Entry Into Life 3
Daily Words of God Excerpt 444
How does one come to understand the details of spirit? How does the Holy Spirit work in man? How does Satan work in man? How do evil spirits work in man? What are the manifestations? When something happens to you, does it come from the Holy Spirit, and should you obey it or reject it? In people’s actual practice, much arises from human will that people invariably believe comes from the Holy Spirit. Some things come from evil spirits, yet still people think they have come from the Holy Spirit, and sometimes the Holy Spirit guides people from within, yet people are afraid that such guidance comes from Satan and so do not dare to obey, when in reality that guidance is the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Thus, unless one practices differentiation, then there is no way to experience in one’s practical experience; without differentiation, there is no way of gaining life. How does the Holy Spirit do work? How do evil spirits do work? What comes from the will of man? And what is born of the guidance and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit? If you grasp the patterns of the Holy Spirit’s work within man, then, in your daily life and during your practical experiences, you will be able to grow your knowledge and draw distinctions; you will come to know God, you will be able to understand and discern Satan; you will not be confused in your obedience or pursuit, and you will be someone whose thoughts are clear, who obeys the work of the Holy Spirit.
The work of the Holy Spirit is a form of proactive guidance and positive enlightenment. It does not allow people to be passive. It brings them solace, gives them faith and resolve, and enables them to pursue being made perfect by God. When the Holy Spirit works, people are able to enter actively; they are not passive or forced, but act at their own initiative. When the Holy Spirit works, people are glad and willing, willing to obey and happy to humble themselves. Even though they are pained and fragile inside, they have the resolve to cooperate; they suffer gladly, they are able to obey, and they are untainted by human will, untainted by the thinking of man, and certainly they are untainted by human desires and motivations. When people experience the work of the Holy Spirit, they are especially holy inside. Those who are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit live out the love of God and the love of their brothers and sisters; they delight in the things that delight God and loathe the things that God loathes. People who are touched by the work of the Holy Spirit have normal humanity, and they constantly pursue the truth and are possessed of humanity. When the Holy Spirit works within people, their condition becomes better and better, and their humanity becomes more and more normal, and though some of their cooperation may be foolish, their motivations are right, their entry is positive, they do not try to cause disruption, and there is no malevolence within them. The work of the Holy Spirit is normal and real, the Holy Spirit works in man according to the rules of the normal life of man, and He carries out enlightenment and guidance within people according to the actual pursuit of normal people. When the Holy Spirit works in people, He guides and enlightens them according to the needs of normal people. He provides for them according to their needs, and He positively guides and enlightens them according to what they lack, and according to their deficiencies. The Holy Spirit’s work is to enlighten and guide people in real life; only if they experience God’s words in their actual lives are they able to see the work of the Holy Spirit. If, in their everyday lives, people are in a positive state and have a normal spiritual life, then they are possessed of the work of the Holy Spirit. In such a state, when they eat and drink the words of God, they have faith; when they pray, they are inspired; when they come up against something, they are not passive; and as things happen, they are able to see the lessons within those things that God requires them to learn. They are not passive or weak, and although they have real difficulties, they are willing to obey all the arrangements of God.
What effects are achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit? You may be foolish, and you may be devoid of discernment, but the Holy Spirit has but to work and there will be faith in you, and you will feel always that you cannot love God enough. You will be willing to cooperate, no matter how great the difficulties ahead. Things will happen to you and it will not be clear to you whether they come from God or from Satan, but you will be able to wait, and you will be neither passive nor remiss. This is the normal work of the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit works within you, you still encounter real difficulties: Sometimes you will be brought to tears, and sometimes there will be things that you are incapable of overcoming, but this is all just a phase of the ordinary work of the Holy Spirit. Although you did not overcome those difficulties, and although at the time you were weak and full of complaints, afterward you were still able to love God with absolute faith. Your passiveness cannot prevent you from having normal experiences, and regardless of what other people say, and how others attack you, still you are able to love God. During prayer, you always feel that in the past you were so indebted to God, and you resolve to satisfy God and renounce the flesh whenever you encounter such things again. This strength shows that the work of the Holy Spirit is within you. This is the normal state of the work of the Holy Spirit.
What is the work that comes from Satan? In the work that comes from Satan, the visions within people are vague; people are without normal humanity, the motivations behind their actions are wrong, and although they wish to love God there are always accusations within them, and these accusations and thoughts cause constant interference within them, constraining the growth of their life and stopping them from coming before God in the normal condition. This is to say, as soon as the work of Satan is within people, their hearts cannot be at peace before God. Such people do not know what to do with themselves—when they see people gathering together, they want to run away, and they are unable to close their eyes when others pray. The work of evil spirits wrecks the normal relationship between man and God, and upsets people’s previous visions or their former path of life entry; in their hearts they can never draw close to God, and things always happen that cause disruption to them and shackle them. Their hearts cannot find peace and they are left with no strength to love God and with their spirits sinking. Such are the manifestations of the work of Satan. The manifestations of the work of Satan are: being unable to stand your ground and stand witness, causing you to become someone who is at fault before God and who has no faithfulness toward God. When Satan interferes, you lose the love and loyalty toward God within you, you are stripped of a normal relationship with God, you do not pursue the truth or the improvement of yourself; you regress and become passive, you indulge yourself, you give free rein to the spread of sin and are not hateful of sin; furthermore, the interference of Satan makes you dissolute; it causes God’s touch to disappear within you and makes you complain about God and oppose Him, leading you to question God; there is even the risk that you will abandon God. All of this comes from Satan.
Excerpted from “The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 445
When something happens to you in your daily life, how should you differentiate between whether it comes from the work of the Holy Spirit or from the work of Satan? When people’s conditions are normal, then their spiritual lives and their lives in the flesh are normal and their reason is normal and orderly. When they are in this condition, what they experience and come to know within themselves can generally be said to come from being touched by the Holy Spirit (having insights or possessing some simple knowledge when they eat and drink the words of God, or being faithful in some things, or having the strength to love God in some things—this all comes from the Holy Spirit). The Holy Spirit’s work in man is especially normal; man is incapable of feeling it, and it seems to come through man himself, although it is in fact the work of the Holy Spirit. In daily life, the Holy Spirit does work both great and small in everyone, and it is just the extent of this work that varies. Some people are of good caliber, and they understand things quickly, and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is especially great within them. Meanwhile, some people are of poor caliber, and it takes them longer to understand things, but the Holy Spirit touches them inside and they, too, are able to achieve faithfulness to God—the Holy Spirit works in all those who pursue God. When, in daily life, people do not oppose or rebel against God, do not do things that are at odds with the management of God and do not interfere with the work of God, then in each one of them the Spirit of God works to a greater or lesser extent; He touches them, enlightens them, gives them faith, gives them strength, and moves them to enter proactively, not being lazy or coveting the enjoyments of the flesh, willing to practice the truth, and longing for the words of God. All of this is work that comes from the Holy Spirit.
When people’s state is not normal, they are forsaken by the Holy Spirit; in their minds they are prone to complaining, their motivations are wrong, they are lazy, they indulge in the flesh, and their hearts rebel against the truth. All of this comes from Satan. When people’s conditions are not normal, when they are dark inside and have lost their normal reason, have been forsaken by the Holy Spirit, and are unable to feel God within themselves, this is when Satan is working within them. If people always have strength within them and always love God, then generally, when things happen to them, those things come from the Holy Spirit, and whomever they meet, the meeting is the result of the arrangements of God. This is to say that when you are in a normal condition, when you are within the great work of the Holy Spirit, then it is impossible for Satan to make you waver. Upon this foundation it can be said that everything comes from the Holy Spirit, and although you may have incorrect thoughts, you are able to renounce them and you do not follow them. All this comes from the work of the Holy Spirit. In what situations does Satan interfere? It is easy for Satan to work within you when your conditions are not normal, when you have not been touched by God and are without the work of God, when you are dry and barren inside, when you pray to God but grasp nothing, and when you eat and drink the words of God but are not enlightened or illuminated. In other words, when you have been abandoned by the Holy Spirit and you cannot feel God, then many things happen to you that come from the temptation of Satan. As the Holy Spirit works, Satan also is working all the while. The Holy Spirit touches the inside of man, while at the same time Satan interferes in man. However, the work of the Holy Spirit takes the leading position, and people whose conditions are normal can triumph; this is the triumph of the work of the Holy Spirit over the work of Satan. While the Holy Spirit works, a corrupt disposition still exists within people; however, during the Holy Spirit’s work, it is easy for people to discover and recognize their rebelliousness, motivations, and adulterations. Only then do people feel remorse and grow willing to repent. As such, their rebellious and corrupt dispositions are gradually cast away within God’s work. The work of the Holy Spirit is especially normal; as He works in people, they still have troubles, they still weep, they still suffer, they are still weak and there is still much that is unclear to them, yet in this state they are able to stop themselves from regressing, and they can love God, and although they weep and are distressed, they are still able to praise God; the work of the Holy Spirit is especially normal, not the slightest bit supernatural. Most people believe that, as soon as the Holy Spirit begins to work, changes occur in people’s state and the things that are substantive to them are removed. Such beliefs are fallacious. When the Holy Spirit works within man, the passive things of man are still there and his stature remains the same, but he gains the illumination and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and so his state becomes more proactive, the conditions within him become normal, and he changes rapidly. In people’s real experiences, they primarily experience the work of either the Holy Spirit or Satan, and if they are unable to grasp these states and do not differentiate, then entry into real experiences is out of the question, to say nothing of changes in disposition. Thus, the key to experiencing God’s work is being able to see through to such things; in this way, it will be easier for them to experience it.
Excerpted from “The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 446
The work of the Holy Spirit is positive progress, whereas the work of Satan is retreat, negativity, rebelliousness, resistance against God, loss of faith in God, unwillingness even to sing hymns, and being too weak to perform one’s duty. Everything that stems from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit is quite natural; it is not forced upon you. If you follow it, then you will have peace; if you do not, then you will afterward be rebuked. With the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, nothing you do will be interfered with or constrained; you will be set free, there will be a path to practice in your actions, and you will not be subject to any restraints, but be able to act upon the will of God. The work of Satan causes you interference in many things; it makes you unwilling to pray, too lazy to eat and drink the words of God, and indisposed to live the life of the church, and it estranges you from the spiritual life. The work of the Holy Spirit does not interfere with your daily life and does not interfere with your normal spiritual life. You are unable to discern many things in the very moment they occur, yet, after a few days, your heart becomes brighter and your mind clearer. You come to have some sense about things of the spirit, and slowly you can discern whether a thought has come from God or from Satan. Some things clearly make you oppose God and rebel against God, or stop you from putting the words of God into practice; these things all come from Satan. Some things are not apparent, and you cannot tell what they are in the moment; afterward, you can see their manifestations and then exercise discernment. If you can clearly discern which things come from Satan and which are directed by the Holy Spirit, then you will not easily be led astray in your experiences. Sometimes, when your condition is not good, then you have certain thoughts that take you out of your passive state. This shows that even when your condition is unfavorable, some of your thoughts can still come from the Holy Spirit. It is not the case that when you are passive, all your thoughts are sent by Satan; if that were true, then when would you be able to transition into a positive state? Having been passive for a period of time, the Holy Spirit gives you an opportunity to be made perfect; He touches you and brings you out of your passive state.
Knowing what the work of the Holy Spirit is and what the work of Satan is, you can compare these to your own state during your experiences, and to your own experiences, and in this way there will be many more truths relating to principle in your experiences. Having understood these truths about principle, you will be able to master your actual state, you will be able to differentiate among people and events, and you will not have to spend so much effort in gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Of course, this depends on your motivations being right and on your willingness to seek and to practice. Language such as this—language which relates to principles—should feature in your experiences. Without it, your experiences will be full of the interference of Satan and foolish knowledge. If you do not understand how the Holy Spirit works, then you do not understand how you are to enter, and if you do not understand how Satan works, then you do not understand how you are to be cautious with each step you take. People should understand both how the Holy Spirit works and how Satan works; both are an indispensable part of people’s experiences.
Excerpted from “The Work of the Holy Spirit and the Work of Satan” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 447
What aspects does normal humanity include? Insight, sense, conscience, and character. If you can achieve normality in each of these aspects, your humanity will be up to par. You should have the likeness of a normal human being, you should resemble a believer in God. You do not have to achieve too much, or get involved in diplomacy; you just have to be a normal human being, with a normal person’s sense, to be able to see through things, and at least look like a normal human being. That will be enough. Everything required of you today is within your capabilities; this is not a case of trying to shoo a duck onto a perch. No useless words or useless work will be performed upon you. All the ugliness expressed or revealed in your life must be gotten rid of. You have been corrupted by Satan and brim with Satan’s venom. All that is asked of you is to get rid of this corrupt satanic disposition. You are not being asked to become some high-ranking figure, or a famous or great person. There is no point in that. The work that is done in you takes into account what is inherent in you. What I ask of people is defined within limits. If you practiced in the way and tone in which intellectuals speak, this would not do; you would not be able to do it. Given your caliber, you should at least be able to speak with wisdom and tact and explain things in a clear and comprehensible manner. That is all it takes to meet the requirements. If, at the very least, you gain insight and sense, then that will do. What is most important right now is casting off your corrupt satanic disposition. You must cast off the ugliness that is manifested in you. How can you talk about supreme sense and supreme insight, if you do not cast these off? Many people, seeing that the age has changed, lack any humility or patience, and they might as well not have any love or saintly decorum, either. How absurd such people are! Do they have even an ounce of normal humanity? Do they have any testimony to speak of? They are utterly without insight or sense. Of course, some aspects of people’s practice that are deviant and erroneous need to be corrected; their former rigid spiritual lives and their benumbed and imbecilic appearance, for example—all of these have to be changed. Change does not mean letting you become dissolute or indulge in the flesh, saying whatever you want. You must not talk loosely. To have the speech and comportment of a normal human being is to speak coherently, saying “yes” when you mean “yes,” and “no” when you mean “no.” Stick to the facts and speak appropriately. Do not cheat, do not lie. The limits that a normal person can reach regarding a change of disposition must be understood. If not, you will not be able to enter into reality.
