You must have the ability to live independently, being able to eat and drink God’s words by yourselves, to experience God’s words on your own, and to lead a normal spiritual life without the leadership of others; you must be able to depend on God’s words of today to live, entering into true experience, and truly seeing. Only then will you be able to stand firm. Today, many people don’t fully understand the future tribulations and trials. In the future, some people will experience tribulations, and some will experience punishment. This punishment will be more severe; it will be the coming of the facts. Today, all that you experience, do, and manifest lays the foundation for the trials of the future, and at the very least, you must be able to live independently. Today, the situation regarding many in the church is generally as follows: If there are workers to do the church’s work, they’re happy, and if there aren’t, they’re unhappy; and they pay no heed to the work of the church, nor to their own eating and drinking, and have not the slightest burden—they’re like a Hanhao bird.[a] Frankly speaking, in many people the work I have done is merely the work of conquest, for many are fundamentally unworthy of being made perfect. Only a small portion of people can be made perfect. If, having heard these words, you believe that the work done by God is only in order to conquer people, and so you only follow perfunctorily, how could such an attitude be acceptable? If you are truly possessed of conscience, then you must have a burden, and a sense of responsibility. You must say: I care not whether I will be conquered or made perfect, but I must bear this step of testimony properly. As a creature of God, one can be utterly conquered by God, and ultimately, they are able to satisfy God, repaying God’s love with the love in their heart and by completely devoting themselves to God. This is the responsibility of man, it is the duty that ought to be performed by man, and the burden that ought to be borne by man, and man must complete this commission. Only then do they truly believe in God. Today, is what you do in the church the fulfillment of your responsibility? This depends on whether you are emburdened, and upon your own knowledge. In experiencing this work, if man is conquered and has true knowledge, then you will be capable of obedience regardless of your own prospects or fate. In this way, God’s great work will be realized in its entirety, for these people are capable of nothing more than this, and are unable to fulfill any higher demands. Yet in the future, some people will be made perfect. Their caliber will improve, in their spirits they will have a deeper knowledge, their lives will grow…. Yet some are totally incapable of achieving this, and so cannot be saved. There’s a reason why I say they cannot be saved. In the future, some will be conquered, some will be eliminated, some will be made perfect, and some will be used—and so some will experience tribulations, some will experience punishment (both natural calamities and man-made misfortunes), some will be eliminated, and some will survive. In this, each will be classified according to kind, with each group representing a type of person. Not all people will be eliminated, nor will all people be made perfect. This is because the caliber of Chinese people is so poor, and there are only a tiny number among them who possess the kind of self-awareness that Paul had. Among these people, few have the same determination to love God as Peter, or the same kind of faith as Job. Barely any of them have the same degree of reverence for Jehovah, or same level of loyalty in serving Jehovah as David. How pitiful you are!
Today, talk of being made perfect is but one aspect. No matter what happens, you must bear this step of testimony properly. If you were asked to serve God in the temple, how would you do so? If you were not a priest, and had not the status of firstborn sons or the sons of God, would you still be capable of loyalty? Would you still be able to do all you can to spread the kingdom? Would you still be capable of doing the work of God’s commission properly? Regardless of how much your life has grown, the work of today shall cause you to be fully convinced within, and to put aside all your conceptions. Whether or not you have what it takes to pursue life, overall, God’s work will make you fully convinced. Some people say: I believe in God, but don’t understand what it means to pursue life. And some say: I’m all muddled up in my belief in God. I know that I cannot be made perfect, and so I am ready to be chastised. Even people like this, who are ready to be chastised or destroyed, must also be made to acknowledge that the work of today is carried out by God. Some people also say: I do not ask to be made perfect, but, today, I am willing to accept all of God’s training, and am willing to live out normal humanity, improve my caliber, and obey all of God’s arrangements…. In this, they have also been conquered and borne testimony, which proves that there is some knowledge within these people. This stage of work has been carried out extremely quickly, and in the future, it will be carried out even more rapidly abroad. Today, the people abroad can hardly wait, they’re all rushing to China—and so if you cannot be made complete, you’ll be holding up the people abroad. At that time, regardless of how you are, when the time comes My work will be concluded and completed! I care not about how well you have entered or what you’re like; all My work cannot be held up by you. I do the work of all mankind, and there’s no need for Me to spend any more time on you! You are too unmotivated, too lacking in self-awareness! You’re not worthy of being made perfect—you barely have any potential! In the future, even if people carry on being so lax and sloppy, and remain incapable of improving their caliber, this will not impede the work of the entire universe. When the time comes for God’s work to finish, it will finish, and when the time comes for people to be eliminated, they will be eliminated. Of course, those who ought to be made perfect, and are worthy of being made perfect, shall also be made perfect—but if you truly have no hope, then God’s work will not wait for you! Ultimately, if you are conquered, this can also be considered bearing testimony; there are limits to what God asks of you. However high the stature man is able to achieve, such must be the height of their testimony. It is not as man imagines that such testimony will reach the very highest limits and that it will be resounding—there is no way this can be achieved in you Chinese people. I’ve engaged with you for all this time, and you yourselves have seen this. I’ve told you not to oppose, not to be rebellious, not to do shameful things behind My back. I’ve said these words to your face many times, but even that’s not enough—as soon as I turn around they change, and some secretly oppose Me, without any compunction. Do you think I know none of this? Do you think you can make trouble for Me and nothing will come of it? Do you think I don’t know when you try to tear down My work behind My back? Do you think your petty tricks can stand in for your character? You’re always seemingly obedient but are secretly treacherous, you hide sinister thoughts in your heart, and even death isn’t punishment enough for people like you. Do you think some minor work by the Holy Spirit in you can take the place of your reverence for Me? Do you think you gained enlightenment through calling out to Heaven? You know no shame! You are so worthless! Do you think your “good deeds” have touched Heaven, which has made an exception