From the outside, it seems that the steps of God’s work in this current stage have already been finished, and that mankind has already experienced the judgment, chastisement, smiting, and refinement of His words, and that they have undergone the steps such as the trial of service-doers, the refinement of the times of chastisement, the trial of death, the trial of the foils, and the times of[a] loving God. Although people have undergone great suffering in each step they still have not understood God’s will. Just like the trial of service-doers, what people gained from that, what they understood from it, and what result God wanted to achieve through that—people still remain unclear about these issues. It seems from the speed of God’s work, that according to the current rate people absolutely cannot keep up. It can be seen from this that God is first revealing these steps of His work to mankind, and He doesn’t necessarily need to get to a level that people can imagine in any of the steps, but He is trying to use this to elucidate an issue. In order for God to perfect someone to be truly gained by Him, He must carry out the steps that were described above. The goal of doing this work is to have people see what steps God needs to carry out to perfect a group of people. So, looking from the outside, the steps of God’s work have been completed, but in essence He has just officially begun perfecting mankind. This is something that people should see clearly—it is that the steps of His work have been completed, not that His work has been completed. But what people believe from their notions is that the steps of God’s work have been revealed to mankind, and that is without a doubt that His work has been finished. This way of seeing things is utterly wrong. God’s work is not in line with people’s notions, it is a counterattack against people’s notions at every turn, and the steps of His work are particularly out of line with people’s notions; this shows God’s wisdom. It can be seen from this that people’s notions are disruptive at every turn, and all that people can imagine are things that God wants to strike back at. This is an insight from actual experience. People all think that God works so quickly, and they think that when they still don’t have any understanding and are still befuddled and confused God’s work has been finished without people knowing it. Every step of His work is this way. Most people believe that God is toying with people, but the intention behind the work that He does is not like that. His working method is through rumination, first working from a general level, then going into the details, and after that fully refining these details. This catches people by surprise. People all want to fool God, and they think that if they just get by they’ll be able to get to a point where they can satisfy Him, but in reality, how could God possibly be satisfied because of mankind’s attempts at getting by? God works through the method of taking people by surprise and catching them unawares in order to gain the greatest results and to have people better know His wisdom and better understand His righteousness, majesty, and His unoffendable disposition.
God has now officially begun to perfect people. In order to be made complete, people must undergo the revelation, judgment, and chastisement of God’s words, and experience the trials and refinement of His words (such as the trial of service-doers). In addition, people must be able to withstand the trial of death. That is, someone who truly carries out God’s will can emit praise from deep in their heart in the midst of God’s judgment, chastisement, and trials, and is able to fully obey God and forsake themselves, thus loving God with a heart of sincerity, single-mindedness, and purity; such is a complete person, and it is also the work that God wants to do, and is what God wants to accomplish. People cannot draw conclusions lightly about God’s working methods, and they can only pursue entry into life. This is the foundation. Do not constantly scrutinize God’s working methods; this will only hinder your future prospects. How much have you currently seen of His working methods? How obedient have you been? How much have you gained from each working method? Are you willing to be perfected by God? Are you ready to be a complete person? These are things that you should be completely clear on. They are things that you should enter into.
a. The original text omits “the times of.”