28. The Principles Needed and the Problems One Must Solve to Achieve Salvation and Perfection
Those who love the truth will pursue it, as well as knowledge of God, in order to be saved and perfected. The truth can only be gained in the pursuit of it through the experience of and obedience to God’s work; the more one experiences and is obedient to God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing, His trials and refining, the more one gains the enlightenment and illumination of the work of the Holy Spirit. The effect thereof is understanding of the truth and entering into its reality, so as to bring about real knowledge of God; in consequence one’s life disposition is changed. This is the road to salvation and perfection. Salvation and perfection in reality mean pursuit of the truth by eating and drinking the words of God in the experience of His work to achieve the effects of knowing and being obedient to God and truly loving Him. Only those who really pursue the truth, and love God with all their hearts, are able to be perfected. Those who do not pursue the truth or who do not seek to be perfected are those who do not love the truth. Even though they are not evil, they are not good-natured and are lacking in resolution. It is only those who love the truth, who yearn for the light, that can really pursue the truth and truly obey God’s work. When people achieve real knowledge of God, and can truly love and be obedient to Him, then they have been saved and perfected. This is the perfection of the work of the Holy Spirit. It is clear that God’s perfection of man means perfecting man to understand and attain the truth. It means perfecting man’s knowledge of God, his knowledge of God’s work, his knowledge of God’s wisdom and almightiness, his knowledge of God’s disposition and the substance of God’s life. When people have real knowledge of God, their view of things, their outlook on life and values and their life disposition naturally change; they can truly love God and be obedient to Him, all of which is perfection by God. As long as people strive to pursue the truth and persevere undauntedly in obedience to God’s work to the very end, they can achieve real understanding of God and achieve changes in their life disposition and are, as such, perfected by God. Those whose belief in God results in their perfection by Him are those who have succeeded in their belief. The standards for perfection are: true love of God, true knowledge of Him and true obedience to Him, which is, the real ability to exalt God and witness Him and to truly serve Him and follow His will. The key as to whether one has been perfected lies in whether one really has a heart that fears God, whether one truly loves Him, truly knows Him and is truly obedient to Him. Only those equipped with these four aspects of reality really know God and attain the truth, only they truly love God and are obedient to Him. To know whether someone has attained the truth you look at whether they are equipped with these four aspects of reality. As long as they are so equipped, then they are indeed perfected. This is beyond doubt!
What is it, after all, to “attain the truth”? Firstly, we have to understand that to be equipped with those four aspects of reality in attaining the truth, is not a simple matter. One must certainly have to go through all manner of trials and refining and suffer much pain to bring about true knowledge of God and changes in one’s life disposition. There are many who have believed in God for years, and while only understanding a host of spiritual doctrines, see themselves as having attained and understood the truth. This is self-deception. We see that those who belong to the category of antichrists and tread the way of the antichrist, are all convinced that they have attained and understood the truth. But they fail to see that everything they do resists God, and, even more so, they fail to see the essential substance and true picture of corruption that are demonic and hating the truth. Not only do they lack the slightest true obedience to God, but do not know if, in the end, what they do is in resistance to God or in obedience to Him. Such people do not possess the reality of truth. If they truly understood the truth would they still resist God? Would they set themselves against the man used by the Holy Spirit and brazenly disrupt, upset and destroy God’s work? Clearly, the demons of the antichrist are arrogant and conceited to the extent that they fail to understand even the most basic common sense of belief in God. While so poor, so pitiable and blind, they have yet the effrontery to pass themselves off as pastors to deceive and control God’s chosen ones. This is the ugliness of Satan and the demons of the antichrist. Man has been corrupted in his depths by Satan and possesses its nature. If he focuses on the pursuit of understanding spiritual doctrines and knowledge, he becomes increasingly conceited, recalcitrant and lawless, and travels on the path of the antichrist. Those who belong to the category of antichrists certainly do not have the slightest inkling of the true picture of their own corruption and demonic nature; they even profess themselves to be sent by God, and that God is using them to make His chosen ones accept and obey. They seek to confuse and control God’s chosen ones, which is ridiculous in the extreme! Those who have not experienced God’s judgment and chastisement are exactly this conceited and brazen. If people have not undergone God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing, however many spiritual doctrines they understand they will resist God, just as before. If they have not truly repented, they manifest as demons of the antichrist. Clearly, if corrupt mankind seeks to be saved and perfected, he must accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and even more, accept and obey God’s pruning and dealing and His trials and refining. This is the road to salvation and perfection. To attain the truth in experiencing God’s work in the last days is actually the effect of experiencing God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing and His trials and refining; without these man will never attain the truth. Without God’s judgment and chastisement man will never see the true picture of his own corruption. He will never truly see the substance of his own nature, he will never truly know God’s work and will never truly know how God saves and perfects man. He will never know God’s righteous disposition and His wisdom and almightiness, and will never know the beauty and goodness of God’s substance and His love most true. Man’s entry into life begins with knowledge of himself, and if a person knows the true picture of his own corruption and the substance of his nature, and he can, at the same time, bring about true knowledge of God’s disposition of righteousness, he can then truly know God and be obedient to Him, and can bring about a heart that fears God and truly worship Him. This is the reality of truth attained through undergoing God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing and His trials and refining. The antichrists of every kind and those who tread the same road as them have no true knowledge of themselves, and certainly, even more so, no true knowledge of God for they have never truly accepted His judgment and chastisement, they have never undergone trials and refining, and cannot accept anything of His pruning and dealing. They can only be subject to their demonic nature and engage in unbridled disruption and upsetting of God’s work and directly oppose Him. It is absolutely right to say that unless corrupt mankind undergoes God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing, he is satanic in his kind, and opposed to God. In seeking salvation and perfection God’s chosen ones must accept God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing, and trials and refining of every kind. This is the only path to gaining the truth and achieving knowledge of God. Just as God’s words say, “What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt substance and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the substance of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God. If you do not regard these truths with importance and constantly think of avoiding them or of finding a new way out apart from them, then I say you are a grievous sinner. If you have faith in God, yet seek not the truth or the will of God, nor do you love the way that brings you closer to God, then I say that you are one who is trying to evade judgment, and that you are a puppet and traitor who flees from the great white throne. God will not spare any of the rebellious that escape from under His eyes. Such men shall receive even more severe punishment.”
Understanding and attaining the truth is the effect that comes from the experience of God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing, and His trials and refining. Especially in the case of eating and drinking God’s words, if one has not prayed and obeyed, and has not experienced and practiced, then one will never really understand the truth and enter into reality, and thus has no way to reach salvation. Only those who can accept the truth and practice it in eating and drinking God’s words can receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and only those with the work of the Holy Spirit upon them while undergoing trials and refining can achieve the effects of truly entering into the reality of truth and changes in their life disposition. Those without the work of the Holy Spirit upon them will not understand nor attain the truth no matter how many disasters and sufferings befall them. To understand and attain the truth is a perfection through the work of the Holy Spirit, and the key to whether one is able to receive the work of the Holy Spirit is whether one, in eating and drinking God’s words, can accept the truth and put it into practice, and whether one can accept and obey God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing, and whether one has a heart that truly fears God and a heart that loves Him; here lies the key to pursuing the truth to reach salvation and perfection. In experiencing God’s work we have realized that the attitude with which one treats the truth of God’s words is vitally important. This touches on whether one can receive the work of the Holy Spirit and whether one can have a normal relationship with God. Without a heart that fears God and a heart that truly loves Him man cannot acquire perfection by God; only those who love the truth wholeheartedly, and who strive to the utmost in pursuit of the truth can truly love God, only they can be perfected by Him. This is absolute. Therefore, God’s chosen ones must understand it does not suffice simply to have some will to pursue the truth. The pursuit of the truth must be based on obedience to the work of God, and one must possess some principles of practice before attaining salvation and perfection. The difference between salvation and perfection lies in one’s quality, one’s will and the costs one pays. Those who gain salvation are the people of the kingdom of God, while those who gain perfection shall serve God in the Age of Kingdom; here lies the difference between salvation and perfection. Now listed below are the seven principles of practice needed in the pursuit of the truth to achieve salvation and perfection.