Excerpted from “Raising Caliber Is for the Sake of Receiving God’s Salvation” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 448
Man’s performance of his duty is, in actuality, the accomplishment of all that is inherent within man, which is to say, that which is possible for man. It is then that his duty is fulfilled. The defects of man during his service are gradually reduced through progressive experience and the process of his undergoing judgment; they do not hinder or affect man’s duty. Those who cease to serve or yield and fall back for fear that there may be drawbacks to their service are the most cowardly of all. If people cannot express what they ought to express during service or achieve what is inherently possible for them, and instead fool about and go through the motions, they have lost the function that a created being should have. Such people are what are known as “mediocrities”; they are useless refuse. How can such people properly be called created beings? Are they not corrupt beings that shine on the outside but are rotten within? If a man calls himself God yet is unable to express the being of divinity, do the work of God Himself, or represent God, he is undoubtedly not God, for he has not the substance of God, and that which God can inherently achieve does not exist within him. If man loses what is inherently attainable by him, he can no longer be considered man, and he is not worthy to stand as a created being or come before God and serve Him. Moreover, he is not worthy to receive the grace of God or to be watched over, protected, and made perfect by God. Many who have lost the trust of God go on to lose the grace of God. Not only do they not despise their misdeeds, but they brazenly propagate the idea that the way of God is incorrect, and the rebellious ones even deny the existence of God. How can such people, who are possessed of such rebelliousness, be entitled to enjoy the grace of God? Those who do not perform their duty are very rebellious against God, and owe much to Him, yet they turn around and lambaste that God is wrong. How could such kind of man be worthy of being made perfect? Is this not the precursor to being eliminated and punished? People who do not do their duty before God are already guilty of the most heinous of crimes, for which even death is an insufficient punishment, yet they have the gall to argue with God and match themselves against Him. What is the worth of perfecting such people? When people fail to fulfill their duty, they should feel guilt and indebtedness; they ought to despise their weakness and uselessness, their rebelliousness and corruption, and moreover, ought to give their life to God. Only then are they created beings who truly love God, and only such people are worthy of enjoying the blessings and promise of God, and of being made perfect by Him. And what of the majority of you? How do you treat the God who lives among you? How have you performed your duty before Him? Have you done all you were called upon to do, even at the expense of your own life? What have you sacrificed? Have you not received much from Me? Can you discern? How loyal are you to Me? How have you served Me? And what of all that I have bestowed upon you and have done for you? Have you taken measure of it all? Have you all judged and compared this with what little conscience you have within you? Who could your words and actions be worthy of? Could it be that such minuscule sacrifice of yours is worthy of all I have bestowed upon you? I have no other choice and have been wholeheartedly devoted to you, yet you harbor wicked intentions and are half-hearted toward Me. That is the extent of your duty, your only function. Is this not so? Do you not know that you have utterly failed to perform the duty of a created being? How can you be considered a created being? Is it not clear to you what it is you are expressing and living out? You have failed to fulfill your duty, but you seek to gain the tolerance and bountiful grace of God. Such grace has not been prepared for ones as worthless and base as you, but for those who ask for nothing and gladly sacrifice. People such as you, such mediocrities, are utterly unworthy of enjoying the grace of heaven. Only hardship and interminable punishment shall accompany your days! If you cannot be faithful to Me, your fate shall be one of suffering. If you cannot be accountable to My words and My work, your outcome will be one of punishment. All grace, blessings, and the wonderful life of the kingdom shall have nothing to do with you. This is the end you deserve to meet and a consequence of your own making!
Excerpted from “The Difference Between the Ministry of God Incarnate and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 449
Not only do those of ignorance and arrogance not try their best, nor perform their duty, they hold out their hands for grace, as if what they ask for is deserved. And if they fail to gain what they ask for, they become ever less faithful. How can such people be considered reasonable? You are of poor caliber and devoid of reason, completely incapable of fulfilling the duty you ought to fulfill during the work of management. Your worth has already plummeted. Your failure to repay Me for showing you such grace is already an act of extreme rebelliousness, sufficient to condemn you and demonstrate your cowardice, incompetence, baseness, and unworthiness. What entitles you to keep your hands outstretched? That you are unable to be of the slightest assistance to My work, unable to be loyal, and unable to stand witness for Me are your misdeeds and failings, yet you instead attack Me, tell falsehoods of Me, and complain that I am unrighteous. Is this what constitutes your loyalty? Is this what constitutes your love? What other work can you do beyond this? How have you contributed to all the work that has been done? How much have you expended? I have already shown great tolerance by not blaming you, yet still you shamelessly make excuses to Me and complain about Me in private. Do you have even the slightest trace of humanity? Though the duty of man is tainted by the mind of man and his notions, you must do your duty and show your loyalty. The impurities in the work of man are an issue of his caliber, whereas, if man does not perform his duty, it shows his rebelliousness. There is no correlation between the duty of man and whether he is blessed or cursed. Duty is what man ought to fulfill; it is his heaven-sent vocation, and should not depend on recompense, conditions, or reasons. Only then is he doing his duty. To be blessed is when someone is made perfect and enjoys God’s blessings after experiencing judgment. To be cursed is when someone’s disposition does not change after they have experienced chastisement and judgment, it is when they do not experience being made perfect but are punished. But regardless of whether they are blessed or cursed, created beings should fulfill their duty, doing what they ought to do, and doing what they are able to do; this is the very least that a person, a person who pursues God, should do. You should not do your duty only to be blessed, and you should not refuse to act for fear of being cursed. Let Me tell you this one thing: Man’s performance of his duty is what he ought to do, and if he is incapable of performing his duty, then this is his rebelliousness. It is through the process of doing his duty that man is gradually changed, and it is through this process that he demonstrates his loyalty. As such, the more you are able to do your duty, the more truth you shall receive, and the more real your expression shall become. Those who merely go through the motions in doing their duty and do not seek the truth shall be eliminated in the end, for such people do not do their duty in the practice of truth, and do not practice truth in the fulfillment of their duty. They are those who remain unchanged and will be cursed. Not only are their expressions impure, but everything they express is wicked.
Excerpted from “The Difference Between the Ministry of God Incarnate and the Duty of Man” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 450
If you have no knowledge of God’s work, you will not know how to cooperate with God. If you do not know the principles of God’s work, and are unaware of how Satan works in man, you will have no path to practice. Zealous pursuit alone will not allow you to achieve the results demanded by God. Such a means of experiencing is akin to that of Lawrence: making no distinctions whatsoever and only focusing on experience, utterly unaware of what Satan’s work is, of what the work of the Holy Spirit is, of what state man is in without the presence of God, and what kind of people God wants to perfect. What principles should be adopted when dealing with different types of people, how to grasp God’s will in the present, how to know God’s disposition, and at which people, circumstances, and age God’s mercy, majesty, and righteousness are directed—he has no discernment in any of these. If people do not have multiple visions as a foundation for their experiences, then life is out of the question, and experience even more so; they can foolishly continue submitting to and enduring everything. Such people are very difficult to make perfect. It can be said that if you have nothing of the visions spoken of above, this is ample proof that you are a cretin, you are like a pillar of salt always standing in Israel. Such people are useless, good for nothing! Some people only ever submit blindly, they always know themselves and always use their own ways of conducting themselves when dealing with new matters, or they use “wisdom” to deal with trivial matters unworthy of mention. Such people are devoid of discernment, and it is as if their nature is to resign themselves to being picked on, and they are always the same; they never change. People like this are fools who lack even the slightest discernment. They never try to take measures appropriate to the circumstances or to different people. Such people do not have experience. I have seen some people who are so bound up in their knowledge of themselves that when confronted with people possessed by the work of evil spirits, they lower their heads and confess their sins, not daring to stand up and condemn them. And when faced with the obvious work of the Holy Spirit, they do not dare to obey. They believe that evil spirits are also in the hands of God, and have not the slightest courage to stand up and resist them. Such people bring shame to God, and are utterly incapable of bearing a heavy burden for Him. Such fools do not make distinctions of any kind. Such a means of experiencing, therefore, should be purged, for it is untenable in the eyes of God.
Excerpted from “On Experience” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 451
In the current stream, all those who truly love God have the opportunity to be perfected by Him. Whether they are young or old, as long as they keep an obedience to God in their hearts and revere Him, they can be perfected by Him. God perfects people according to their different functions. So long as you exert all of your strength, and submit to the work of God, you can be perfected by Him. At present, none of you is perfect. Sometimes you are capable of performing one type of function, and other times you can perform two. Just as long as you do your utmost to expend yourself for God, you will ultimately be perfected by Him.
Young people have few philosophies for living, and they lack wisdom and insight. God is here to perfect man’s wisdom and insight. His word makes up for their deficiencies. However, the dispositions of young people are unstable, and must be transformed by God. Young people have fewer religious notions and fewer philosophies for living; they think about everything in simple terms, and their reflections are not complex. This is the part of their humanity that has not yet taken shape, and it is a commendable part; however, young people are ignorant and lack wisdom. This is something that needs to be perfected by God. Being perfected by God will enable you to develop discernment. You will be able to understand many spiritual things clearly, and gradually turn into someone who is fit for God to use. Older brothers and sisters also have their functions to perform, and they are not abandoned by God. Older brothers and sisters, too, have both desirable and undesirable aspects. They have more philosophies for living and more religious notions. In their actions, they adhere to many rigid conventions, being fond of regulations which they apply mechanically and without flexibility. This is an undesirable aspect. However, these older brothers and sisters remain calm and steadfast no matter what comes up; their dispositions are stable, and they do not have tempestuous moods. They may be slower at accepting things, yet this is not a major fault. As long as you can submit; as long as you can accept the current words of God and not scrutinize God’s words; as long as you are concerned only with submission and following, and do not ever pass judgment on the words of God or harbor other ill thoughts about them; as long as you accept His words and put them into practice—then, having met these conditions, you can be perfected.
Whether you are a younger or an older brother or sister, you know the function you ought to perform. Those in their youth are not arrogant; those who are older are not passive, nor do they regress. Moreover, they are able to use each other’s strengths to make up for their weaknesses, and they can serve one another without any prejudice. A bridge of friendship is built between younger and older brothers and sisters, and because of God’s love, you are able to better understand one another. Younger brothers and sisters do not look down on older brothers and sisters, and the older brothers and sisters are not self-righteous: Is this not a harmonious partnership? If you all have such resolve, then the will of God will certainly be accomplished in your generation.
Excerpted from “On Everyone Performing Their Function” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 452
In the future, whether you are blessed or cursed will be decided based upon your actions and behavior today. If you are to be perfected by God, it must be right now, in this era; there will not be another opportunity in the future. God truly wants to perfect you now, and this is not a manner of speaking. In the future, regardless of what trials befall you, what events take place, or what disasters you encounter, God wishes to perfect you; this is a definite and indisputable fact. Where can this be seen? It can be seen in the fact that the word of God, through the ages and generations, has never attained such a great height as it has today. It has entered the highest realm, and the work of the Holy Spirit on all of humanity today is without precedent. Hardly anyone from generations past had such an experience; even in the age of Jesus, the revelations of today did not exist. The words spoken to you, what you understand, and your experience have all reached a new peak. In the midst of trials and chastisements, you people do not leave, and this is sufficient proof that the work of God has attained an unprecedented splendor. This is not something that man is able to do, nor is it something that man maintains; rather, it is the work of God Himself. Thus, from many of the realities of the work of God, it can be seen that God wishes to perfect man, and He is certainly able to complete you. If you have this insight, and make this new discovery, then you will not wait for the second coming of Jesus; instead, you will allow God to make you complete in the present age. Therefore, you should each do your utmost, sparing no effort, so that you may be perfected by God.
Now, you must pay no mind to negative things. First, put aside and disregard anything that makes you feel negative. When you are handling affairs, do so with a heart that searches and feels its way forward, a heart that submits to God. Whenever you discover a weakness within you but do not let it control you, and despite it, perform the functions that you ought to, you have made a positive step forward. For example, you older brothers and sisters have religious notions, yet you are able to pray, submit, eat and drink of the word of God, and sing hymns…. This is to say, you should devote yourselves with all the strength you can muster to whatever you are able to do, whatever functions you are able to perform. Do not wait passively. Being able to satisfy God in your performance of your duty is the first step. Then, once you are able to understand the truth and attain entry into the reality of God’s words, you will have been perfected by Him.
Excerpted from “On Everyone Performing Their Function” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 453
Everyone who has resolved to can serve God—but it must be that only those who give every care to God’s will and understand God’s will are qualified and entitled to serve God. I have discovered this among you: Many people believe that as long as they fervently spread the gospel for God, go on the road for God, expend themselves and give things up for God, and so on, then this is serving God. Even more religious people believe that serving God means running around with a Bible in their hands, spreading the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and saving people by making them repent and confess. There are also many religious officials who think that serving God consists of preaching in chapels after pursuing advanced studies and training in the seminary, and teaching people through readings of Bible scriptures. Moreover, there are people in impoverished regions who believe that serving God means healing the sick and casting out demons among their brothers and sisters or praying for them, or serving them. Amongst you, there are many who believe that serving God means eating and drinking the words of God, praying to God every day, as well as visiting and doing work in churches everywhere. There are other brothers and sisters who believe that serving God means never getting married or raising a family and dedicating their entire being to God. Yet few people know what it actually means to serve God. Although there are as many people who serve God as there are stars in the sky, the number of those who can serve directly, and who are able to serve in accordance with God’s will, is paltry—pifflingly small. Why do I say this? I say this because you do not understand the essence of the phrase “service to God,” and you understand so little of how to serve in accordance with God’s will. There is an urgent need for people to understand exactly what sort of service to God can be in harmony with His will.
If you wish to serve in accordance with God’s will, you must first understand what kind of people are pleasing to God, what kind of people are loathed by God, what kind of people are made perfect by God, and what kind of people are qualified to serve God. At the very least, you should be equipped with this knowledge. Moreover, you should know the aims of God’s work, and the work that God shall do in the here and now. After understanding this, and through the guidance of God’s words, you should first have entry, and first receive God’s commission. Once you have had actual experience of God’s words, and when you truly know God’s work, you will be qualified to serve God. And it is when you serve Him that God opens your spiritual eyes and allows you to have a greater understanding of His work and to see it more clearly. When you enter this reality, your experiences will be more profound and real, and all those of you who have had such experiences will be able to walk among the churches and offer provision to your brothers and sisters, so that you can each draw on each other’s strengths to make up for your own deficiencies, and gain richer knowledge in your spirits. Only after achieving this effect will you be able to serve in accordance with God’s will and be made perfect by God in the course of your service.
Those who serve God should be God’s intimates, they should be pleasing to God, and capable of the utmost loyalty to God. Whether you act in private or in public, you are able to gain the joy of God before God, you are able to stand firm before God, and regardless of how other people treat you, you always walk the path you should walk, and give every care to God’s burden. Only people like this are intimates of God. That God’s intimates are able to serve Him directly is because they have been given God’s great commission and God’s burden, they are able to make God’s heart their own, and take God’s burden as their own, and they give no consideration to their future prospects: Even when they have no prospects, and they stand to gain nothing, they will always believe in God with a loving heart. And so, this kind of person is God’s intimate. God’s intimates are also His confidants; only God’s confidants could share His restlessness, and His thoughts, and although their flesh is painful and weak, they are able to endure pain and forsake that which they love to satisfy God. God gives more burdens to such people, and that which God desires to do is borne out in such people’s testimony. Thus, these people are pleasing to God, they are servants of God who are after His own heart, and only people such as this can rule together with God. When you have truly become God’s intimate is precisely when you will rule together with God.
Excerpted from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 454
Jesus was able to complete God’s commission—the work of all mankind’s redemption—because He gave every care to God’s will, without making any plans or arrangements for Himself. So, too, was He the intimate of God—God Himself—which is something you all understand very well. (Actually, He was the God Himself who was testified to by God. I mention this here to use the fact of Jesus to illustrate the issue.) He was able to place God’s management plan at the very center, and always prayed to the heavenly Father and sought the will of the heavenly Father. He prayed and said: “God the Father! Accomplish that which is Your will, and act not according to My desires but according to Your plan. Man may be weak, but why should You care for him? How could man be worthy of Your concern, man who is like an ant in Your hand? In My heart, I wish only to accomplish Your will, and I would that You can do what You would do in Me according to Your own desires.” On the road to Jerusalem, Jesus was in agony, as if a knife were being twisted in His heart, yet He had not the slightest intention of going back on His word; always there was a powerful force compelling Him onward to where He would be crucified. Ultimately, He was nailed to the cross and became the likeness of sinful flesh, completing the work of the redemption of mankind. He broke free of the shackles of death and Hades. Before Him, mortality, hell, and Hades lost their power, and were vanquished by Him. He lived for thirty-three years, throughout which He always did His utmost to meet God’s will according to God’s work at the time, never considering His own personal gain or loss, and always thinking of the will of God the Father. Thus, after He was baptized, God said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Because of His service before God that was in harmony with God’s will, God placed the heavy burden of redeeming all mankind upon His shoulders and made Him accomplish it, and He was qualified and entitled to complete this important task. Throughout His life, He endured immeasurable suffering for God, and He was tempted by Satan countless times, but He was never disheartened. God gave Him such an enormous task because He trusted Him, and loved Him, and thus God personally said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” At that time, only Jesus could accomplish this commission, and this was one practical aspect of God’s completion of His work of redeeming all mankind in the Age of Grace.
