How to Achieve Being Made Perfect
How Should We Pursue the Truth Before We Can Obtain Being Made Perfect by God?
Obtaining the truth is obtaining life, and the truth is the new life. All who have obtained the truth also have new life. Such a person has been made perfect, and received salvation. This person believes wholeheartedly in God. After he believes in God, he really goes about his duties properly and takes the right path. Therefore, he reaps a harvest and gains results. In the words of unbelievers, he has achievements. How long have you believed in God now? Have you obtained the truth? Some people say: “I’ve believed in God for one year.” You cannot obtain the truth in one year; it’s not bad if you can see the path clearly. You generally need to believe in God for three years or more before having a little practical experience, understanding a little truth, and having some harvest, and having a hope of obtaining the truth. If you believe in God for seven or eight years and can put some truths into practice, then that means that you have a little reality, and truly have a little harvest, and you have obtained a little of the truth. If you have believed in God for more than ten years, and you have a clear idea of all truths, and you are also able to do a little practical work, to lead, to serve God, and to perform your duties properly, it means that you have entered into the reality of truth, and you have life. Having life is a great thing; as soon as a person has life he has been saved. If he has life, and he has knowledge of God, he can love God and serve God, then this is a person who has been made perfect. Being made perfect is established on the foundation of having been saved. Therefore, what after all is being made perfect? Only a person who has obtained the truth, a person who has life, a living person, is a person who has been saved and made perfect. If a person has entered into a little of the reality of truth, but what he has obtained is not sufficiently rich, and he has not achieved true knowledge of God, and has not become someone who can truly obey God and bear witness to God, then this is a person who has been saved but has not been made perfect, or else he is in the process of being made perfect. If a person is able to truly bear witness to God’s work, can bear witness to God, can help others to have knowledge of God, and as soon as he bears witness to God true faith will immediately emerge from people, and they will have the will to follow God, will be able to expend their all for God, and to cast everything aside for God, if the person is able to achieve such results, he is someone who is truly bearing witness to God; as soon as he becomes a person who can truly bear witness to God, that’s fine, and this is someone made perfect. Therefore, those who have been made perfect are people who can bear witness to God, and who can serve God. What is the minimum requirement of someone who can bear witness to God and can serve God? At the least they are able to achieve results, regardless of the duties they undertake, how many churches they lead, or how they gather together with God’s chosen people. If God’s chosen people are led by such a person for several years, then they will reap a great harvest and obtain a great deal, and he will be able to lead them onto the right track of belief in God. If you are someone who is truly pursuing the truth, he can lead you into the reality of truth of God’s word, and bring you onto the path of being made perfect. If his work can achieve such an outcome, and he can tend to a number of churches, then that is formidable. For someone who really has the reality of truth to work and preach is not difficult at all. Regardless of what questions God’s people may raise, they are very easily resolved as soon as they are asked. Why is it that his work can have such a result? It is because he has had personal experience, he has received a great deal of God’s judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, and his life disposition has changed. That which he speaks of he has himself experienced and it is the road that he has walked. He is most clear in his mind regarding the matter of entering into life, the road of pursuit of the truth, and the road to being made perfect by God. Therefore, when he talks about the matter of entering into life, there is a great deal that he can say, he can talk about it endlessly. Regardless of what he may say, people will derive benefit from it, and however he may say it, it will always have an effect. Is such a person someone who is rich in experience? As he has a wealth of experience, his work can achieve such an effect. If someone’s experience is shallow, the results of his work will be limited. He can only talk a little about his experience and testimony to some people, a minority of people. Some new believers are able to derive some benefit from him, while some others who have deeper experience are unable to obtain anything beneficial from him and his supply cannot produce an obvious effect. Therefore, a man who has been made perfect is one whose life experience is relatively rich, who has much experience of God’s judgment and chastisement, who has been frequently pruned and dealt with, and who has experienced many trials and refinements, and finally his corrupt disposition has been cleansed after having undergone God’s judgment and chastisement. Therefore, his experience is rich and he knows most clearly the essence of corrupt mankind, the expression of corrupt mankind, and the ways that corrupt mankind goes about things. Because he himself has experienced these things, he has the clearest knowledge of how God cleanses man, how He judges and chastises man, and how He prunes and deals with man, and he has most knowledge of God’s work. Therefore, whenever he speaks he has a lot to say. As he has much experience, not only has he seen through himself, but his knowledge of God’s work is also relatively deep. Therefore, it is much easier for him to resolve the difficulties of God’s chosen people. Regardless of what sort of difficulty it is, at a glance he will understand and know how to go through it, how to resolve it, how to put the truth into practice. Therefore, for one to obtain being made perfect by God, he needs most of all to sincerely experience God’s judgment and chastisement, His pruning and dealing, and in the end he will have learned how to truly obey. Is this not commencement of change taking place in his life disposition? When we first begin to experience judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, we feel miserable and unhappy, and sometimes feel sick at heart and are even rather resentful, and though we may not say anything we are aggrieved in our hearts. But even though we are resentful, after prayer and searching, the resentment dissipates and we no longer bear a grudge against God. At times it is like having just undergone a surgical procedure and not yet recovered physical strength, and not having any energy, then you recover after a period of time; a few days after you recover, you encounter judgment and chastisement again, and the result is that you lie down once more. Subsequently you recover after prayer, you have no complaints, you are able to accept and obey, and you have a little strength; once again you are pruned and dealt with, judged and chastised. After you have had more of such experiences, in the end you are not passive or weak. However you are judged and chastised, you fulfill your duties as before; however you are pruned and dealt with you are not held up in fulfilling your duties, you don’t give up on your work. Such pruning and dealing firstly makes perfect your obedience, and secondly makes perfect your loyalty. This is how life grows. Do you follow? Some people lie down when faced with pruning and dealing, and do not arise. How do