Entry Into Life 1
Daily Words of God Excerpt 374
Almighty God, the Head of all things, wields His kingly power from His throne. He rules over the universe and all things, and He is in the act of guiding us on the whole earth. We shall at every moment be close to Him, and come before Him in quietness, never missing a single moment, and with lessons for us to learn at all times. Everything, from the surrounding environment to people, affairs, and things, all exist by permission of His throne. Do not on any account let grievances arise in your heart, or God will not bestow His grace upon you. When sickness befalls, this is God’s love, and surely His kind intentions are harbored within. Though your body may undergo a bit of suffering, entertain no ideas from Satan. Praise God in the midst of illness and enjoy God in the midst of your praise. Do not lose heart in the face of illness, keep seeking again and again and do not give up, and God will illuminate you with His light. How was Job’s faith? Almighty God is an all-powerful physician! To dwell in sickness is to be sick, but to dwell in the spirit is to be well. So long as you still have one breath, God will not let you die.
We have within us the resurrected life of Christ. Undeniably, we lack faith in the presence of God: Would that God would put true faith within us. Sweet indeed is the word of God! God’s word is potent medicine! It puts to shame the devils and Satan! Grasping God’s word gives us support. His word acts fast to save our hearts! It dispels all things and sets all at peace. Faith is like a single log bridge: Those who cling abjectly to life will have difficulty in crossing it, but those who are ready to sacrifice themselves can pass over, sure of foot and worry-free. If man harbors timid and fearful thoughts, it is because Satan has fooled them, afraid that we will cross the bridge of faith to enter into God. Satan is trying in every way possible to send us its thoughts. We should at every moment pray for God to illuminate us with His light, at every moment rely on God to purge Satan’s poison from within us, practice within our spirit at every moment how to come close to God, and let God have dominion over our whole being.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 6
Daily Words of God Excerpt 375
When people lack insight into the things that happen to them, and do not know what to do, what is the first thing they should do? They should first pray; prayer comes first. What does it mean that you pray? It means that you are pious, that you have a heart with some fear of God, that you are aware that you must seek God, and it proves that you put God first. When there is God in your heart, when God has a place in your heart, and you are able to obey God, you are a pious Christian. There are many elderly believers who kneel down in prayer at the same time and place every day, and stay for one or two hours. But hardly any of their problems of sin have been solved by kneeling like this for all these years. Let us put aside, for the moment, whether such prayer—the prayer of religious ceremony—is of any use. At least these elderly brothers and sisters are a little pious; on this point, they are a lot better than the youngsters. If you live before God and experience God’s work, then the first thing you should do when something happens to you is to pray. Praying does not mean blithely chanting some oft-repeated words, and nothing more—this won’t solve the problem. You have to practice praying with your heart. After doing this eight or ten times, you might not gain anything, but don’t be discouraged, keep trying. When something happens to you, first pray, first tell God, let God take over, let God help you, let God lead you and give you guidance; this will prove that you have a heart that fears God, that you put God in first place. When something happens to you or you encounter some difficulty and you are negative, and grow angry, then this is a manifestation of God’s absence in your heart, of you not fearing God. In your day-to-day life, whatever difficulties you encounter, you must come before God; the first thing you should do is kneel before God in prayer, this is what’s most crucial. Prayer means that God has a place in your heart. When you are in difficulty, looking to God and praying to God in search of the truth shows that you have a heart with some fear of God; you wouldn’t do that if God was not in your heart. Some people say, “I prayed to God but God still didn’t enlighten me!” You can’t say that. You must first look at whether you have the right motivations when you pray; if you truly search for the truth, and often pray to God, then there may well be a certain matter in which God enlightens you and allows you to understand; whatever the case, God will make you understand. If God does not enlighten you, you will not be able to understand on your own; whether you are insightful or not, and no matter what your caliber is like, there are some things that are beyond the thought of man. When you do understand, is this born of your own mind? When it comes to the intentions of the Holy Spirit’s work and of God, if you are not enlightened by the Holy Spirit, you could ask anyone but they wouldn’t know; only when God Himself tells you what it means will you know. And so, the first thing to do when something happens to you is to pray. When you pray, you should express your thoughts, views and attitude to God, and seek the truth from God, with a mentality of obedience; this is what you should practice. Just going through the motions will have no effect, and you should not complain that the Holy Spirit has not enlightened you. I have found that in their faith in God, some people merely follow religious ceremony and perform religious acts; God has no place in their hearts, they even deny the work of the Holy Spirit, and they don’t pray, either, nor do they read the words of God, they merely keep going to assembly, and nothing more. Is this faith in God? Believing as they do, they have believed God out of existence, there is no God in their hearts, they no longer wish to pray to God, are no longer willing to read the words of God. In this, have they not become unbelievers? Some leaders and workers, in particular, often take care of general affairs. They never focus on entry into life, but instead treat these general affairs as the work of their duty; in this, they have become nothing more than chief clerks, and do not do any of the work of substance of leaders and workers. As a result, after believing in God for twenty or thirty years, they have no life experiences to speak of, they are devoid of any true knowledge of God, and can merely parrot some words of doctrine. And in this, have they not become false leaders? This is because they have faith in God, but do not attend to their proper duties or pursue the truth. Merely relying on understanding words of doctrine will not solve anything. Complaining about God when they are tested, or suffer calamity, or fall ill, not having any true knowledge of themselves, being devoid of experience and testimony—this all shows that people have not pursued the truth in the years that they have believed in God, that they have only been busying themselves with superficial things, with the result that they have forfeited themselves. No matter how many years people have believed in God, at the very least they must achieve understanding of some truths if they are to ensure that they do not fall, do not commit evil, are not cast out. This is the very least that ought to be found in them. Some people remain indifferent when they listen to sermons, and do not contemplate the words of God, they do not seek the truth no matter what happens to them, they are content with just understanding words of doctrine, and assume they have gained the truth—with the result that they have no knowledge when they are tested, there is nothing but complaints and a feeling that they have been wronged in their hearts, and they want to vent but dare not to. Such people are so pathetic, aren’t they? Many people are always careless and perfunctory when they perform their duty, they do not reflect on or try to know themselves when they are pruned and dealt with, they are always rationalizing—with the result that they end up humiliating themselves in all sorts of ways, they are exposed and cast out, and are never able to know themselves. And with this being the case, what is the point in their understanding a few doctrines? There is no point, at all. No matter how many years people have believed in God, merely understanding doctrine and being able to parrot words and phrases has no use; they have not gained the truth, but gone astray. And so, when something happens to you and you pray to God, searching for God’s intentions, if the problem is to be solved the key is to achieve understanding of the truth; this is the correct path, and you should never give up on practicing in this way.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. In Believing in God, Gaining the Truth Is Most Crucial
Daily Words of God Excerpt 376
The greatest wisdom is to look to God and rely on God in all things. This is not recognized by ordinary people. People all think that attending more gatherings, learning more hymns, fellowshiping more with their brothers and sisters, learning more skills, paying more of a price, and forsaking more will earn them God’s approval and salvation. They think practicing this way is the greatest wisdom, but they neglect the biggest matter: looking to God and relying on God. They regard petty human cleverness as wisdom, and ignore the ultimate effect of what people do. This is a mistake. Regardless of how much truth one understands, how many duties one has fulfilled, how much one has experienced while fulfilling those duties, how great or small one’s stature is, or what sort of environment one is in, what one cannot do without is that one must look to God and rely on Him in everything one does. This is the greatest sort of wisdom. Why do I say this is the greatest wisdom? Even if one has come to understand some truths, will it do if one does not rely on God? Some people have believed in God for many years, and they have experienced several trials, have some practical experience, understand some truth, and have some practical knowledge of the truth, but they do not know to rely on God, nor do they understand how to look to and rely on Him. Do such people possess wisdom? They are the most foolish of people, and are the sort who think themselves clever; they do not fear God and shun evil. Some people say, “I understand many truths and possess the reality of the truth. It’s okay just to do things in a principled manner. I am loyal to God, and I know how to get close to Him. Isn’t it enough that I practice the truth when things befall me? There isn’t any need to pray to God or look to God.” Practicing the truth is correct, but there are many times and situations wherein people do not know what truth and what principles of the truth are being touched upon. All those with practical experience know this. For example, when you encounter some issue, you might not know what truth this issue touches on, or how the truth relevant to this issue should be practiced or applied. What should you do at times like these? No matter how much practical experience you have, you cannot understand the principles of the truth in all situations. No matter how long you have believed in God, how many things you have experienced, and how much pruning, dealing, or disciplining you have experienced, even if you understand the truth, do you dare to say that you are the truth? Do you dare to say that you are the source of the truth? Some people say, “I know by heart all those well-known utterances and passages in the book, The Word Appears in the Flesh; I don’t need to rely on God or look to Him. When the time comes, I’ll do just fine by relying on these words of God.” The words you have memorized are static, yet the environments you encounter—as well as your states—are dynamic. You are able to spout words of doctrine, but can do nothing with them when something happens to you, which proves that you do not understand the truth. No matter how good you are at reciting words of doctrine, this does not mean that you understand the truth, and much less that you are able to practice the truth. Thus, there is a very important lesson to be learned here. And what is this lesson? It is that people need to look to God in all things, and that by doing so, they can achieve a reliance on God. Only by relying on God will they have a path to follow and the work of the Holy Spirit. Otherwise, you can do something correctly and without violating the truth, but if you do not rely on God, then your actions are but good deeds of man, and cannot satisfy God. Because people have such a shallow understanding of the truth, they are likely to follow rules and cling obstinately to words of doctrines by using that same truth when facing various situations. It is possible that they may complete many matters in general conformity with the principles of the truth, but God’s guidance cannot be seen in this, nor can the work of the Holy Spirit. There is a serious problem here, which is that people do many things in dependence on their experience and the rules they have understood, and on certain human imaginings. It is hard to achieve true prayer to God and to truly look to God in all that they do. Even if one understands the will of God, it is hard to achieve the effect of acting as guided by God, and according to the principles of the truth. For this reason, I say that the greatest wisdom is to look to God and rely on Him in all things.
How can people practice looking to God and relying on God in all things? Some people say, “I am young, my stature is small, and I have believed in God for a short time. I don’t know how to practice looking to God and relying on God when something happens.” Is this a problem? There are many difficulties in believing in God, and you need to go through many tribulations, trials, and pains. All these things require looking to God and relying on God to get through the difficult times. If you cannot practice looking to God and relying on God, you won’t be able to get through difficulties, and you won’t be able to follow God. Looking to God and relying on God is not an empty doctrine, nor is it a mantra for believing in God. Rather, it is a key truth, a truth you must possess to believe in and follow God. Some people say, “Looking to God and relying on God only applies when a major event happens. For example, you only need to look to God and rely on God when faced with tribulations, trials, arrest, and persecution, or when you encounter difficulties in your duties, or when you are pruned and dealt with. There is no need to look to God and rely on God for the trivial matters of personal life, because God doesn’t care about them.” Is this statement right? It is definitely not right. There is a deviation here. It is necessary to look to God in major matters, but can you handle the trivial things and small matters in life without principles? In matters such as dressing and eating, can you act without principles? Certainly not. What about in your dealings with people and matters? Certainly not. Even in daily life and trivial matters, you must at least have principles to be able to live out a human likeness. Problems involving principles are problems involving the truth. Can people solve them by themselves? Of course not. So, you have to look to God and rely on God. Only when you gain God’s enlightenment and understand the truth can these trivial problems be solved. If you don’t look to God and rely on God, do you think these issues involving principles can be resolved? Certainly not easily. It can be said that in all things that people can’t see clearly and that require people to seek the truth, they must look to God and rely on God. No matter how big or small, any problem that needs to be solved with the truth requires looking to God and relying on God. This is a necessity. Even if people understand the truth and can solve problems on their own, these understandings and solutions are limited and superficial. If people don’t look to God and rely on God, their entry can never be very deep. For example, if you are sick today, and it affects the performance of your duty, you need to pray on this matter and say, “God, I don’t feel well today, I can’t eat, and this is affecting the performance of my duty. I have to examine myself. What is the real reason I am sick? Am I being disciplined by God for not being faithful in my duty? God, I ask You to enlighten and guide me.” You must cry out like this. This is looking to God. However, when you look to God, you cannot simply follow formalities and abide by rules. If you don’t seek the truth to resolve problems, you will delay things. After you pray to God and look to God, you should do what you must to live your life and perform your duties without delay. If you are sick, you should see a doctor, and this is proper. At the same time, you must pray, reflect on yourself, and seek the truth to resolve the problem. Only practicing like this is completely appropriate. For certain things, if people know how to do them properly, then they should do them. This is how people should cooperate. However, whether the desired effect and goal can be fully achieved in these matters depends on looking to God and relying on God. In problems that people can’t see clearly and can’t handle well by themselves, they must all the more look to God and seek the truth to solve them. The ability to do this is what people with normal humanity should possess. There are many lessons to be learned in looking to God. In the process of looking to God, you may receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and you will have a way, or if God’s word comes upon you, you will know how to cooperate, or perhaps God will arrange some situations for you to learn lessons, in which there are God’s good intentions. In the process of looking to God, you will see God’s guidance and leadership, and these will help you learn many lessons and gain a better understanding of God. This is the effect achieved by looking to God. Therefore, looking to God is a lesson that those who follow God must often learn, and it is something they will never finish experiencing in a lifetime. There are many people who have too little experience and cannot see God’s actions, so they think, “There are many small things that I can do myself and in which I don’t need to look to God.” This is wrong. Some small things lead to big things, and God’s will is hidden in some small things. Many people ignore the small things, and as a result, they find themselves having major setbacks due to small matters. Those who truly fear God, in both big and small matters, will look to God, pray to God, entrust everything to God, and then see how God leads and guides them. Once you have such experience, you will be able to look to God in all things, and the more you experience this, the more you will feel that looking to God in all things is very practical. When you look to God on a matter, it is possible that God will not give you a feeling, clear meaning, or much less, clear instructions, but God will make you understand a certain idea, which has something to do with this matter, and this is God guiding you using a different method and giving you a way. If you can sense and understand this, you will benefit. You may not understand anything in the moment, but you must continue to pray and look to God. There is nothing wrong with this, and sooner or later you will be enlightened. Practicing this way does not mean abiding by rules. Instead, it is meeting the needs of the spirit, and it is how people should practice. You may not receive enlightenment and guidance every time you pray to God and look to God, but people must practice this way, and if they want to understand the truth, they need to practice this way. This is the normal state of life and spirit, and only in this way can people maintain a normal relationship with God, so that their hearts are close to God. It can therefore be said that looking to God is the normal interaction with God in people’s hearts. Regardless of whether you can receive God’s enlightenment and guidance, you should pray to God and look to God in all things. This is also the inevitable way to live before God. When people believe in God and follow God, they should have the state of mind of always looking to God. This is the state of mind that people with normal humanity should possess. Sometimes, looking to God does not mean asking God to do something using specific words, or asking Him for specific guidance or protection. Rather, it is that when people encounter some issue, they are able to call on Him sincerely. So, what is God doing there when people call on Him? When someone’s heart stirs and they have this thought: “Oh God, I can’t do this myself, I don’t know how to do it, and I feel weak and negative…,” when this thought arises in them, does God not know about it? When this thought arises in people, are their hearts sincere? When they call on God sincerely in this way, does God assent to help them? Despite the fact that they may not have spoken a word, they show sincerity, and so God assents to help them. When someone encounters an especially thorny difficulty, when they have no one to turn to, and when they feel particularly helpless, they put their only hope in God. What are their prayers like? What is their state of mind? Are they sincere? Is there any adulteration at that time? It is only when you trust God as though He were the last straw that you clutch onto, hoping that He will help you, that your heart is sincere. Though you may not have said much, your heart has already stirred. That is, you give your sincere heart to God, and God listens. When God listens, He sees your difficulties, and He will enlighten you, guide you, and help you. When is man’s heart at its most sincere? It is most sincere when man looks to God when there is no way out. The most important thing to possess in looking to God is a sincere heart. You must be in a state of truly needing God. That is to say, people’s hearts must at least be sincere, not perfunctory; they should not move only their mouths and not their hearts. If you muddle through the act of speaking to God, but your heart isn’t moved, and what you mean is, “I have made my own plans already, and God, I’m just notifying You. I will go through with them regardless of whether or not You agree. I’m just going through the motions,” then this means trouble. You are deceiving and toying with God, and this is also an expression of irreverence for God. How will God treat you after this? God will ignore you and put you aside, and you will be completely humiliated. If you don’t actively seek God and don’t make an effort in the truth, you will be cast out.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Belief in God Must Begin With Seeing Through the Evil Trends of the World
Daily Words of God Excerpt 377
The truth is the life of God Himself; it represents His disposition, His essence, and what He has and is. If you say that by having some experience and knowledge, you thereby have the truth, then have you achieved holiness? Why do you still show corruption? Why can’t you discern between different types of people? Why can’t you testify to God? Even if you understand some truths, can you represent God? Can you live out God’s disposition? You may have some experience, knowledge, and light regarding a certain aspect of the truth, but what you can provide to people is extremely limited and cannot last long. This is because your understanding and the light you have obtained does not represent the essence of the truth, and it does not represent the entirety of truth. It only represents one side or a small aspect of the truth, it is only a level that can be achieved by human beings, and it is still far from the essence of the truth. This little bit of light, enlightenment, experience, and knowledge can never take the place of the truth. Even if all people experienced a truth, and all their experiences and knowledge were put together, it would not reach the entirety and essence of even a single line of this truth. As has been said in the past, “I sum this up with a maxim for the human world: Among men, there is no one who loves Me.” This sentence is the truth, the true essence of life, a most profound thing, and an expression of God Himself. After three years of experience, you may have a little superficial understanding, and after seven or eight years, you may have a little more understanding, but this understanding can never stand in for this line of truth. After two years, someone else may have a little understanding, or some more understanding after ten years, or an even higher understanding after a lifetime, but the combined understanding of both of you cannot stand in for this line of truth. No matter how much insight, light, experience, or knowledge the two of you put together may have, it can never stand in for this line of truth. That is to say, human life is always human life, and no matter how your knowledge conforms to the truth, God’s will, or God’s requirements, it can never stand in for the truth. To say that people have the truth means that people genuinely understand the truth, live out some of the realities of God’s word, have some real knowledge of God, and can exalt and testify to God. However, it cannot be said that people already possess the truth, because the truth is too profound. Just one line of God’s word can take people a lifetime to experience, and even after several lifetimes of experience, or thousands of years, a single line of God’s word cannot be fully experienced. It is clear that the process of understanding the truth and knowing God is indeed endless, and that there is a limit to how much of the truth people can understand in a lifetime of experience. Some people say they have the truth as soon as they understand the textual meaning of God’s word. Isn’t this nonsense? In terms of both light and knowledge, there is a matter of depth. The realities of truth that a person can enter into over a lifetime of belief are limited. Therefore, just because you possess some knowledge and light does not mean that you possess the realities of truth. The main thing you must look at is whether this light and knowledge touches upon the essence of the truth. This is the most important thing. Some people feel that they possess the truth when they can shed light or offer a little superficial understanding. This makes them happy, so they become smug and conceited. In fact, they are still far from entering the reality of the truth. What truth could people possess? Can people who have the truth fall down anytime and anywhere? When people have truth, how can they still defy God and betray God? If you claim that you have truth, it proves that within you is the life of Christ—then that is terrible! You have become the Lord, you have become Christ? This is an absurd statement, and is entirely inferred by people; it pertains to human notions and imaginings, and is not a tenable position with God.