1. You must accept the judgment and chastisement and pruning and dealing of God’s words.
2. While eating and drinking God’s words you must accept the truth and be obedient to it.
3. You must receive the enlightenment and illumination and the guidance of the work of the Holy Spirit.
4. You must establish a normal relationship with God, and in all matters be of one accord with Him.
5. You must fully do your duty as a creature of God and in doing so ensure your loyalty to Him.
6. In all things you must search for the truth, put the truth into practice, and have a heart that fears, loves, and is obedient to God.
7. In doing your duty to serve God your practice must be to exalt Him, bear witness for Him and do your utmost to protect His work.
The above seven principles are the necessary principles of practice in pursuit of the truth to achieve salvation and perfection. Only those having these seven principles of practice are real pursuers of the truth. As long as people have these principles they are truly obedient to God’s work and are real pursuers of the truth, which means they fully reach the standard for belief in God. They are in the true sense, then, God’s chosen ones, and there is no doubt they can receive the work of the Holy Spirit and God’s blessing. Real pursuers of the truth never fall back in negativity; no matter what kind of environment they are in they can truly trust in God, be obedient to Him and ensure they are of one accord with Him. As long as people have true faith in and obedience to God, there will be no negativity in them, even less betrayal. To not love the truth, to be always carnally minded, selfish and contemptible will result in one being often negative. If one really has a heart that loves God, even when suffering and in difficulty in the midst of trials and refining, one can be considerate of God’s will; however bitter, however hard things are, one will not blame God at all and can easily turn one’s back on the flesh and put the truth into practice. Such a person will never be negative. Although there may be negativity at times, one quickly emerges from it by praying to God and opening one’s heart to Him, and far less likely will one betray God. Therefore, true pursuers of the truth can easily achieve perfection by God, while it is very hard for those who are often negative to enter into the reality of truth and achieve perfection by God. When someone is negative they stagnate, they resist the truth in silent confrontation with God. Being often negative easily leads to evasion and betrayal as is proved by the failure of a countless number of people. Where someone cannot be perfected, the main reason lies in their too many negative elements that result in an inability to accept the truth and put it into practice. Hence they cannot receive the work of the Holy Spirit. Once such a person starts to voice their complaints there is no stopping them, and the consequences thereof are unthinkable. Complaints stand for negative defiance, for blame and resistance and a tendency to betrayal. Hence, it is very hard for those who often voice complaints to achieve salvation and to achieve perfection even more so. Salvation and perfection rest on the basis of obedience to the work of God. Naturally one must also have a heart that fears God and the will to pursue the truth. Only if one really has faith and is truly obedient to God’s work can they receive the work of the Holy Spirit in order to understand the truth and enter into reality, and especially in doing their duty can they be loyal to God, ensuring neither to do evil nor resist nor betray Him. This is the standard for salvation. If people want to achieve perfection then they must seek knowledge of God; in their hearts they must truly love God to finally attain the ability to be of one accord and in complete conformity with Him, and become true witnesses for God. This is the standard for perfection. At present the majority of God’s chosen ones have true faith in God since they have understood that the work of God is to save and perfect man. However, as to God’s disposition and God’s substance, they do not have true knowledge at all; they cannot truly love God in their heart or be of one accord with Him. So, in doing their duty there are many impurities, and at times they can even follow their own wishes in doing things contrary to God, and resisting Him. They fail to be of any use at all to God and can only do a little protection work and that’s it. This suffices to say that they are far from being perfected, and that they even fail to meet the standard for salvation and have failed in their belief in God. Those who believe in God but cannot attain salvation can be said to not truly believe in Him, and are just trying to pass themselves off, and belong in their utter refusal to accept the truth to the school of disbelievers. Believing in God to attain salvation requires at the least meeting the following seven criteria.
1. To truly recognize God’s work is man’s salvation and perfection, and to have true faith.
2. To do one’s utmost in performing one’s duty as a creature of God and to do some good deeds.
3. To be obedient to the man used by the Holy Spirit as their shepherd to lead, to have a normal church life in eating and drinking God’s words and being equipped with the truth.
4. To seek to become an honest person, and in doing one’s duty to not act perfunctorily or deceive God, and to be faithful to God.
5. To pursue the truth to ensure one is not subject to the control or bewitchment of the antichrist or the wicked, and to stand unflinchingly on the side of the pursuers of the truth.
6. To be obedient to God’s work to the very end and not be controlled by any person, any matter or thing and to only be obedient to the truth of God’s words and not worship or follow others.
7. To guarantee that in trial and disaster one will not desert or betray God, and will survive by standing testimony.
If one’s belief in God can meet the seven criteria above, then there is no doubt that one is saved. If one has believed in God for many years yet fails to meet these criteria, then one shall be eliminated for certain; this is absolute. If one does not hasten now to pursue the truth, and at the end of God’s work is still not able to enter into the reality of truth, they will be one who has failed in their belief in God. Such people cannot achieve salvation for the following five categories of reasons:
1. They only participate in church life but are unable to eat and drink God’s words in earnestness, and even less to seek and accept the truth, and they are satisfied in the understanding of doctrine in word only and keeping to rules and regulations, and constantly fail to enter into the reality of truth; this is the first category of reasons people cannot be saved.
2. They outwardly admit that God’s words are the truth, and are willing to obey God’s judgment and chastisement, but are not able to accept the truth, and especially in facing pruning and dealing have great difficulty in accepting and obeying, and even go so far as to argue in defiance and to be malcontent; this is the second category of reasons people cannot be saved.
3. In eating and drinking God’s words they are always selective and one-sided, only focusing in their heart on the pursuit of blessings, and gaining rewards and crowns, are always ambitious to lead in the front rank and take the road of the antichrist, and will not accept God’s judgment and chastisement; this is the third category of reasons people cannot be saved.
4. They are unable to obey the man used by the Holy Spirit as their shepherd to lead, are especially arrogant and lacking in reason and defiant to all and thus unable to be truly watered, provisioned and tended and have no way to enter into the reality of truth; this is the fourth category of reasons people cannot be saved.
5. They are unable throughout to really do their duty as a creature of God, and even though they might do their duty, it is done perfunctorily to deceive God, or they are always mixing with the antichrist, the wicked and evil spirits, stirring up trouble and have no true repentance in the least in not pursuing the truth; this is the fifth category of reasons people cannot be saved.