we handle this? Several people should hasten to provide support and if they still have not stood up after being supported for a while, then support them once again. This time they are a little better and sit up but they have still not stood up. Another person goes to support them, and they finally stand up. Having stood up, they still cannot walk, and so they are supported continually for a period of time until they start to walk. They still walk slowly, taking small steps. It takes three months before they are supported to be able to walk. On the next occasion that they face judgment and chastisement they lie down for two months. This time they lie down for three months, the next time they lie down for two months, and if they lie down ten times or eight times it will take three to five years. Can such a person arrive at being made perfect? It is no good if you are passive too many times, and there isn’t that much time. You cannot lie down for too long, two or three days then you should crawl back up. If you are passive too often, would you say that it would hold things up? In the end, God sees that you cannot be pruned and dealt with anymore, you are a worthless wretch. Isn’t it the case that this hinders you from being made perfect? Therefore, you cannot be passive for too long; after one or two days have passed, hasten to pray and recover; do not hold up carrying out your duties, wipe away your tears, and afterward climb back up to fulfill your duty. Once you have carried out your duty, you return home to see that your face streaked and mottled with your tears, and you wash it and you are delighted. The next day you face pruning and dealing once more and you lie down for one hour. But you feel that this is no good as today you still need to carry out your duty, and you arise once again; you stroke your face and you don’t care, and continue fulfilling your duty as before. Such a person can be made perfect, for he is resolute of heart and he can bear a heavy load and endure humiliation. What does a person with such a humanity possess? He can endure suffering and pay the price in order to obtain the truth, and with such a will he is able to be made perfect. Do you have this kind of will? It is good to have such a will. Regardless of who deals with you, as long as what they say is correct, or half-correct, you are able to accept it. You say: “Fine, I accept, I thank you; I do not despise you. If what you say really is correct, and your dealing of me is sincere, this is a mirror to me. I cannot do without you; otherwise, I would not know myself.” Such a person is awesome, and he has a will to pursue the truth. He thinks: “If someone is able to expose me, and what he has to say conforms with the facts and really is advantageous to my entry into life, I must have this person by my side so that he can monitor me, deal with me. Thus, I can walk this road even better, and I will be able to progress more quickly in my faith in God; this is a good thing.” Is this not the case? Some leaders cannot do this. They care so much about their face and their vainglory that they are afraid of being exposed, and being dealt with by anyone. They do some shameful things, and do not allow people to see or know about them. If someone knows about these things, they hush them up or silence them. Such a person is too treacherous and evil, and God has no way of making him perfect. You must be able to withstand being pruned and dealt with. When you are pruned you shouldn’t care about your face but should be able to put up with humiliation, and dare to speak out about those shameful things to people, bringing them to light. Afterward when you truly repent and mend your ways, all will respect you, and say that you really are courageous. Such a person is assured of being made perfect. What is it like for some people after they have been dealt with? They are too thin-skinned and do not dare to carry out their duties before others, they do not dare to see people, and they do not dare to attend gatherings. Can such people be made perfect? If you do not dare to see people how can you fulfill your duties? Does this not hold things up? It is no good if you do not dare to see people. Not only must you see people, you should also say before everyone: “Today I am suffering pruning and being dealt with. I am very corrupt, and this is very good for me. I see clearly my true face and that I do not have the reality of truth. I am too reckless, and I am not putting the truth into practice at all. Being dealt with today is of great advantage to me.” If you treat God’s work in this way, what can God’s chosen people react? Not only will they not look down upon you, but they will approve of you, saying: “How is it that I have not encountered such pruning and dealing? How is it that you have encountered it?” They are envious of you. I also experienced a lot of dealings previously, and when some of God’s chosen people saw me, their expression in their eyes changed and they gave me a bad look, meaning: “See, you’re suffering being dealt with once more, and we haven’t suffered being dealt with, your corruption is much deeper than ours.” God’s chosen people were looking down on me somewhat. Previously we had got on very well, they had spoken very politely to me, and had been very warm to me. Now they did not speak to me. I didn’t care, I needed to be thick-skinned, and I still attended gatherings. At times when I went to sit in a place, some people could not stand me sitting next to them. Previously they had always surrounded me, but now they distanced themselves from me. What do you say I should do? I didn’t give further thought to these things, and was thick-skinned and did that which I had to do. I didn’t take it too hard, so I didn’t feel much distressed. Being a little sad is normal. After I had gone through it in this way, my fragile heart became stronger and more resolute, and in the end what extent did I reach? No matter what, I must fulfill my duty with devotion. I got up from where I fell. In the past I had been dealt with by God because of some mistakes I had made and in those areas I resolved the problems and substituted them by putting the truth into practice and doing things even better. In this way I began to change little by little, and I gradually achieved conformity to God’s will and the results of my work in the church became more and more evident. I may put it this way, my life has gradually grown through judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing. If we depart from judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing, then our progress in life would be very slow, as if we are not advancing at all. Therefore, judgment and chastisement are the most crucial elements in our growth in life, and we should see through this point. If you want to pursue being made perfect you must undergo God’s judgment and chastisement, pruning and dealing. If you cannot pass this test, if you cannot walk on this road, you will never achieve being made perfect. Corrupt mankind cannot achieve growth in life and being made perfect just by means of communicating the truth and hearing sermons. They must also suffer much hardship, and they must suffer the hardship of judgment and chastisement, and of pruning and dealing. What is the outcome you should achieve on each occasion that you have suffered hardship? You can have genuine communication with God, and have genuine reflection. Furthermore, you can again express your will to God, and pray to God to grant you strength. When God increases your faith, you will see that God is love, and that God is saving you and making you perfect. In the end you are able to stand up, and have the strength to fulfill your duty and to complete that which God has entrusted to you. In this way without knowing it your life grows, and this is the road to being made perfect.
