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5 We Should Truly Accept the Chastisement and Judgment of God’s word

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5 We Should Truly Accept the Chastisement and Judgment of God’s word

Danchun  Luoyang City, Henan Province

We all know that what God does in the end time is the work of chastising and judging by the word, and that only if one truly accepts the chastisement and judgment of God’s word can he gain the transformation of his disposition and be saved by God. Then, what does it mean to truly accept the chastisement and judgment of God’s word? Some people think: Now I have no notions about God’s word. Whatever God’s word says is right, and I have no opinions about it; whatever God says I acknowledge. This means that I have accepted the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. Some think: Now I can know in God’s word that I am arrogant, crafty, and devoid of conscience and sense, and that I have been too deeply corrupted by satan. This means that I have accepted the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. Still some think: I can know in God’s word what kind of people God likes, what kind of people God hates, what kind of people God perfects, and what kind of people God eliminates. This means that I have accepted the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. Actually, these are only our own imagined standards and are not in accordance with the truth.

Regarding what is the meaning of truly accepting the chastisement and judgment of God’s word, we can consider how Peter accepted chastisement and judgment in God’s word, for Peter, as we all know, was one who truly accepted the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. God’s word says: “…every word by which God judged man, every word by which God exposed man, and every word by which God made requirements of man, he strictly checked himself with to examine himself and touch the meaning of them. All the words Jesus said to him, he pondered over seriously and bore them in mind, and he got very good results. By practicing so, he got to know himself in God’s word, not only knowing man’s various corrupt states, but also knowing man’s substance and nature and man’s various deficiencies. This meant that he had truly known himself. In God’s word, on the one hand, he got to truly know himself, and on the other hand, as God in his words expressed God’s righteous disposition, expressed what God has and is, expressed God’s intention in working, and expressed God’s requirements for mankind, from these words he completely knew God, knowing God’s disposition and God’s substance and also having some knowledge and understanding of what God has and is, God’s loveliness, and God’s requirements for man. … If a person can truly enter into the reality of God’s word in the things and words which God requires, he is one perfected by God. It can be said that God’s word and work have fully achieved the results in this person….” From God’s words, we see that Peter accepted the chastisement and judgment of God’s word in this way: Every word by which God judged man, every word by which God exposed man, and every word by which God made requirements of man, he strictly checked himself with to examine himself. He believed that God’s word was the truth and the fact, and that what it disclosed were all things of man’s nature and substance. Therefore, he could know himself according to God’s word, and in God’s word he knew his corrupt nature, knew his lacks, and knew that man was too corrupt and worthless. Peter concentrated great effort on God’s word. In the chastisement and judgment of God’s word, he not only truly knew himself, but also knew God’s righteous disposition, God’s substance, and what God has and is. In God’s word, he did not try to equip himself with doctrines but tried to understand God’s will and spent effort on God’s requirements. Once he understood God’s will, he carried it out immediately. He did not let go of any of his old disposition and did not follow his own will even in eating, dressing, sleeping, and dwelling. Finally, he was perfected by God and became an exemplar of loving God. The chastisement and judgment of God’s word fully achieved the results in him. From Peter’s experience, we can know that a person who has truly accepted the chastisement and judgment of God’s word has known himself, has known God, and even more has gained the transformation of his disposition. These three aspects are the results achieved by truly accepting the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. If anyone says he is a person who accepts the chastisement and judgment of God’s word, but in him, no fruits of knowing himself and knowing God can be seen and no manifestations of the transformation of his disposition can be seen, then it is certain that he has not truly accepted the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. As the fellowship from the above says: “God uses the truth to judge and chastise man so as to save and transform man. If in a person, no transformation of his life disposition can be seen in the end, it will sufficiently prove that he is not a pursuer of the truth and that he has not truly accepted God’s judgment and chastisement. If you ask him, ‘What judgments and chastisements from God have you undergone?’, he will have nothing to say in reply.”

After we know how Peter accepted the judgment and chastisement of God’s word and the results brought by accepting judgment and chastisement, and then compare them with our expressions, we will be clear whether we are ones who truly accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s word.

Many times we have the following states:

One state is this: We read God’s word every day, having no notions or opinions about it, and can acknowledge it, check ourselves with it, or speak some knowledge of ourselves in light of it. But many times, facing the judgment and disclosure of God’s word, we do not feel pricked in our heart, but on the contrary, we think that what God’s word discloses are the corruptions of all people, we are not alone in having them, and “all crows under the sun are black.” Consequently, although we have checked ourselves with God’s word, we have not in the least achieved the result of knowing ourselves and hating ourselves. For example, God discloses that all people love the flesh and sin and their fleshly lusts are rooted too deeply. We nod and acknowledge it, and by comparing it with some of our manifestations, we realize that we indeed love the flesh and sin, but then we think that God’s word does not judge us alone and that all mankind is like this. Thus, we have not truly known the substance of this corruption of ours, much less hated it.

