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(XIII) Classic Words on How to Undergo Judgment and Chastisement, Being Dealt With and Pruned, and Trials and Refinement

Classic Words From Almighty God, Christ of the Last Days

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X Classic Words on the Reality of the Truth God’s Chosen People Must Enter Into

(XIII) Classic Words on How to Undergo Judgment and Chastisement, Being Dealt With and Pruned, and Trials and Refinement

331. Faced with man’s state and his attitude toward God, God has done new work, allowing man to possess both knowledge of and obedience toward Him, and both love and testimony. Thus, man must experience God’s refinement of him, as well as His judgment, dealing and pruning of him, without which man would never know God, and would never be capable of truly loving and bearing witness to Him. God’s refinement of man is not merely for the sake of a one-sided effect, but for the sake of a multi-faceted effect. Only in this way does God do the work of refinement in those who are willing to seek the truth, in order that man’s resolve and love are made perfect by God. To those who are willing to seek the truth, and who yearn for God, nothing is more meaningful, or of greater assistance, than refinement such as this.

from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

332. People cannot change their disposition themselves; they must undergo the judgment and chastisement and painful refinement of God’s words, or being dealt with, disciplined, and pruned by His words. Only after that can they achieve obedience and devotion to God, and not try to fool Him and deal with Him perfunctorily. It is under the refinement of God’s words that people have a change in disposition. Only those who undergo the exposure, judgment, disciplining, and dealing with of His words will no longer dare to do things recklessly, and will become calm and collected. The most important point is that they are able to obey God’s current words and obey God’s work, and even if it is not in line with human notions, they can put them aside and intentionally obey.

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

333. In experiencing God’s work, if people want to be in the likeness of a person, they must experience the revelation, chastisement, and judgment of these words, and eventually they will be able to transform. This is a way, and if people don’t do it this way, they cannot change. They have to do it little by little. They must experience judgment and chastisement and continual pruning and dealing. The things exposed in people’s natures must be revealed. After they are revealed and people understand them clearly, they will be able to walk on the correct path. Only after experiencing for a period of time and understanding some truths will they have some assurance to stand.

from “Understanding Commonalities and Differences in Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

334. 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. … 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? … 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. … 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.

from “The Importance and the Path of Pursuing the Truth” in Records of Christ’s Talks

335. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines and he was even less focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he was focused on understanding the truth and grasping God’s will, and achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. He also tried to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, and understand the corrupt nature of man and man’s true shortcomings, achieving all aspects of the demands God makes of man in order to satisfy Him. He had so many correct practices within the words of God; this is most in line with God’s will, and it is man’s best cooperation in his experience of the work of God. 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

336. 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.

from “You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

337. No matter what God says, you simply enter into His words—this is more beneficial for your lives. Everything is for the sake of your change in disposition. When you enter into God’s words, your heart will be moved by God, and you will be able to understand everything that God wants to achieve in this step of work, and you will have the will to achieve it. In the times of chastisement, some people believed that it was the method of work and did not believe in God’s words. As a result, they did not undergo refinement and they came out of the times of chastisement having gained nothing and understood nothing. There were some who truly entered into these words without a shred of doubt; they said that God’s words are true and infallible and that people should be chastised. They struggled within this for a period of time and let go of their future and destiny, and once they came out from that their disposition changed significantly, and they had an even deeper understanding of God. Those who came out from the midst of chastisement all felt the loveliness of God, and they knew that that step of God’s work was His great love coming upon mankind, that it was the conquest and the salvation of God’s love. And they also said that God’s thoughts are always good, and everything that God does in man is love, not hate. Those who did not believe God’s words or place importance on them did not undergo refinement during the times of chastisement, and the result was that the Holy Spirit did not accompany them, and they gained nothing. For those who entered into the times of chastisement, although they did undergo refinement, the Holy Spirit was working inside of them in a hidden way, and the outcome was that they experienced a change in their life disposition. Some people seemed to be very positive from the outside. They were always happy, but they didn’t enter into that state of the refinement of God’s words and didn’t change at all, which was the consequence of not believing God’s words. If you don’t believe His words the Holy Spirit won’t work in you. God appears to all those who believe His words; those who believe and understand His words will gain His love!