and bestowed you with natural gifts that made you silver-tongued, allowing you to deceive others, and to deceive Me? How lacking in rationality you are! Do you know where your enlightenment comes from? Do you not know whose food you ate growing up? How unconscionable you are! Some among you haven’t even changed after four or five years of dealing; you’re clear about these matters, you should be clear about your nature—and so don’t object when, one day, you are forsaken. Some, who deceive both those above and below them in their service, have been subjected to much dealing; some, because they are greedy for money, have been subjected to much dealing; some, because they do not keep clear boundaries between men and women, have been subjected to much dealing; some, because they are lazy, only mindful of the flesh, and do not practice righteousness when they come to the church, have been subjected to much dealing; some, because they fail to bear testimony wherever they go, and knowingly sin and misbehave, have been reminded many times; some talk of words and doctrines when they come to the church, they act superior to everyone else, and have not the slightest reality, while the brothers and sisters plot amongst each other, vying with each other—they have often been exposed because of this. I’ve spoken these words to you so many times, and today, I will speak no more of this—do what you want! Make your own decisions! Many people haven’t only been subjected to this dealing for just one or two years, for some it’s been three or four years, and some have experienced this for over a decade, having been subjected to dealing when they became believers, but to date there has been little change in them. What do you say, are you not like pigs? Is this being unfair to you? Don’t think that God’s work will not finish if you are incapable of reaching a certain level. Will God still wait for you if you are incapable of fulfilling His requirements? I tell you plainly—it is not so! Do not have such a rosy view of things! There is a time limit to the work of today, God isn’t just playing with you! Before, when it came to experiencing the trial of service-doers, people thought that if they were to stand firm in their testimony to God, they had to be conquered to a certain point—they had to be a service-doer willingly and gladly, and had to praise God every day, and not be the slightest bit lax or slapdash. They thought that only then would they truly be a service-doer, but is that really the case? At that time, there were all sorts of manifestations in people. Some fled, some opposed God, some squandered the church’s money, and brothers and sisters plotted against each other, cursing and vilifying each other. It was truly a great emancipation, but there was one thing good about it: No one retreated. This is the best thing that can be said about it. They bore testimony before Satan because of this, and later gained the identity of God’s people and made it as far as today. God’s work is not carried out as you imagine. When the time is up, the work will end, regardless of how you are. Some people might say: By acting like this You do not save people, or love them—You are not the righteous God. I tell you plainly: The heart of My work today is conquering you and making you bear testimony. Saving you is just an adjunct; whether or not you can be saved depends on your own pursuit, and is not connected to Me. Yet I must conquer you; don’t always try to lead around Me by the nose—today I work you, not the other way around!
Today, what you have come to understand is higher than any person throughout history who was not made perfect. Be it your knowledge of trials or the belief in God, it is all higher than that of any believer in God. The things you understand are what you come to know before you undergo the trials of environments, but your real stature is completely incompatible with them. What you know is higher than what you put into practice. Though you say that people who believe in God should love God, and should strive not for blessings but only to satisfy God’s will, what is manifested in your lives is a far cry from this, and has been greatly tainted. Most people believe in God for the sake of peace and other benefits. Unless it is to your benefit, you don’t believe in God, and if you can’t receive God’s graces, you fall into a sulk. How could this be your true stature? When it comes to inevitable family incidents (children falling ill, husbands going into hospital, poor crop yields, persecution of family members, and so on), you can’t even make it through these things that often happen in day-to-day life. When such things happen, you’re thrown into a panic, you don’t know what to do—and most of the time, you complain about God. You complain that God’s words tricked you, that God’s work has messed you around. Do you not have such thoughts? Do you think such things happen among you only rarely? You spend every day living amid such events. You don’t give the slightest thought to the success of your faith in God, and how to satisfy God’s will. Your true stature is too small, even smaller than a little chick’s. When your husband’s business loses money you complain about God, when you find yourself in an environment without God’s protection you still complain about God, you complain even when one of your chicks dies or an old cow in the pen falls ill, you complain when it’s time for your son to start a family but your family doesn’t have enough money, and when the church’s workers eat a couple of meals at your home but the church doesn’t reimburse you or no one sends you any vegetables, you also complain. Your belly is stuffed full of complaints, and you sometimes don’t go to assemblies or eat and drink the words of God because of this, you likely become negative for a great length of time. Nothing that happens to you today bears any relation to your prospects or fate; these things would also happen if you didn’t believe in God, yet today you pass responsibility for them to God, and insist on saying that God has eliminated you. What of your belief in God, have you truly offered up your life? If you suffered the same trials as Job, none among you who follow God today would be able to stand firm, you’d all fall down. And there is, quite simply, a world of difference between you and Peter. Today, if half your assets were seized you’d dare to deny the existence of God; if your son or daughter were taken from you, you’d run the streets crying foul; if your life reached a dead end, you’d try and take it up with God, asking why I said so many words in the beginning to scare you. There’s nothing you would not dare to do at such times. This shows that you have not truly seen, and have no true stature. Thus, the trials in you are too great, for you understand too much, but what you truly know isn’t even a thousandth of what you are aware of. Don’t stop at mere understanding and knowledge; you’d best see how much you can truly put into practice, how much of the sweat of your own hard work has been turned into the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and in how many of your practices you have realized your own resolution. You should take your stature and practice seriously. In your belief in God, you shouldn’t try to merely go through the motions for anyone—whether or not you can gain depends on your own pursuit.
a. The story of the Hanhao bird is very similar to Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper. The Hanhao bird prefers to sleep instead of building a nest while the weather is warm—despite repeated warnings from his neighbor, a magpie. When winter arrives, the bird freezes to death.