Another state is this: Many times we only receive the literal meaning of the words by which God judges and exposes man, and what we acknowledge and check ourselves with is only the literal meaning of God’s words; we have no knowledge of the deeper and more detailed things, and as to knowing in God’s word, God’s disposition and what God has and is, we only receive it in doctrine. Consequently, we have never been able to truly know ourselves and know God. For example, as for the word by which God discloses that people are all arrogant and self-conceited by nature, we all could check ourselves with it and acknowledge it. Then we felt that we had known the things in our nature. But afterward, many facts show that we have no true knowledge of our arrogant nature. For example, when we are dealt with and pruned, our heart is full of resistance, grievance, and disobedience; when we do things according to our own ideas and betray our arrogant ugly self, we do not think ourselves too arrogant but feel that there is a good reason for it, our intents are right, and so forth, looking for various excuses to justify and vindicate ourselves. From these, we see that when we acknowledged God’s word and checked ourselves with it at that time, we were not truly accepting the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. Such a nodding acknowledgment of ours is very shallow and superficial. We only literally understood this word of God and checked ourselves with it, but we do not know the various states and manifestations of being arrogant, nor are we clear about what things our arrogant nature can drive us to do, so we fail to achieve the result of truly knowing our arrogant nature. Again, for example, in the words by which God discloses man’s being crafty, and from God’s loathing crafty people and liking honest people, we knew that God’s substance is faithful and holy. At the time, due to the revelation of the Holy Spirit, we felt that this knowledge we had gained was quite genuine. But later, through the revealing of facts, we discover that we have no knowledge of God’s substance of being faithful. When being dealt with and pruned, we think that it is our being too open that brings the dealing on us, and think that in God’s family, it is also those good at disguising and cheating that are popular, completely denying God’s substance of being faithful. There are many other such examples. They all show that as for many words of God, we have only checked ourselves with them and acknowledged them superficially but have not truly known our nature or gained the true knowledge of God from them.

Another state is this: Many times when we read the heart-pricking words by which God exposes man, we either cover ourselves or avoid the problems existing in us. We do not dare to face the true facts and have no courage to expose ourselves or dissect ourselves. Even if sometimes we examine ourselves a little, we dare not dig deep. For example, God’s words disclose that we are too greedy and too low in personality. Concerning that, we only know and lay bare some of our outward expressions that can be seen by others. We dare not take out all our intents, thoughts, or ideas under any circumstances to know and dissect, feeling that if we do so, we will show ourselves too ugly and contemptible. Therefore, we avoid doing so or do it perfunctorily. If in such a way we treat the words by which God exposes man, we will not be able to know our corrupt substance or see clearly the degree to which we have been corrupted by satan, nor will what God’s words disclose achieve the due results in us.

Another state is this: Many times we cannot fully acknowledge or believe God’s words of judgment and disclosure, and cannot know our corrupt nature according to the disclosure of God’s words. Rather, only after we are revealed by the facts and see our expressions of corruption, can we be sincerely convinced of God’s words and fully accept and obey them. For example, God says that man is the devil, the archangel. Doctrinally, we accept it, but in our heart, we just cannot admit that we are the devil, the archangel. We even think that though we are also corrupt, we are better than the generality of people. Again, for example, God says that we are maggots and dregs, and are good for nothing. But we feel that we have some virtues and merits, and are not good for nothing or capable of nothing, as God says.

Another state is this: Many times in God’s words of judgment we realize our filthiness and corruption and also repent of ourselves, but we do not look for appropriate ways to have ourselves transformed and our corruption resolved. Thus, we have never brought to ourselves any transformation of disposition. For example, in the disclosure of God’s words, we realize that we have too much perfunctoriness and slipshodness, and also realize that it is too conscienceless and disobedient of us to perform our duty in a perfunctory and slipshod way. Thus, we hate ourselves and are willing to perform our duties faithfully and properly. However, we are just willing in our heart but do not seek what to do to be free from perfunctoriness and slipshodness and achieve good results. Consequently, our performing duty has never been improved.

From the above states we see clearly that we are actually not ones who truly accept the chastisement and judgment of God’s word, and that the chastisement and judgment of God’s word has not yet achieved the due results in us.

Then, how should we truly accept the chastisement and judgment of God’s word? The fellowship from the above says: “Firstly, one must accept all of God’s words of judgment and chastisement, believe he has a part in them, and strictly measure himself with them. Secondly, facing the substance and true condition of his corruptions, he should not only acknowledge them but also go deeper to know them and dare to lay bare and fellowship about them. If one does these two things, he will be able to truly know himself and gradually gain the transformation of his life disposition.” “There are many people who believe in Almighty God and yet pay no attention to accepting God’s judgment and chastisement; in particular, they take an eluding and bypassing attitude toward God’s words of severe judgment; they only accept God’s words of blessing, words of disclosing the mysteries, and words to be experienced and entered into. The ones who believe in God in such a way are not experiencing God’s work of judging and chastising man, and with them, the meaning of believing in God to be saved is completely lost. Believing in God in such a way, they can never be saved by God. Only through experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement in a down-to-earth manner and truly accepting all the truths embodied in God’s words of judgment can people have their corrupt disposition truly resolved, truly obey and worship God, and finally be compatible with Christ.”

