In times past, people trained themselves to be with God and live amid the spirit at every moment, which, compared to the practice of today, is but simple spiritual training. Such practice comes before people’s entry onto the right track of life, and is the shallowest and simplest of all methods of practice. It is the practice of the earliest stages of people’s belief in God. If people always live by this practice, they will have too many feelings, and will be incapable of entering into experiences that are profound and true. They will merely be able to train their spirits, keeping their hearts capable of normally drawing close to God, and always finding tremendous joy in being with God. They’ll be limited to a little world of togetherness with God, unable to grasp what is at the deepest depths. People who only live within these boundaries are incapable of making any great progress. At any time, they are liable to cry, “Ah! Lord Jesus. Amen!” When they’re eating, they cry, “O God! I eat and You eat….” And it’s like this almost every day. This is the practice of times past, it is the practice of living in the spirit at every moment. Isn’t it vulgar? Today, when it is time to ponder God’s words, you should ponder them, when it is time to put the truth into practice you should put it into practice, and when it is time to perform your duty, you should perform it. Practicing like this is so free, it releases you. It is not like how the old men of religion pray and say grace. Of course, before, this was how people who believed in God were supposed to practice—but to always practice in this way is too backward. The practice of the past is the basis of the practice of today. If there was a path to the practice of times gone by, today’s practice will be much easier. So then, today, when speaking of “bringing God into real life,” what aspect of practice is being referred to? “Real life” primarily requires that people possess normal humanity; what people should possess is what God asks of them today. Bringing the words of God into real life is the actual meaning of “bringing God into real life.” Today, people should primarily equip themselves with the following: In one regard, they must improve their caliber, getting educated, increasing their vocabulary, and improving their reading skills; and in another, they must lead the life of normal people. You have just returned before God from the world, and you must first train your spirit, training your heart to be at peace before God. This is what’s most fundamental, and is also the first step in achieving change. Some people are adaptable in their practice; they ponder the truth whilst washing their clothes, figuring out the truths they should understand and the principles they should put into practice in reality. In one regard, you must have a normal human life, and in the other there must be entry into the truth. This is the best practice for real life.
In the past, people suffered much hardship, but some of it was actually unnecessary, for some were things that did not need to be practiced by man. When they bring God into their real lives, God primarily requires that people worship God, pursue the knowledge of God, and perform the duty of a creature of God amid normal humanity. They don’t have to pray to God as soon as they begin sweeping the floor, feeling indebted to Him if they don’t. Today’s practice isn’t like that; it’s relaxed and easy! People are not asked to abide by doctrine. Each should act according to their individual stature: If your husband does not believe, treat him as an unbeliever, and if he believes, treat him as a believer. Focus not on love and patience, but on wisdom. Some people go out to buy vegetables, and as they’re walking they murmur: O God! What vegetable do You allow me to buy today? I beg Your assistance. Should I pick when I’m shopping? Then they think: I won’t pick; God asks that I glorify Him, that I glorify His name in all things, and that all people bear testimony, so if the seller gives me something old and dry, I will still give thanks to God—I will endure! We who believe in God do not pick what vegetables to buy. You think that doing this is bearing testimony to God, and after spending one yuan to buy a moldy old vegetable, you still pray and say: O God! I’ll still eat this rotten vegetable—as long as You accept me, I’ll eat it. Isn’t such practice absurd? Is it not following a doctrine? Before, people trained their spirits and lived in the spirit at every moment, and this related to the work done in the Age of Grace. Piety, humility, love, patience, giving thanks for all things—these were what was asked of every believer in the Age of Grace. At that time, people prayed to God in all things; they’d pray when they bought clothes, and when notified of an assembly, they’d also pray and say: O God! Do You allow me to go or not? If You allow me to go, then prepare a smooth path for me, let everything go smoothly. And if You don’t allow me to go, please make me fall down. As they prayed, they beseeched God. After praying they felt uneasy, and didn’t go. There were also sisters who, because they feared being beaten by their unbelieving husband when he returned, felt uneasy when they prayed—and because they felt uneasy, they didn’t go to assembly. They believed this to be God’s will, when in fact, if they had gone, nothing would have happened. The result was that they missed an assembly. All this was caused by people’s own ignorance. People who practice in this way live by their own feelings. This way of practicing is erroneous and absurd, it contains nothing but vagueness, and too much of their personal feelings and thoughts. If you are told of an assembly, then go, and if you aren’t, then don’t; when you are told of it, there’s no need to pray to God. Isn’t this simple? If, today, you need to buy some piece of clothing, then go right out and do it. Don’t pray to God and say: O God! Today I have to buy some piece of clothing, do You allow me to go or not? What kind of clothing should I buy? What if one of the sisters happens to come around when I’m gone? Praying and pondering, you say to yourself: “I don’t want to go today, a sister might come around.” Yet the result is that, by evening, no one has come around, and you’ve missed a lot. Even in the Age of Grace, this way of practicing was erroneous and incorrect. And thus, if people practice as in times gone by, there will be no change in their lives. They will merely be submissive, and will pay no heed to differentiation, and will do nothing but blindly obey and endure. At that time, people focused on glorifying God—but God gained no glory from them, for they had not lived out anything, and had not changed. They merely subjugated and limited themselves according to their own conceptions, and even many years of practice brought no change in their lives; they knew only to endure, to be humble, to love, and forgive, and were not in the slightest bit enlightened by the Holy Spirit. How could they know God?