When people understand the truth, and live with it as their life, what does this life refer to? It means the truth reigns supreme in their hearts, it means they are able to live by God’s words, it means they have real knowledge of God’s words and a genuine understanding of the truth. When people possess this new life within them, it is entirely achieved by practicing and experiencing God’s words. It is built on the foundation of the truth of God’s words, and it is attained by their living within the realm of the truth. All that people’s life contains is their knowledge and experience of the truth, and with this as its foundation, does not surpass that scope; this is the life that is being referred to when speaking of gaining the life of truth. To be able to live by the truth of God’s words, it is not the case that the life of truth is inside people, nor is it the case that if they possess the truth as their life, people become the truth, and their internal life becomes the life of truth; less still can it be said that they are the life of truth. Ultimately, their life is still the life of a human. If you can live by God’s words and possess knowledge of the truth, and if this understanding takes root within you, it becomes your life, and the truth you have gained through experience becomes the basis of your existence, and if after this, you live by these words of God, no one can change it, and Satan cannot deceive or corrupt you, then you will have gained the life of the truth. That is, your life merely contains the truth, meaning your understanding, experience, and insight of the truth, and no matter what you do, you will live by these things, and you will not go beyond the scope of them. This is what it means to possess the reality of the truth, and such people are what God ultimately wants to gain with His work. But no matter how well people understand the truth, their essence is still one of humanity, and is not at all comparable to the essence of God. Because their experience of the truth is forever ongoing, and because it is impossible for them to completely live out the truth, and they can only live out the extremely limited bit of the truth attainable by humans, how, then, could they turn into God? … If you have a bit of experience with God’s words, and are living by genuine experience and knowledge of truth, then God’s words will gradually become your life. However, you still cannot say that the truth is your life or that what you are expressing is the truth; if such is your opinion, then you are wrong. If you only have some experience with one particular aspect of the truth, can this in itself represent you having the truth? Can this be considered to be obtaining the truth? Can you thoroughly explain the truth? Can you discover God’s disposition, and what God has and is, from the truth? If these effects are not achieved, this proves that having only experienced a certain aspect of the truth cannot be considered to truly understand the truth, or to know God, much less can it be said to have gained the truth. Everyone has experience with only one aspect and scope of the truth; by experiencing it within your limited scope, you cannot touch upon all of the truth’s myriad aspects. Can people live out the original meaning of the truth? How much does your little bit of experience amount to? Only a single grain of sand on a beach; a lone drop of water in the ocean. Therefore, no matter how precious that knowledge and those feelings you have gained from your experiences might be, they still cannot be counted as the truth. They can only be said to be in line with the truth. The truth comes from God, and the inner meaning and the realities of the truth cover a very wide range that no one can fathom or refute it. As long as you have a real understanding of the truth and of God, you will understand some truths, no one will be able to refute these real understandings, and the testimonies that contain the realities of the truth are forever tenable. God praises those who possess the realities of truth. As long as you pursue the truth, and you can rely on God to experience God’s words and can accept the truth as your life no matter what environment you are in, then you will have a path, be able to survive, and gain God’s approval. Even though the little bit people gain is in line with the truth, it cannot be said that this is the truth, much less can it be said that they have gained the truth. The little bit of light people have obtained is only suitable for themselves or some others within a certain scope, but would not be suitable within a different scope. No matter how profound a person’s experience, it is still so limited, and their experience will never reach the depth of the scope of the truth. A person’s light and a person’s understanding can never be compared to the truth.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 378
If you wish to practice and understand the truth, then first you must seek the truth when things happen to you in your everyday lives. That is, you must view things based on God’s words and the truth; when the essence of the problem is clear to you, then you will know how to practice in accordance with the principles of the truth. And if you always view things according to God’s words, you will be able to see the hand of God—the deeds of God—in everything that happens around you. No matter what happens around them, some people think that it has nothing to do with their faith in God or the truth; they merely follow their own inclinations, reacting according to the philosophies of Satan. Can they learn any lessons like this? Certainly not. It is for this reason that many people have believed in God for ten or twenty years and still have no understanding of the truth or entry into life. They are incapable of incorporating God into their everyday lives, or of approaching everything that happens around them based on God’s words, and so whenever anything happens to them, they cannot tell it for what it really is, nor are they able to handle it based on the principles of the truth. And so, such people do not enter into life. Some people only engage their minds when they are reading God’s words in assembly; at such times, they are able to speak of a little knowledge, yet they are incapable of applying God’s words to their everyday lives, and so they think that everything that happens in their everyday lives has no connection to the truth, no relationship with the words of God. In their faith in God, it’s as if they treat the words of God and the truth as an area of knowledge, as completely divorced from their everyday lives and utterly separate from their views of things, their life goals, and their life pursuits. What of such a form of belief in God? Will they be able to understand the truth and enter reality? When they believe in God in this way, are they a follower of God? They are not someone who truly believes in God, much less are they a follower of God. All of the problems in their daily lives—including everything involving family, marriage, work, or their prospects—they see as having no connection to the truth, and so try to solve using human methods. Experiencing thus, they will never gain the truth, will never be able to understand just what it is that God wants to accomplish in people, and the effect He wishes to achieve in them. God expresses the truth in order to save people, but they are not aware that only if they accept and pursue the truth will they be able to solve their own corrupt dispositions; they are not aware that only when they experience and practice the words of God in their everyday lives can they gain the truth. Are people who have such faith in God not the most foolish and ridiculous of all? Some people have never pursued the truth in their faith in God. They think that faith in God means going to assembly, praying, singing hymns, reading God’s words, engaging in religious ceremony. They do not practice or experience God’s words. This is how the people of religion believe in God. And when people treat something so important as the faith in God as religious conviction, do they not belong to the nonbelievers? Are they not unbelievers? Pursuing the truth requires experiencing many processes. There is a simple side to it, and there is also a complex side. Simply put, we should seek the truth and practice and experience God’s words in everything that happens around us. Once you begin to do this, you will see more and more how much truth you need to gain and pursue in your belief in God, and that truth is so real and truth is life. God saves humankind so that humankind can gain the truth as life. All of created humankind should accept the truth as life, not just those who perform duties, who are leaders and workers, and who serve God. God’s words are directed to all humankind, and God speaks to all humankind. Therefore, all created beings and all humankind should accept God’s words and the truth, seek the truth in all things, and then practice according to the principles of truth so that they can become able to practice and obey the truth. If only leaders and workers were required to practice the truth, this would be completely contrary to God’s will, because the truth expressed by God is for the whole of humankind, and it is expressed for the purpose of saving humankind, not just to save a few people. If this were the case, the words expressed by God would have little meaning. Do you now have a path to pursue the truth? What is the first thing that must be practiced when pursuing the truth? Before all else, you must spend more time eating and drinking the words of God and listening to sermons and fellowships. When you encounter an issue, pray and seek more. When you have equipped yourselves with more truths, when you grow quickly and possess stature, you will be able to do something real, undertake a little work, and will thereby be able to make it through some trials and temptations. At that time, you will feel that you really have understood and gained some truths, and you will sense that the words spoken by God are all the truth, that they are the truths most necessary for the salvation of corrupt mankind, and that they are the truth of life given by the unique Creator.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. The Importance of Pursuing the Truth and the Path of Its Pursuit
Daily Words of God Excerpt 379
If people wish to be saved when they believe in God, what’s key is whether or not they have a heart that fears God, whether or not God has a place in their hearts, whether or not they are able to live before God and maintain a normal relationship with God. What’s crucial is whether or not people are able to practice the truth, and attain obedience to God. Such are the path and conditions for being saved. If your heart is not able to live before God, if you do not often pray to God and fellowship with God, and lose the normal relationship with God, you will never be saved, for you have blockaded the path to salvation. If you do not have any relationship with God, you have reached the end of the line. If God is not in your heart, then it’s useless to claim you have faith, and to only nominally believe in God, and it doesn’t matter how many words of doctrine you are able to parrot, how much you have suffered for your belief in God, or how gifted you are; if God is absent from your heart, and you do not fear God, it doesn’t matter how you believe in God, God will say, “Depart from Me, you evildoer.” You will be classed as an evildoer. You will be unconnected to God, God will not be your Lord or your God. Even though you acknowledge that God rules over all, and acknowledge that God is the Creator, you do not worship God, and do not submit to the sovereignty of God. You follow the devil, Satan, only the devil, Satan, is your lord. If, in all things, you trust in yourself, and follow your own will, if you trust that your fate is in your hands, then what you believe in is yourself, and even though you claim to believe in and acknowledge God, God does not acknowledge you, you have no relationship with God, and so you are destined to ultimately be detested and rejected by God, punished by God, and cast out by God; God does not save people like you. People who truly believe in God are those who accept God as the Savior, who accept that God is the truth, the way, and the life, they are able to sincerely expend for God and perform the duty of a creature of God, they experience the work of God, they practice the words of God and the truth, they walk the path of pursuing the truth, they are people who obey the sovereignty and arrangements of God, and who follow the will of God. Only when people have such faith in God can they be saved; if not, they will be condemned. Is it acceptable to engage in wishful thinking when people believe in God? In their faith in God, can people gain the truth when they always cling to their own notions and vague, abstract imaginings? Absolutely not. When people believe in God, they must accept the truth, they must believe in God as God asks, they must obey the orchestrations and arrangements of God; only then can they attain salvation. There is no other way apart from this; whatever you do, you must not engage in any wishful thinking. Fellowshiping this topic is highly important for people, is it not? This is a wake-up call for you.
Now that you have heard these messages, you should understand the truth and be clear about what salvation entails. What people like, what they strive for, what they are passionate about—none of this is important. What’s most important is accepting the truth. In the final analysis, being able to gain the truth is what’s most important, and that which can allow you to attain the fear of God and the shunning of evil is the correct path. If you have believed in God for several years and have always focused on the pursuit of things that bear no relation to the truth, then your faith has nothing to do with the truth, and nothing to do with God. You may claim to believe in and acknowledge God, but God is not your Lord, He is not your God, you do not accept that God controls your fate, you do not submit to all that God arranges for you, you do not acknowledge the fact of God being the truth—in which case your hopes of salvation have been shattered; if you cannot walk the path of pursuing the truth, you walk the path of destruction. If everything you pursue, focus on, pray about, and appeal for is based on the words of God, and upon what God asks, and if you have an increasing sense that you obey the Creator, and worship the Creator, and feel that God is your Lord, your God, if you are increasingly glad to obey all that God orchestrates and arranges for you, and your relationship with God grows ever closer, and ever more normal, and if your love of God is ever more pure and true, then your grievances and misunderstandings about God, and your extravagant desires toward God, will grow ever fewer, and you will have wholly attained the fear of God and shunning of evil, which means that you will have already set foot on the path of salvation. Although walking the path of salvation comes with the discipline, pruning, dealing, judgment, and chastisement of God, and these cause you to suffer much pain, this is the love of God coming upon you. If, when you believe in God, you only pursue being blessed, and only pursue status and prestige, and are never disciplined, or pruned and dealt with, or judged and chastised, then although you may have an easy life, your heart will grow ever more distant from God, you will lose the normal relationship with God, and you will also be unwilling to accept the scrutiny of God; you will want to be your own boss—which all proves that the path you walk is not the right path. If you have experienced the work of God for a while and have an increasing sense of how humankind is so profoundly corrupt, and so prone to resisting God, and if you are anxious that a day may come when you do something that resists God, and are afraid that you are likely to offend God and be abandoned by Him, and thus feel that nothing is more frightful than opposing God, then you will have a heart that fears God. You will feel that when people believe in God, they must not stray from God; if they stray from God, if they stray from God’s discipline, and from the judgment and chastisement of God, then this is equivalent to losing the protection and care of God, to losing the blessings of God, and it is all over for people; they can only become ever more depraved, they will be like the people of religion, and will still be liable to oppose God while they believe in God—and in this, they will have become antichrists. If you can realize this, then you will pray to God, “Oh God! Please judge me and chastise me. In everything I do, I beg that You watch me. If I do something that violates the truth and violates Your will, may You severely judge me and chastise me—I cannot be without Your judgment and chastisement.” This is the correct path that people should walk in their faith in God. So measure according to this standard: Do you dare say that you have set foot upon the path of salvation? You dare not, because you have yet to become one of those who pursue the truth, in many things, you do not seek the truth, and you are not able to accept and submit to being dealt with and pruned—which proves that you are a long way off walking the path of salvation. Is it easy to set foot on the path of salvation if you are not someone who pursues the truth? Actually, it is not. If people have not experienced the judgment and chastisement of God, if they have not experienced the discipline, chastening, dealing and pruning of God, then it is not easy for them to become someone who pursues the truth, and as a result it is very difficult for them to set foot on the path to salvation. If, after hearing this message, you are aware that you have yet to set foot on the path of salvation, but you do not see this as something serious, and feel that the day will sooner or later come when you will—if you’re not anxious about this—then what kind of view is this? When you have such a view, you’re in trouble, and you will have a hard time setting foot on the path to salvation. So how should you resolve to be able to set foot on this path? You should say, “Ah! Right now I have yet to set foot on the path to salvation—this is pretty dangerous! God says that people must live before Him at all times, and must pray more, and that their hearts must be at peace, and not impulsive—so I should start putting all this into practice right now.” To practice in this way is to enter onto the right track of faith in God; it’s that simple. What kind of people are those who hear God’s words and then go and put them into practice? Are they good people? They are—they are people who love the truth. What kind of person are they if, after hearing the words of God, they remain numb, indifferent, unyielding—if they treat God’s words lightly, and turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to them? Are they not muddle-headed? People always ask if there are any shortcuts to being saved when they believe in God. I tell you there are not, and then I tell you of this simple path, but after hearing it you do not put it into practice—which is a case of not knowing a good thing when you hear it. Can such people be saved? Even though there is some hope for them, it is not great; salvation will be very difficult. There may be a day when they wake up from sleep, when they think things over and say to themselves, “I’m not young anymore, and I have not been attending to my proper duties while believing in God for all these years. God asks that people live before Him at all times, and I have not lived before God. I must hurry up and pray.” It’s not too late if they come to their senses in their hearts and begin to attend to their proper duties. But don’t leave it too late; if you wait until you are in your seventies or eighties, and your body is failing, and you no longer have any energy, will it not be too late to pursue the truth? If you spend the best years of your life on meaningless things, and end up putting off or missing out on the pursuit of the truth, which is the most important thing of all, is this not extremely foolish? Is there anything more stupid? Many people are well aware of the true way and yet wait until the future to accept it—they are all fools. They do not know that pursuing the truth takes decades of effort before they can gain life. It will be too late for regret if they squander the best time for being saved!