If, like Jesus, you are able to give every care to God’s burden, and turn your back on your flesh, God will entrust His important tasks to you, so that you will meet the conditions required to serve God. Only under such circumstances will you venture to say that you are doing God’s will and completing His commission, and only then will you venture to say you are truly serving God. Compared to Jesus’ example, do you venture to say you are God’s intimate? Do you venture to say that you are doing God’s will? Do you venture to say that you are truly serving God? Today, you do not understand how to serve God, do you venture to say you are God’s intimate? If you say that you serve God, do you not blaspheme against Him? Think about it: Are you serving God, or yourself? You serve Satan, yet you stubbornly say you are serving God—in this, do you not blaspheme against God? Many people behind My back covet the blessing of status, they gorge themselves on food, they love to sleep and give every care to the flesh, always afraid that there is no way out for the flesh. They do not perform their proper function in the church, but freeload off the church, or else they admonish their brothers and sisters with My words, lording themselves over others from positions of authority. These people keep saying they are doing God’s will and always say they are God’s intimates—is this not absurd? If you have the right intentions, but are unable to serve in accordance with God’s will, then you are being foolish; but if your intentions are not right, and you still say you serve God, then you are someone who opposes God, and you ought to be punished by God! I have no sympathy for such people! In the house of God, they freeload, always coveting the comforts of the flesh, and give no consideration to the interests of God. They always seek what is good for them, and they pay no heed to God’s will. They do not accept the scrutiny of God’s Spirit in anything they do. They are always maneuvering and deceiving their brothers and sisters, and being two-faced, like a fox in a vineyard, always stealing grapes and trampling over the vineyard. Could such people be God’s intimates? Are you fit to receive God’s blessings? You take no burden for your life and the church, are you fit to receive God’s commission? Who would dare trust someone like you? When you serve like this, could God dare to entrust you with a greater task? Would this not cause delays to the work?
I say this so that you might know what conditions must be fulfilled in order to serve in harmony with God’s will. If you do not give your heart to God, if you do not give every care to God’s will like Jesus, then you cannot be trusted by God, and will end up being judged by God. Perhaps today, in your service to God, you always harbor the intention of deceiving God and always deal with Him in a perfunctory manner. In short, regardless of anything else, if you cheat God, ruthless judgment will come upon you. You should take advantage of having just entered onto the right track of serving God to first give your heart to God, without divided loyalties. Regardless of whether you are before God, or before other people, your heart should always be turned toward God, and you should be resolved to love God like Jesus did. In this way, God will make you perfect, so that you become a servant of God who is after His heart. If you truly wish to be made perfect by God, and for your service to be in harmony with His will, then you should change your previous views about faith in God, and change the old way you used to serve God, so that more of you is made perfect by God. In this way, God will not abandon you, and, like Peter, you will be at the vanguard of those who love God. If you remain unrepentant, then you will meet the same end as Judas. This should be understood by all who believe in God.
Excerpted from “How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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Since the beginning of His work throughout the universe, God has predestined many people to serve Him, including those from every walk of life. His purpose is to satisfy His will and bring His work on earth to smooth completion; this is God’s aim in choosing people to serve Him. Every person who serves God must understand His will. This work of His makes God’s wisdom and omnipotence, and the principles of His work on earth, more evident to people. God has actually come to earth to do His work, to engage with people, so that they may know His deeds more clearly. Today you, this group of people, are fortunate to serve the practical God. This is an incalculable blessing for you—truly, you are raised up by God. In selecting a person to serve Him, God always has His own principles. Serving God is by no means, as people imagine, that it is simply a matter of enthusiasm. Today, you see that all who serve before God do so because they have the guidance of God and the work of the Holy Spirit, and because they are people who pursue the truth. These are the minimum conditions for all those who serve God.
Serving God is no simple task. Those whose corrupt disposition remains unchanged can never serve God. If your disposition has not been judged and chastised by God’s words, then your disposition still represents Satan, which proves that you serve God out of your own good intentions, that your service is based on your satanic nature. You serve God with your natural character, and according to your personal preferences. What’s more, you always think that the things you are willing to do are what are delightful to God, and that the things you do not wish to do are what are hateful to God; you work entirely according to your own preferences. Can this be called serving God? Ultimately, there will not be the slightest change in your life disposition; instead, your service will make you even more stubborn, thus deeply ingraining your corrupt disposition, and as such, there will be formed within you rules about service to God that are primarily based on your own character, and experiences derived from your service according to your own disposition. These are the experiences and lessons of man. It is man’s philosophy of living in the world. People like this can be classed as Pharisees and religious officials. If they never wake up and repent, then they will surely turn into the false Christs and the antichrists who deceive people in the last days. The false Christs and the antichrists that were spoken of will arise from among such people. If those who serve God follow their own character and act according to their own will, they run the risk of being cast out at any time. Those who apply their many years of experience acquired to serving God in order to win the hearts of others, to lecture them and control them, and to stand on high—and who never repent, never confess their sins, never renounce the benefits of position—these people shall fall before God. They are of the same kind as Paul, presuming upon their seniority and flaunting their qualifications. God will not bring people like this to perfection. Such service interferes with the work of God. People always cling to the old. They cling to the notions of the past, to everything from times gone by. This is a great obstacle to their service. If you cannot throw them off, these things will throttle your whole life. God will not commend you, not in the slightest, not even if you break your legs running or your back with labor, not even if you are martyred in your service of God. Quite the contrary: He will say that you are an evildoer.
Excerpted from “Religious Service Must Be Purged” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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Starting from today, God will formally perfect those who have no religious notions, who are willing to set aside their old selves, and who obey God in a simple-hearted way. He shall perfect those who long for the words of God. These people should stand up and serve God. In God there is endless abundance and boundless wisdom. His amazing work and precious words await enjoyment by even greater numbers of people. As it stands, those with religious notions, those who assume seniority, and those who cannot put themselves aside find it hard to accept these new things. The Holy Spirit has no opportunity to perfect these people. If a person has not resolved to obey, and does not thirst for the words of God, then they have no means of accepting these new things; they will simply become more and more rebellious, more and more crafty, and will thus end up on the wrong track. In doing His work now, God will raise up more people who truly love Him and can accept the new light, and He will completely cut down the religious officials who presume upon their seniority; He does not want a single one of those who stubbornly resist change. Do you want to be one of these people? Do you perform your service according to your own preferences, or do you do what God requires? This is something you must know for yourself. Are you a religious official, or are you a newborn babe made perfect by God? How much of your service is commended by the Holy Spirit? How much of it will God not even bother to remember? How great a change in your life has there been as a result of all your years of service? Are you clear about all this? If you are truly of faith, you will cast aside your old religious notions from before, and will serve God better in a new way. It is not too late to stand up now. Old religious notions can forfeit a person’s entire life. The experience a person acquires can cause them to stray from God and do things their own way. If you do not put such things aside, they will become stumbling blocks to the growth of your life. God always perfects those who serve Him, and does not cast them out lightly. If you truly accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words, if you can put aside your old religious practices and rules, and cease to use old religious notions as the measure of God’s words of today, only then will there be a future for you. But if you cling to old things, if you still treasure them, then there is no way you can be saved. God takes no notice of such people. If you really wish to be made perfect, then you must resolve to completely relinquish everything from before. Even if what was done before was right, even if it was God’s work, you must still be able to put it aside and stop clinging to it. Even if it was clearly the work of the Holy Spirit, done directly by the Holy Spirit, today you must put it aside. You must not hold onto it. This is what God requires. Everything must be renewed. In God’s work and God’s words, He makes no reference to the old things that went before, He does not dig into the old almanac; God is a God who is always new and never old, and does not cling even to His own words from the past—which shows that God does not follow any rules. So if you, as a human being, always cling to the things of the past, if you refuse to let them go, and rigidly apply them in a formulaic manner, while God no longer works using the means that He did before, then are your words and actions not disruptive? Have you not become an enemy of God? Are you willing to let your entire life go to wrack and ruin over these old things? These old things will make you into someone who obstructs God’s work—is that the kind of person you want to be? If you truly do not want that, then quickly stop what you are doing and turn around; start all over again. God will not remember your past service.
Excerpted from “Religious Service Must Be Purged” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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Regarding work, man believes that work is to run around for God, preach everywhere, and expend for His sake. Though this belief is correct, it is too one-sided; what God asks of man is not solely to run around for Him; beyond just this, this work is concerned with ministry and provision within the spirit. Many brothers and sisters, even after all these years of experience, have never thought about working for God, because work as conceived by man is incongruous with what God asks. Therefore, man has no interest whatsoever in the matter of work, and this is precisely the reason why the entry of man is also quite one-sided. All of you should begin your entry with working for God, so that you may better undergo every aspect of experience. This is what you should enter into. Work refers not to running around for God, but to whether the life of man and what man lives out are able to give God enjoyment. Work refers to people using their devotion to God and their knowledge of God to testify about God, and also to minister to man. This is man’s responsibility and this is what all man should understand. One could say that your entry is your work, and that you are seeking to enter during the course of working for God. Experiencing God’s work does not merely mean that you know how to eat and drink of His word; more importantly, you must know how to testify about God and be able to serve God and be able to minister to and provide for man. This is work, and it is also your entry; this is what every person should accomplish. There are many who only focus on running around for God and preaching everywhere, yet overlook their individual experience and neglect their entry into the spiritual life. This is what has led those who serve God to become those who resist God. These people, who have been serving God and ministering to man all these years, have simply regarded working and preaching as entry, and none have taken their individual spiritual experience as an important entry. Instead, they have taken the enlightenment they derive from the Holy Spirit’s work as capital from which to teach others. When preaching, they are much burdened and receive the work of the Holy Spirit, and by means of this they are releasing the voice of the Holy Spirit. At this time, those who work are filled with complacency, as if the work of the Holy Spirit has become their individual spiritual experience; they feel that all the words they are speaking belong to their individual being, but then again as if their own experience is not as clear as they have described. What is more, prior to speaking they have no inkling what they will say, but when the Holy Spirit works in them, their words come flooding out in an unending stream. After you have preached once in such a way, you feel that your actual stature is not as small as you believed, and as in a situation where the Holy Spirit has worked in you several times, you then determine that you already have stature and mistakenly believe that the work of the Holy Spirit is your own entry and your own being. When you constantly experience in this way, you will become lax about your own entry, slip into laziness without noticing, and cease to place any importance on your individual entry. For this reason, when you are ministering to others you must clearly distinguish between your stature and the work of the Holy Spirit. This can better facilitate your entry and bring more benefit to your experience. When man takes the work of the Holy Spirit to be their individual experience, this becomes a source of depravity. This is why I say, whatever duty you perform, you ought to regard your entry as a vital lesson.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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One works in order to satisfy the will of God, to bring all those who are after God’s heart before Him, to bring man to God, and to introduce the Holy Spirit’s work and God’s guidance to man, thereby perfecting the fruits of God’s work. Therefore, it is imperative that you are thoroughly clear on the essence of work. As one who is used by God, every man is worthy of working for God, that is, everyone has the opportunity to be used by the Holy Spirit. However, there is one point that you must realize: When man does the work commissioned by God, man has been given the opportunity to be used by God, but what is said and known by man are not entirely the stature of man. All you can do is to better know your own deficiencies during the course of your work, and come into possession of greater enlightenment from the Holy Spirit. In this way, you will be enabled to gain better entry in the course of your work. If man regards the guidance that comes from God as their own entry and as something that is inherent within themselves, then there is no potential for man’s stature to grow. The enlightenment that the Holy Spirit works in man takes place when they are in a normal state; at such times, people often mistake the enlightenment they receive as their own actual stature, because the way in which the Holy Spirit enlightens is exceptionally normal, and He makes use of what is inherent within man. When people work and speak, or when they are praying and making their spiritual devotions, a truth will suddenly become clear to them. In reality, however, what man sees is only enlightenment by the Holy Spirit (naturally, this enlightenment is connected to man’s cooperation) and does not represent man’s true stature. After a period of experience in which man encounters some difficulties and trials, the true stature of man becomes apparent under such circumstances. Only then will man discover that his stature is not so great, and the selfishness, personal considerations, and greed of man all emerge. Only after several cycles of experiences like this will many of those who are awakened within their spirits realize that what they had experienced in the past was not their own individual reality, but a momentary illumination from the Holy Spirit, and that man had but received this light. When the Holy Spirit enlightens man to understand the truth, it is often in a clear and distinct manner, without explaining how things came about or where they are going. That is, rather than incorporating the difficulties of man into this revelation, He directly reveals the truth. When man encounters difficulties in the process of entering, and then incorporates the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, this becomes the actual experience of man. … Therefore, at the same time that you receive the work of the Holy Spirit, you ought to place even more importance on your entry, seeing exactly what is the work of the Holy Spirit and what is your entry, as well as incorporating the work of the Holy Spirit into your entry, so that you may be perfected by the Holy Spirit in many more ways and so that the essence of the Holy Spirit’s work may be wrought in you. In the course of your experience of the Holy Spirit’s work, you will come to know the Holy Spirit, as well as yourselves, and moreover, in the midst of who knows how many bouts of intense suffering, you will develop a normal relationship with God, and the relationship between you and God will grow closer by the day. After countless instances of pruning and refinement, you will develop a true love for God. That is why you must realize that suffering, smiting, and tribulations are not to be feared; what is frightening is having only the work of the Holy Spirit but not your entry. When the day comes that the work of God is finished, you will have labored for nothing; even though you experienced the work of God, you will not have come to know the Holy Spirit or have had your own entry. The enlightenment that the Holy Spirit works in man is not to sustain the passion of man, but to open a path for the entry of man, as well as to allow man to come to know the Holy Spirit, and from this point develop feelings of reverence and adoration for God.
