21. The Principles of Experiencing God’s Work
(1) It is necessary to accept and submit to all of the judgment and chastisement of God’s words. Moreover, one must accept being pruned and dealt with, as well as trials and refinement. Only thus can one be purified and saved;
(2) Accept and submit to all the truth expressed by God. No matter how much of it one understands, one should practice and experience it. Only thus can one enter truth reality;
(3) When tribulations and trials arise, it is necessary to seek the truth, to look up to God, and to rely on Him. Only thus can one see His acts and genuinely come to know Him;
(4) It is necessary to submit to the enlightenment, illumination, and internal guidance of the Holy Spirit, and to perform one’s duty well in accordance with the truth principle. This is true testimony of having submitted to God.
Relevant Words of God:
Belief in God is the first step to knowing God. The process of advancing from this initial belief in God to the most profound belief in Him is the process of coming to know God, the process of experiencing the work of God. If you only believe in God for the sake of believing in God, and not for the sake of coming to know Him, then there is no reality to your faith, and your faith cannot become pure—of this there is no doubt. If, during the process by which man experiences God’s work, he gradually comes to know God, then his disposition will gradually change, and his belief will become increasingly true. In this way, when man achieves success in his belief in God, he will have completely gained God.
Excerpted from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
If you have no knowledge of God’s work, you will not know how to cooperate with God. If you do not know the principles of God’s work, and are unaware of how Satan works in man, you will have no path to practice. Zealous pursuit alone will not allow you to achieve the results demanded by God. Such a means of experiencing is akin to that of Lawrence: making no distinctions whatsoever and only focusing on experience, utterly unaware of what Satan’s work is, of what the work of the Holy Spirit is, of what state man is in without the presence of God, and what kind of people God wants to perfect. What principles should be adopted when dealing with different types of people, how to grasp God’s will in the present, how to know God’s disposition, and at which people, circumstances, and age God’s mercy, majesty, and righteousness are directed—he has no discernment in any of these. If people do not have multiple visions as a foundation for their experiences, then life is out of the question, and experience even more so; they can foolishly continue submitting to and enduring everything. Such people are very difficult to make perfect. It can be said that if you have nothing of the visions spoken of above, this is ample proof that you are a cretin, you are like a pillar of salt always standing in Israel. Such people are useless, good for nothing! Some people only ever submit blindly, they always know themselves and always use their own ways of conducting themselves when dealing with new matters, or they use “wisdom” to deal with trivial matters unworthy of mention. Such people are devoid of discernment, and it is as if their nature is to resign themselves to being picked on, and they are always the same; they never change. People like this are fools who lack even the slightest discernment. They never try to take measures appropriate to the circumstances or to different people. Such people do not have experience. I have seen some people who are so bound up in their knowledge of themselves that when confronted with people possessed by the work of evil spirits, they lower their heads and confess their sins, not daring to stand up and condemn them. And when faced with the obvious work of the Holy Spirit, they do not dare to obey. They believe that evil spirits are also in the hands of God, and have not the slightest courage to stand up and resist them. Such people bring shame to God, and are utterly incapable of bearing a heavy burden for Him. Such fools do not make distinctions of any kind. Such a means of experiencing, therefore, should be purged, for it is untenable in the eyes of God.
God indeed does a lot of work in people, sometimes trying them, sometimes creating environments to temper them, and sometimes speaking words to guide them and amend their shortcomings. Sometimes the Holy Spirit leads people to environments prepared by God for them to unknowingly discover many things that they lack. Through what people say and do, and the way that people treat others and deal with things, without their knowing it, the Holy Spirit enlightens them of many things that they did not previously understand, allowing them to see many things and people more clearly, allowing them to see into much of which they were previously unaware. When you engage with the world, you gradually start to discern the things of the world, and before you meet your end, you might conclude: “It is truly hard to be a person.” If you spend some time experiencing before God, and come to understand God’s work and His disposition, you will unconsciously gain much insight, and your stature will gradually grow. You will understand many spiritual things better, and you will be clearer about God’s work in particular. You will accept God’s words, God’s work, God’s every action, God’s disposition, and what God is and has as your own life. If all you do is wander in the world, your wings will grow ever harder, and your resistance against God will become ever greater; how then can God use you? Because there is too much of “in my opinion” in you, God does not use you. The more you are in the presence of God, the more experiences you will have. If you still live in the world like a beast—your mouth professing belief in God but your heart somewhere else—and if you still study the worldly philosophies for living, then will all your previous labors not have been for nothing? Therefore, the more that people are in the presence of God, the easier they are to be perfected by God. This is the path by which the Holy Spirit does His work. If you do not understand this, it will be impossible for you to enter onto the right track, and being perfected by God will be out of the question. You will not be able to have a normal spiritual life; it will be as if you are handicapped, and you will have only your own hard work and none of God’s work. Is this not a mistake in your experiencing?