What should a person possess in order to walk on the path to being made perfect? “When you face sufferings you must be able to not consider the flesh and not complain against God. When God hides Himself from you, you must be able to have the faith to follow Him, to maintain your previous love without allowing it to falter or disappear. No matter what God does, you must submit to His design, and be more willing to curse your own flesh than to complain against Him. When you are faced with trials you must satisfy God in spite of any reluctance to part with something you love, or bitter weeping. Only this can be called true love and faith” (“Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). A person needs to have true faith, and he should also have true love; this is crucial. If his faith is too little, that can be troublesome. What problems can easily emerge? Someone who has too little faith does not believe that in acting this way God is making him perfect and is saving him. He does not believe this and considers God to be unfair and treat him badly. He thinks that God has wronged him and he misunderstands God. Therefore, it is easy for him to complain and withdraw, it is very easy for him to become negative and withdraw, and it is very easy for him to betray God and to leave God. If your faith is too little, you will fuss over individual gains and losses of the flesh and bother over the feelings of the flesh. “You have made me suffer. You treated me unjustly, and you should not have treated me like this. You should be loving and gentle toward me.” You will often reason in this way. You should have true faith in God, and believe that God is absolute righteousness. He does not mistreat people, He is not biased against people, and He cannot do people an injustice, for He is righteous. Since God is righteousness and He treats people fairly, why does He act in this way? God works in order to save people, to make them perfect. Therefore, the ultimate aim and the outcome surely is salvation and perfection; this is absolutely so. If you have this faith, and you pray, it will be even clearer to you, “Oh, that’s so right. God is righteous, He cannot be unfair to people, He cannot wrong anyone. God has His kind intentions of saving me through subjecting me to this suffering. So I will endure pains to forgo the things I cherish, I will forsake the flesh, and I cannot be negative. I must still pursue to satisfy God, I must still continue to follow God.” This way you can stand firm. Therefore it is no good if you have too little faith. Further, it is also no good if you do not have a heart that loves God and you often fail to understand God. In what ways is true love of God expressed? When you are suffering, or you are facing failure and setbacks, because you have a heart that loves God, this love makes you truly believe in God and believe that God can never be wrong. Besides, with this love you can be considerate of God’s intention. Do not think that only we are suffering but God does not suffer. Then, what is God’s pain? And what is our pain? Our pain is of the flesh. Our soul feels uncomfortable and dissatisfied, and we feel that we have been embarrassed and shamed and cannot lift up our heads. But God suffers pain because of our rebelliousness, because we cannot obey Him and we are not considerate of His intention, so that His will cannot be carried out. God is grieved by these things. Therefore, God deals with us, prunes us, judges and chastises us so that we will obey Him and we can carry out His will. Therefore, once we have a heart that loves God, we will only be considerate of God’s intention and we will not consider our own difficulties of the flesh, we will not consider gains and losses of the flesh and feelings of the flesh. We will feel that it is we who have acted wrongly, it is we who are unable to satisfy God. So it is only right that we ought to forsake the flesh and obey God, and we should thank God. Therefore, once we have a heart that truly loves God, we will not complain about God, or be negative. Instead, we will be able to be considerate of God’s intention, and we can forsake the flesh and obey God. Therefore, true faith and true love will make us able to stand fast and utter no complaints to God when we undergo judgment and chastisement and trials and refinements. True love and faith can bring about such effects. We see that many leaders and workers are replaced or subjected to pruning and dealing. Some of them are negative and refuse to work, some of them grumble and complain to God, saying that God has been unfair to them; however, some people can reflect upon themselves, and feel that they really have not done any practical work and that they should be pruned and dealt with. They can treat it properly. Such people have normal rationality and they are of good caliber, and their humanity is dignified and upright. If such people can have a heart that loves God and are also able to understand God’s good intentions, then it is easier for them to obey. Therefore, a person who is dignified and upright, rational and fair, if he understands a little of the truth it is most easy for him to obey God’s work. The only fear is for those who are importunate and irrational and cannot be reasoned with, and they do not easily obey the work of God at all. Isn’t this the case? You see that some people, after being pruned and dealt with, let loose a torrent of abuse and they cause a ruckus in the church; they cry one moment, abuse others the next, and laugh another moment. You can see that such a person cannot be reasoned with; is this not shrewish behavior? Would you say that a shrew is able to be made perfect? For what reason can she not be made perfect? It is because she does not accept the truth. Further, she cannot obey, and another reason is that she has no humanity, lacks rationality, acts wildly, confuses right and wrong, makes unfounded and malicious attacks on people, and distorts the facts. Is this not a demon shaming God? Everything a demon does brings shame on God. God would rather not make her perfect and not save her than want her to dishonor Him. Therefore, God places her to one side and reveals and eliminates her. What is the use in saving this shrew? When God saves her, she only shames Him, and blasphemes Him, therefore there is no way of saving her. If you want to attain being made perfect, on the one hand you must have a heart that loves God and on the other hand you must have true faith. Moreover, you must pursue the truth, and it will not do if you do not understand the truth at all. What good does understanding the truth do? Suppose you only have faith and love but do not understand the truth. In this circumstance are there any difficulties in your obedience to God? When some extremely large trials come, if you do not have the truth it will be difficult to obey. For example, a person understands no truths and has just believed in God for a year or two and then a disaster strikes. All the possessions