Why does accepting God’s salvation and perfection require enduring so many hardships?
The Answer from God’s Word:
How do you learn how to love God? Without torment and refinement, without painful trials—and if, furthermore, all that God gave man were grace, love, and mercy—would you be able to attain the true love of God? On one hand, during God’s trials man comes to know his deficiencies, and sees that he is insignificant, contemptible, and lowly, that he has nothing, and is nothing; on the other hand, during His trials God creates different environments for man that make man more able to experience the loveliness of God. Although the pain is great, and sometimes insurmountable—and it even reaches the level of crushing grief—having experienced it, man sees how lovely is God’s work in him, and only upon this foundation is there born in man the true love of God. Today man sees that with the grace, love, and mercy of God alone, he is incapable of truly knowing himself, much less is he able to know the essence of man. Only through both the refinement and judgment of God, only during such refinement can you know your deficiencies, and know that you have nothing. Thus, man’s love of God is built upon the foundation of the refinement and judgment of God. If you only enjoy the grace of God, with a peaceful family life or material blessings, then you have not gained God, and your belief in God has failed. God has already carried out one stage of the work of grace in the flesh, and has already bestowed material blessings upon man—but man cannot be made perfect with grace, love, and mercy alone. In man’s experiences he encounters some of God’s love, and sees the love and mercy of God, yet having experienced for a period of time, he sees that God’s grace and His love and mercy are incapable of making man perfect, and incapable of revealing that which is corrupt within man, nor are they able to rid man of his corrupt disposition, or make perfect his love and faith. God’s work of grace was the work of one period, and man cannot rely on enjoying the grace of God in order to know God.
Through what is God’s perfection of man accomplished? Through His righteous disposition. God’s disposition primarily consists of righteousness, wrath, majesty, judgment, and curse, and His perfection of man is primarily through judgment. Some people don’t understand, and ask why it is that God is only able to make man perfect through judgment and curse. They say that if God were to curse man, wouldn’t man die? If God were to judge man, wouldn’t man be condemned? Then how can he still be made perfect? Such are the words of people who do not know the work of God. What God curses is the disobedience of man, and what He judges are the sins of man. Although He speaks harshly, and without the slightest sensitivity, He reveals all that is within man, and through these stern words He reveals that which is essential within man, yet through such judgment, He gives man a profound knowledge of the essence of the flesh, and thus man submits to obedience before God. The flesh of man is of sin, and of Satan, it is disobedient, and the object of God’s chastisement—and so, to allow man to know himself, the words ofmust befall him and there must be employed every kind of refinement; only then can God’s work be effective.
from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in
God’s true love is His entire disposition, and when God’s entire disposition is shown to you, what does this bring to your flesh? When God’s righteous disposition is shown to you, your flesh will inevitably suffer much pain. If you don’t suffer this pain, then you cannot be made perfect by God, nor will you be able to devote true love to God. If God makes you perfect, He will surely show His entire disposition to you. From the time of creation until today, God has never shown His entire disposition—but during the last days He reveals it to this group of people whom He has predestined and selected, and by making people perfect He lays bare His dispositions, through which He makes complete a group of people. Such is God’s true love for people. Experiencing God’s true love for them requires that people endure extreme pain, and pay a high price. Only after this will they be gained by God and be able to give their true love back to God, and only then will God’s heart be satisfied. If people wish to be made perfect by God, and if they wish to do His will, and fully give their true love to God, then they must experience much suffering and many torments from the circumstances, to suffer pain worse than death, ultimately they will be forced to give their true heart back to God. Whether or not someone truly loves God is revealed during hardship and refinement. God purifies people’s love, and this is also only achieved amid hardship and refinement.
