121. The Principles of Distinguishing the Wheat From the Tares
1. Whether or not they have true faith in God, whether or not they truly accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and truly obey God’s work;
2. Whether or not they have real prayer and association with God, whether or not they have a God-fearing heart, and whether or not they have obtained the work of the Holy Spirit;
3. Whether or not someone’s heart genuinely loves the truth and pursues the truth, whether or not they can accept the truth and practice the truth, and whether or not they can unite in concerted effort with their brothers and sisters;
4. Whether or not they truly do their duty, whether or not they can practice the truth and have good deeds in the performance of their duty, and whether or not they are devoted to God.
Relevant Words of God:
No matter how they are tried, the allegiance of those who have God in their heart remains unchanged; but for those who do not have God in their heart, once the work of God is not advantageous to their flesh, they change their view of God, and even depart from God. Such are those who will not stand fast in the end, who only seek God’s blessings and have no desire to expend themselves for God and dedicate themselves to Him. This kind of base people will all be expelled when God’s work comes to an end, and are unworthy of any sympathy. … Those who truly follow God are able to withstand the test of their work, whereas those who do not truly follow God are incapable of withstanding any of God’s trials. Sooner or later they will be expelled, while the overcomers will remain in the kingdom. Whether or not man truly seeks God is determined by the test of his work, that is, by God’s trials, and has nothing to do with the decision by man himself. God does not reject any person at whim; all that He does is so that man may be utterly convinced. He does not do anything that is invisible to man, or any work that cannot convince man. Whether man’s belief is true or not is proved by the facts, and cannot be decided by man. That “wheat cannot be made into tares, and tares cannot be made into wheat” is without doubt. All those who truly love God will ultimately remain in the kingdom, and God will not mistreat anyone who truly loves Him.
from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work of Paul pertains to the provision to the churches, and the support of the churches. What Peter experienced were changes in his life disposition; he experienced a love of God. Now that you know the differences in their substances, you can see who, ultimately, truly believed in God, and who did not truly believe in God. One of them truly loved God, and the other did not truly love God; one underwent changes in his disposition, and the other did not; one was worshiped by people, and was of great image, and the other served humbly, and was not easily noticed by people; one sought holiness, and the other did not, and though he was not impure, he was not possessed of a pure love; one was possessed of true humanity, and the other was not; one was possessed of the sense of a creature of God, and the other was not. Such are the differences in the substances of Paul and Peter. The path that Peter walked is the path of success, which is also the path of achieving the recovery of the normal humanity and duty of a creature of God. Peter represents all those who are successful. The path walked by Paul is the path of failure, and he represents all those who only submit and expend themselves superficially, and do not genuinely love God. Paul represents all those who do not possess the truth. In his belief in God, Peter sought to satisfy God in everything, and sought to obey all that came from God. Without the slightest complaint, he was able to accept chastisement and judgment, as well as refinement, tribulation and lack in his life, none of which could alter his love of God. Is this not the ultimate love of God? Is this not the fulfillment of the duty of a creature of God? Chastisement, judgment, tribulation—you are capable of achieving obedience unto death, and this is what should be achieved by a creature of God, this is the purity of the love of God. If man can achieve this much, then he is a qualified creature of God, and there is nothing which better satisfies the desire of the Creator. Imagine that you are able to work for God, yet you do not obey God, and are incapable of truly loving God. In this way, not only will you not have fulfilled the duty of a creature of God, but will also be condemned by God, for you are someone who does not possess the truth, who is incapable of obeying God, and who is disobedient to God. You only care about working for God, and do not care about putting the truth into practice, or knowing yourself. You do not understand or know the Creator, and do not obey or love the Creator. You are someone who is innately disobedient to God, and so such people are not beloved by the Creator.