in his home are stolen by burglars. Although in the past his faith was very great and his humanity is very good, can he endure this situation? The first doubt that he raises is: “I believe in God, why is God not protecting me and has allowed such a disaster to befall me?” He can find no answer in his heart and no one can explain it to him. Would you say that it is easy for him to obey? Some say that he still has faith, but he has not obeyed. What is the expression of his lack of obedience now? He cannot praise God, eulogize God, or give thanks to God. Further, his misunderstanding of God is very profound and he has complaints within. At that time what truths does he need to understand before he is able to be obedient? Isn’t it the case that all that people have is bestowed upon them by God? When God deprives you of all that He has bestowed upon you, He wants to see whether your faith is true or false. This is a formidable test. It is like a boy growing up under the care of his parents who have doubts in their minds whether he will pay them filial respect in the future, and so they want to put him to the test. How do they test him? The father says, “Son, is everything that you have given by me?” He says: “Yes, father. You have supplied me with food and clothes.” “Fine. Now give us all the money you’ve earned, okay? From now on we’ll have the disposal of the money, and you’ll spend the much we give you.” This reveals the son. If the child is truly sensible, he will think, “Ah, I have understood a truth. All that a son or daughter has is given by their parents. When I was born, I had nothing. Father earned money to feed and clothe me and now father asks me to give him my money to show respect to him. This is the way it should be, of course. So, I have no objections.” He can then obey his father. God also tests people in this way. When you were born you brought nothing with you, only a body. When you die, you will take nothing with you, anything buried with you will be of no use. You do not bring when you are born and you do not take when you die. So, is it not that everything that you have has been arranged for you by God, and bestowed upon you by God? Some people say “yes,” and others say “no.” Someone says, “Previously everything I had was given to me by my father but later after I started working everything I have is earned through my own sweat and toil. It is not bestowed by God.” Actually, you are wrong. As soon as you are born, whatever your destiny will be, how impoverished you may be, or how wealthy you may be, how many sons and daughters you will have, and even how many times you may marry, to what age you will live, all this has been preordained. If it is determined that you will live a life of poverty, even if you want wealth you will never have it; if it is preordained that you will have wealth, it will definitely happen even if you don’t wish to be rich. If it is preordained that you will have two sons, even if you wish to have three it will not happen as you wish. Or if you beget a third son, he must die afterward. Everything has been preordained for you by God. Regardless of how great your power is, or how much knowledge you have, it cannot be changed. This can be verified ultimately through the whole of a person’s life. Regardless of whether you are a theist or an atheist, in the end you will be convinced. Therefore, when people reach old age they will often say this: “Oh! It’s all preordained by God. No one can deprive you of that which is predestined in your life, and you cannot yourself obtain whatever does not belong to you. Each one has his destiny.” Some people have suffered great hardship and other people say, “Why does this person have such a destiny? His destiny is very bad.” Do you see, is not all this arranged by God? Therefore, if a person has true faith in God, he must understand this truth: Everything is bestowed by God. If God wants to take it away, it is natural that He should. If God wants to deprive or take back, His name ought to be praised. So, why does God give things to you, and then take them away from you? What is the truth behind it? It is certainly significant and now we are clear about it. God deprives you of things in order to try you and to reveal you. It is also a test of your faith. We may say that if you are someone who pursues the truth, God’s depriving is also making you perfect so that you may know God. Is this meaning now clear to you? Therefore, when you have understood this truth, is it easy for you to show obedience when trials come? Not only is it easy to obey, but you can give thanks to God, and bless the name of God like Job. Will this not then shame Satan? At the same time it satisfies God, and satisfying God is a shame to Satan. As soon as Satan sees this, it will say, “Such a person is rare. He didn’t complain to God, he is much better than me, if I were in his position, I would have complained to God.” If a person who has true faith in God, who is of good character and of good humanity, and who also has a heart that loves God wants to be made perfect, he needs to pursue the truth for the outcome to be even better. It will not do if he only has faith and love but does not have the truth. Therefore, people must pursue the truth. If a person has a clearer and deeper understanding of the truth and gains a true knowledge of God, he will be able to bear true witness whatever trial or refinement may come, and he is definitely able to attain obedience to death and is even able to offer up his life gladly without any complaints. When a person’s life disposition has changed so much that he is able to show obedience to God to this extent, that is the highest realm of being made perfect. Being obedient to death and loving God to the utmost is the highest realm. When one can love God to the extent that he is able to offer up his life to God, is it not the highest realm of being made perfect? So, can you offer up your life to God? Offering up your life does not mean that you need to go to seek death, but it means that you need to expend your entire life for God, and as long as one breath remains to you, you must bear witness to God. You do not live for yourself but live to carry out God’s will. Is this not offering up your life? To offer up your life is attaining the highest realm of being made perfect. When God has performed His work on a person to this extent, He says to the person, “This person belongs to Me, and he has been obtained by Me.” When God says that this person has been obtained by Him, and belongs to Him, would you say that Satan is still able to take him away? Satan has no way of taking him. If you are able to offer up your life to God, you will not fear death. If a person does not fear death, then Satan can do nothing to him, and Satan is then thoroughly humiliated. So when a person is undergoing the trial of death, if he can offer up his life and be ready to go to his death, Satan can do nothing about it and so it is thoroughly defeated and humiliated.
