God Performing Work in Different Ways to Save Mankind Has Tremendous Meaning
The Meaning of God’s Judgment and Chastisement of Mankind
For us to believe in God, we must know God’s work. To know God’s work is also to know how God is saving corrupt mankind. As believers in God, we must be clear about how God saves mankind. We all know that God’s work in the last days is the work of conquest and salvation, and how is this work of conquest and salvation mainly carried out? It is primarily carried out with judgment and chastisement at its core. That is to say, judgment and chastisement are at the core of God’s work to save corrupt mankind. Now that we understand this, how do we get to know God’s judgment and chastisement? This is the key question. Why must God judge and chastise corrupt mankind, and what is the meaning of God’s judgment and chastisement of mankind? This truth is particularly important, for this involves the truth regarding visions of God’s work. If man’s faith in God is lacking in vision, then he would not know how to believe in God; even when man does believe in God, he would not be choosing the right way. What is the meaning of God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind, this mankind that resists Him and rebels against Him? We must first understand clearly that God is the Creator. Because He is the Creator, He has the authority to rule over, judge, and chastise the created. Also, God’s disposition is righteous and holy, and based on God’s disposition, God does not allow those humans who resist and rebel against Him to live in His presence. God does not allow filthy and corrupt things to exist in His presence. Therefore, God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind is completely reasonable and righteous, and it is determined by God’s disposition. We all know that God is righteous, and that God is the truth. From the disposition revealed by God we have already seen that God is the truth. God’s words are all truths. God created the heavens and earth and all things through His words. God’s words are able to create all things, and God’s words are the truth that is able to judge all things. During the last days, God is performing the work of judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind. Some might ask: “Has God performed the work of judgment before? Has God performed the work of judgment and chastisement in other ages, ages before our time?” God has indeed performed many works of judgment and chastisement, only people have not witnessed them. Before there were humans, Satan resisted and rebelled against God, and how did God judge Satan? God banished Satan down to earth, and all those angels who followed Satan were also banished by God down to earth, together with Satan. God expelled them from heaven down to earth, and wasn’t this a judgment against Satan? This was a judgment against Satan, as well as a chastisement of it. Therefore, before there were humans, God had already judged and chastised Satan. We have written information regarding this matter. Before there was this mankind, were there any other humans or other creatures? There most certainly were. And did those other humans receive God’s judgment and chastisement? We can say with certainty that, all those who have been destroyed by God were humans who resisted and rebelled against God, that they all received the judgment and chastisement of God. This is undeniable. Therefore, ever since God created the heavens and earth and all things, God’s judgment and chastisement have always existed. This is one aspect of God’s work in ruling over all things, because God’s disposition remains the same and will never change. Today, God has initiated the judgment and chastisement of this corrupt mankind. In the past, all other human beings who rebelled against God and resisted God all received judgment and chastisement from God. We have seen that ever since there were human beings, all those who rebelled against God and followed Satan have all lived amid God’s curse. There have been so many who have died from God’s chastisement because of their evildoing, and some were even annihilated. There have been so many who believed in God yet resisted God, and they have all died in the end. Some were punished in the spiritual realm, while some have received judgment and chastisement when they were still alive. Therefore, mankind has come to one conclusion: “Goodness will be rewarded with goodness, and evil with evil.” Isn’t this God’s judgment and chastisement? This is all God’s judgment and chastisement. On this day, God has initiated the work of judgment and chastisement in God’s house to save corrupt mankind. In accepting God’s work, we are also accepting God’s judgment and chastisement. If people rebel against God and resist God when experiencing God’s work, will they earn God’s judgment and chastisement? All people receive God’s judgment and chastisement. Most of the time people receive judgment and chastisement from God’s words, and they sometimes also receive judgment and chastisement of factual events, as well as receiving God’s punishments. We have seen all these things. Some say, “The unbelievers have never accepted God’s work of judgment and chastisement, will they be able to escape God’s judgment and chastisement?” No, they shall also receive God’s judgment and chastisement. Regardless of whether people accept God’s work in the last days, all of them must still receive God’s judgment and chastisement, for no one can escape God’s judgment and chastisement, and this is fact. Now, those religious figures have also not accepted God’s judgment and chastisement, so can they escape God’s judgment and chastisement? No. No one can escape the chastisement that God has predetermined for man. It’s just a question of time, and everyone has their own individual end. This end is also predetermined by God, and no one can escape it. From the end of mankind, we can see the judgment and chastisement that each one of them receives. Some accept God’s judgment and chastisement, attain salvation from God, completely return to God, and the end for them is a good destination—entering the kingdom, gaining eternal life, and they are saved. Those who do not accept God’s judgment and chastisement, that is, those who do not accept God’s work will eventually sink into destruction. This is their judgment and chastisement that has been predetermined by God, and the final outcome for them is also determined by God’s judgment and chastisement. There are many leaders from the religious community who are resisting God, and what is the final outcome for them? If they do not repent, in the end they will most certainly sink into destruction, for no one can escape God’s judgment and chastisement. This is absolute. If we have accepted God’s judgment and chastisement today, that means we have accepted God’s work of mankind’s salvation. That is, we are accepting and experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement in a positive way, eventually attaining true repentance, eventually coming to know God and gaining transformation of our life disposition. Such a judgment and chastisement is our salvation. As for those who refuse to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, what is their end? It is punishment, they shall ultimately sink into destruction. Such is their fate for running away from God’s judgment and chastisement. Our experience of God’s judgment and chastisement today has such significance. We see that God’s words are the truth, and truth itself is judgment and chastisement for people. If you submit to God’s words and submit to the truth, then you shall enjoy the presence of God, and you shall gain the blessing of God. If you oppose God’s words and oppose the truth, then your fate shall be punishment, and you shall lose the blessing of God. We can say that all words from God are our judgment and chastisement. God has no feelings for Satan and those angels that followed Satan. He banished them from heaven down to earth, and it is the same for corrupt mankind. However, we are fortunate this day, for we have accepted God’s work of judgment and chastisement. This work of judgment and chastisement is performed by God for the salvation of man. Through judgment and chastisement, through the expression of truth, God is transforming man’s disposition, not punishing us or determining our end. If we do not accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, if we refuse to accept all the truths expressed by God, then our end shall be to sink into destruction. This is absolute. Therefore, what is the significance for us to accept God’s judgment and chastisement? Only by accepting God’s judgment and chastisement can we attain salvation, only by accepting God’s judgment and chastisement can we truly return to God, belong to God, and gain the blessing of God. If we reject God’s judgment and chastisement, then our end is to sink into destruction. What is the path to eternal life? It is to accept God’s judgment and chastisement. Accepting God’s judgment and chastisement is the path to enter the kingdom, it is the path to eternal life. We have now gained some understanding of God’s disposition, but where does this understanding come from? We have gained such understanding from God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind. Through God’s judgment and chastisement of corrupt mankind, we see that God’s disposition is righteous and holy. If you still believe in Jesus, if you are still living in the Age of Grace, then you will not see God’s righteous disposition, and you will not see that God’s disposition is holy. God is the truth. The truth is God’s judgment of mankind, and is the standard with which mankind distinguishes right from wrong, good from evil. Only the truth can judge man, only the truth can transform the disposition of man. For God is the truth, God is the Creator, therefore God has the authority to judge the created. This is right and reasonable. Besides God, no one can judge corrupt mankind. Therefore, for us to accept God’s judgment and chastisement, are we not being exalted by God? We are being exalted by God, and this is God’s grace to us. We must see this clearly. And how does God judge corrupt mankind? All of us are now experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, and it can be said that every sentence of God’s words is judgment against corrupt mankind. Some are unable to see this. They think that the majority of God’s words are not words of judgment and chastisement, that only those of God’s words that reveal and expose mankind’s corruption are words of judgment against mankind. This is incorrect. We should say that regardless of what aspect of God’s words, as long as they are God’s words, they are all truths; as long as they are truths, they are all judgments. Every word of God is a judgment against mankind. If you act against God’s words, if you resist God’s words, then all of God’s words are chastisement to you. Those with deeper experience of God’s work have come to know this. Now that we have understood some truths from God’s words, we can now see the affairs of this world clearly. And after we have understood them clearly, we discover one fact—God’s words can judge this world, God’s words can reveal all, God’s words can judge all things, and we have seen this for ourselves. We see that we are too deeply corrupted by Satan. And how have we come to learn this? Through God’s words. Through the truths that we have come to understand from God’s words, we have come to a real understanding regarding the essence of corrupt mankind. From this result, we can see that God’s word is judgment. We are only able to know the truth and essence of our corruption through God’s judgment and chastisement. Those who have never experienced God’s judgment and chastisement will never come to know the essence of their own corruption. Therefore, the more we experience God’s judgment and chastisement, the more we come to know the essence and truth of our own corruption. The more we experience God’s judgment and chastisement, the more we come to know God, know God’s disposition, and know all that God has and is. Once we have come to truly know God, we come to see the degree to which mankind has been corrupted by Satan, we come to see our own wretchedness, and so we eventually bow down before God, coming to the realization that we are nothing, that we are mere dust. From then on, a person’s life and disposition begin a transformation. They are no longer arrogant and smug, they are no longer pompous and self-righteous, they no longer show off, or pursue to rise above others. In the end, they attain the state of mind where they are able to accept wherever they have been placed, whatever they must do, whatever role they must play, regardless of the position they have been given. They submit to God’s arrangement and are able to fulfill their duties as one of the created. At this point, the person comes to possess reason and conscience in God’s presence, and begins to live as a real human being. These are all results achieved through experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement. During the Age of Grace, why didn’t people who believed in God attain such results? Because they did not experience God’s judgment and chastisement as we can today. The results that we can attain today are not from believing in God through the Bible, but through experiencing the judgment from Christ of the last days. All the truths that we understand today, all the fruits that we have reaped, they are all results attained through experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement. We can see clearly now, that we are truly blessed to be able to experience God’s judgment and chastisement, God’s trials and refinements, God’s dealing and pruning, and we have been exalted by God. We have gained this small understanding of God’s judgment and chastisement.
