5. Faith in God Should Not Only Be for Seeking Peace and Blessings.
Relevant Words of God:
Today, you must set on the right track since you believe in the practical God. Having faith in God, you should not solely seek blessings, but seek to love God and know God. Through His enlightenment and your own pursuit, you can eat and drink His word, develop a true understanding of God, and have a true love of God that comes from your heart. In other words, your love for God is most genuine, such that none can destroy or stand in the way of your love for Him. Then you are on the right track of faith in God. It proves that you belong to God, for your heart has been taken possession of by God and you can then be possessed by nothing else. Owing to your experience, the price you paid, and the work of God, you are able to develop an unbidden love for God. Then you are freed from the influence of Satan and live in the light of God’s word. Only when you have broken free from the influence of darkness can you be deemed to have gained God. In your belief of God, you must seek this goal. This is the duty of each of you.
from “You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Experiencing God is not about enjoying grace, but more about suffering because of your love for Him. Since you enjoy God’s grace, you must also enjoy His chastisement—you must experience all of these things. You can experience God’s enlightenment in you, and you can also experience Him dealing with you and His judgment. That way, you experience all sides. God has done judgment work on you, and He has also done chastisement work on you. God’s word has dealt with you, but it has also enlightened you, illuminated you. When you want to run away, God’s hand still tugs at you. All of this work is to let you know that everything about man is at the mercy of God. You may think believing in God is about suffering, or doing many things for Him, or for the peace of your flesh, or for everything to go well for you, for everything to be comfortable—but none of these are purposes people should have for believing in God. If that is what you believe, then your perspective is incorrect and you simply cannot be perfected. God’s actions, God’s righteous disposition, His wisdom, His words, and His wondrousness and unfathomableness are all things people ought to understand. Use this understanding to get rid of the personal requests as well as the individual hopes and notions in your heart. Only by eliminating these can you meet the conditions demanded by God. Only through this can you have life and satisfy God. Believing in God is for the sake of satisfying Him and for living out the disposition He requires, so that His actions and glory may be manifested through this group of unworthy people. That is the correct perspective for believing in God, and also the goal you should seek. You should have the right viewpoint of believing in God and seek to obtain God’s words. You need to eat and drink God’s words, and be able to live out the truth, and especially see His practical deeds, see His wonderful deeds throughout the entire universe, as well as the practical work He does in the flesh. Through their actual experiences, people can appreciate just how God does His work on them and what His will is toward them. All of this is to eliminate their corrupt satanic disposition. Rid yourself of the unclean and unrighteous inside of you, strip away your wrong intentions, and you can develop true faith in God. Only by having true faith can you truly love God. You can only genuinely love God on the foundation of your belief in Him. Can you achieve loving God without believing in Him? Since you believe in God, you cannot be muddle-headed about it. Some people become full of vigor as soon as they see that faith in God will bring them blessings, but lose all energy as soon as they see they have to suffer refinements. Is that believing in God? In the end, faith in God is about complete and utter obedience before Him. You believe in God but still have demands of Him, have many religious notions you cannot put down, personal interests you cannot let go of, and still seek blessings of the flesh and want God to rescue your flesh, to save your soul—these are all expressions of people with the wrong perspective. Even though people with religious beliefs have faith in God, they don’t seek dispositional change, don’t pursue knowledge of God, and only seek the interests of their flesh. Many among you have faiths that belong in the category of religious convictions. That is not true faith in God. To believe in God people must possess a heart to suffer for Him and the will to give themselves up. Unless they meet these two conditions it does not count as faith in God, and they will not be able to achieve dispositional change. Only people who genuinely seek the truth, seek knowledge of God, and pursue life are those who truly believe in God.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
It is the belief in God so that you may obey God, love God, and perform the duty that should be performed by a creature of God. This is the aim of believing in God. You must achieve a knowledge of the loveliness of God, of how worthy God is of reverence, of how, in His creatures, God does the work of salvation and making them perfect—this is the minimum that you should possess in your belief in God. Belief in God is principally the switch from a life in the flesh to a life of loving God, from a life within naturalness to a life within the being of God, it is coming out from under the domain of Satan and living under the care and protection of God, it is being able to achieve obedience to God and not obedience to the flesh, it is allowing God to gain your entire heart, allowing God to make you perfect, and freeing yourself from the corrupt satanic disposition. Belief in God is principally so that the power and glory of God may be manifested in you, so that you may carry out God’s will, and accomplish God’s plan, and be able to bear testimony to God before Satan. Belief in God should not be in order to behold signs and wonders, nor should it be for the sake of your personal flesh. It should be for the pursuit of knowing God, and being able to obey God, and like Peter, obeying Him until death. This is what it is mainly in order to achieve.