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

338. Each of God’s words strikes at our mortal spot, and leaves us sorrowful and afraid. He reveals our notions, reveals our imaginations, and reveals our corrupt disposition. Through all that we say and do, and every one of our thoughts and ideas, our nature and substance are revealed by His words, leaving us humiliated and trembling with fear. He tells us of all of our actions, our aims and intentions, and even the corrupt disposition that we have never discovered, making us feel we are thoroughly exposed, and even more feel completely convinced. He judges us for our opposition to Him, chastises us for our blasphemy and condemnation of Him, and makes us feel that in His eyes we are worthless, and we are the living Satan. Our hopes are dashed, we no longer dare to make any unreasonable demands and attempts upon Him, and even our dreams vanish overnight. This is a fact that none of us can imagine, and which none of us can accept. For a moment, our minds become unbalanced, and we do not know how to continue on the road ahead, do not know how to continue in our beliefs. It seems like our faith has gone back to square one, and that we have never met and been acquainted with the Lord Jesus. Everything before our eyes perplexes us, and makes us feel as if we have been cast adrift. We are dismayed, we are disappointed, and deep in our hearts there is insuppressible anger and disgrace. We try to vent, try to find a way out, and, what’s more, we attempt to continue waiting for our Savior Jesus, and pour our hearts out to Him. Though there are times when we are neither haughty nor humble on the outside, in our hearts we are afflicted with a sense of loss like never before. Though sometimes we may seem unusually calm on the outside, inside we endure rolling seas of torment. His judgment and chastisement have stripped us of all our hopes and dreams, have left us without our extravagant desires, and unwilling to believe that He is our Savior and capable of saving us. His judgment and chastisement have opened up a deep gulf between us and Him and no one is even willing to cross. His judgment and chastisement are the first time that we suffer such a great setback and such great humiliation. His judgment and chastisement have allowed us to truly appreciate God’s honor and intolerance of man’s offense, compared to which we are so lowly and impure. His judgment and chastisement have made us realize for the first time how arrogant and pompous we are, and how man will never be the equal of God, or on a par with God. His judgment and chastisement have made us yearn to no longer live in such a corrupt disposition, and have made us long to rid ourselves of such nature and substance as soon as possible, and no longer be detested by Him and disgusting to Him. His judgment and chastisement have made us happy to obey His words, and no longer willing to rebel against His orchestrations and arrangements. His judgment and chastisement have once more given us the desire to seek life, and have made us happy to accept Him as our Savior…. We have walked out of the work of conquest, stepped out of hell, stepped out of the valley of the shadow of death…. Almighty God has gained us, this group of people! He has triumphed over Satan, and defeated all of His enemies!

from “Beholding the Appearance of God in His Judgment and Chastisement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

339. He was transcending the influence of Satan, and ridding himself of the pleasures and enjoyments of the flesh, and was willing to experience more profoundly both God’s chastisement and His judgment. He said, “Even though I live amid Your chastisement, and amid Your judgment, regardless of the hardship that entails, still I am unwilling to live under the domain of Satan, still I am unwilling to suffer Satan’s trickery. I take joy from living amid Your curses, and am pained by living amid the blessings of Satan. I love You by living amid Your judgment, and this brings me great joy. Your chastisement and judgment is righteous and holy; it is in order to cleanse me, and even more to save me. I would prefer to spend my entire life amid Your judgment to be under Your care. I am unwilling to live under Satan’s domain for a single moment; I wish to be cleansed by You, to suffer hardship, and am unwilling to be exploited and tricked by Satan. I, this creature, should be used by You, possessed by You, judged by You, and chastised by You. I should even be cursed by You. My heart rejoices when You are willing to bless me, for I have seen Your love. You are the Creator, and I am a creature: I should not betray You and live under the domain of Satan, nor should I be exploited by Satan. I should be Your horse, or ox, instead of living for Satan. I’d rather live amid Your chastisement, without physical bliss, and this would bring me enjoyment even if I were to lose Your grace. Though Your grace is not with me, I enjoy being chastised and judged by You; this is Your best blessing, Your greatest grace. Though You are always majestic and wrathful toward me, still I am incapable of leaving You, still I cannot love You enough. I’d prefer to live in Your home, I’d prefer to be cursed, chastised, and smitten by You, and am unwilling to live under the domain of Satan, nor am I willing to rush and busy about only for the flesh, much less am I willing to live for the flesh.” Peter’s love was a pure love. This is the experience of being made perfect, and is the highest realm of being made perfect, and there is no life that is more meaningful. He accepted God’s chastisement and judgment, he treasured God’s righteous disposition, and nothing about Peter was more precious.

from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

340. He said, “Satan gives me material enjoyments, but I do not treasure them. God’s chastisement and judgment comes upon me—in this I am graced, in this I find enjoyment, and in this I am blessed. Were it not for God’s judgment I would never love God, I would still live under the domain of Satan, would still be controlled by it, and commanded by it. If that were the case, I would never become a real human being, for I would be incapable of satisfying God, and would not have devoted my entirety to God. Even though God does not bless me, leaving me without comfort inside, as if a fire is burning within me, and with no peace or joy, and even though God’s chastisement and discipline is never apart from me, in God’s chastisement and judgment I am able to behold His righteous disposition. I take delight in this; there is no more valuable or meaningful thing in life. Though His protection and care have become ruthless chastisement, judgment, curses and smiting, still I take enjoyment in these things, for they can better cleanse me, can change me, can bring me closer to God, can make me more able to love God, and can make my love of God purer. This makes me able to fulfill my duty as a creature, and takes me before God and away from the influence of Satan, so that I no longer serve Satan. When I do not live under the domain of Satan, and am able to devote everything I have and all that I can do to God, without holding anything back—that will be when I am fully satisfied. It is God’s chastisement and judgment that has saved me, and my life is inseparable from God’s chastisement and judgment. My life on earth is under the domain of Satan, and were it not for the care and protection of God’s chastisement and judgment, I would have always lived under the domain of Satan, and, moreover, I would not have had the opportunity or means to live out a life of meaning. Only if God’s chastisement and judgment never leaves me, will I be able to be cleansed by God. Only with the harsh words and righteous disposition of God, and God’s majestic judgment, have I gained supreme protection, and lived in the light, and gained the blessings of God. To be able to be cleansed, and free myself from Satan, and live under the dominion of God—this is the greatest blessing in my life today.” This is the highest realm experienced by Peter.

from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

341. Is what you pursue to be conquered after chastisement and judgment, or to be cleansed, protected and cared for after chastisement and judgment? Which of these do you pursue? Is your life a meaningful one, or is it pointless and without value? Do you want the flesh, or do you want the truth? Do you wish for judgment, or comfort? Having experienced so much of God’s work, and having beheld the holiness and righteousness of God, how should you pursue? How should you walk this path? How should you put your love of God into practice? Has God’s chastisement and judgment achieved any effect in you? Whether or not you have a knowledge of God’s chastisement and judgment depends on what you live out, and to what extent you love God! Your lips say you love God, yet what you live out is the old, corrupt disposition; you have no fear of God, much less do you have a conscience. Do such people love God? Are such people loyal to God? Are they those who accept God’s chastisement and judgment? You say you love God and believe in Him, yet you do not let go of your conceptions. In your work, entry, the words you speak, and in your life, there is no manifestation of your love of God, and there is no reverence for God. Is this someone who has gained chastisement and judgment? Could someone such as this be Peter? Do those who are like Peter only have the knowledge, but not the living out? Today, what is the condition that requires man to live out a real life? Were Peter’s prayers nothing more than words that came out of his mouth? Were they not the words from deep within his heart? Did Peter only pray, and not put the truth into practice? For whose sake is your pursuit? How should you have yourself protected and cleansed during God’s chastisement and judgment? Is God’s chastisement and judgment of no benefit to man? Is all judgment punishment? Could it be that only peace and joy, only material blessings and momentary comfort, are beneficial to the life of man? If man lives in a pleasant and comfortable environment, without a life of judgment, could he be cleansed? If man wishes to change and be cleansed, how should he accept being made perfect? Which path should you choose today?

from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

342. If you are someone who pursues being made perfect, then you will have borne testimony, and you will say: “In this step-by-step work of God, I have accepted God’s work of chastisement and judgment, and though I have endured great suffering, I have come to know how God makes man perfect, I have gained the work done by God, I have had the knowledge of the righteousness of God, and His chastisement has saved me. His righteous disposition has come upon me, and brought me blessings and grace, and His judgment and chastisement has protected and purified me. If I had not been chastised and judged by God, and if the harsh words of God had not come upon me, I could not have known God, nor could I have been saved. Today I see that, as a creature, not only does one enjoy all things made by the Creator, but, more importantly, that all creatures should enjoy the righteous disposition of God, and enjoy His righteous judgment, because God’s disposition is worthy of man’s enjoyment. As a creature that has been corrupted by Satan, one should enjoy God’s righteous disposition. In His righteous disposition there is chastisement and judgment, and, moreover, there is great love. Although I am incapable of completely gaining God’s love today, I have had the good fortune to see it, and in this I have been blessed.” This is the path walked by those who experience being made perfect and the knowledge of which they speak. Such people are the same as Peter; they have the same experiences as Peter. Such people are also those who have gained life, and who possess the truth. If man experiences until the very end, during God’s judgment he will inevitably completely rid himself of the influence of Satan, and be gained by God.

from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

343. God works on each and every person. Regardless of what method He employs, what form it takes or what tone He uses to speak to people, there is only one final aim, and that is to save you. Before saving you, He needs to change you. But can you change without suffering anything at all? You must suffer a little. This suffering can involve many things. God arouses the people, matters, and things around you and orchestrates your environment to allow you to know yourself, or else He deals with you, prunes you and exposes you directly. It is like someone on an operating table who must undergo some pain—would it be possible that they feel nothing? If every time God prunes and deals with you and every time He arouses people, things, and objects, for you it stirs up your feelings and gives you a boost, then your experience in this way is correct, and you will have stature and will enter into the reality of the truth. If every time God prunes or deals with you and every time He arouses your environment you feel no pain or discomfort whatsoever, and feel nothing at all, and if you do not come before God to seek God’s will, do not pray or seek the truth, then you really are so numb!

from “If You Wish to Attain the Truth, Then You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks

344. Some people become passive after being pruned and dealt with; they feel too weak to perform their duty and lose their loyalty and devotion. Why is this? This is partly due to people’s lack of awareness of the essence of their actions which results in not accepting being pruned and dealt with. It is also partly due to people not having understood the significance of being dealt with and pruned, believing it to be a sign of the determination of their outcome. As a result, people mistakenly believe that if they have some loyalty and devotion toward God, then they cannot be dealt with and pruned; if they are dealt with, it cannot be the righteousness of God. Such misunderstandings cause many people to not be loyal and devoted to God. In fact, it is all because people are too deceitful; they do not want to suffer hardship—they want to gain blessings the easy way. They are not aware of God’s righteousness. It is not that God has not done anything righteous or that He will not do anything righteous, it is just that people never think that what God does is righteous. In human eyes, if the work of God does not conform to the will of man or if it is not up to what they expected, it means that He is not righteous. People never realize when what they do is not appropriate or does not conform to the truth; they never realize that they are resisting God. If God never dealt with or pruned people for their transgressions and never reproached them for their faults, but was always calm, never provoked them, never offended them, and never exposed their scars, but allowed them to dine and have a good time with Him, then people would never complain that God was unrighteous. They would hypocritically say that He was very righteous. Therefore, people still do not believe that what God requires is their performance after their transformation. How could God rest assured if they kept that up? If God were only a little reproachful of people, they would no longer believe that He sees their performance after transformation. They would stop believing that He is righteous, and they would not have the will to be transformed. If people continued on under these circumstances, they would be deceived by their own notions.

from “The Meaning of People’s Performance Determining Their Outcome” in Records of Christ’s Talks

345. Some people think that after experiencing judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing or after revealing their true form, they are done and their outcome has taken shape. The majority of people can’t see this matter clearly, and they are all stopped there, not knowing how to walk the path ahead. Generally, when they don’t undergo dealing and pruning or don’t have any setbacks, they will feel like seeking the truth while believing in God, and they will feel that they should satisfy the will of God. But as soon as they suffer a little setback and some difficulties arise, their betraying natures are exposed, making them look especially detestable, and later, they will also feel their natures are especially detestable. In the end, they determine the outcome for themselves: “I am done for. Am I not finished for doing this thing? God will certainly not save me.” There are many people who are in this kind of condition; you could even say that everyone is like this. Why are people able to delineate themselves this way? It proves that people do not understand God’s intention to save them. Being dealt with just once causes you to go a long time without pursuing truth; making one small mistake causes you to not fulfill your duties; an insignificant environment causes you to be stagnant. It seems people feel that they have to be flawless in order to have energy to seek. If they discover that they are too corrupt, then they will not have the inclination to seek. Many people have said disheartening and negative things like this: “I am finished, I am definitely done for. There is no way I can be saved. Even if God forgave me, I would not be able to forgive myself. I will never change.” People’s misunderstanding of God’s will demonstrates that people don’t understand the work of God. Actually, mankind will occasionally reveal some of their corrupt dispositions as they enter in normally. They are impure in the things they do, they don’t take responsibility, they are not devoted, and they work perfunctorily. This is a very natural thing and it is inevitable. If these things were not revealed, then how could one say that mankind is corrupt? If mankind was not corrupt, then God’s work of salvation would have no significance. The current situation is that people don’t have the truth, and they don’t truly understand themselves and see their conditions clearly. Therefore, their conditions need to be revealed and clarified. Only by revealing these things will they be able to see the light. People are all numb and obtuse. If God doesn’t work this way, then you won’t change.

from “Understanding Commonalities and Differences in Human Nature” in Records of Christ’s Talks

346. Can you put something into practice once you understand it? You can’t put it into practice immediately. During the time it takes for you to understand, others will prune you and deal with you, and the environment will compel you to do it this way and that way. Sometimes, you are unwilling to go through this, saying, “Why can’t I do it that way? Do I have to do it this way?” Others say, “If you believe in God, then you should do it this way. Doing it this way is in accordance with truth.” In the end, you will reach a certain point where you understand God’s will and understand some truths after experiencing some trials, and you will be somewhat happy and willing to do it. You are initially reluctant to do it.

from “What You Should Know About Transforming Your Disposition” in Records of Christ’s Talks

347. Failure and falling down is not a bad thing, but a good thing, and being exposed is not a bad thing either. Whether you have been through dealing, pruning or have been exposed—whether you have been dealt with and pruned by the above or you have been dealt with by your brothers and sisters—you must remember this at all times: Being exposed doesn’t mean that you are being condemned. Being exposed is a good thing. It is the best opportunity for you to get to know yourself, to undergo a transition in your life experience. Otherwise, you will have no opportunity, nor will you have this condition or context for you to be able to reach an understanding of your own true face. If you can come to know the things inside yourself and every aspect of your being, come to know the things deep within you that are hard to recognize and difficult to unearth, then this is a good thing. It is the best opportunity for you to mend your ways and become a new man; it is the best opportunity for you to obtain new life. Also, you have crossed over the threshold of understanding the truth and entering into the reality of the truth. This is a great thing! If you can grab this opportunity and use this to further seek the truth, to pray more, if you have a conscientious and responsible attitude and, moreover, if you are someone who seeks and loves the truth, then once you have crossed this threshold, you will then be able to take a big step forward!

from “If You Wish to Attain the Truth, Then You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks

348. If you believe in the dominion of God, then you must believe that the things that happen every day, be they good or bad, don’t happen accidentally. It is not that someone doesn’t get on with you or opposes you on purpose; it is actually all arranged by God and He orchestrates everything. What does God orchestrate everything for? It is not to reveal your shortcomings for everyone to see or to expose you; exposing you is not the final aim. The aim is to perfect you and save you. How does God perfect you and save you? Firstly, He makes you aware of your own corrupt disposition, your own nature and essence, your own shortcomings and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and understanding them in your heart can you cast them off—this is a God-given opportunity. You must learn to seize this opportunity and know how to seize it; don’t lock horns and don’t resist. If you are always competing with the people, events, and things that God has arranged around you, if you are always trying to extricate yourself from them, always feeling dissatisfied, always harboring a disagreeable mentality and always misunderstanding, then you will find it very difficult to enter into the truth. Through obeying, seeking, praying more, retreating to your spirit and coming before God then, unbeknownst to you, a change will happen in your inner condition. When you are having a change, the reality of the truth is being wrought in you, and you will then progress and will see a change in the conditions of your life. When you have this change, and this kind of reality of the truth, then you will have stature, and with stature comes life.

from “If You Wish to Attain the Truth, Then You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks

349. If God arranges some environments, people, things, and objects for you, or if He prunes and deals with you, and if you learn lessons from it, you learn to come before God, learn to seek the truth and are unknowingly enlightened and illuminated and so attain the truth, and if, in these environments, you experience a change, you reap rewards and you make progress, if you begin to have a little comprehension of God’s will and you cease to complain, meaning that you have stood firm in the midst of the trials of these environments and you have withstood the test, then that’s great, and you have passed this ordeal. How does God regard those who pass this ordeal? God will say they have a true heart, that they can endure this kind of suffering and that their heart loves the truth and wants the truth. If God has this kind of assessment of you, aren’t you then someone with stature? So does this kind of person then have life? And how is this life attained? Is it bestowed on man by God? (Yes.) How does God bestow it? (He bestows it through the people, the things, the objects, and the environment around us, and through chastisement, judgment, failure and falling down.) It is God coming personally to give you a bowl of food, feeding it to you and then, after you have eaten, you feel full so that you can stand with strength. You must see these things and comprehend them in this way, and this is being obedient to everything that comes from God. You must possess this kind of state of mind and this kind of attitude and you must learn to seek the truth. You mustn’t look for external causes, mustn’t always look for the troubles of others, and you mustn’t always look for faults in others. It can look like that from outside, and this is true. Some people may have opinions about you or may think about you in a certain way, but you don’t see things that way and you don’t see things from that point of view. You see things from another point of view. If you see things from that point of view, then you won’t be able to attain anything. If you see things from the other point of view then that’s great, your viewpoint and your state of mind will be straightened out and you will then attain the truth. What possible reason could there be to not proceed?

from “If You Wish to Attain the Truth, Then You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks

350. Whether God judges man or curses him, both make man perfect: Both are in order to make perfect that which is impure within man. Through this means man was refined, and that which was lacking within man was made perfect through His words and work. Every step of God’s work—whether it be harsh words, or judgment, or chastisement—makes man perfect, and is absolutely appropriate. Never throughout the ages has God done work such as this; today, He works within you so that you have appreciated His wisdom. Although you have suffered some pain within you, your hearts feel steadfast, and at peace; it is your blessing to be able to enjoy this stage of the work of God. Regardless of what you are able to gain in the future, all that you see of God’s work in you today is love. If man does not experience God’s judgment and refinement, his actions and fervor will always be on the outside, and his disposition will always remain unchanged. Does this count as having been gained by God? Today, although there is still much within man that is arrogant and conceited, man’s disposition is much more stable than before. God’s dealing of you is in order to save you, and although you may feel some pain at the time, the day will come when there occurs a change in your disposition. At that time, you will look back and see how wise the work of God is, and that will be when you are able to truly understand God’s will.

from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

351. If people wish to become living beings, and to bear testimony to God, and to be approved of by God, they must accept God’s salvation, they must gladly submit to His judgment and chastisement, and must gladly accept the pruning and dealing of God. Only then will they be able to put all of the truths required by God into practice, and only then will they gain God’s salvation, and truly become living beings. The living are saved by God, they have been judged and chastised by God, they are willing to devote themselves and are happy to lay down their lives to God, and they would gladly dedicate their whole lives to God. Only when the living bear testimony to God can Satan be shamed, only the living can spread the gospel work of God, only the living are after God’s heart, and only the living are real people.

from “Have You Come Alive?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

352. People believe in God with the purpose of seeking to obtain blessings in the future. All people have this intent and hope. Corruption within human nature must be resolved through trials, however. In whichever aspects you do not pass, it is in these aspects that you must be refined—this is God’s arrangement. God creates an environment for you, forcing you to be refined there to know your own corruption. Ultimately you reach a point where you would rather die and give up your schemes and desires, and submit to God’s sovereignty and arrangement.

So if people do not have several years of refinement, if they don’t have a certain amount of suffering, they will not be able to avoid the bondage of corruption of the flesh in their thought and in their hearts. In whichever aspects you are still subject to Satan’s bondage, in whichever aspects you still have your own desires, your own demands—it is in these aspects that you should suffer. Only in suffering can lessons be learned, which means being able to gain truth, and understand God’s intention. In fact, many truths are understood within experience of painful trials. Nobody says that God’s intention is known, that His almightiness and wisdom are understood, that God’s righteous disposition is appreciated in an environment of ease or in favorable circumstances. That would be impossible!

from “How to Satisfy God in the Midst of Trials” in Records of Christ’s Talks

353. If people wish to be made perfect by God, and if they wish to do His will, and fully give their true love to God, then they must experience much suffering and many torments from the circumstances, to suffer pain worse than death, ultimately they will be forced to give their true heart back to God. Whether or not someone truly loves God is revealed during hardship and refinement. God purifies people’s love, and this is also only achieved amid hardship and refinement.

from “Only Loving God Is Truly Believing in God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

354. For all people, refinement is excruciating, and very difficult to accept—yet it is during refinement that God makes plain His righteous disposition to man, and makes public His requirements for man, and provides more enlightenment, and more actual pruning and dealing; through the comparison between the facts and the truth, He gives man a greater knowledge of himself and the truth, and gives man a greater understanding of God’s will, thus allowing man to have a truer and purer love of God. Such are God’s aims in carrying out refinement.

from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

355. The greater God’s refinement, the more people’s hearts are able to love God. The torment in their hearts is of benefit to their lives, they are more able to be at peace before God, their relationship with God is closer, and they are better able to see God’s supreme love and His supreme salvation. Peter experienced refinement hundreds of times, and Job underwent several trials. If you wish to be made perfect by God, you too must undergo refinement hundreds of times; only if you have to go through this process, and have to rely upon this step, are you able to satisfy God’s will, and be made perfect by God. Refinement is the best means by which God makes people perfect; only refinement and bitter trials can bring out the true love for God in people’s hearts. Without hardship, people lack the true love for God; if they are not tested within, and are not truly subjected to refinement, then their hearts will always be floating in the outside world. Having been refined to a certain point, you will see your own weaknesses and difficulties, you will see how much you are lacking and that you are unable to overcome the many problems you encounter, and you will see how great is your disobedience. Only during trials will people be able to truly know their real states, and trials make people better able to be made perfect.

from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

356. During refinements, you must enter in from a positive perspective and learn the lessons you should learn; when you pray to God and read His word, you should compare your own state to it, discover your shortcomings, and find that you have so many lessons to learn. The more sincerely you seek in the midst of refinements, the more you will find yourself to be inadequate. When you are experiencing refinements there are many issues that you encounter; you cannot see them clearly, you complain, you reveal your own flesh—only through this do you discover how great your corrupt disposition is.

from “You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

357. On one hand, during God’s trials man comes to know his deficiencies, and sees that he is insignificant, contemptible, and lowly, that he has nothing, and is nothing; on the other hand, during His trials God creates different environments for man that make man more able to experience the loveliness of God. Although the pain is great, and sometimes insurmountable—and it even reaches the level of crushing grief—having experienced it, man sees how lovely is God’s work in him, and only upon this foundation is there born in man the true love of God.

from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

358. Today, even if you are not a worker, you should be able to perform the duty of a creature of God, and seek to submit to all of God’s orchestrations. You should be able to obey whatever God says, and experience all manner of tribulations and refinement, and though you are weak, in your heart you should still be able to love God. Those who take responsibility for their own life are willing to perform the duty of a creature of God, and such people’s viewpoint toward pursuit is the right one. These are the people that God needs.

from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

359. God can perfect man in both positive and negative aspects. It depends on whether you are able to experience, and on whether you pursue being perfected by God. If you truly seek being perfected by God, then the negative cannot make you suffer loss, but can bring you things that are more real, and can make you more able to know that which is lacking within you, more able to come to grips with your real states, and see that man has nothing, and is nothing; if you do not experience trials, you do not know, and will always feel that you are above others and better than everyone else. Through all this you will see that all that came before was done by God and protected by God. Entry into trials leaves you without love or faith, you lack prayer, and are unable to sing hymns—and, without realizing it, in the midst of this you come to know yourself.

from “Only Those Who Focus on Practice Can Be Perfected” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

360. 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.

from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

361. While undergoing trials, it’s normal for people to be weak, or have negativity within them, or to lack clarity on God’s will or their path for practice. But in any case, you must have faith in God’s work, and not deny God, like Job. Although Job was weak and cursed the day of his own birth, he did not deny that all things in human life were bestowed by Jehovah, and that Jehovah is also the One to take it all away. No matter how he was tested, he maintained this belief. No matter what kind of refinement you undergo in your experiences from God’s words, God requires mankind’s faith. This way, what is perfected are people’s faith and aspirations. When you cannot touch or see it, it is under these circumstances that your faith is required. People’s faith is required for when something cannot be seen by the naked eye, and your faith is required for when you cannot let go of your own notions. When you are not clear on God’s work, what is required is your faith and that you take a firm stance and stand witness. When Job reached this point, God appeared to him and spoke to him. That is, it is only from within your faith that you will be able to see God, and when you have faith God will perfect you. Without faith, He cannot do this.

from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

362. For every step of God’s work, there is a way that people should cooperate. God refines people so that they have confidence in the midst of refinements. God perfects people so that they have confidence to be perfected by God and are willing to accept His refinements and being dealt with and pruned by God. The Spirit of God works within people to bring them enlightenment and illumination, and to have them cooperate with Him and practice. God does not speak during refinements. He does not utter His voice, but there is still the work that people should do. You should uphold what you already have, you should still be able to pray to God, be close to God, and stand witness in front of God; this way you will fulfill your own duty.

from “You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

363. The work of refinement is primarily to perfect people’s faith and in the end reach a state where you want to leave but you cannot, where some people are bereft of a shred of hope but they still have their faith, where people no longer have hope in their own future, and only at this time will God’s refinement conclude. Mankind still has not reached the stage of hovering between life and death—they have not tasted death, so the refinement is not at an end. Even those who were at the step of service-doers had not been refined to the utmost, but Job had been, with nothing to rely on. People must undergo refinements to the point that they have no hope and nothing to rely on—only then are they truly refinements. During the time of the service-doers, your heart was always quiet in front of God. No matter what He did and no matter what His will for you was, you always obeyed His arrangements and at the end of the road, you understood everything. Undergoing the trials of Job is also undergoing the trials of Peter. When Job was tested he stood witness, and in the end Jehovah was revealed to him. Only after he stood witness was he worthy of seeing the face of God. … If you are like Job, who in the midst of trials cursed his own flesh and did not complain against God, and was able to detest his own flesh without complaining or sinning through his words, that is standing witness. When you undergo refinements to a certain degree and can still be like Job, utterly obedient in front of God and without other requirements of Him or your own notions, then God will appear to you.

from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

364. All of you should see clearly from God’s work that His trials of people’s confidence and love require that they pray more to God, and that they savor God’s words in front of Him more often. If God enlightens you and has you understand His will but you do not put it into practice at all, you will gain nothing. When you put God’s words into practice, you should still be able to pray to Him, and when you savor His words you should always seek in front of Him and be full of confidence in Him without being disheartened or cold. Those who don’t put God’s words into practice are full of energy during gatherings, but fall into darkness when they return home. There are some who don’t even want to gather together. So you must clearly see what duty it is that people should fulfill. You may not know what God’s will actually is, but you can perform your duty, you can pray when you should, you can put the truth into practice when you should, and you can do what people ought to do. You can uphold your original vision. This way, you will be more able to accept God’s next step of work. It’s a problem if you do not seek when God works in a hidden way. When He speaks and preaches during assemblies, you listen with enthusiasm, but when He does not speak you lack energy and retreat. What kind of person does this? This is someone who just goes with the flow. They have no stance, no testimony, and no vision! Most people are like that. If you continue on that way, one day when you come upon a great trial, you will descend into punishment. Having a stance is very important in God’s perfection of people. If you do not doubt a single step of God’s work, you fulfill man’s duty, you sincerely uphold what God has you put into practice, that is, you remember God’s exhortations, and no matter what He does now you do not forget His exhortations, have no doubt about His work, maintain your stance, uphold your testimony, and are victorious every step of the way, in the end you will be perfected into an overcomer by God. If you are able to stand firm through every step of God’s trials, and you can still stand firm to the very end, you are an overcomer, and you are someone who is perfected by God.

from “You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

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