Excerpted from “Work and Entry (2)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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There is far less deviation in the work of those who have undergone pruning, being dealt with, judgment and chastisement, and the expression of their work is much more accurate. Those who rely on their naturalness to work make quite major mistakes. The work of unperfected people expresses too much of their own naturalness, which poses a major obstacle to the work of the Holy Spirit. However good a person’s caliber, they must also undergo pruning, being dealt with, and judgment before they can do the work of God’s commission. If they have not undergone such judgment, their work, no matter how well done, cannot accord with the principles of the truth and is always a product of their own naturalness and human goodness. The work of those who have undergone pruning, being dealt with, and judgment is much more accurate than the work of those who have not been pruned, dealt with, and judged. Those who have not undergone judgment express nothing but human flesh and thoughts, mingled with much human intelligence and innate talent. This is not man’s accurate expression of God’s work. Those who follow such people are brought before them by their innate caliber. Because they express too much of the insight and experience of man, which are almost disconnected from God’s original intention and deviate too far from it, the work of this type of person cannot bring people before God, but brings them rather before man. So, those who have not undergone judgment and chastisement are unqualified to carry out the work of God’s commission. The work of a qualified worker can bring people to the right way and grant them greater entry into the truth. His work can bring people before God. In addition, the work he does can vary from individual to individual and is not bound by rules, allowing people liberation and freedom, and the capacity gradually to grow in life and to have a more profound entry into the truth. The work of an unqualified worker falls far short. His work is foolish. He can only bring people into rules, and what he demands of people does not vary from individual to individual; he does not work according to people’s actual needs. In this type of work, there are too many rules and too many doctrines, and it cannot bring people into reality, nor into normal practice of growth in life. It can only enable people to adhere to a few worthless rules. Such guidance can only lead people astray. He leads you to become like him; he can bring you into what he has and is. For followers to discern whether leaders are qualified, the key is to look at the path on which they lead and the results of their work, and to see whether followers receive principles in accordance with the truth, and whether they receive ways of practice suitable for their transformation. You should distinguish between the different work of different types of people; you should not be a foolish follower. This bears on the matter of people’s entry. If you are unable to distinguish which person’s leadership has a path and which does not, you will easily be deceived. All of this has a direct bearing on your own life. There is too much naturalness in the work of unperfected people; it is mixed with too much of human will. Their being is naturalness—what they are born with. It is not life after having been dealt with or reality after having been transformed. How can such a person support those who are pursuing life? The life that man has originally is his innate intelligence or talent. This kind of intelligence or talent is quite far from God’s exact demands for man. If a man has not been perfected and his corrupt disposition has not been pruned and dealt with, there will be a wide gap between what he expresses and the truth; what he expresses will be mixed with vague things, such as his imagination and one-sided experience. Moreover, regardless of how he works, people feel there is no overall goal and no truth suitable for the entry of all people. Most of what is demanded of people is beyond their ability, as if they were ducks being made to sit on perches. This is the work of human will. Man’s corrupt disposition, his thoughts, and his notions pervade all parts of his body. Man is not born with the instinct to practice the truth, nor does he have the instinct to understand the truth directly. Add to that man’s corrupt disposition—when this kind of natural person works, does it not cause interruptions? But a man who has been perfected has experience of the truth that people should understand, and knowledge of their corrupt dispositions, so that the vague and unreal things in his work gradually diminish, the human adulterations become fewer, and his work and service come ever closer to the standards required by God. Thus, his work has entered truth reality and it has also become realistic. The thoughts in man’s mind in particular block the work of the Holy Spirit. Man has a rich imagination and reasonable logic, and he has had long experience handling affairs. If these aspects of man do not undergo pruning and correction, they are all obstacles to work. Therefore, man’s work cannot achieve the greatest degree of accuracy, especially the work of unperfected people.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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You need to have an understanding of the many states that people will be in when the Holy Spirit performs work on them. In particular, those who coordinate in service to God must have an even stronger grasp of the many states brought about by the work that the Holy Spirit performs on people. If you only talk about a lot of experiences or ways of attaining entry, it shows that your experience is overly one-sided. Without knowing your true state and grasping the truth principle, it is not possible to achieve a change in disposition. Without knowing the principles of the Holy Spirit’s work or understanding the fruit it bears, it will be difficult for you to discern the work of evil spirits. You must expose the work of evil spirits, as well as the notions of man, and penetrate straight to the heart of the issue; you must also point out many deviations in people’s practice and problems they might have in their faith in God, so that they may recognize them. At the very least, you must not make them feel negative or passive. However, you must understand the difficulties that objectively exist for most people, you must not be unreasonable or “try to teach a pig to sing”; that is foolish behavior. To resolve the many difficulties people experience, you must first comprehend the dynamics of the work of the Holy Spirit; you must understand how the Holy Spirit performs work on different people, you must have an understanding of the difficulties people face and of their shortcomings, and you must see through to the key issues of the problem and get to its source, without deviating or making any errors. Only this kind of person is qualified to coordinate in service to God.
Whether or not you are able to grasp the key issues and see many things clearly depends on your individual experiences. The manner in which you experience is also the manner in which you lead others. If you understand letters and doctrines, then you will lead others to understand letters and doctrines. The way that you experience the reality of God’s words is the way in which you will lead others to attain entry to the reality of God’s utterances. If you are able to understand many truths and clearly gain insight into many things from God’s words, then you are capable of leading others to understand many truths, too, and those whom you lead will gain a clear understanding of the visions. If you focus on grasping supernatural feelings, then those whom you lead will do the same. If you neglect practice, instead placing emphasis on discussion, then those whom you lead will also focus on discussion, without practicing at all or attaining any transformation in their dispositions; they will only be enthusiastic superficially, without having put any truths into practice. All people supply others with what they themselves possess. The type of person someone is determines the path onto which they guide others, as well as the type of people that they lead. To be truly fit for God’s use, you not only must have an aspiration, but you also need a great deal of enlightenment from God, guidance from His words, the experience of being dealt with by Him, and the refinement of His words. With this as a foundation, in ordinary times, you should pay attention to your observations, thoughts, ponderances, and conclusions, and engage in absorption or elimination accordingly. These are all paths for your entry to reality, and each one of them is indispensable. This is how God works. If you enter into this method by which God works, you can have opportunities every day to be perfected by Him. And at any time, regardless of whether your environment is harsh or favorable, whether you are being tested or tempted, whether you are working or not, and whether you are living life as an individual or as part of a collective, you will always find opportunities to be perfected by God, without ever missing a single one of them. You will be able to discover them all—and in this way, you will have found the secret to experiencing God’s words.
from “What an Adequate Shepherd Should Be Equipped With” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 461
These days, many people do not pay attention to what lessons should be learned while coordinating with others. I have discovered that many of you cannot learn lessons at all while coordinating with others; most of you stick to your own views. When working in the church, you say your piece and someone else says theirs, and the one has no relation to the other; you do not actually cooperate at all. You are all so absorbed in merely communicating your own insights or in releasing the “burdens” you bear inside you, without seeking life in even the smallest way. You appear to only be doing the work perfunctorily, always believing that you should walk your own path regardless of what anyone else says or does; you think you should fellowship as the Holy Spirit guides you, no matter what the circumstances of others may be. You are not able to discover the strengths of others, and nor are you capable of examining yourselves. Your acceptance of things is really deviant and erroneous. It can be said that even now you still exhibit a lot of self-righteousness, as if you have relapsed into that old illness. You do not communicate with each other in a way that achieves complete openness, for example, about what kind of outcome you have attained from work in certain churches, or about the recent condition of your inner states, and so on; you simply never communicate about such things. You have absolutely no engagement in practices such as dropping your own notions or forsaking yourselves. Leaders and workers think only of how to keep their brothers and sisters from being negative and how to make them able to follow vigorously. However, all of you think following vigorously by itself is enough, and fundamentally, you have no understanding of what it means to know yourself and forsake yourself, much less do you understand what it means to serve in coordination with others. You think only of having the will yourselves to repay God for His love, of having the will yourselves to live out the style of Peter. Apart from these things, you think of nothing else. You even say that, no matter what other people do, you will not submit blindly, and that no matter what other people are like, you yourself will seek perfection by God, and that will be sufficient. The fact is, however, that your will has not in any way found a concrete expression in reality. Is all of this not the sort of behavior you exhibit nowadays? Each of you holds fast to your own insight, and you all desire to be perfected. I see that you have served for such a long time without having made much progress; in particular, in this lesson of working together in harmony, you have achieved absolutely nothing! When going down into the churches you communicate in your way, and others communicate in theirs. Seldom does harmonious coordination occur, and this is even more true of the followers who are below you. That is to say, rarely do any among you understand what serving God is, or how one should serve God. You are muddled and treat lessons of this sort as trifling matters. There are even many people who not only fail to practice this aspect of the truth, but who also knowingly do wrong. Even those who have served for many years fight and scheme against each other and are jealous and competitive; it is every man for himself, and they do not cooperate at all. Do all these things not represent your actual stature? You people serving together on a daily basis are like the Israelites, who directly served God Himself every day in the temple. How can it be that you people, who serve God, have no idea how to coordinate or how to serve?
Excerpted from “Serve As the Israelites Did” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 462
The requirement made of you today—to work together in harmony—is similar to the service Jehovah required of the Israelites: Otherwise, just stop doing service. Because you are people who serve God directly, at the very minimum you must be capable of loyalty and submission in your service, and must also be able to learn lessons in a practical way. For those of you working in the church especially, would any of the brothers and sisters below you dare to deal with you? Would anyone dare to tell you of your mistakes to your face? You stand high above everyone else; you do reign as kings! You do not even study or enter into these sorts of practical lessons, yet you still talk of serving God! At present, you are asked to lead a number of churches, but not only do you not give up yourself, but you even cling to your own notions and opinions, saying things like, “I think this thing should be done this way, as God has said that we should not be restrained by others and that nowadays we should not submit blindly.” Therefore, each of you holds to your own opinion, and no one obeys each other. Though you clearly know that your service is at an impasse, you still say, “As I see it, my way is not far off the mark. In any case, we each have a side: You talk of yours, and I will talk of mine; you fellowship about your visions, and I will speak of my entry.” You never take responsibility for the many things that should be dealt with, or you simply make do, each of you venting your own opinions and prudently protecting your own status, reputation, and face. None of you is willing to humble yourself, and neither side will take the initiative to give yourself up and make up for each other’s deficiencies so that life may progress more rapidly. When you are coordinating together, you should learn to seek the truth. You may say, “I do not have a clear understanding of this aspect of truth. What experience do you have with it?” Or, you may say, “You have more experience than I with regard to this aspect; could you please give me some guidance?” Would that not be a good way of going about it? You have listened to a lot of sermons, and have some experience with doing service. If you do not learn from each other, help each other, and make up for each other’s shortcomings when doing work in the churches, then how can you learn any lessons? Whenever you encounter anything, you should fellowship with each other so that your lives can benefit. Moreover, you should carefully fellowship about things of any sort before making any decisions. Only by doing so are you taking responsibility for the church rather than simply acting perfunctorily. After you visit all the churches, you should gather together and fellowship about all the issues you discover and any problems encountered in your work, and then you should communicate about the enlightenment and illumination that you have received—this is an indispensable practice of service. You must achieve harmonious cooperation for the purpose of the work of God, for the benefit of the church, and so as to spur your brothers and sisters onward. You should coordinate with one another, each amending the other and arriving at a better work outcome, so as to care for God’s will. This is what true cooperation is, and only those who engage in it will gain true entry. While cooperating, some of the words you speak may be unsuitable, but that does not matter. Fellowship about it later, and gain a clear understanding of it; do not neglect it. After this sort of fellowship, you can make up for your brothers’ or sisters’ deficiencies. Only by moving ever deeper in your work like this can you achieve better outcomes. Each of you, as people who serve God, must be able to defend the interests of the church in everything you do, instead of simply considering your own interests. It is unacceptable to act alone, undermining each other. People who behave like that are not fit to serve God! Such people have a terrible disposition; not an ounce of humanity remains in them. They are one hundred percent Satan! They are beasts! Even now, such things still occur among you; you even go so far as to attack one another during fellowship, intentionally seeking pretexts and becoming all red in the face while arguing over some trivial matter, neither person willing to put himself aside, each person concealing his inner thoughts from the other, watching the other party intently and always being on guard. Does this sort of disposition befit service to God? Can such work as yours supply your brothers and sisters with anything? Not only are you unable to guide people onto a correct life course, but you actually inject your own corrupt dispositions into your brothers and sisters. Are you not hurting others? Your conscience is horrible, and it is rotten to the core! You do not enter reality, nor do you put the truth into practice. In addition, you shamelessly expose your devilish nature to others. You simply know no shame! These brothers and sisters have been entrusted to you, yet you are taking them to hell. Are you not someone whose conscience has become rotten? You have absolutely no shame!
Excerpted from “Serve As the Israelites Did” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 463
Are you able to communicate the disposition expressed by God in each age in a concrete way, with language that suitably conveys the significance of the age? Are you, who experience God’s work of the last days, able to describe God’s righteous disposition in detail? Can you testify about God’s disposition clearly and accurately? How will you pass on what you have seen and experienced to those pitiable, poor, and devout religious believers who hunger and thirst for righteousness and are waiting for you to shepherd them? What kind of people are waiting for you to shepherd them? Can you imagine? Are you aware of the burden on your shoulders, your commission, and your responsibility? Where is your sense of historic mission? How will you adequately serve as a master in the next age? Do you have a strong sense of masterhood? How would you explain the master of all things? Is it really the master of all living creatures and of all physical things in the world? What plans do you have for the progress of the next phase of the work? How many people are waiting for you to be their shepherd? Is your task a heavy one? They are poor, pitiable, blind, and at a loss, wailing in the darkness—where is the way? How they yearn for the light, like a shooting star, to suddenly descend and dispel the forces of darkness that have oppressed man for so many years. Who can know the full extent to which they anxiously hope, and how they pine, day and night, for this? Even on a day when the light flashes past, these deeply suffering people remain imprisoned in a dark dungeon without hope of release; when will they weep no longer? Terrible is the misfortune of these fragile spirits who have never been granted rest, and long have they been kept bound in this state by merciless bonds and frozen history. And who has heard the sound of their wailing? Who has looked upon their miserable state? Has it ever occurred to you how grieved and anxious God’s heart is? How can He bear to see innocent mankind, whom He created with His own hands, suffering such torment? Human beings, after all, are the victims who have been poisoned. And although man has survived to this day, who would have known that mankind has long been poisoned by the evil one? Have you forgotten that you are one of the victims? Are you not willing to strive, out of your love for God, to save these survivors? Are you not willing to devote all of your energy to repaying God, who loves mankind like His own flesh and blood? When all is said and done, how would you interpret being used by God to live your extraordinary life? Do you really have the resolve and confidence to live the meaningful life of a pious, God-serving person?
from “How Should You Attend to Your Future Mission?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 464
People believe in Me, but they are incapable of bearing testimony to Me, nor can they testify for Me before I make Myself known. People see only that I surpass creatures and all holy men, and see that the work I do cannot be done by men. Thus, from the Jews to the people of the present day, all who behold My glorious deeds have been filled with nothing more than curiosity toward Me, and not a single creature’s mouth has been able to bear witness to Me. Only My Father bore witness to Me, and made a path for Me among all creatures; if He had not, no matter how I worked, man would never have known that I am the Lord of creation, for man knows only to take from Me and does not have faith in Me as a result of My work. Man knows Me only because I am innocent and in no part a sinner, because I can explain numerous mysteries, because I am above the multitude, or because man has profited much from Me, yet few believe I am the Lord of creation. This is why I say that man knows not why he has faith in Me; he knows not the purpose or significance of having faith in Me. The reality of man is lacking, such that he is barely fit to bear Me witness. You have too little true faith, and have gained too little, so you have too little testimony. Moreover, you understand too little and lack too much, such that you are nearly unfit to bear witness to My deeds. Your resolution is indeed considerable, but are you certain that you will be able to successfully testify to the essence of God? What you have experienced and seen surpasses that of the saints and prophets from all ages, but are you able to provide testimony greater than the words of these saints and prophets of times past? What I now bestow upon you surpasses Moses and eclipses David, so likewise I ask that your testimony surpass Moses and that your words be greater than David. I give you a hundredfold—so I likewise ask you to repay Me in kind. You must know I am the One who bestows life unto mankind, and it is you who receive life from Me and must bear witness for Me. This is your duty which I send down upon you and which you ought to do for Me. I have bestowed all My glory unto you, I have bestowed unto you the life that the chosen people, the Israelites, never received. By rights, you ought to bear witness to Me and devote to Me your youth and lay down your life. Whomsoever I bestow My glory unto shall bear Me witness and give their life for Me. This has long been predestined by Me. It is your good fortune that I bestow My glory upon you, and your duty is to testify to My glory. If you were to believe in Me only to gain blessings, then My work would bear little significance, and you would not be fulfilling your duty. The Israelites saw only My mercy, love, and greatness, and the Jews witnessed only My patience and redemption. They saw very, very little of the work of My Spirit, to the point that they understood but one-ten-thousandth of what you have heard and seen. What you have seen exceeds even the chief priests among them. The truths you understand today surpass theirs; what you have seen today exceeds what was seen in the Age of Law, as well as the Age of Grace, and what you have experienced surpasses even Moses and Elijah. For what the Israelites understood was only the law of Jehovah, and what they saw was only the sight of Jehovah’s back; what the Jews understood was only the redemption of Jesus, what they received was only the grace bestowed by Jesus, and what they saw was only the image of Jesus within the house of the Jews. What you see this day is the glory of Jehovah, the redemption of Jesus, and all My deeds of this day. So, too, have you heard the words of My Spirit, appreciated My wisdom, come to know My wonder, and learned of My disposition. I have also told you all of My management plan. What you have seen is not merely a loving and merciful God, but a God filled with righteousness. You have seen My wondrous work and known that I brim with majesty and wrath. Furthermore, you know that I once brought down My raging fury upon the house of Israel, and that today, it has come upon you. You understand more of My mysteries in heaven than Isaiah and John; you know more of My loveliness and venerableness than all the saints of ages past. What you have received is not merely My truth, My way, and My life, but a vision and revelation greater than that of John. You understand many more mysteries, and have also looked upon My true countenance; you have accepted more of My judgment and know more of My righteous disposition. And so, though you were born in the last days, your understanding is that of the former and the past, and you have also experienced the things of today, and this was all personally done by Me. What I ask of you is not excessive, for I have given you so much, and you have seen much in Me. Thus, I ask you to bear witness for Me to the saints of ages past, and this is My heart’s only desire.
Excerpted from “What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 465
Now do you truly know why you believe in Me? Do you truly know the purpose and significance of My work? Do you truly know your duty? Do you truly know My testimony? If you merely believe in Me, yet there is no sign of My glory or testimony in you, then I have long ago eliminated you. As for those who know it all, they are even more thorns in My eye, and in My house, they are nothing more than obstacles in My way, they are tares to be completely winnowed out in My work, they have no use, they are worthless, and I have long abhorred them. Often does My wrath befall all who are bereft of testimony, and never does My rod stray from them. I have long since turned them over to the hands of the evil one; they are bereft of My blessings. When the day comes, their chastisement will be more grievous even than that of foolish women. Today, I do only the work that is My duty to do; I will bind all the wheat into bundles, together along with those tares. This is My work today. Those tares shall all be winnowed out in the time of My winnowing, then the grains of wheat shall be gathered into the storehouse, and those tares that have been winnowed out shall be placed in the fire to be burned to dust. My work now is merely to bind all men into bundles; that is, to utterly conquer them. Then shall I begin winnowing to reveal the end of all men. And so you ought to know how you should satisfy Me now, and how you ought to set upon the right track in your faith in Me. What I desire is your loyalty and obedience now, your love and testimony now. Even if you do not know at this moment what testimony is or what love is, you should bring to Me your all, and turn over to Me the only treasures you have: your loyalty and obedience. You should know that the testimony to My defeat of Satan lies within the loyalty and obedience of man, as does the testimony to My complete conquest of man. The duty of your faith in Me is to bear witness to Me, to be loyal to Me and none other, and to be obedient to the end. Before I begin the next step of My work, how will you bear witness to Me? How will you be loyal and obedient to Me? Do you devote all your loyalty to your function, or will you simply give up? Would you rather submit to My every arrangement (even if it be death or destruction), or flee midway to avoid My chastisement? I chastise you so that you will bear witness to Me, and be loyal and obedient to Me. What’s more, the chastisement at present is to unfold the next step of My work and to allow the work to progress unimpeded. Hence, I exhort you to be wise and treat neither your life nor the significance of your existence as worthless sand. Can you know exactly what My work to come will be? Do you know how I will work in the days to come, and how My work will unfold? You should know the significance of your experience of My work, and furthermore, the significance of your faith in Me. I have done so much; how could I give up halfway, as you imagine? I have done such extensive work; how could I destroy it? Indeed, I have come to bring this age to an end. This is true, but moreover you must know that I am to begin a new age, to begin new work, and, most of all, to spread the gospel of the kingdom. So you should know that the present work is only to begin an age and to lay the foundation for spreading the gospel in the time to come and bringing the age to an end in the future. My work is not so simple as you think, nor is it as worthless or meaningless as you may believe. Therefore, I still must say to you: You ought to give your life to My work, and moreover, you ought to devote yourself to My glory. Long have I yearned for you to bear witness to Me, and even longer have I yearned for you to spread My gospel. You ought to understand what is in My heart.
Excerpted from “What Do You Know of Faith?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 466
Although your faith is very sincere, none among you is able to give a full account of Me, none can give full testimony to all of the facts you see. Think about it: Today, most of you are derelict in your duties, instead pursuing the flesh, satiating the flesh, and greedily enjoying the flesh. You possess little truth. How, then, can you bear testimony to all that you have seen? Are you really confident that you can be My witnesses? If a day comes when you are unable to testify to all that you have seen today, then you will have lost the function of created beings, and there will be no meaning whatsoever to your existence. You will be unworthy of being human. It could even be said that you will not be human! I have done immeasurable work on you, but because you are currently learning nothing, aware of nothing, and ineffective in your labors, when it is time for Me to expand My work, you will just stare blankly, tongue-tied and utterly useless. Will that not make you a sinner for all time? When that time comes, will you not feel the deepest regret? Will you not sink into dejection? All of My work today is not done out of idleness and boredom, but to lay a foundation for My future work. It is not that I am at an impasse and need to come up with something new. You should understand the work I do; it is not something done by a child playing in the street, but is a work done in representation of My Father. You should know that it is not Me doing all this Myself; rather, I represent My Father. Your role, meanwhile, is strictly to follow, obey, change, and testify. What you should understand is why you should believe in Me; this is the most important question for each of you to understand. My Father, for the sake of His glory, predestined all of you for Me from the moment He created the world. It was for the sake of My work, and for the sake of His glory, that He predestined you. It is because of My Father that you believe in Me; it is because of My Father’s predestination that you follow Me. None of this is of your own choosing. Even more important is that you understand that you are the ones My Father bestowed upon Me for the purpose of testifying to Me. Because He granted you to Me, you should abide by the ways I bestow upon you, as well as the ways and the words I teach you, for it is your duty to abide by My ways. This is the original purpose of your faith in Me. Therefore, I say to you this: You are merely people that My Father bestowed upon Me to abide by My ways. However, you only believe in Me; you are not of Me because you are not of the Israelite family, and are instead ilk of the ancient serpent. All I am asking you to do is to bear witness for Me, but today you must walk in My ways. All of this is for the sake of future testimony. If you function only as people who listen to My ways, then you will be without value, and the significance of My Father’s having bestowed you upon Me will be lost. What I insist on telling you is this: You should walk in My ways.
Excerpted from “What Is Your Understanding of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 467
How is the Holy Spirit working within the church in the present day? Do you have a firm grasp of this question? What are your brothers’ and sisters’ greatest difficulties? What do they most lack? Currently, there are some people who are negative as they undergo trials, and some even complain. Other people are no longer moving forward because God has finished speaking. People have not entered the right track of belief in God. They cannot live independently, and they cannot maintain their own spiritual life. Some people follow along and pursue with energy, and are willing to practice when God speaks, but when God does not speak, they no longer move forward. People still have not understood God’s will within their hearts and they do not have spontaneous love for God; in the past they followed God because they were forced. Now there are some people who are tired of God’s work. Are such people not in danger? A lot of people exist in a state of just coping. Although they eat and drink God’s words and pray to Him, they do so half-heartedly, and they no longer have the drive that they once had. Most people are not interested in God’s work of refinement and perfection, and indeed it is as if they are constantly without any internal drive. When they are overcome by transgressions, they do not feel indebted to God, nor do they have the awareness to feel remorse. They do not pursue the truth or leave the church, and instead pursue only temporary pleasures. These people are fools, utterly stupid! When the time comes, they will all be cast out, and not a single one will be saved! Do you think that if someone has been saved once they will always be saved? This belief is pure deception! All those who do not pursue entry into life will be chastised. Most people have absolutely no interest in entering into life, in visions, or in putting the truth into practice. They do not pursue entering in, and they certainly do not pursue entering in more deeply. Are they not ruining themselves? Right now, there is a portion of people whose conditions are constantly improving. The more the Holy Spirit works, the more confidence they gain; the more they experience, the more they feel the profound mystery of God’s work. The deeper they enter in, the more they understand. They feel that God’s love is so great, and they feel steady and enlightened within themselves. They have an understanding of God’s work. These are the people in whom the Holy Spirit is working. Some people say: “Although there are no new words from God, I must still seek to go deeper into the truth, I must be earnest about everything in my actual experience and enter into the reality of God’s words.” This kind of person possesses the work of the Holy Spirit. Although God does not show His countenance and is hidden from every single person, and though He does not utter a word and there are times that people experience some internal refinement, yet God has not completely left people. If a person cannot retain the truth that they should carry out, they will not have the work of the Holy Spirit. During the period of refinement, of God not showing Himself, if you do not have confidence but instead cower away, if you do not focus on experiencing His words, then you are fleeing from God’s work. Later, you will be one of those who are cast out. Those who do not seek to enter into the word of God cannot possibly stand as a witness for Him. People who are able to bear witness for God and satisfy His will are all entirely reliant upon their drive to pursue God’s words. The work that God performs in people is primarily to allow them to gain the truth; having you pursue life is for the sake of perfecting you, and this is all to make you suitable for God’s use. All you are pursuing now is hearing mysteries, listening to God’s words, feasting your eyes, and looking around to see if there is some novelty or trend, and thereby satisfying your curiosity. If this is the intention in your heart, then there is no way for you to meet God’s requirements. Those who do not pursue the truth cannot follow until the very end. Right now, it is not that God is not doing something, but rather that people are not cooperating with Him, because they are tired of His work. They only want to hear words that He speaks to bestow blessings, and they are unwilling to hear the words of His judgment and chastisement. What is the reason for this? The reason is that people’s desires to gain blessings have not been fulfilled and they therefore have become negative and weak. It is not that God purposely does not allow people to follow Him, nor is it that He is purposely delivering blows to mankind. People are negative and weak only because their intentions are improper. God is the God that gives man life, and He cannot bring man into death. People’s negativity, weaknesses, and backsliding are all caused by their own doing.
God’s current work brings people some refinement, and only those who can stand firm as they receive this refinement will gain God’s approval. No matter how He conceals Himself, whether by not speaking or not working, you can still pursue with vigor. Even if God said that He would reject you, you would still follow Him. This is standing witness for God. If God conceals Himself from you and you stop following Him, is this standing witness for God? If people do not actually enter in, then they do not have actual stature, and when they really encounter a great trial they will stumble. When God is not speaking, or doing what is not in line with your own notions, you break down. If God were currently acting according to your own notions, if He were satisfying your will and you were able to stand up and pursue with energy, then what would be the foundation upon which you live? I say that there are many people who are living in a way that is entirely reliant upon human curiosity. They absolutely do not have it in their truest heart to pursue. All those who do not pursue entry into the truth but rely on their curiosity in life are despicable people, and they are in danger! God’s various kinds of work are all carried out to perfect mankind. However, people are always curious, they like to inquire about hearsay, they are concerned about current affairs in foreign countries—for example, they are curious about what is happening in Israel, or if there was an earthquake in Egypt—they are always looking for some new, novel things to satisfy their selfish desires. They do not pursue life, nor do they pursue being perfected. They only seek to have the day of God arrive sooner so that their beautiful dream may be realized and their extravagant desires fulfilled. This kind of person is not practical—they are someone who has an improper perspective. Only pursuit of the truth is the foundation of mankind’s belief in God, and if people do not pursue entry into life, if they do not seek to satisfy God, then they will be subject to punishment. Those who are to be punished are those who have not had the work of the Holy Spirit during God’s time of work.
Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Daily Words of God Excerpt 468
How should people cooperate with God during this stage of His work? God is currently testing people. He is not uttering a word, but is concealing Himself and making no direct contact with people. From the outside, it looks like He is not doing any work, but the truth is that He is still working within man. Anyone who is pursuing entry into life has a vision for their pursuit of life, and does not have doubts even if they do not fully understand God’s work. While undergoing trials, even when you do not know what God wants to do and what work He wants to accomplish, you should know that God’s intentions for mankind are always good. If you pursue Him with a true heart then He will never leave you, and in the end He will surely perfect you, and bring people to an appropriate destination. Regardless of how God is currently testing people, there will come a day when He will provide people with an appropriate outcome and give them the appropriate retribution based on what they have done. God will not lead people to a certain point and then just cast them aside and ignore them. This is because God is trustworthy. At this stage, the Holy Spirit is doing the work of refinement. He is refining every single person. In the steps of work that were constituted by the trial of death and the trial of chastisement, refinement was carried out through words. For people to experience God’s work, they must first understand His current work and how mankind should cooperate. Indeed, this is something that everyone should understand. No matter what God does, whether it be refinement or even if He is not speaking, not a single step of God’s work falls in line with mankind’s notions. Each step of His work shatters and breaks through people’s notions. This is His work. But you must believe that, since God’s work has reached a certain stage, He will not put all mankind to death no matter what. He gives both promises and blessings to mankind, and all those who pursue Him will be able to gain His blessings, but those who do not will be cast aside by God. This depends on your pursuit. Regardless of anything else, you must believe that when God’s work is concluded, every single person will have a suitable destination. God has provided mankind with beautiful aspirations, but without pursuit they are unattainable. You should be able to see this now—God’s refinement and His chastisement of people is His work, but people, for their part, must pursue a change in disposition at all times. In your practical experience, you must first know how to eat and drink God’s words; you must find within His words what you should enter into and your own shortcomings, you should seek entry in your practical experience, and take the portion of God’s words that should be put into practice and try to do so. Eating and drinking God’s words is one aspect. In addition, the life of the church must be maintained, you must have a normal spiritual life, and you must be able to hand over all of your current states to God. No matter how His work changes, your spiritual life should remain normal. A spiritual life can maintain your normal entering in. No matter what God does, you ought to continue your spiritual life uninterrupted and fulfill your duty. This is what people should do. It is all the work of the Holy Spirit, but while for those with a normal condition this is perfection, for those with an abnormal condition it is a trial. At the current stage of the Holy Spirit’s refinement work, some people say that God’s work is so great and that people absolutely need refinement, otherwise their stature will be too small and they will have no way of attaining God’s will. However, for those whose condition is not good, it becomes a reason to not pursue God, and a reason to not attend gatherings or eat and drink God’s word. In God’s work, no matter what He does or what changes He effects, people must maintain a baseline of a normal spiritual life. Perhaps you have not been lax in this current stage of your spiritual life, but you still have not gained much, and have not reaped a great harvest. Under these kinds of circumstances, you must still follow the rules; you must keep to these rules so that you do not suffer losses in your life and so that you satisfy God’s will. If your spiritual life is abnormal, you cannot understand God’s current work, and instead always feel that it is completely incompatible with your own notions, and though you are willing to follow Him, you lack internal drive. So, no matter what God is currently doing, people must cooperate. If people do not cooperate, then the Holy Spirit cannot do His work, and if people do not have a heart to cooperate, then they can hardly gain the work of the Holy Spirit. If you want to have the work of the Holy Spirit inside of you, and if you want to gain God’s approval, then you must maintain your original devotion before the face of God. Now, it is not necessary for you to have a deeper understanding, a higher theory, or other such things—all that is required is that you uphold God’s word on the original foundation. If people do not cooperate with God and do not pursue deeper entry, then God will take away all the things that were originally theirs. On the inside, people are always greedy for ease and would rather enjoy what is already available. They want to gain God’s promises without paying any price at all. These are the extravagant thoughts that mankind entertains. Gaining life itself without paying a price—but has anything ever been this easy? When someone believes in God and seeks to enter into life and seeks a change in their disposition, they must pay a price and achieve a state in which they will always follow God, no matter what He does. This is something that people must do. Even if you follow all of this as a rule, you must always uphold it, and no matter how great the trials, you cannot let go of your normal relationship with God. You should be able to pray, maintain your church life, and never leave your brothers and sisters. When God tries you, you should still seek the truth. This is the minimum requirement for a spiritual life. Always having the desire to seek, and striving to cooperate, applying all of your energy—can this be done? If people take this as a foundation, they will be able to achieve discernment and entry into reality. It is easy to accept God’s word when your own state is normal; in these circumstances it does not feel difficult to practice the truth, and you feel that God’s work is great. But if your condition is poor, no matter how great God’s work is and no matter how beautifully someone speaks, you will pay no mind. When a person’s condition is abnormal, God cannot work in them, and they cannot achieve changes in their disposition.
Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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If people do not have any confidence, it is not easy for them to continue down this path. Everyone can now see that God’s work does not conform in the slightest with people’s notions. God has done so much work and spoken so many words, which are completely out of line with human notions. Thus, people must have the confidence and willpower to be able to stand by what they have already seen and what they have gained from their experiences. No matter what God does in people, they must uphold what they themselves possess, be sincere in front of God, and remain devoted to Him to the very end. This is mankind’s duty. People must uphold that which they should do. Belief in God requires obedience to Him and experience of His work. God has done so much work—it could be said that for people it is all perfection, refinement, and even more, chastisement. There has not been a single step of God’s work that has been in line with human notions; what people have enjoyed is God’s stern words. When God comes, people should enjoy His majesty and His wrath. However, no matter how stern His words may be, He comes to save and perfect mankind. As creatures, people should fulfill the duties that they ought to, and stand witness for God in the midst of refinement. In every trial they should uphold the witness that they should bear, and do so resoundingly for the sake of God. A person who does this is an overcomer. No matter how God refines you, you remain full of confidence and never lose confidence in Him. You do what man should do. This is what God requires of man, and man’s heart should be able to fully return to Him and turn toward Him in every passing moment. This is an overcomer. Those whom God refers to as “overcomers” are those who are still able to stand witness and maintain their confidence and devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and while being laid siege to by Satan, that is, when they find themselves amidst the forces of darkness. If you are still able to keep a pure heart before God and maintain your genuine love for God no matter what, then you are standing witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an “overcomer.” If your pursuit is excellent when God blesses you, but you retreat without His blessings, is this purity? Since you are certain that this way is true, you must follow it until the end; you must maintain your devotion to God. Since you have seen that God Himself has come to the earth to perfect you, you should give your heart entirely to Him. If you can still follow Him no matter what He does, even if He determines an unfavorable outcome for you at the very end, this is maintaining your purity in front of God. Offering a holy spiritual body and a pure virgin to God means keeping a sincere heart in front of God. For mankind, sincerity is purity, and the ability to be sincere toward God is maintaining purity. This is what you should put into practice. When you ought to pray, you pray; when you ought to gather together in fellowship, you do so; when you ought to sing hymns, you sing hymns; and when you ought to forsake the flesh, you forsake the flesh. When you perform your duty, you do not muddle through it; when you are faced with trials you stand firm. This is devotion to God. If you do not uphold what people should do, then all of your previous suffering and resolutions have been futile.
Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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For every step of God’s work, there is a way that people should cooperate. God refines people so that they have confidence as they undergo refinements. God perfects people so that they have confidence to be perfected by God and are willing to accept His refinements and to be dealt with and pruned by God. The Spirit of God works within people to bring them enlightenment and illumination, and to have them cooperate with Him and practice. God does not speak during refinements. He does not utter His voice, but still, there is work that people should do. You should uphold what you already have, you should still be able to pray to God, be close to God, and stand witness before God; in this way you will fulfill your own duty. All of you should see clearly from God’s work that His trials of people’s confidence and love require that they pray more to God, and that they more often savor God’s words before Him. If God enlightens you and has you understand His will, and yet you do not put any of this into practice, you will gain nothing. When you put God’s words into practice, you should still be able to pray to Him, and when you savor His words you should come before Him and seek and be full of confidence in Him, with no trace of feeling disheartened or cold. Those who do not put God’s words into practice are full of energy during gatherings, but fall into darkness when they return home. There are some who do not even want to gather together. So, you must clearly see what duty it is that people should fulfill. You may not know what God’s will actually is, but you can perform your duty, you can pray when you should, you can put the truth into practice when you should, and you can do what people ought to do. You can uphold your original vision. In this way, you will be more able to accept God’s next step of work. When God works in a hidden way, it is a problem if you do not seek. When He speaks and preaches during assemblies, you listen with enthusiasm, but when He does not speak you lack energy and draw back. What kind of person acts in this way? This is someone who just follows wherever the herd goes. They have no stance, no testimony, and no vision! Most people are like this. If you continue on that way, one day when you come upon a great trial, you will fall into punishment. Having a stance is very important in God’s process of perfecting people. If you do not doubt a single step of God’s work, if you fulfill man’s duty, if you sincerely uphold what God has you put into practice, that is, you remember God’s exhortations, and no matter what He does in the present day you do not forget His exhortations, if you have no doubt about His work, maintain your stance, uphold your testimony, and are victorious every step of the way, then in the end you will be perfected by God and be made into an overcomer. If you are able to stand firm through every step of God’s trials, and if you can still stand firm at the very end, then you are an overcomer, you are someone who has been perfected by God. If you cannot stand firm in your current trials, then in the future it will become even more difficult. If you only undergo an insignificant amount of suffering and you do not pursue the truth, then ultimately you will gain nothing. You will be left empty-handed. There are some people who give up their pursuit when they see that God is not speaking, and their heart becomes scattered. Is such a person not a fool? These kinds of people have no reality. When God is speaking, they are always running around, appearing busy and enthusiastic on the outside, but now that He is not speaking, they stop seeking. This kind of person has no future. During refinements, you must enter in from a positive perspective and learn the lessons that you should learn; when you pray to God and read His word, you should measure your own state against it, discover your shortcomings, and find that you still have many lessons to learn. The more sincerely you seek as you undergo refinements, the more you will find yourself inadequate. When you are experiencing refinements there are many issues that you encounter; you cannot see them clearly, you complain, you reveal your own flesh—only in this way can you discover that you have far too many corrupt dispositions within you.
Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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God’s work in the last days requires enormous confidence, confidence even greater than that of Job. Without confidence, people will not be able to continue to gain experience and nor will they be able to be perfected by God. When the day of great trials comes, there will be people leaving the churches—some here, some there. There will be some who had been doing quite well in their pursuit in the previous days and it will be unclear why they no longer believe. Many things will happen that you will not understand, and God will not reveal any signs or wonders, nor do anything supernatural. This is to see if you can stand firm—God uses facts to refine people. You have not yet suffered much. In the future when great trials come, in some places every single person in the church will leave, and those whom you have had a good relationship with will leave and abandon their faith. Will you be able to stand firm then? Up to now, the trials you have faced have been minor, and you probably have been barely able to withstand them. This step includes refinements and perfecting through words only. In the next step, the facts will come upon you to refine you, and then you will be in the midst of peril. Once it becomes really serious, God will advise you to hurry up and leave, and religious people will try to lure you into going with them. This is to see if you can continue on the path, and all of these things are trials. The current trials are minor, but the day will come when there will be some homes where the parents no longer believe, and some where the children no longer believe. Will you be able to continue? The farther forward you go, the greater your trials will become. God carries out His work of refining people according to their needs and their stature. During the stage of God perfecting mankind, it is impossible that the number of people will continue to grow—it will only shrink. It is only through these refinements that people can be perfected. Being dealt with, disciplined, tested, chastised, cursed—can you withstand all of this? When you see a church with a particularly good situation, where the sisters and brothers are all seeking with great energy, you yourself feel encouraged. When the day comes that they have all left, some of them no longer believe, some have left to do business or get married, and some have joined the religion; will you be able to stand firm then? Will you be able to remain unaffected within? God’s perfection of mankind is not such a simple thing! He utilizes many things to refine people. People see these as methods, but in God’s original intention these are not methods at all, but facts. In the end, when He has refined people to a certain point and they no longer have any complaints, this stage of His work will be complete. The great work of the Holy Spirit is to perfect you, and when He does not work and hides Himself, it is even more for the purpose of perfecting you, and in particular in this way it can be seen whether people have love for God, whether they have true confidence in Him. When God speaks plainly, there is no need for you to search; it is only when He is concealed that you need to search and feel your way through. You should be able to fulfill the duty of a created being, and no matter what your future outcome and your destination may be, you should be able to pursue knowledge and love for God during the years you are alive, and no matter how God treats you, you should be able to avoid complaining. There is one condition for the Holy Spirit to work within people. They must thirst and seek and not be half-hearted or doubtful about God’s actions, and they must be able to uphold their duty at all times; only in this way can they gain the work of the Holy Spirit. In each step of God’s work, what is required of mankind is enormous confidence and coming before God to seek—only through experience can people discover how lovable God is and how the Holy Spirit works in people. If you do not experience, if you do not feel your way through that, if you do not seek, then you will gain nothing. You must feel your way through your experiences, and only through your experiences can you see God’s actions and recognize His wondrousness and unfathomableness.
Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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God causes you to experience all manner of tempests, hardships, difficulties, and numerous failures and setbacks, so that, ultimately, in the course of experiencing these things, you come to discover that everything God says is correct, and that your beliefs, notions, imaginings, knowledge, philosophic theories, philosophies, what you have learned in the world and been taught by your parents are all wrong. They cannot lead you onto the right path in life, they cannot lead you to understand the truth and come before God, and the path you walk is the path of failure. This is what God will make you ultimately realize. For you, this is a necessary process, and what you should gain during the process of experiencing salvation. Yet it also saddens God: Because people are rebellious, and are possessed of corrupt dispositions, they must undergo this process and experience these setbacks. But if someone truly loves the truth, if they are truly willing to be saved by God, if they are willing to accept the various methods of God’s salvation—for example trials, discipline, judgment and chastisement—if they are determined to suffer thus, if they are willing to pay this price, God does not in fact wish for them to suffer so much hardship, nor does He wish them to undergo so many setbacks and failures. But people are too rebellious. They want to take the crooked path, they are willing to suffer these hardships. That is just the kind of thing man is, and God has no choice but to hand people over to Satan, and put them in various situations to constantly temper them, so that they gain all kinds of experiences and learn various lessons from these situations, and recognize the essence of all kinds of evil things. Afterward, they look back and discover that God’s words are the truth, they acknowledge that God’s words are the truth, that only God is the reality of all positive things, and that only God is the One who truly loves man, and no one is better to man than God, or more caring. To what extent are people tempered, ultimately? To the extent that you say, “I have experienced every kind of situation, and there is not a single situation, a single person, matter or object that can make me understand the truth, that can make me enjoy the truth, that can make me enter truth reality. I can only obediently practice according to God’s words, obediently stay in man’s place, abide by the status and duty of a created being, obediently accept the sovereignty and arrangements of God, and come before the Creator without any complaint or any choice, and without my own demands or desires.” When they have reached this level, people truly bow before God, and God need not create any more situations for them to experience. So which path do you wish to take? No one, in their subjective desires, wishes to suffer hardship, and no one wants to experience setbacks, failure, adversity, frustrations, and tempests. But there is no other way. The things inside man—his nature essence, his rebelliousness, his thoughts and perspectives—are too complicated; each day, they become mixed up and entwined inside you, and they roil within you. You enter little of the truth reality, you understand little of the truth, and you lack the power to overcome the essence of your corrupt disposition, your notions, and imaginings. You therefore have no choice but to accept the other approach: to constantly experience failure and frustration, and to constantly fall down, tossed around by hardship, roiling in the muck, until a day comes when you say, “I’m tired, I’m fed up, I don’t want to live like this. I don’t want to undergo these failures, I want to come before the Creator with obedience. I shall listen to God’s words, I shall do what He says. Only this is the right path in life.” Only on the day you fully admit defeat will you come before God. Do you come to know something of God’s disposition from this? What is God’s attitude toward man? No matter what God does, He wishes the best for man. No matter what environment He sets out or what He asks you to do, He always wishes to see the best outcome. Say you go through something and encounter setbacks and failure. God does not wish to see you fail and then think yourself finished, that you have been snatched by Satan, from which point you never find your feet again, and are plunged into dejection—God does not wish to see this outcome. What does God wish to see? You may have failed in this matter but you are able to seek the truth, to find the reason for your failure; you accept the fact of this failure and take something from it, you learn a lesson, you realize it was wrong to act that way, that only acting according to God’s words is right. You realize, “I am bad and I have corrupt satanic dispositions. There is rebelliousness in me, I am some way from the righteous people of whom God speaks, and I do not have a heart that fears God.” You realize a phenomenon, a true fact of the matter, and you understand things and grow up through this setback and failure. This is what God wishes to see. What does it mean to “grow up”? It means God is able to gain you, and you are able to attain salvation. It means you are able to enter truth reality, that you have come a step closer to setting foot on the path of fearing God and shunning evil. This is what God wishes to see. God acts with good intention, and His acts all contain His hidden love, which people often cannot appreciate. Man is narrow-minded and petty, and his heart is as narrow as the eye of a needle; when God does not acknowledge him or has no grace or blessings for him, he blames God. Yet God does not bicker with man; He lays out environments that let man know how grace and benefit are obtained, what grace means to man, and what man can draw from it. Say you liked to eat some good thing that God says is bad for your health when eaten in excess. You do not listen, but insist on eating it, and God allows you to make that choice freely. As a result, you get sick. After experiencing this several times, you come to understand that it is God’s words that are right, that all He says is true, and that you must practice according to His words. This is the correct path. And so what do these setbacks, failures and sorrows that people go through become? You appreciate God’s painstaking intention, and you also believe and are sure that God’s words are right; your faith in God grows. There is something else, too: Through experiencing this period of failure, you come to realize the veracity and accuracy of God’s words, you see that God’s words are the truth, and you understand the principle of practicing the truth. And so, it is good for people to experience failure—though it is also something painful, something that tempers them. But if being tempered thus ultimately makes you return before God, accept His words, and take them as the truth, then such tempering, setbacks and failures have not been experienced in vain. This is what God wishes to see.
Excerpted from “How to Discern the Nature Essence of Paul” in Records of Christ’s Talks
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You must remember that these words have now been spoken: Later on, you will experience greater tribulation and greater suffering! To be perfected is not a simple or easy thing. At the very least you must possess the faith of Job, or maybe even greater faith than his. You should know that the trials in the future will be greater than the trials of Job, and that you must still undergo long-term chastisement. Is this a simple thing? If your caliber cannot be improved, if your capacity for understanding is lacking, and if you know too little, then at that time you will not have any testimony, but will instead become a joke, a plaything for Satan. If you cannot hold on to the visions now, then you have no foundation at all, and in the future you will be discarded! No stretch of the path is easy to walk, so do not take this lightly. Carefully weigh this now and make preparations so that you may properly walk the final stretch of this path. This is the path that must be walked in the future, the path that all people must walk. You must not let this knowledge go unheeded; do not think that what I say to you is all a waste of breath. The day will come when you will put it all to good use—My words cannot be spoken in vain. This is the time to equip yourself, the time to pave the way for the future. You should prepare the path that you should later walk; you should be worried and anxious about how you will be able to stand firm in the future, and prepare well for your future path. Do not be gluttonous and lazy! You must do absolutely everything you can to make the best use of your time, so that you may gain everything that you need. I am giving you everything so that you can understand. You have seen with your own eyes that in less than three years, I have said so many things and done so much work. One reason that I have been working in this way is because people are lacking so much, and another reason is because time is too short; there cannot be any further delays. You imagine that people must first achieve perfect internal clarity before they can bear witness and be utilized—but would that not be too slow? So, for how long will I have to accompany you? If you would have Me accompany you until I am old and gray, that would be impossible! By undergoing greater tribulation, genuine understanding within all people will be achieved. These are the steps of the work. Once you fully understand the visions fellowshiped today and you attain genuine stature, then whatever hardships you undergo in the future will not overwhelm you, and you will be able to withstand them. When I have completed this last step of work and finished uttering the last words, in the future people will need to walk their own path. This will fulfill the words spoken before: The Holy Spirit has a commission for every single person, and work to do in every single person. In the future, everyone will walk the path that they should walk, led by the Holy Spirit. Who will be able to care for others when undergoing tribulation? Each individual has their own suffering, and each has their own stature. No one’s stature is the same as anyone else’s. Husbands will not be able to care for their wives, or parents for their children; no one will be able to care for anyone else. It will not be like now, when mutual care and support are still possible. That will be a time when every type of person is exposed. That is, when God smites the shepherds, then the sheep of the flock will be scattered, and at that time you will not have any true leader. The people will be divided—it will not be like now, when you can come together as a congregation. In the future, those who do not have the work of the Holy Spirit will show their true colors. Husbands will sell out their wives, wives will sell out their husbands, children will sell out their parents, and parents will persecute their children—the human heart is beyond fathoming! All that can be done is for one to hold on to what one has, and to properly walk the final stretch of the path. Right now, you do not see this clearly; you are all short-sighted. It is no easy thing to successfully experience this step of work.
Excerpted from “How You Should Walk the Final Stretch of the Path” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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Most people believe in God for the sake of their future destination, or for temporary enjoyment. For those who have not undergone any dealing, they believe in God in order to enter into heaven, in order to gain rewards. They do not believe in God in order to be made perfect, or to perform the duty of a creature of God. Which is to say that most people do not believe in God in order to fulfill their responsibilities, or to complete their duty. Rarely do people believe in God in order to lead meaningful lives, nor are there those who believe that, since man is alive, he should love God because it is ordained by Heaven and acknowledged by earth to do so, and is the natural vocation of man. In this way, although different people each pursue their own goals, the aim of their pursuit and the motivation behind it are all alike, and, what is more, for most of them the objects of their worship are much the same. Over the last several thousand years, many believers have died, and many have died and been born again. It is not just one or two people who seek after God, nor even one or two thousand, yet most of these people pursue for the sake of their own prospects or their glorious hopes for the future. Those who are devoted to Christ are few and far between. Many devout believers have still died ensnared in their own nets, and the number of people who have been victorious, moreover, is pifflingly small. To this day, the reasons why people fail, or the secrets of their victory, are still unknown to them. Those who are obsessed with seeking after Christ have still not had their moment of sudden insight, they have not gotten to the bottom of these mysteries, because they simply do not know. Though they make painstaking efforts in their pursuit, the path they walk is the path of failure once walked by their predecessors, and not the path of success. In this way, regardless of how they seek, do they not walk the path that leads to darkness? Is what they gain not bitter fruit? It is hard enough to predict whether the people who emulate those who succeeded in times past will ultimately come to fortune or calamity. How much worse are the odds, then, for the people who seek by following in the footsteps of those who failed? Do they not stand an even greater chance of failure? What value is there to the path they walk? Are they not wasting their time? Irrespective of whether people succeed or fail in their pursuit, there is, in short, a reason why they do so, and it is not the case that their success or failure is determined by seeking however they please.
Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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The most fundamental requirement of man’s belief in God is that he have an honest heart, and that he fully devote himself, and truly obey. What is hardest for man is to provide his whole life in exchange for true belief, through which he can gain the entire truth, and fulfill his duty as a creature of God. This is what is unattainable by those who fail, and it is even more unattainable by those who cannot find Christ. Because man is not good at wholly devoting himself to God, because man is not willing to perform his duty to the Creator, because man has seen the truth but avoids it and walks his own path, because man always seeks by following the path of those who have failed, because man always defies Heaven, thus, man always fails, is always taken in by Satan’s trickery, and is ensnared in his own net. Because man does not know Christ, because man is not adept at understanding and experiencing the truth, because man is too worshipful of Paul and too covetous of heaven, because man is always demanding that Christ obey him and ordering God about, thus those great figures and those who have experienced the vicissitudes of the world are still mortal, and still die amid God’s chastisement. All I can say of such people is that they die a tragic death, and that the consequence for them—their death—is not without justification. Is their failure not even more intolerable to the law of Heaven? The truth comes from the world of man, yet the truth among man is passed on by Christ. It originates from Christ, that is, from God Himself, and this is not something man is capable of. Yet Christ provides only the truth; He does not come to decide whether man will be successful in his pursuit of the truth. Thus it follows that success or failure in the truth is all down to man’s pursuit. Man’s success or failure in the truth has never had anything to do with Christ, but is instead determined by his pursuit. Man’s destination and his success or failure cannot be heaped upon the head of God, so that God Himself is made to bear it, because this is not a matter for God Himself, but is directly related to the duty that the creatures of God should perform. Most people do have a little knowledge of the pursuit and destination of Paul and Peter, yet people know nothing more than the outcomes of Peter and Paul, and are ignorant of the secret behind Peter’s success, or the deficiencies that led to Paul’s failure. And so, if you are completely incapable of seeing through to the essence of their pursuit, then the pursuit of most of you will still fail, and even if a small number of you will be successful, still they will not be the equal of Peter. If the path of your pursuit is the right one, then you have a hope of success; if the path you tread in pursuit of the truth is the wrong one, then you will forever be incapable of success, and will meet the same end as Paul.
Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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Peter was a man who was made perfect. Only after experiencing chastisement and judgment, and thus gaining a pure love for God, was he fully made perfect; the path he walked was the path of being made perfect. Which is to say that, from the very beginning, the path that Peter walked was the right one, and his motivation for believing in God was the right one, and so he became someone who was made perfect and he trod a new path that man had never walked upon before. However, the path that Paul had walked upon since the beginning was the path of opposition to Christ, and it was only because the Holy Spirit wished to use him, and to take advantage of his gifts and all his merits for His work, that he worked for Christ for several decades. He was merely someone who was used by the Holy Spirit, and he was not used because Jesus looked favorably upon his humanity, but because of his gifts. He was able to work for Jesus because he was struck down, not because he was happy to do so. He was able to do such work because of the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the work he did by no means represented his pursuit, or his humanity. The work of Paul represented the work of a servant, which is to say that he did the work of an apostle. Peter, though, was different: He also did some work; it was not as great as the work of Paul, but he worked whilst pursuing his own entry, and his work was different from the work of Paul. Peter’s work was the performance of the duty of a creature of God. He did not work in the role of an apostle, but worked whilst pursuing the love for God. The course of Paul’s work also contained his personal pursuit: His pursuit was for the sake of nothing more than his hopes for the future, and his desire for a good destination. He did not accept refinement during his work, nor did he accept pruning and dealing. He believed that as long as the work he did satisfied God’s desire, and all that he did was pleasing to God, then a reward ultimately awaited him. There were no personal experiences in his work—it was all for its own sake, and not carried out amid the pursuit of change. Everything in his work was a transaction, it contained none of the duty or submission of a creature of God. During the course of his work, there occurred no change in Paul’s old disposition. His work was merely of service to others, and was incapable of bringing about changes in his disposition. Paul carried out his work directly, without having been made perfect or dealt with, and he was motivated by reward. Peter was different: He was someone who had undergone pruning and dealing and had undergone refinement. The aim and motivation of the work of Peter were fundamentally different to those of Paul. Although Peter did not do a large amount of work, his disposition underwent many changes, and what he sought was the truth, and real change. His work was not carried out simply for the sake of the work itself. Although Paul did much work, it was all the work of the Holy Spirit, and even though Paul cooperated in this work, he did not experience it. That Peter did much less work was only because the Holy Spirit did not do that much work through him. The quantity of their work did not determine whether they were made perfect; the pursuit of one was in order to receive rewards, and that of the other was in order to achieve an ultimate love for God, and fulfill his duty as a creature of God, to the extent that he could live out a lovely image in order to satisfy God’s desire. Externally they were different, and so too were their essences different. You cannot determine who of them was made perfect based on how much work they did. Peter sought to live out the image of one who loves God, to be someone who obeyed God, to be someone who accepted dealing and pruning, and to be someone who fulfilled his duty as a creature of God. He was able to devote himself to God, to put the entirety of himself in the hands of God, and obey Him until death. That was what he resolved to do and, moreover, that was what he achieved. This is the fundamental reason why finally his end was different to that of Paul. The work that the Holy Spirit did in Peter was to make him perfect, and the work that the Holy Spirit did in Paul was to use him. That is because their natures and their views toward pursuit were not the same. Both had the work of the Holy Spirit. Peter applied this work to himself, and also provided it to others; Paul, meanwhile, only provided the entirety of the work of the Holy Spirit to others, and gained nothing from it himself. In this way, after he had experienced the work of the Holy Spirit for so many years, the changes in Paul were close to non-existent. He still remained almost in his natural state, and he was still the Paul of before. It was merely that after enduring the hardship of many years of work, he had learned how to “work,” and had learned endurance, but his old nature—his highly competitive and mercenary nature—still remained. After working for so many years, he did not know his corrupt disposition, nor had he rid himself of his old disposition, and it was still clearly visible in his work. In him there was merely more work experience, but such little experience alone was incapable of changing him and could not alter his views about existence or the significance of his pursuit. Though he worked many years for Christ, and never again persecuted the Lord Jesus, in his heart there was no change in his knowledge of God. This means that he did not work in order to devote himself to God, but rather he was compelled to work for the sake of his future destination. For, in the beginning, he persecuted Christ, and did not submit to Christ; he was inherently a rebel who deliberately opposed Christ, and someone who had no knowledge of the work of the Holy Spirit. When his work was almost concluded, still he did not know the work of the Holy Spirit, and merely acted of his own accord pursuant to his own character, without paying the slightest attention to the will of the Holy Spirit. And so his nature was in enmity to Christ and did not obey the truth. Someone like this, who had been forsaken by the work of the Holy Spirit, who did not know the work of the Holy Spirit, and who also opposed Christ—how could such a person be saved? Whether or not man can be saved does not depend on how much work he does, or how much he devotes, but is instead determined by whether or not he knows the work of the Holy Spirit, whether or not he can put the truth into practice, and whether or not his views toward pursuit are in conformity with the truth.
Excerpted from “Success or Failure Depends on the Path That Man Walks” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
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Although natural revelations did occur after Peter began to follow Jesus, in nature he was, from the very beginning, someone who was willing to submit to the Holy Spirit and seek after Christ. His obedience to the Holy Spirit was pure: He did not seek fame and fortune, but was instead motivated by obedience to the truth. Though there were three times when Peter denied knowing Christ, and though he tempted the Lord Jesus, such slight human weakness bore no relation to his nature, it did not affect his future pursuit, and it cannot sufficiently prove that his temptation was the act of an antichrist. Normal human weakness is something shared by all people in the world—do you expect Peter to be any different? Do people not hold certain views about Peter because he made several foolish mistakes? And do people not so adore Paul because of all the work he did, and all the epistles he wrote? How could man be capable of seeing through to the substance of man? Surely those who truly have sense can see something of such insignificance? Though the many years of painful experiences of Peter are not recorded in the Bible, this does not prove that Peter did not have real experiences, or that Peter was not made perfect. How can the work of God be fully fathomed by man? The records in the Bible were not personally selected by Jesus, but compiled by later generations. That being so, was all that was recorded in the Bible not chosen according to the ideas of man? Moreover, the ends of Peter and Paul are not expressly stated in the epistles, so man judges Peter and Paul according to his own perceptions, and according to his own preferences. And because Paul did so much work, because his “contributions” were so great, he won the trust of the masses. Does not man concentrate only on superficialities? How could man be capable of seeing through to the substance of man? Not to mention, given that Paul has been an object of worship for thousands of years, who would dare to rashly deny his work? Peter was just a fisherman, so how could his contribution be as great as that of Paul? In terms of the contributions they made, Paul should have been rewarded before Peter, and he should have been the one who was better qualified to gain God’s approval. Who could have imagined that, in His treatment of Paul, God merely made him work through his gifts, whereas God made Peter perfect. It is by no means the case that the Lord Jesus had made plans for Peter and Paul from the very beginning: They were, rather, made perfect or put to work according to their inherent natures. And so, what people see are merely the outward contributions of man, whereas what God sees is man’s substance, as well as the path that man pursues from the beginning, and the motivation behind man’s pursuit. People measure a man according to their notions, and according to their own perceptions, yet the final end of a man is not determined according to his externalities. And so I say that if the path that you take from the beginning is the path of success, and your point of view toward pursuit is the right one from the beginning, then you are like Peter; if the path that you tread is the path of failure, then whatever the price you pay, your end will still be the same as that of Paul. Whatever the case, your destination, and whether you succeed or fail, are both determined by whether the path you seek is the right one or not, rather than your devotion, or the price that you pay. Peter’s and Paul’s essences, and the goals that they pursued, were different; man is incapable of discovering these things, and only God can know them in their entirety. For what God sees is the substance of man, whereas man knows nothing of his own essence. Man is incapable of beholding the essence within man or his actual stature, and thus is incapable of identifying the reasons for the failure and success of Paul and Peter. The reason why most people worship Paul and not Peter is because Paul was used for public work, and man is able to perceive this work, and so people acknowledge the “accomplishments” of Paul. The experiences of Peter, meanwhile, are invisible to man, and that which he sought is unattainable by man, and so man has no interest in Peter.
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Peter was made perfect through experiencing dealing and refinement. He said, “I must satisfy God’s desire at all times. In all that I do I only seek to satisfy God’s desire, and whether I am chastised, or judged, still I am happy to do so.” Peter gave his all to God, and his work, words, and entire life were all for the sake of loving God. He was someone who sought holiness, and the more he experienced, the greater was his love for God deep within his heart. Paul, meanwhile, did only outward work, and though he also worked hard, his labors were for the sake of doing his work properly and thus gaining a reward. Had he known that he would receive no reward, he would have given up his work. What Peter cared about was the true love within his heart, and that which was practical and could be achieved. He did not care about whether he would receive a reward, but about whether his disposition could be changed. Paul cared about working ever harder, he cared about outward work and devotion, and about the doctrines not experienced by normal people. He cared nothing for changes deep within him nor for the true love for God. The experiences of Peter were in order to achieve true love and true knowledge of God. His experiences were in order to gain a closer relationship to God, and to have a practical living out. The work of Paul was done because of that entrusted to him by Jesus, and in order to obtain the things that he longed for, yet these were unrelated to his knowledge of himself and God. His work was solely for the sake of escaping chastisement and judgment. What Peter sought was pure love, and what Paul sought was the crown of righteousness. Peter experienced many years of the work of the Holy Spirit, and had a practical knowledge of Christ, as well as a profound knowledge of himself. And so, his love of God was pure. Many years of refinement had elevated his knowledge of Jesus and life, and his love was an unconditional love, it was a spontaneous love, and he asked for nothing in return, nor did he hope for any benefits. Paul worked for many years, yet he did not possess a great knowledge of Christ, and his knowledge of himself was also pitiably small. He simply had no love for Christ, and his work and the course that he ran were in order to obtain the final laurel. What he sought was the finest crown, not the purest love. He did not seek actively, but passively; he was not performing his duty, but was compelled in his pursuit after having been seized by the work of the Holy Spirit. And so, his pursuit does not prove that he was a qualified creature of God; it was Peter who was a qualified creature of God who performed his duty. Man thinks that all those who make a contribution to God should receive a reward, and that the greater the contribution, the more it is taken for granted that they should receive God’s favor. The essence of man’s viewpoint is transactional, and he does not actively seek to perform his duty as a creature of God. For God, the more that people seek a true love for God and complete obedience to God, which also means seeking to perform their duty as a creature of God, the more they are able to gain God’s approval. God’s viewpoint is to demand that man recover his original duty and status. Man is a creature of God, and so man should not overstep himself by making any demands of God, and should do nothing more than perform his duty as a creature of God. The destinations of Paul and Peter were measured according to whether they could perform their duty as creatures of God, and not according to the size of their contribution; their destinations were determined according to that which they sought from the beginning, not according to how much work they did, or other people’s estimation of them. And so, seeking to actively perform one’s duty as a creature of God is the path to success; seeking the path of the true love for God is the most correct path; seeking changes in one’s old disposition, and seeking the pure love for God, is the path to success. Such a path to success is the path of the recovery of the original duty as well as the original appearance of a creature of God. It is the path of recovery, and it is also the aim of all of God’s work from beginning to end. If the pursuit of man is tainted with personal extravagant demands and irrational longings, then the effect that is achieved will not be changes in man’s disposition. This is at odds with the work of recovery. It is undoubtedly not work done by the Holy Spirit, and so this proves that pursuit of this kind is not approved of by God. What significance has a pursuit that is not approved of by God?
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The work done by Paul was exhibited before man, but as for how pure his love for God was and how much He loved God deep down in his heart—these things man cannot see. Man can only behold the work that he did, from which man knows that he was surely used by the Holy Spirit, and so man thinks that Paul was better than Peter, that his work was greater, for he was able to provide to the churches. Peter only looked to his personal experiences and gained but a few people during his occasional work. From him there are but a few little-known epistles, but who knows how great was his love for God deep within his heart? Day in, day out, Paul worked for God: As long as there was work to be done, he did it. He felt that in this way he would be able to gain the crown, and could satisfy God, yet he did not seek ways to change himself through his work. Anything in Peter’s life that did not satisfy God’s desire made him feel uneasy. If it did not satisfy God’s desire, then he would feel remorseful, and would look for a suitable way by which he could strive to satisfy God’s heart. In even the smallest and most inconsequential aspects of his life, still he required himself to satisfy God’s desire. He was no less exacting when it came to his old disposition, ever rigorous in his requirements of himself to progress deeper into the truth. Paul sought only superficial reputation and status. He sought to show himself off before man, and did not seek to make any deeper progress in life entry. What he cared about was doctrine, not reality. Some people say, “Paul did so much work for God, why was he not remembered by God? Peter carried out but a little work for God, and did not make a great contribution to the churches, so why was he made perfect?” Peter loved God to a certain point, which was required by God; only such people as this have testimony. And what of Paul? To what degree did Paul love God? Do you know? What was Paul’s work done for? And what was Peter’s work done for? Peter did not do much work, but do you know what was deep within his heart? The work of Paul pertained to the provision to the churches, and the support of the churches. What Peter experienced were changes in his life disposition; he experienced the love for God. Now that you know the differences in their essences, you can see who, ultimately, truly believed in God, and who did not truly believe in God. One of them truly loved God, and the other did not truly love God; one underwent changes in his disposition, and the other did not; one served humbly, and was not easily noticed by people, and the other was worshiped by people, and was of great image; one sought holiness, and the other did not, and though he was not impure, he was not possessed of a pure love; one was possessed of true humanity, and the other was not; one was possessed of the sense of a creature of God, and the other was not. Such are the differences in the essences of Paul and Peter. The path that Peter walked was the path of success, which was also the path of achieving the recovery of normal humanity and the recovery of the duty of a creature of God. Peter represents all those who are successful. The path walked by Paul was the path of failure, and he represents all those who only submit and expend themselves superficially, and do not genuinely love God. Paul represents all those who do not possess the truth. In his belief in God, Peter sought to satisfy God in everything, and sought to obey all that came from God. Without the slightest complaint, he was able to accept chastisement and judgment, as well as refinement, tribulation and going without in his life, none of which could alter his love for God. Was this not the ultimate love for God? Was this not the fulfillment of the duty of a creature of God? Whether in chastisement, judgment, or tribulation, you are always capable of achieving obedience unto death, and this is what should be achieved by a creature of God, this is the purity of the love for God. If man can achieve this much, then he is a qualified creature of God, and there is nothing which better satisfies the desire of the Creator. Imagine that you are able to work for God, yet you do not obey God, and are incapable of truly loving God. In this way, not only will you not have fulfilled the duty of a creature of God, but you will also be condemned by God, for you are someone who does not possess the truth, who is incapable of obeying God, and who is disobedient to God. You only care about working for God, and do not care about putting the truth into practice or knowing yourself. You do not understand or know the Creator, and do not obey or love the Creator. You are someone who is innately disobedient to God, and so such people are not beloved by the Creator.
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Some people say, “Paul did a tremendous amount of work, and he shouldered great burdens for the churches and contributed so much to them. The thirteen epistles of Paul upheld 2,000 years of the Age of Grace, and are second only to the Four Gospels. Who can compare with him? No one can decipher the Revelation of John, whereas Paul’s epistles provide life, and the work that he did was of benefit to the churches. Who else could have achieved such things? And what work did Peter do?” When man measures others, he does so according to their contribution. When God measures man, He does so according to man’s nature. Among those who seek life, Paul was someone who did not know his own substance. He was by no means humble or obedient, nor did he know his essence, which was in opposition to God. And so, he was someone who had not undergone detailed experiences, and was someone who did not put the truth into practice. Peter was different. He knew his imperfections, weaknesses, and his corrupt disposition as a creature of God, and so he had a path of practice through which to change his disposition; he was not one of those who only had doctrine but possessed no reality. Those who change are new people who have been saved, they are those who are qualified in pursuing the truth. People who do not change belong to those who are naturally obsolete; they are those who have not been saved, that is, those who are detested and rejected by God. They will not be remembered by God no matter how great their work. When you compare this with your own pursuit, whether you are ultimately the same kind of person as Peter or Paul should be self-evident. If there is still no truth in what you seek, and if even today you are still as arrogant and insolent as Paul, and are still as glib and boastful as him, then you are without doubt a degenerate who fails. If you seek the same as Peter, if you seek practices and true changes, and are not arrogant or willful, but seek to perform your duty, then you will be a creature of God who can achieve victory. Paul did not know his own essence or corruption, much less did he know his own disobedience. He never mentioned his despicable defiance of Christ, nor was he overly regretful. He only offered a brief explanation and, deep down in his heart, he did not completely submit to God. Though he fell on the road to Damascus, he did not look deep within himself. He was content merely to keep working, and he did not consider knowing himself and changing his old disposition to be the most crucial of issues. He was satisfied with merely speaking the truth, with providing to others as a salve for his own conscience, and with no longer persecuting Jesus’ disciples to console himself and forgive himself for his past sins. The goal that he pursued was nothing more than a future crown and transitory work, the goal he pursued was abundant grace. He did not seek sufficient truth, nor did he seek to progress deeper into the truth which he had previously not understood. His knowledge of himself can therefore be said to be false, and he did not accept chastisement or judgment. That he was able to work does not mean he possessed a knowledge of his own nature or essence; his focus was on outward practices only. What he strived for, moreover, was not change, but knowledge. His work was completely the result of the appearance of Jesus on the road to Damascus. It was not something he had resolved to do originally, nor was it work that occurred after he had accepted the pruning of his old disposition. No matter how he worked, his old disposition did not change, and so his work did not atone for his past sins but merely played a certain role among the churches of the time. For someone such as this, whose old disposition did not change—that is to say, who did not gain salvation, and was even more without the truth—he was absolutely incapable of becoming one of those accepted by the Lord Jesus. He was not someone who was filled with love and reverence for Jesus Christ, nor was he someone who was adept at seeking the truth, much less was he someone who sought the mystery of the incarnation. He was merely someone who was skilled in sophistry, and who would not yield to any who were higher than him or who were possessed of the truth. He envied people or truths that were contrary to him, or in enmity with him, preferring those gifted people who presented a great image and possessed profound knowledge. He did not like interacting with poor people who sought the true way and cared for nothing but the truth, and instead concerned himself with senior figures from religious organizations who only spoke of doctrines, and who were possessed of abundant knowledge. He had no love of the new work of the Holy Spirit and cared not for the movement of the new work of the Holy Spirit. Instead, he favored those rules and doctrines that were higher than general truths. In his innate substance and the entirety of what he sought, he does not deserve to be called a Christian who pursued the truth, much less a faithful servant in the house of God, for his hypocrisy was too much, and his disobedience too great. Though he is known as a servant of the Lord Jesus, he was not at all fit to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven, for his actions from beginning to end cannot be called righteous. He can merely be seen as one who was hypocritical, and did unrighteousness, yet who also worked for Christ. Though he cannot be called evil, he can suitably be called a man who did unrighteousness. He did much work, yet he must not be judged on the quantity of work he did, but only on its quality and essence. Only in this way is it possible to get to the bottom of this matter. He always believed: “I am capable of working, I am better than most people; I am considerate of the Lord’s burden as no one else, and no one repents as deeply as I, for the great light shone upon me, and I have seen the great light, and so my repentance is deeper than any other.” At the time, this is what he thought within his heart. At the end of his work, Paul said: “I have fought the fight, I have finished my course, and there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness.” His fight, work, and course were entirely for the sake of the crown of righteousness, and he did not actively forge ahead. Though he was not perfunctory in his work, it can be said that his work was done merely in order to make up for his mistakes, to make up for the accusations of his conscience. He only hoped to complete his work, finish his course, and fight his fight as soon as possible, so that he could gain his longed-for crown of righteousness all the sooner. What he longed for was not to meet the Lord Jesus with his experiences and true knowledge, but to finish his work as soon as possible, in order that he would receive the rewards that his work had earned him when he met the Lord Jesus. He used his work to comfort himself, and to make a deal in exchange for a future crown. What he sought was not the truth or God, but only the crown. How can such a pursuit be up to standard? His motivation, his work, the price he paid, and all of his efforts—his wonderful fantasies pervaded them all, and he worked wholly according to his own desires. In the entirety of his work, there was not the slightest willingness in the price he paid; he was merely engaged in making a deal. His efforts were not made willingly in order to perform his duty, but were made willingly in order to achieve the objective of the deal. Is there any worth to such efforts? Who would commend his impure efforts? Who has any interest in such efforts? His work was full of dreams for the future, full of wonderful plans, and contained no path by which to change the human disposition. So much of his benevolence was a pretense; his work did not provide life, but was a sham of civility; it was the making of a deal. How can work such as this lead man to the path of recovering his original duty?
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All that Peter sought was after God’s heart. He sought to fulfill God’s desire, and regardless of the suffering and adversity, still he was willing to fulfill God’s desire. There is no greater pursuit by a believer in God. What Paul sought was tainted by his own flesh, by his own notions, and by his own plans and schemes. He was by no means a qualified creature of God, was not someone who sought to fulfill God’s desire. Peter sought to submit to God’s orchestrations, and although the work he did was not great, the motivation behind his pursuit and the path that he walked were right; though he was not able to gain many people, he was able to pursue the way of truth. Because of this it can be said that he was a qualified creature of God. Today, even if you are not a worker, you should be able to perform the duty of a creature of God and seek to submit to all of God’s orchestrations. You should be able to obey whatever God says, and experience all manner of tribulations and refinement, and though you are weak, in your heart you should still be able to love God. Those who take responsibility for their own life are willing to perform the duty of a creature of God, and such people’s viewpoint about pursuit is the right one. These are the people that God needs. If you did much work, and others gained your teachings, but you yourself did not change, and did not bear any testimony, or have any true experience, such that at the end of your life, still none of what you have done bears testimony, then are you someone who has changed? Are you someone who pursues the truth? At the time, the Holy Spirit used you, but when He used you, He used the part of you that could be used to work, and He did not use the part of you that could not be used. If you sought to change, then you would gradually be made perfect during the process of being used. Yet the Holy Spirit accepts no responsibility for whether or not you will ultimately be gained, and this depends on the manner of your pursuit. If there are no changes in your personal disposition, then that is because your viewpoint toward pursuit is wrong. If you are granted no reward, then that is your own problem, and because you yourself have not put the truth into practice and are unable to fulfill God’s desire. And so, nothing is of greater importance than your personal experiences, and nothing is more critical than your personal entry! Some people will end up saying, “I’ve done so much work for You, and though I may not have made any celebrated achievements, still I have been diligent in my efforts. Can’t You just let me into heaven to eat the fruit of life?” You must know what kind of people I desire; those who are impure are not permitted to enter into the kingdom, those who are impure are not permitted to besmirch the holy ground. Though you may have done much work, and worked for many years, in the end if you are still deplorably filthy, then it will be intolerable to the law of Heaven that you wish to enter My kingdom! From the foundation of the world until today, never have I offered easy access to My kingdom to those who curry favor with Me. This is a heavenly rule, and no one can break it! You must seek life. Today, those who will be made perfect are the same kind as Peter: They are those who seek changes in their own disposition, and who are willing to bear testimony to God and perform their duty as a creature of God. Only people such as this will be made perfect. If you only look to rewards, and do not seek to change your own life disposition, then all your efforts will be in vain—this is an unalterable truth!
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From the difference in the essences of Peter and Paul you should understand that all those who do not pursue life labor in vain! You believe in God and follow God, and so in your heart you must love God. You must cast aside your corrupt disposition, you must seek to fulfill God’s desire, and you must perform the duty of a creature of God. Since you believe in and follow God, you should offer everything to Him, and should not make personal choices or demands, and you should achieve the fulfillment of God’s desire. Since you were created, you should obey the Lord that created you, for you are inherently without dominion over yourself, and have no ability to control your own destiny. Since you are a person who believes in God, you should seek holiness and change. Since you are a creature of God, you should adhere to your duty, and keep your place, and you must not overstep your duty. This is not to constrain you, or to suppress you through doctrine, but is instead the path through which you can perform your duty, and it can be achieved—and should be achieved—by all those who do righteousness. If you compare the essences of Peter and Paul, then you will know how you should seek. Of the paths walked by Peter and Paul, one is the path of being made perfect, and one is the path of elimination; Peter and Paul represent two different paths. Though each received the work of the Holy Spirit, and each gained the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and each accepted that which had been entrusted to them by the Lord Jesus, the fruit borne in each was not the same: One truly bore fruit, and the other did not. From their essences, the work that they did, that which was outwardly expressed by them, and their final ends, you should understand which path you should take, which path you should choose to walk upon. They walked two clearly different paths. Paul and Peter, they were the quintessence of each path, and so from the very start they were held up to typify these two paths. What are the key points of Paul’s experiences, and why did he not make it? What are the key points of Peter’s experiences, and how did he experience being made perfect? If you compare what they each cared about, then you will know what exact kind of person God wants, what the will of God is, what the disposition of God is, what kind of person will ultimately be made perfect, and also what kind of person will not be made perfect; you will know what the disposition is of those who will be made perfect, and what the disposition is of those who will not be made perfect—these issues of essence can be seen in the experiences of Peter and Paul. God created all things, and so He makes all creation come under His dominion and submit to His dominion; He will command all things, so that all things are in His hands. All of God’s creation, including animals, plants, mankind, the mountains and rivers, and the lakes—all must come under His dominion. All things in the skies and on the ground must come under His dominion. They cannot have any choice and must all submit to His orchestrations. This was decreed by God, and it is the authority of God. God commands everything, and orders and ranks all things, with each classed according to kind, and allotted their own position, according to God’s will. No matter how great it is, no thing can surpass God, all things serve the mankind created by God, and no thing dares to disobey God or make any demands of God. Therefore man, as a creature of God, must also perform the duty of man. Regardless of whether he is the lord or caretaker of all things, no matter how high man’s status among all things, still he is but a small human being under the dominion of God, and is no more than an insignificant human being, a creature of God, and he will never be above God. As a creature of God, man should seek to perform the duty of a creature of God, and seek to love God without making other choices, for God is worthy of man’s love. Those who seek to love God should not seek any personal benefits or seek that which they personally long for; this is the most correct means of pursuit. If what you seek is the truth, if what you put into practice is the truth, and if what you attain is a change in your disposition, then the path that you tread is the right one. If what you seek is the blessings of the flesh, and what you put into practice is the truth of your own notions, and if there is no change in your disposition, and you are not at all obedient to God in the flesh, and you still live in vagueness, then what you seek will surely take you to hell, for the path that you walk is the path of failure. Whether you will be made perfect or eliminated depends on your own pursuit, which is also to say that success or failure depends on the path that man walks.