h. God’s salvation can only be attained by accepting His work in the last days and leaving the religious world
Words of Almighty God of the Last Days
All those who are able to follow the present light of the Holy Spirit are blessed. The people of ages past also followed the footsteps of God, yet they could not follow until today; this is the blessing of the people of the last days. Those who can follow the present work of the Holy Spirit, and who are able to follow the footsteps of God, such that they follow God wherever He leads them—these are people who are blessed by God. Those who do not follow the present work of the Holy Spirit have not entered into the work of God’s words, and no matter how much they work, or how great their suffering, or how much they run about, none of it means anything to God, and He will not commend them. Today, all those who follow the present words of God are in the stream of the Holy Spirit; those who are strangers to the words of God today are outside of the stream of the Holy Spirit, and such people are not commended by God. Service that is divorced from the present utterances of the Holy Spirit is service that is of the flesh, and of notions, and it is impossible for it to be in accordance with God’s will. If people live among religious notions, then they are unable to do anything that is fit for God’s will, and even though they serve God, they serve in the midst of their imaginings and notions, and are totally incapable of serving in accordance with the will of God. Those who are unable to follow the work of the Holy Spirit do not understand the will of God, and those who do not understand the will of God cannot serve God. God wants service that is after His own heart; He does not want service that is of notions and the flesh. If people are incapable of following the steps of the Holy Spirit’s work, then they live amid notions. The service of such people disrupts and disturbs, and such service runs contrary to God. Thus those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God are incapable of serving God; those who are unable to follow the footsteps of God most certainly oppose God, and are incapable of being compatible with God. “Following the work of the Holy Spirit” means understanding the will of God today, being able to act in accordance with the present requirements of God, being able to obey and follow the God of today, and entering in accordance with the newest utterances of God. Only this is someone who follows the work of the Holy Spirit and is in the stream of the Holy Spirit. Such people are not only capable of receiving God’s praise and seeing God, but can also know God’s disposition from the latest work of God, and can know man’s notions and disobedience, and man’s nature and essence, from His latest work; furthermore, they are able to gradually achieve changes in their disposition during their service. Only people such as this are those who are able to gain God, and who have genuinely found the true way. Those who are cast out by the work of the Holy Spirit are people who are incapable of following the latest work of God, and who rebel against the latest work of God. That such people openly oppose God is because God has done new work, and because the image of God is not the same as that in their notions—as a result of this, they openly oppose God and pass judgment upon God, which results in God loathing and rejecting them. Possessing the knowledge of the latest work of God is no easy matter, but if people have a mind to obey the work of God and seek the work of God, then they will have the chance to see God, and will have the chance to gain the newest guidance of the Holy Spirit. Those who intentionally oppose the work of God cannot receive the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit or the guidance of God. Thus, whether or not people can receive the latest work of God depends on the grace of God, it depends on their pursuit, and it depends on their intentions.
All who are able to obey the present utterances of the Holy Spirit are blessed. It does not matter how they used to be, or how the Holy Spirit used to work within them—those who have gained the latest work of God are the most blessed, and those who are unable to follow the latest work today are cast out. God wants those who are able to accept the new light, and He wants those who accept and know His latest work. Why is it said that you must be a chaste virgin? A chaste virgin is able to seek the work of the Holy Spirit and understand the new things, and moreover, able to put aside old notions, and obey the work of God today. This group of people, who accept the newest work of today, were predestined by God before the ages, and are the most blessed of people. You hear the voice of God directly, and behold the appearance of God, and so, throughout heaven and earth, and throughout the ages, none have been more blessed than you, this group of people.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps
The work of the Holy Spirit is always moving forward, and all those who are in the stream of the Holy Spirit should also be progressing deeper and changing, step-by-step. They should not stop at a single stage. Only those who do not know the work of the Holy Spirit would remain amongst His original work, and not accept the new work of the Holy Spirit. Only those who are disobedient would be incapable of gaining the Holy Spirit’s work. If the practice of man does not keep pace with the new work of the Holy Spirit, then the practice of man is surely dissevered from the work of today and is surely incompatible with the work of today. Such outdated people as these are simply incapable of accomplishing God’s will, much less could they become people who will ultimately stand testimony to God. The entire management work, furthermore, could not be concluded amongst such a group of people. For those who once held to the law of Jehovah, and those who once suffered for the cross, if they cannot accept the stage of work of the last days, then all that they did will have been in vain, and useless. The clearest expression of the Holy Spirit’s work is in embracing the here and now, not clinging to the past. Those who have not kept up with the work of today, and who have become separated from the practice of today, are those who oppose and do not accept the work of the Holy Spirit. Such people defy the present work of God. Though they hold onto the light of the past, it cannot be denied that they do not know the work of the Holy Spirit. Why has there been all this talk of the changes in the practice of man, of the differences in the practice between the past and today, of how the practice was carried out during the previous age, and of how it is done today? Such divisions in the practice of man are always spoken of because the work of the Holy Spirit is constantly moving forward, and thus the practice of man is required to constantly change. If man remains stuck in one stage, then this proves that he is incapable of keeping up with God’s new work and new light; it does not prove that God’s plan of management has not changed. Those who are outside the stream of the Holy Spirit always think they are right, but in fact, God’s work in them ceased long ago, and the work of the Holy Spirit is absent from them. The work of God was long since transferred to another group of people, a group on whom He intends to complete His new work. Because those in religion are incapable of accepting God’s new work, and hold only to the old work of the past, thus God has forsaken these people, and does His new work on the people who accept this new work. These are people who cooperate in His new work, and only in this way can His management be accomplished.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Practice
Since man believes in God, he must closely follow the footsteps of God, step-by-step; he should “follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Only these are the people who seek the true way, only they are the ones who know the work of the Holy Spirit. People who slavishly follow words and doctrines are those who have been cast out by the work of the Holy Spirit. In each period of time, God will begin new work, and in each period, there will be a new beginning among man. If man only abides by the truths that “Jehovah is God” and “Jesus is Christ,” which are truths that only apply to their respective ages, then man will never keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and will forever be incapable of gaining the work of the Holy Spirit. Regardless of how God works, man follows without the slightest doubt, and he follows closely. In this way, how could man be cast out by the Holy Spirit? Regardless of what God does, as long as man is certain that it is the work of the Holy Spirit, and cooperates in the work of the Holy Spirit without any misgivings, and tries to meet the requirements of God, then how could he be punished? The work of God has never ceased, His footsteps have never halted, and prior to the completion of His management work, He has always been busy, and never stops. But man is different: Having gained but a modicum of the Holy Spirit’s work, he treats it as if it will never change; having gained a little knowledge, he does not go forth to follow the footsteps of God’s newer work; having seen but a little of God’s work, he immediately prescribes God as a particular wooden figure, and believes that God will always remain in this form that he sees before him, that it was like this in the past and will always be thus in the future; having gained but a superficial knowledge, man is so proud that he forgets himself and begins to wantonly proclaim a disposition and a being of God that simply do not exist; and having become certain about one stage of the Holy Spirit’s work, no matter what kind of person it is that proclaims the new work of God, man does not accept it. These are people who cannot accept the new work of the Holy Spirit; they are too conservative, and incapable of accepting new things. Such people are those who believe in God but also reject God. Man believes that the Israelites were wrong to “only believe in Jehovah and not believe in Jesus,” yet the majority of people act out a role in which they “only believe in Jehovah and reject Jesus” and “long for the return of the Messiah, but oppose the Messiah who is called Jesus.” No wonder, then, that people still live under the power of Satan after accepting one stage of the work of the Holy Spirit, and still do not receive God’s blessings. Is this not the result of man’s rebelliousness? Christians across the world who have not kept up with the new work of today all cling to the hope that they will get lucky, assuming that God will fulfill each of their wishes. Yet they cannot say for sure why God will take them up to the third heaven, nor are they certain about how Jesus will come to receive them riding upon a white cloud, much less can they say with absolute certainty whether Jesus will truly arrive upon a white cloud on the day that they imagine. They are all anxious, and at a loss; they themselves do not even know whether God will take up each of them, the varied small handfuls of people, who hail from every denomination. The work that God does now, the present age, God’s will—they have no grasp of any of these things, and they can do nothing but count down the days on their fingers. Only those who follow the footsteps of the Lamb to the very end can gain the final blessing, whereas those “clever people,” who are unable to follow to the very end yet believe they have gained all, are incapable of witnessing the appearance of God. They each believe they are the smartest person on earth, and they cut short the continued development of God’s work for no reason at all, and seem to believe with absolute certainty that God will take them up to heaven, they who “have the utmost loyalty to God, follow God, and abide by the words of God.” Even though they have the “utmost loyalty” toward the words spoken by God, their words and actions are still so disgusting because they oppose the work of the Holy Spirit, and commit deceit and evil. Those who do not follow to the very end, who do not keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit, and who only cleave to the old work have not only failed to achieve loyalty to God, but on the contrary, have become those who oppose God, have become those who are rejected by the new age, and who will be punished. Are there any more pitiable than them? Many even believe that all those who reject the old law and accept the new work are without conscience. These people, who only talk of “conscience,” and do not know the work of the Holy Spirit, will ultimately have their prospects cut short by their own consciences. God’s work does not abide by doctrine, and though it may be His own work, still God does not cling to it. That which should be denied is denied, that which should be cast out is cast out. Yet man places himself in enmity to God by holding onto but one small part of the work of God’s management. Is this not the absurdity of man? Is this not the ignorance of man? The more people are timid and overcautious because they are afraid of not gaining God’s blessings, the more they are incapable of gaining greater blessings, and of receiving the final blessing. Those people who slavishly abide by the law all display the utmost loyalty toward the law, and the more they display such loyalty toward the law, the more they are rebels who oppose God. For now is the Age of Kingdom and not the Age of Law, and the work of today and the work of the past cannot be mentioned in the same breath, nor can the work of the past be compared to the work of today. The work of God has changed, and the practice of man has also changed; it is not to hold onto the law or bear the cross, therefore people’s loyalty toward the law and the cross will not gain God’s approval.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God’s Work and Man’s Practice
Those Jewish Pharisees, head priests, and scribes of the Age of Law nominally believed in God, but they turned their backs on His way, and even crucified the incarnate God. Could their belief, then, have gained God’s approval? (No.) God had already designated them as people of the Jewish faith, as members of a religious group. And God likewise sees those today who believe in Jesus as members of a religious group, in that He does not acknowledge them as members of His church or as believers in Him. Why would God condemn the religious world so? Because all members of religious groups, especially the high-level leaders of various denominations, lack a God-fearing heart, nor are they followers of God’s will. They are all nonbelievers. They do not believe in the incarnation, much less accept the truth. They never seek, ask after, examine, or accept God’s work in the last days or the truths He expresses, instead going straight to condemning and blaspheming the work of God’s incarnation in the last days. One can see clearly in this that they may nominally believe in God, but God does not acknowledge them as believers in Him; He says that they are evildoers, that none of what they do has the least relation to His work of salvation, that they are unbelievers who are outside of His words. If you believe in God as you do now, will the day not come when you, too, are reduced to religious adherents? Belief in God from within religion cannot attain salvation—why is this, exactly? If you cannot tell why this is, it shows that you understand neither the truth nor God’s will in the least. The most tragic thing that can happen to belief in God is its reduction to religion and its being cast out by God. This is an unimaginable thing to man, and those who do not understand the truth can never see this matter clearly. Tell Me, when a church has gradually turned into a religion in God’s eyes and become a denomination over the many long years since its inception, are the people in it candidates for God’s salvation? Are they members of His family? (No.) They are not. What road is it they walk, these people who nominally believe in the true God, yet are thought by Him to be religious people? The road they walk is one on which they bear the banner of belief in God yet never follow His way; it is one on which they believe in Him yet do not worship Him, and even forsake Him; it is one on which they claim to believe in God yet resist Him, nominally believing in the name of God, in the true God, yet worshiping Satan the devil, and engaging in human operations, and establishing an independent, human kingdom. That is the road they walk. To look at the road they walk, it is apparent that they are a bunch of nonbelievers, a gang of antichrists, a group of Satans and devils that set out explicitly to resist God and disrupt His work. That is the essence of the religious world. Does a group of such people have anything to do with God’s management plan for the salvation of man? (No.) Once believers in God, however many they may be, have their mode of faith defined by God as a denomination or a group, then they, too, are defined by God as those who cannot be saved. Why do I say this? A group without God’s work or guidance that does not submit to Him or worship Him at all may nominally believe in God, but it is the priests and elders of religion whom they follow and obey, and the priests and elders of religion are by their essence satanic and hypocritical. Therefore, what those people follow and obey are Satan and devils. In their hearts, they are practicing belief in God, but in fact, they are being manipulated by man, subject to human orchestrations and mastery. So, in essential terms, what they follow and obey is Satan, and devils, and forces of evil which resist God, and the enemies of God. Would God save a gang of people like this? (No.) Why not? Well, are such people capable of repentance? No; they will not repent. They engage in human operations and human enterprises under the banner of faith in God, running counter to God’s management plan for the salvation of man, with the ultimate outcome being that they will meet with God’s detestation and rejection. It is impossible that God would save these people; they are incapable of repentance, and as they have been carried off by Satan, God hands them over to it.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only With Fear of God Can One Tread Upon the Path of Salvation
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