Trials and Refinements Have Important Significance for Men’s Salvation Through Faith in God
When experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, we must also experience the trials and refinements caused by God’s words. When we first accept the trials and refinements of God’s words, we all start by having conceptions of God and misunderstanding God. Some even blame God, believing the things that God has said are inappropriate. Yet when we read God’s words now we find that the way He speaks is very meaningful. God tests us through His words, God refines us through His words, God makes us suffer through His words. What’s the significance of God working this way? When we are experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement initially, we do not have a deep understanding of our own corruptions. We only admit some of them, or we only accept a part of them. Subsequently, after we have experienced God’s trials and refinements, we see that we continue to reveal so much of our own corruptions. We also discover our satanic disposition of arrogance and conceit. We see that we are lacking in the likeness of a true human being, and what we live out is entirely the image of Satan. At this point, we come to a new understanding of God’s judgment and chastisement, we come to know that God’s judgment and chastisement can save people, that God’s trials and refinements can reveal people, allowing them to see the truth of their own corruptions. Through trials and refinements, we discover our satanic nature, we see that we are indeed lacking in the likeness of a true human being. At this point, in our hearts, we feel: “Ah, such trials and refinements are very useful for the salvation of people. Such trials and refinements produce profound results in revealing people’s corruption, allowing them to have a deeper understanding of their own corrupt essence.” This result is attained by people who have experienced the different trials and refinements. That is to say, judgment and chastisement through words are not enough. We must further rely on trials and refinements. It is through the revelations from such trials and refinements that we can fully accept God’s words, and see that all of God’s words of judgment and chastisement of mankind are all truths, that they are all facts. In this way, we come to feel good about these trials and refinements, we come to understand that to truly attain salvation from God, and to be perfected by God, we must experience a great deal of trials and refinements. To attain perfection by God, it is very necessary to experience hundreds of trials, and this perfection is the result attained through trials and refinements. However, some are unwilling to experience trials and refinements, they are unwilling to suffer. Why are they unwilling to suffer? They feel that: “Isn’t it enough that we believe in God and pursue the truth? As long as we slowly understand more truths, won’t we still be saved? Why do we need to suffer so much? What is the use in that?” This shows that people are still unable to see clearly the significance of trials and refinements. Most people have had an experience like this, where after they understood some truths, they discovered that their corrupt disposition had still not changed. Some people, after they have done some bad things and you fellowship about the truths with them, what do they say? They say, “I understand all the truths, but I am still unable to overcome my corrupt disposition.” You have all heard this before. These people understand all the truths, but they lose control of themselves when dealing with things, unable to control their own corrupt disposition, unable to do anything about it. Why are people able to understand some truths but are unable to overcome their own corrupt dispositions? What results can the understanding of truths achieve? We all know that the first result in understanding truths is to transform the point of view with which we look at things. People can change their point of view, but can they change the desires and preferences within their own natures? Can they be changed based on a transformation of their point of view? They can’t. For example, your unbelieving spouse, or your unbelieving parents, they belong with Satan, they are uninterested in the truth, they oppose you in everything, but how do you view them? You know that they belong with Satan, that they belong with the devil, right? Yet, if one day they died in the catastrophe, could you really treat them as Satan? You wouldn’t be able to do that, but instead you would mourn for them, you might even complain to God about their passing, you might blame and resist God, thinking that God is unjust, isn’t that right? What is the issue here? This is because man’s nature still belongs with Satan. If man’s nature does not transform, then all those things inside man’s nature—preferences, pursuits, desires—will never change either. We often see people who, when you fellowship about the truths with them, seem to understand those truths, yet they continue to covet riches, they continue to pursue status, they continue to love the material world. What is going on here? Although they have understood some truths, yet their life disposition has not been transformed. If someone’s belief in God is merely focused on understanding the truths in God’s words, can their life disposition be transformed without trials and refinements? It will most certainly not be transformed, because while they have understood some truths and their points of view have changed, yet those things within their nature cannot be changed, those preferences, desires, and wants in their nature will not change. And what method of working must God take to transform man’s disposition? Trials and refinements, for they are crucial for man to attain the transformation of disposition. Take, for example, a man who loves status. He will do anything for status, he is willing to suffer anything for it. If he lacks status, he is willing to betray God, he will become very weak and negative. Why is this? It comes from within the man’s nature, it is because the desires and preferences within the man’s nature have not changed. To attain transformation in such things, it is not enough to understand God’s words; one must also suffer. And how does one suffer? Through trials and refinements. For such a man, what trials and refinements are required to cause a transformation in his disposition? First, give him status, fulfill his desire for status. His mood will improve a lot, and every day he’ll be excited, eager, and enthusiastic. Until one day, for whatever reason, his status gets taken away from him and he falls from grace. He’ll then become negative, he’ll shed tears, he’ll suffer. If this man should suffer for two years like this, tell me, would this man still crave status? Or would he become indifferent to status, and no longer seek status? He would give up. By tempering him with sufferings, by tempering him for two years, his desire for status would be ground away. Therefore, trials and refinements are so very useful for transforming man’s disposition. … What we are talking about here is that if anyone has been through a lot of pain, if anyone has suffered much, their life disposition would have been more or less transformed. For those who have had an easy life, it is a given that they have too many desires, too many demands, and will always be finicky. So, suffering can change a person, and a lot of suffering can transform that person. Trials and refinements are extremely important to the transformation of a human being’s life disposition. To be perfected, Peter experienced hundreds of trials. Therefore, when it comes to us, who have been so deeply corrupted, naturally we also need to experience hundreds of trials to be perfected. Transformation in life disposition can only be attained by man through trials, this is absolute, no one can deny this. Judgment and chastisement have such importance for our salvation, and now we see that trials and refinements also have such importance for our disposition to transform and for us to receive salvation from God. At an earlier stage, many people reflected, “Now that we have already listened to sermons for such a long time, how come our life disposition has still not been transformed? What is the problem?” You now have a solid understanding of this issue without needing my explanation, isn’t that true? Because you still have not experienced much, and because you have not experienced the different trials and refinements, it is not sufficient for you to merely understand truths from listening to sermons: You must also experience the different trials and refinements in order for truths to take root in your hearts. The results from understanding some truths by listening to sermons are insufficient, for such understanding of truths is superficial. Once you have experienced the different trials, once you have deepened your understanding of truths and you have gained knowledge through your own experiences, then you shall see that not only have you changed your point of view, but your life disposition has also been transformed accordingly. There are many desires, preferences, and pursuits in everyone’s nature, and these must be resolved through trials and refinements. Those things inside people’s nature will not transform themselves without trials and refinements. For some particularly stubborn things, they must experience even more trials in order to give them up, such things as love, status, fame, family, and the obsession with riches. Is it easy for a person to give up such things? These things are not easy to give up. If a person has only understood some truths without encountering the different trials and refinements, these things cannot be resolved. Things like avarice are even more difficult to resolve. Such things require trials and refinements, and for some particularly stubborn and lethal things, they require an even longer period of trials and refinements to get rid of. Therefore, the transformation of life disposition is not an easy thing to achieve.
Effect of Pruning and Dealing on Transforming Men’s Corrupt Disposition
For His chosen people, God’s work of the last days is, judgment and chastisement, and trials and refinements. At the same time, dealing and pruning must also be included to thoroughly transform men’s corrupt disposition. How should we learn about dealing and pruning? We see that, when men are experiencing God’s work, they often reveal their corruptions, they often muddle through with God, not being responsible with work, always neglecting their duties, only thinking for themselves, not being attentive to God’s will. At such times, dealing and pruning are needed, and a face-to-face conversation is required for men to understand. Thus, the Holy Spirit raises up people, or through leaders and workers from all levels, through the brothers and sisters, He reminds you, deals with you, admonishes you, and prunes you. Only when encountering pruning and dealing can man clearly see that his actions are indeed rebelling against God and resisting God. If man is not being pruned and dealt with, man cannot know whether his actions fit with the truths, or whether he is resisting God, for man is unclear regarding these things, and he is unable to know such things. When fulfilling their duties, many always muddle through with God, yet they think of themselves quite loyal to God, they think that they have abandoned everything to spend for God. They are proud of this, they think that this is their capital. No matter how much they read them, such men will never be able to understand God’s words, for they have no idea that they are muddling through when fulfilling their duties, or how it is to be muddling through when fulfilling their duties, or how it is when they are being loyal to God and satisfying God when fulfilling their duties. They must be pruned and dealt with to come to such understanding. Tell me, if men, on their own and merely through God’s words, are able to understand truths, if they are able to know what to do in order to satisfy God, if they are able to know what actions are revealing their corruptions, if they are able to clearly discern such things, do they still need to be pruned and dealt with? There will be no need. At this moment, most men are unable to do so, maybe up to 99%, 100% of men are unable to do so. No matter how good they are, men must experience dealing and pruning at least once to come to an understanding, to know, to attain some transformation. If they have never been pruned and dealt with, then men will not progress, they will never grow, and they will stagnate, unaware of the fact that they are living in corruption. Therefore, pruning and dealing are too important for men to enter into life. Under what circumstances do men need to be pruned and dealt with? The first circumstance is that which we have just fellowshiped, when they have not known of their own rebellion and resistance, where they require dealing and pruning. Furthermore, when experiencing God’s work, it is not easy for men to thoroughly understand their own situations regarding many truths, for men are only able to understand a portion of God’s words, they are only able to understand a portion of their own corruptions and their own situations, while the remaining portions might sometimes require dealing and pruning for men to gain understanding. Pruning and dealing are one of the works performed by the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit prunes and deals with you, and disciplines you through people, events and things. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit prunes and deals with you through the leaders and workers from all levels. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit even prunes and deals with you through your family members. You see, at times, an unbeliever or someone from your family who has no faith might say a certain thing, and this certain thing is able to hit you where it hurts, to penetrate your thoughts. What is the happening here? This is the work of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, the Holy Spirit prunes, deals with, and reminds you through the mouths of the unbelievers. This is the Holy Spirit pruning you, dealing with you, disciplining you through various people, events and things. Without pruning and dealing, by merely reading God’s words on our own, we can only attain a portion of the results. Trials and refinements can attain a portion of the results, dealing and pruning can attain another portion of the results, the inner enlightenment and illumination from the Holy Spirit can attain some other portion of the results, the watering and guidance from God’s house can attain yet another portion of the results. All these portions of results added together are able to achieve the complete results, and it requires all these different pieces. Tell me, are dealing and pruning necessary? They are necessary. Sometimes, the brothers and sisters may have discovered certain issues of yours and presented them to you, and how do you handle such a situation? If you think that “They are insulting me,” and then you subsequently hate them, then this is being small-minded. How should we handle such a situation? If other’s words are correct, you shall accept that this came from God, for you are encountering God’s love. Even if other’s words are incorrect, there is no need to hate them. Even if those words are incorrect, being surrounded by such men and such an environment is beneficial to your life, for it can spur you on and provide you with reminders. You see, sometimes, your spouse goes against you, your children also go against you, everyone goes against you. And is this a good thing? Even though it is painful to you, even though you are suffering, this is a good thing. The more comfortable a man’s flesh is, the more proud and impetuous his heart is and the more arrogant and self-righteous a man is. An environment that goes against his wishes shall be the more beneficial to him. You see, sometimes, all of your family members get along with you, everything is going smoothly for you, and you are quite happy. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? This is actually not a good thing, for in such situations man easily strays into debauchery and strays away from God, and man becomes even more arrogant and self-righteous. What happens when someone is disciplining you? You feel pain in your heart. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? This is not necessarily a bad thing, is it? We cannot judge whether something is good or bad by the feelings in our heart. When we feel pain in our heart, it is not necessarily a bad thing, and it is also not necessarily a good thing when we feel comfort and enjoyment in our heart. Therefore, if we have some family members who do not get along with us, where they continue to go against us and tussle with us in all things, such an environment is good for our entering into life, for at least there is someone supervising you, someone exposing all the bad things that you have done, and this is beneficial in your life. If you have someone who knows best how to take care of you physically, who helps you conceal all the bad things that you have done, who is very much to your liking, tell me, is such a person beneficial to you? Most certainly not. It is protection for you to always have an environment and people that go against your wishes. It is beneficial to you. Therefore, a married couple that is too peaceful is not a good thing, while an old couple who constantly fight with each other is also not necessarily a bad thing. For him to go along with you in all things is not beneficial to you. At times, he must oppose you, deal with you, and prune you, which is not necessarily a bad thing for you. Tell me, such a beneficial environment for your growth in life, is this not useful to you in receiving salvation? It is useful. If the environment that you are situated has no benefit to your growth in life, where you live too peacefully, where everyone around you goes along with everything that you do, where they listen to you in all things, protecting you; if you live in such an environment, of course you will be quite happy, but you will never receive salvation, for it will not be easy for you to grow in life and your disposition to be transformed. Some are unable to see clearly through this matter, they continue to pluck away the thorns in their eyes. These men must get rid of all those who are thorns and beams in their eyes. Is this a good thing? This is really not a good thing. We must come to know God’s hands. The environments that God has arranged for us are always the best, the spouse, children, and parents that God has arranged for us are all good, they are all beneficial to our life. It is not always good for us if God’s arrangement always fits with our wishes.
Significance of God Using Different Environments to Perfect Mankind
Effecting a transformation in life disposition can only be attained in specific environments. The first is the persecution and coercion from the great red dragon, which is a necessary environment for people. The second is where there are always people around you who dislike you, who give you dirty looks and always have a bone to pick with you. Such environments are beneficial to you. People are usually unable to see this clearly. I used to be averse to such environments myself, but once I suffered in environments like this over a prolonged period, I began to feel that this was actually a good thing, that it would be troublesome if I were not in such environments. Do you understand now, that the environment God has laid out for us is the best? Some would say that, “God is always making us suffer, how could that be best?” The work that God performs is the work of man’s salvation, the work of transforming man’s disposition. During the times when we seek salvation and to be perfected, these are the environments that we need, for such environments are the most beneficial for someone who wants to be saved and perfected. If we have truly been saved and perfected, those people and things that were service-doers shall then be removed, for God shall take them away. Once the great red dragon has done its service, God shall punish the great red dragon and banish it. For those false Christs, antichrists, and evildoers, who disturb and deceive God’s chosen people, once God’s chosen people have seen through their natures and turned their backs on them all, once God’s chosen people have all learned to discern, these evildoers shall also be banished and shall disappear. They shall be removed from their positions and shall be expelled or dismissed. There is a time for everything in God, for there is so much meaning in God’s work, for God is almighty and wise. During this stage of work, we can see God’s almightiness, while we can also see God’s wisdom. God uses the great red dragon, all kinds of evildoers, as well as various evil spirits, to do service, to perfect God’s chosen people. Such work has a lot of significance. So we should come to understand that God’s wisdom suffuses all aspects of God’s work. If you have not known this, if you should have conceptions regarding any aspect of God’s plan, how can you experience God’s work? To know God’s work, it is not simply enough for you to know why God said such things and to understand the theories. The key is to understand those things that serve a positive and guiding function during God’s work of the last days—judgments and chastisements, trials and refinements, pruning and dealing, the various environments, people, and things utilized by the Holy Spirit—and what results they can achieve respectively. We must come to know all these things. In addition, we must also come to know the meaning of God having the great red dragon serve as the foil; the benefits that the persecutions, coercions, and arrests by the great red dragon bring to God’s chosen people. What are the results achieved? The different evil spirits, false Christs, antichrists, deceivers, what functions do they serve by performing work and deceiving God’s chosen people inside the church? What effects do the interruptions and disturbances from false apostles, false workers and evildoers have on the life entry of God’s chosen people? When coming up against these actual facts, you must have real knowledge, for if you do not have the right knowledge, then these results shall not be achievable by you, you shall not receive salvation, and you shall not be perfected. Now, it is clear that to be saved and perfected is no easy thing, and it cannot be achieved through merely reading God’s words. There are many parts to the work of God. God expresses words for you to enter from the positive side, to enter into His words. But if you only read God’s words and you are unable to see the other methods by which God performs His work, then how do you enter God’s words? You do not merely enter God’s words from one side. Without pruning and dealing, without trials and refinements, without judgment and chastisement, and without the great red dragon as the foil, could you know how to enter? Without all these environments, without enduring all that pain, could you know how to enter? It is not an easy task to know God’s work. Now, we have gained some knowledge regarding these things we often encounter when experiencing God’s work, and after we have gained knowledge of such things, how should we put the truth into practice? When being arrested, persecuted, and coerced by the great red dragon, what should you enter into? What truths, in which aspect, should you seek? What results must be achieved? Is there a way? When the great red dragon is persecuting and coercing you, the key is you must understand that the great red dragon is a foil. What is the purpose of a foil? To allow you to see it, to allow you to know the essence of its nature. The evil of the great red dragon provides a contrast to God’s truth and righteousness; the filth and corruption of the great red dragon provides a contrast to God’s holiness; the dark rule of the great red dragon provides a contrast to God’s light and almightiness; the way by which the great red dragon corrupts and deceives people provides a contrast to the way by which God saves people, loves them, and provides for them. Now you know the purpose of a foil. Without a foil, the result of our understanding of God will not be ideal, it will be incomplete, and we will be unable to know God completely. That is, without the foil, we will not be able to truly know God; without the foil, we will not be able to discern; without the foil, we will not know what it means to rebel against the great red dragon, and what it means to return to God. You must rebel against it to be able to return. For you to have faith, for you to have true faith in God, you must renounce Satan. You must renounce Satan to believe in God. For you to return to God, you must rebel against Satan. For you to truly love God, you must hate Satan. This is the function of the foil, and this is the result attained by understanding what the foil is.
How to Experience God’s Work of Saving People
We now understand the results that judgment and chastisement should attain. With judgment and chastisement, we come to know mankind’s corrupt essence and nature. With judgment and chastisement, we see Satan’s essence clearly, we see the evil nature of the great red dragon clearly, and we see the source of this world’s darkness and evil clearly. These are all results attained through God’s judgment and chastisement. And in what way must we treat God’s judgment and chastisement? We must submit absolutely to God’s judgment and chastisement, and we must honestly accept God’s judgment and chastisement. This is the reason that the created—corrupt mankind—should have. Now that we have some knowledge regarding trials and refinements, how should we experience trials and refinements when we encounter them? How should we submit? Should we thank and praise God while we welcome these trials and refinements, or should we betray God by running away from these trials and refinements? This is a choice that mankind must make. As for pruning and dealing, we know that if someone truly wants to pursue the truth and enter into God’s words, then they must be pruned and dealt with. Regardless of what aspect of the truths that we are entering into, we need to be pruned and dealt with; whether they are pruning and dealing from God or from man, we need them. Even if they are pruning and dealing from the unbelievers, we still need them. As long as they benefit and edify our lives, regardless of where the pruning and dealing come from, we should accept them, we should never run away from them, and moreover, we should not antagonize, exclude, or fight the others. To be pruned and dealt with is a good thing. If one day you should encounter a situation where someone misunderstands you, where this person prunes and deals with you, how should you handle it? Should you hate that person? You should not, for it is good to be pruned and dealt with. Even if they are wrong in how they deal with you, is it still beneficial to you? It still is. In what way does it benefit you? For one, it trains your tolerance, and for another, it allows you to rebel against your own flesh, suppress your ego, and humble yourself. Without the pruning and dealing from others, people will always be arrogant and pompous. After being dealt with, people become humble, they put aside their egos. It’s beneficial, isn’t it? Is it meaningful for someone to always protect their own vanity and ego? People’s inner corruption is so deep, but they are always protecting their ego, always wanting to save face. The more you want to save face, the less attention you will pay to reality, and the more you will suffer. If you do not care about self-respect, if, no matter how you are judged and chastised by God, no matter the trials and refinements, no matter the dealing and pruning from others, you still handle things in the right way, accepting and facing them with courage, then your corruptions shall be quickly resolved, and you shall enter into the truth quickly and easily. Someone with a particularly strong vanity does not allow others to touch on or talk about whatever things he has done wrong, and whoever should even mention such things, they become his enemies, his opponents, and he argues with them. Is such a person good? No. When you encounter a similar matter, how are you going to handle it? Will you submit and accept? If others were wrong, if they were wrong in dealing with you, think nothing of it: Simply accept such dealings as if you deserved them, such that when you encounter such things in the future, you’ll know what to do. This is not really a bad thing, for such experiences are good for you. One day, when these people know that they have been wrong in dealing with you, they will apologize to you, and at that time, you should tell them: “No problem. In fact, I also have those corruptions myself, and I might have done the same thing if I had been in the right environment. Therefore, I treated it as if I had actually done it myself. It was nothing.” This isn’t so bad, is it? It is still a good experience. For people who have been corrupted by Satan, they should practice whatever allows them to become purified, whatever allows them to more quickly enter into truth and attain salvation. Do not place so much importance on self-regard, do not place such importance on your own interests and the things that you might gain and lose, and you shall enter into truth more quickly. You see some people who place particular importance on their own interests so that they don’t even care about self-respect, for they are mercenaries, and they are shameless. It is not easy for such people to attain salvation. There are also others who have a lot of pride, who care particularly about self-respect, who place the importance of saving face above all else, even to the point of giving up their own interests. Such people are also difficult cases, for it is not easy for them to accept dealing and pruning. What if pins a label on you, or makes you the scapegoat? Would you be willing to take it? Some are unable to take it, they are unable to swallow such insults. Tell me, what benefits are there to someone who swallows insults? It allows you to learn to rebel against yourself, it allows you to put aside your vanity, it allows you to be resilient. Those people who can swallow insults shall gain glory. Swallow the insult today, and when the facts and truths have been revealed tomorrow, they who have insulted you will then agree with you even more, respect you even more, while others will also have a higher esteem for you. And what if you are unable to swallow insults? Then you will not gain anything. The reason that I am saying these things is not to have you implement them as I tell you to, but to analyze what benefits we can reap by implementing thus, experiencing thus. The specific practices are individual preferences, there are no rules. However, regarding the ways with which we experience them, we should consider which ways are beneficial to our life growth and which ways are favorable to the transformation of our disposition. In addition, we also need to understand the benefits that pruning and dealing have on the transformation of mankind’s life disposition. Regardless of whether a person’s quality is good or bad, regardless of the amount of truths that they have understood, their nature is always arrogant and self-righteous, so it is very easy for them to look down on others and think highly of themselves, believing themselves to be better than everyone else, feeling that other people are nothing. Therefore, people often act recklessly; they behave as they wish without regard for others. We have all experienced this personally. All people have corrupt dispositions and they are all like this, without exceptions. If someone has not been perfected, can they attain fairness when dealing with others? Can they avoid getting emotional when handling matters? Will they not just muddle through when fulfilling their duties? All these things are not easy to accomplish. However, many times after doing deeds that run against the truth people still have various excuses and they can still give you various reasons. This is the difficulty with people, for the life disposition of such people cannot be easily transformed. Even when the deeds that they have done clearly violate the truth, they can still come up with various excuses, they can still give you various reasons. For people with such a nature, if you were to let them practice truths on their own, if you were to leave them by themselves to perform deeds in accordance with God’s words, if you were to let them try to satisfy God on their own, would they be able to do so? No, they would not, so there must also be some dealing and pruning, they need to also rely on dealing and pruning. If judgment and chastisement are the results attained through God’s words, then pruning and dealing are to provide criticism on the spot where the sin has been committed, at which time no excuses can then be given. When you are muddling through as you fulfill your duties, if your leaders or workers find it, they should deal with you immediately, because you are in the wrong, and others clearly see that, so there is nothing you can say when they deal with you. Under such circumstances, there is nothing that you can do but to accept, to acquiesce. But after you have accepted, because you have been pruned and dealt with, you become upset, you feel that you have lost your pride, and you reflect on your actions after you return home. During such reflections, you are compelled to admit that you were muddling through with God, that you were deceiving God, that you were only looking out for your own interests. For people to be able to admit to their own corruptions that have been revealed, to admit to their own transgressions, this can only be achieved through encountering facts and discovering their own corruptions when experiencing God’s words. Without pruning and dealing from others, could they discover their corruptions only through their own experience? No, they could not. If someone’s degree of corruption is 100%, then they will surely think that it is only 20%, such a large difference. Others see that your corruption is 100%, and if they can catch you in the act and they prune and deal with you on the spot, then you can come to the realization that your corruption is 100%. If you have never been pruned or dealt with, then you can at most discover 20% of your own corruption when you self-reflect on your own. If you have only discovered 20%, will you be able to see your corrupt essence? You will not, because you will minimize the issue. Everyone has self-love and self-pity, and people treat themselves with particular kindness, never hurting their own feelings, very considerate of themselves, respecting their own opinions, very understanding and forgiving to themselves. What they will not do is be attentive to God’s will. Therefore, tell me, aren’t dealing and pruning necessary for resolving the issue of our corruptions? They are extremely necessary, because no one is exempt from dealing and pruning, and no one can achieve significant growth without dealing and pruning. This is absolutely true. However, dealing and pruning are the most difficult things for people to accept. If people could truly accept dealing and pruning, then their life disposition would surely undergo some real transformation. To measure if someone’s life disposition has been transformed, first, we must see that if they can accept dealing and pruning, for this is an important sign which reveals whether or not someone’s life disposition has been transformed. Second, we must see if they have completely submitted to God. Third, we must see if they have a heart that truly fears God, and if they can shun evil. These three things will demonstrate whether or not someone’s life disposition has been transformed. Therefore, dealing and pruning are extremely important. For all those who are able to accept dealing and pruning their life growth will certainly be swift; all those who refuse to accept dealing and pruning, we can say with certainty that they have never accepted God’s judgment and chastisement. Those who cannot accept dealing and pruning are the most arrogant, the most self-righteous, and are those with the least obedience. Those who can accept dealing and pruning are the most courageous, for they are those who can face facts and can accept facts and truths. Those who are always defending themselves, justifying themselves, and making up excuses for themselves, are all selfish, despicable, and ignorant. People have experienced this a lot, and they all feel that it is very difficult to accept dealing and pruning, that it is the most difficult thing to accept. And what is the result of not being able to accept dealing and pruning? It is impossible for such people to have true entry into the truth or to attain transformation in their life disposition. For someone to have growth in life experiences, it depends on them seeking truths on their own, while it also depends on them accepting dealing and pruning, the help from others. The good results from this cannot be underestimated, for what someone may gain from their own pursuit is negligible without others’ dealing and pruning. Moreover, you must be able to accept the various trials and refinements, that is, you must completely submit to God when encountering all trials and refinements, you should be able to resolve your own corruptions through seeking truths. Such an experience is highly important. Dealing and pruning, trials and refinements, these are the best opportunities for God to perfect mankind. Many people when they encounter the various trials and refinements do not experience and face them in accordance with God’s words, but deal with them using human methods. They run away from the trials and refinements, and in the end, they do not experience God’s words through these trials and refinements, they don’t gain truths, they gain nothing, and suffer in vain. Accordingly, they miss the opportunity to be perfected by God. Like how the unbelievers handle various catastrophes: What do they gain after the catastrophes? They gain nothing. For example, when encountering a catastrophe, how should you experience such a catastrophe? If you experience the catastrophe in accordance with God’s words, if you have the aspiration that, “In order to satisfy God, I shall keep standing firm during this trail,” if you experience thus, then you shall gain the truth, and through such an experience you shall attain the result of being perfected. If, however, you do not experience this trial in accordance with God’s words, nor do you seek God or pray to God, but instead you handle this matter using the methods of the unbelievers, then you shall gain nothing, you shall miss the opportunity to be perfected, and you shall lose your witnessing. Such things happen often. Many people, when they experience the work of God, only hold on to one way of believing in God, that is, through meetings and reading God’s words. They do not accept dealing and pruning, and even more they do not accept God’s trials and refinements. What is the result? They have never gained truths during the many years that they have believed in God, and they have no transformation in their life disposition. Such people are very foolish, for they have no knowledge of God’s work, they do not know how to experience God’s work, and they do not know how God perfects mankind, or how God saves mankind. If people have not one shred of knowledge regarding the work performed by God, if they only dabble in religious ceremonies, if they only attend meetings, read God’s words, pray, and sing hymns without accepting others’ dealing and pruning, without accepting the various trials and refinements, without accepting the different environments arranged by the Holy Spirit, and without submitting to the Holy Spirit, then such people will never attain salvation or be perfected. Now, we all see that we have missed many opportunities to be perfected, and what happens when we miss such opportunities? For example, God has given you twenty trials, yet you have only experienced one of those in accordance with God’s words while you got through the remaining nineteen using the methods of the unbelievers, muddling through them all. In the end, you have gained nothing, you have not learned anything, you have not gained any truths. Is this not a mistake? Maybe some of you have experienced this yourselves. Some people when they encounter dealing and pruning start to disagree with others, they clash with others, they argue, they put forward their own reasoning. As a result, as they continue to uphold their reasoning, they feel more ill at ease on the inside. The more they continue to uphold their reasoning, the more they feel a darkness inside them, they feel weak, as if they were sick, as if they were paralyzed. Finally, they lose even the strength to believe in God. At the end of it all, when someone asks, “How about that line of reasoning that you have been holding on to? Have you gained anything from it?” they feel ashamed. There are too many cases of failure like this, and they are due to people not knowing how to experience God’s work. If, through the experience of one failure people are able to see that they are too corrupt, too arrogant and self-righteous, having so much vanity, holding onto saving face, and then ultimately to see that they indeed have no semblance of a human being, that they have not one shred of reason, if, after this failure, they begin to hate themselves, despise themselves, and vow that, “From here on out, I shall accept dealing and pruning from anyone, even dealing and pruning from a three-year-old child,” then the transformation has begun. If one day, you encounter someone dealing with you, and you still have the desire to fight your corner, but then you think: “Stop arguing, after the lesson from last time, just submit this once.” After submitting, it won’t feel comfortable, but there will be a certain sweetness within you. After several days, you’ll see that the results are quite good: You’ll feel much better, without as much rebellion, without as much resistance. Now that you have a taste, you’ll become more confident, and when you accept more dealing and pruning in the future, it will be even better than this first time, until finally, you’ll be able to accept and submit to any kind of dealing and pruning. With this, your disposition begins to be transformed. People, having been too deeply corrupted by Satan, hold very dearly onto saving face. They won’t admit to the things that they have done wrong regardless of who points them out, they argue with anyone who does so, and they treat anyone who does so as their arch enemy. Why is the disposition of corrupt mankind like this? What sort of nature is this? They don’t want one iota of truth. Even when they have done a lousy job, they still want others to praise them; even when they are wrong, they still want others to say that they are right. What is going on here? It’s intentionally mixing right and wrong, twisting the truth, establishing their own image of Satan. This is what Satan does, this is what the great red dragon does, because the great red dragon is just like that. Aren’t people who have such dispositions detestable? Don’t they despise themselves? Such a disposition is too detestable; even they despise themselves, even they can’t help but curse themselves. Tell me, does it bring joy to God for people to have such corrupt dispositions? God is most certainly displeased, right? Do you still think that people like you are God’s favorites, that God favors you the most? Not anymore. Stop thinking like this, for this is extremely ignorant, right? Whenever you catch yourself rebelling thus, without any semblance of humanity, doing ridiculous things, being senseless and unreasonable, think: “Oh, even I despise myself, then how must I look in God’s mind, how will God treat me?” Think like this, and your heart shall become clear, and you shall know the attitude with which God treats you. Then stop thinking too highly of yourself, stop thinking: “God favors me the most, I am the apple of God’s eyes. God might not treat others well, but He most certainly treats me the best.” All those people who think like this, aren’t they so self-righteous? This shows that they have no knowledge of God’s disposition, for God despises the rebellion of man, God hates the flesh of man. We must come to understand God’s will.