You could say that those who fall into the five categories of circumstances above are five kinds of people. In fact, all those who fall into these categories indeed have no love for the truth and have no way of receiving the work of the Holy Spirit. If they do not truly repent, there is certainly no achieving salvation. God’s chosen ones must be clear on the relationship between salvation and perfection: Those who are saved are those who are truly obedient to the work of God and can do their duty and good deeds, while perfection stands on the basis of salvation. Those who are perfected are those who pursue the truth and can truly love God, they are those who can exalt and witness God and truly serve God and belong among those who later will be used by God as His priests.
Why can some people achieve salvation, but fail to achieve perfection? There are, in the main, five kinds of reasons as described in detail here below:
1. One has only real faith in God, but cannot truly pursue the truth. In understanding the truth superficially one will not measure up in doing one’s duty. One will consistently fail to really enter into the reality of truth and will have no real knowledge of God. This is the first kind of reason that one cannot be perfected.
2. One does not lay stress on accepting and obeying God’s judgment and chastisement and His pruning and dealing. Therefore, one has no true knowledge of the substance of one’s own nature, is still arrogant and self-righteous, defiant to all, and ultimately fails to truly obey God. This is the second kind of reason that one cannot be perfected.
3. Although one can accept and obey the work of God, and also accept the truth, and even understand it in part, one does not have a heart that fears God; one constantly fails to truly love God, and fails to consider His will. Thus, one cannot be of one accord with God. This is the third kind of reason that one cannot be perfected.
4. Although one is loyal in doing one’s duty, there are impurities mixed in it. One relies too much on feelings and often follows one’s own wishes. When faced with God’s pruning and dealing, or when suffering setbacks and defeats, one can even misunderstand God, blame Him and complain. Because of too many negative elements one fails to truly love God, to be obedient to Him, and one can even frequently go against God and resist Him. There are deficiencies in one’s pursuit of the truth. This is the fourth kind of reason that one cannot be perfected.
5. While one is capable of pursuing the truth, and loyally does one’s duty, once capable of doing a little practical work, one considers oneself as having entered into the reality of truth and that one has indeed been saved. One begins to rest on one’s laurels, to stagnate, and as a result one’s life disposition simply will not change. As soon as one has a position of power the same old defects reappear, and one becomes more arrogant; one can neither be restrained by the truth nor managed by any person, and one still recklessly takes the road of the antichrist going even so far as to engage in setting up one’s own kingdom in betrayal of God. This is the fifth kind of reason that one cannot be perfected.
Summing up the reasons above for which people cannot be perfected though they accept God’s work, in the final analysis it is still chiefly because such people do not really pursue the truth, and they do not truly love God; these are defects in their substance. Those who do not love the truth will never ever engender a heart that loves God, and even if they have lived together with God for many years they will not achieve compatibility with Him. The root cause is that they do not love the truth, and do not really pursue it. Why is it that there are many who can outwardly obey God’s work, and cast everything aside as well to do their duty, yet they do not have a heart that loves God? If they had lived together with God, how is it they could have so many conceptions about Him and keep going against Him? Obviously, achieving true obedience to God is not a simple matter at all. If people cannot really understand much of the truth, then they cannot be truly obedient to God at all. If people do not have a heart that fears God, and a heart that truly loves Him, they are even more unlikely to truly obey God. Though externally they do not seem to resist God, this is no proof that in their hearts they have true obedience to Him. You could say that those without a heart that loves God are those without the reality of truth. Though they may understand something of the truth, it is a far cry from entering into the reality of truth. We have all seen that there are many who serve God, but since there has been no change in their life disposition, they continue to resist Him while serving Him. There are many who appear externally to be pursuing the truth; their qualities are adequate for the task, and they have some practical results from doing their duty. It is, however, precisely for the above five kinds of reasons that they fail to achieve perfection. Broadly speaking, the problem they have in common is that since they lack a heart that fears God and a heart that truly loves Him, there will certainly be many deficiencies in their pursuit of the truth, and they will lack, even more, entering into its reality. All those who cannot be perfected have problems that have not been addressed chiefly in seven areas, and it is because of these that their perfection cannot be effected. Here then below are the seven problem areas that must be addressed:
1. The pursuit of perfection must address the issues of arrogance, self-righteousness, defiance, and lack of true obedience to God.
2. The pursuit of perfection must address the issues of one’s satanic disposition of selfishness, deceitfulness, greed and malevolence controlling the proper performance of one’s duties.
3. The pursuit of perfection must address the issues of not having a place for God in one’s heart, having no fear of God in one’s heart, and failing to magnify Him.
4. The pursuit of perfection must address the issues of only engaging in the pursuit of status, fame and wealth and though serving God one yet resisting Him and stubbornly taking the road of the antichrist.
5. The pursuit of perfection must address the issues of understanding doctrines in word only and just keeping to rules and regulations and failing to be loyal in doing one’s duty or enter into the reality of truth.
6. In the pursuit of perfection one must know the substance of one’s own nature and slough off one’s crookedness, deceitfulness, insidiousness and malice to address the problem of failing to become an honest person.
7. The pursuit of perfection must address the issues of always having conceptions about God, always making demands on Him, being malcontent and constantly failing to love Him wholeheartedly.
The above seven problem areas are fatal to the achievement of perfection for the majority of people. In their substance they are serious enough indeed to result in someone’s death, and if they are not fully addressed one will completely fail in achieving perfection. These seven problem areas can be said to all exist in varying degrees in the corrupt humans; it is only the real pursuers of the truth who, having believed in God for many years, can ultimately resolve them and finally achieve perfection. There is a necessary connection and interrelation between them. With some people the first, second, third and fourth problem areas are rather serious, even fatal points. With others it’s the fourth and sixth problem areas that are like that. But in all of corrupt mankind the common issue that exists is the seventh problem area: One cannot wholeheartedly love God and has no way to be compatible with Him; this is the fatal point all corrupt mankind shares. It can be said that if people have no change in their disposition, it is extremely hard for them to reach the state of true love of God. However, it is essential that they have a heart that loves God, if they are to be perfected. Without a heart that loves God, you cannot have a normal humanity and are not good-natured, and certainly you are not someone who really loves the truth. Why do people serve God but also resist Him? In the final analysis it is because they fail to truly love God, and so lack absolute obedience to Him. Therefore, the pursuit of perfection must solve the problems of one’s failure to love the truth and wholeheartedly love God. Of course, these problems must rely on one’s pursuit of the truth to be resolved, and, above all, one must accept and be obedient to God’s judgment and chastisement and His pruning and dealing. At the same time, ample experience of trials and refining is also indispensable. To solve these problems that touch on humanity one must suffer a great deal of pain; there is no doubt of that. As to whether one’s life disposition will truly change, the key lies in whether one loves God wholeheartedly. God must perfect those who wholeheartedly love Him, and enable them to understand all of the truth and achieve true knowledge of Him. God likes to say that only those who love God can serve Him, and that only those who love God can be His intimates. Peter was one perfected by God. Since he was able to wholeheartedly love Him, he could achieve obedience to God unto death, and sacrifice his life for Him. To gauge whether someone is good-natured, the main thing is to see if they wholeheartedly love God; only those who truly love God are good-natured and are those with the most beautiful of hearts. Those without a heart that loves God are, for sure, malicious and deceitful in heart; this is absolutely the case! If people’s satanic toxins and corrupt disposition can really be cleansed and their life disposition really does change, their heart will be able to truly love God. Ultimately one who achieves a love of God without impurities is perfected by Him. Whether one who serves God can be perfected depends on whether they have a heart that truly loves God. If someone has served God for many years yet remains without a heart that loves Him, then they are surely the antichrist, since the road someone takes who fails to wholeheartedly love God is the path of the antichrist. Of this there is no doubt. Those who, in serving God yet resisting Him, have taken the road of the antichrist, and this is the consequence of having a heart that fails to truly love God. If one fails in their love of God they cannot be compatible with Him, and in failing to be compatible with Him are, for sure, separated from and antagonistic to Him. There is no doubting this. If someone wants to know whether they can eventually be perfected, the simplest way is to see in themselves whether they have a heart that loves God. If someone has a heart that truly loves God, they are bound to expend all efforts in pursuing the truth and seeking knowledge of God. They are bound to seek changes in their disposition. To constantly resist God and fail to be one with Him is the greatest of sufferings for one’s heart. Love of God is the greatest of delights and consolations for the heart. Therefore, one who loves God wholeheartedly puts most importance on pursuing the truth and knowledge of God so as to be compatible with Him. Those who cannot love God in their hearts are, for sure, those who are just after blessings and rewards, and selfish and despicable and they pay not the slightest consideration to God’s will. Therefore, it is inevitable that all those who hanker after blessings with a heart that fails to love God and who fail to be compatible with God will naturally choose the road of the antichrist. Whoever takes the road of the antichrist is selfish and despicable, sinister and deceitful, and malicious in heart. How can all those who fail to love God have real love for God’s chosen ones? It would be enough that such people did no harm to them. Therefore, those who do not have a heart that loves God belong to Satan’s kind who resist God. There is no doubt of this. Obviously, if one wishes to seek perfection, one must solve the problem of a heart that fails to love God. If one wishes to achieve true love of God without impurities one must pursue the truth and seek knowledge of God. One must honestly accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and one must achieve true knowledge of the substance of one’s own nature to engender real repentance. Ultimately one achieves changes in one’s life disposition because of one’s knowledge of God. This is the path to achieve perfection.