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only With Fear of God Can One Tread Upon the Path of Salvation
Daily Words of God Excerpt 380
To be a church leader is not merely to learn to use the truth to resolve problems, but also to discover and cultivate people of talent, whom you absolutely must not envy or suppress. Practicing in this way is beneficial to the work of the church. If you can cultivate a few pursuers of the truth to cooperate well with you in all the work you do, and in the end, all of you have experiential testimonies, then you will be a qualified leader. If you grow able to act in all things according to the principles, you will then be living up to your loyalty. There are some who are always afraid that others are better than they and higher than they, that others will be esteemed while they are neglected. This leads them to attack and exclude others. Is this not a case of being jealous of people more capable than themselves? Is such behavior not selfish and contemptible? What kind of disposition is this? It is malicious! Thinking only about one’s own interests, satisfying only one’s own desires, showing no consideration for others or the interests of God’s house—people like this have a bad disposition, and God has no love for them. If you are truly capable of being considerate of God’s will, then you will be able to treat other people fairly. If you recommend a good person and let them undergo training and perform a duty, thereby adding a person of talent to God’s house, will your work not then be easier to do? Will you not then have lived up to your loyalty in this duty? This is a good deed before God; it is the minimum of conscience and sense of which one who is a leader should be possessed. Those who are capable of putting the truth into practice can accept God’s scrutiny when doing things. When you accept God’s scrutiny, your heart is set straight. If you only ever do things for others to see, always want to gain others’ praise and admiration, yet you do not accept God’s scrutiny, then is God still in your heart? Such people have no reverence for God. Do not always do things for your own sake and do not constantly consider your own interests; do not consider the interests of man, and give no thought to your own pride, reputation, or status. You must first give thought to the interests of God’s house, and make them your first priority. You should be considerate of God’s will and begin by contemplating whether or not you have been impure in the fulfillment of your duty, whether you have been loyal, fulfilled your responsibilities, and given your all, as well as whether or not you have wholeheartedly given thought to your duty and the work of the church. You must give consideration to these things. Think about them frequently and figure them out, and it will be easier for you to perform your duty well. If you are of poor caliber, if your experience is shallow, or if you are not proficient in your professional work, then there may be some mistakes or deficiencies in your work, and the results may not be very good—but you will have put forth your best effort. In everything you do, you do not satisfy your own selfish desires or preferences. Instead, you give constant consideration to the work of the church and the interests of the house of God. Although you may not perform your duty well, your heart has been rectified; if, on top of this, you can seek the truth to solve the problems in your duty, then your duty will be up to standard and you will be able to enter into the reality of the truth. This is bearing testimony.
Some people believe in God but do not pursue the truth. They always live by the flesh, clinging always to carnal pleasures, always sating their own selfish desires. No matter how many years such people believe in God, they will never enter the reality of the truth. This is the mark of having brought dishonor to God. You say, “I haven’t done anything to resist God; how have I brought God dishonor?” All your ideas and thoughts are evil. In the intentions, goals, and motives behind your actions, and in the consequences of what you do—in every way you are satisfying Satan, being its laughingstock, and letting it get something on you. You have borne none of the witness that a Christian should. You are someone who belongs to Satan. You dishonor God’s name in all things and do not possess genuine testimony. Will God remember the things you have done? In the end, what conclusion will God draw about your acts and the duty you performed? Does something not have to come of that, some sort of statement? In the Bible, the Lord Jesus says, “Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and in Your name have cast out devils, and in Your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess to them, I never knew you: depart from Me, you that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:22–23). Why did the Lord Jesus say this? Why did so many of those who preached, cast out demons, and performed many miracles in the name of the Lord become evildoers? It was because they did not accept the truth expressed by the Lord Jesus, did not keep the commandments of the Lord Jesus, and had no love for the truth in their hearts. They only wanted to exchange their work, suffering, and sacrifices for the Lord for the blessings of the kingdom of heaven. This is transacting with God, and it is using God and deceiving God, so the Lord Jesus loathed them, hated them, and condemned them as evildoers. Today, people are accepting the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, but some still pursue reputation and status, always want to stand out, always want to be leaders and workers and gain reputation and status. Although they all say they believe in God and follow God, and they forsake and expend for God, they perform their duties to gain fame, interests, and status, and they always have personal schemes. They are not obedient or loyal to God, they act arbitrarily without reflecting on themselves at all, and so they have become evildoers. God hates such evildoers, and God does not save them. What is the standard by which a person’s deeds are judged to be good or evil? It depends on whether or not they, in their thoughts, expressions, and actions, possess the testimony of putting the truth into practice and of living out the reality of the truth. If you do not have this reality or do not live this out, then without doubt, you are an evildoer. How does God see evildoers? Your thoughts and external acts do not bear testimony for God, nor do they put Satan to shame or defeat it; instead, they shame God, and are riddled with marks that cause God to be ashamed. You are not testifying for God, not expending yourself for God, nor are you fulfilling your responsibility and obligations to God; instead, you are acting for your own sake. What does “for your own sake” mean? To be exact, it means for Satan’s sake. Therefore, in the end, God will say, “Depart from Me, you that work iniquity.” In God’s eyes, you have not done good deeds, but rather your behavior has turned evil. It will not only fail to gain God’s approval—it will be condemned. What does one with such a belief in God seek to gain? Would such belief not come to naught in the end?
For all who fulfill their duty, however profound or shallow their understanding of the truth, the simplest way of practice by which to enter the reality of the truth is to think of the interests of God’s house in everything, and to let go of selfish desires, individual intentions, motives, pride, and status. Put the interests of God’s house first—this is the least one should do. If a person performing their duty cannot do even this much, then how can they be said to be performing their duty? This is not performing one’s duty. You should first consider the interests of God’s house, be considerate of God’s will, and consider the work of the church, and put these things first and foremost; only after that can you think about the stability of your status or how others see you. Do you not feel that it gets a little easier when you divide it into these steps and make some compromises? If you practice like this for a while, you will come to feel that satisfying God is not difficult. In addition, you should be able to fulfill your responsibilities, perform your obligations and duties, set aside your selfish desires, set aside your own intents and motives, have consideration for God’s will, and put first the interests of God’s house, the work of the church, and the duty you should perform. After experiencing this for a while, you will feel that this is a good way to conduct yourself. It is living straightforwardly and honestly, without being a base person or a good-for-nothing, and living justly and honorably rather than being despicable and mean. You will feel that this is how a person should live and act. Gradually, the desire within your heart to gratify your own interests will lessen. Now, regardless of how long you have believed in God, your entry, understanding, and experience into the lessons of pursuing the truth, practicing the truth, and entering into the realities of the truth lacks depth, and you have no genuine experience or understanding, so you cannot give true testimony. I have now shared with you this simple strategy: You begin by practicing in this way, and once you have done so for a while, the state within you will change without your knowing it. It will turn from that ambivalent state, in which you are neither terribly interested in believing in God nor bored with it, into a state in which you feel believing in God and being an honest person are good things, and in which you are interested in being an honest person and feel there is meaning and nourishment in living thus. Your spirit will be grounded, at peace and gratified. Such a state will be yours, as a result of your having let go of your own motives, interests, and selfish desires. You will have earned it. This result is in part the product of human cooperation and in another part, the work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit won’t work without people’s cooperation.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Freedom and Liberation Can Be Gained Only by Casting Off One’s Corrupt Disposition
Daily Words of God Excerpt 381
What do you know about changes in disposition? The essences of changes in disposition and changes in behavior are different, and changes in practice are also different—they are all different in essence. Most people place special emphasis on behavior in their belief in God, as a result of which certain changes occur in their behavior. After they have begun to believe in God, they stop smoking and drinking, and they no longer contend with others, preferring to exercise patience when they suffer a loss. They undergo some behavioral changes. Some people feel that once they believe in God they understand the truth by reading God’s word, they’ve experienced the work of the Holy Spirit, and they have true enjoyment in their hearts, making them particularly fervent, and there is nothing that they cannot forsake or suffer. Nevertheless, after having believed for eight, ten, or even twenty or thirty years, because there has been no change in their life dispositions, they end up sliding back into old ways; their arrogance and haughtiness grow more pronounced, they begin to compete for power and profit, they covet the church’s money, they envy those who have taken advantage of God’s house. They become parasites and vermin within God’s house, and some are even exposed and cast out as false leaders and antichrists. And what do these facts prove? Mere behavioral changes are unsustainable; if there is no alteration in people’s life dispositions, then sooner or later, they will show their true colors. This is because the source of the changes in their behavior is fervor, and coupled with some work by the Holy Spirit at the time, it is extremely easy for them to become fervent or to exhibit temporary kindness. As the unbelievers say, “Doing one good deed is easy; what’s hard is doing a lifetime of good deeds.” Why are people incapable of doing good deeds throughout their entire lives? Because by nature, people are wicked, selfish, and corrupt. One’s behavior is directed by their nature; whatever one’s nature is, so is one’s behavior, and only that which is revealed naturally represents one’s nature. Things that are fake cannot last. When God works to save man, it is not to adorn man with good behavior—the purpose of God’s work is to transform people’s dispositions, to make them reborn into new people. God’s judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement of man all serve to change their disposition so that they may achieve absolute submission and devotion to God, and come to worship Him normally. This is the aim of God’s work. Behaving well is not the same as submitting to God, much less does it equal being compatible with Christ. Changes in behavior are based on doctrine and born of fervor; they are not based upon true knowledge of God or upon the truth, much less do they rest upon guidance from the Holy Spirit. Even though there are times when some of what people do is enlightened or guided by the Holy Spirit, this is not an expression of their life. They have not yet entered into the realities of the truth, and their life disposition has not changed at all. No matter how good a person’s behavior is, it does not prove that they obey God or that they put the truth into practice. Behavioral changes do not represent change in life disposition and they cannot be counted as expressions of people’s life.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 382
If a person has many good behaviors, it does not mean they possess the realities of truth. Only by practicing the truth and acting according to principles can you possess the realities of truth. Only by fearing God and shunning evil can you possess the realities of the truth. Some people have enthusiasm, can speak doctrine, obey the rules, and do many good deeds, but all that can be said about them is that they possess a little humanity. Those who can speak doctrine and are good at following rules cannot necessarily practice the truth. Although what they say is correct and sounds like it is free of problems, they have nothing to say in matters concerning the essence of the truth. Therefore, no matter how much doctrine someone can speak, it doesn’t mean they understand the truth, and no matter how much doctrine they understand, they can’t solve any problems. Religious theorists can all explain the Bible, but in the end, they all fall, because they do not accept the whole truth that God has expressed. People who have experienced a change in their dispositions are different; they have understood the truth, they are discerning on all issues, they know how to act in accordance with God’s will, how to act in accordance with the principle of the truth, and how to act to satisfy God, and they understand the nature of the corruption they exhibit. When their own ideas and notions are revealed, they are able to be discerning and forsake the flesh. This is how a change in disposition is expressed. The main manifestation of people who have undergone a change in disposition is that they have come to clearly understand the truth, and when carrying things out, they put the truth into practice with relative accuracy and they do not exhibit corruption as often. Generally, those whose dispositions have transformed appear to be particularly reasonable and discerning, and due to their understanding of the truth, they do not exhibit as much self-righteousness or arrogance. They can see through and discern much of the corruption that has been revealed in them, so they do not give rise to arrogance. They are able to have a measured grasp on what man’s place is, on how to behave reasonably, on how to be dutiful, on what to say and what not to say, and on what to say and what to do to which people. Thus, people whose dispositions have changed are relatively reasonable, and only such people truly live out a human likeness. Because they understand the truth, they are able to speak and see things in accordance with the truth, and they are principled in everything they do; they are not subject to the influence of any person, matter, or thing, and they all have their own views and can uphold the principle of the truth. Their dispositions are relatively stable, they do not blow hot and cold, and no matter what their circumstances, they understand how to do their duties properly and how to behave to God’s satisfaction. Those whose dispositions have actually changed are not focused on what to do to make themselves look good on a superficial level; they have gained internal clarity on what to do to satisfy God. Therefore, from the outside, they may not seem to be so enthusiastic or to have done anything very great, but everything they do is meaningful, is valuable, and yields practical results. Those whose dispositions have changed are certain to possess a lot of the realities of the truth, and this can be confirmed by their perspectives on things and their principled actions. Those who have not obtained the truth have absolutely not achieved any change in life disposition. How exactly is a change in disposition achieved? Human beings have been deeply corrupted by Satan, they all resist God, and they all have the nature of resisting God. God saves people by turning those who have the nature of resisting God and who can resist God into those who can obey and fear God. This is what it means to be someone whose disposition has changed. No matter how corrupt a person is or how many corrupt dispositions they have, as long as they can accept the truth, accept God’s judgment and chastisement, and accept various trials and refinements, they will have a true understanding of God, and at the same time they will be able to clearly see their own nature and essence. When they truly know themselves, they will be able to hate themselves and Satan, they will be willing to forsake Satan, and completely obey God. Once a person has this determination, they can pursue the truth. If people have true knowledge of God, if their satanic disposition is purified, and God’s words take root within them, and have become their life and the basis of their existence, if they live by God’s words, and have completely changed and become new people—then this counts as change in their life disposition. A change in disposition does not mean having a mature and seasoned humanity, nor does it mean that people’s outer dispositions are meeker than before, that they used to be arrogant but now can communicate reasonably, or that they used to listen to no one but now can listen to others; such external changes cannot be said to be transformations in disposition. Of course, transformations in disposition do include such expressions, but the most crucial ingredient is that internally, their life has changed. This is entirely because God’s words and the truth have taken root inside them, rule within them, and have become their life. Their views on things have also changed. They can see straight through what is going on in the world and with mankind, how Satan corrupts humankind, how the great red dragon resists God, and the essence of the great red dragon. They can hate the great red dragon and Satan in their hearts, and they can completely turn to and follow God. This means their life disposition has changed, and they have been gained by God. Changes in life disposition are fundamental changes, while changes in behavior are superficial. Only those who have achieved changes in life disposition are those who have obtained the truth, and only they have been gained by God.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 383
Transformation in one’s disposition is not a change in behavior, nor is it a feigned outward change or a temporary alteration made out of zeal. No matter how good these changes are, they cannot take the place of changes in life disposition, because these outward changes can be achieved through human efforts, but changes in life disposition cannot be achieved by human effort alone. Experiencing God’s judgment, chastisement, trials, and refinement is required to achieve this, as well as the perfection of the Holy Spirit. Although people who believe in God exhibit some good behavior, not a single one of them truly obeys God, truly loves God, or can do God’s will. Why is this? It is because this requires a change in life disposition to achieve, and a mere change in behavior is far from being enough. A change in disposition means that you have knowledge and experience of the truth, and that the truth has become your life, that it can direct you, and dominate your life and everything about you. This is a change in your life disposition. People who possess the truth as life are those whose dispositions have changed. In the past, there may have been some truths that you could not put into practice when you understood them, but now you can practice any aspect of the truth you understand without obstacle or difficulty. When you practice the truth, you feel very peaceful and happy, but if you can’t practice the truth, you feel pain and your conscience is disturbed. You can practice the truth in everything, live by God’s words, and have a foundation for living. This means that your disposition has changed. You can now easily let go of your notions and imaginings, your fleshly preferences and pursuits, and those things that you couldn’t let go of before; you feel that God’s words are genuinely good, and that practicing the truth is the best thing to do. This means your disposition has changed. A change in disposition sounds very simple, but it is actually a process that involves much experience. During this period, people need to suffer many hardships, they need to subdue their own bodies and forsake their flesh, they also need to suffer judgment, chastisement, pruning, being dealt with, trials, and refinement, and they also need to experience many failures, falls, internal struggles, and torments within their hearts. Only after these experiences can people have some understanding of their own nature, but some understanding does not produce a complete change right away; they have to go through a long period of experience before they can get rid of their corrupt dispositions little by little. This is why it takes a lifetime to change one’s disposition. For example, if you display corruption in a matter, can you immediately practice the truth once you realize it? You cannot. While you are possessed of understanding, others prune you and deal with you, and then your environment compels you and forces you to act in accordance with the principles of the truth. Sometimes, you’re still not reconciled to doing so, and say to yourself, “Do I have to do it like this? Why can’t I do it how I want? Why am I always being asked to practice the truth? I don’t want to do this, I’m tired of it!” Experiencing God’s work requires undergoing the following process: from being reluctant to practice the truth, to willingly practicing the truth; from negativity and weakness, to strength and being able to forsake the flesh. When people reach a certain point of experience and then undergo some trials, refinement, and ultimately understand God’s will and some truths, then they will be somewhat happy and willing to act in accordance with the principles of the truth. At the outset, people are reluctant to practice the truth. Take devotedly fulfilling one’s duties as an example: You have some understanding of fulfilling your duties and being devoted to God, and you also have some understanding of the truths, but when will you be able to completely devote yourself to God? When will you be able to fulfill your duties in both name and deed? This will require a process. During this process, you could suffer many hardships. Some people might deal with you, and others might criticize you. Everyone’s eyes will be fixed on you, and only then will you begin to realize that you are in the wrong and that you are actually the one who has done poorly, that lacking devotion in the fulfillment of your duty is unacceptable, and that you must not be careless or perfunctory. The Holy Spirit will enlighten you from within, and reproach you when you make a mistake. During this process, you will understand some things about yourself, and will know that you are too impure, you harbor too many personal motives, and have too many immoderate desires when fulfilling your duties. Once you have understood the essence of these things, you can come before God in prayer and have true repentance; in this way, you can be cleansed of those corrupt things. If, in this manner, you frequently seek the truth to resolve your own practical problems, you will gradually set foot upon the right path of faith; you will begin to have true life experiences, and your corrupt disposition will start to be gradually purified. The more someone’s corrupt disposition is purified, the more their life disposition will transform.
Although many people are now performing their duties, in essence, how many people are muddling through their duties? How many people can accept the truth and perform their duties according to the principles of truth? How many people fulfill their duties according to God’s requirements after their dispositions have changed? By examining these things more, you will be able to know whether you are really up to standard in fulfilling your duty, and you will also be able to see clearly whether your disposition has changed. Achieving transformation in one’s disposition is not a simple matter; it does not mean just having a few changes in behavior, gaining some knowledge of the truth, being able to talk a bit about one’s experience with every aspect of the truth, or having some changes or becoming a little obedient after being disciplined. These things do not constitute transformation in one’s life disposition. Why do I say this? Though you may have changed somewhat, you are still not truly putting the truth into practice. Perhaps because you are temporarily in a suitable environment, and the situation permits it, or your current circumstances have compelled you, you behave in this way. In addition, when you are in a good mood, when your state is normal, and when you have the work of the Holy Spirit, you can practice the truth. But suppose you are in the midst of a trial, when you are suffering like Job amidst your trials, or that you face the trial of death. When this comes, will you still be able to practice the truth, stand firm in testimony? Can you say something like what Peter said, “Even if I were to die after knowing You, how could I not do so gladly and happily?” What did Peter value? What Peter valued was obedience, and he regarded knowing God as the most important thing, so he was able to obey until death. Transformation in disposition does not happen overnight; it takes a whole lifetime of experience to achieve. Understanding the truth is a little easier, but being able to practice the truth in various contexts is hard. Why do people always have trouble putting the truth into practice? In fact, these difficulties are all directly related to people’s corrupt dispositions, and they are all hindrances that come from corrupt dispositions. Therefore, you have to suffer much and pay a price to put the truth into practice. If you didn’t have corrupt dispositions, you wouldn’t have to suffer and pay a price to practice the truth. Isn’t this an obvious fact? Sometimes it might seem as though you are putting the truth into practice, but in reality, the nature of your actions does not show that you are doing so. Many people have certain outward behaviors, such as being able to cast aside their families and careers and fulfill their duties, and therefore they believe they are practicing the truth. However, God does not recognize that they are practicing the truth. If the things you do have personal motives behind them and are adulterated, then you are liable to deviate from principles, and cannot be said to be practicing the truth; this is just a type of conduct. Strictly speaking, your conduct will probably be condemned by God; it will not be praised or remembered by Him. Dissecting this further, you are doing evil and your conduct is in opposition to God. From the outside, you are not interrupting or disturbing anything and you have not done real damage or violated any truth. It appears to be logical and reasonable, yet the essence of your actions pertains to doing evil and resisting God. Therefore, you should determine whether there has been a change in your disposition and whether you are putting the truth into practice using God’s words, and by looking at the motives behind your own actions. It does not depend on whether your actions conform to the human imaginings and human intentions, or whether they are suited to your taste; such things are not important. Rather, it depends on God saying whether or not you are conforming to His will, whether or not your actions possess the reality of the truth, and whether or not they meet His requirements and standards. Only measuring yourself against God’s requirements is accurate. Transformation in disposition and putting the truth into practice are not as simple and easy as people imagine. Do you understand this now? Do you have any experience with this? When it comes to a problem’s essence, you might not understand it; your entry has been overly superficial. You run about all day long, from dawn until dusk, rising early and going to bed late, yet you have not achieved transformation in your life disposition, and you cannot grasp what such a transformation involves. This means your entry is too shallow, does it not? Regardless of how long you have believed in God, you might not sense the essence and deep things to do with achieving transformation in disposition. Can it be said that your disposition has changed? How do you know whether God praises you or not? At the very least, you will feel exceptionally steadfast regarding everything that you do, and you will feel the Holy Spirit guiding and enlightening you and working in you while you are fulfilling your duties, doing any work in God’s house, or ordinarily. Your conduct will fit hand-in-hand with God’s words, and once you have gained a certain degree of experience, you will feel that how you acted in the past was relatively suitable. If, however, after gaining experience for a period of time, you feel that some of the things you did in the past were not suitable, and you are dissatisfied with them, and feel that the things you did were not in accordance with the truth, then this proves that everything you did was done in resistance to God. It is evidence that your service was full of rebelliousness, resistance, and human ways of acting, and that you have utterly failed to achieve changes in disposition.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. What Should Be Known About Transforming One’s Disposition
Daily Words of God Excerpt 384
In measuring whether or not people can obey God, the key thing to look at is whether they desire anything extravagant from God, and whether or not they have ulterior motives. If people are always making demands of God, it proves that they are not obedient to Him. Whatever happens to you, if you cannot receive it from God, cannot seek the truth, are always speaking from your own subjective reasoning and always feeling that only you are right, and are even capable of doubting that God is the truth and righteousness, then you will be in trouble. Such people are most arrogant and rebellious to God. People who always make demands of God can never truly obey Him. If you make demands of God, this proves that you are making a deal with God, that you are choosing your own thoughts, and acting according to your own thoughts. In this, you betray God, and are without obedience. To make demands of God is senseless; if you truly believe that He is God, then you will not dare to make demands of Him, nor will you be qualified to make demands of Him, whether they be reasonable or not. If you have true faith in God, and believe that He is God, then you will have no choice but to worship and obey Him. People today not only make their own choices, they even ask God to act according to their own will. Not only do they not choose to obey God, they even ask God to obey them. Isn’t this irrational? Therefore, if there is no true conviction in man, no substantial faith, they can never obtain God’s praise. When people are able to make fewer demands of God, their true conviction and their obedience will grow, and their sense of reason will also become comparatively normal. It is often the case that the more inclined to reason people are, and the more justification they give, the harder they are to deal with. Not only do they have many demands, but they also take a mile when given an inch. When satisfied in one area, they then make demands in another, they have to be satisfied in all areas, and if they are not, they start complaining, and write themselves off as hopeless. Later they feel indebted and regretful, and they weep bitter tears, and want to die. What is the use in that? Is this not irrational? This series of problems has to be resolved from the root. If you have a corrupt disposition and don’t resolve it, and if you insist on waiting until you get into trouble or cause disaster to resolve it, how can you make up for this loss? Isn’t this a bit of an afterthought? Therefore, to completely resolve the problem of a corrupt disposition, you must seek the truth to resolve it when it first arises. You must solve the corrupt disposition in its budding state, thereby ensuring a mistake is not made and preventing future troubles. If a corrupt disposition takes root and becomes one’s thoughts or viewpoint, it will be able to direct a person to do evil. Therefore, the main purpose of self-reflection and self-knowledge is to discover corrupt dispositions, and quickly seek the truth to resolve them. You must know what things are in your nature, what you like, what you pursue, and what you want to achieve. You must analyze these things according to God’s words to see if they are in line with God’s will, and see why they are erroneous. Once you understand these things, you must resolve the problem of abnormality of reason, which is to say, the problem of irrationality. This is not only the problem of a corrupt disposition, but of lacking reason. Especially where people’s interests are concerned, people who are overwhelmed by interests can become irrational. This is a mental problem, and this is also people’s Achilles’ heel. Some people feel that they have certain caliber and gifts, and they always want to be leaders to stand out, so they ask God to use them. If God doesn’t use them, they say, “How can God not favor me? God, if You use me to do something important, I promise I’ll expend for You.” Is this kind of intention correct? It is a good thing to expend for God, but there are motivations behind their willingness to expend for God. What they truly love is status, and this is what they pay attention to. If people are truly obedient, they can follow God wholeheartedly regardless of whether God uses them, and they can expend for God regardless of whether they have status. Only these people can be considered rational and obedient to God. It is good when people are willing to expend for God, and God is willing to use such people, but if they aren’t equipped with the truth, God has no way to use them. If people are willing to put effort into the truth and cooperate, there must be a preparatory stage. Only after people understand the truth and can genuinely obey God can God formally use them. This stage of practice is indispensable. Leaders and workers today are all in this stage of practice. After they have life experience and can act with principle, they will be fit to be used by God.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. People Make Too Many Demands of God
Daily Words of God Excerpt 385
The only attitude that a created being should have toward the Creator is one of obedience, one of unconditional obedience. This is something that some people today may be unable to accept. This is because man’s stature is too small and they are without the reality of the truth. If, when God does things that are at odds with your notions, you are liable to misinterpret God—even to disobey God, and turn your back on Him—then you are far from being able to obey God. While man is provided for and watered by the word of God, man is in fact striving for a single goal, which is ultimately to be able to achieve unconditional, absolute submission to God—at which point, you, this creation, will have reached the standard required. There are times when God deliberately does things that are at odds with your notions, and deliberately does things that go against your wishes, and which may even seem to be at odds with the truth, and against human feelings, and offensive to you; these things may be difficult for you to accept, you may not be able to get your head round them, and no matter how you analyze them, they may feel wrong to you and you may not be able to accept them, you may feel that God was unreasonable to do this—but in fact, God did this deliberately. So what is God’s aim in doing these things? It is to test and expose you, to see whether or not you are able to seek the truth, whether or not you have true obedience to God. Do not seek a basis for all that God does and asks, and do not ask why. Trying to reason with God has no use. You just have to recognize that God is the truth and be capable of absolute obedience. You just have to recognize that God is your Creator and your God. This is higher than any reasoning, higher than any worldly wisdom, higher than any human morality, ethics, expertise, philosophy, or traditional culture—higher, even, than human emotions, human righteousness, and so-called human love. It is higher than everything. If this is not clear to you, then a day will sooner or later come when something happens to you and you fall. At the very least, you will rebel against God and walk a deviant path; if you are ultimately able to repent, and recognize the loveliness of God, and recognize the significance of God’s work in you, then you will still have hope of salvation—but if you fall because of this thing and are unable to climb back up, you have no hope. Whether God judges, chastises, or curses people, this is all in order to save them, and they need have no fear. What should you fear? You should fear God saying, “I detest and reject you.” If God says this, you are in trouble: This means that God will not save you, that you have no hope of salvation. And so, in accepting God’s work, people must understand God’s will. Whatever you do, do not nitpick when it comes to God’s words, saying, “Judgment and chastisement are okay, but condemnation, curse, destruction—won’t that mean it’s all over for me? What’s the point of being a creature of God? So I’m not going to be, and You won’t be my God anymore.” If you reject God and do not stand firm in your testimony, then God may truly reject you. Do you know this? No matter how long people have believed in God, no matter how many roads they have traveled, how much work they have done, or how many duties they have performed, everything they have done during this time has been in preparation for one thing. What is that? They have been preparing to ultimately have absolute obedience to God, unconditional obedience. What does “unconditional” mean? It means that you make no justification, and speak nothing of your own objective reasons, it means that you don’t split any hairs; you are a creature of God, you are not worthy of this. When you split hairs with God, you have mistaken your place, and when you try to reason with God—again, you have mistaken your place. Do not argue with God, do not always try to figure out the reason, do not insist on understanding before you obey, and on not obeying when you don’t understand. When you do this, you have mistaken your place, in which case your obedience to God is not absolute; it is obedience that is relative and conditional. Are those who make conditions for their obedience to God people who truly obey God? Are you treating God as God? Do you worship God as the Creator? If you do not, then God does not acknowledge you. What must you experience in order to attain the absolute and unconditional obedience to God? And how should you experience? For one thing, people must accept the judgment and chastisement of God, they must accept being pruned and dealt with. In addition, they must accept God’s commission, they must pursue the truth as they perform their duty, they must understand the various aspects of the truth that relate to entry into life, and attain understanding of God’s will. Sometimes, this is beyond people’s caliber, and they lack the powers of comprehension to attain understanding of the truth, and can only understand a little when others fellowship with them or through learning lessons from the various situations created by God. But you must be aware that you must have a heart of obedience to God, you must not try to reason with God or make conditions; everything that God does is what ought to be done, for He is the Creator; you are a creature of God, and you must have an attitude of obedience, and must not always ask the reason or speak of conditions. If you lack even the most basic attitude of obedience, and are even liable to doubt and be wary of God, or to think, in your heart, “I must look at if God is really going to save me, at whether God is really righteous. Everyone says that God is love—well, then, I must see whether there really is love involved in what God does in me, whether it really is love,” if you constantly examine whether what God does is in line with your notions and tastes, or even what you believe to be the truth, then you have mistaken your place, and you are in trouble: You will be likely to offend God’s disposition. Truths relating to obedience are crucial, and no truth can be completely and clearly expressed in just a couple of sentences; they all relate to people’s various states and corruption. Entry into the reality of the truth cannot be attained in one or two—or three or five—years. It requires experiencing many things, experiencing much of the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, experiencing much pruning and dealing, and ultimately attaining the ability to practice the truth. Only then will pursuit of the truth be effective, and only then will people possess the reality of the truth. Only those who possess the reality of the truth are those who have true experience.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 386
In the course of experiencing the work of God, no matter how many times you have failed, fallen down, been pruned, dealt with, or exposed, these are not bad things. Regardless of how you have been pruned or dealt with, or whether it is by leaders, workers, or your brothers or sisters, these are all good things. You must remember this: No matter how much you suffer, you are actually benefiting. Anyone with experience can attest to this. No matter what, being pruned, dealt with, or exposed is always a good thing. It is not a condemnation. It is God’s salvation and the best opportunity for you to get to know yourself. It can bring your life experience a change of gears. Without it, you will possess neither the opportunity, the condition, nor the context to be able to reach an understanding of the truth of your corruption. If you truly understand the truth, and are able to unearth the corrupt things hidden in the depths of your heart, if you can clearly distinguish them, then this is good, this has solved a major problem of entry into life, and is of great benefit to changes in disposition. Becoming able to truly know yourself is the best opportunity for you to mend your ways and become a new person; it is the best opportunity for you to obtain new life. Once you truly know yourself, you will be able to see that when the truth becomes one’s life, it is a precious thing indeed, and you will thirst for the truth, practice the truth, and enter into its reality. This is such a great thing! If you can grab this opportunity and earnestly reflect upon yourself and gain a genuine knowledge of yourself whenever you fail or fall down, then in the midst of negativity and weakness, you will be able to stand back up. Once you have crossed this threshold, you will then be able to take a big step forward and enter the reality of the truth.
If you believe in God’s sovereignty, then you have to believe that everyday occurrences, be they good or bad, do not happen at random. It is not that someone is deliberately being hard on you or targeting you; this was all arranged and orchestrated by God. Why does God orchestrate all these things? It is not to reveal you for who you are or to expose and cast you out; exposing you is not the end goal. The goal is to perfect you and save you. How does God perfect you? And how does He save you? He starts by making you aware of your own corrupt disposition, and by making you know your nature and essence, your shortcomings, and what you lack. Only by knowing these things and having a clear understanding of them can you pursue the truth and gradually cast off your corrupt disposition. This is God providing you with an opportunity. This is God’s compassion. You have to know how to seize this opportunity. You should not oppose God, butt heads with God, or misunderstand Him. In particular, when faced with the people, matters, and things that God arranges around you, do not constantly feel that things are not as you wish them to be; do not constantly wish to escape them or always blame and misunderstand God. If you are constantly doing those things, then you are not experiencing God’s work, and that will make it very difficult for you to enter the reality of the truth. Whatever you encounter that you cannot fully understand, when a difficulty arises, you must learn to submit. You should begin by coming before God and praying more. That way, before you know it, a shift will occur in your internal state, and you will be able to seek the truth to resolve your problem. As such, you will be able to experience God’s work. As this happens, the reality of the truth will be wrought within you, and this is how you will progress and undergo a transformation of the state of your life. Once you have undergone this change and possess this reality of the truth, you will also possess stature, and with stature comes life. If someone always lives based on a corrupt satanic disposition, then no matter how much enthusiasm or energy they have, they still cannot be considered to possess stature, or life. God works in every single person, and no matter what His method is, what kind of people, matters, and things He makes use of in His service, or what kind of tone His words have, He only has one end goal: saving you. And how does He save you? He changes you. So how could you not suffer a bit? You are going to have to suffer. This suffering can involve many things. First, when people accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, it can be painful to them. When God’s words are too severe and explicit and people misinterpret God—and even have notions—that can be painful, too. Sometimes God raises up an environment around people to expose their corruption, to make them reflect on and know themselves, and they will suffer a little then, too. Sometimes, when they are directly pruned, dealt with, and exposed, people must suffer; it is as if they have been put under the knife. If there is no suffering, there is no effect. If every time you are pruned and dealt with, and every time you are laid bare by an environment, it arouses your feelings and gives you a boost, then through this process you will enter the reality of the truth, and will have stature. If, every time you are subjected to being pruned and dealt with, and to being exposed by an environment, you feel no pain or discomfort whatsoever, and feel nothing at all, and if you do not come before God to seek His will, neither praying nor seeking the truth, then you really are so numb! God does not work in you when your spirit feels nothing, when it does not react. He will say, “This person is overly numb, and has been corrupted too deeply. No matter how I discipline him or try to keep him in check, I still cannot move his heart or awaken his spirit. This person will be in trouble; he is not easy to save.” If God arranges certain environments, people, matters, and things for you, if He prunes and deals with you and if you learn lessons from this, if you have learned to come before God, learned to seek the truth, and, unknowingly, are enlightened and illuminated and attain the truth, if you have experienced a change in these environments, reaped rewards, and made progress, if you begin to have a little comprehension of God’s will and you cease to complain, then all of this will mean that you have stood firm in the midst of the trials of these environments, and have withstood the test. As such, you will have gotten through this ordeal. How will God regard those who withstand the test? God will say that they have a true heart, and that they can endure this kind of suffering because, deep down, they love the truth and want to gain the truth. If God has this kind of assessment of you, are you not then someone with stature? Do you not then have life? And how is this life attained? Is it bestowed by God? God supplies you in various ways and uses various people, things, and objects to train you. This is as if God is personally giving you food and drink, personally delivering various foodstuffs before you for you to eat your fill and enjoy; only then can you grow and stand strong. This is how you must experience and comprehend these things; this is how to submit to everything that comes from God. This is the sort of mindset and attitude you must possess, and you must learn to seek the truth. You should not be constantly looking for external causes or blaming others for your troubles or finding faults with people; you must have a clear understanding of God’s will. From the outside, some people might seem to have opinions about you or prejudices against you, but you should not see things that way. If you see things from this kind of standpoint, the only thing you will do is make excuses, and you will not be able to attain anything. You should see things objectively and accept everything from God. When you view things in this way, it will be easy for you to obey the work of God, and you will be able to seek the truth, and grasp the will of God. Once your viewpoint and state of mind are rectified, you will be able to attain the truth. So, why do you not just do it? Why do you resist? If you stopped resisting, you would gain the truth. If you resist, you will not gain anything, and you will also hurt God’s feelings and disappoint Him. How will God be disappointed? You do not accept the truth, you have no hope of salvation, and God is not able to gain you, so how could He not be disappointed? When you do not accept the truth, this is tantamount to pushing away food that has been personally offered to you by God. You say that you are not hungry and that you do not need it; God tries again and again to encourage you to eat, but you still do not want it. You would rather go hungry. You think that you are satiated, when actually, you have absolutely nothing. People like this are so lacking in sense, and so self-righteous; truly, they don’t know a good thing when they see it, they are the most impoverished and pitiful of people.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. To Gain the Truth, One Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Nearby
Daily Words of God Excerpt 387
In their work, church leaders and workers must pay attention to two principles: One is to do their work exactly according to the principles stipulated by the work arrangements, never violating those principles and not basing their work on anything that they might imagine or on any of their own ideas. In everything they do, they should show concern for the work of the church, and always put the interests of God’s house first. Another thing—and this is most crucial—is that in all things, they must focus on following the Holy Spirit’s guidance and do everything in strict keeping with God’s words. If they are still capable of going against the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or if they stubbornly follow their own ideas and do things according to their own imagination, then their actions will constitute a most serious resistance against God. Frequently turning their back on the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit will only lead to a dead end. If they lose the work of the Holy Spirit, then they will not be able to work; and even if they do somehow manage to work, they will accomplish nothing. These are the two main principles that leaders and workers must abide by while working: One is to perform their work in exact accordance with the work arrangements from the Above, as well as to act according to the principles that have been set forth by the Above; and the other is to follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit within them. Once these two principles are grasped, they will not be so liable to make mistakes. Your experience in doing church work is still limited, and when you work, it is highly adulterated by your own ideas. At times, you may not understand the enlightenment or guidance within you that comes from the Holy Spirit; at other times, you appear to understand it, but you are likely to ignore it. You always imagine or deduce in a human manner, acting as you think appropriate, with no concern at all for the Holy Spirit’s intentions. You go about your work solely according to your own ideas, setting aside any enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. Such situations occur frequently. Inner guidance from the Holy Spirit is not at all transcendental; it is, in fact, very normal. That is, in the depths of your heart, you know this is an appropriate way to act, and that it is the best way. This thought is actually quite clear; it did not come of pondering, and sometimes you do not fully understand why you should act this way. This is often none other than enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. This happens most often to people with experience. The Holy Spirit guides you to do what is most appropriate. It is not something you think about, rather it is a feeling in your heart that makes you realize that this is the best way to do it, and you like to do it that way without knowing why. This may come from the Holy Spirit. One’s own ideas often come from thinking and considering, and are all adulterated by self-will; they only think of what benefit and advantage it is to them; every act that humans decide to do has these things in it. Guidance from the Holy Spirit, however, in no way contains such adulterations. It is necessary to pay careful attention to the guidance or enlightenment from the Holy Spirit; particularly in key issues, you must be careful in order to grasp it. People who like to use their brains, and who like to act on their own ideas, are the most liable to miss such guidance or enlightenment. Adequate leaders and workers are people who possess the work of the Holy Spirit, who are attentive to the work of the Holy Spirit at every moment, who obey the Holy Spirit, fear God, are mindful of God’s will, and tirelessly pursue the truth. To satisfy God and bear witness for Him properly, you should often reflect on your motives and adulterations in the performance of your duty, and then try to see how much of the work is motivated by human ideas, how much is born of enlightenment by the Holy Spirit, and how much is in keeping with God’s words. You must constantly, and in all circumstances, reflect on whether your words and deeds are in line with the truth. To practice frequently in this manner will put you on the right track of serving God. It is necessary to possess the realities of the truth to achieve service to God in a way that is in line with His intentions. Only after they have understood the truth can people have the ability to discern and recognize what emerges from their own ideas and what emerges from human motives. They are able to recognize human impurities, as well as what it means to act according to the truth. Only after they can discern can they be certain that they can put the truth into practice and be fully in line with God’s will. Without understanding the truth, it is impossible for people to practice discernment. A muddleheaded person might believe in God his entire life without knowing what it means to have his own corruption revealed or what it means to resist God, because he does not understand the truth; that thought does not even exist in his mind. The truth is beyond reach for people of overly low caliber; no matter how you fellowship on it with them, they still do not understand. Such people are muddleheaded. In their faith, muddleheaded people cannot testify to God; they can merely do a bit of service. If leaders and workers are to perform their duties well, then their caliber cannot be too bad. At the very least, they must understand spiritual things and receive things purely, so that they can easily understand the truth and practice the truth. Some people’s experience is too shallow, so sometimes they have deviations in their understanding of the truth, and then they are prone to make mistakes. When they have deviations in their understanding, they are not up to the task of practicing the truth. When there are deviations in their understanding of the truth, they are likely to follow rules, and when they follow rules, it is easy to make mistakes, and they aren’t up to the task of practicing the truth. When there are deviations in understanding, it is also easy to be deceived and used by antichrists. Therefore, deviations in understanding can lead to many mistakes. As a result, not only will they fail to perform their duties well, they can also easily go astray, which harms the life entry of God’s chosen people. What is the value of someone doing their duty like this? They have simply become someone who disrupts and disturbs the work of the church. And lessons must be learned from these failures. In order to fulfill the work that God entrusts, it is necessary for leaders and workers to grasp these two principles: One must strictly adhere to the work arrangements from the Above in performing duty, and must pay attention to and obey any guidance from the Holy Spirit in accordance with the word of God. Only when these two principles are grasped can one’s work be effective and God’s will be satisfied.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Part Three
Daily Words of God Excerpt 388
What Peter sought was to come to know himself and see what had been revealed in him through the refinement of God’s words and within the various trials that God provided for him. When he truly came to understand himself, Peter realized just how deeply corrupt humans are, how worthless and unworthy of serving God they are, and that they do not deserve to live before Him. Peter then fell prostrate before God. Having experienced so much, Peter ultimately came to feel, “Knowing God is the most precious thing! If I died before knowing Him, it would be such a pity. Knowing God is the most important, most meaningful thing there is. If man does not know God, then he does not deserve to live, is the same as an animal, and has no life.” By the time Peter’s experience had reached this point, he had come to know his own nature and gained a relatively good understanding of it. Although he perhaps would not have been able to explain it as clearly as people would nowadays, Peter had indeed reached this state. Therefore, walking the path of pursuing the truth and attaining perfection by God requires knowing one’s own nature from within God’s utterances, as well as comprehending the aspects of one’s nature and accurately describing it in words, speaking clearly and plainly. Only this is truly knowing yourself, and you will have attained the result God requires. If your knowledge has not yet reached this point, but you claim to know yourself and say that you have gained life, then are you not simply bragging? You do not know yourself, nor do you know what you are in front of God, whether you have truly met the standards of being human, or how many satanic elements you still have within you. You are still unclear about who you belong to, and you do not even have any self-knowledge—so how can you possess reason in front of God? When Peter was pursuing life, he focused on understanding himself and transforming his disposition over the course of his trials, and he strove to know God, and in the end, he thought, “People must seek an understanding of God in life; knowing Him is the most critical thing. If I do not know God, then I cannot rest in peace when I die. Once I know Him, if God then has me die, then I will still feel most gratified to do so; I will not complain in the slightest, and my entire life will have been fulfilled.” Peter was not able to gain this level of understanding or reach this point immediately after he had begun to believe in God; he underwent a great many trials instead. His experience had to reach a certain milestone, and he had to completely understand himself, before he could sense the value of knowing God. Therefore, the path Peter took was the path of pursuing the truth, and was one of gaining life and of being perfected; this was the aspect upon which his specific practice was primarily focused.
In your faith in God, what path are you walking now? If you do not, like Peter, seek life, understanding of yourself, and knowledge of God, then you are not walking the path of Peter. These days, most people are in this sort of state: “In order to gain blessings, I must expend myself for God and pay a price for Him. In order to gain blessings, I must abandon everything for God; I must complete what He has entrusted me with, and perform my duty well.” This is dominated by the intention to gain blessings, which is an example of expending oneself for God entirely for the purpose of obtaining rewards from Him and gaining a crown. Such people do not have the truth in their hearts, and surely their understanding merely consists of a few words of doctrine which they show off everywhere they go. Theirs is the path of Paul. The faith of such people is an act of constant toil, and deep down they feel that the more they do, the more it will prove their loyalty to God; that the more they do, the more He will certainly be satisfied; and that the more they do, the more they will deserve to be granted a crown before God, and the greater the blessings they gain will be. They think that if they can endure suffering, preach, and die for Christ, if they can sacrifice their own lives, and if they can complete all of the duties with which God has entrusted them, then they will be those who gain the greatest blessings, and will be certain to be granted crowns. This is precisely what Paul imagined and what he sought; it is the exact path that he walked, and it was under the guidance of such thoughts that he worked to serve God. Do those thoughts and intentions not originate from a satanic nature? It is just like worldly humans, who believe that while on earth they must pursue knowledge, and that after obtaining it they can stand out from the crowd, become officials, and have status; they think that once they have status, they can realize their ambitions and bring their homes and businesses up to a certain level of prosperity. Do not all unbelievers walk this path? Those who are dominated by this satanic nature can only be like Paul in their faith. They think: “I must cast off everything to expend myself for God; I must be faithful before Him, and eventually, I will receive great rewards and great crowns.” This is the same attitude as that of worldly people who pursue worldly things; they are no different at all, and are subject to the same nature. When people have this sort of satanic nature, out in the world, they will seek to obtain knowledge, learning, status, and to stand out from the crowd; if they believe in God, they will seek to obtain great crowns and great blessings. If people do not pursue the truth when they believe in God, they are sure to take this path; this is an immutable fact, it is a natural law. The path that people who do not pursue the truth take is diametrically opposed to that of Peter. Which path are you all currently on? Though you may not have planned to take the path of Paul, your nature has ruled that you walk this way, and you are going in that direction in spite of yourself. Though you want to set foot upon the path of Peter, if you are not clear on how to do that, then you will take the path of Paul involuntarily: This is the reality of the situation. How exactly should one walk the path of Peter these days? If you are unable to distinguish between the paths of Peter and Paul, or if you are not at all familiar with them, then no matter how much you claim to be walking Peter’s path, those are just empty words. You need to first have a clear idea of what the path of Peter is and what the path of Paul is. Only when you truly understand that Peter’s path is the path of pursuing life, and the only path to perfection, will you be able to walk Peter’s path, pursuing as he pursued, and practicing the principles that he practiced. If you do not understand Peter’s path, then the path you take will definitely be that of Paul, for there will be no other path for you; you will have no choice. People who do not understand the truth and are not able to pursue it will find it difficult to walk the path of Peter, even if they have resolve. It can be said that God has now revealed to you the path to salvation and perfection. This is God’s grace and elevation, and it is He who guides you onto the path of Peter. Without God’s guidance and enlightenment, no one would be able to take Peter’s path; the only choice would be to go down the path of Paul, following in Paul’s footsteps to destruction. Back then, Paul did not feel it was wrong to walk down that path; he fully believed that it was correct. He did not gain the truth, and he especially did not undergo a change in disposition. He believed too much in himself, and felt that there was not the slightest issue with believing that way. He continued onward, full of confidence and with the utmost self-assurance. By the end, he never came to his senses; he still thought that to him to live was Christ. As such, Paul continued down that path to the very end, and by the time he was ultimately punished, it was all over for him. Paul’s path did not involve coming to know himself, much less seeking a change in disposition. He never analyzed his own nature, nor did he gain any knowledge of what he was; he simply knew that he was the chief culprit in the persecution of Jesus. But he had not had the slightest understanding of his own nature, and after finishing his work, Paul felt that he was living as Christ and should be rewarded. The work that Paul did was merely service rendered for God. For Paul personally, though he received some revelations from the Holy Spirit, he had obtained no truth or life at all. He was therefore not saved by God; he was punished by God. Why is it said that Peter’s path is the path to perfection? It is because, in Peter’s practice, he placed particular emphasis on life, on seeking to know God, and on knowing himself. Through his experience of God’s work, he came to know himself, gained an understanding of man’s corrupt states, learned of his own shortcomings, and discovered the most valuable thing that people should pursue. He was able to sincerely love God, he learned how to repay God, he gained some truth, and he possessed the reality that God requires. From all the things that Peter said during his trials, it can be seen that he was indeed the one with the most understanding of God. Because he came to understand so much truth from God’s words, his path grew brighter and brighter, and more and more in alignment with God’s will. If Peter had not possessed this truth, then the path he took could not have been so correct.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter
Daily Words of God Excerpt 389
Peter was faithful to Me for many years, yet he never grumbled nor had any complaint; even Job was not his equal, and, throughout the ages, the saints have all fallen far short of Peter. He not only sought to know Me, but also came to know Me during a time when Satan was enacting its deceitful schemes. This led Peter to serve Me for many years, always in line with My will, and for this reason, he was never exploited by Satan. Peter drew lessons from the faith of Job, yet also clearly perceived Job’s shortcomings. Although Job had been of great faith, he lacked knowledge of matters in the spiritual realm, so he said many words that did not correspond to reality; this shows that Job’s knowledge was shallow and incapable of perfection. Therefore, Peter focused always on gaining a sense of the spirit, and always paid attention to observing the dynamics of the spiritual realm. As a result, he not only was able to ascertain something of My wishes, but also had a modicum of knowledge of the deceitful schemes of Satan. Because of this, his knowledge of Me grew to be greater than anyone else’s throughout the ages.
From Peter’s experience, it is not hard to see that if humans wish to know Me, they must focus on giving careful consideration within their spirits. I do not ask that you “dedicate” a certain amount to Me externally; this is of secondary concern. If you do not know Me, then all the faith, love, and loyalty of which you speak are but illusions; they are froth, and you are sure to become someone who makes great boasts before Me but does not know himself. As such, you will once more be ensnared by Satan and unable to extricate yourself; you will become a son of perdition and an object of destruction. However, if you are cold and uncaring toward My words, then you undoubtedly oppose Me. This is fact, and you would do well to look through the gate of the spiritual realm at the many and varied spirits that have been chastised by Me. Which of them, faced with My words, was not passive, uncaring, and unaccepting? Which of them was not cynical about My words? Which of them did not try to find fault with My words? Which of them did not use My words as “defensive weapons” with which to “protect” themselves? They did not use the contents of My words as a way to know Me, but merely as toys to play with. In this, were they not resisting Me directly? Who are My words? Who is My Spirit? I have asked you such questions so many times, yet have you ever gotten any higher and clear insights about them? Have you ever truly experienced them? I remind you once again: If you do not know My words, nor accept them, nor put them into practice, then you will inevitably become objects of My chastisement! You will surely become victims of Satan!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Words to the Entire Universe, Chapter 8
Daily Words of God Excerpt 390
Though many people believe in God, few understand what faith in God means, and what they must do to conform to God’s will. This is because, though people are familiar with the word “God” and phrases such as “the work of God,” they do not know God, and still less do they know His work. No wonder, then, that all those who do not know God are muddled in their belief of Him. People do not take belief in God seriously, and this is entirely because believing in God is too unfamiliar, too strange for them. In this way, they fall short of God’s demands. In other words, if people do not know God, and do not know His work, then they are not fit for God’s use, and still less are they able to satisfy His will. “Belief in God” means believing that there is a God; this is the simplest concept as regards believing in God. What’s more, believing that there is a God is not the same as truly believing in God; rather, it is a kind of simple faith with strong religious overtones. True faith in God means the following: On the basis of the belief that God holds sovereignty over all things, one experiences His words and His work, purges one’s corrupt disposition, satisfies the will of God, and comes to know God. Only a journey of this kind may be called “faith in God.” Yet people often see belief in God as a simple and frivolous matter. People who believe in God in this way have lost what it means to believe in God, and though they may continue to believe until the very end, they shall never gain God’s approval, because they tread upon the wrong path. There are still those today who believe in God according to letters and in hollow doctrine. They do not know that they lack the essence of belief in God, and they cannot receive God’s approval. Still they pray to God for blessings of safety and sufficient grace. Let us stop, quiet our hearts, and ask ourselves: Can it be that believing in God really is the easiest thing on earth? Can it be that believing in God means nothing more than receiving much grace from God? Are people who believe in God without knowing Him or who believe in God and yet oppose Him really able to satisfy the will of God?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Preface
Daily Words of God Excerpt 391
What is it that man has gained since he first began believing in God? What have you come to know about God? How much have you changed because of your belief in God? Today, you all know that man’s belief in God is not solely for the salvation of the soul and the well-being of the flesh, nor is it to enrich his life through loving God, and so on. As it stands, if you love God for the sake of the well-being of the flesh or momentary pleasure, then even if, in the end, your love for God reaches its peak and you ask for nothing more, this love that you seek is still an adulterated love and not pleasing to God. Those who use love for God to enrich their dull existence and fill a void in their hearts are the kind of people who are greedy for a life of ease, not those who truly seek to love God. Love of this kind is forced, it is the pursuit of mental gratification, and God has no need of it. What kind of love, then, is yours? For what do you love God? How much true love for God is there within you right now? The love of the great majority of you is of the aforementioned kind. Such love can only maintain the status quo; it cannot achieve immutability, nor can it take root in man. This kind of love is only like a flower that blooms and withers without bearing fruit. In other words, after you have loved God once in such a way, if there is no one to lead you on the path ahead, then you will collapse. If you can only love God in the time of loving God but afterward your life disposition remains unchanged, then you will remain unable to escape from the shroud of the influence of darkness, you will remain unable to break free from Satan’s bonds and its trickery. No one such as this can be fully gained by God; in the end, their spirit, soul, and body will still belong to Satan. There can be no doubt about this. All those who cannot be fully gained by God will return to their original place, that is, back to Satan, and they will go down to the lake of fire and brimstone to accept the next step of punishment from God. Those gained by God are those who forsake Satan and escape from its domain. They are officially numbered among the people of the kingdom. This is how the people of the kingdom come to be. Are you willing to become this kind of person? Are you willing to be gained by God? Are you willing to escape from the domain of Satan and return to God? Do you now belong to Satan or are you numbered among the people of the kingdom? These things should already be clear, and require no further explanation.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Viewpoint Believers Ought to Hold
Daily Words of God Excerpt 392
In the past, many sought with wild ambition and notions, they sought as a result of their own hopes. Let us put aside such issues for the moment; what is of key importance now is to find a way of practice that will enable each of you to maintain a normal condition before God and gradually break free of the shackles of Satan’s influence, so that you may be gained by God, and live out on earth what God asks of you. Only in this way can you fulfill the intentions of God. Many believe in God, yet know neither what it is that God wants nor what it is that Satan wants. They believe in a muddle-headed way, simply going with the flow, and so have never had a normal Christian life; what is more, they have never had normal personal relationships, much less a normal relationship with God. From this it can be seen that the difficulties and shortcomings of man, and other factors that can thwart the will of God, are many. This is sufficient to prove that man has not yet got onto the right track of belief in God, nor has he entered into the real experience of human life. So what does it mean to get on the right track of belief in God? To get on the right track means that you can quiet your heart before God at all times and enjoy normal communion with God, gradually coming to know what is lacking in man and slowly gaining a deeper knowledge of God. Through this, your spirit gains new insight and new enlightenment every day; your longing grows, you seek to enter into the truth, and every day there is new light and new understanding. Through this path, you gradually break free of the influence of Satan and grow in your life. Such people have entered the right track. Evaluate your own actual experiences and examine the path you have pursued in your faith: When you hold those up against that described above, do you find you are on the right track? In what matters have you broken free from the shackles of Satan and from the influence of Satan? If you have yet to get on the right track, then your ties with Satan have not been severed. This being the case, will your seeking to love God lead you to a love that is authentic, single-minded, and pure? You say that your love for God is unwavering and heartfelt, yet you have not broken free of the shackles of Satan. Are you not trying to make a fool of God? If you wish to attain a state in which your love for God is without adulteration, and you wish to be fully gained by God and numbered among the people of the kingdom, then you must first set yourself on the right track of belief in God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Viewpoint Believers Ought to Hold
Daily Words of God Excerpt 393
The common problem that exists in all people is that they understand the truth but fail to put it into practice. This is because, on the one hand, they are unwilling to pay the price, and on the other, because their discernment is too inadequate; they are unable to see many of the difficulties of everyday lives for what they are, and do not know how to practice properly. Because people’s experiences are too shallow, their caliber too poor, and the degree to which they understand the truth limited, they have no way of resolving the difficulties they encounter in their everyday lives. They believe in God in word only, and are incapable of bringing God into their everyday lives. That is to say, God is God, life is life, and it is as if people have no relationship with God in their lives. That is what everyone thinks. Believing in God thus, people will not, in reality, be gained and perfected by Him. In fact, it is not that the word of God has not found complete expression, but rather that people’s ability to receive His word is simply too inadequate. One could say that almost no one acts according to God’s original intentions; rather, their faith in God is according to their own intentions, the religious notions they held in the past, and their own way of doing things. Few are those who undergo a transformation following the acceptance of God’s word and begin to act in accordance with His will. Instead, they persist in their mistaken beliefs. When people begin to believe in God, they do so based on the conventional rules of religion, and they live and interact with others entirely on the basis of their own philosophy for living. One could say that this is the case for nine out of every ten people. There are very few who formulate another plan and turn over a new leaf after beginning to believe in God. Humanity has failed to regard the word of God as truth, or, taking it as truth, to put it into practice.
Take, for instance, faith in Jesus. Whether someone had just started to believe or had done so for a very long time, all simply put to use whatever talents they had and demonstrated whatever skills they possessed. People simply added “faith in God,” these three words, into their usual lives, yet made no changes to their disposition, and their faith in God did not grow in the slightest. Their pursuit was neither hot nor cold. They did not say that they would give up on their faith, but neither did they consecrate all to God. They had never truly loved God or obeyed Him. Their faith in God was a mixture of the genuine and the counterfeit, they approached it with one eye open and one eye shut, and were not earnest in practicing their faith. They continued in such a state of befuddlement, and ultimately died a muddled death. What is the point of all that? Today, to believe in the practical God, you must set foot on the right track. If you believe in God, you should not only seek blessings, but to love God and know God. Through His enlightenment, through your own individual seeking, you can eat and drink His word, develop a real understanding of God, and have a real love of God that comes from your inmost heart. In other words, when your love for God is most genuine, and no one can destroy or stand in the way of your love for Him, at this time you are on the right track in your belief in God. This proves that you belong to God, for your heart is already in God’s possession and nothing else can then take possession of you. Through your experience, through the price you have paid, and through the work of God, you are able to develop an unbidden love for God—and when you do, you will become free from the influence of Satan and will come to live in the light of God’s word. Only when you have broken free from the influence of darkness can you be said to have gained God. In your belief in God, you must try to seek this goal. This is the duty of each of you. None of you should be satisfied with the current state of affairs. You cannot be of two minds toward the work of God, nor can you regard it lightly. You should think of God in all respects and at all times, and do all things for His sake. And whenever you speak or act, you should place the interests of the house of God first. Only thus can you be after God’s heart.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God
Daily Words of God Excerpt 394
In their faith in God, people’s greatest fault is that they believe in word only, and God is utterly absent from their everyday lives. All people, indeed, believe in the existence of God, yet God is not a part of their everyday lives. People’s mouths speak many prayers to God, but God has little place in their hearts, and so God tries them again and again. It is because people are impure that God has no alternative but to try them, so that they may feel ashamed and come to know themselves in the midst of these trials. If not, humanity would turn into the descendants of the archangel, and become increasingly corrupt. In the process of their faith in God, each person casts off many of their personal intentions and objectives under God’s ceaseless cleansing. If not, God would have no way of using anyone, and no way of doing in people the work that He ought. God first cleanses people, and through this process, they may come to know themselves and God may change them. Only then does God work His life into them, and only thus can their hearts be fully turned to God. And so I say, believing in God is not as simple as people say. As God sees it, if you only have knowledge but do not have His word as life, and if you are limited only to your own knowledge but cannot practice the truth or live out the word of God, then this is proof still that you do not have a heart that loves God, and it shows that your heart does not belong to God. One can come to know God by believing in Him: This is the final goal, and the goal of man’s pursuit. You must put effort into living out the words of God so that they may come to fruition in your practice. If you have only doctrinal knowledge, then your faith in God will come to naught. Only if you then also practice and live out His word can your faith be considered complete and in accord with God’s will. On this road, many people can speak of much knowledge, but at their time of death, their eyes brim with tears, and they hate themselves for having wasted a lifetime and lived to a ripe old age for naught. They merely understand doctrines, but cannot put the truth into practice or bear witness to God; instead, they simply run hither and thither, busy as a bee, and only on the brink of death do they finally see that they lack true testimony, that they do not know God at all. And is this not too late? Why do you not seize the day and pursue the truth that you love? Why wait until tomorrow? If in life you do not suffer for the truth or seek to gain it, can it be that you wish to feel regret in your dying hour? If so, then why believe in God? In truth, there are many matters in which people, if they put in just the slightest exertion, can put the truth into practice and thereby satisfy God. It is only because people’s hearts are ever possessed by demons that they cannot act for the sake of God, and constantly rush about for the sake of their flesh, with nothing to show for it in the end. For this reason, people are constantly afflicted by troubles and difficulties. Are these not the torments of Satan? Is this not the corruption of the flesh? You should not try to fool God by flapping your lips. Rather, you must take tangible action. Do not deceive yourself—what would be the point of that? What can you gain by living for the sake of your flesh and struggling for profit and fame?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God
Daily Words of God Excerpt 395
Now, you are to pursue becoming the people of God, and shall begin the entire entry onto the right track. To be the people of God means entering into the Age of Kingdom. Today, you officially begin to enter into the training of the kingdom, and your future lives shall cease to be as slack and sloppy as they were before; living in such a way, it is impossible to attain the standards required by God. If you do not feel any urgency, then this shows that you have no desire to improve yourself, that your pursuit is muddled and confused, and you are incapable of fulfilling God’s will. Entry into the training of the kingdom means beginning the life of the people of God—are you willing to accept such training? Are you willing to feel a sense of urgency? Are you willing to live under God’s discipline? Are you willing to live under God’s chastisement? When God’s words come upon you and test you, how will you act? And what will you do when faced with all manner of facts? In the past, your focus was not on life; today, you must focus on entering into the reality of life, and pursue changes in your life disposition. This is what must be achieved by the people of the kingdom. All those who are the people of God must possess life, they must accept the training of the kingdom, and pursue changes in their life disposition. This is what God requires of the people of the kingdom.
God’s requirements for the people of the kingdom are as follows:
1. They must accept God’s commissions. This is to say, they must accept all of the words spoken in God’s work of the last days.
2. They must enter into the training of the kingdom.
3. They must pursue having their hearts touched by God. When your heart has completely turned to God, and you have a normal spiritual life, you will live in the realm of freedom, which means you will live under the care and protection of God’s love. Only when you live under the care and protection of God will you belong to God.
4. They must be gained by God.
5. They must become a manifestation of God’s glory on earth.
These five points are My commissions for you. My words are spoken unto the people of God, and if you are unwilling to accept these commissions, I will not force you—but if you truly accept them, then you will be able to do the will of God. Today, you begin to accept God’s commissions, and pursue becoming the people of the kingdom and attaining the standards required to be the people of the kingdom. This is the first step of entry. If you wish to fully do God’s will, then you must accept these five commissions, and if you are able to achieve them, you will be after God’s heart and surely God will make great use of you. What is crucial today is entering into the training of the kingdom. Entry into the training of the kingdom involves the spiritual life. Previously, there was no talk of the spiritual life, but today, as you begin entry into the training of the kingdom, you officially enter into the spiritual life.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps
Daily Words of God Excerpt 396
What kind of life is the spiritual life? The spiritual life is one in which your heart has completely turned to God, and is able to be mindful of God’s love. It is one in which you live in God’s words, and nothing else occupies your heart, and you are able to grasp the will of God today, and are guided by the light of the Holy Spirit today in order to fulfill your duty. Such a life between man and God is the spiritual life. If you are unable to follow the light of today, then a distance has opened up in your relationship with God—it may even have been severed—and you are without a normal spiritual life. A normal relationship with God is built upon the foundation of accepting the words of God today. Do you have a normal spiritual life? Do you have a normal relationship with God? Are you someone who follows the work of the Holy Spirit? If you are able to follow the light of the Holy Spirit today, and can grasp God’s will within His words, and enter into these words, then you are someone who follows the stream of the Holy Spirit. If you do not follow the stream of the Holy Spirit, then you are undoubtedly someone who does not pursue the truth. The Holy Spirit has no chance of working within those who have no desire to improve themselves, and as a result, such people are never able to summon their strength, and are always passive. Today, do you follow the stream of the Holy Spirit? Are you in the stream of the Holy Spirit? Have you emerged from a passive state? All those who believe in the words of God, who take the work of God as the foundation, and follow the light of the Holy Spirit today—they are all in the stream of the Holy Spirit. If you believe that God’s words are unequivocally true and correct, and if you believe the words of God no matter what He says, then you are someone who pursues entry into the work of God, and in this way you fulfill God’s will.
To enter into the stream of the Holy Spirit, you must have a normal relationship with God, and you must first rid yourself of your passive state. Some people always follow the crowd, and their hearts stray too far from God; such people have no desire to improve themselves, and the standards they pursue are too low. Only the pursuit of loving God and being gained by God is God’s will. There are people who only use their conscience to repay God’s love, but this cannot meet God’s will; the higher the standards you pursue, the more it will be in harmony with God’s will. As someone who is normal, and who pursues the love of God, entry into the kingdom to become one of the people of God is your true future, and a life that is of the utmost value and significance; no one is more blessed than you. Why do I say this? Because those who do not believe in God live for the flesh, and they live for Satan, but today you live for God, and live to do the will of God. That is why I say your lives are of the utmost significance. Only this group of people, who have been selected by God, are able to live out a life of the utmost significance: No one else on earth is able to live out a life of such value and meaning. Because you have been selected by God, and are raised up by God, and, moreover, because of God’s love for you, you have grasped the true life, and know how to live a life that is of the utmost value. This is not because your pursuit is good, but because of the grace of God; it was God who opened the eyes of your spirit, and it was the Spirit of God that touched your heart, giving you the good fortune to come before Him. If the Spirit of God had not enlightened you, then you would be incapable of seeing what is lovely about God, nor would it be possible for you to love God. It is wholly because the Spirit of God has touched people’s hearts that their hearts have turned to God. Sometimes, when you are enjoying the words of God, your spirit is touched, and you feel that you cannot help but love God, that there is great strength within you, and that there is nothing that you cannot put aside. If you feel like this, then you have been touched by the Spirit of God, and your heart has wholly turned to God, and you will pray to God and say: “O God! We truly have been predestined and chosen by You. Your glory gives me pride, and it feels glorious for me to be one of Your people. I will expend anything and give anything to do Your will, and will devote all my years, and an entire lifetime of efforts, to You.” When you pray like this, there will be unending love and true obedience toward God in your heart. Have you ever had such an experience as this? If people are often touched by the Spirit of God, then they are especially willing to devote themselves to God in their prayers: “O God! I wish to behold Your day of glory, and I wish to live for You—nothing is more worthy or meaningful than to live for You, and I have not the slightest desire to live for Satan and the flesh. You raise me up by enabling me to live for You today.” When you have prayed in this way, you will feel that you cannot help but give your heart to God, that you must gain God, and that you would hate to die without having gained God while you are alive. Having spoken such a prayer, there will be an inexhaustible strength within you, and you will not know from where it comes; in your heart there will be limitless power, and you will have a sense that God is so lovely, and that He is worth loving. This is when you will have been touched by God. All those who have had such an experience have been touched by God. For those who are often touched by God, changes occur in their lives, they are able to make their resolution and are willing to completely gain God, the love for God in their hearts is stronger, their hearts have completely turned to God, they hold no regard for family, the world, entanglements, or their future, and they are willing to devote a lifetime of efforts to God. All those who have been touched by the Spirit of God are people who pursue the truth, and who have hope of being made perfect by God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps
Daily Words of God Excerpt 397
Of principal importance in following God is that everything should be according to the words of God today: Whether you are pursuing entry into life or the fulfillment of God’s will, everything should be centered around the words of God today. If what you commune and pursue are not centered around the words of God today, then you are a stranger to the words of God, and totally bereft of the work of the Holy Spirit. What God wants are people who follow His footsteps. No matter how wonderful and pure what you understood before is, God does not want it, and if you are unable to put aside such things, then they will be a tremendous obstacle to your entry in the future. All those who are able to follow the present light of the Holy Spirit are blessed. The people of ages past also followed the footsteps of God, yet they could not follow until today; this is the blessing of the people of the last days. Those who can follow the present work of the Holy Spirit, and who are able to follow the footsteps of God, such that they follow God wherever He leads them—these are people who are blessed by God. Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. Today, all those who follow the present words of God are in the stream of the Holy Spirit; those who are strangers to the words of God today are outside of the stream of the Holy Spirit, and such people are not commended by God. Service that is divorced from the present utterances of the Holy Spirit is service that is of the flesh, and of notions, and it is impossible for it to be in accordance with God’s will. If people live among religious notions, then they are unable to do anything that is fit for God’s will, and even though they serve God, they serve in the midst of their imaginings and notions, and are totally incapable of serving in accordance with the will of God. Those who are unable to follow the work of the Holy Spirit do not understand the will of God, and those who do not understand the will of God cannot serve God. God wants service that is after His own heart; He does not want service that is of notions and the flesh. If people are incapable of following the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work, then they live amid notions. The service of such people interrupts and disturbs, and such service runs contrary to God. Thus those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God are incapable of serving God; those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God most certainly oppose God, and are incapable of being compatible with God. “Following the work of the Holy Spirit” means understanding the will of God today, being able to act in accordance with the present requirements of God, being able to obey and follow the God of today, and entering in accordance with the newest utterances of God. Only this is someone who follows the work of the Holy Spirit and is in the stream of the Holy Spirit. Such people are not only capable of receiving God’s praise and seeing God, but can also know God’s disposition from the latest work of God, and can know man’s notions and disobedience, and man’s nature and essence, from His latest work; furthermore, they are able to gradually achieve changes in their disposition during their service. Only people such as this are those who are able to gain God, and who have genuinely found the true way. Those who are cast out by the work of the Holy Spirit are people who are incapable of following the latest work of God, and who rebel against the latest work of God. That such people openly oppose God is because God has done new work, and because the image of God is not the same as that in their notions—as a result of this, they openly oppose God and pass judgment upon God, which results in God loathing and rejecting them. Possessing the knowledge of the latest work of God is no easy matter, but if people have a mind to obey the work of God and seek the work of God, then they will have the chance to see God, and will have the chance to gain the newest guidance of the Holy Spirit. Those who intentionally oppose the work of God cannot receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit or the guidance of God. Thus, whether or not people can receive the latest work of God depends on the grace of God, it depends on their pursuit, and it depends on their intentions.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps
Daily Words of God Excerpt 398
All who are able to obey the present utterances of the Holy Spirit are blessed. It does not matter how they used to be, or how the Holy Spirit used to work within them—those who have gained the latest work of God are the most blessed, and those who are unable to follow the latest work today are cast out. God wants those who are able to accept the new light, and He wants those who accept and know His latest work. Why is it said that you must be a chaste virgin? A chaste virgin is able to seek the work of the Holy Spirit and understand the new things, and moreover, able to put aside old notions, and obey the work of God today. This group of people, who accept the newest work of today, were predestined by God before the ages, and are the most blessed of people. You hear the voice of God directly, and behold the appearance of God, and so, throughout heaven and earth, and throughout the ages, none have been more blessed than you, this group of people. All this is because of God’s work, because of God’s predestination and selection, and because of God’s grace; if God did not speak and utter His words, could your conditions be as they are today? Thus, may all glory and praise be to God, for all this is because God raises you up. With these things in mind, could you still be passive? Could your strength still be unable to rise up?
That you are able to accept the judgment, chastisement, smiting, and refinement of God’s words, and, moreover, are able to accept God’s commissions, was predestined by God before the ages, and thus you must not be too distressed when you are chastised. No one can take away the work that has been done in you, and the blessings that have been bestowed upon you, and no one can take away all that has been given to you. People of religion brook no comparison with you. You are not possessed of great expertise in the Bible, and are not equipped with religious theory, but because God has worked within you, you have gained more than anyone throughout the ages—and so this is your greatest blessing. Because of this, you must be even more dedicated to God, and even more loyal to God. Because God raises you up, you must bolster your efforts, and must ready your stature to accept the commissions of God. You must stand firm in the place God has given you, pursue becoming one of the people of God, accept the training of the kingdom, be gained by God and ultimately become a glorious testimony to God. Are you possessed of these resolves? If you are possessed of such resolves, then ultimately you are sure to be gained by God, and will become a glorious testimony to God. You should understand that the principal commission is being gained by God and becoming a glorious testimony to God. This is the will of God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps
Daily Words of God Excerpt 399
The words of the Holy Spirit today are the dynamics of the work of the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit’s continual enlightenment of man during this period is the trend of the work of the Holy Spirit. And what is the trend in the work of the Holy Spirit today? It is the leadership of the people into the work of God today, and into a normal spiritual life. There are several steps to entry into a normal spiritual life:
1. First, you must pour your heart into the words of God. You must not pursue God’s words in the past, and must not study them nor compare them with the words of today. Instead, you must completely pour your heart into the present words of God. If there are people who still wish to read the words of God, spiritual books, or other accounts of preaching from the past, and who do not follow the words of the Holy Spirit today, then they are the most foolish of people; God detests such people. If you are willing to accept the light of the Holy Spirit today, then completely pour your heart into the utterances of God today. This is the first thing you must achieve.
2. You must pray upon the foundation of the words spoken by God today, enter into the words of God and commune with God, and make your resolutions before God, establishing what standards you wish to pursue the accomplishment of.
3. You must pursue profound entry into the truth upon the foundation of the work of the Holy Spirit today. Do not hold on to outdated utterances and theories from the past.
4. You must seek to be touched by the Holy Spirit, and enter into the words of God.
5. You must pursue entry into the path walked by the Holy Spirit today.
And how do you seek being touched by the Holy Spirit? The crucial thing is to live in God’s present words, and to pray upon the foundation of God’s requirements. Having prayed in this way, the Holy Spirit is sure to touch you. If you do not seek with a basis in the foundation of the words spoken by God today, then this is fruitless. You should pray, and say: “O God! I oppose You, and I owe You so much; I am so disobedient, and never able to satisfy You. O God, I wish for You to save me, I wish to give service to You to the very end, I wish to die for You. You judge me and chastise me, and I have no complaints; I oppose You and I deserve to die, so that all people may behold Your righteous disposition in my death.” When you pray from within your heart in this way, God will hear you, and will guide you; if you do not pray upon the foundation of the words of the Holy Spirit today, then there is no possibility of the Holy Spirit touching you. If you pray according to God’s will, and according to that which God wishes to do today, you will say: “O God! I wish to accept Your commissions and be faithful to Your commissions, and I am willing to devote my entire life to Your glory, so that all that I do can reach the standards of the people of God. May my heart be touched by You. I wish for Your Spirit to ever enlighten me, to make all I do bring shame upon Satan, that I am ultimately gained by You.” If you pray in this way, in a way that is centered around the will of God, then the Holy Spirit will inevitably work in you. It matters not how many are the words of your prayers—what is key is whether or not you grasp the will of God. You may all have had the following experience: Sometimes, whilst praying in an assembly, the dynamics of the work of the Holy Spirit reach their peak, causing everyone’s strength to rise up. Some people cry bitterly and weep tears while praying, overcome with remorse before God, and some people show their resolve, and make vows. Such is the effect to be achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit. Today, it is crucial that all people completely pour their hearts into the words of God. Do not focus on the words that were spoken before; if you still hold on to what came before, then the Holy Spirit will not work within you. Do you see how important this is?
Do you know the path walked by the Holy Spirit today? The several points above are what is to be accomplished by the Holy Spirit today and in the future; they are the path taken by the Holy Spirit, and the entry that ought to be pursued by man. In your entry into life, at the very least you must pour your heart into the words of God, and be able to accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words; your heart must yearn for God, you must pursue profound entry into the truth, and the objectives required by God. When you are possessed of this strength, then it shows that you have been touched by God, and your heart has begun to turn to God.
The first step of entry into life is to completely pour your heart into the words of God, and the second step is to accept being touched by the Holy Spirit. What is the effect to be achieved by accepting being touched by the Holy Spirit? It is to be able to yearn for, seek, and explore a more profound truth, and to be capable of cooperating with God in a positive manner. Today, you cooperate with God, which is to say there is an objective to your pursuit, to your prayers, and to your communion of God’s words, and you perform your duty in accordance with God’s requirements—only this is cooperating with God. If you only speak of letting God act, but do not take any action, neither praying nor seeking, then could this be called cooperation? If you have no trace of cooperation in you, and are bereft of training for entry that has an objective, then you are not cooperating. Some people say: “Everything depends on the predestination of God, it is all done by God Himself; if God did not do it, then how could man?” God’s work is normal, and not the slightest bit supernatural, and it is only through your active seeking that the Holy Spirit works, for God does not force man—you must give God the opportunity to work, and if you do not pursue or enter, and if there is not the slightest yearning in your heart, then God has no chance of working. By what path can you seek to be touched by God? Through prayer, and coming closer to God. But most importantly, remember, it must be upon the foundation of the words spoken by God. When you are often touched by God, you are not enslaved by the flesh: Husband, wife, children, and money—they are all incapable of shackling you, and you wish only to pursue the truth and to live before God. At this time, you will be someone who lives in the realm of freedom.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps
Daily Words of God Excerpt 400
God has resolved to make man complete, and regardless of the perspective from which He speaks, it is all for the sake of making people perfect. Words spoken from the perspective of the Spirit are difficult for people to understand; they have no means of finding the path to practice, for their capacity for understanding is limited. The work of God achieves different effects, and in taking each step of the work He has His purpose. Moreover, it is imperative that He speak from different perspectives, for only in so doing can He perfect man. If He were only to utter His voice from the perspective of the Spirit, there would be no way to complete this stage of God’s work. From the tone with which He speaks, you can see He is determined to make this group of people complete. So what should be the first step for each of those who wish to be made perfect? Above all, you must know the work of God. Today, a new method has begun in God’s work; the age has transitioned, the way God works has also changed, and the method by which God speaks is different. Today, not only has the method of His work changed, but so too has the age. Now is the Age of Kingdom. It is also the age of loving God. It is a foretaste of the Age of Millennial Kingdom—which is also the Age of Word, and in which God uses many means of speaking to perfect man, and speaks from different perspectives to supply man. Upon entry into the Age of Millennial Kingdom, God will begin to use words to make man perfect, allowing man to enter into the reality of life and leading him onto the right track. Having experienced so many steps of God’s work, man has seen that the work of God does not remain unchanged, but is evolving and deepening without cease. After people have experienced it for so long, the work has revolved repeatedly, changing again and again. However much it changes, though, it never deviates from God’s purpose of bringing salvation to humanity. Even through ten thousand changes, it never strays from its original purpose. No matter how the method of God’s work might change, this work never departs from truth or from the life. Changes in the method by which work is done merely involve a change in the format of work, and the perspective from which God speaks; there is no change in the central objective of God’s work. Changes in God’s tone of voice and the method of His work are made in order to achieve an effect. A change in tone of voice does not mean a change in the purpose or the principle behind the work. People believe in God chiefly in order to seek life; if you believe in God yet do not seek life or pursue the truth or the knowledge of God, then this is not belief in God! And is it realistic to still seek to enter the kingdom to be king? Achieving true love for God through seeking life—only this is reality; the pursuit and the practice of truth—these are all reality. Reading God’s words, and experiencing these words, you will come to grasp the knowledge of God amid actual experience, and this is what it means to truly pursue.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word
Daily Words of God Excerpt 401
Now is the Age of Kingdom. Whether you have entered into this new age depends on whether you have entered into the reality of God’s words, on whether His words have become the reality of your life. The words of God are made known to every person so that, in the end, all people will live in the world of God’s words, and His words will enlighten and illuminate each person from within. If, during this time, you are careless in reading the words of God, and have no interest in His words, then this shows that your state is wrong. If you are unable to enter into the Age of Word, then the Holy Spirit does not work in you; if you have entered into this age, He will do His work. What can you do at the onset of the Age of Word in order to gain the work of the Holy Spirit? In this age, and among you, God shall accomplish the following fact: that every person shall live out the words of God, shall be able to put truth into practice, and shall love God earnestly; that all people shall use the words of God as a foundation and as their reality, and shall have hearts that revere God; and that, through practicing the words of God, man shall then wield kingly power together with God. This is the work to be achieved by God. Can you go without reading the words of God? Today, there are many who feel that they cannot go even a day or two without reading His words. They have to read His words every day, and if time does not permit, listening to them will suffice. This is the feeling that the Holy Spirit gives people, and it is the way He begins to move them. That is, He governs people through words, so that they can enter into the reality of the words of God. If, after just one day without eating and drinking the words of God, you feel darkness and thirst, and cannot stand it, this shows that you have been moved by the Holy Spirit, and that He has not turned away from you. You are, then, one who is in this stream. However, if after a day or two without eating and drinking the words of God, you don’t feel a thing, if you have no thirst, and are not at all moved, this shows that the Holy Spirit has turned away from you. This means, then, that there is something wrong with the state within you; you have not entered into the Age of Word, and you are one of those who have fallen behind. God uses words to govern people; you feel good if you eat and drink the words of God, and if you do not, you have no path to follow. The words of God become people’s food, and the force that drives them. The Bible says that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Today, God will bring this work to completion, and He shall accomplish this fact in you. How is it that in the past, people could go many days without reading the words of God and yet be able to eat and work as usual, but this is not the case today? In this age, God chiefly uses words to govern all. Through the words of God, man is judged and perfected, then finally taken into the kingdom. Only the words of God can supply the life of man, and only the words of God can give man light and a path for practice, particularly in the Age of Kingdom. As long as you do not stray from the reality of God’s words, eating and drinking His words each day, God will be able to make you perfect.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word
Daily Words of God Excerpt 402
Pursuit of life is not something that can be rushed; growth of life does not happen in just a day or two. The work of God is normal and practical, and there is a process that it necessarily undergoes. It took the incarnate Jesus thirty-three and a half years to complete His work of crucifixion—so what of purifying man and transforming his life, work of the utmost difficulty? It is no easy task to make a normal man who manifests God. This is particularly so for the people who are born in the nation of the great red dragon, who are of poor caliber and require a long period of God’s words and work. So do not be impatient to see results. You must be proactive in eating and drinking God’s words, and put more effort into the words of God. When you are finished reading His words, you must be able to put them into actual practice, growing in knowledge, insight, discernment, and wisdom in the words of God. Through this, you will change without realizing it. If you are able to take as your principle the eating and drinking of God’s words, reading them, coming to know them, experiencing them, and practicing them, you will come to maturity without realizing it. There are those who say that they are unable to put the words of God into practice even after reading them. What is your hurry? When you reach a certain stature, you will be able to put His words into practice. Would a four- or five-year-old child say that they are unable to support or honor their parents? You should know how great your current stature is. Put into practice what you are able to put into practice, and avoid being someone who disrupts the management of God. Just eat and drink God’s words, and take that as your principle from now on. Do not worry, for the time being, about whether God can make you complete. Do not delve into that yet. Just eat and drink God’s words as they come to you, and God will be certain to make you complete. However, there is a principle by which you must eat and drink His words. Do not do so blindly. In eating and drinking the words of God, on the one hand, seek out the words that you should come to know—that is, those that relate to visions—and on the other, seek out that which you should put into actual practice—that is, what you should enter into. One aspect has to do with knowledge, and the other with entering. Once you have grasped both—when you have grasped what you should know and what you should practice—you will know how to eat and drink the words of God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word
Daily Words of God Excerpt 403
Going forward, talk of God’s words should be the principle by which you speak. Ordinarily, when you come together, you should engage in fellowship about the words of God, taking God’s words as the content of your interactions, talking about what you know of these words, how you put them into practice, and how the Holy Spirit works. As long as you fellowship the words of God, the Holy Spirit will illuminate you. Achieving the world of God’s words requires the cooperation of man. If you do not enter into this, God will have no way of working; if you keep your mouth shut and do not talk about His words, He will have no way of illuminating you. Whenever you are not otherwise occupied, talk about the words of God, and do not just engage in idle chit chat! Let your life be filled with the words of God—only then will you be a devout believer. It does not matter if your fellowship is superficial. Without shallowness there can be no depth. There must be a process. Through your training, you will grasp the illumination of the Holy Spirit upon you, and how to effectively eat and drink the words of God. After an interval of probing, you will enter into the reality of the words of God. Only if you are resolved to cooperate will you be able to receive the work of the Holy Spirit.
Of the principles of eating and drinking the words of God, one relates to knowledge, and the other to entry. Which words should you come to know? You should come to know the words that relate to visions (such as, those relating to which age God’s work has now entered, what God wishes to achieve now, what the incarnation is, and so on; all these are related to visions). What is meant by the path that man should enter into? This refers to the words of God that man should practice and enter into. The above are the two aspects of eating and drinking the words of God. From now on, eat and drink the words of God in this way. If you have a clear understanding of His words concerning visions, then there is no need to keep reading all the time. Of primary importance is to eat and drink more of the words on entering, such as how to turn your heart toward God, how to quiet your heart before God, and how to forsake the flesh. These are the things you should put into practice. Without knowing how to eat and drink the words of God, true fellowship is impossible. Once you know how to eat and drink His words, when you have grasped what is key, fellowship will become free, and whatever issue is raised, you will be able to fellowship and grasp the reality. If, when fellowshiping the words of God, you have no reality, then you have not grasped what is key, which shows that you do not know how to eat and drink God’s words. Some people may find reading the words of God tiresome, which is not a normal state. What is normal is never growing tired of reading God’s words, always thirsting for them, and always finding the words of God to be good. This is how one who has really entered eats and drinks the words of God. When you feel that the words of God are exceedingly practical and are exactly what man should enter into; when you feel that His words are greatly helpful and beneficial to man, and that they are the provision of man’s life—it is the Holy Spirit that gives you this feeling, and it is the Holy Spirit that moves you. This proves that the Holy Spirit is working in you and that God has not turned away from you. Some people, seeing that God is always speaking, become tired of His words, and think it of no consequence whether they read them or not—which is not a normal state. They lack a heart that thirsts to enter into reality, and such people neither thirst for nor place importance on being perfected. Whenever you find you do not thirst for the words of God, this shows that you are not in a normal state. In the past, whether God had turned away from you could be determined by whether you were at peace within, and whether you experienced enjoyment. Now the key is whether you thirst for the words of God, whether His words are your reality, whether you are faithful, and whether you are able to do all that you can for God. In other words, man is judged by the reality of the words of God. God directs His words to all of humanity. If you are willing to read them, He will enlighten you, but if you are not, He will not. God enlightens those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, and He enlightens those who seek Him. Some say that God did not enlighten them even after they read His words. But in what way did you read these words? If you read His words in the way a man on horseback looks at flowers, and placed no importance on reality, how could God enlighten you? How can one who does not treasure God’s words be made perfect by Him? If you do not treasure the words of God, then you will have neither truth nor reality. If you treasure His words, then you will be able to put the truth into practice, and only then will you possess reality. This is why you must eat and drink the words of God at all times, whether you are busy or not, whether the circumstances are adverse or not, and whether you are being tried or not. All in all, the words of God are the foundation of man’s existence. No one can turn away from His words, but must eat His words as they do the three meals of the day. Could being made perfect and gained by God be that easy? Whether or not you understand at present, and whether or not you have insight into the work of God, you must eat and drink the words of God as much as possible. This is entering in a proactive way. After reading the words of God, hasten to put into practice what you can enter into, and set aside for the moment what you cannot. There may be many of the words of God that you cannot understand in the beginning, but after two or three months, perhaps even a year, you will. How can this be? It is because God cannot make people perfect in a day or two. Most of the time, when you read His words, you may not understand right away. At that time, they may seem like nothing more than mere text; you must experience them for a time before you can understand them. God having spoken so much, you should do your utmost to eat and drink His words, and then, without you realizing it, you will come to understand, and without you realizing it, the Holy Spirit will enlighten you. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man, it is often without man’s awareness. He enlightens and guides you when you thirst and seek. The principle by which the Holy Spirit works is centered around the words of God that you eat and drink. All those who place no importance on the words of God and are always of a different attitude toward His words—believing, in their befuddled thinking, it a matter of indifference whether they read His words or not—are those who do not possess reality. Neither the Holy Spirit’s work nor His enlightenment can be seen in such a person. People like this are merely coasting along, pretenders without true qualifications, like Mr. Nanguo of the parable.[a]
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word
a. The original text does not contain the phrase “of the parable.”
Daily Words of God Excerpt 404
When the words of God come forth, you should immediately receive them, and eat and drink them. No matter how much you understand, the one point of view to which you must hold fast is to eat and drink, to know, and to practice His words. This is something you should be able to do. Never mind about how great your stature may become; simply focus on eating and drinking His words. This is what man should cooperate in. Your spiritual life is mainly to try to enter into the reality of eating and drinking God’s words and putting them into practice. It is not your business to focus on anything else. Church leaders should be able to guide all their brothers and sisters so that they know how to eat and drink God’s words. This is the responsibility of every single church leader. Be they young or old, all should regard the eating and drinking of God’s words as of great significance and should have His words in their hearts. Entering into this reality means entering the Age of Kingdom. Today, most people feel that they cannot live without eating and drinking the words of God, and feel that His words are fresh regardless of the time. This means that they are beginning to set upon the right track. God uses words to do His work and provide for man. When everyone yearns after and thirsts for the words of God, humanity shall enter into the world of His words.
God has spoken a great deal. How much have you come to know? How much have you entered into? If a church leader has not guided their brothers and sisters into the reality of God’s words, then they will have been derelict in their duty, and will have failed to fulfill their responsibilities! Whether your understanding is profound or superficial, regardless of the degree of your understanding, you must know how to eat and drink His words, you must pay great attention to His words, and understand the importance and the necessity of eating and drinking them. God having spoken so much, if you do not eat and drink His words, or try to seek, or put His words into practice, this cannot be called believing in God. Since you do believe in God, then you must eat and drink His words, experience His words, and live out His words. Only this can be called belief in God! If you say you believe in God with your mouth and yet are unable to put any of His words into practice or to produce any reality, this is not called believing in God. Rather, it is “seeking bread to satisfy hunger.” Speaking only of trivial testimonies, useless things, and superficial matters, without possessing even the slightest bit of reality: these do not constitute belief in God, and you have simply not grasped the right way of believing in God. Why must you eat and drink as many as possible of God’s words? If you do not eat and drink His words but seek only to ascend to heaven, is that believing in God? What is the first step one who believes in God should take? By what path does God perfect man? Can you be perfected without eating and drinking the words of God? Can you be considered a person of the kingdom without the words of God to serve as your reality? What exactly does belief in God mean? Believers in God should, at the very least, be well-behaved on the outside; most important of all is to be possessed of the words of God. No matter what, you can never turn away from His words. Knowing God and fulfilling His intentions are all achieved through His words. In future, every nation, denomination, religion, and sector will be conquered through God’s words. God will speak directly, and all people will hold the words of God in their hands, and by means of this, humanity will be perfected. Within and without, the words of God pervade throughout: Humanity will speak God’s words with their mouths, practice in accordance with God’s words, and keep the words of God within, remaining steeped in God’s words both inside and out. Thus will humanity be perfected. Those who fulfill the intentions of God and are able to bear witness to Him, these are the people who possess the words of God as their reality.
Entering into the Age of Word—the Age of Millennial Kingdom—is the work that is being accomplished today. From now on, practice engaging in fellowship about the words of God. Only by means of eating and drinking as well as experiencing the words of God will you be able to live out the words of God. You must produce some practical experience in order to convince others. If you cannot live out the reality of God’s words, no one will be persuaded! All those who are used by God can live out the reality of God’s words. If you cannot produce this reality and bear testimony to God, this shows that the Holy Spirit has not worked in you, and that you have not been perfected. This is the importance of the words of God. Do you have a heart that thirsts for the words of God? Those who thirst for the words of God thirst for truth, and only people such as this are blessed by God. In the future, there are many more words that God will say to all religions and all denominations. He first speaks and utters His voice among you to make you complete before moving on to speak and utter His voice among the Gentiles to conquer them. Through His words, all will be sincerely and utterly convinced. Through the words of God and His revelations, man’s corrupt disposition diminishes, he gains the appearance of a man, and his rebellious disposition lessens. The words work upon man with authority and conquer man within the light of God. The work that God does in the present age, as well as the turning points of His work, can all be found within His words. If you do not read His words, you will understand nothing. Through your own eating and drinking His words, and through engaging in fellowship with your brothers and sisters and your actual experiences, you will gain the full knowledge of God’s words. Only then will you be able to truly live out their reality.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Age of Kingdom Is the Age of Word
Daily Words of God Excerpt 405
I have previously said that “All who focus on beholding signs and wonders will be forsaken; they are not those who will be made perfect.” I have spoken so many words, yet man has not the slightest knowledge of this work, and, having arrived at this point, still people ask for signs and wonders. Is your belief in God nothing more than the pursuit of signs and wonders, or is it in order to gain life? Jesus also spoke many words, and some of them have yet to be fulfilled. Can you say that Jesus is not God? God witnessed that He was Christ and the beloved Son of God. Can you deny this? Today, God only speaks words, and if you do not know this thoroughly, then you cannot stand fast. Do you believe in Him because He is God, or do you believe in Him based on whether or not His words are fulfilled? Do you believe in signs and wonders, or do you believe in God? Today, He does not show signs and wonders—is He really God? If the words He speaks are not fulfilled, is He really God? Is the essence of God determined by whether or not the words He speaks are fulfilled? Why is it that some people are always waiting for the fulfillment of God’s words before they will believe in Him? Does this not mean they do not know Him? All those who possess such notions are those who deny God. They use notions to measure God; if God’s words are fulfilled, they believe in Him, and if they are not, then they do not believe in Him; and they always pursue signs and wonders. Are these people not the Pharisees of modern times? Whether or not you are able to stand firm depends on whether or not you know the real God—this is crucial! The greater the reality of God’s word in you, the greater your knowledge of the reality of God, and the more you are able to stand fast during trials. The more you focus on seeing signs and wonders, the less you are able to stand firm, and you will fall amid trials. Signs and wonders are not the foundation; only the reality of God is life. Some people do not know the effects that are to be achieved by God’s work. They spend their days in bewilderment, not pursuing the knowledge of God’s work. The aim of their pursuit is only ever to make God fulfill their desires, and only then will they be serious in their belief. They say that they will pursue life if the words of God are fulfilled, but that if His words are not fulfilled, then there is no possibility of them pursuing life. Man thinks that belief in God is the pursuit of beholding signs and wonders and the pursuit of ascending to heaven and the third heaven. None of them say that their belief in God is the pursuit of entry into reality, the pursuit of life, and the pursuit of being gained by God. What is the value in pursuit such as this? Those who do not pursue the knowledge of God and the satisfaction of God are those who do not believe in God; they are the ones who blaspheme God!
Now do you understand what belief in God is? Does belief in God mean beholding signs and wonders? Does it mean ascending to heaven? Believing in God is not easy in the slightest. Those religious practices should be purged; pursuing the healing of the sick and the casting out of demons, focusing on signs and wonders, coveting more of God’s grace, peace and joy, pursuing the prospects and comforts of the flesh—these are religious practices, and such religious practices are a vague kind of belief. What is real belief in God today? It is the acceptance of God’s word as the reality of your life and the knowing of God from His word in order to achieve a true love of Him. To be clear: Belief in God is so that you may obey God, love God, and perform the duty that should be performed by a creature of God. This is the aim of believing in God. You must achieve a knowledge of the loveliness of God, of how worthy God is of reverence, of how, in His creatures, God does the work of salvation and making them perfect—these are the bare essentials of your belief in God. Belief in God is principally the switch from a life of the flesh to a life of loving God; from living within corruption to living within the life of God’s words; it is coming out from under the domain of Satan and living under the care and protection of God; it is being able to achieve obedience to God and not obedience to the flesh; it is allowing God to gain your entire heart, allowing God to make you perfect, and freeing yourself from the corrupt satanic disposition. Belief in God is principally so that the power and glory of God may be manifested in you, so that you may do God’s will, and accomplish God’s plan, and be able to bear testimony to God before Satan. Belief in God should not revolve around the desire to behold signs and wonders, nor should it be for the sake of your personal flesh. It should be about the pursuit of knowing God, and being able to obey God, and, like Peter, obeying Him until one’s death. These are the main aims of believing in God. One eats and drinks the word of God in order to know God and satisfy Him. Eating and drinking the word of God gives you a greater knowledge of God, only after which can you obey Him. Only with knowledge of God can you love Him, and this is the goal man should have in his belief in God. If, in your belief in God, you are always trying to behold signs and wonders, then the viewpoint of this belief in God is wrong. Belief in God is principally the acceptance of the word of God as the reality of life. The aim of God is only attained by putting into practice the words of God from His mouth and carrying them out within yourself. In believing in God, man should strive to be made perfect by God, to be able to submit to God, and for 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.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. All Is Achieved by the Word of God