycle of sinning and confessing. I had to read more of Almighty God’s word and ponder it often so that I would understand more of the truth and have the strength to forsake my flesh, put the truth into practice and satisfy God’s will.
From then on, I brought a copy of The Word Appears in the Flesh with me to work. During my free time at work, I would read and ponder God’s word. From Almighty God’s words, I saw how corrupt and rebellious my behavior and thoughts were. Almighty God says: “You should pray, step-by-step, in accordance with your true state and that which is to be done by the Holy Spirit, and you should commune with God in keeping with God’s will and His requirements of man. When you begin practicing your prayers, first give your heart to God. Do not attempt to grasp God’s will; only try to speak the words within your heart to God. When you come before God, speak thus: ‘O God! Only today do I realize that I used to disobey You. I am truly corrupt and despicable. Before, I was wasting my time; starting from today I will live for You, I will live out a life of meaning, and satisfy Your will. I would that Your Spirit always works within me, and always illuminates and enlightens me, so that I can bear strong and resounding testimony before You, allowing Satan to see Your glory, Your testimony, and the proof of Your triumph within us.’ When you pray in this way, your heart will be completely set free, having prayed in this way, your heart will be closer to God…” (“Concerning the Practice of Prayer” ). In God’s word, I had a path through which I could resolve my corrupt disposition. I started to pray to God from the bottom of my heart with the sincerest attitude. With this kind of prayer, I could frequently feel that God was guiding me. Inside, I had faith and strength. I no longer lived the way I had in the past and I did not put into action the corrupt thoughts and ideas that were in my heart. My life had changed. I no longer lived a life where I committed sins and then repented for them. Instead, I genuinely lived in the light of God. Now I seek to conduct myself according to God’s word. Many of my viewpoints have also changed. I live much more happily than I did before. The words of Almighty God have given me a proper goal for my life. I no longer rack my brain and seek to live in luxury as I did in the past. I no longer seek to excel among other people. Instead, I pursue the truth in order to break free from my corrupt disposition and obtain cleansing and salvation. I also seek to obey God’s words in all matters and fulfill my duty as a created being in order to repay God’s love.
In July 2014, I returned to the Philippines. I was very happy to know that God had chosen many brothers and sisters from the Philippines. Presently, I live a church life and fellowship about God’s word with my brothers and sisters in The Church of Almighty God. We help and support each other and we are all working hard to pursue the truth, seek a change in our life disposition and achieve salvation. We are also working hard to bear witness to Almighty God’s work in the last days to people in our own country and even other countries. We want them to know that the Lord Jesus has already returned and we also want them to obtain God’s salvation of the last days as we have. Thank Almighty God! Now, my life is very abundant and happy every day. I have completely rid myself of that degenerate and decadent life. It is Almighty God who has led me to find my life goal and direction. I feel that living this way is how one can live a meaningful life!