Those who pursue the truth should understand that to have a heart that fears God is of vital importance, but even more critical is whether one has a heart that loves God. This relates directly to the issue of whether people can be perfected. Without a heart that loves God there is no impetus to pursue the truth, while doing one’s duty can only be perfunctory and to fool others, and there is absolutely no loyalty to God. Even if one can implement some of the truth, this is not true obedience to God. Only with true love of God can one truly exalt Him and bear witness for Him in doing one’s duty and serving God, obey all His orchestrations and arrangements, and truly serve Him to achieve the doing of His will. So, strictly speaking, not having a heart that loves God means one is resisting God; whoever fails to be perfected for certain does not have a heart that loves God. This is absolute. Without a heart that loves God one’s relationship with Him is indeed not normal. In doing one’s duty to serve God there exist for sure rebelliousness and resistance of every kind; even though one is serving God, one can still resist Him. The chief manifestations of this lie in the following five aspects, which are also the five kinds of reasons people cannot be perfected.
1. In doing their duty one is never considerate of God’s will; one does things with no relation to the truth; one fails in their heart to truly love God.
2. There is no place for God in one’s heart; one’s relationship with God is neither close nor distant or one keeps Him at arm’s length; one does not have a heart that fears God.
3. One strives to work for one’s own reputation and status, and does their duty, but not for love of God and to reciprocate His love; one fails to be truly obedient to God and to satisfy Him.
4. Where their own fame, fortune and status is involved, one still persists in maintaining various notions and misunderstandings about God; one fails to accept the truth and obey God.
5. In their heart there is often an estrangement from God that cannot be removed; one considers that God is unfair to them, there is often resentment in their heart and one fails to be compatible with God.
The above five conditions suffice to show that although people really believe in God, and although they are willing to expend for God and even loyally do their duty, they nevertheless do not have real love for God, and always do their work for status and fame and fortune. This is the fatal point in their inability to achieve perfection. If one fails to love God in their heart, one is certainly not good-natured and, for sure, there are malevolent elements in their heart and one harbors evil intentions. Even if externally one seems to be able to obey God, to obey God’s work, and to do their duty, and has a modicum of conscience and reason, one does not, however, have a heart that fears God, and even more, a heart that loves Him. This suffices to show that one does not have true knowledge of God, and hence does not truly obey Him. There are some who are loyal in doing their duty; they can know themselves and put some truth into practice and even obey all the work arrangements that God’s family makes and the shepherding of the man the Holy Spirit uses. Yet, despite this, they still have no true love for God. If one is in touch with God and lives with Him, they indeed can rebel against Him, resist Him and even become His enemy. This really does provoke serious thought. There are many whose failure lies right here; it is just as pitiable and tragic as those religious people who only believe in the Bible and only believe the words of God, but can still resist Him. To be perfected requires seeing right to the core of these issues, to find the root causes of failure, and to pursue the truth to solve these practical issues. Only thus can one take the road to perfection. Only those who wholeheartedly love God can attain perfection, since only those who love God can be considerate of His will, and can stand by His side in all things and gradually attain accord with Him. If one truly has a heart that loves God, when faced with trials and refining, one can understand God’s difficulty in this; no matter how much pain one suffers, one can pray to God and see His love, and even better understand His thoughtful care for us. Therefore, when suffering, when undergoing trials, one can thank God, praise Him, and do one’s duty even more loyally. One can obey all that God arranges. Hence, one is able to more deeply understand the truth, and enter into its reality and attain knowledge of God. This is the key that allows those who love God to attain perfection.
The road one takes in pursuit of the truth to attaining perfection is like climbing a mountain; those who climb are many, but few can ascend to the peak. Most people stop at different heights as if they really are powerless to climb beyond that point. The reasons for this are many: People’s substance varies, the road they take in climbing and the height they can ascend to all vary as well. Just as the words of God say: “Many people say: ‘I believe in God and I follow in this way, so I’m bound to obtain something. I do not seek the truth but I follow until the end, and I use all my strength to expend effort and to abandon things in the course of my duties. Even if I commit some transgressions, I can still obtain something.’ They do not know what they are saying. With so much corruption within people, how can they change if they do not seek the truth? With the degree of corruption man has, if there is no protection from God, then one can falter and betray God at any time. Do you believe that? Even if you force yourself, you still cannot make it to the end because the final stage is to make a group of overcomers; can it be as easy as you imagine? In the end it is not necessary for people to change 100 percent or 80 percent, but at least there needs to be a 30 or 40 percent change; at the very least you must dig out the things that are embedded deep inside you and change them, and you can reach God’s requirement of 30 or 40 percent, or better yet reach a 60 to 70 percent change, meaning that you possess some truth within you, that you have some things that are compatible with God within you, and that when you encounter some issues it will not be easy for you to resist God, and it will not be easy to offend God’s disposition. In this way, in the end, you will be perfected, and be commended.” To be perfected by God is really no simple matter. There are countless numbers of those who wholeheartedly believe in God, but only a meagre few can attain perfection. This provokes serious thought. It is only when we truly realize the reasons for which we cannot be perfected and our fatal points, that we can really solve the practical problems of entering into life. Everyone has flaws, everyone has their fatal point, so to attain perfection one must solve their own practical problems. In fact, the root cause of failing to be perfected lies mainly in not having a heart that loves God and the will to suffer in the pursuit of the truth. Being content with having a little understanding of the truth and resting on one’s laurels is a fatal point with people. Thinking that one is truly obedient to God in being somewhat obedient to His work and able to refrain from doing evil and from resisting or betraying Him, and being content with this and no longer pursuing the truth is a fatal point with people. Thinking that one loves God, that God surely likes one for being able to bear hardship in doing their duty, and for having some loyalty and not putting down their load, and hence stagnating and no longer pursuing the truth and failing to become fit for use by God is a fatal point with people. There certainly exists a multitude of problems when one is unable to be perfected; these must all be addressed in the pursuit of perfection.
