7. The Principles of Accepting the Judgment and Chastisement of God’s Words
1. You must acknowledge that God’s words are the absolute truth, that they are the reality of positive things whether they accord with people’s conceptions or not, and that this will never change even should heaven and earth turn upside down;
2. No matter how God’s words judge and chastise you, so long as they accord somewhat with facts and there is truth to seek, then you should obey, and seek the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit;
3. No matter how God tests or refines you, it is all done to save and change you, and you should obey and accept it, and seek to enter the reality of the truth;
4. In experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, you must examine yourself and know the truth of your own corruption and the essence of your nature; and you must accept the truth and have true repentance.
Relevant Words of God:
The truth is the most real of life’s aphorisms, and the highest of such aphorisms among all mankind. Because it is the requirement that God makes of man, and is the work personally done by God, thus it is called life’s aphorism. It is not an aphorism summed up from something, nor is it a famous quote from a great figure; instead, it is the utterance to mankind from the Master of the heavens and earth and all things, and not some words summed up by man, but the inherent life of God. And so it is called the highest of all life’s aphorisms.
from “Only Those Who Know God and His Work Can Satisfy God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
My words are the forever unchanging truth. I am the supply of life for man and the only guide for mankind. The worth and meaning of My words are not determined by whether they are recognized or accepted by mankind, but by the substance of the words themselves. Even if not a single person on this earth can receive My words, the value of My words and their help to mankind are inestimable by any man. Therefore, when faced with the many men who rebel against, refute, or are utterly contemptuous of My words, My stance is only this: Let time and facts be My witness and show that My words are the truth, the way, and the life. Let them show that all I have said is right, and is that which man should be furnished with, and, moreover, that which man should accept. I will let all who follow Me know this fact: Those who cannot fully accept My words, those who cannot practice My words, those who cannot find a purpose in My words, and those who cannot receive salvation because of My words, are those who have been condemned by My words and, moreover, have lost My salvation, and My rod shall never stray from them.
from “You Ought to Consider Your Deeds” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The words I speak are truths directed at all mankind, and are not addressed only to a specific person or type of person. Therefore, you should concentrate on receiving My words from the standpoint of the truth, as well as maintain an attitude of undivided attention and sincerity. Do not ignore a single word or truth that I speak, and do not regard all of My words with disdain.
from “Three Admonitions” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What is it to accept truth? It means that no matter which corrupt disposition you have or which venom of the great red dragon poisons your nature, you acknowledge it when it is revealed by God’s word and submit to God’s word with utter conviction. And, you know yourself according to God’s word. This is what it means to accept God’s word. No matter what God says, no matter how piercing to the heart, no matter what words He uses, you can accept it as long as it is truth, and you can acknowledge it as long as it conforms to reality. You can submit to God’s word regardless of how deeply you understand it, and you accept and submit to the light of enlightenment from the Holy Spirit that is communicated by the brothers and sisters. When such a person’s pursuit of truth has reached a certain point, he can obtain truth and achieve the transformation of his disposition.
from “How to Know Man’s Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks
We must not fear suffering or pain, and we particularly must not fear that God’s words will pierce our hearts. We should read more of His words regarding judgment and chastisement, and exposure of our corrupt essences. We must read it and hold ourselves up to it more. Don’t compare others to it—compare yourself to it. We present every single one of these things—we all match up to these. If you don’t believe it, go experience it yourself. Some people say: “I’m not convinced. There is a line in God’s words that says people are whores, prostitutes. Who is this about?” A brother says: “That’s certainly not about me. I’m not a woman, so I couldn’t possibly be a whore or a prostitute.” And a sister says: “I haven’t even gotten married. I’m single and I’ve never done that kind of thing. I particularly haven’t had any untoward thoughts about men.” Some sisters say: “I’m unwaveringly loyal to my husband; I’ve never thought of being with anyone else. Particularly because I believe in God, I must keep my chastity and I cannot dishonor the name of God. So, these words don’t apply to me.” And some other sisters say: “These kinds of words of God sound so terrible. I won’t accept them. Speaking this way is putting people down, and it’s not in line with reality. I can’t accept it.” Some other people say: “Since God has said this and there are inaccurate portions, I don’t believe anymore.” Is this a correct attitude? It’s clearly, certainly, absolutely not correct, for we simply cannot have this attitude toward God’s words. We must first know that it doesn’t matter if any of His words are easy on the ear, if they’re bitter, sweet, sour, or spicy—we must accept all of them. This should be our primary attitude. What kind of attitude is this? An attitude of godliness? Of devoutness? Or, what kind? Is it an attitude of forbearance, or of suffering? You seem a little puzzled. I’ll tell you, it’s none of those. We should see God’s words as the truth in how we treat Him. Since they are the truth, we should accept them with reason. Whether or not we are able to recognize or acknowledge it, our first attitude should be one of acceptance. We should accept God’s words without exception. If God’s words aren’t about you, or some other person, who are they about? If they weren’t about you, how would He have you accept them? Isn’t this contradictory? Isn’t it? (It’s not contradictory.) Your answers are all very accurate, it’s just that you don’t know what it’s all about. It’s not contradictory, but when I have you explain it, you can’t explain it clearly. Every single line of God’s words pertains to a state. Every part of His words is not about external appearances, and it’s particularly not about external rules or a simple type of behavior for people. It’s not like that. If you see everything in God’s words as being about a kind of behavior, a simple kind of human behavior or an external appearance, you do not have spiritual understanding and you do not understand the truth. God’s words are profound. How are they profound? Everything that He says, that He reveals is people’s corrupt disposition, and substantial and deep-rooted things within their lives. They are essential things, not external appearances and particularly not external behaviors. From the outside, everyone is probably quite good, but why does God say that some people are evil spirits, and some people are unclean spirits? This is something that you cannot see. So, you cannot rely on appearances or what you see from the outside to hold up to God’s words. After this kind of fellowship from Me, won’t there be a little bit of a shift in your attitude toward God’s words? Won’t there be some change? It doesn’t matter how great of a shift there is. Overall, it’s certain that when you run into these kinds of words in the future, at the very least you won’t bicker with God, saying: “These words of God sound so terrible. I won’t read this page—I’ll just go past it! I’ll find something about blessings or promises to read. That will comfort my heart!” You won’t be like that. You won’t pick and choose.
from “The Importance and the Path of Pursuing the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Although chastisement and judgment are refinements and merciless disclosures to man, meant to punish his sins and punish his flesh, none of this work is intended to condemn and extinguish his flesh. The severe disclosures of the word are all for the purpose of leading you to the right path. You have personally experienced so much of this work and, clearly, it has not led you to an evil path! All of it is to enable you to live out a normal humanity; all of it is something your normal humanity can achieve. Every step of the work is done based on your needs, according to your weaknesses, and according to your actual stature, and no unbearable burden is placed on you. Although you are unable to see this clearly now and you feel as if I am being hard on you, although you keep thinking that the reason I chastise and judge you every day and reproach you every day is because I hate you, and although what you receive is chastisement and judgment, in reality it is all love for you, also a great protection for you. If you cannot grasp the deeper meaning of this work, then there is simply no way for you to go on in your experience. You should be comforted for such salvation. Do not refuse to come to your senses. Having come this far, you should see clearly the significance of this conquering work. You should no longer hold such and such a view!
from “The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
All that you receive is chastisement, judgment, and merciless smiting, but know that in this heartless smiting there is not the slightest punishment, know that regardless of how harsh My words are, what befalls you is but a few words that appear utterly heartless to you, and know that, regardless of how great My anger, what comes upon you are still words of teaching, and I do not mean to harm you, or to put you to death. Is this not all fact? Know that today, whether it be righteous judgment or heartless refinement and chastisement, all are for the sake of salvation. Regardless of whether today there is the classification of each according to kind, or the laying bare of the categories of man, all of God’s utterances and work are in order to save those who truly love God. Righteous judgment is in order to purify man, heartless refinement is in order to cleanse man, harsh words or chastening are all in order to purify, and for the sake of salvation. And thus, today’s method of salvation is unlike in the past. Today, righteous judgment saves you, and is a good tool for classifying you each according to kind, and ruthless chastisement brings you supreme salvation—and what have you to say in the face of this chastisement and judgment? Have you not enjoyed salvation from start to finish? You have both seen God incarnate and realized His omnipotence and wisdom; moreover, you have experienced repeated smiting and discipline. But have you not also received supreme grace? Are your blessings not greater than those of anyone else? Your graces are more bounteous than the glory and riches enjoyed by Solomon!
from “You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will for the Salvation of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Belief in God requires obedience of Him and experience of His work. God has done so much work—it could be said that for people it is all perfection, it’s all refinement, and even more, it’s all chastisement. There has not been a single step of God’s work that has been in line with human notions; what people have enjoyed is God’s harsh words. When God comes, people should enjoy His majesty and His wrath, but no matter how harsh His words are, He comes to save and perfect mankind. As creatures, people should fulfill the duties that they ought to, and stand witness for God in the midst of refinement. In every trial they should uphold the witness that they should bear, and bear a resounding witness for God. This is an overcomer. No matter how God refines you, you remain full of confidence and never lose confidence in God. You do what man should do. This is what God requires of man, and man’s heart should be able to fully return to Him and turn toward Him at every single moment. This is an overcomer. Those who God refers to as overcomers are those who are still able to stand witness, maintain their confidence, and their devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and under siege by Satan, that is, when within the forces of darkness. If you are still able to maintain a heart of purity and your genuine love for God no matter what, you stand witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an overcomer.
from “You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When experiencing the hundreds of trials from God, he examined himself strictly against every word of God’s judgment of man, every word of God’s revelation of man, and every word of His demands of man, and tried to reach for the meaning of God’s words. He tried in earnest to ponder and memorize every word that Jesus said to him, and achieved very good results. Through this way of practicing he was able to achieve an understanding of himself from God’s words, and he not only came to understand the various corrupt states of man, but he also came to understand man’s essence, man’s nature, and the various types of shortcomings that man has—this is a true understanding of oneself. From God’s words, he not only achieved a true understanding of himself, but from the things expressed in God’s word—God’s righteous disposition, what He has and is, God’s will for His work, His demands of mankind—from these words he came to know God completely. He came to know God’s disposition, and His essence; he came to know and understand what God has and is, God’s loveliness and God’s demands for man. Even though at that time God did not speak as much as He does today, fruit was borne in Peter in these aspects. This was a rare and precious thing. Peter went through hundreds of trials but did not suffer in vain. He not only came to understand himself from the words and the work of God, but he also came to know God. He also particularly focused on God’s requirements of mankind within His words, and in what aspects man should satisfy God to be in line with God’s will. He put forth great effort in this aspect and achieved full clarity; this was very beneficial for his own entry. No matter what God spoke of, as long as those words could become his life and they belonged to the truth, he was able to carve them into his heart to ponder them often and comprehend them. After hearing the words of Jesus he was able to take them to heart, which shows that he was especially focused on God’s words, and he truly achieved results in the end. That is, he was able to freely put the words of God into practice, accurately practice the truth and be in line with God’s will, act entirely in accordance with God’s intention, and give up his own personal opinions and imaginations. In this way he entered into the reality of God’s words.
from “How to Take the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
The key to achieving a change of disposition is to know one’s own nature, and this must come from revelation by God. Only in God’s word can one know his own repulsive nature, recognize in his own nature Satan’s various poisons, realize that he is foolish and ignorant, and recognize the weak and negative elements in his own nature. Once these are fully known, and you are truly able to forsake the flesh, consistently carry out God’s word, and have the will to absolutely submit to the Holy Spirit and to the word of God, then you have embarked on the path of Peter. …If a person’s knowledge of himself is too shallow, it will be impossible to solve problems, and his life disposition will absolutely not change. It is necessary to know oneself on a deep level, which means to know one’s own nature, and to know what elements are included in one’s nature, from where the elements arise and how they come about. Moreover, are you able to really hate these things? Have you seen your own ugly soul and your evil nature? If a person is truly able to see the truth about himself, then he will start to loathe himself. When you loathe yourself and then practice God’s word, you will be able to forsake the flesh, and have the strength to carry out truth without difficulty. Why were people formerly able to follow the flesh? Because they considered themselves to be pretty good. They felt right and justified, having no faults, indeed entirely correct. They therefore could act with the assumption that justice was on their side. When one recognizes what his true nature is, how ugly, how despicable, and how pitiful, then he is not too proud of himself, not so wildly arrogant, and not so pleased with himself as he was before. He feels, “I must be earnest and down to earth, and practice some of God’s word. If not, I will not measure up to the standard of being human, and will be ashamed to live in God’s presence.” He truly sees himself as paltry, as truly insignificant. At this time it is easy for him to carry out truth, and he looks more like a human being.
from “Knowing Oneself Is Mainly Knowing Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks