23. What is the difference between the wheat and the tares?
Relevant Words of God:
As I have said, Satan has sent those who do service for Me to interrupt My management. These service-doers are tares, yet wheat does not refer to the firstborn sons, but rather to all the sons and the people who are not the firstborn sons. “Wheat will always be wheat, tares will always be tares”; this means that the nature of those of Satan can never change. So, in short, they remain as Satan. Wheat means the sons and the people, because before the creation of the world I added to these people My quality. Because I have said before man’s nature does not change, wheat will always be wheat.
Excerpted from “Chapter 113” of Utterances of Christ in the Beginning in The Word Appears in the Flesh
No matter how they are tried, the allegiance of those who have God in their heart remains unchanged; but for those who do not have God in their heart, once the work of God is not advantageous to their flesh, they change their view of God, and even depart from God. Such are those who will not stand fast in the end, who only seek God’s blessings and have no desire to expend themselves for God and dedicate themselves to Him. Such base people will all be expelled when God’s work comes to an end, and are unworthy of any sympathy. Those without humanity are incapable of truly loving God. When the environment is safe and secure, or they can get profits, they are totally obedient toward God, but once that which they desire is compromised or finally refuted, they immediately revolt. Even in the space of just one night, they may go from a smiling, “kind-hearted” person to an ugly-looking and ferocious killer, suddenly treating their benefactor of yesterday as their mortal enemy, without rhyme or reason. If these demons are not cast out, demons that would kill in the blink of an eye, will they not become the source of further suffering? … Those who truly follow God are able to withstand the test of their work, whereas those who do not truly follow God are incapable of withstanding any of God’s trials. Sooner or later they will be expelled, while the overcomers will remain in the kingdom. Whether or not man truly seeks God is determined by the test of his work, that is, by God’s trials, and has nothing to do with the decision by man himself. God does not reject any person at whim; all that He does can utterly convince man. He does not do anything that is invisible to man, or any work that cannot convince man. Whether man’s belief is true or not is proved by the facts, and cannot be decided by man. That “wheat cannot be made into tares, and tares cannot be made into wheat” is without doubt. All those who truly love God will ultimately remain in the kingdom, and God will not mistreat anyone who truly loves Him.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Anyone who verbally recognizes God incarnate yet cannot practice the truth of obedience to God incarnate will ultimately be eliminated and destroyed, and anyone who verbally recognizes the visible God and also eats and drinks of the truth expressed by the visible God yet seeks after the vague and invisible God will all the more be destroyed in the future. None of these people can remain until the time of rest after God’s work has finished; there can be no one like these people who remain until the time of rest. The demonic people are those who do not practice the truth; their essence is one of resisting and being disobedient to God, and they do not have the slightest intentions of obeying God. Such people will all be destroyed. Whether you have truth and whether you resist God are determined according to your essence, not according to your appearance or your occasional speech and conduct. Every person’s essence decides whether they will be destroyed; this is determined according to the essence revealed by their conduct and their pursuit of the truth. Among people who similarly do work and also do similar amounts of work, those whose human essences are good and who possess truth are the people who can remain, but those whose human essences are evil and who disobey the visible God are those who shall be destroyed. Any of God’s work or words directed at humanity’s destination deals with humanity appropriately according to each person’s essence; there will be no accidents, and there will certainly not be the slightest error. Only when a person carries out work will human emotion or meaning be mixed in. The work God does is the most suitable; He absolutely will not bring false claims against any creature. There are now many people who are unable to perceive humanity’s future destination and who also do not believe the words I speak; all those who do not believe, along with those who do not practice truth, are demons!
Those who seek and those who do not seek are now two different types of people, and they are two types of people with two different destinations. Those who pursue knowledge of the truth and practice the truth are the people whom God will save. Those who do not know the true way are demons and enemies; they are the descendants of the archangel and will be destroyed.
Excerpted from “God and Man Will Enter Into Rest Together” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Sermon and Fellowship Excerpts for Reference:
The main manifestations revealed in those who attain salvation are the following: They are able to submit to God’s work regardless of personal preferences; they follow God no matter where He leads them, whether amidst the trials of service-doers, death, the times of chastisement, or the great tribulation—in all of these they do not muddle through or fake their way through. In their experience of difficulties and frustrations, they have not abandoned the true way, and up to the present day they still submit to God’s arrangements and perform the duties they ought to perform—this is an obedient person who submits and will certainly be saved by God in the end. This is what a person who genuinely wants God is like—they will follow Him to the end even if it means putting their lives on the line. “Whatever happens, I will not walk away from God. I can abandon the happiness of my family, I can cast away my wife, children, or husband. That’s fine as long as I can expend myself for God.” This is the clear distinction between those who will be saved and those who will be eliminated. In their experience of God’s work, those who will be saved pursue the truth and focus on life, and it is they who truly attain gratifying results and achieve change in their life disposition to varying degrees. They possess fewer and fewer notions and disobedience, and they have gradually come to live out the likeness of a human being. Their interactions with others have grown much more normal and they exhibit less corruption. They have made progress in the truth, and they are constantly seeking to achieve deeper clarity regarding the truth. They cherish and thirst for the word of God. They read God’s word and fellowship on the truth properly, they place emphasis on knowing themselves, and they place emphasis on changing their disposition more profoundly. Regardless of what duty they perform, they never slacken in their entry into life. It can be said that they are on the right track of faith and God does not need to worry much about them. They are people with whom God is relatively satisfied. This is another distinction between those who will be saved and those who will be eliminated. Those who will be saved all expend themselves for God to the best of their ability and do anything they are suited to. They enthusiastically take the initiative, are neither slackers nor shirkers, and none of their work has been perfunctory or slipshod. They put all their heart and strength into whatever task is in front of them, treating it seriously, and in working with others