1. The Principles of Belief in God
1. You must experience and obey God’s work on the basis of the belief that God created all things and holds sovereignty over all things;
2. You must prioritize the eating and drinking of God’s words, and obey all the judgment and chastisement, the trials and refinement, and the pruning and dealing of God’s words;
3. As you experience God’s work, you must fulfill the duty of a created being, in order to reach an understanding of the truth and enter into reality;
4. You must pursue the truth in order to reach salvation, and to obtain the guidance and perfection of the work of the Holy Spirit.
Relevant Words of God:
“Belief in God” means believing that there is a God; this is the simplest concept of faith in God. What’s more, believing that there is a God is not the same as truly believing in God; rather, it is a kind of simple faith with strong religious overtones. True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
A true belief in God is not about believing in Him in order to be saved and is even less about being a good person. It is also not just about believing in God in order to have human likeness. Actually, people should not view their belief in God as just a belief that there is a God, and then nothing more; it is not that you should merely believe that God is the truth, the way, the life, and then nothing more. Nor is it just so you acknowledge God, much less is it merely to believe that God is the Ruler over all things, that God is almighty, that God created all things in the world, that God is unique and that God is supreme. It is not merely so that you believe this; rather it is that you—your whole being and your whole heart—should follow God, allow God to employ you, allow God to use you in His service, and that you should do anything for God. It is not that only those predestined and chosen by God should believe in Him. Actually, all of mankind should worship God, heed Him and obey Him, because mankind was made by God. This now touches on the issue of essence.
from “Only the Pursuit of the Truth Is the True Belief in God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
It is the belief in God so that you may obey God, love God, and perform the duty that should be performed by a creature of God. This is the aim of believing in God. You must achieve a knowledge of the loveliness of God, of how worthy God is of reverence, of how, in His creatures, God does the work of salvation and making them perfect—this is the minimum that you should possess in your belief in God. Belief in God is principally the switch from a life in the flesh to a life of loving God, from a life within naturalness to a life within the being of God, it is coming out from under the domain of Satan and living under the care and protection of God, it is being able to achieve obedience to God and not obedience to the flesh, it is allowing God to gain your entire heart, allowing God to make you perfect, and freeing yourself from the corrupt satanic disposition. Belief in God is principally so that the power and glory of God may be manifested in you, so that you may do God’s will, and accomplish God’s plan, and be able to bear testimony to God before Satan. Belief in God should not be in order to behold signs and wonders, nor should it be for the sake of your personal flesh. It should be for the pursuit of knowing God, and being able to obey God, and like Peter, obeying Him until death. This is what it is mainly in order to achieve. Eating and drinking the word of God is in order to know God and in order to satisfy God. Eating and drinking the word of God gives you a greater knowledge of God, only after which can you obey God. Only if you know God can you love Him, and the attainment of this aim is the only aim man should have in his belief in God. If, in your belief in God, you always try to behold signs and wonders, then the viewpoint of this belief in God is wrong. Belief in God is principally the acceptance of the word of God as the reality of life. Only putting into practice the words of God from His mouth and carrying them out within yourself is the attainment of the aim of God. In believing in God, man should pursue being made perfect by God, being able to submit to God, and the complete obedience to God. If you can obey God without complaint, be mindful of God’s desires, achieve the stature of Peter, and possess the style of Peter spoken of by God, then that will be when you have achieved success in belief in God, and it will signify that you have been gained by God.
from “All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Since you believe in God, you must eat and drink of His word, experience His word, and live out His word. Only this is belief in God! If you say you believe in God yet cannot speak out any of His words or put them into practice, you are not considered to believe in God. This is “seeking bread to satisfy hunger.” Speaking only of trivial testimony, useless matters, and superficial matters, and not having even the slightest bit of reality do not constitute belief in God. As such,[a] you have not grasped the right way of believing in God. Why must you eat and drink more of God’s words? Is it considered belief if you do not eat and drink of His words and seek only to ascend to heaven? What is the first step for one who believes in God? By what path does God perfect man? Can you be perfected without eating and drinking of the word of God? Can you be considered a person of the kingdom without the word of God as your reality? What exactly is belief in God? Believers in God should be possessed of good behavior externally, at the very least, and of utmost importance is to have the word of God. No matter what, you can never turn away from His word. Your knowledge of God and fulfillment of His will are all achieved through His word. All nations, sects, denominations, and sectors will be conquered through the word in the future. God will speak directly, and all people will hold the word of God in their hands; through this will people be perfected. The word of God pervades throughout: People speak of God’s word and practice according to God’s word, while kept within is still the word of God. Both within and without, they are steeped in the word of God, and thus are they perfected. Those who fulfill the will of God and are able to bear witness to Him are those who have the word of God as reality.
from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Everyone has a certain way before they have become mature in their life, which is that they must accept the judgment, the chastisement, and the perfecting of God’s words. If you do not have God’s words but you only rely on your own confidence and will, everything you do is just based on zeal. That is, if you want growth in your life you must eat and drink, and understand God’s words more. All those who are perfected by His words are able to live them out; those who do not undergo the refinement of His words, who do not undergo the judgment of His words cannot be fit for His use. So to what degree do you live out His words? Only if you eat and drink God’s words and are able to compare them to your own state of life, and find a path of practice in light of the issues I bring up will your practice be correct. It will also be after God’s heart. Only someone who has this kind of practice is one who has the will to love God.
from “Genuine Love for God Is Spontaneous” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you believe in God, you must obey God, put the truth into practice, and fulfill all your duties. Additionally, you must understand the things you should experience. If you only experience being dealt with, being disciplined, and judgment, if you are only able to enjoy God, but you are unable to feel when God is disciplining you or dealing with you, this is unacceptable. Perhaps in this instance of refinement you are able to stand your ground. This is still not enough; you must march forward. The lesson of loving God is endless, and there is never an end to it. People see believing in God as too simple, but once they gain some practical experience, they realize that belief in God is not as simple as people imagine. When God works to refine man, man suffers, his love of God becomes greater, and more of God’s might is revealed in him. The less man’s refinement, the less his love of God, and the less God’s might is revealed in him. The greater his refinement and pain and the more his torment, the deeper his true love of God will be, the more genuine his faith in God will be, and the deeper his knowledge of God will be. In your experiences you will see that those who suffer great refinement and pain, and much dealing and discipline have a deep love of God, and a more profound and penetrating knowledge of God. Those who have not experienced being dealt with have but a superficial knowledge, and can only say: “God is so good, He bestows grace upon people so that they can enjoy Him.” If people have experienced being dealt with and disciplined, then they are able to speak the true knowledge of God. So the more wondrous God’s work in man is, the more valuable and significant it is. The more impenetrable it is to you and the more incompatible it is with your notions, the more God’s work is able to conquer you, gain you, and make you perfect. The significance of God’s work is so great! If He did not refine man in this way, if He did not work according to this method, then God’s work would be ineffectual and without significance. This is the reason behind the extraordinary significance of His selection of a group of people during the last days.
from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
There is no correlation between the duty of man and whether he is blessed or cursed. Duty is what man ought to fulfill; it is his bounden duty and should not depend on recompense, conditions, or reasons. Only then is that doing his duty. A man who is blessed enjoys goodness upon being made perfect after judgment. A man who is cursed receives punishment when his disposition remains unchanged following chastisement and judgment, that is, he has not been made perfect. As a created being, man ought to fulfill his duty, do what he ought to do, and do what he is able to do, regardless of whether he will be blessed or cursed. This is the very basic condition for man, as one who seeks after God. You should not do your duty only to be blessed, and you should not refuse to act for fear of being cursed. Let Me tell you this one thing: If man is able to do his duty, it means he performs what he ought to do. If man is unable to do his duty, it shows the rebelliousness of man. It is always through the process of doing his duty that man is gradually changed, and it is through this process that he demonstrates his loyalty. As such, the more you are able to do your duty, the more truths you shall receive, and so too shall your expression become more real. Those who merely go through the motions in doing their duty and do not seek the truth shall be eliminated in the end, for such men do not do their duty in the practice of truth, and do not practice truth in the fulfillment of their duty. Such men are those who remain unchanged and will be cursed. Not only are their expressions impure, but what they express is nothing but wickedness.
from “The Difference Between the Ministry of the Incarnate God and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.
from “Practice (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You believe in God and follow God, and so in your heart you must love God. You must cast aside your corrupt disposition, must seek to fulfill God’s desire, and must perform the duty of a creature of God. Since you believe in and follow God, you should offer everything to Him, and should not make personal choices or demands, and you should achieve the fulfillment of God’s desire. Since you were created, you should obey the Lord that created you, for you are inherently without dominion over yourself, and have no ability to control your destiny. Since you are a person that believes in God, you should seek holiness and change. Since you are a creature of God, you should adhere to your duty, and keep your place, and must not overstep your duty. This is not to constrain you, or to suppress you through doctrine, but is the path through which you can perform your duty, and can be achieved—and should be achieved—by all those who do righteousness.
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The essence of man believing in God is to seek life. If you believe in God yet do not seek life or truth or knowledge of God, then there is no belief in God! Is it realistic that you still seek to enter the kingdom to be king? Only achievement of true love for God through seeking life is reality; the pursuit and practice of truth are all reality. Experience the words of God while reading His words; in this way, you will grasp the knowledge of God through real experience. This is a true pursuit.
from “The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Today’s pursuit is all laying a foundation for the future work; it is for you to be used by God and so that you are able to bear witness for Him. If this is the object of your pursuit, you will be able to gain the presence of the Holy Spirit. The higher the object of your pursuit is, the more possible it will be for you to be perfected. The more you pursue the truth, the more the Holy Spirit will work. The greater energy you have for pursuit, the more you will gain. The Holy Spirit perfects people based on their internal state. Some people say that they are not willing to be used by God or to be perfected by Him, that it will be fine if they have peace in the flesh, and do not suffer any catastrophes. Some people are not willing to enter into the kingdom, but are willing to descend into the bottomless pit, and God will also fulfill that for you. Whatever you pursue will be what God fulfills. So what is your current pursuit? Are you pursuing being perfected? Are your current actions and behaviors for the sake of being perfected by God, for being obtained by Him? You must constantly measure yourself this way in your daily life. If you focus your heart on pursuing a single goal, God will definitely perfect you. This is the path of the Holy Spirit. The path led by the Holy Spirit is attained through people’s seeking. The more you long to be perfected and obtained by God, the more the Holy Spirit will work within you. The more you do not seek, and the more negative and retreating you are, the more the Holy Spirit lacks opportunities to work. The Holy Spirit will gradually abandon you
from “Those Whose Disposition Has Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Many people say: “I believe in God and I follow in this way, so I’m bound to obtain something. I do not seek the truth but I follow until the end, and I use all my strength to expend effort and to abandon things in the course of my duties. Even if I commit some transgressions, I can still obtain something.” They do not know what they are saying. With so much corruption within people, how can they change if they do not seek the truth? ... Some people always think: “Isn’t believing in God just attending meetings, singing songs, listening to the word of God, praying, doing some duties? Isn’t that what it’s like?” No matter how long you have been believers in God, you still haven’t understood thoroughly the significance of belief in God. In fact, the significance of belief in God is incredibly deep, and people have not thought thoroughly about it. In the end, the things within people that are of Satan, and the things of their nature must change, and must become compatible with the requirements of the truth; only this is truly achieving salvation. If you are like what you were in the religion—just shouting some words of doctrine or shouting some slogans, and then doing some actions and good behaviors, and not committing certain sins, not committing the obvious sins—this still does not mean that you have entered onto the right track of believing in God. Just because you can abide by the rules, does that mean you are walking the correct path? Does this mean you have chosen correctly? If the things within your nature have not changed and in the end you are still resisting God and offending God, then this is the largest of problems. If you believe in God but do not resolve this problem, then can you be considered as having been saved? What does it mean, Me saying this? It is to make you all understand in your hearts that a belief in God cannot be separated from God’s words, from God, or from the truth. You must choose your path well, put effort into the truth and put effort into God’s words. Do not just have some half-baked knowledge or just understand them more or less and then consider yourself done. If you go about things in a slapdash way, you will only hurt yourself. A person should not deviate in their belief in God; if in the end there is no God in their heart, and they merely hold a book glancing at it like viewing flowers on horseback, without having a space for God in their heart, then they are finished. What does, “Man’s belief in God cannot be separated from God’s words” mean? Do you understand? Does it contradict, “A belief in God cannot be separated from God”? How can you have God in your heart if God’s words are not within your heart? If you believe in God but God is not in your heart, nor are God’s words, nor is God’s guidance, then you are utterly finished.
from “Those Who Have Lost the Work of the Holy Spirit Are Most at Risk” in Records of Christ’s Talks
a. The original text omits “As such.”
The Man’s Fellowship:
To believe in God, it is necessary to have a route schematic. God’s chosen people must grasp this most fundamental route schematic of faith in God. What is this route schematic? The goal of believing in God is to seek knowledge of God. The way to believe in God is to pursue the truth and enter the right track of believing in God, and finally reach salvation. The most fundamental reality of faith in God is to be honest, to achieve true obedience to God. Other realities are not important. If this reality is not entered, then you have no reality at all. The most important thing for believing in God is to practice the truth and enter reality. What one must practice every day is to carefully eat and drink God’s word and ponder the truth, and to grow often in the truth. This is a necessity. As the created, what one cannot ignore in believing in God is to do his duty well. This is the basic principle of being a human being. Without the duty, one does not deserve to be called a human being. He doesn’t deserve to live in front of God. The beginning of being a human being is to do his duty well. What he must not be confused in believing in God is that he must follow and obey God. He must never follow people, obey any leader or worker, worship anyone, or be constrained by others. To believe in God, one must never forget to requite God’s love. Remember, “It is God who brought me to this day. It is God who has graced me so I have today. If I don’t requite God’s love, I don’t have a conscience.” The required daily study for believing in God is to have true interaction with God in the heart, to be able to speak from the heart with God and to worship God. If you haven’t spoken from the heart with God or truly prayed for several days, your heart is far away from God. This is the motto for believing in God: If one has neither the place nor fear for God in his heart, everything is vacuous. The closer one is to God, the more enjoyable it is for him, and the more he lives in the light. This is the motto for believing in God that cannot be ignored. This is the route schematic for believing in God. If you remember and truly understand this route schematic, it is easy to enter the right track of believing in God. Without the route schematic, it is easy to be lost and go the wrong way, and it is not easy to enter the right track.
from the fellowship from the above