What is most important in the pursuit of being made perfect is the pursuit of the truth. The more a person understands the truth, the easier it is to obey God and then there is no difficulty in obeying God. The more a person understands the truth, the more he knows how to be considerate of God’s intention, and how to satisfy God and shame Satan. He then has a road that he can follow, and he is not confused. He understands the truth in his heart, so however Satan may tempt him, and whatever deceptive words Satan may say, he will not be confused. What did Satan say to Job when he was tried? What is Satan? Do you think that Satan is only an evil spirit? Can you see an evil spirit? Satan works by using some material tools and those tools are substitutes for Satan. Why could the ancient serpent speak the words of Satan? The ancient serpent had the spirit of Satan within. Evil spirits in the past attached themselves to the bodies of animals, some to the bodies of yellow weasels, some to foxes, some to snakes, some to hawks, some to pigs. After God created mankind, mankind was corrupted by Satan and many evil spirits came out of the bodies of animals and attached themselves to men. Therefore, many men, like demons, kings of devils, and evil people, have evil spirits in them. Therefore, on many occasions in fact they act in place of Satan, speak on behalf of Satan, and they are the embodiment of Satan. Therefore, when we say “Satan has said something,” you do not have to look for the evil spirit who said them. At times a person is acting out the part of Satan. What did Job’s wife say when he was being tested? “Do you still retain your integrity? curse God, and die!” (Job 2:9). Is this not Satan’s tone of voice? How could this be said by a wife? This proves that Satan’s spirit was within Job’s wife, and that Satan had entered her at that time and controlled her to say these words. You cannot see Satan, the evil spirit, but there is someone beside you who speaks something. When you hear it, you feel it is not this person speaking but an evil spirit speaking. Surely this person is a tool of the evil spirit. Satan makes use of all sorts of people and things to speak and to stir things up beside you. Isn’t that the case? Let’s say that you are a sister who always does her duty. At times the devil is resentful and through your husband it says, “You’re a woman; why aren’t you happy spending your days at home but always fulfilling your duty and believing in God?” What sort of talk is this? Isn’t this Satan speaking? Sometimes Satan uses devils who do not believe to say things, but you think, “This is my husband speaking.” Actually, he is a devil speaking the devilish words but you do not know. Observing the dynamics of the spiritual realm is one aspect. Sometimes from different types of people, we can observe the dynamics of the spiritual realm. Pursuing the truth to be made perfect is most crucial and most fundamental, and you should remember it.
How should we practice in pursuit of the truth? Some say that we may pursue when trials come. That will not do. In our daily experiences, we should seek the truth in all things. We should seek the truth in whatever difficulties we face, and in this way without being aware of it we lay the foundation for all sorts of trials and refinements that come to us subsequently. If in normal times when trials have not come, you always communicate with others the truth in certain regard, when one day a trial comes, it suddenly comes to your mind, “Previously during a gathering we were eating and drinking God’s word and communicating the truth in this regard. This trial has come just at the right time, there is a road that I can follow.” You see, you don’t need to search blindly then and this is evidence that your previous pursuit of the truth has already set down a foundation. Therefore, you are not confused when a trial comes. You do not immediately fall over and you’re able to stand your ground. You can pray to God and praise God as soon as the trial comes, you can stand witness, and shame Satan. Such practice is formidable. It is the outcome that is achieved by pursuing the truth in normal times. Your normal pursuit of the truth will do you good someday. If you do not pursue the truth in normal times, what problems can easily occur when a trial comes? You will complain immediately and you won’t be able to contain yourself. In spite of yourself you open your mouth to complain, and two or three days after having voiced your complaints, you may realize, “This is not right, oh my, I have misunderstood God. How could I be complaining so soon? How I wish I could hold myself back then. It would be fine if I could pray to God and praise God, and shame Satan after I searched for a couple of days and understood the truth.” But it is all too late. You have spoken out those words, and you let out your grievances as soon as the trial befalls. Satan immediately runs to God to accuse you: “Aha, have You heard what he has said? Do You want me to tell You?” You see, Satan accuses you, and your life has suffered a loss. Therefore, in normal times you should pursue the truth so that you will not give Satan an opening at a crucial moment or give Satan an opportunity to exploit things to its advantage. It is generally easy for people to complain and speak devilish words once something happens. If you are able to hold your tongue and not say anything, and if you can hold out for twenty-four hours then the next day it will be much better. You can see it more clearly and you will know how to act appropriately and how to deal with it. If you do not have the truth you will be at risk of giving vent to complaints on the first day when a trial comes. You will not have faith and you will have lost your testimony. Afterward you will immediately collapse as if you have contracted a serious illness. You have no strength in your heart, and you do not even have the strength to pray to God. You feel that it is all over for you, and there is immediately darkness in your heart. This means that you have failed. If you do not ordinarily pursue the truth, when trials and refinements come, when facing Satan’s temptations, you will fall down and you will then have lost. Failing to stand witness, you are finished. People without faith will fall down when encountering hardship, let alone when encountering trials. If you have faith but you do not have the truth, when temptations come, you will not stand either. At times you will blame God and complain to God. Therefore, if a person only has faith he cannot achieve being made perfect. It is most crucial to pursue the truth. It will not do if you have too little understanding of the truth. If trials are too great you will not be able to stand firm. There is another principle. What is the most important thing for a person to do during a trial? Pray to God, and do not speak to others. Pray to God first and be at peace before God, and do not contact others. If you contact someone it is easy to let Satan exploit loopholes and it is easy to speak devilish words and voice your grievances. First of all make haste to be at peace before God. Once your prayers have achieved results, you will have faith, understand the truth, have the will, and have the ability to deal with the temptation. Then if you see other people, you will be safer and you will not fall under Satan’s assault and Satan will not be able to have a handle on you. You see, as soon as a disaster comes to you, people around you will eagerly observe you, and someone meddlesome may run up to you at once and say: “What’s up? What’s happened?” He will be outraged at the wrong you have suffered and intervene on your behalf. It seems that he is considerate of you and is good to you, but in fact he is inciting you to complain. The kind actions he shows are intended to make you speak and the result is that you will fall into the trap of Satan. Suppose someone who believes in God encounters a trial. One of his unbelieving relatives comes and says, “You see, I’ve told you before not to believe; there is no use in believing in God, isn’t it? Something has happened now, yes?” At this time your faith has already weakened, and you are disappointed and dejected, and after he says this you collapse even more quickly because this trial is so great. Without the truth it is really not easy to stand firm. In pursuing the truth what do we pursue? It is to pursue to know through which God makes man perfect, how God makes man perfect, why God allows trials and refinements to come to man, why God makes man suffer much hardship, whether or not man is able to attain knowledge of God if he does not undergo trials and refinements. Once this truth has been understood it is settled and when you experience trials and refinements afterward it will be easy to stand. Simply put, you need to know God’s work and when you know God’s work you will have true faith; if you do not know God’s work you do not have true faith. True faith is built on the foundation of knowing God’s work, and it is built on the foundation of understanding the truth. All those who do not understand any of the truth have too little faith and it is not easy for them to stand firm in the face of great trials. Suppose there is a sister who loves her husband greatly. Suddenly a disaster comes and it takes away her husband. Would you say that this is easy to experience? She is fragile, and she cannot live without her husband; now he is no longer there, and what can she do? Can you hold your ground if this kind of trial comes to you? Some people dare not make a sound and they are afraid to be put to shame if they talk big but they will not be able to keep their word when facing the trial. Some people dote on their son and suddenly a trial comes and their son is snatched away. Is it easy to stand firm against this trial? Will you complain? Do you know what this trial accomplishes for you? Loving God outdoes everything else. Can you be made perfect without such trials? All that God has bestowed on you is used to make you perfect. Your husband and son God has bestowed on you is one day used to perfect you. These are all tools. When the time comes to use them, when the time is right, they will come in handy for God to use. If your knowledge of God’s work has come to this point, that will be fine. At times the wealth that God has bestowed upon you is also used to make you perfect. If the day comes when it is snatched away from you, regardless of whether you are weak or have failed, in the end it will make you understand that it is significant that God has taken it away, it is in order to make you perfect and make you have even greater knowledge of God. Wouldn’t you say that you need to pay a price in order to be made perfect? God makes use of all people and things by your side to make you perfect. No matter what your fatal weaknesses are, or without whom you can’t be, or how great your pain may be, when the time comes that it should be done God will do it. Do you follow? Let’s say that one day a disaster comes and suddenly all your family members fall down around you, and you see they have died. All kinds of devils and Satans come to your vicinity and observe you, saying, “They’re all dead? What do you feel? Do you still believe? Are you still following your God?” Facing these temptations and words of Satan, how do you behave? What is more important? Is faith in God more important, or your family members? What is your response at that time? The matter of being made perfect has enormous significance. Why do people need to suffer such great hardship? The meaning within this needs to be experienced and pondered carefully, and then you will see how much work God has done for the sake of loving a person and making him perfect. He has prepared so many serving objects, and spent such a long period of time on you. How much painstaking price God has paid! You think that you are worthless, you are an ordinary person; you just live for a number of years, and after doing service for several years you will die. However, God wants to make you perfect, His work on you is very great and the price that God pays is enormous. How can you say so casually that you’ll die? In speaking in this way you do not understand God’s intention, and you are not considerate of God’s heart. Comprehending God’s good intentions and understanding God’s love is crucial, and only then will you not do anything against your conscience, and only then will you be able to be worthy of God! By means of these trials and refinements, through all types of deprivation and proscription, God makes you perfect and brings change to your life disposition, allowing you to cast aside everything, to part reluctantly with all you cherish, to truly obey God, and to satisfy God. All these wonderful realities of life which people do not have in their life are obtained through undergoing hardship, otherwise they would have no means of entering into them. God makes perfect your love for God, your absolute obedience to God, and your devotion to God, these are all outcomes that are achieved by means of your undergoing much suffering, and they are also outcomes arrived at through many serving objects and much sacrifice, from which we can see how great work God has done in making people perfect. This is no simple matter. Therefore, those who pursue the truth should know God’s good intentions, and God’s true love. How much we have obtained!
By What Means Are People Able to Achieve Being Made Perfect?
What does true worship refer to? It is using the heart and sincerity to worship God, and not just using the lips but the heart. At times the lips do not move at all while the heart speaks and continuously worships God and expresses gratitude to God. The heart weeps within and the eyes cannot help shedding tears. Is this person not worshiping God? Sometimes he speaks and other times he is silent. What is most important is that he worships God with his heart and sincerity. At times during prayer he only says, “Oh God, I understand at last, all that You do is love, and I worship You.” He only says one sentence, and this is worshiping God. “Oh God! This matter today has made me have true faith in You. I worship You—Lord of Creation, the one true God.” This is worshiping God. Saying these two sentences alone is worshiping and you do not have to say a string of sentences. Sometimes a single sentence reveals the genuine feeling from your heart, and this is how you really understand and what you really think within you, so you say it. This is called using the heart and sincerity to worship God. At times you prostrate yourself, at times you kneel down, and at other times you bow your head to speak to God with your heart and sincerity and that’s it. Therefore, in true worship to God you do not need to call out with your mouth, or say many pleasant things; you do not need to say much, and you do not have to communicate clearly a truth—you do not need any of these. Sometimes a sentence or a kind of expression is worshiping God. Do you follow? For example, when you feel grateful toward someone, is it necessary to say a string of sentences praising them? If you say, “Come over here, stand there. I now begin to express my gratitude to you. You are my beloved, you are my love, I praise you, thank you,” is saying this expressing gratitude? Isn’t this slightly abnormal? Sometimes you can just say “I thank you, I understand your kindness,” and there is no need to say anything further; sometimes a nod will be understood; sometimes you give a pat on the shoulder and say “I understand, I accept your kindness to me”; sometimes you weep and nod your head, and there is no need to say anything, but you have conveyed your meaning. Worshiping God is also like this, and it is realistic. When you have a true love of God inside, how should you pray? You may say, “Oh God! I love You, You are worthy of people’s love. Although our love is insignificant and impure, I desire to love You more deeply.” These are not smooth words or wonderful vocabulary but they are true words that express to God your heart that loves Him. As soon as God hears them, He says, “Yes, his heart is sincere; such is his heart.” God sees a person’s heart. This is having true communion with God. In using the heart and sincerity to worship God, there is no need for any special form. When your heart is moved and you really want to give thanks to God, praying a simple sentence like that is enough. And be peaceful before God for a while, wait a while, and when your heart is at peace, that is fine. Is there any ritual or rule for communion with God? All that is needed is a sincere heart, and it is most important to use the heart and sincerity to worship God. Therefore, as soon as you have derived results in undertaking the pursuit of being made perfect, and as soon as you have a love of God that you need to express, just such a communication, this kind of simple prayer is worshiping God, it is true communion with God, and it is using the heart and sincerity to worship God. This is evidence that the relationship between you and God is good, normal and perfect. You conceal nothing from God and there is nothing that you do not tell God, you talk about everything to God, and open your heart to God. Can such a person have any misunderstanding with God? There is no misunderstanding and even if by chance there is a little misunderstanding, as soon as you know it you hasten to say it to God. The more transparent and true communion you have with God, the more obedient to God you will be, your love will be more true, and your relationship with God will be more normal. In this way the Holy Spirit will guide you all along and perform the work of making you perfect. Once this trial is completed, the next trial will come soon after. When the next trial is completed, your heart will be calm for a few days. After another short period of time, another trial comes, then one trial after another befalls you. With such frequent experiences and suffering, your life disposition slowly changes. Is it a good thing or a bad thing to suffer hardship? You have to look at the effect and the consequences. If suffering hardship is in exchange for a change in life disposition, in exchange for true love of God, true obedience to God, and having a normal relationship with God, then the hardship is worthwhile. This hardship is God’s blessing, and it is most welcomed, and it is pretty hard to come by. Therefore, the more a person loves God, the more trials God gives him. What do the more trials that God gives a person provide evidence of? This person is someone God wants to make perfect, and God is in the process of making him perfect. If you see that someone usually says pleasant-sounding letters and doctrines but you do not see any trials coming to him, has this person stepped onto the path of being made perfect? He has not stepped onto the path of being made perfect, God has not undertaken any work on him and has done nothing. His fleshly life is too easy and comfortable, and his domestic situation is quite good. This person does not have life and this is troublesome, isn’t it? You see some people have a comfortable life, thinking only of what to wear and what to eat. They are very particular. When you go into their homes, whether it is the table or cupboard, they are polished to a shine, there isn’t a speck of dust, and you can’t walk on the floor without slippers or you will leave footprints. Would you say that such people are able to be made perfect by God? They cannot be made perfect. As soon as you begin to be made perfect, your trials will increase and you cannot take care of many things; you can’t think of polishing the table, you don’t know how many days you go without washing your hair, your face is smeared with tears and you even forget to wash your face. Therefore, while being made perfect the hardships are many, added to which your responsibilities in the church are great and you have much work, you cannot attend to them properly. Then, what can you do? Grasp that which is more important and more basic, and put to one side trivial things that are of no concern, which doesn’t matter much. You should discard or abandon some things; this is inevitable, and it is normal. Therefore, those who are pursuing the truth need to give up a little of trivial things. Don’t worry about them, they’re not important, and there is no reward if you do them well, and no penalty if you do them poorly. There is a limit to a person’s energy, and if you look after your family well, when do you have the time to attend to church matters? Some people say, “If I can’t manage my home well, how can I take care of the church properly?” You do not have to manage your home well, and even if you are able to manage it well, you should use this ability to manage the church. Therefore, it’s not that you can’t manage your home well, it’s that you don’t have the time to take care of it, and these are two different things. When it comes to fulfilling your duties, the important things in your work, you should not be careless, and you need to be sharp-eyed, see clearly and do things well. It doesn’t matter if you’re a little less careful about the trivial things and your personal hygiene.
In pursuing being made perfect, one thing is that you need to experience more trials and refinements, and this is a link. Another link is that in carrying out your duties you need to put in a lot of effort. In order that you achieve outcomes in fulfilling your duties, and in order to resolve problems of God’s chosen people, you must exert all your efforts and do all you can to achieve the optimal outcome. In this way you will obtain the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and you will be able to resolve the problems of God’s chosen people. At the same time, you will be able to first understand the truth and enter into reality. Thus in carrying out your duties you will enter into reality. If you have grasped these two points, you will be made perfect more quickly. If you do not put time and effort into fulfilling your duties, seek the truth with all your energy, or use the truth to resolve problems so as to achieve the optimal outcome, then when trials and refinements come your entry will be slow as your foundation is weak. Therefore, you need to grasp these two points as they are the two most important links. If a person can never have the reality of the truth in carrying out his duty, cannot achieve outcome in his work, and is unable to use the truth to resolve problems, then that person cannot achieve being made perfect. You should first satisfy God in fulfilling your duties, and this is a foundation—it is the most essential basis. Then you have a foundation, a basis for undergoing trials. If you fail in carrying out your duties and you are not up to the mark, the outcomes arrived at when you undergo trials and refinements will certainly lead you nowhere, and this is absolute. If you are up to the mark in fulfilling your duties, because in fulfilling your duties you understand some truths and you can practice the truth and you are able to obey God, you then already have a foundation, and when trials and refinements come, it will be easier for you to undergo them and it will be easier to seek the truth, easier to use the truth to resolve problems, and easier to pray to God to seek God’s intention. You should first practice this and have true entry in fulfilling your duties, and then you will have reality. Then it will be much easier when next you experience trials and refinements. This is the road to being made perfect. Tell me, why is it that many people achieve no outcomes in carrying out their duties? Are you clear as to what the problem is? Their understanding of the truth is too shallow. If your understanding of the truth is too shallow, you cannot communicate the truth clearly and you are unable to resolve people’s problems and people will not be firmly convinced. What should you do in such circumstances? You must continue to work hard and pursue the truth more earnestly. Do not think it is enough when you can communicate a little of the light and can speak about a little of reality, and don’t be complacent, believing that “I have resolved all the problems of God’s chosen people, and God’s chosen people have no difficulties.” This is mistaken. After a few days, you should see whether God’s chosen people still have any difficulties and perhaps you will discover one day, “How could this problem have come about again? This problem wasn’t resolved last time and I let it slip, this is my fault.” Because your understanding of the truth is too shallow, therefore, you are not up to par in carrying out your duties. If your understanding of the truth relies only on trials coming by chance, isn’t that too slow? If when no trials come you can put in the time and effort in fulfilling your duties so as to attain understanding the truth and enter into reality, then when trials next come it will be easier to bear true witness. Therefore, in carrying out your duties at normal times you should set down a solid foundation for later trials that you will undergo, and then when all sorts of trials next come you will be able to stand your ground. This is the best path to achieve being made perfect and this is crucial. In carrying out my duties I have been striving strenuously enough. Suppose today I have communicated the truth and afterward I would ask God’s chosen people, “Are there any outcomes?” “There are.” “Are the outcomes great?” Some say great, others say not great, some say about average. I say, “Well, if they’re only average, they’re ordinary, and it won’t do. Next time I need to do my best to speak about this truth, and I must explain it clearly.” Do not always be self-satisfied, and it is no good to always be self-satisfied. After each gathering you must examine in your heart. You ponder, “Today when I was communicating several lights it seems that I did not explain them thoroughly, I did not express myself very clearly. Next time I still need to communicate and I have to think of a way to express this clearly, and to speak more penetratingly.” You should have this sort of spirit with the truth—to earnestly seek and constantly pursue deeper entry into the truth in order to arrive at the goal of truly resolving problems with the truth, and never to rest until you have achieved your aim. If you are able to pay such a price, your work will increasingly have outcomes, and without being aware of it you will have been made perfect in the truth. God has perfected you in understanding the truth and you have entered into reality. When trials subsequently come you will be able to undergo them more easily. Therefore, how do we see whether a person is someone who has been made perfect? To judge whether a person has truly walked onto the path of being made perfect, you first see what the outcomes of his carrying out his duty are like, and whether or not people approve of them and are convinced by them. If people are not convinced by the fulfillment of his duty and the work he performs, then he is finished, and he definitely is not on the path of being made perfect. Which kind of person is qualified to receive God’s work of perfection? The person who fulfills his duty well, who is serious and continuously improving in carrying out his duties and will not rest if he has not reached his aim, who puts all of his thought into carrying out his duties, who spares no energy and exerts all his efforts to perform his work to his utmost, who keeps on striving despite all setbacks, and who is highly approved of and respected by God’s chosen people, this person is qualified to receive being made perfect by God. Well, have you achieved such an outcome in fulfilling your duty? Is it a simple matter to use the truth to resolve problems? This is not a simple matter. Well, what is to be done? Pursue the truth and never yield despite repeated setbacks, continuously strive to improve in carrying out your duties, and do not be satisfied with the status quo. If today you have not communicated the truth clearly, tomorrow you will try to do it better; and again if you have not communicated the truth clearly, the day after tomorrow you should continue to pursue, continue to communicate, and you must keep trying until you communicate this truth clearly and the problems of God’s chosen people are resolved. Do not give up if you do not succeed. This is how the truth is to be pursued. You need to practice in this way before you have an outcome. Some people do not pursue the truth themselves but only depend on others to obtain a little, and they obtain a little from man’s communication, and from the communication and service of brothers and sisters. You cannot rely on others to feed you. You need to rely on yourself to properly pursue the truth, and this is crucial. It will not do if you don’t pay a price in pursuit of being made perfect, and it will absolutely not do to pursue the truth without putting in time and effort. Some people become negative as soon as they experience pruning and dealing, or once I have communicated a certain aspect of the truth, if they cannot accept it, or they cannot put it into practice, then they feel quite upset and become distressed, and some even become negative. What is the problem here? Their stature is too small. When they see a difficulty, they are negative, disappointed and have no confidence. Some people say, “Faith in God is so difficult, and if I had known it would be so difficult I may not have believed.” Do such people have genuine confidence in God? Would you say that it is hard believing in God? It is not difficult. Is pursuing the truth a simple matter? Will it do if you don’t pay a price? No, that won’t do. If you consider it according to the price that you need to pay, then it is difficult. If you have the work of the Holy Spirit, God will lead you along the way and before you know it you are made perfect. So you don’t feel that it is hard. You regard faith in God as hard, but in fact it is not hard, because it is God who performs the work and it is the Holy Spirit who makes people perfect. People only need to offer the little strength that they have and do all they can, and God will do that which people are unable to do, and so it is not difficult. The most precise way of expressing it is that believing in God is difficult but it is not so difficult. Because it is God who does everything, and there is nothing that is impossible with God. As we walk this road, God guides us and gives us strength, and it is God who works. With the Holy Spirit’s work in fact we do not feel that it is difficult. If there is the work of the Holy Spirit in pursuit of being made perfect, then it is not difficult. Without the work of the Holy Spirit, it is extremely difficult. It is even harder than ascending to heaven. This is a complete explanation of it.