they are able to consider the benefit to God’s house. They focus on the effect of the work, they are considerate of God’s will, and they try to fulfill God’s demands. They have no selfish motives in performing their duties, do not scheme for themselves or fuss over individual gain or loss, they can put aside the pleasures of the flesh and any benefit to their own family, and are willing to endure physical hardship if required. To them, fulfilling their duty well comes first, as well as spreading the gospel to save people and expanding the gospel work of God. This is their motto. Being able to loyally perform their duty is proof of a person’s conscience and reason. Even more laudable is their ability to be considerate of God’s will and their willingness to endure hardship to comfort God’s heart. Because these people love the truth and seek life, they always have the Holy Spirit working in them. They have the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit when fellowshiping on God’s word and are able to accept the truth. As such, their hearts are ever more brightened, they fulfill their duty more and more vigorously, their state gets better and better, and their relationships with other brothers and sisters get more and more normal. They can love each other, but also are able to draw clear boundaries between themselves and those who are exposed as not loving God and not performing their duties, and they know how to handle such people wisely. In particular, they see the world and unbelievers with complete clarity; they hate them bitterly and are utterly fed up when they come in contact with them. They only wish to interact with other brothers and sisters. In their eyes, only their brothers and sisters are their family, and they feel they couldn’t go on living if separated from God’s family, that it would be better to die than to not live for God. These people are honest and upright at heart, so if God hates something they will give it up and do as God requires, as long as He is satisfied. They have self-respect, and in their hearts they are eager to excel and have resolve. They are willing to do service for God and regard being a loyal service-doer as their own glory. They strive to satisfy God, and even if it is just doing service they will render service to the end, until their very last breath. They believe that chasing after blessings is so contemptible, having private longings is base, and that they are duty-bound to be a proper and upright service-doer. God is glorified through these people. Though there is some disobedience and corruption in them, they love the truth and seek justice. They don’t fear difficulties, always persevere in the fulfilling of their duty, and ultimately attain God’s blessing. We see the results of God’s work in them are especially clear—their life dispositions have changed to varying degrees, their outlooks on life, thinking, lifestyle, and points of view on things all undergo significant change, and to a certain extent they become new people. These people who will be saved have passed through the valley of the shadow of death and have seen the first light of dawn, as if they have been raised from the dead. As the end nears their vitality grows, and they radiate the freshness of youth. Following God, they stand firm in their witness. This is precisely the group of people whom God has ordained to receive His great salvation today.
Now, let us look at the behaviors of those wicked people who have been exposed. They bitterly disappoint people and make them feel afraid, and they epitomize of the saying, “It is easier to change mountains and rivers than to alter one’s nature.” Though in the past, they have worked or rendered service in God’s family, ultimately when God exposed them, they relapsed and showed their true colors. They sneaked in hoping to win blessings, but ultimately met their end in crushing and shameful defeat. They don’t love truth at all and are not interested in the work of God. They have never taken seriously reading the word of God. It is harder for them to read the word of God than it is for them to take medicine, and they want even less to fellowship about the truth. This is their main characteristic. To them, understanding the truth and seeking the truth are out of the question, much less knowing themselves. They are non-believers; they are tares sowed by Satan. They fundamentally have no life to speak of. When they entered the church, they did not have good intentions. The main manifestations of these people are: They never want to dedicate anything, and always want to obtain advantages and benefits. They utilize a variety of opportunities to profit. If not for advantage they would not get up early. They are people who seek only profit, and do not perform their duty happily or willingly. Their dispositions are fiendish, and they don’t have a heart of compassion or empathy for others at all. They are disgustingly greedy and insatiable. They grab hold of anyone who will benefit them and give them an advantage and they make that person render service to them. They always speak lies. Whatever they say contains lies or impurities. Nothing they say is accurate, so you never know which words they say are the truth and which are lies. They do everything furtively, and don’t do anything that is just and honorable. They would never open up their hearts and say something honest to others, except when they are about to die and shed some tears at the sight of the coffin. What comes out of their mouths most is vicious talk about other people, gossiping and criticizing, words that sow dissension and words of blame, as well as words that insult others. What they love most is other people’s flattery and worship of them, and they love it when other people revolve around them. They earnestly wish to be the queen or the highest power upon whom everyone waits. When they are doing well and having good luck, they can tuck in their tails and pretend to be good people for a little while. When they suffer defeat and are abandoned by God, however, they immediately show their true colors, and shout abuse right away, declare towering grievances, and become demons. Then they are capable of doing anything. Like a plague that extends far and wide, they spread poison everywhere and propagate rumors to deceive people. All such wicked people who do all manner of evil are the same in their nature, though their behaviors may differ. They all have the same psychological condition; they only vary in the severity of badness that shows through. This kind of person can be found in every place, and it is easy to identify them. It can be explained like this: All people who seek personal advantage rather than basing their actions on truth are evil people; all who do not pursue life and don’t have the slightest knowledge of themselves are evil people; all who make no contributions though they have money and who are unwilling to do their duty are evil people; all who are slipshod in doing their duty, going so far as to act willfully, are evil people; all who vie for position, disturb church life, and obey no one are evil people; all who act according to their own will, who act wantonly, who don’t listen to anyone else are evil people; all who hear the voice of God and have no fear, and who don’t even repent, are evil people; all those of fierce and brutal disposition, who treat people cruelly, who attack people right and left with abusive language, who do not change their views at all, are even more guilty of the most heinous sins. All of those who relapse, who return to their original true colors are just like the unbelievers, and they are all demons showing who they really are. The Holy Spirit’s work has long left these people. God has already handed them over to Satan, and they do not belong to God’s family.
Excerpted from The Fellowship From the Above