from “All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Many of those who follow God are only concerned with how to gain blessings or avoid disaster. At the mention of the work and management of God, they fall silent and lose all interest. They believe that knowing such tedious questions will not grow their lives or be of any benefit, and so although they have heard messages about the management of God, they treat them casually. And they do not see them as something precious to be accepted, much less do they receive them as part of their lives. Such people have one very simple aim in following God: to gain blessing, and they are too lazy to attend to anything that doesn’t involve this aim. For them, believing in God to gain blessings is the most legitimate of goals and the very value of their faith. They are unaffected by anything that cannot achieve this objective. Such is the case with most of those who believe in God today. Their aim and motivation seem legitimate, because at the same time as believing in God, they also expend for God, dedicate themselves to God, and perform their duty. They give up their youth, forsake family and career, and even spend years busying about away from home. For the sake of their ultimate goal, they change their interests, alter their outlook on life, and even change the direction they seek, yet they cannot change the aim of their belief in God. They run about for the management of their own ideals; no matter how far the road is, and no matter how many hardships and obstacles there are along the way, they stick to their guns and remain fearless of death. What power makes them continue to dedicate themselves in this way? Is it their conscience? Is it their great and noble character? Is it their determination to do battle with the forces of evil to the very end? Is it their faith in which they bear witness to God without seeking recompense? Is it their loyalty for which they are willing to give up everything to achieve the will of God? Or is it their spirit of devotion in which they’ve always forgone personal extravagant demands? For people who have never known the work of God’s management to give so much is, quite simply, a wondrous miracle! For the moment, let us not discuss how much these people have given. Their behavior, however, is highly worthy of our analysis. Apart from the benefits that are so closely associated with them, could there be any other reason for these people who never understand God to give so much to Him? In this, we discover a previously unidentified problem: Man’s relationship with God is merely one of naked self-interest. It is the relationship between the receiver and giver of blessings. To put it plainly, it is like the relationship between employee and employer. The employee works only to receive the rewards bestowed by the employer. In a relationship like this, there is no affection, only a deal; there is no loving and being loved, only charity and mercy; there is no understanding, only resignation and deception; there is no intimacy, only a gulf that cannot be bridged. When things get to this point, who is able to reverse such a trend? And how many people are capable of truly understanding how desperate this relationship has become? I believe that when people immerse themselves in the joyousness of being blessed, none are able to imagine how embarrassing and unsightly such a relationship with God is.
The saddest thing about mankind’s belief in God is that man conducts his own management amidst the work of God and is heedless of God’s management. Man’s biggest failure lies in how, at the same time as seeking to submit to God and worship Him, man is constructing his own ideal destination and calculating how to receive the greatest blessing and the best destination.
from “Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst the Management of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
How many believe in Me only so I would heal them? How many believe in Me only so I would use My powers to drive unclean spirits out of their bodies? And how many believe in Me simply to receive peace and joy from Me? How many believe in Me only to demand from Me more material wealth, and how many believe in Me just to spend this life in safety and to be safe and sound in the world to come? How many believe in Me only to avoid the suffering of hell and to receive the blessings of heaven? How many believe in Me only for temporary comfort but do not seek to gain anything in the world to come? When I brought down My fury upon man and seized all the joy and peace he originally possessed, man became doubtful. When I gave unto man the suffering of hell and reclaimed the blessings of heaven, man’s shame turned into anger. When man asked Me to heal him, yet I acknowledged him not and felt abhorrence for him, man went far away from Me and sought the way of witch doctors and sorcery. When I took away all that man had demanded from Me, then all disappeared without a trace. Therefore, I say that man has faith in Me because I give too much grace, and there is far too much to gain.
from “What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What you pursue is to be able to gain peace after believing in God—for your children to be free from illness, for your husband to have a good job, for your son to find a good wife, for your daughter to find a decent husband, for your oxen and horses to plough the land well, for a year of good weather for your crops. This is what you seek. Your pursuit is only to live in comfort, for no accidents to befall your family, for the winds to pass you by, for your face to be untouched by grit, for your family’s crops to not be flooded, for you to be unaffected by any disaster, to live in God’s embrace, to live in a cozy nest. A coward such as you, who always pursues the flesh—do you have a heart, do you have a spirit? Are you not a beast? I give you the true way without asking for anything in return, yet you do not pursue. Are you one of those who believe in God? I bestow the real human life upon you, yet you do not pursue. Aren’t you no different from a pig or a dog? Pigs do not pursue the life of man, they do not pursue being cleansed, and they do not understand what life is. Each day, after eating their fill, they simply sleep. I have given you the true way, yet you have not gained it: You are empty-handed. Are you willing to continue in this life, the life of a pig? What is the significance of such people being alive? Your life is contemptible and ignoble, you live amid filth and licentiousness, and you do not pursue any goals; is your life not the most ignoble of all? Do you have the gall to look upon God? If you continue to experience in this way, will you not acquire nothing? The true way has been given to you, but whether or not you can ultimately gain it depends on your own personal pursuit.