We all know that those who God perfects are those who wholeheartedly love Him; only those who wholeheartedly love Him are the real pursuers of the truth. If people consider themselves to be real pursuers of the truth, and they have real faith in God, and can do their duty, but are merely content to seek the truth amidst God’s words and do not have a heart that truly loves God, there are serious flaws in pursuing the truth in this fashion. Ultimately there will indeed be limits to their understanding of the truth, and they will fail to be perfected. The reason is that to enter into the reality of truth to attain knowledge of God is absolutely not a simple matter. It requires man’s cooperation on a number of points. It requires not only faith, but man’s obedience and his loyalty, and even more it requires a heart that truly loves God. Faith alone will not work; if one does not have a heart that truly loves God, their obedience to Him will be limited as well as their loyalty, and in doing their duty one will certainly not succeed in satisfying God. Those who really have a heart that loves God are at least loyal to God in doing their duty, and can, on their own initiative, take responsibility to do their work properly, and have the utmost loyalty to that which God entrusts them with. They swear they shall not rest until they have completed His commission, and if they do not do their work properly, they will feel they owe God, and that they have let down His chosen ones. Their sense of responsibility is especially great. Therefore, in God’s commission they always feel boundless energy and that there is always work to be done. They always hope to do every task of their work better than good to reciprocate God’s love and will not cease before they reach their aim. The sense of responsibility of those who wholeheartedly love God toward doing their duty is particularly strong; at the very least this is what a man of conscience and reason should possess. Without a heart that loves God, one will not have true love for God’s chosen ones either; one will only know to brazenly enjoy the benefits of status with no regard to the fate of God’s chosen ones. Even more, one will ignore how God’s heart aches. This is to be without conscience. Without a heart that loves God one is for certain without conscience; one is, to be exact, a heartless beast devoid of humanity. Therefore, those without a heart that loves God will completely fail to be considerate of His will and thus will have no means of attaining perfection by Him. We have seen how all the antichrists, the false leaders are without conscience and reason, let alone have a heart that loves God. They only seek to be a leader high above others, to lord it over them; they are unable to do substantial work in serving God. With their status they do a little work that only scratches the surface, then feel they have the credentials to enjoy the blessings of their status at will; they make a mess of their church work and still brazenly jump to their own defense with not a shred of regret in their heart. They are simply parasites, vampires! They do not properly do the duties that they should, so what right do they have to enjoy God’s offerings? They are truly brazen! Hence, those I hate most are the antichrists and the false leaders; such people are the foxes and poisonous snakes in the vineyard, they are the devil Satan, may they be accursed! Those who have not properly done practical work for God’s chosen ones, and who have not done their own duties properly are beasts that have neither conscience nor reason. If people really do not have a heart that loves God then they are not worthy of being called human. Especially those leaders and workers at every level, if they are unable to do practical work, if they do not properly do their duties as they ought to, yet, like vampires and parasites, can still brazenly enjoy the blessings of their status, they must incur God’s wrath. Hence, it is essential to ban them, to expel them and weed out them; God will not save the wicked, and absolutely will not perfect a heartless beast without conscience or reason. This is God’s righteousness. It is obvious that without a heart that truly loves God the pursuit of perfection will absolutely fail to achieve its effect. It is only those with a true love of God who can really be considerate of His will. No matter how negative they are, how much in pain and discomfort, because of their love of God they can be transformed. Because of their love of God they can forsake the flesh and endure the pains of abandoning what they treasure. Because of their love of God they can endure all humiliation, and because of their love of God they can be absolutely obedient to that which, for the time being, they do not understand. Those who truly love God can do such duties that an ordinary person could not do properly all through their love of God. They have the ability to use the truth to solve the practical problems of God’s chosen ones, and the ability to truly bear witness for God’s righteousness and almightiness. They are able to make people accept God and obey Him through their bearing witness, to lead people to enter the reality of truth, and to properly do all the work of the church. Therefore, the heart that truly loves God is the most precious of all. Only those who truly love God are those in accordance with His will, only those whose heart can truly love God are the really good natured who yearn for the light and righteousness, the ones whom God truly loves, and who are the very ones God intends to perfect. Therefore, if one wishes to attain perfection one must have a heart that truly loves God; this is something His chosen ones must be clear about. If one wants to become a person who truly loves God, one must know what it is to truly love Him, and what standards that involves. This is extremely important. Now here below are listed the seven standards for true love of God.
1. Praying to God often and laying open one’s heart to Him, reflecting on oneself, letting God wield power over one’s heart, and being able to honor God as great and truly worship Him.
2. Not doing one’s duty perfunctorily and to fool others, not engaging in transactions to gain something; even if rendering service as a watch dog, one wants to stand at their post for God’s family and properly guard the door.
3. The ability to resolutely complete that which God entrusts to one, being conscientious, responsible and meticulous, and able to do properly substantial work to serve God to His satisfaction.
4. The ability to do one’s utmost in pursuit of the truth, to be absolutely obedient to God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing with the sole aim of being cleansed and reaching accord with God’s will.
5. The ability to pursue being an honest person, to truly commune with God, to get rid of conceptions, estrangement and misunderstandings, to become God’s confidant and be completely obedient to Him.
6. The ability to be considerate of God’s will, to be anxious of that which God is anxious of, to think of that which God is thinking, to be in one accord with God’s will in everything, and to dedicate one’s life to doing His will.
7. The ability to love God with all one’s heart and mind, to bring others before God through performing exaltation of God and bearing witness for Him, and to become a true witness to Him.
As long as you compare against these seven standards for true love of God, you can know whether people truly love Him; it is completely clear provided one sees whether they themselves are able to do a little something for love of God, whether they themselves are able to reciprocate God’s love by properly doing practical work, and whether they themselves can endure much suffering in pursuit of the truth. It is only by taking Peter as a benchmark that those who wish to pursue the truth to become ones truly loving of God can take the road to perfection. We all know that Peter is one who was perfected by God. Just as the words of God say: “For he always sought to know Me, and this led him to turn his back on his parents. This was because, first of all, he believed that the heavens and earth and all things are in the hands of the Almighty, and that all positive things originate from God and come directly from Him, without passing through any processing by Satan. With the counterexample of his parents to serve as a foil, this enabled him all the more readily to recognize My love and mercy, thereby inflaming in him an even greater passion to seek after Me. He paid close attention not only to eating and drinking My words, but even more to grasping My intentions, and was constantly prudent and cautious in his thoughts, so that he was always keenly astute in his spirit, and hence was able to please Me in everything he did. In ordinary life, he paid close attention to integrating the lessons of those who had failed in the past so as to spur himself on to greater endeavor, deeply afraid that he might fall into the nets of failure. He also paid close attention to assimilating the faith and love of all those who through the ages had loved God. In this way he not only in negative aspects, but much more importantly, in positive aspects sped up the progress of his growth, until he became in My presence the one human being who knew Me best.” From this passage of the words of God you can see that Peter is someone who truly pursued knowledge of God. The reason that he was able to truly love God is not difficult to understand: It is only the ability to truly love God that enables one to truly pursue knowledge of Him, and to become one who truly loves the truth. Peter could truly love God; why are we not able to? To solve the problem of one’s heart failing to love God, one must follow the example of Peter, and lay emphasis on eating and drinking the words of God, and seeking from God to feel out His will. When one has true knowledge of God’s disposition and His life essence, one’s outlook on life and values will change, which enables one to engender a heart that loves God. In pursuing the truth the main things are to frequently pray and lay one’s heart bare to God and to seek to gain the work of the Holy Spirit to attain perfection. This way, they are able to truly love God. If one wishes to truly love God in their heart, they must be good-natured, and have a sense of justice, and a love of positive things, they must yearn for the light and righteousness and hate the darkness and evil; these are what is needed for one to have a normal humanity. If people have these most beautiful and good of things in a normal humanity and pursue the truth and have a genuine connection with God, a heart within them that loves God will become ever more real and pure. Let us recall that when Peter followed Jesus, the Lord Jesus asked Peter many times: “Simon, son of Jonas, love you me?” After Peter had spoken his innermost feelings to Jesus, he felt much sadness and pain. Why did Jesus repeatedly ask him thus? It was to point out to Peter the road to perfection he would later experience. Later, he gradually engendered a true heart that loved God. Experiencing afterward trial and refining hundreds of times over, he finally achieved perfection. From the example of Peter we can see that those God perfects are those who truly love Him, this is beyond question. If people really love the truth, really understand it, then they ought to drill themselves in practicing love of God, and go all out in loving Him. Drilling oneself by practicing the truth to satisfy Him, doing one’s duty properly to reciprocate His love, and willingly undergoing much suffering to love Him and gain the truth will naturally engender a heart that loves God. As long as they love the truth, when people have true knowledge of God’s disposition, they can truly love God. The more of God’s loveliness people notice, the more real and the more powerful within them becomes a heart that loves God. At that point if they rebel against God and resist Him by not practicing the truth, they feel particularly painful; they hate themselves and even curse themselves, and only feel solace in loving God and satisfying Him. It is at this point that they are able to truly love God and have really taken the road toward perfection. The goal of the pursuit of the truth is to achieve true knowledge of God, and the effects achieved are true love of God, and true obedience to Him. As long as one pursues the truth undauntedly and in a down to earth manner, there is no truth that cannot be attained, and no effect out of reach; it depends on what kind of a will to suffer one has, and what kind of price one pays. If they are someone who really pursues the truth, not being able to love God at present does not mean they will fail to do so later. As long as people have a will to pursue love for God, God will perfect them. It is extremely important that one has a heart that truly loves God. Regarding acceptance of perfection by God, you cannot continue your experience if you do not have a heart that truly loves Him, and you will have no way to endure too much of trial and refining. Mankind’s corruption is too deep; mankind is particularly arrogant and always thinks themselves in the right, they are selfish and despicable, far too negative and much too argumentative. Always liking to live against a background conforming with “reason” and conforming with their own ideas and notions, mankind rarely shows true obedience to God, and even less complete obedience. The obedience of such a man to God is very much limited; if they repeatedly encounter God’s ruthless exposure and continuous pruning and dealing, it is difficult for them to accept or obey; even if they are temporarily obedient it will not last for long. They will still come out with any number of reasons to blame God, and in their hearts they will indeed consider that God is inconsiderate making it impossible for them to be obedient to Him; just as a critically ill patient might demand of the doctor, always wanting to be cured according to their own method, as well as wanting to achieve the outcome of recovery from disease. The result shows how very irrational people are and that they have not the slightest understanding of God’s good intentions. Therefore, in accepting perfection by God, if one lacks a heart that truly loves God, it is extremely hard to obey His work right to the end. I’m afraid that now the majority of people cannot accept fairly severe pruning and dealing. If they are exposed and dissected before the crowd, I’m afraid they will resist and revolt and finally take to their heels; this is true. In the past there were some leaders and workers who could not do any practical work; the corruption they revealed was too great, and in their work they achieved not the slightest result, and hence were replaced. They were negative and even non-believing. There were some, slightly better, who, even though they believed, did not pursue the truth. Just the experience of being replaced was sufficient for them to give themselves up to overwhelming negativity and stagnation. This is a chronic ailment of corrupt mankind, and even more so a fatal point with people; there is no way such of them can be perfected. Now there are some, who, having been expelled, have greatly suffered, yet they still do not leave God, and continue to believe in Him as before and to do their duty in preaching the gospel, which suffices to show that they have true belief: They really cannot depart from God and would have no way to live if they did so. Hence, no matter how the church deals with them they are capable of obedience and maintain their belief in God. Such a heart that truly believes in God is precious. If people really have a heart that truly loves God, it is easy for them to put the truth into practice and obey Him. No matter how God judges and chastises people, how He prunes and deals with them, or tries and refines them, as long as they have a heart that loves God they can seek the truth and accept it, and be obedient to it and to God. The only fear is those who fail to seek and accept the truth, and, on the contrary, are unreasonable, importunate and irrational; these are the most troublesome, the most difficult of people, who have no way to achieve God’s perfection. Those who really pursue the truth must seek it in all things, and accept and obey it. Only with such reason and will can one truly obey God’s work and attain perfection by Him. Job, having only true faith, stood testimony in his trials, while Peter had a true love of God and could be obedient unto death, who was indeed perfected. This is the road to perfection that God points out to us.
At present there are some of God’s chosen ones who have been dismissed and replaced many times over and who have undergone repeated pruning and dealing. However, they are still able to pursue the truth, and in doing their duty are even more capable of putting themselves at God’s mercy and doing whatever He requires them to do without complaint, as they have truly seen that no matter what God says or does it all has significance; for man it is salvation and it is love. Provided people are obedient in this way to God’s work right to the very end, much of their rebelliousness, their many conceptions and various intentions and satanic toxins can be cleansed to different degrees. Therefore, the more refining people undergo in experiencing God’s work, and the greater the suffering they endure, the more they are able to attain cleansing. Having thus tasted the sweetness of obedience to God’s work, they truly realize that they will never go wrong in such obedience. Whether people can be absolutely obedient to God’s work indicates most clearly whether they have true faith. Those who love to argue things out will certainly be more rebellious and far less obedient; they will persist in maintaining their own ideas and their own justifications. Their hearts are indeed the most hardened of all without a shred of love for God, and it is very difficult for such people to be perfected. Without a heart that truly loves God it is far too easy to rebel against and resist Him. If someone has believed in God for many years yet still does not have a heart that loves Him, and goes so far as to not care about and even be proud of resisting and betraying Him, then such a person belongs with the demonic antichrist; only the treacherous and malicious at heart will totally ignore God’s difficulties, and focus only on satisfying their own desires and intentions. If this is not the devil Satan, then what is it? There are many who, when faced with pruning and dealing or exposure and dissection, when spurned or expelled, are shamed into anger and rage in fury. In being this resistant to God, and even doing every kind of evil to upset His work, such people have never imagined the degree of suffering and pain in God’s heart at this. Who could understand it? People only consider their own feelings, but do not understand God’s will. Do they possess reason and conscience at all? Do they possess humanity? This is a point most worthy of reflection. After I had accepted God’s entrustment, I underwent much of His judgment and chastisement and pruning and dealing. I was often weak and negative at the time, and my heart was very pained. I often prayed to seek God’s enlightenment and illumination upon this and finally realized that the essence of my own nature was to rebel against and resist God, and I would often be filled with remorse. Every time I tried to ponder God’s love and salvation, a heart that loved God would arise of itself; I would not feel so painful at such times and could pick myself up to do my duty. Experiencing many more trials, I saw God’s true love, and because of this I was no longer negative. Finally, my resolution hardened—however God might treat me, I would do my duty properly and complete that which God entrusted me to. I would render service willingly right to the very end. As long as one can put aside their future and destiny and willingly exert themselves for God they will feel much happier in their heart; in doing their duty they will act normally and low key and not so arrogantly and domineeringly. This is all the fruit of undergoing God’s judgment and chastisement. Finally, I realized that if those who serve God have not received judgment and chastisement by Him together with His pruning and dealing, they will be arrogant and conceited, and insufferably overbearing. At this point I saw that my own corruption by Satan was too deep; if it were not for God’s judgment and chastisement, His trial and refining, corrupted mankind would be demon without a trace of human likeness. This is true.
Now people see clearly that the pursuit of perfection is absolutely not a simple matter as it touches on changes in one’s life disposition. Only by undergoing much pain and refining can one be reborn and achieve those changes that are akin to rising from the dead. In experiencing trials and refining, man will be unlikely not to slip into negativity; if one lacks true faith and a heart that truly loves God, they will definitely never bear trials and refining of every kind and it will be extremely hard for them to stand firm. The pruning and dealing or dismissal and replacement, the spurning by others that the majority of people face nowadays, these are minor trials but they still feel particularly painful and they become overly negative. The consequences would be unimaginable if they were to face a major trial; perhaps they would soon take to their heels. At present, God’s chosen ones are all in pursuit of the truth to enter into its reality. In fact, they are laying the foundation for the range of trials they will later undergo; this is exactly the case. If people at present have only a shallow understanding of the truth, then they cannot possess real faith. If they faced the trials as Job did, they would find it very hard to stand firm. Why does God demand that man must know His work? It is to make man understand how He saves man and perfects him. Man must first see what pain and trials he must undergo in receiving God’s salvation and perfection and must understand the true significance of receiving God’s judgment and chastisement and His trials and refining. Is this not precisely to lay a foundation for people to undergo trial and refining to achieve perfection? If God’s family does not water and provision God’s chosen ones thus, then the majority of them will find it very hard to stand firm in the midst of future trials and refining. Those who pursue the truth must understand that the greater, the more severe the trials and refining they undergo and the more they suffer, then the greater the changes they will then achieve, and the deeper they will understand the reality of truth. This is the perfection of the work of the Holy Spirit. In wanting to attain perfection by God, if there is no price paid in suffering, there will be absolutely no outcome achieved. God’s chosen ones should understand God’s will in this, and understand His good intentions; this is the effect that knowledge of God’s work must achieve. It is only those who really have knowledge of God’s work who can stand firm in the midst of future trials and refining, and bear glorious and resounding testimony for God.
In undergoing perfection by God, man must cooperate with the work of the Holy Spirit if he is to be perfected. In cooperating with God’s work, there are the main five principles here below that must be practiced.
1. In trials of every kind one must learn to feel out God’s will, and this is founded on the basis of knowledge of God’s work. If people really have knowledge of God’s work, it is easy to understand His will; if they don’t have real knowledge of it, then it is all too easy to misunderstand God, to blame and even resist Him; that God’s work does not accord with people’s conceptions is manifested here. The more faith people have, the more trials they undergo and the more they can truly love God, then the more severe their trials; this is something that no one would ever expect. It is only when people have undergone them and see how they have truly been cleansed that they can fully understand God’s good intentions, and see His profound love and kindness.
2. Every time one faces a trial, one must seek out the truth to find their own way of practicing it. If one can understand the truth and have a way of practice, they can naturally stand firm; this is a key point. If one fails in seeking out the truth and has no way of practice, one cannot know how to be obedient to God’s work. At this point one must have true love of God; if you are someone who loves God, you will not misunderstand Him, and you will realize that there is never anything wrong in that which God does and nor in your obedience to Him. If one can truly love God, regardless of whether they understand the truth, then that is enough as long as they can satisfy God and humiliate Satan. This is truly to bear witness, and if one can obey God out of their love of Him, and can keep from blaming God however much suffering they endure, this is bearing witness for Satan’s humiliation.
3. No matter what God does, one does not have any conceptions about Him, nor any misunderstanding. Even when faced with great disaster in which family members perish and one’s possessions are gone, one can still be free of any conceptions about Him and any misunderstanding; this is true faith in God. In the midst of trials it is completely revealed whether one has true faith; such trials reveals a person most and are the best tests of whether one possesses the truth and has a heart that loves God. It is highly commendable if one can maintain not having any conceptions about God and any misunderstandings of Him in such trials, and can truly praise Him and believe in His righteousness, and that God never errs in all that He does. Only this constitutes true knowledge of God’s work.
4. No matter what trials one undergoes, and regardless of one’s understanding of the truth, one cannot be negative; one must handle matters by reliance on faith and a heart that truly loves God in order to stand firm. One has to be reliant on something to not fall into negativity; it is very hard to achieve such a state without true faith and love. Such moments require much prayer until true faith and a heart that loves God are engendered, when negativity will be completely eliminated.
5. In trials of every kind, the heart must fear God and stay clear of evil; one must not accept control by any person, any thing or any matter. One must not listen to what others say nor look to what they do, and even more one must not follow the trend of the majority. One must believe in the leadership of the Holy Spirit in going one’s own way; thus one can overcome the various temptations and enticements of Satan, and escape from the danger of deviating from the true way. Even if the sky falls, in their heart one only believes in God, one only follows God and only lays emphasis on praying to and communing with Him. Thus one will neither be overwhelmed by the influence of darkness nor overpowered by calamity or confusion. One believes that only God can lead man and save and perfect him. Apart from God, no mankind or higher being can save man. This is true faith.
The above five principles of practice for cooperating with the work of the Holy Spirit are extremely important to those who are undergoing perfection by God. If people grasp these principles of practice, they will be able to rid themselves of conceptions and negativity; they can count on true faith and a heart that loves God to pray to Him and commune with Him. Thus, in the midst of trials of every kind, they will not go so far as to stumble in defeat. As long as one thus pursues the truth, one will indeed achieve perfection by God.
Now the churches have entered the great revelation, the great elimination and the great clearing of people according to their class. As God’s church gets purified following the ending of the clearing work, the calamities of every kind have already rained down. The great calamities will immediately begin and shall be greater and greater; God has started to officially chastise the great red dragon. After the calamities have rained down, the peoples of the great red dragon shall rise up to resist the rule of darkness of the devil Satan, and the great red dragon shall fall from power as it sways in the tempest and shall be eternally banned; all the peoples of the earth shall have entered into the trials of the calamities. Without truth it will be very hard for people to stand firm. God shall give retribution to every person according to their actions. All those who have prepared sufficient good deeds in advance and really understand the truth and enter into its reality shall have their support and faith. All those who did much evil shall find it difficult to escape retribution. This is the moment when God’s righteousness will be manifested, and when all the words of God shall begin to be fulfilled. All those who have pursued the truth and obeyed God’s work in order to be cleansed shall have God with them and His salvation. All those without the slightest understanding of the truth and no real faith in God shall perish with the unbelievers. This is the beginning of God’s retribution for every person in accordance to their actions. In this half a year, all those who have not the slightest understanding of the truth and any reality will be completely eliminated. All those who have never pursued the truth will fall into the darkness crying out and gnashing their teeth. This shall completely fulfill the words of God: “Do you understand now what is judgment and what is truth? If you have understood, then I exhort you to submit obediently to being judged, otherwise you shall never have the opportunity to be commended by God or to be brought by Him into His kingdom. Those who only accept judgment but can never be purified, that is, those who flee in the midst of the work of judgment, shall forever be detested and rejected by God. Their sins are more numerous, and more grievous, than those of the Pharisees, for they have betrayed God and are rebels against God. Such men who are not worthy even to do service shall receive more severe punishment, a punishment that is moreover everlasting. God shall not spare any traitor who once evinced loyalty with words but then betrayed Him. Men like these shall receive retribution through punishment of the spirit, soul, and body. Is this not precisely a revelation of the righteous disposition of God? Is this not God’s purpose in judging man, and revealing him? God consigns all those who perform all kinds of wicked deeds during the time of judgment to a place infested with evil spirits, letting these evil spirits destroy their fleshly bodies at will. Their bodies give off the stench of corpses, and such is their fitting retribution. God writes down in their record books each and every one of the sins of those disloyal false believers, false apostles, and false workers; then, when the time is right, He casts them amidst the unclean spirits, letting these unclean spirits defile their entire bodies at will, so that they may never be reincarnated and never again see the light. Those hypocrites who did service at one time but are unable to remain loyal to the end are numbered by God among the wicked, so that they walk in the counsel of the wicked and become part of their disorderly rabble; in the end, God shall annihilate them. God casts aside and takes no notice of those who have never been loyal to Christ or dedicated any effort, and shall annihilate them all in the change of ages. They shall no longer exist on earth, much less gain passage into the kingdom of God. Those who have never been sincere to God but are forced by circumstance into dealing with Him perfunctorily are numbered among those who do service for His people. Only a small number of such men can survive, while the majority shall perish along with those who are not qualified even to do service. Finally, God shall bring into His kingdom all those who are of the same mind as God, the people and the sons of God as well as those predestined by God to be priests. Such is the distillate obtained by God through His work. As for those who are unable to fall into any of the categories set by God, they shall be numbered among the unbelievers. And you can surely imagine what their outcome shall be. I have already said to you all that I should say; the road that you choose shall be your decision to make. What you should understand is this: The work of God never waits for any that cannot keep pace with Him, and the righteous disposition of God shows no mercy to any man.”
When meeting to communicate this sermon it must be combined with the following passages of the words of God.
In this stage of work great faith and great love are required of us. We may stumble from the slightest carelessness because this stage of work is different from all the previous ones. What God is perfecting is mankind’s faith—one cannot see or touch it. What God does is convert words to faith, to love, and to life. People must reach a point where they have endured hundreds of refinements and possess faith greater than Job’s. They need to endure incredible suffering and all kinds of torture without departing from God at any time. When they are obedient until the death, and have great faith in God, then this stage of God’s work is complete.
from “The Path … (8)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man lives amid the flesh, which means he lives in a human hell, and without God’s judgment and chastisement, man is as filthy as Satan. How could man be holy? Peter believed that chastisement and judgment by God was man’s best protection and greatest grace. Only through chastisement and judgment by God could man awaken, and hate the flesh, and hate Satan. God’s strict discipline frees man from the influence of Satan, it frees him from his own little world, and allows him to live in the light of God’s presence. There is not better salvation than chastisement and judgment!
from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You ought to know that perfecting men, completing men, and gaining men have brought nothing but swords and smiting for their flesh, and brought endless suffering, the burning of fire, merciless judgment, chastisement, and curse, as well as boundless trials. Such is the inside story and truth of the work of managing man. … Therefore, perhaps ninety percent of what people experience is sufferings and trials of fire, but there are very few or even no sweet and happy days which man’s flesh has yearned for, and they are even more unable to enjoy happy moments in the flesh spending beautiful evenings with God. The flesh is filthy, so what man’s flesh sees or enjoys is nothing but God’s chastisement which is not favored by man, and is as if it were lacking normal reason. This is because He will manifest His righteous disposition which is not favored by man, does not tolerate man’s offenses, and loathes enemies. God openly reveals all of His disposition through any means necessary, thereby concluding the work of His six-thousand-year battle with Satan—the work of the salvation of all of mankind and the destruction of the old Satan!
from “The Purpose of Managing Mankind” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God is eager for man to love Him, but the more man loves Him, the greater man’s suffering, and the more man loves Him, the greater man’s trials. If you love Him, then every kind of suffering will befall you—and if you don’t, then perhaps everything will go smoothly for you, and all will be peaceful around you. When you love God, you will feel that much around you is insurmountable, and because your stature is too small you will be refined; moreover, you are incapable of satisfying God, and you will always feel that God’s will is too lofty, that it is beyond the reach of man. Because of all this you will be refined—because there is much weakness within you, and much that is incapable of satisfying the will of God, you will be refined inside. Yet you must clearly see that purification is only achieved through refinement.
from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If man wishes to love God, he must be stripped of his self-rightness, self-importance, arrogance, conceit, and the like, all of which belong to Satan’s disposition. Otherwise, the love of man is an impure love, a love of Satan, and one which absolutely cannot receive the approval of God. Without being directly perfected, dealt with, broken, pruned, disciplined, chastened, or refined by the Holy Spirit, no one is able truly to love God.
from “Corrupt Man Is Incapable of Representing God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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.
from “Only by Experiencing Refinement Can Man Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In believing in God, man should pursue being made perfect by God, being able to submit to God, and the complete obedience to God. If you can obey God without complaint, be mindful of God’s desires, achieve the stature of Peter, and possess the style of Peter spoken of by God, then that will be when you have achieved success in belief in God, and it will signify that you have been gained by God.
from “All Is Achieved by the Word of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Peter experienced many years of the work of the Holy Spirit, and had a practical knowledge of Christ, as well as a profound knowledge of himself. And so, his love of God was pure. Many years of refinement had elevated his knowledge of Jesus and life, and his love was an unconditional love, it was a spontaneous love, and he asked for nothing in return, nor did he hope for any benefits.
from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!
from “The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Through what is God’s perfection of man accomplished? Through His righteous disposition. God’s disposition primarily consists of righteousness, wrath, majesty, judgment, and curse, and His perfection of man is primarily through judgment.
from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Change is achieved in the disposition of man through different kinds of God’s work; without such changes in man’s disposition, man would be unable to bear testimony to God, and could not be after God’s heart. Changes in man’s disposition signify that man has freed himself from Satan’s bondage, has freed himself from the influence of darkness, and has truly become a model and specimen of God’s work, has truly become a witness of God and someone who is after God’s heart.
from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
August 15, 2012