People will only enter onto the right track of belief in God if they bring God into their real lives, and into their normal human lives. Today, God’s words lead you, and there is no need to seek and grope about as in times past. When you can practice according to these words, and can examine and measure yourself according to the states that I have pointed out, then you will be able to change. This is not doctrine, but what God asks of man. Today, I tell you the bottom line: Concern yourself only with acting according to My words. My requirements of you are according to the needs of normal people, and I have already told you that; if you purely focus on practicing in this way, you will be able to be after God’s heart. Today is the time of living in God’s words: God’s words have explained all, all has been made clear, and as long as you live by God’s words, you will lead a life that is totally free and emancipated. Before, when you brought God into your real lives, you experienced too much doctrine and ceremony, you prayed to God in even the smallest matters, you put the explicit words to one side, not reading them, and devoted all your efforts to searching—with the result that there was no effect. Take what you wore, for example: When you prayed, you put this matter in God’s hands, asking that God sort out something suitable for you to wear. God heard these words and said: “You ask that I concern Myself with such trifling details? Where has the normal humanity and rationality that I created for you gone?” Sometimes, someone will make a mistake in their actions, and they’ll believe they’ve offended God, and they begin to be enshackled. Some people’s states are very good, but when they do some small thing incorrectly they believe that God is chastising them. In fact, this is not the work of God, but of people’s own minds. Sometimes, there is nothing wrong with how you are experiencing, but others say you are not experiencing correctly, and so you become ensnared—you become negative, and dark inside. Often, when people are passive in this way, they believe they’re being chastised by God, but God says: “I do not do the work of chastisement in you, how could you blame Me thus?” People are too negative. They’re also frequently over-sensitive and often complain about God. God doesn’t require you to suffer, yet you let yourself fall into that state. There’s no value in suffering such as this. Because people do not know the work done by God, in many things they are ignorant, and unable to see clearly. At such times, they become trapped in their own imagination, growing ever more deeply entangled. Some people say that all things and matters are in the hands of God—so could God not know when people are negative? Of course God knows. When you are ensnared in human conceptions, the Holy Spirit has no way of working in you. Many times, some people become trapped in a negative state, but I still carry on with My work. Whether you are negative or proactive, I am not held back by you—but you should know that the many words I speak, and the great amount of work I do, come thick and fast according to people’s state. When you are negative, this does not obstruct the work of the Holy Spirit. During times of chastisement and death, people were all ensnared in a negative state, but this didn’t stop My work; when you were negative, the Holy Spirit continued doing what needed to be done in others. You may remain at a standstill for a month, but I continue working—whatever you do in the future or the present, it cannot stop the work of the Holy Spirit. Some negative states come from human weakness; when people are truly incapable of doing something or grasping it, they become negative. For example, during the times of chastisement, God’s words spoke of loving God to a certain point during chastisement—but you believed yourself incapable. During this state people felt especially sorrowful and lamented, they felt sorry that their flesh had been so severely corrupted by Satan, and that their caliber was so poor, they felt that it was such a pity that they were born in this environment. Some people felt it was too late to believe in God and know God, and that they were unworthy of being made perfect. All these are normal states.
Man’s flesh is of Satan, it is full of disobedient dispositions, it is deplorably filthy, it is something unclean. People covet the enjoyment of the flesh too much, there are too many manifestations of the flesh, and so God despises the flesh to a point. When people leave behind the filthy, corrupt things of Satan, they gain God’s salvation. But if they remain incapable of divesting themselves of filth and corruption, then they will still be under the domain of Satan. People’s conniving, deceitfulness, and crookedness are things of Satan; by saving you, God separates you from these things and God’s work cannot be wrong, and is all in order to save people from darkness. When you have believed to a certain point and can divest yourself of the corruption of the flesh, and are no longer enshackled by this corruption, will you not have been saved? When you live under Satan’s domain you are incapable of manifesting God, you are something filthy, and shall not receive God’s inheritance. Once you have been cleansed and made perfect, you will be holy, and you will be normal, and you will be blessed by God and delightful to God. The work done by God today is salvation, and, moreover, it is judgment, chastisement, and curse. It has many aspects. Are some of God’s words not judgment and chastisement, but also curse? I speak in order to achieve an effect, to make people know themselves, and not to put people to death; My heart is for your sakes. Speaking is one of the methods by which I work, I use words to express God’s disposition, and to allow you to understand God’s will. Your flesh may die, but you have a spirit and a soul. If people only had flesh, then there would be no meaning to their belief in God, nor would there be any meaning to all this work I’ve done. Today, I speak of one thing and then another, one moment I am extremely hateful toward people, and the next I am supremely loving; I do this to change your dispositions, and to transform your conceptions.
The last days have arrived, and countries across the world are in turmoil, there is political disarray, famines, pestilences, floods, and droughts are appearing everywhere, there is catastrophe in the world of man, and Heaven has sent down disaster. These are signs of the last days. But to people, it seems like a world of gaiety and splendor, one that is becoming more and more so. When people look upon the world, their hearts are drawn to it, and many are unable to extricate themselves from it; great numbers will be beguiled by those who engage in trickery and sorcery. If you do not strive for progress, and are without ideals, you will be swept away by this sinful wave. China is the most backward of all countries, it is the land where the great red dragon lies coiled, it has the most people who worship idols and engage in sorcery, the most temples, and it is the place where filthy demons reside. You were born of it, you enjoy its benefits, and you are corrupted and tortured by it, but after undergoing introspection you turn your back on it and are completely gained by God. This is the glory of God, and so this stage of work has great significance. God has done work of such great scale, has spoken so many words, and He will ultimately completely gain you—this is one part of the work of God’s management, and is the “victory spoils” of the battle with Satan. The better these people become and the stronger the life of the church, the more the great red dragon is brought to its knees. These are matters of the spiritual world, they are the battles of the spiritual world, and when God is victorious, Satan shall be shamed and fall down. This stage of God’s work has tremendous significance. Work of such a grand scale completely saves this group of people; you escape from the influence of Satan, you live in the holy land, you live in God’s light, and there is the light’s leadership and guidance, and then there is meaning to your being alive. What you eat and wear is different to them; you enjoy the words of God, and lead a life of meaning—and what do they enjoy? They enjoy only the legacy of their ancestors and the “national spirit.” They have not the slightest trace of humanity! Your clothes, words, and actions are all different from theirs. Ultimately, you will completely leave the filth, no longer be ensnared in the temptation of Satan, and gain God’s daily provision. You should always be cautious. Though you live in a filthy place you are untainted with filth and can live alongside God, receiving His great protection. You have been chosen among all on this yellow land. Aren’t you the most blessed people? As a created being, you should of course worship God and pursue a meaningful life. If you don’t worship God and live in the filthy flesh, then aren’t you just a beast in human attire? As a human being, you should expend for God and endure all suffering. You should gladly and assuredly accept the little suffering you are subjected to today and live a meaningful life, like Job, like Peter. In this world, man wears the devil’s clothing, eats food given by the devil, and works and serves under the devil’s thumb, becoming trampled in its filth. If you don’t grasp the meaning of life or the true way, then what is the point of your life? You are people who pursue the right path, those who seek improvement. You are people who rise up in the nation of the great red dragon, those whom God calls righteous. Isn’t that the most meaningful life?