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Sometimes, when you are enjoying the words of God, your spirit is touched, and you feel that you can’t help but love God, that there is great strength within you, and that there is nothing that you can’t put aside. If you feel like this, then you have been touched by the Spirit of God, and your heart has wholly turned to God, and you will pray to God and say: “O God! We truly have been predestined and chosen by You. Your glory gives me pride, and it feels glorious for me to be one of Your people. I will expend anything and give anything to carry out Your will, and will devote all my years, and an entire lifetime of efforts, to You.” When you pray like this, there will be unending love and true obedience toward God in your heart. Have you ever had such an experience as this? If people are often touched by the Spirit of God, then they are especially willing to devote themselves to God in their prayers: “O God! I wish to behold Your day of glory, and I wish to live for You—nothing is more worthy or meaningful than to live for You, and I have not the slightest desire to live for Satan and the flesh. You raise me up by enabling me to live for You today.” When you have prayed in this way, you will feel that you can’t help but give your heart to God, that you must gain God, and that you would hate to die without having gained God while you are alive. Having spoken such a prayer, there will be an inexhaustible strength within you, and you will not know from where it comes; inside you there will be limitless power, and you will have a great sense that God is lovely, and that He is worth loving. This is when you will have been touched by God. All those who have had such an experience have been touched by God. For those who are often touched by God, changes occur in their lives, they are able to make their resolution and are willing to completely gain God, the love for God in their hearts is stronger, their hearts have completely turned to God, they hold no regard for family, the world, entanglements, or their future, and they are willing to devote a lifetime of efforts to God. All those who have been touched by the Spirit of God are people who seek after the truth, and who have hope of being made perfect by God.
… Most among you have had such an experience—it’s just that the depths of your experiences are not the same. Some people say: “I don’t say many words of prayer, I just listen to the communion of others and the strength rises up within me.” This shows that you have been touched by God inside. People who have been touched by God inside are inspired when they hear the communion of others; if a person’s heart remains totally unmoved when they hear inspiring words, then this proves that the work of the Holy Spirit is not within them. There is no yearning inside them, which proves that they have no resolve, and thus they are without the work of the Holy Spirit. If a person has been touched by God, he will have a reaction when he hears the words of God; if he has not been touched by God, then he has not engaged with the words of God, they bear no relation to him, and he is incapable of being enlightened. Those who have heard the words of God and had no reaction are people who have not been touched by God—they are people who are without the work of the Holy Spirit. All those who are able to accept the new light are touched, and possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit.
from “Know the Newest Work of God and Follow the Footsteps of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In their belief in God, if people don’t hold within them a God-revering heart, if they don’t have a heart that is obedient to God, then not only will they be unable to do any work for God, but on the contrary will become people who disturb God’s work and who defy God. When someone who believes in God does not obey God or revere God but instead defies Him, then this is the greatest disgrace for a believer. If the speech and conduct of a believer is always as casual and unrestrained as an unbeliever, then this believer is even more evil than the unbeliever; they are a typical demon. … God is always in the hearts of those who genuinely believe in God and they always carry within them a God-revering heart, a God-loving heart. Those who believe in God should do things with a cautious and prudent heart, and all they do should be in accordance with God’s requirements and be able to satisfy the heart of God. They should not be headstrong, doing whatever they please; that does not befit saintly propriety.
from “A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Some people are selective in how they eat and drink of God’s words and in their acceptance of them. They accept portions of God’s words which accord with their notions while rejecting those which do not. Is this not the most blatant rebellion and resistance against God? If someone believes in God for years without gaining even a little understanding of Him, he is an unbeliever. Those who are willing to accept God’s observation are those who pursue an understanding of Him, who are willing to accept His words. They are the ones who will receive God’s inheritance and blessings, and they are the most blessed. … God works in those who pursue and treasure His words. The more you treasure God’s words, the more His Spirit will work in you. The more a person treasures God’s words, the greater his chance of being perfected by God. God perfects those who truly love Him. He perfects those whose hearts are at peace before Him. If you treasure all of God’s work, if you treasure God’s enlightenment, if you treasure God’s presence, if you treasure God’s care and protection, if you treasure how God’s words become your reality and provision for your life, you are most after God’s heart. If you treasure God’s work, if you treasure all the work that He has done upon you, He will bless you and cause all that is yours to multiply.
from “God Perfects Those After His Own Heart” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Those who genuinely believe in God are those who are willing to put God’s word into practice, and they are those who are willing to practice the truth. Those who can genuinely stand witness for God are also those who are willing to put His word into practice, and they are those who can genuinely stand on the side of the truth. Those who employ trickery and who do injustice are all people who have no truth and they all bring shame on God. Those in the church who engage in disputes are Satan’s lackeys, and are the embodiment of Satan. This kind of person is too malicious. Those who have no discernment and are incapable of standing on the side of the truth all harbor evil intentions and tarnish the truth. These people are even more so typical representatives of Satan; they are beyond redemption and it goes without saying that they are all objects to be eliminated.
from “A Warning to Those Who Do Not Practice the Truth” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Anyone who verbally recognizes God incarnate yet cannot practice the truth of obedience to God incarnate will ultimately be eliminated and destroyed, and anyone who verbally recognizes the visible God and also eats and drinks of the truth expressed by the visible God yet seeks after the vague and invisible God will all the more be destroyed in the future. None of these people can remain until the time of rest after God’s work has finished; there can be no one like these people who remain until the time of rest. The demonic people are those who do not practice the truth; their essence is one of resisting and being disobedient to God, and they do not have the slightest intentions of obeying God. Such people will all be destroyed. Whether you have truth and whether you resist God are determined according to your essence, not according to your appearance or your occasional speech and conduct. Every person’s essence decides whether they will be destroyed; this is determined according to the essence revealed by their conduct and their pursuit of the truth. Among people who similarly do work and also do similar amounts of work, those whose human essences are good and who possess truth are the people who can remain, but those whose human essences are evil and who disobey the visible God are those who shall be destroyed. …All those who do not believe, along with those who do not practice truth, are demons! Those who seek and those who do not seek are now two different types of people, and they are two types of people with two different destinations. Those who pursue knowledge of the truth and practice the truth are the people whom God will save. Those who do not know the true way are demons and enemies; they are the descendants of the archangel and will be destroyed.
from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man doing his duty is, in actuality, the accomplishment of all that is inherent within man, that is, that which is possible for man. It is then that his duty is fulfilled. The defects of man during man’s service are gradually reduced through progressive experience and the process of his experience of judgment; they do not hinder or affect man’s duty. Those who cease to serve or yield and fall back in fear of the defects that may exist in service are the most cowardly of all men. If man cannot express what he ought to express during service or achieve what is inherently possible for him, and instead fools about and goes through the motions, he has lost the function that a created being should have. This kind of man is considered a mediocre nonentity and useless waste of space; how can one such as this be dignified with the title of a created being? Are they not entities of corruption that shine on the outside but are rotten within? …If man is able to do his duty, it means he performs what he ought to do. If man is unable to do his duty, it shows the rebelliousness of man. It is always through the process of doing his duty that man is gradually changed, and it is through this process that he demonstrates his loyalty. As such, the more you are able to do your duty, the more truths you shall receive, and so too shall your expression become more real. Those who merely go through the motions in doing their duty and do not seek the truth shall be eliminated in the end, for such men do not do their duty in the practice of truth, and do not practice truth in the fulfillment of their duty. Such men are those who remain unchanged and will be cursed. Not only are their expressions impure, but what they express is nothing but wickedness.
from “The Difference Between the Ministry of the Incarnate God and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If seeking the way of the truth pleases you well, then you are one who dwells always in the light. If you are very glad to be a service-doer in the house of God, working diligently and conscientiously in obscurity, always giving and never taking, then I say that you are a loyal saint, because you seek no reward and are simply being an honest man. If you are willing to be candid, if you are willing to expend your all, if you are able to sacrifice your life for God and stand witness, if you are honest to the point where you know only to satisfy God and not to consider yourself or take for yourself, then I say that these people are those who are nourished in the light and who shall live forever in the kingdom. You should know whether there is true faith and true loyalty within you, whether you have a record of suffering for God, and whether you have wholly submitted to God. If you lack these, then there remains within you disobedience, deceit, greed, and complaint. As your heart is far from honest, you have never received positive recognition from God and never lived in the light. How one’s fate will work out in the end hinges upon whether he has an honest and blood-red heart, and whether he has a pure soul. If you are someone who is very dishonest, someone with a heart of malice, and someone with an unclean soul, then the record of your fate is certainly in the place where man is punished. If you claim to be very honest, and yet never manage to act in accordance with the truth or to speak a word of truth, then are you still waiting for God to reward you? Do you still hope for God to regard you as the apple of His eye? Isn’t this a preposterous way of thinking? You deceive God in all things, so how can the house of God accommodate one such as you, whose hands are unclean?
from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh