“Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity” (Mat 7:21-23).
The Answer from God’s Word:
What God wants are people who follow His footsteps. No matter how wonderful and pure what you understood before is, God does not want it, and if you are unable to put aside such things, then they will be a tremendous obstacle to your entry in the future. All those who are able to follow the present light of the Holy Spirit are blessed. The people of ages past also followed the footsteps of God, yet they could not follow until today; this is the blessing of the people of the last days. Those who can follow the present work of the Holy Spirit, and who are able to follow the footsteps of God, such that they follow God wherever He leads them—these are people who are blessed by God. Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. Today, all those who follow the actual words of God are in the stream of the Holy Spirit; those who are strangers to the actual words of God are outside of the stream of the Holy Spirit, and such people are not commended by God. Service that is divorced from the actual utterances of the Holy Spirit is service that is of the flesh, and of conceptions, and it is incapable of being in accordance with God’s will. If people live among religious conceptions, then they are unable to do anything that is fit for God’s will, and even though they serve God, they serve in the midst of their imagination and conceptions, and are totally incapable of serving in accordance with the will of God. Those who are unable to follow the work of the Holy Spirit do not understand the will of God, and those who do not understand the will of God cannot serve God. God wants service that is after His own heart; He does not want service that is of conceptions and the flesh. If people are incapable of following the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work, then they live amid conceptions, and the service of such people interrupts and disturbs. Such service runs contrary to God, and thus those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God are incapable of serving God; those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God most certainly oppose God, and are incapable of being compatible with God. “Following the work of the Holy Spirit” means understanding the will of God today, being able to act in accordance with the present requirements of God, being able to obey and follow the God of today, and entering in accordance with the newest utterances of God. Only this is someone who follows the work of the Holy Spirit and is in the stream of the Holy Spirit. Such people are not only capable of receiving God’s praise and seeing God, but can also know God’s disposition from the latest work of God, and can know man’s conceptions and disobedience, and man’s nature and substance, from His latest work; furthermore, they are able to gradually achieve changes in their disposition during their service. Only people such as this are those who are able to gain God, and who have genuinely found the true way. Those who are eliminated by the work of the Holy Spirit are people who are incapable of following the latest work of God, and who rebel against the latest work of God. That such people openly oppose God is because God has done new work, and because the image of God is not the same as that in their conceptions—as a result of which they openly oppose God and pass judgment upon God, leading to their loathing and rejection by God. Possessing the knowledge of the latest work of God is no easy matter, but if people can intentionally obey the work of God and seek the work of God, then they will have the chance to see God, and will have the chance to gain the newest guidance of the Holy Spirit. Those who intentionally oppose the work of God cannot receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit or the guidance of God; thus, whether or not people can receive the latest work of God depends on the grace of God, it depends on their pursuit, and it depends on their intentions.
from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you are unable to accept the new light of God, and cannot understand all that God does today, and do not seek it, or else doubt it, pass judgment on it, or study and analyze it, then you have no mind to obey. If, when the light of the here and now appears, you still treasure the light of yesterday and oppose God’s new work, then you are nothing more than a joke, you are one of those who deliberately oppose God. Key to obeying God is appreciating the new light, and being able to accept it and put it into practice. Only this is true obedience. Those who do not have the will to thirst for God are incapable of being of a mind to obey God, and can only oppose God as a result of their satisfaction with the status quo. That man cannot obey God is because he is possessed by what came before. The things that came before have given people all manner of conceptions and illusions about God that have become the image of God in their minds. Thus, what they believe in are their own conceptions, and the standards of their own imagination. If you measure the God who does actual work today against the God of your own imagination, then your faith comes from Satan, and is according to your own preferences—and God does not want faith such as this. Regardless of how lofty their credentials, and regardless of their dedication—even if they have devoted a lifetime of efforts to His work, and have martyred themselves—God does not approve of any with faith such as this. He merely shows them a little grace, and allows them to enjoy it for a time. People such as this are incapable of putting the truth into practice, the Holy Spirit does not work within them, and God will eliminate each of them in turn. Regardless of whether they are old or young, those who do not obey God in their faith and have the wrong motivations, are those who oppose and interrupt, and such people will unquestionably be eliminated by God. Those who are without the slightest obedience to God, who merely acknowledge God’s name, and have some sense of God’s dearness and loveliness yet do not keep pace with the steps of the Holy Spirit, and do not obey the present work and words of the Holy Spirit—such people