from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you only enjoy the grace of God, with a peaceful family life or material blessings, then you have not gained God, and your belief in God has failed. God has already carried out one stage of the work of grace in the flesh, and has already bestowed material blessings upon man—but man cannot be made perfect with grace, love, and mercy alone. In man’s experiences he encounters some of God’s love, and sees the love and mercy of God, yet having experienced for a period of time, he sees that God’s grace and His love and mercy are incapable of making man perfect, and incapable of revealing that which is corrupt within man, nor are they able to rid man of his corrupt disposition, or make perfect his love and faith. God’s work of grace was the work of one period, and man cannot rely on enjoying the grace of God in order to know God.
from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What is it that man has received since he first believed in God? What have you known about God? How much have you changed because of your belief in God? Now you all know that man’s belief in God is not solely for salvation of the soul and welfare of the flesh, nor is it to enrich his life through love of God, and so on. As it stands, if you love God for the sake of welfare of the flesh or momentary pleasure, then even if, in the end, your love for God reaches its peak and you ask for nothing, this love you seek is still an impure love and not pleasing to God. Those who use love for God to enrich their dull lives and fill a void in their heart are those who seek to live in ease, not those who truly seek to love God. This kind of love is against one’s will, a pursuit of emotional pleasure, and God does not need this kind of love. What kind, then, is a love such as yours? For what do you love God? How much true love do you have for God now? The love of most among you is as previously mentioned. This kind of love can only maintain the status quo; it cannot attain eternal constancy, nor take root in man. This kind of love is that of a flower which bears no fruit after it has bloomed then withered. In other words, after you have loved God once in such a way and there is no one to lead you on the path ahead, then you will fall. If you can only love God in the times of loving God and you make no changes to your life disposition afterward, then you will continue to be shrouded by the influence of darkness, unable to escape, and still unable to break free from being manipulated and fooled by Satan. No such man can be fully gained by God; in the end, their spirit, soul, and body will still belong to Satan. This is unquestionable. All those who cannot be fully gained by God will return to their original place, that is, back to Satan, and they will go down to the lake that burns with fire and brimstone to accept the next step of punishment from God. Those gained by God are those who rebel against Satan and escape from its domain. Such men will be officially numbered among the people of the kingdom. This is how the people of the kingdom come to be. Are you willing to be this kind of person? Are you willing to be gained by God? Are you willing to escape from the domain of Satan and return to God? Do you now belong to Satan or are you numbered among the people of the kingdom? Such things should all be clear and require no further explanation.
from “What Viewpoint Believers Ought to Hold” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If all you seek is to be perfected by God and be blessed in the very end, then the perspective of your faith in God is not pure. You should be pursuing how to see God’s deeds in real life, how to satisfy Him when He reveals His will to you, seeking how to bear witness to His wondrousness and wisdom, and how to demonstrate His discipline and dealing on you. All of these are things you should be trying to figure out now. If your love for God is solely so that you can share in God’s glory after He perfects you, it is still inadequate and cannot meet God’s requirements. You need to be able to bear witness to God’s actions, satisfy His demands, and experience the work He has done on people in a practical way. Whether it is pain, tears, or sadness, you must experience it all in practice. This is all so you can be a witness of God. Under the dominion of what exactly are you now suffering and seeking perfection? Is it to bear witness for God? Is it for blessings of the flesh or for future prospects? All your intentions, motivations, and personal goals to pursue must be put right and cannot be guided by your own will. If one person seeks perfection to receive blessings and to reign in power, while the other pursues perfection to satisfy God, to truly be a witness of God’s deeds, which of the two means of pursuit would you choose? If you chose the first, then you are still too far off God’s standards. I said before to let My actions be openly known across the entire universe and that I would reign as King in the universe. On the other hand, what you have been entrusted with is to go bear witness for God’s deeds, not for you to be kings and appear to the whole universe. Let the entire cosmos be filled with God’s deeds. Let everyone see them and acknowledge them. This is spoken of in relation to God Himself, and what human beings should do is to bear witness to God. How much of God do you know now? How much of God can you bear witness to? What is the purpose of God perfecting man? Once you understand God’s will, how should you show consideration toward His will? If you are willing to be perfected and are willing to bear witness for God’s deeds through what you live out, if you have this driving force, then nothing is too difficult. What people need now is confidence. If you have this driving force, then it is easy to let go of any negativity, passiveness, laziness and notions of the flesh, philosophies of life, rebellious disposition, emotions, and so forth.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh