You Ought to Maintain Your Devotion to God
How is the Holy Spirit working within the church now? Do you have a grasp of that? What are the brothers’ and sisters’ greatest difficulties? What do they most lack? Currently, there are some people who are negative in the midst of trials, and some of them even complain, and some are no longer moving forward because God is no longer speaking. People have not entered the right track of belief in God. They cannot live independently, and they cannot maintain their own spiritual life. There are some people who follow along, have the drive for pursuit, and are willing to practice when God speaks. But when God does not speak, they no longer move forward. People still have not understood God’s will within their hearts and they do not automatically have love for God; their following God in the past was because they were forced. Now there are some people who are tired of God’s work. Aren’t they in danger? A lot of people are in a state of just coping. Although they eat and drink God’s words and pray to Him, it’s all half-hearted. They don’t have the drive that they once did, and most people are not interested in God’s work of refinement and perfection. It’s as if they never have any internal drive, and when they are overcome by transgressions they do not feel indebted to God. They do not regret themselves, and they do not pursue the truth or leave the church. They only pursue temporal pleasures. This is the most foolish type of idiot! When the time comes, they will all be cast out, and not a single one will be saved! Do you think that if someone has been saved once they will always be saved? This is just trying to fool people! All those who do not pursue entry into life will be chastised. Most people have absolutely no interest in entering into life, in visions, or in putting the truth into practice. They do not pursue entering in, and they certainly don’t pursue entering in more deeply. Aren’t they ruining themselves? Right now, there is a portion of people whose conditions are getting better and better. The more the Holy Spirit works the more confidence they have, and the more they experience the more they feel the profound mystery of God’s work. The deeper they enter in, the more they understand. They feel that God’s love is so great, and they feel steady and enlightened inside. They have an understanding of God’s work. These are the people in whom the Holy Spirit is working. Some people say, although there are no new words from God, I must still seek to go deeper into the truth, I must be earnest about everything in my actual experience and enter into the reality of God’s words. This kind of person has the work of the Holy Spirit. Although God does not show His countenance and is hidden from every single person, and He does not utter a word, and there are times that people experience some internal refinement, yet God has not completely left people. If one cannot maintain the truth that they should carry out, they will not have the work of the Holy Spirit. During the period of refinement, of God not showing Himself, if you do not have confidence and you cower, if you do not focus on experiencing His words, this is fleeing from God’s work. Later, you will be cast out. Those who do not seek to enter in the word of God cannot possibly stand as a witness for Him. Those who are able to bear witness for God and satisfy His will all rely on their drive to pursue God’s words. The work that God performs in people is primarily to allow them to gain the truth. Your pursuit of life is for the sake of perfecting you—it is all to make you suitable for God’s use. All you are pursuing now is hearing mysteries, listening a bit to God’s words, feasting your eyes, having a look at something new or seeing what the trend is, and satisfying your curiosity. If this is the intention in your heart, there is no way for you to meet God’s requirements. Those who do not pursue the truth cannot follow until the very end. Right now, it’s not that God isn’t doing something—it’s that people are not cooperating, because they are tired of His work. They only want to hear words of His blessing, and they are unwilling to hear words of His judgment and chastisement. What’s the reason for this? It’s because people’s desire to gain blessings has not been fulfilled, and they are negative and weak. It is not that God purposely does not allow people to follow Him, and it is not that He is purposely delivering blows to mankind. People are negative and weak only because their intentions are improper. God is the God that gives man life, and He cannot bring man into death. People’s negativity, weakness, and retreat is all caused by themselves.
God’s current work brings people some refinement, and only those who can stand firm within this refinement will gain God’s approval. No matter how He conceals Himself, does not speak, or does not work, you can still pursue with vigor. Even if God said that He would reject you, you would still follow Him. This is standing as a witness for God. If God conceals Himself from you and you stop following Him, is this standing witness for God? If people don’t actually enter in, they don’t have actual stature, and when they really encounter a great trial, they stumble. God is not speaking right now, or what He’s doing is not in line with your own notions, so you are not okay. If God were currently acting according to your own notions, if He were satisfying your will and you were able to stand up and have the drive for pursuit, then what would you really be living for? I say that there are many people who are living entirely reliant upon human curiosity! They absolutely do not have a true heart of pursuit. All those who do not pursue entry into the truth but rely on their curiosity in life are despicable people in danger! God’s various kinds of work is all to perfect mankind. However, people are always curious, they like to inquire about hearsay, they’re concerned about what’s going on abroad—what’s happening in Israel, if there was an earthquake in Egypt—they’re always looking for some new, strange things to satisfy their selfish desires. They do not pursue life, nor do they pursue being perfected. They only seek to have the day of God arrive sooner so that their beautiful dream may be realized and their extravagant desires can be fulfilled. That kind of person is not practical—they are a person with an improper perspective. Pursuit of the truth is the foundation of mankind’s belief in God. If people do not pursue entry into life, if they do not seek to satisfy God, then they will be subject to punishment. Those who are to be punished are those who have not had the work of the Holy Spirit during God’s time of work.
How should people cooperate with God during this stage of His work? God is currently testing people. He is not uttering a word; He is concealing Himself and not directly contacting people. From the outside, it looks like He’s not working, but the truth is that He is still working within man. All of those who are pursuing entry into life and have a vision for their pursuit of life do not have doubts, even if they do not fully understand God’s work. In the midst of trials, even when you don’t know what God wants to do and what work He wants to accomplish, you should know that God’s intentions for mankind are always good. If you pursue Him with a true heart, He will never leave you, and in the end He will surely perfect you and bring you to an appropriate destination. Regardless of how God is currently testing people, there will be one day when He will provide people with an appropriate outcome and give them the appropriate retribution based on what they have done. God will not lead people to a certain point and then just cast them aside and ignore them. This is because He is a faithful God. At this stage, the Holy Spirit is doing the work of refinement. It is refining every single person. In the stages of work of the trial of death and the trial of chastisement, the refinement at that time was all refinement through words. For people to experience God’s work, they must first understand His current work and understand how mankind should cooperate. This is something that everyone should understand. No matter what God does, whether it’s refinement or if He’s not speaking, every step of God’s work is not in line with mankind’s conceptions. They all break apart and break through people’s conceptions. This is His work. But you must believe when God’s work reaches a certain stage, no matter what He will not allow mankind to perish. He gives both promises and blessings to mankind, and all those who pursue Him will be able to gain His blessings, while those who do not will be thrown out by God. This depends on your pursuit. No matter what, you must believe that when God’s work is concluded, every single person will have a suitable destination. God has provided mankind with beautiful aspirations, but if they don’t pursue them, they cannot attain them. You should be able to see this now—God’s refinement and chastisement is His work, but for people, they must pursue a change in disposition at all times. In your practical experience, you must first know how to eat and drink God’s words and find what you should enter into and your shortcomings within His words, and seek entry in your practical experience. Take the portion of God’s words that should be put into practice and try to practice it. Eating and drinking God’s words is one aspect, the life of the church must also be maintained, you must have a normal spiritual life, and be able to hand over all of your current states to God. No matter how His work changes, your spiritual life should remain normal. A spiritual life can maintain your proper entering in. No matter what God does, you will be able to continue your spiritual life uninterrupted and fulfill your duty. This is what people should do. It is all the work of the Holy Spirit, but for those with a normal condition it is being perfected. For those with an abnormal condition it is a trial. In the Holy Spirit’s current stage of refinement work, some people say that God’s work is so great and that people are very much in need of refinement, otherwise their stature will be too small and they will have no way of reaching God’s will. However, for those with a condition that is not good, it becomes a reason to not pursue God, and a reason to not attend gatherings or eat and drink God’s word. In God’s work, no matter what He does or what changes, at the very least people must maintain a normal spiritual life. Perhaps you have not been lax in this current stage of your spiritual life, but you still haven’t gained much; you haven’t reaped a great deal. Under these kinds of circumstances you must still follow the rules; you must keep to these rules so that you don’t suffer losses in your life and so that you satisfy God’s will. If your spiritual life is not normal, you cannot understand God’s current work; you always feel that it is completely incompatible with your own notions, and you are willing to follow Him, but you lack internal drive. So no matter what God is currently doing, people must cooperate. If people don’t cooperate the Holy Spirit can’t do His work, and if people do not have a heart of cooperation, they cannot attain the work of the Holy Spirit. If you want to have the work of the Holy Spirit inside of you, and want to gain God’s approval, you must maintain your original devotion in front of God. Now, it’s not necessary for you to have a deeper understanding, higher theory, or more things—all that is required is that you uphold God’s word on the original foundation. If people do not cooperate with God and do not pursue deeper entry, God will take away what they once had. Inside, people are always greedy for ease and would rather take the easy route. They want to gain God’s promises without paying any price at all. These are the extravagant thoughts within mankind. Gaining life itself without paying a price—what has ever been so easy? When someone believes in God and seeks to enter into life and seeks a change in their disposition, they must pay a price and achieve a state where they will always follow God no matter what He does. This is something that people must do. Even if you follow all of this as a rule, you must stick to it, and no matter how great the trials, you cannot let go of your normal relationship with God. You should be able to pray, maintain your church life, and stay with brothers and sisters. When God tries you, you should still seek the truth. This is the minimum for a spiritual life. Always having a heart of seeking and striving to cooperate, applying all of your energy—can this be done? On this basis, discernment and entering into reality will be something that you can achieve. It’s easy to accept God’s word when your own states are normal, and it doesn’t feel difficult to practice the truth, and you feel that God’s work is great. But if your conditions are poor, no matter how great God’s work is and no matter how beautifully someone speaks, you will pay no mind. When a person’s conditions aren’t normal, God cannot work in them, and they cannot achieve changes in their disposition.
If people don’t have any confidence, it’s not easy to continue down this path. Everyone can see now that God’s work is not at all in line with people’s notions—no matter how much work He does or how much He speaks, it is completely out of line with human notions. This requires people to have confidence and resolve to be able to stand by what they have already seen and what they have gained from their experiences. No matter what God does in people, they must uphold what they themselves possess, be sincere in front of God, and be devoted to Him to the very end. This is mankind’s duty. This is what people should do—they should uphold this. 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 will 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 your heart should be able to fully return to Him and turn toward Him at every single moment. This is an overcomer. Those who God refers to as overcomers are those who are still able to stand witness, maintain their confidence, and their devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and under siege by Satan, that is, when within the forces of darkness. If you are still able to maintain a heart of purity and your genuine love for God no matter what, you stand witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an overcomer. If your pursuit is excellent when God blesses you, but you retreat without His blessings, is this purity? Since you are certain that this way is true, you must follow it until the end; you must maintain your devotion to God. Since you have seen that God Himself has come to the earth to perfect you, you should give your heart entirely to Him. No matter what He does, even if He determines an unfavorable outcome for you at the very end, you can still follow Him. This is maintaining your purity in front of God. Offering a holy spiritual body and a pure virgin to God means keeping a heart of sincerity in front of God. For mankind, sincerity is purity, and being able to be sincere toward God is maintaining purity. This is what you should put into practice. When you ought to pray, gather together in fellowship, sing hymns, or forsake the flesh, you do so. When you perform your duty you do not muddle through it; when you are faced with trials you stand firm. This is devotion to God. If you do not uphold what people should do, then all of your previous suffering and ambitions were nothing but toil.
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 always uphold, 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. 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 do not forget His exhortations no matter what He does, if you have no doubt about His work, maintain your stance, continue to bear witness, 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. If you cannot stand firm in your current trials, in the future it will become even more difficult. If you only undergo a bit of insignificant suffering and you do not pursue the truth, you will gain nothing in the end. You will be empty-handed. There are some people who give up their pursuit when they see that God is not speaking, and their heart becomes scattered. Isn’t this a fool? These kinds of people have no reality. When God is speaking, they’re always running around, busy and enthusiastic on the outside, but now that He’s not speaking, they are no longer seeking. This kind of person has no future. 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.
People are lacking in caliber and they fall far short of God’s standards, in the future they may be even more in need of confidence to walk this path. God’s work in the last days requires enormous confidence—it requires confidence even greater than that of Job’s. Those who are without confidence will not be able to continue to gain experience and will not be able to be perfected by God. When the day comes that great trials come upon you, some people will leave this church, and some will leave that church. Of those people, there will be some who had been doing quite well in their pursuit in the previous days and it’s not clear why they no longer believe. Many things will happen and you will not know what is going on, and God will not reveal any signs or wonders, or do anything supernatural. This is to see if you can stand firm—God uses facts to refine people. You have not yet suffered much. In the future when you encounter great trials, in some places every single person in the church will leave, and those you have gotten along very well with will leave and abandon their faith. Will you be able to stand firm then? Now, the trials you have faced have been minor, and you have probably been barely able to withstand them. This step includes refinements and perfecting through word only. In the next step, the facts will come upon you to refine you, and then you will be in the midst of peril. Once it becomes really serious, God will advise you to hurry up and leave, and religious people will try to rope you in. This is to see if you can continue on the path. These are all trials. The current trials are minor, but the day will come when there are parents in the home who no longer believe and there are children in the home who no longer believe. Will you be able to continue on? The farther forward you go, the greater your trials will become. God carries out His work of refining people according to their needs and their stature. During the stage of God perfecting mankind, it is not possible that the numbers of people will continue to grow. They will only shrink—it is only through these refinements that people can be perfected. Being dealt with, disciplined, tested, chastised, cursed—can you withstand all of this? When you see a church with a particularly good situation, the sisters and brothers are all seeking with great energy, you yourself feel encouraged. When the day comes that they have all left, some of them no longer believe, some have left to do business or get married, and some have joined the religion, will you be able to stand firm then? Will you be able to remain unaffected within? God’s perfection of mankind is not such a simple thing! He utilizes many things to refine people. People see these as methods, but in God’s original intention these aren’t methods at all, but facts. In the end, when He has refined people to a certain point and they no longer have any complaints, this step of His work will be complete. The great work of the Holy Spirit is to perfect you, and when He does not work and hides Himself, it is even more for the purpose of perfecting you, and this way it can particularly be seen whether you have love for God, and if you have true confidence in Him. When God speaks plainly, there’s no need for you to search; it is only when He is concealed that you must search, you must feel your way through. You must be able to fulfill the duty of a creature, and no matter what your future outcome and your destination are, you must be able to pursue knowledge and love of God during the years you are alive, and no matter how God treats you, you cannot complain. There is one condition for the work of the Holy Spirit within people. As long as they long to seek and are not half-hearted or doubtful about God’s actions, and they are able to uphold their duty at all times, only this way can they gain the work of the Holy Spirit. In each stage of God’s work, what is required of mankind is enormous confidence and seeking in front of God—only through experience are people able to discover how lovable God is and how the Holy Spirit works in people. If you do not experience, if you do not feel your way through that, if you do not seek, you will gain nothing. You must feel your way through your experiences, and only through your experiences can you see God’s actions, and recognize His wondrousness and unfathomableness.