live amid God’s grace, and will not be gained and made perfect by God. God makes people perfect through their obedience, through their eating, drinking, and enjoying of God’s words, and through the suffering and refinement in their lives. Only through faith such as this can people’s dispositions change, only then can they possess the true knowledge of God. Not being satisfied with living amid God’s graces, actively thirsting for the truth, and searching for the truth, and pursuing being gained by God—this is what it means to consciously obey God; this is precisely the kind of faith that God wants. People who do nothing more than enjoy God’s graces cannot be made perfect, or changed, and their obedience, piety, and love and patience are all superficial. Those who only enjoy God’s graces cannot truly know God, and even when they do know God, their knowledge is superficial, and they say things like God loves man, or God is compassionate toward man. This does not represent the life of man, and does not show that people truly know God. If, when God’s words refine them, or when His trials come upon them, people are unable to obey God—if, instead, they become doubtful, and fall down—then they are not in the least bit obedient. Within them, there are many rules and restrictions about faith in God, old experiences that are the result of many years of faith, or various doctrines based upon the Bible. Could people such as this obey God? These people are full of human things—how could they obey God? They all obey according to their personal preferences—could God wish for obedience such as this? This isn’t obeying God, but abiding by doctrine, it is satisfying and consoling yourself. If you say that this is obedience to God, do you not blaspheme against Him? You are an Egyptian Pharaoh, you commit evil, and you expressly engage in the work of opposing God—could God want service such as this? You’d best hurry up and repent and have some self-awareness. If not, you’d be better off going home: that would do more good for you than your service to God, you wouldn’t interrupt and disturb, you’d know your place, and live well—and wouldn’t that be better? That way you’d avoid opposing God and being punished!
from “In Your Faith in God You Should Obey God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of the Holy Spirit is always moving forward, and all those who are in the stream of the Holy Spirit should also be progressing deeper and changing, step-by-step. They should not stop at a single stage. Only those who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit would remain amongst His original work, and not accept the new work of the Holy Spirit. Only those who are disobedient would be incapable of gaining the Holy Spirit’s work. If the practice of man does not keep pace with the new work of the Holy Spirit, then the practice of man is surely dissevered from the work of today, and is surely incompatible with the work of today. Such outdated people as these are simply incapable of accomplishing God’s will, much less could they become those final people that will stand testimony to God. The entire management work, furthermore, could not be concluded amongst such a group of people. For those who once held to the law of Jehovah, and those who once suffered for the cross, if they cannot accept the stage of work of the last days, then all that they did will have been in vain, and useless. The clearest expression of the Holy Spirit’s work is in embracing the here and now, not clinging to the past. Those who have not kept up with the work of today, and who have become separated from the practice of today, are those who oppose and do not accept the work of the Holy Spirit. Such people defy the present work of God. Though they hold onto the light of the past, this does not mean it is possible to deny that they do not know the work of the Holy Spirit. Why has there been all this talk of the changes in the practice of man, of the differences in the practice between the past and today, of how the practice was carried out during the previous age, and of how it is done today? Such divisions in the practice of man are always spoken of because the work of the Holy Spirit is constantly moving forward, and thus the practice of man is required to constantly change. If man remains stuck in one stage, then this proves that he is incapable of keeping up with God’s work and the new light; it does not prove that God’s plan of management has not changed. Those who are outside the stream of the Holy Spirit always think they are right, but in fact, God’s work in them ceased long ago, and the work of the Holy Spirit is absent from them. The work of God was long since transferred to another group of people, a group on whom He intends to complete His new work. Because those in religion are incapable of accepting God’s new work, and only hold to the old work of the past, thus God has forsaken these people, and does His new work on the people who accept this new work. These are people who cooperate in His new work, and only in this way can His management be accomplished.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
From the creation of the world until today, God has done much work that is incomprehensible to man and which man has found hard to accept, and God has said much that makes the conceptions of man difficult to heal. Yet He has never ceased His work because man has too many difficulties; He has carried on working and speaking, and even though great numbers of “warriors” have fallen by the wayside, He is still doing His work, and continues to choose group after group of people who are willing to obey His new work. He does not pity those fallen “heroes,” but instead treasures those who accept His new work and words. But to what end does He work in this way, step-by-step? Why is He always eliminating and choosing people? Why does He always employ such method? The aim of His work is for man to know Him, and thus be gained by Him. The principle of His work is to work on those who are able to obey the work He does today, and not to work on those who obey His past work, but oppose His work of today. This is the very reason why He has eliminated so many people.
from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh