40. What are good deeds? What are the manifestations of good deeds?
Relevant Words of God:
If you possess the truth, you can follow God. If you have living out, you can be a manifestation of God’s word. If you have the life, you can enjoy God’s blessing. Those who possess the truth can enjoy God’s blessing. God ensures redress for those who love Him wholeheartedly as well as enduring hardships and sufferings, not for those who only love themselves and have fallen prey to Satan’s deceptions. How can there be goodness in those who do not love the truth? How can there be righteousness in those who only love the flesh? Are not righteousness and goodness all in reference to the truth? Are they not reserved for those who wholeheartedly love God?
from “Only the Perfected Can Live a Meaningful Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Before I leave you, I must still exhort you to refrain from doing that which is not in accordance with the truth. Rather, you should do that which is pleasing to all, that which brings benefit to all men, and that which benefits your own destination, otherwise the one who suffers in the midst of disaster will be none other than yourself.
from “You Ought to Prepare a Sufficiency of Good Deeds for Your Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Do not do things before men; you should do them before God. By accepting God’s observation and inspection, your heart is set aright. If you are always concerned with acting for people to see, then your heart will never be set aright. Also, when you act do not act for yourself. Do not take into account your own interests. Do not take into account the interests of man. Do not take into account your own position, face, or reputation. First take into account the interests of God’s house. Put the interests of God’s house first. Be considerate of God’s intention. Consider these first: Are there impurities in your performance of your duty? Are you fully devoted? Have you fulfilled your responsibility? Have you expended your full effort? Do you act with all your might and heart out of consideration for your duty and the work of God’s house? You must consider these things. When you account for these things, you will not fall too short in the performance of your duty…. Your heart is set aright, and you have accumulated good deeds in the eyes of God. Is not a person with such good deeds a person who has the reality of truth? This person has a testimony.
from “You Can Obtain Truth After Turning Your True Heart Over to God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you are truly possessed of conscience, then you must have a burden, and a sense of responsibility. You must say: I care not whether I will be conquered or made perfect, but I must bear this step of testimony properly. As a creature of God, one can be utterly conquered by God, and ultimately, they are able to satisfy God, repaying God’s love with the love in their heart and by completely devoting themselves to God. This is the responsibility of man, it is the duty that ought to be performed by man, and the burden that ought to be borne by man, and man must complete this commission. Only then do they truly believe in God.
from “Practice (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
You can devote your heart and body and all of your genuine love to God, place them before Him, be completely obedient toward Him, and be absolutely considerate to His will. Not for the flesh, not for family, and not for your personal desires, but for the interests of God’s household. In everything you can take God’s word as the principle, as the foundation. That way, your intentions and your perspectives will all be in the right place, and you will be someone who gains God’s praise before Him.
from “People Who Can Be Absolutely Obedient Toward God’s Practicality Are Those Who Truly Love God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
2. You should do anything that is beneficial to God’s work, and nothing that is detrimental to the interests of God’s work. You should defend God’s name, God’s testimony, and God’s work.
from “The Ten Administrative Decrees That Must Be Obeyed by God’s Chosen People in the Age of Kingdom” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In the church, you shall stand firm in your testimony to Me, uphold truth—right is right and wrong is wrong—and do not confuse black and white. You shall be at war with Satan and must completely vanquish it so that it never rises. You must sacrifice everything to protect My testimony. This shall be the goal of your actions, do not forget this.
from Utterances and Testimonies of Christ in the Beginning
You should do your own duty to the best of your ability with open and upright hearts, and be willing to do whatever it takes. As you have said, when the day comes, God will not mistreat anyone who has suffered or paid a price for Him. This kind of conviction is worth holding on to, and you should never forget it. Only this way can I put My mind at ease about you. Otherwise, I will never be able to put My mind at ease regarding you, and you will forever be the objects of My distaste. If you all can follow your conscience and give your all for Me, spare no effort for My work, and devote a lifetime of effort to My gospel work, then won’t My heart often jump for joy for you? Won’t I be able to entirely put My mind at ease regarding you?
from “On Destination” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The Man’s Fellowship:
Just what are good deeds? Why is it that we must perform good deeds? Let’s read two more passages of God’s word. In “The Wicked Must Be Punished,” God said: “Inspecting whether you practice righteousness in all that you do, and whether all of your actions are observed by God, are the behavioral principles of those who believe in God. You will be called righteous because you are able to satisfy God, and because you accept God’s care and protection. In God’s eyes, all those who accept God’s care, protection, and perfection and who are gained by Him, are righteous and looked upon with cherishment by God. The more you accept the words of God in the here and now, the more you are able to receive and understand God’s will, and thus the more you can live out God’s words and satisfy His requirements. This is God’s commission for you, and what you ought to achieve.” “Before God, is it that easy to be made perfect into a holy one, or a righteous person? It is a truism that ‘there are no righteous upon this earth, the righteous are not in this world.’ When you come before God, consider what you’re wearing, consider your every word and action, all of your thoughts and ideas, and even the dreams that you dream every day—they are all for your own sake. Is this not the true state of affairs? ‘Righteousness’ does not mean giving alms, it does not mean loving your neighbor as yourself, and it does not mean not fighting, arguing, robbing, or stealing. Righteousness means taking God’s commission as your duty and obeying God’s orchestrations and arrangements as a heaven-sent vocation, regardless of the time or place, just like all that was done by the Lord Jesus. This is the very righteousness spoken of by God.” … What do good deeds refer to? What does righteousness refer to? Here, it mentions: “‘Righteousness’ does not mean giving alms, it does not mean loving your neighbor as yourself, and it does not mean not fighting, arguing, robbing, or stealing. Righteousness means taking God’s commission as your duty and obeying God’s orchestrations and arrangements as a heaven-sent vocation, regardless of the time or place, just like all that was done by the Lord Jesus. This is the very righteousness spoken of by God.” Those who have been perfected possess true righteousness. Now, what are the differences between true righteousness and good deeds? God’s words here say, “‘Righteousness’ does not mean giving alms, it does not mean loving your neighbor as yourself.” The meaning of this is that you can’t become a righteous person by giving charity to someone else, or by just loving other people and nothing more. Righteousness does not mean giving charity or loving others. However, these are good deeds. If someone is charitable to others and loves others, then it can be said that they have performed some good deeds. Of course, good deeds do not only encompass these two examples. What is more important is that you fulfill all the duties that one of God’s creations is responsible for. The duties that one must fulfill as one of God’s creations cover a wide range of different things. It can be said that as someone experiences God’s work, he should be able to do all the duties that he must fulfill, and do all the things that God requests him to do. He must do these things to satisfy God. If he wants to pursue the truth and attain salvation, he must do all these things. If he wants to have his own final destination, he must do these things. …
… Now, what are enough good deeds? Any duty that man can fulfill in his experience of God’s work, any duty that he should fulfill or anything that God requires of man, if man can do it and he is able to satisfy God, then it can be said to be a good deed. If you can satisfy God’s requirements, then it is a good deed. If you have devotion to God while you fulfill your duties, then it is a good deed. If the things you do are of benefit to God’s chosen people and everybody thinks that what you are doing is good, then it is a good deed. All the things that man’s conscience and sense believes to be in accordance with God’s intentions are good deeds. Things that can satisfy God and are beneficial to God’s chosen people are also good deeds. If man can do these few good deeds that we have just talked about, if he is able to spare no effort in fulfilling them, then this means he has fulfilled enough good deeds. … Now, how should we prepare our good deeds? We can see from God’s word, “I exhort you still to refrain from doing that which is not in accordance with the truth. Rather, you should do that which is pleasing to all and profits all men and your own destination, otherwise he who suffers in disaster will be none other than yourself.” What is the standard for good deeds? The standard is whether the thing that you do is of benefit to everyone else. It should also be something that is beneficial to all of God’s chosen people. “Everyone” refers to God’s chosen people. It refers to the brothers and sisters in the church. We must do things that are beneficial to God’s chosen people. We must do things that everyone is fond of. Suppose you do something that your brothers and sisters see as incorrect. They think that it is not good. Everyone dislikes and loathes it. If this is the case, then this thing that you did is not a good deed. Suppose you do something that everyone sees as good. Everyone praises you for doing this and says that you did a good job and that it is in accordance with God’s intentions and the truth. If this is the case, then what you did can be called a good deed. For example, there were some brothers and sisters that were being pursued by the great red dragon. They could not return to their home. Would you say that receiving them is a good deed? Receiving them is a good deed, this is for certain. Suppose there were some brothers and sisters who were experiencing some particularly tough challenges. They felt they could not go on. Some relatively wealthy people were willing to donate, contribute and help them get through these obstacles. This is a good deed. Suppose there were some brothers and sisters who believed in God for a very short amount of time. Their experience was very shallow and they had difficulties entering into life. If there are some people who understand the truth and help them resolve their difficulties, then this is a good deed. Furthermore, there are some churches with many brothers and sisters. Nobody in these churches is willing to devote themselves to God and expend themselves to lead their brothers and sisters. Everyone is only looking after themselves. They only toil for their own livelihood. Nobody is willing to devote themselves to God and become a leader or worker of God’s family. Suppose there is someone who is considerate of God’s intentions. He has a bit of experience and a bit of understanding of God’s word. He is completely able to lead his brothers and sisters to experience God’s work, enter God’s word and the truth. He quits his job and leaves his family behind in order to make an effort for God. This is a good deed. There are some brothers and sisters who view the work of spreading the gospel as particularly difficult and dangerous. They themselves understand a bit of the truth and are completely able to spread the gospel. So, they leave their families and their jobs behind and commit their lives to spreading the gospel. This is also a good deed. There are also some brothers and sisters who come from prosperous families. When they donate their excess money to God’s family or give as charity this money to their poorer brothers and sisters, this is a good deed. Also, there are some brothers and sisters who see that there is a lot of work that needs to be done within God’s family. They choose the work that they are able to do and they strive to do their best job. They spend a lot of time and do all sorts of work in the church. Regardless of what kind of work there is in God’s family, they will do it. This is a good deed. When you see that there is work that needs to be done in God’s family, if you sacrifice your spare time and use that time to finish that work, this is also a good deed. If you fulfill the duties you need to fulfill and do well the work that you are able to do, even at the cost of your all, in order to pay back God’s love, this means that you have fulfilled good deeds. Do you know what feelings those who fulfill good deeds have in their hearts? Their hearts are filled with peace and joy. The more good deeds you perform, the more satisfied you will feel about your life. You will feel, “I have not wasted my life. I am a useful person. I am able to do some things for God’s family. I am not just enjoying God’s grace. I am not just getting by.” This way, the deepest areas of your heart will be at peace and be enriched. You will feel that living this way is the grace of God. This is God’s blessing. This is the way that people should be living. Therefore, all those who do good deeds are at peace and joyful inside because they have done many things that satisfy God and pay back God’s love. Their hearts are filled with joy. These kinds of people will be approved by God. God will prepare a beautiful destination for these kinds of people.
from “The Important Meaning of Preparing Good Deeds” in Sermons and Fellowship on Entry Into Life (II)
The Twenty Good Deeds That God’s Chosen People Must Prepare
1. Frequently communicate the truth to resolve problems for God’s chosen people in the church life, constantly support those who truly believe in God and help them to understand the truth and to enter into reality. This is a good deed. This is what real love is.
2. If, in doing your duty, you do not base it on transactions or do it for rewards, you have no other kind of intentions and do not go through the motions, and there are practical results, this is a good deed. People who do their duty in this way are truly expending themselves for God.
3. If those who have been wrongly isolated or expelled from the church are found to be good people, strive to help and support them and accept them back into the church. This is a good deed. To receive brothers and sisters from other places who are seeking the church and to eat and drink the words of God and live the church life together with them is also a good deed.
4. Working hard to the neglect of one’s meals and sleep and making painstaking efforts in order to make the true believers of God’s chosen people understand the truth, enter into reality and grow in life—this is a good deed. This is the reality that the people who are truly considerate of God’s intentions in serving God should possess.
5. Focus on evangelism, witness God’s work whenever you have the opportunity to meet a suitable subject, preach the gospel as much as possible to gain more people. This is a good deed. If you can gain a few good people who truly believe in God and are able to really pursue the truth, this is even more of a good deed.
6. Employ all kinds of wisdom to block and restrict an evil person from doing evil upon discovery of their disturbance of the church, use the truth and wisdom to resolve chaos and ensure the normal continuance of the church life. This is a good deed.
7. To stand by God’s side safeguarding the work of God, protecting the life entry of God’s chosen people no matter what problems arise in the church is a good deed. If you are able to use the truth to resolve problems and enable God’s chosen people to understand the truth and differentiate good from evil, that is even more so a good deed.
8. To be able to ruthlessly expose and refute the wicked who dare to judge, attack, and oppose the man whom the Holy Spirit uses and uphold God’s work is a good deed. If anyone uses the truth to resolve the disturbance of all kinds of wicked people and antichrists, and bring benefit to God’s chosen people, then this is even more of a good deed.
9. Seek the truth upon discovering all kinds of fallacies and heresies in the church and refute and criticize them according to the words of God, keeping God’s chosen people free from harm and helping them to have edification and growth in life. This is a good deed.
10. If it is discovered that those who truly believe in God and are willing to pursue the truth have been deceived or controlled, it is a good deed to find ways to save them, to patiently fellowship about the truth and get them out of the hands of the wicked, truly return to God and forsake darkness for light.
11. If it is found that there really is a false leader or antichrist lording it over others and trying to establish an independent kingdom, it is a good deed to immediately report it and to contact the people who understand the truth to save God’s chosen people from the harm of Satan the devil.
12. When some people are caught by the police in the church, it is a good deed if someone can make every effort to protect God’s chosen people and can make appropriate arrangements for the money and goods of God’s house and protect God’s offerings from falling into the hands of Satan and the great red dragon. He who does this is a person who safeguards the work of God and is truly faithful to God.
13. It is a good deed to shield those who truly believe in God from arrest and use all connections to rescue those brothers and sisters who have been arrested. It is even more of a good deed to use wisdom to uphold the church life and protect God’s chosen people.
14. It is a good deed to do all one can to help brothers and sisters who truly expend themselves for God and pursue the truth through the storm when difficulties and troubles arise. It is also a good deed to be able to help leaders and workers who expend themselves for God full time and whose families are in difficulty.
15. It is a good deed if someone can find ways to receive and help brothers and sisters who have been pursued and are on the wanted list, without being afraid of the risk and the price to pay, and moreover, can endure all kinds of people’s criticism, nastiness and troubles in doing one’s duty well to satisfy God.
16. It is a good deed to organize those brothers and sisters who truly believe in God and pursue the truth to eat and drink the words of God, fellowship about the truth and live a church life in trials. It is even more of a good deed to support the weak brothers and sisters to understand the truth and stand as witness during trials and disasters.
17. It is a good deed to expose and report evil people who steal offerings and embezzle the property of God’s house, preventing the loss of the offerings of God and the wealth of God’s house. Protecting God’s offerings from falling into the hands of the wicked and being embezzled by people with ulterior motives is also a good deed.
18. It is a good deed to try hard to cooperate with the implementation of the work arrangements from the man used by the Holy Spirit and to resolve all kinds of practical problems that God’s chosen people in the church face, and do much practical work in order to defend God’s work and bring God’s chosen people onto the correct path of believing in God.
19. Actively cooperating with the leading and shepherding of the man used by the Holy Spirit, launching a desperate contest with false leaders and antichrists to bring God’s chosen people onto the right track of believing in God, paying the price to safeguard God’s work and having attained the results —these are all classified as good deeds.
20. It is a good deed to distinguish false leaders and antichrists according to work arrangements, expose them according to the truth and persuade them to resign so as to avoid greater harm for God’s chosen people. It is a good deed to help and protect those leaders who have transgressions but are capable of genuine repentance and have good humanity to continue to do their duty.
from “The Good Deeds, Evil Deeds and Various Fallacies That Must Be Clearly Discerned by God’s Chosen People” in Selected Annals of the Work Arrangements of The Church of Almighty God