The Various Ways in Which God Performs Work Have Great Meaning to People Receiving Salvation and Being Perfected (1)
When experiencing God’s work, we see many ways that God performs His work. First, God’s work of the last days is mainly to save corrupt mankind through judgment and chastisement. Furthermore, pruning and dealing and various trials and refinements must be used to transform people’s disposition. Such are the ways that God performs work. When people are not familiar with God’s work, they continue to have conceptions, always blaming God, constantly having conceptions in their minds, constantly thinking: “Doesn’t God love man? Why is He so harsh in what He says? Why does God always speak to us with a tone of judgment and chastisement?” Do you understand now? Why does God speak so harshly to us? How do you explain that? The reason that God reveals people and judges them with harsh words is primarily because mankind has been too deeply corrupted by Satan, and if God did not speak in such a way, people’s disposition could never be transformed, and it would be impossible to make people truly understand the reality of their corruption. Moreover, this way that God speaks is completely based on the facts and truths regarding corrupt mankind. We can see from this that God’s disposition is righteous, for He treats everyone the same way. If we were not so deeply corrupted, if we still displayed a lot of obedience to God, then the way that God speaks would certainly be much gentler. The way by which God chooses to speak to us is determined by the degree of our corruption. As an example, if a child is behaving very badly, to a degree where kind words can no longer get through to them, then the parents must employ other measures: First, they must speak more harshly to the child. And second, if things get out of hand, the child must also be spanked and disciplined. If the child has not been misbehaving to such a degree, is it necessary for the adults to take such measures? There is no need then, for if the adults go too far with the measures that they employ it will not be beneficial to the child. Moreover, the adults themselves would never wish to do such a thing, would they? When parents strike their own child, they feel emotional pain themselves. If that is the case, why do they still do it? Because it is the last resort, and there is no other way for the child to be disciplined. The parents are forced to treat the child in this way. By the same token, the reason that God judges and chastises corrupt mankind is because mankind is too deeply corrupted, and resists and rebels against God too strongly, which saddens God a lot. Therefore, God becomes angry with mankind and hands out judgment and chastisement. This is understandable. When we first began to experience God’s work, we didn’t think our own corruptions to be very deep, we always thought that we were good people. Therefore, when we first began to receive God’s judgment and chastisement, we had some conceptions in our minds, we had some opinions, and this is normal. After experiencing God’s work for several years, we began to see the reality of our corruption clearly. We were unable to forgive ourselves, we even hated ourselves, we even cursed ourselves. So now we realize that God’s judgment and chastisement are extremely necessary, that God should do this as a matter of course, that if God did not save mankind through such means, corrupt mankind would never receive God’s salvation. There is no other way. After experiencing God’s work for several years, we see the good intentions of God, we see God’s extreme patience with corrupt mankind, and the true love He has for us. According to mankind’s degree of corruption, according to the evil deeds perpetrated by mankind, all of mankind should have been destroyed, yet God still wants to save us as much as possible. Therefore, God’s judgment and chastisement demonstrate God’s exaltation of us and tolerance for us. In fact, people do not deserve to receive such judgment and chastisement from God, for mankind should have simply been destroyed based on his evil deeds, destroyed a hundred times over. So is such judgment and chastisement too much for us? It’s not too much, in fact, we can say that it is not enough. Even after such judgment and chastisement, people have still not truly submitted, which shows just how rebellious they really are. So such judgment and chastisement is not heavy at all. In fact, people should be receiving more and much heavier sufferings. Those who have had experience of this already know that without God’s judgment and chastisement, then first, we would have no knowledge of the facts regarding Satan’s deep corruption of mankind; second, we would have no knowledge of our own corrupt nature; and third, we would also have no knowledge that we are the progeny of Satan, the offspring of the great red dragon. We have enmity with God, we have already positioned ourselves opposite to God, while we still think that we belong with God, that we believe in God, that we are of God’s house. We humans rebelled against God to such a degree, yet we are unrepentant, unaware of the fact and truth of our own corruption. Can such people as us ever return to God? Therefore, God’s work of the last days must take the method of judgment and chastisement, to attain the salvation of man and the transformation of his disposition. We must understand such things. Now we are clear that God’s primary work is judgment and chastisement. Be it pruning and dealing, or trials and refinements, the purpose is to have people’s life disposition transformed through judgment and chastisement. It can be said that pruning and dealing are also judgment and chastisement, trials and refinements are also judgment and chastisement as they all serve to achieve the effects of judgment and chastisement. Therefore, the essence of God’s work of the last days is to save people through judgment and chastisement. This is absolutely correct. Most people are still not thoroughly familiar with God’s work, and they still think: “Could people receive salvation through experiencing God’s work in such a way? Could people’s life disposition be transformed? I have experienced it for years, and I have understood some truths, but I have not seen many transformations. Will I truly be transformed in the end?” This question is easy to answer now, isn’t it? If you have experienced God’s work for a few years, and you still have not seen much transformation now, what is the problem? It’s because you have not experienced enough of God’s trials and refinements, you still need more in the future. We see that judgment and chastisement from words only are not enough: We also require trials and refinements, as well as pruning and dealing, maybe even more severe trials and refinements for longer periods of time, in order to transform our life disposition, for no transformation is possible without suffering.
During God’s work of the last days, we also see God using the great red dragon as a foil, and we must gain some understanding of this. God uses the great red dragon as a foil, and the great red dragon plays the role of the foil in God’s work of the last days. What is the meaning of this foil? Through contrast, it helps us know God’s disposition and righteousness. With just one glance of the great red dragon, we can see that it is evil, that it is cruel and inhuman. The great red dragon knows no truths, and the great red dragon is Satan itself. We have known that the great red dragon is Satan itself, that it is God’s nemesis, that it knows no truths, that it is complete evil and it is utter darkness. How does this help us to know God? It serves as a foil to God. By seeing that the great red dragon is evil, dark, filthy, and corrupt, we see that God is righteous, bright, good, and holy. With the great red dragon providing such a negative contrast, we see more clearly these dispositions of God, as well as all that God is and has. Without the great red dragon as a foil, it becomes arduous for us to know God, it becomes difficult. Therefore, it is very beneficial to have this foil. For example, sugar is sweet, but if you have no idea what bitterness is then you will never deeply experience sweetness. Isn’t that the case? If you ate a lump of sugar and I asked you whether it was sweet or not, you would probably tell me that it was sweet. But how sweet was it? You’d have no idea if you didn’t know what bitterness was. If you knew what bitterness was, then when you tasted sugar again you’d know how sweet it was, you’d then know its degree of sweetness. Isn’t that right? To know something positive, you must use other things that are negative as a foil in order to get an effective contrast. This is absolutely correct. Now, do we think that the great red dragon is righteous? It has not one shred of righteousness, isn’t that the truth? And is God righteous? God is indeed righteous, and it is obvious once we compare Him with the dominion of the great red dragon. So, we can see clearly the function that the great red dragon plays as a foil. There is a standard for God’s salvation of corrupt mankind, and what is this standard? We all know that the great red dragon is God’s nemesis. It is the origin, archetype, and representative of negative things. When we look at our own corrupt disposition, and compare our corrupt disposition with the essence and nature of the great red dragon, we come to know who we truly belong with. We become clear as to whether this corrupt mankind belongs with Satan or not. If you can see much of the great red dragon’s poison in yourself, and ultimately you discover that the nature inside of you is also the nature of the great red dragon, then you shall clearly see the reality of your corruption. You will admit that when God said “you are the offspring of the great red dragon,” He was absolutely correct, that God’s judgment is just. Before, when God said that we were the offspring of the great red dragon, we thought, “Are we really the offspring of the great red dragon? Aren’t we much better than the great red dragon? Even though we have been ruled over by it for these many years, but have we truly become its offspring?” Many have this question in their hearts. After experiencing God’s work for a few years, we see that we have a lot of the great red dragon’s poisons inside of ourselves. All the various poisons exist inside the great red dragon, however, we have also discovered up to a hundred different poisons within ourselves, as if we also have all of those various poisons. So tell me, are we not the offspring of the great red dragon? We are the offspring of the great red dragon, this is absolutely true. If you don’t believe me, start by knowing about your corrupt disposition, then look for the poisons in the great red dragon, look at what the nature of the great red dragon is, then look at what your nature is. You shall understand once you have compared the two, and you will see that God’s words are all too accurate. Furthermore, through understanding the nature and essence of the great red dragon, we can then determine the degree to which we have to be transformed through experiencing God’s work, in order to truly attain salvation and escape from Satan’s influence. If you still have the poisons and the nature of the great red dragon, are you someone who has received salvation? If you perpetrate the same evil deeds that the great red dragon perpetrates, yet you still say that you believe in God, that you have been saved, could what you say be true? The great red dragon has clear boundaries, and if you are within its sphere of influence then you most certainly belong to it. If your life disposition has been transformed, if you do not have the poisons of the great red dragon, if the nature and essence of the great red dragon cannot be found on you, then, you are someone who has truly received salvation and you have truly escaped Satan’s influence. Therefore, through the nature and essence of the great red dragon, we may know the standard for God’s salvation of men, as well as the ultimate result that must be achieved. As a result, on a fundamental level, we can clearly see the meaning of God utilizing the great red dragon as a foil in His work of the last days. At this very moment, we are being persecuted, coerced, and arrested by the great red dragon. We are suffering immensely, we are greatly oppressed, in our hearts we even demand of God: “When will You destroy the great red dragon? We are suffering too much, the great red dragon is too ferocious, we are unable to survive and pass our days peacefully under its regime. God, please hurry and destroy the great red dragon.” Isn’t this demand in everyone’s heart? Everyone is making such a demand. If indeed the great red dragon is now destroyed, is it beneficial to our experience of God’s work and to us being perfected? It does not give us any benefit, does it? Therefore, every time when I think about this, I come to the conclusion that the great red dragon still can’t be destroyed at this time because we have yet to be perfected, we have yet to be saved, the role that the great red dragon plays has yet to bring about its ultimate result. Now that we have an understanding as to the meaning of the great red dragon being used as a foil, when we experience God’s work we would know better how to care for God’s will, we would know better what we should seek in order to be saved and perfected.
Within God’s house, there are often various evil spirits performing work, and there are incidents of false Christs and antichrists confusing people. How should we understand such matters? Some people have no clear understanding of such matters. They even start having conceptions of God, saying: “If God is performing the work Himself, then why are evil spirits allowed to enter the church? Why are the various false Christs and antichrists permitted to deceive and disturb God’s chosen people? Is God not almighty? These false Christs and antichrists should be banned from the church.” Tell me, are they right to say this? Certainly not. Those cases of work performed by evil spirits, as well as those cases of false Christs and antichrists deceiving and disturbing people, what roles have they played in God’s perfection of God’s chosen people? They have allowed us to cultivate our discernment, and at the same time, they acted as contrasts. By allowing us to know how evil spirits perform work, corrupt and deceive people, those cases allow us to see how the Holy Spirit saves people, how He performs work on people. Some people have experienced the work performed by the various evil spirits, and from that we can clearly see the way that they behave. From them, we see that the more the evil spirits perform work on men, the darker these people grow on the inside; the more the evil spirits perform work on them, the more they doubt God; the more the evil spirits perform work on people, the farther they move away from God. For those who have been possessed by demons for a long period of time, we can see that they lose all reason in the end, they lose their normal humanity. This is fact. And what can we learn from this? That evil spirits do indeed corrupt mankind, and they are the scourge of mankind. All those who have been corrupted by evil spirits become darker and darker on the inside until they lose all reason and have no humanity left. Those who have been corrupted by the evil spirits are wretched. Let us then look at the condition of those who have experienced the work performed by the Holy Spirit. For those who have experienced the work performed by the Holy Spirit, the more the Holy Spirit performs work on them, the more they understand truths; the more the Holy Spirit performs work on them, the more love they have for God; the more the Holy Spirit performs work on them, the more they are transformed on the inside and the more confidence they have in God; the more the Holy Spirit performs work on them, the more truths they understand and the more they are filled with enjoyment and light. Once we make a comparison like this, we see that the results from the work performed by the Holy Spirit is exactly the opposite of those performed by evil spirits. As a result, we can clearly see the results from the work performed by the Holy Spirit and the horrible results from the work performed by the evil spirits. Accordingly, the work performed by the evil spirits has then played its role as a foil. Some have never experienced the work performed by the evil spirits, and they have never seen how the evil spirits perform work on people. You ask them, “How do the evil spirits perform work? What is the result of the evil spirits performing work on people?” and they have no idea. You then ask them, “How does the Holy Spirit perform work? What are the results from the work performed by the Holy Spirit?” and they are still clueless. When people have experienced too little, they have no clear understanding. Isn’t that right? When people have seen how the evil spirits corrupt people, when they have seen the bondage of the evil spirits on people, and the degree to which they ruin them, they realize that evil spirits are horrifying, that evil spirits truly are evil spirits, that evil spirits are indeed evil spirits, that they are indeed dark things. Accordingly, people grow to hate and curse Satan as well as the evil spirits. If you are unable to see how the evil spirits perform work, how they corrupt people, how they put them in bondage, how they ruin them, would you be able to hate Satan? You would not be able to hate it. Therefore, God allows the evil spirits to enter the church and God’s house, such that through seeing and experiencing the work performed by the evil spirits for themselves, God’s chosen people may come to know the evil of Satan and the various evil spirits. This is enormously beneficial to mankind, and it is absolutely necessary for God to do so. We come to know that God is indeed love, and what is this result based on? It is based on the knowledge of the work performed by the Holy Spirit, as well as the conclusion from the harm that evil spirits have caused people. God is indeed love, God’s work is indeed mankind’s salvation, and is ultimately to allow mankind to achieve true peace through transforming people’s disposition. However, Satan and the various evil spirits corrupt mankind, they are the devils that put people in bondage and ruin them, and if they should eventually swallow mankind then they would have achieved their goal. Therefore, Satan and the evil spirits are too hateful, while God is too lovely. Without such experiences, people shall never attain such understanding. There are also some false Christs and antichrists who are deceiving others in God’s house, and of course they are allowed to do so by God. By entering into God’s house, what role do these things play for God’s chosen people in attaining salvation and perfection by God? They also play the role of a foil, allowing us to attain understanding of God. Some people, after they have accepted God’s work, always have some doubts about God. When they read the Bible talking about the many false Christs and false prophets during the last days, they suspect that: “Is this a true God or a false God that I am believing in now?” Therefore, God allows the false Christs and antichrists to deceive and disturb people in God’s house. His purpose is to allow people to discern who the true Christ is, who the false Christ is, what the work performed by God is, and what is the work performed by the evil spirits is. Therefore, the false Christs and antichrists also play the role of a foil. You must know what is false before you can better identify what is real. If you have no idea what is false, then you will not be very good at identifying what is real. Even if you should accept what is real, you will still have a trace of doubt inside of you, especially when you encounter some people who deceive others, because once they start talking about some passages from the Bible, you become deceived and start doubting God. Having various false Christs and antichrists deceiving and disturbing people allows us to develop our discernment and understanding. So these false Christs and antichrists have thus played their role by providing a contrast. Viewed this way, there is meaning in God allowing the false Christs and antichrists to deceive and disturb people in God’s house. When all the false Christs and antichrists have been abandoned by God’s chosen people, the life entry of God’s chosen people will then have attained a certain effectiveness. God’s chosen people will then better identify the true Christ and the practical God, and their obedience will become more absolute. Without the false Christs and the antichrists deceiving us, we will always have some doubt about God, and this doubt cannot be easily removed, it cannot be easily eradicated. Therefore, regarding God’s works, no matter how God performs them, they have meaning, and they have particularly great meaning for our salvation.