From these words we know that to truly accept the chastisement and judgment of God’s word, firstly, we must know that all the words by which God exposes and judges man are the truth and completely match the true facts. Those words of severe judgment and words which cause people to suffer and are hard to accept, in particular, are the exposure of mankind’s corrupt nature and substance; they are all truths, never-changing facts. If we want to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s word, we must accept all of God’s words of judgment and chastisement and accept all the truths embodied in God’s words of judgment. And the sterner the words are and the harder they are to accept, the less we should avoid and bypass them. For only thus can we gain a comprehensive, true, and thorough knowledge of our corrupt nature and of all kinds of corrupt satanic disposition in us, and come to truly know ourselves.

Secondly, in accepting the chastisement and judgment of God’s word, we should not go through the motions or be content with acknowledging God’s word and checking ourselves with it, but should be serious in God’s word, and pursue to know ourselves more deeply and know God truly. This requires us to spend a great effort on God’s word. As to every word of judgment and chastisement, we should not be content merely with understanding its literal meaning but should ponder over its inner meaning and seek to understand the various states and manifestations it covers, why God says so, God’s expectations on man as to what man should practice and what results to achieve, what aspects of God’s disposition can be known from God’s requirements for man, and so forth. For example, God discloses that man’s faithfulness is temporary and it exists at one time but not at another. As for this word God says, we should not merely check ourselves with it and admit that we have no true faithfulness, but we should examine what manifestations of it we have and ponder why God exposes man like this and what God’s intention is. Through seeking and pondering, we will be able to realize that we are indeed like what God’s word discloses: Our so-called faithfulness is temporary, and it exists only under certain special circumstances. For example, when the duty that God’s family assigns to us is to our liking, we can perform it properly; when it is not, we become passive and slack and perform it in a perfunctory and slipshod way. When we have position, we seem to be quite burdened; when we lose it, we become passive and have misunderstandings. When everything is smooth and easy, we can care for God’s burden; once we encounter a trial, or persecution arises, or we meet a difficulty in our work, or something happens to our family, our faithfulness in former days vanishes without a trace, and sometimes we even want to throw up our duty. After we realize these, our knowledge of ourselves is deepened. And through pondering, we also understand that God exposes man like this not for condemning man, and not because God has lost hope in man, but in order that man can know his actual states and thus pursue to be transformed and pursue to be truly faithful to God. This is precisely God’s love and salvation for man. These are the results achieved by truly accepting the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. If we want to truly know ourselves in the chastisement and judgment of God’s word, in addition to spending more effort on God’s words of judgment and disclosure to understand the inner meaning of God’s words and understand God’s purpose in speaking them, we also need to beseech God to reveal us more in our practical experiences, so that we can know ourselves more deeply through the comparison between the truth and the facts.

Lastly, there is still another important point: To truly accept the chastisement and judgment of God’s word, we must pay attention to the various requirements for man in God’s word. Because the result that the judgment and chastisement of God’s word will achieve in the end is to enable man to gain the transformation of his disposition, while God judges and discloses man’s corruption in a certain aspect, God also makes requirements of us and points out to us the ways of practice. Therefore, after we have known our corruptions and lacks in God’s words of judgment and disclosure, the step we should enter into is to seek appropriate ways to gain transformation and make up for our lacks. Without it, all that we have done such as relating God’s word to ourselves, knowing ourselves in light of our real states, and understanding God’s intention, will be wasted. We can see this clearly from Peter’s experience of accepting the chastisement and judgment of God’s word. Peter paid special attention to God’s requirements for man. He did not let go of any of his old nature; after he knew it, he would look for appropriate ways to have himself transformed. Moreover, he tried very hard to satisfy God’s heart’s desire in every small matter. Because of this practice of his which was after God’s heart, eventually the chastisement and judgment of God’s word achieved very good results in him.

May we all imitate Peter’s experience and spend great effort on God’s word. Every word by which God judges man, every word by which God exposes man, and every word by which God makes requirements of man, we should strictly relate to ourselves to examine ourselves, truly accepting God’s words of chastisement and judgment, so as to know in God’s words our corrupt nature as well as God’s righteous disposition, God’s substance, and what God is and has. Even more, we should find appropriate ways of practice in God’s words, and replace our expression of the corrupt satanic disposition with our practice of the truths, so that God’s work of chastising and judging by the word will achieve the due results in us and that we will truly receive God’s salvation.

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