from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Today, most people don’t have that knowledge. They believe that suffering is without value, they are renounced by the world, their home life is troubled, they are not beloved of God, and their prospects are bleak. The suffering of some people reaches a certain point, and their thoughts turn to death. This is not the true love of God; such people are cowards, they have no perseverance, they are weak and powerless! God is eager for man to love Him, but the more man loves Him, the greater man’s suffering, and the more man loves Him, the greater man’s trials. If you love Him, then every kind of suffering will befall you—and if you don’t, then perhaps everything will go smoothly for you, and all will be peaceful around you. When you love God, you will feel that much around you is insurmountable, and because your stature is too small you will be refined; moreover, you are incapable of satisfying God, and you will always feel thatis too lofty, that it is beyond the reach of man. Because of all this you will be refined—because there is much weakness within you, and much that is incapable of satisfying the will of God, you will be refined inside. Yet you must clearly see that purification is only achieved through refinement. Thus, during these last days you must bear to God. No matter how great your suffering, you should go on to the very end, and even at your last breath, still you must be faithful to God, and at the mercy of God; only this is truly loving God, and only this is the strong and resounding testimony. When you are tempted, you should say: “My heart belongs to God, and God has already gained me. I cannot satisfy you—I must devote my all to satisfying God.” The more you satisfy God, the more God blesses you, and the greater the strength of your love for God; so, too, will you have faith and resolve, and will feel that nothing is more worthy or significant than a life spent loving God. … It can be seen from much of God’s work that God really does love man, it’s just that the eyes of man’s spirit have yet to be completely opened, and he is unable to see through to much of the work of God, and the will of God, and the many things which are lovely about God; man has too little true love for God. … Only after experiencing hardship and refinement does man know that God is lovely. Having experienced up until today, it can be said that man has come to know part of God’s loveliness—but this is still not enough, because man is so lacking. He must experience more of God’s wondrous work, and more of all the refinement of suffering set out by God. Only then can man’s life disposition be changed.
from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Some people even think: We, and we should feel pleasure within us. In the Age of Grace still bestowed peace and joy upon people. Now there is too little peace and joy; there is not pleasure like there was during the Age of Grace. Believing in God today is too vexing. You only know that the pleasure of the flesh is better than anything else. You don’t know what God is doing today. God allows your flesh to suffer in order to transform your disposition. … Today everyone throughout the world is tried: God is still suffering—is it right that you do not suffer? Without refinement through great disasters there cannot be genuine faith, and truth and life will not be obtained. Not having trials and refinement would not do. Peter was tried for seven years in the end (after he was fifty-three years old). He experienced hundreds of trials through that seven years, and only after those three and three and one more years did he obtain life and the transformation of his disposition. … Is not the suffering you encounter now the very same suffering of God? You are suffering together with God, and God is with people in their suffering, right? Today you all have a part in Christ’s tribulation, kingdom, and patience, and then, in the end you will obtain glory. This kind of suffering is meaningful. Not having resolve will not do. You must understand the significance of today’s suffering and why you must suffer so. Seek a little truth from this and understand a little of God’s intention, and then you will have the resolve to endure suffering. If you do not understand God’s intention and only ruminate on your suffering, then the more you think about it the harder it will be to bear—that is a bother—and so begins the torment of death. … The incarnate God is still suffering. You are people corrupted by Satan with a nature that rebels against God. You have all unconsciously done many things disobeying God, in resistance to God. You should be judged and should be chastised. A sick person cannot fear suffering when he is treated, so is it right for you, who have corruption and want your dispositions transformed and to gain life, not to suffer a little? Your sufferings should be borne; they must be borne. These sufferings do not befall the innocent, and even more so they are not forced on you.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
What exactly must one do to achieve understanding of the truth and gain the truth?
“To understand God’s word is not so simple. It is not that if you can give a literal superlative interpretation of God’s word, it means that you have understood God’s word. Literal interpretation is no more than man’s imagination and man’s thinking, and it is of no use! What is the way of interpreting God’s word? What is the way of understanding God’s word? The key to understanding God’s word is to understand it in God’s word."
How is dispositional change manifested?
When a change in disposition has been spoken of in the past, it has mainly been about forsaking oneself, allowing the flesh to suffer, disciplining one’s body, and ridding oneself of fleshly preferences—this is one type of change in disposition. People now know that the real expression of a change in disposition is obeying the current words of God as well as being able to have a genuine understanding of His new work. ...and achieve a true understanding of and obedience to Him. Only this is a genuine expression of a change in disposition.
Why is it that believers must pursue the truth to achieve salvation and be perfected?
“Many people say, ‘I believe in God just by following like this and I will surely make it. I do not pursue the truth and I just follow to the end finally, and in performing my duty, I spend and give up as much as I can; even if I have some transgressions, I can make it.’ They do not know what they are saying. There are so many corrupt things within man; how can man be transformed without pursuing the truth? Judging from the degree of man’s corruption, without God’s keeping, man will fall and betray God and leave at any time."
What are evil deeds? What are the manifestations of evil deeds?
What is the standard by which a person’s acts are evaluated as good or evil? It is whether or not you, in your thoughts, expressions, and actions, have the testimony of putting truth into practice and of living out the reality of truth. If you do not have this reality or do not have this living out, then you are without a doubt an evildoer.