On top of this, there are also the interruptions and destructiveness of false apostles, false workers and evildoers in God’s house. What roles do they play in the salvation of God’s chosen people? They also function as opportunities for discernment and act as foils. If we didn’t encounter these false apostles and false workers, we would not be able to develop our discernment, we would not be able to discern what is true and what is false. Without the false, how do you tell what is true? You won’t be able to tell, will you? If you are unable to discern that which is false, then you also would not know that which is true; you must be able to discern that which is false before you can determine what is true. In what way are these false apostles and false workers being false? Those who don’t have the work performed by the Holy Spirit are false. For someone who acts as leader, or someone who is a worker, if they have never been worked on by the Holy Spirit then they are false apostles and false workers. Of course, some leaders might seem at times like they have lost the work performed by the Holy Spirit, and so you can’t say that such people are false apostles or false workers, because they have yet to be perfected. And there are times when they rebel, there are times when they are weak, there are times when they fail and falter. Under such circumstances, those in these situations can easily lose the work performed by the Holy Spirit. However, if they are someone who pursues truths they should recover very quickly. So it’s normal that there are workers or leaders who used to be worked on by the Holy Spirit, but who have lost the work performed by the Holy Spirit because they have made certain transgressions and have lived in a negative situation for a period of time. As long as the person is right, as long as they are someone who pursues truths, they will recover very quickly; if the person is not right, if they are not someone who pursues truths, then this person is a false worker, a false apostle. If someone’s humanity is bad it means that this person lacks the conscience and intelligence of a normal person. When such a person becomes a leader or a worker and begins to form a faction within the church, when they commit all kinds of misconduct, and always want to control the group of people that follow them while perpetrating all manner of evil deeds, then such a person is an evildoer. The works performed by an evildoer are interruptions, disruptions, and destruction. The manifestations of false apostles and false workers are as follows: Always witnessing themselves, always showing off, always wanting to establish a firm position among others, always wanting to have a place in others’ hearts, always wanting to make others worship them. Such people are false apostles and false workers. Those who are leaders and workers, if they do not sincerely exalt God and witness God, if they do not fulfill their duties in accordance with God’s commission, if they do not protect the work of God but instead speak and perform work for the sake of their own positions, perform work such that they may get ahead of others, perform work such that they can cage others and control others, then such people are false apostles and false workers. Through the interruptions, destruction, and disruptions of these false apostles, false workers and evildoers, we see that all those who lack the work performed by the Holy Spirit are false. All those who lack the work performed by the Holy Spirit, all those who cause interruptions and destruction, have proven themselves to be evildoers. When we have seen through the evildoers and are able to discern what they are doing we will shun the evildoers, we will abandon the evildoers, we will have no share of the evil from these evildoers, we will not walk the path of the evildoers, we will not follow the evildoers in perpetrating evil deeds. As a result, God’s chosen people will have truly been differentiated from the evildoers. Those who submit to God’s work, those who submit to the work performed by the Holy Spirit, these are the true brothers and sisters; those who have lost the work performed by the Holy Spirit, those who do not pursue truths, they are all evildoers. After these evildoers have been revealed, they shall be eliminated. From here on out in God’s house, the various evildoers who don’t have the work performed by the Holy Spirt shall be revealed, and these people will eventually be abandoned and eliminated; those who truly pursue truths, those who truly submit to God’s work, only they are true brothers and sisters, and only they are able to get along with each other with sincere love in their hearts. As for those who do not pursue truths, or submit to the work of the Holy Spirit, or do not have God in their hearts, we can abandon them, we shall not treat them as brothers and sisters. This way, you shall be protected, you shall live in the presence of God, and eventually become someone who is saved by God. If people have no discernment, if they follow the evildoers, if they follow false apostles and false workers in their evil deeds and listen to them in all things, they belong to those who have been abandoned by the Holy Spirit, and in the end, when God’s work has concluded, they shall be punished to death. At this moment, there are all types of people in God’s house. Those who truly do God’s will, that is, those who submit to all the work performed by the Holy Spirit and God’s words, these are the people who will eventually receive salvation. Of course, such people account for the majority. But there is also a minority who believe in God, yet do not pursue truths, do not accept truths, and ultimately have no knowledge regarding their own evil deeds, regarding their actions within the church and God’s house. These people are unrepentant. They still think that they can receive salvation, but such people shall be eliminated. Therefore, those who belong to God’s chosen people at present, that is, all those who pursue truths, will eventually clearly differentiate those who are the true brothers and sisters from those who belong with the evildoers, the false apostles and the false workers as they understand the truth. In the end, through being on God’s side, with those brothers and sisters who pursue truths they will believe in God together, they will fulfill the duties of the created together, and they shall receive salvation. If people have still not gained truths eventually, lack hearts that fear God, still mix with the evildoers, and always commit misconducts in church, speak for the evildoers, defend the evildoers, perpetrate evil deeds with the evildoers, all such people belong with the evildoers, and they shall all be punished in the end. When the work of God’s house is concluded, all the evildoers who have been revealed shall of course be expelled, dismissed from the church. This is for sure. Those who have not been revealed will have to be differentiated by the brothers and sisters and then these evildoers must be abandoned. When the various evildoers from within the church have been expelled, dismissed, and abandoned, we shall see that God’s great work has been thoroughly accomplished, and everyone in the church shall belong to the right group. Those who sincerely believe in God, pursue truths, and perform good deeds shall receive salvation; those who do not pursue truths, do not accept truths, have done no good deeds but only perpetrate evil deeds, commit various misconducts, shall ultimately be punished.
The Various Ways in Which God Performs Work Have Great Meaning to People Receiving Salvation and Being Perfected (2)
Now that we have a basic understanding of God’s work, we have some knowledge regarding judgment and chastisement, trials and refinements, pruning and dealing, and the meaning of God using the great red dragon as a foil, and we see that God has great wisdom in performing His work. If God did not perform His work in the way He does, it would be impossible for God’s chosen people to attain salvation and be perfected. So, God’s work has great meaning, and God choosing such means to perform work has great significance. How should we explain “judgment and chastisement”? What roles do they play regarding people’s entry into the truth and the transformation of their life disposition? We must be clear in this regard. Some do not want to hear the words “judgment and chastisement.” They feel discomfort whenever they hear such words, as if they have committed a crime and are about to be judged and chastised. However, if you do not have any knowledge regarding God’s judgment and chastisement, it will delay your entry into life. In fact, judgment and chastisement are enormously beneficial to people. After you have gained some real knowledge of them, then, when they are mentioned, you will find that they are enjoyable, and that to be able to receive God’s judgment and chastisement is to be exalted by God, to encounter God’s great love lavished upon you. If you can feel this way, it means you have some entry and reality. And what is judgment? It is God revealing and defining the corrupt essence of mankind and the truth of mankind’s corruption through words; this is called judgment. Are there many such words among God’s utterances? There are indeed many, such as when God said, “You are the offspring of the great red dragon.” These are words of judgment. “You are the progeny of Satan,” are also words of judgment. There are also many other examples. God spoke these words of judgment with poignancy, revealing the essence and truth of mankind’s corruption with just one sentence or several words. When people first heard them, they were unable to accept them, but after experiencing them for a period of time, they all become convinced, feeling that the actual fact is precisely as God has said. This is what is achieved by the words of judgment. And what is chastisement? When man has sinned, has resisted or rebelled against God, then he must be judged, and with judgment comes chastisement. When it is determined that you belong to Satan, are the progeny of Satan, and are the offspring of the great red dragon—the kind that resists and rebels against God—then what do these words bring to man? They bring pain, and the pain brought about by judgment that makes you suffer is chastisement. Therefore, judgment brings with itself a kind of chastisement, it is chastisement itself. This is one aspect of chastisement. The various trials and refinements are also chastisement. You shall suffer when you encounter trials, for after you have received words of judgment and chastisement you might not have a true knowledge of God’s words; you might have only accepted half of them. Or you might have accepted that God’s words are basically correct, but you have yet to experience the facts for yourself, which means you have no real understanding, and you only accept that God’s words should be right. At this time, God shall reveal your true self through trials and refinements. During trials and refinements, mankind’s nature of rebelling against God, the ugliness of Satan, and the essence of Satan are all revealed and exposed. Therefore, during trials and refinements, all people bow their heads before God, and with total conviction, admit that they are truly the progeny of Satan and that they are, without a shadow of doubt, Satan’s kind. What are the results attained through these trials and refinements? The results attained are that they allow us to see the truth of our own corruption, to see that God’s words are true, that our corrupt essence is precisely as God has said, and that His words are completely in line with reality. These are the results attained through trials and refinements. After this, another transformation will occur. When people have admitted that all of God’s words are facts and truth and are absolutely accurate, then they begin to hate themselves. They begin to hate the fact that they have been so deeply corrupted by Satan, that they don’t know God, that they resist and rebel against God, and that they are foolish, ignorant, and blind. They hate that Satan and the great red dragon have corrupted mankind so deeply, such that while we are alive, we continue to think that we are good people, better than others. We continue to think that if God were to arrive, He would favor us personally, that we would be raptured before all others. After experiencing trials and refinements, we then come to the realization that all our previous thoughts were erroneous and did not fit with the truth. We see that we are poor, wretched, blind, naked, and shameless, and we do not have the faintest idea regarding the truth of our own corruption. We then begin to hate and curse Satan, as well as hate ourselves. We begin to pursue truths, and turn over a new leaf. This is the beginning of true repentance, and the result is attained entirely through judgment and chastisement together with trials and refinements. From the various trials, the greatest understanding we gain is the knowledge of our own corrupt essence. It can be said that any trial can reveal us for what we are; this allows us to see that we have too much disobedience and resistance to God. It allows us to see that we have a very small stature, that we do not possess truths, and that we lack any normal sense of humanity. It allows us to see that we are very deeply corrupted, without human likeness. Could these achievements be attained without trials and refinements? Could we understand our own corrupt essence without them? We most certainly could not. Therefore, trials and refinements allow us to come to such realizations, and to attain these results. So tell me: Are trials and refinements not good? They are truly wonderful. So God’s work in the last days is not only judgment and chastisement, but also includes various trials and refinements. These works performed by God have such great meaning. When man first begins to experience trials, the Holy Spirit does not perform any work, and at this point they suffer in heart. They feel that God does not want them, that God is not with them, and that they have been forsaken by God. They feel extreme turmoil in heart, they feel that living and believing in God are their biggest failures, and they are filled with sorrow. Some might even contemplate suicide. But after the trials, we come to a real understanding regarding our corruption, we see the truth of our own corruption, and we see that we are totally insignificant and wretched; this arouses our determination to pursue the truth and turn over a new leaf: “This time, I must start over in my belief in God. I can no longer rely on imaginings as faith; I must begin again in my pursuit of truths, my pursuit to live before God, and to attain salvation from God.” Is this strong aspiration not the result attained after someone has experienced trials and refinements? It is precisely so. You no longer have conceptions regarding trials and refinements now, right? So, what are trials and refinements? We have understood what judgment and chastisement are, but how do we explain trials and refinements? What do we mean by trials and refinements? In “trials”, “to try” means temptation, which also means testing. When we mention testing and temptation, we are talking about revealing people. Trials reveal people, as do tests and temptations. They all reveal people. Satan is tempting man, God is testing man, and the various temptations from Satan together with the tests from God are collectively called “trials.” What role do these trials play in man’s experience of God’s work? Mainly, it is to reveal people. When encountering trials, people’s true self, their real self, their thoughts, their desires, their pursuits are all exposed, they are all revealed; none can be hidden. Whatever conceptions are in your heart, whatever complaints you have against God, you shall reveal them all during trials, no matter how you want to hide or cover them. You may not dare talk about them in front of others, but you will talk about them behind their backs; you may not dare talk about them with your brothers and sisters, but you will talk about them with your family. One way or another, you will talk about them. However, God is watching in secret, and you will realize this once you have finished talking about it because you will feel ashamed. This is the mystery of God’s work. And what is refinement? In “refinement,” there is much significance in being “refined,” which signifies that there is a painful process. The longer you are being refined, the longer the pain that you feel, and the longer you will suffer. You might be able to tolerate some pain, but once the pain of being refined drags on, you will no longer be able to tolerate it. Is that not the case? Some might be able to hang in there when they first begin to receive the refinements, for they might be quite strong. However, after they have been refined for a long time, they can no longer bear it or withstand the refinement, and they will eventually collapse. No one can continuously tolerate being refined over a long period of time. When people fulfill their duties, some might be quite happy and filled with energy for the first few days. However, what will happen once they have been fulfilling their duties for a longer period of time? They will become deflated and start grumbling, and various thoughts will start bubbling up as well. They will begin to say things like, “This fulfilling of duties—when will it end? If I always have duties to fulfill, when will I have time for myself? How can I live my life like this? If I continue to fulfill my duties like this, what is going to happen to my children? Who is going to take care of my husband?” As you can see, all sorts of thoughts will come to the surface. Therefore, refinements make people suffer; they reveal people and their stature. Through refinements, everything about man becomes clear, and man’s true self is exposed no matter how perfect the disguise is, for it can be concealed no longer. The result of these refinements is even better than that of the trials. Sometimes, a trial may be over in two or three days or perhaps a week; however, a refinement can continue to go on and on. You may sometimes be refined for several months, or sometimes for several years. Just like in daily life, some people are refined by their suffering for eight or ten years; sometimes they are refined by an illness for several years, or at least several months. When their families encounter difficulty, they may be refined for several months. Therefore, these refinements are extremely beneficial to people’s growth in life and the transformation of their disposition. There are quite a lot of trials and refinements in God’s work, and it can be said that they never end. Take the environment that we are situated in at present for example. We are being persecuted, coerced, and arrested due to the influence of the great red dragon. Is this not a refinement? This in itself is a refinement. Certain catastrophes encountered by your family are also refinements for you. Sometimes, God’s curses fall upon the country of the great red dragon, like when a disaster strikes; these are lasting refinements for those who believe in God. For some, their families can see no way forward in life, and they might not even be able to feed themselves; this is also a refinement for them. When people are able to feed and clothe themselves, they might still be strong in their faith in God; but once they can no longer feed themselves, what will happen to their faith in God? It will shrivel up and they will become deflated. Tell me: What issue has such a refinement revealed? It has revealed that people’s faith is very weak, or they might not even have real faith. Once such people are unable to feed themselves, they shun God. If Satan were to make one accusation about God, saying, “There is one of Your chosen people; he doesn’t even need to encounter any other temptations: Simply not being able to feed himself is enough for him to betray You,” and that is true, for he would stop believing in God once he were unable to feed himself. When the food were available, he would resume his faith, yet he would give it up once he had nothing to eat. Tell me: As this man is not even able to withstand such a small refinement, does he have testimony? Has he received the salvation? Such a man has borne no testimony, and he has not received the salvation. If people are unable to feed themselves, how should they pray to God? How do people with faith pray to God? How do those without faith pray to God? Have you thought about these questions? You have never thought about them, because all your stomachs are full. The families of some brothers and sisters have nothing to eat; they have no idea where their next meal is coming from, and when they will get to eat again. Under such circumstances, how do they pray? It is no small refinement to have nothing to eat. Can you still believe in God while starving? Would you complain about God? Some might say: “O God, You let me believe in You, yet You do not even prepare any food for me. How am I to believe? I shall give You another three days, and if You do not feed me in these three days, then I will no longer believe in You. I do not think I will die of hunger in these three days, but if You feed me, I will continue to believe in You, for it proves that You are an almighty God.” Tell me, are there people who pray like this? There definitely are. Such prayers have no witness. Some others might say: “O God, even though I believe in You, even though I still have no true knowledge of You, I accept that You are the true God and that You are almighty. If You let me die, I shall have no complaints. If You don’t feed me, I would rather die, I would have no complaints, and I would still believe in You. Even if I were to die of hunger, I would still believe in You, and I would never leave You.” What about a prayer like this? Such a prayer has faith; it bears testimony. This is similar to Job’s prayer, and such a person has the faith of Job.
In the past, when people had no understanding of the method in which God performs work, they always thought that there were other meanings to His words when God uses the method. They always doubted God: “Why did God do it this way?” They found it incredulous. Now, we know the method in which God performs work, don’t we? It is not as imagined by man, because the method God uses to perform His work is the most practical, meaningful, and genuine way. Tell me: If your own children often caused trouble and misbehaved, then if the adults spanked them, would this be a method to solve the problem? This is not really a method; it is just the practical discipline. Therefore, when God’s work employs the methods of judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, and trials and refinements, are these not the most practical and most effective work methods? So, we should stop having opinions of the methods God uses to perform His work and should not regard them as meaningless and ordinary methods. Actually, we were wrong, for the methods in man’s understanding are somewhat ridiculous and impractical; by comparison, God’s methods are the most practical. They are what God’s chosen people need most, and they are also the must-use methods to save and perfect His chosen people. The methods God has chosen are not false; they are real and practical. They are not meant to deceive God’s chosen people; rather, they are the most effective methods that can save and perfect God’s chosen people. By experiencing God’s work of the last days, we have all come to some understanding of God’s work, and we have seen that there is great meaning to our salvation in God’s use of these methods to do the work. Likewise, we can have rich experiences in going through God’s work, and have seen that the feast God has laid out for us is so abundant and not lacking in anything. Now God’s work is coming to its conclusion, and we should have some real knowledge regarding the various methods employed by God in performing His work. If people’s understanding is too shallow, then the result attained by God’s work on them will be insignificant.
The Meaning of God Using Men to Perform Work and Lead Other People
In God’s house, we see God using men to lead God’s chosen people to enter into God’s words. Some would say: “Isn’t this still men performing work? Isn’t this men leading people? Isn’t this work performed by men? Hasn’t our belief in God then turned into belief in men?” Tell me, is this correct? During the Age of Grace, after Jesus had been resurrected and ascended to heaven, the church during this time was led by those apostles appointed by Jesus. Can you say that the work during the Age of Grace was performed by the apostles? It was still Jesus’ work, it was still God’s work. Today, with God’s words and utterances judging and chastising people, so it seems to people that God’s work has concluded. However, God’s chosen people have yet to enter into God’s words, they have yet to attain salvation and be perfected, therefore they still need to be led. When men now lead God’s chosen people into God’s words, onto the right track for believing in God, can you say that this is work performed by men? No, for this is built on top of the foundation of God’s work. In essence, this is still God’s work, for God’s words can’t be replaced by anyone. Regardless of how God’s chosen people fellowship about the truths, regardless of how men lead and guide God’s chosen people, we can say that these are all works performed by God’s words, that it is the Holy Spirit leading people to enter into God’s words, that it is God’s words purifying mankind, saving corrupt mankind. So, we see that God’s work, whether it is God using men to lead His chosen people or the manner in which God’s chosen people are experiencing and entering His words, these are all results attained through God’s words. No matter how men lead God’s chosen people, God’s words are involved. Regardless how the Holy spirit performs the work, He is leading God’s chosen people in accordance with God’s words, He is leading God’s chosen people to enter into God’s words, He is leading God’s chosen people to experience God’s words to be perfected and saved, for this is the critical area of God’s work of the last days. Many people do not have any understanding of the spirit, they keep saying that this is men leading, this is men performing work, they do not see how the Holy Spirit is performing work and leading God’s chosen people. They do not see God’s words, but instead see the words of man, being eaten, drunk, enjoyed, and experienced by God’s chosen people. They can’t see this point clearly, so they say many ridiculous things to deceive people, to disrupt the life entry of God’s chosen people. Regarding such misguided speech, we must see clearly that it’s a fallacy of man, it’s nonsense used by Satan to deceive people. When I am giving a sermon and fellowship with you, what am I fellowshipping about? I am fellowshiping about the understanding of God’s words, the experience of God’s words. To lead God’s chosen people to enter into God’s words, that is my job. Performing my work in this way, isn’t it a part of the work performed by the Holy Spirit? It is a part of the work performed by the Holy Spirit. After you hear these sermons and fellowship, you have a better understanding of God’s words, you know how to enter into God’s words, and this is exactly the result that the work performed by the Holy Spirit aims to achieve. If not for the work performed by the Holy Spirit, could people understand God’s words? Could men lead people to enter into God’s words? Ultimately, if men’s work can achieve such results, then it is the work performed by the Holy Spirit, while the work performed by the Holy Spirit is also the work performed by God Himself, is it not? Therefore, the essence of this work is work performed by God Himself, without a shadow of doubt. Those people who don’t know truths are always keen on judging the work performed by God, they are always keen on relying on man’s imaginings to talk, to deceive others, and consequently they have delayed their own life entry, while they also disrupted the life entry of God’s chosen people. These people should reflect on themselves. Now that you understand this issue, tell me, when God is using men to lead God’s chosen people to enter into God’s words, to enter onto the right track for believing God, what is the meaning in performing such work? We know God’s words and work, through the expression of truths, are to judge and chastise people, to reveal the truth of man’s corruption. The words spoken by God are God’s words, they are truths. Is man able to understand them directly? Man can’t understand them directly, right? However, if God uses a man who has been corrupted by Satan but has also received salvation to lead people to enter into God’s words, what then could be the meaning in doing so? Because the subject of God’s salvation is the corrupt mankind, therefore, for the corrupt mankind to enter into God’s words and to enter into truths, they must be led by men from within corrupt mankind who have received salvation, in order to achieve the proper result. Because, for corrupt mankind to receive salvation, they must first have experience, entry, and transformation themselves before they are qualified to lead corrupt mankind to enter into truths. If they themselves have never experienced, could they lead people to enter into God’s words? No, they can’t. Therefore, after someone who has received salvation has been corrupted by Satan but has also experienced work performed by God, work performed by the Holy Spirit, and attained salvation, it is then practical for him to use his real experience to lead God’s chosen people to enter into God’s words. Some then ask if Christ could directly lead us to the normal experience of entering into God’s words. No, He couldn’t, because Christ is God incarnate, Christ is not a man corrupted by Satan, and Christ has not experienced the corruption by Satan. All words spoken by Christ are truths directly expressed by the Holy Spirit, they are the language of divinity. Therefore, it is most meaningful and most practical that God is using corrupt men who have received salvation to lead God’s chosen people to enter into truths. Many are unable to see this matter clearly, saying: “Isn’t this then men performing work? Aren’t we then believing in men?” This is ridiculous, this is a fallacy. During the Age of Grace, Peter shepherded all the churches. Can you say that Peter performed the work during the Age of Grace? Is such a saying appropriate? Isn’t it improper? Peter himself was a man being used by the Holy Spirit. Jesus entrusted the responsibility of shepherding the churches to Peter to complete, but it was really the work of the Holy Spirit, this is for sure. Therefore, we must come to know God’s work. We should not blindly follow the rules or rely on imaginings to judge God’s work.