VI. One Must Fellowship Clearly the Aspect of Truth Concerning the Difference Between Being Saved in the Age of Grace and Salvation in the Age of Kingdom
2. What is the essential difference between being saved and salvation?
Bible Verses for Reference:
“Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Mat 7:21).
“You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Lev 11:45).
Relevant Words of God:
Though Jesus did much work among man, He only completed the redemption of all mankind and became man’s sin offering, and did not rid man of all his corrupt disposition. Fully saving man from the influence of Satan not only required Jesus to take on the sins of man as the sin offering, but also required God to do greater work to completely rid man of his disposition, which has been corrupted by Satan. And so, after man was forgiven his sins, God has returned to flesh to lead man into the new age, and begun the work of chastisement and judgment, and this work has brought man into a higher realm. All those who submit under His dominion shall enjoy higher truth and receive greater blessings. They shall truly live in the light, and shall gain the truth, the way, and the life.
from Preface to The Word Appears in the Flesh
The first incarnation was to redeem man from sin, to redeem him by means of the fleshly body of Jesus, that is, He saved man from the cross, but the corrupt satanic disposition still remained within man. The second incarnation is no longer to serve as a sin offering but rather to save fully those who were redeemed from sin. This is done so that those who have been forgiven may be delivered from their sins and made fully clean, and by attaining a changed disposition, break free of Satan’s influence of darkness and return before the throne of God. Only in this way can man be fully sanctified.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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 and then consider yourself done, or just understand them more or less. If you go about things in a slapdash way, you will only hurt yourself.
from “Those Who Have Lost the Work of the Holy Spirit Are Most at Risk” in Records of Christ’s Talks
What on earth does being saved mean? … To be saved, in common words, is to continue to live on, to survive, to be brought back to life. So are you dead before that? You are living, you can speak, you can breathe, so are you dead? (The spirit is dead.) How can you say that? Why say this? Why if the spirit is dead, you are dead? What do you base this on?
Before people are saved, where are they? (Under the domain of Satan.) They are under the dark influence of Satan. What do people rely on to live? (The philosophies of Satan and the poisons of Satan.) Yes, people rely on the satanic nature, the corrupt nature to live. So when someone lives in reliance on the corrupt satanic nature, this person’s whole being—their flesh, and all other aspects such as their soul and their thought—are they alive or dead? God sees them as being dead. Now there is a term to generalize someone who is “dead.” What is it? (The walking dead.) Yes, the walking dead. From the outside, you appear to breathe and blink your eyes, and you appear to think, but what are all your thoughts of? All you think about are evil things, you think about evil things all day long—things of defying God, rebelling against God, things that God detests, that incur God’s punishment—all your thoughts are of these things. God sees all these things as pertaining to demons, to devils and to Satan. Not only do they pertain to the flesh, they pertain entirely to Satan. Since they pertain entirely to Satan, what does God see people as? Humans? (No.) What then? (Devils.) (Animals.) Yes, devils, animals, Satan; the living Satan! Within them, people live in reliance on the things and the essence of the living Satan and in God’s eyes they are wearing the living Satan on their flesh, which is actually the living Satan wearing man’s flesh. In God’s eyes, this kind of person is determined as being a walking dead. What are defined as “walking dead”? (Dead people.) Yes, dead people. God wants to do His work of salvation now, meaning that He will take these people—these people who are dead, these people who are walking dead, who rely on the corrupt satanic disposition, on the corrupt satanic essence to live, these so-called dead people—He will take these people and turn them into the living. This is the significance of being saved. What do you believe in God for? (To be saved.) Yes, it is to be saved. What does being saved mean? (The dead turning into the living.) The dead turning into the living. What then is the implication of this? That you become alive from being dead means that your breath is revived and you live. You open your eyes and see God, and can recognize Him. You see God and you’re able to bow down to worship. You no longer curse God, defy God, attack God or rebel against God. What is this kind of person in God’s eyes? (They are the living.) Yes, only they are genuinely the living. Only this kind of person is living in God’s eyes. So if someone just says they acknowledge God, are they then one of the living? (No, they aren’t.) So what kind of people are the living? What kind of reality do the living people have? Tell Me. Discuss this question. (They are people who undergo a change in their life disposition. Their ideological views and their ways of looking at things are transformed to be compatible with God’s word. Only then do they come to life.) (They are people like Job, who can revere God. Their every thought is on how to satisfy God. This kind of person is the living.) (Everything they do is done in accordance with God’s will, and they can fear God and eschew evil.) (Those who are not bound by dark influences, and whose views on things are transformed are those who have come to life.) You have all spoken of one aspect of their expression. What exactly are the living? Those who are saved in the end become the living. The living can speak, so what is it that they say? They have their thinking, thoughts and ideas, but what things do they think about? They can do things, perform their duties, but what is it they do? What is the nature of these things, everything they do, and everything they say? If you are one of the living, then this implies that you are no longer one of the dead. What does it mean that you are no longer one of the dead? It means that everything you express, everything you think and everything you do is done with the nature of fearing God and eschewing evil. It’s this kind of nature, right? There is another aspect—to put it more appropriately—which is that your every deed and every thought are not condemned by God or detested and rejected by God, but instead they are approved and commended by God. This is both what the living do as well as what they should do.
from “Only Being Truly Obedient Is a Real Belief” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Those who live under the influence of darkness are those who live amid death, they are those who are possessed by Satan. Without being saved by God, and judged and chastised by God, people are unable to escape the influence of death, they cannot become the living. These dead can’t bear testimony to God, nor can they be used by God, much less enter the kingdom. God wants the testimony of the living, not the dead, and He asks that the living work for Him, not the dead. “The dead” are those who oppose and rebel against God, they are those who are numb in spirit and do not understand God’s words, they are those who do not put the truth into practice and have not the slightest loyalty to God, and they are those who live under the domain of Satan and are exploited by Satan. The dead show themselves by standing in opposition to the truth, by rebelling against God, and by being lowly, contemptible, malicious, brutish, deceitful, and insidious. Even though such people eat and drink the words of God, they are unable to live out the words of God; they live, but they are the walking dead, they are breathing corpses. The dead are totally incapable of satisfying God, much less can they utterly obey Him. They can only deceive Him, blaspheme against Him, and betray Him, and all that they live out reveals the nature of Satan. 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. Originally the man made by God was alive, but because of Satan’s corruption man lives amid death, and lives under the influence of Satan, and so these people have become the dead who are without a spirit, they have become enemies who oppose God, they have become the tools of Satan, and they have become the captives of Satan. All the living people created by God have become dead, and so God has lost His testimony, and He has lost mankind, which He created and is the only thing that has His breath. If God is to take back His testimony, and take back those who were made by His own hand but who have been taken captive by Satan, then He must resurrect them so that they become living beings, and He must reclaim them so that they live in His light. The dead are those who have no spirit, those who are numb in the extreme, and who oppose God. Moreover, they are those who do not know God. These people have not the slightest intention of obeying God, they only rebel against Him and oppose Him, and have not the slightest loyalty. The living are those whose spirits have been reborn, who know to obey God, and who are loyal to God. They are possessed of the truth, and of testimony, and only these people are pleasing to God in His house.
from “Have You Come Alive?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Everything that God does is necessary, and possessed of extraordinary significance, for all that He does in man concerns His management and the salvation of mankind. … In other words, regardless of what God does or the means by which He does it, regardless of the cost, or His objective, the purpose of His actions does not change. His purpose is to work into man God’s words, God’s requirements, and God’s will for man; in other words, it is to work into man all that God believes to be positive in accordance with His steps, enabling man to understand God’s heart and comprehend God’s substance, and allowing him to obey God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and thus allowing man to attain the fear of God and shunning of evil—all of which is one aspect of God’s purpose in all He does. The other aspect is that, because Satan is the foil and serving object in God’s work, man is often given to Satan; this is the means God uses to allow people to see the wickedness, ugliness, and contemptibility of Satan amid Satan’s temptations and attacks, thus causing people to hate Satan and be able to know and recognize that which is negative. This process allows them to gradually free themselves from Satan’s control, and from Satan’s accusations, interference, and attacks—until, thanks to God’s words, their knowledge and obedience of God, and their faith in God and fear of Him, they triumph over the attacks of Satan, and triumph over the accusations of Satan; only then will they have been completely delivered from the domain of Satan. People’s deliverance means that Satan has been defeated, it means that they are no longer the food in Satan’s mouth—that instead of swallowing them, Satan has relinquished them. This is because such people are upright, because they have faith, obedience, and fear toward God, and because they completely break with Satan. They bring shame upon Satan, they make a coward of Satan, and they utterly defeat Satan. Their conviction in following God, and obedience to and fear of God defeat Satan, and make Satan completely give them up. Only people such as this have truly been gained by God, and it is this which is God’s ultimate objective in saving man. If they wish to be saved, and wish to be completely gained by God, then all those who follow God must face temptations and attacks both great and small from Satan. Those who emerge from these temptations and attacks and are able to fully defeat Satan are those who have been saved by God. Which is to say, those who have been saved unto God are those who have undergone God’s trials, and who have been tempted and attacked by Satan an untold number of times. Those who have been saved unto God understand God’s will and requirements, and are able to acquiesce to God’s sovereignty and arrangements, and they do not forsake the way of fearing God and shunning evil amid Satan’s temptations. Those who are saved unto God possess honesty, they are kindhearted, they differentiate between love and hate, they have a sense of justice and are rational, and they are able to care for God and treasure all that is of God. Such people are not bound, spied upon, accused, or abused by Satan, they are completely free, they have been completely liberated and released. Job was just such a man of freedom, and this is precisely the significance of why God had handed him over to Satan.
from “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Ultimately, what testimony will you be asked to give? You live in a land of filth but are able to become holy, and no longer be filthy and impure, you live under the domain of Satan but divest yourself of Satan’s influence, and are not possessed or harassed by Satan, and you live in the hands of the Almighty. This is the testimony, and the proof of victory in the battle with Satan. You are able to forsake Satan, what you live out does not reveal Satan, but is that which God required that man attain when He created man: normal humanity, normal rationality, normal insight, normal resolve to love God, and loyalty to God. Such is the testimony borne by a creature of God. You say, “We live in a land of filth, but because of God’s protection, because of His leadership, and because He has conquered us, we have rid ourselves of the influence of Satan. That we can obey today is also the effect of being conquered by God, and it is not because we are good, or because we naturally loved God. It is because God chose us, and predestined us, that we have been conquered today, are able to bear testimony to Him, and can serve Him; so, too, is it because He chose us, and protected us, that we have been saved and delivered from the domain of Satan, and can leave behind the filth and be purified in the nation of the great red dragon.”
from “The Inside Truth of the Conquering Work (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
What kind of people are those who have been born in the last days? They are those who have been through the corruption of Satan for several thousand years, and who have been corrupted to a depth whereby they no longer look human. But finally, after having gone through the judgment, chastisement and disclosure of the word of God, and having been conquered, they have attained the truth from within God’s words and have been sincerely convinced by God; they have reached an understanding of God, and they can obey God absolutely and satisfy His will. In the end, God’s management plan will obtain a group of people like this. Those of mankind that will be obtained through the entire management plan are a group who can understand God’s will, who attain the truth from God, and who possess the life and the human likeness which God requires. … The group of people who will be gotten in the end are those who will remain in the end, and that group is also those whom God requires, whom He loves and whom He is pleased with.
from “Only by Knowing God’s Almightiness Can You Have a True Belief” in Records of Christ’s Talks