Excerpted from “On Experience” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Man experiences God’s work, comes to know himself, purges away his corrupt disposition, and seeks growth in life, all for the sake of knowing God. If you only seek to know yourself and to deal with your own corrupt disposition, but have no knowledge of what work God does upon man, of how great His salvation is, or of how you experience God’s work and witness His deeds, then this experience of yours is fatuous. If you think that one’s life has attained maturity just because one is able to put the truth into practice and to endure, this means that you have still not grasped the true meaning of life or God’s purpose in perfecting man. One day, when you are in the religious churches, among members of the Repentance Church or of the Life Church, you will come across many devout people, whose prayers contain “visions” and who, in their pursuit of life, feel touched and are guided by words. Furthermore, they are able in many matters to endure and to forsake themselves, and not to be led by the flesh. At that time, you will not be able to tell the difference: You will believe that everything they do is right, is the natural expression of life, and that it is a great pity that the name that they believe in is wrong. Are not such views foolish? Why is it said that many people have no life? Because they do not know God, and thus it is said that they have no God in their hearts, and have no life. If your belief in God has reached a point where you are capable of thoroughly knowing the deeds of God, the reality of God, and every stage of God’s work, then you are possessed of the truth. If you do not know the work and the disposition of God, then there is still something missing in your experience. How Jesus carried out that stage of His work, how this stage is being carried out, how God did His work in the Age of Grace and what work was done, what work is being done in this stage—if you do not have a thorough knowledge of these things, then you will never feel assured and you will always be insecure. If, after a period of experience, you are able to know the work done by God and every step of His work, and if you have gained thorough knowledge of God’s aims in speaking His words, and why so many words He has spoken have not been fulfilled, then you may boldly and without holding back pursue the road ahead, free from worry and refinement.
Excerpted from “Only Those Who Know God Can Bear Testimony to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Experiencing God’s work is not about enjoying grace, but rather about suffering for your love of Him. Since you enjoy God’s grace, you must also enjoy His chastisement; you must experience all of this. You can experience God’s enlightenment in you, and you can also experience how He deals with you and judges you. In this way, your experience will be comprehensive. God has carried out His work of judgment and chastisement upon you. God’s word has dealt with you, but not only that; it has also enlightened and illuminated you. When you are negative and weak, God worries for you. All of this work is to let you know that everything about man is within God’s orchestrations. You may think that believing in God is about suffering, or doing all manner of things for Him; you might think that the purpose of believing in God is so that your flesh may be at peace, or so that everything in your life runs smoothly, or so that you may be comfortable and at ease in all things. However, none of these are purposes that people should attach to their belief in God. If you believe for these purposes, then your perspective is incorrect, and it is simply impossible for you to be perfected. God’s actions, God’s righteous disposition, His wisdom, His words, and His wondrousness and unfathomableness are all things people ought to understand. Having this understanding, you should use it to rid your heart of all personal demands, hopes, and notions. Only by eliminating these things can you meet the conditions demanded by God, and it is only by doing this that you can have life and satisfy God. The purpose of believing in God is to satisfy Him and to live out the disposition He requires, so that His actions and glory may be manifested through this group of unworthy people. This is the correct perspective for believing in God, and this is also the goal that you should seek. You should have the right viewpoint about believing in God and you should seek to obtain God’s words. You need to eat and drink God’s words and you must be able to live out the truth, and in particular you must be able to see His practical deeds, His wonderful deeds throughout the entire universe, as well as the practical work He does in the flesh. People can, through their practical experiences, appreciate just how God does His work on them and what His will is toward them. The purpose of all of this is to eliminate people’s corrupt satanic disposition. Having cast out all the uncleanliness and unrighteousness inside you, and having cast off your wrong intentions, and having developed true faith in God—only with true faith can you truly love God.
Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Whether God judges man or curses him, both make man perfect: Both are done in order to make perfect that which is impure within man. Through this means man is refined, and that which is lacking within man is made perfect through His words and work. Every step of God’s work—whether it be harsh words, or judgment, or chastisement—makes man perfect, and is absolutely appropriate. Never throughout the ages has God done work such as this; today, He works within you so that you appreciate His wisdom. Although you have suffered some pain within you, your hearts feel steadfast and at peace; it is your blessing to be able to enjoy this stage of the work of God. Regardless of what you are able to gain in the future, all that you see of God’s work in you today is love. If man does not experience God’s judgment and refinement, his actions and fervor will always remain at surface level, and his disposition will always remain unchanged. Does this count as having been gained by God? Today, although there is still much within man that is arrogant and conceited, man’s disposition is much more stable than before. God’s dealing with you is done in order to save you, and although you may feel some pain at the time, the day will come when there occurs a change in your disposition. At that time, you will look back and see how wise the work of God is, and at that time you will be able to truly understand God’s will. Today, there are some people who say they understand God’s will, but that is none too realistic. In fact, they are speaking falsehoods, because at present they have yet to understand whether the will of God is to save man or to curse man. Perhaps you cannot see it clearly now, but the day will come when you see that the day of God’s glorification has arrived, and you will see how meaningful it is to love God, so that you will come to know the human life and your flesh will live in the world of loving God, so that your spirit will be set free, your life will be full of joy, and you will always be close to God and look to Him. At that time, you will truly know how valuable the work of God today is.
Excerpted from “Only by Experiencing Painful Trials Can You Know the Loveliness of God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When God works to refine man, man suffers. The greater a person’s refinement, the greater their love of God will be, and the more of God’s might will be revealed in them. Conversely, the less refinement a person receives, the less their love of God will grow, and the less God’s might will be revealed in them. The greater such a person’s refinement and pain and the more torment they experience, the deeper their love of God will grow, the more genuine their faith in God will become, and the more profound their knowledge of God will be. In your experiences, you will see people who suffer greatly as they are refined, who are dealt with and disciplined much, and you will see that it is those people who have a deep love for God and a more profound and penetrating knowledge of God. Those who have not experienced being dealt with have but a superficial knowledge, and they can only say: “God is so good, He bestows grace upon people so that they can enjoy Him.” If people have experienced being dealt with and disciplined, then they are able to speak about the true knowledge of God. So the more wondrous God’s work in man is, the more valuable and significant it is. The more impenetrable it is to you and the more incompatible it is with your notions, the more God’s work is able to conquer you, gain you, and make you perfect. How great is the significance of God’s work! If God did not refine man in this way, if He did not work according to this method, then His work would be ineffectual and without significance. It was said in the past that God would select and gain this group, and make them complete in the last days; in this, there is extraordinary significance. The greater the work He carries out within you, the deeper and purer your love for God. The greater the work of God, the more man is able to grasp something of His wisdom and the deeper is man’s knowledge of Him. During the last days, six thousand years of God’s plan for management will come to an end. Can it really end easily? Once He conquers mankind, will His work be over? Can it be so simple? People indeed imagine that it is as simple as this, but what God does is not so simple. No matter what part of God’s work you care to mention, it all is unfathomable to man. If you were able to fathom it, then God’s work would be without significance or value. The work done by God is unfathomable; it is completely counter to your notions, and the more irreconcilable it is with your notions, the more it shows that God’s work is meaningful; if it were compatible with your notions, then it would be meaningless. Today, you feel that God’s work is so wondrous, and the more wondrous you feel it is, the more you feel that God is unfathomable, and you see how great God’s deeds are. If He only did some superficial, perfunctory work to conquer man and did nothing else afterward, then man would be incapable of beholding the significance of God’s work. Although you are receiving a little refinement now, it is of great benefit to your growth in life; so it is of the utmost necessity for you to undergo such hardship. Today, you are receiving a little refinement, but afterward you will truly be able to behold the deeds of God, and ultimately you will say: “God’s deeds are so wondrous!” These will be the words in your heart. Having experienced God’s refinement for a while (the trial of the service-doers and the time of chastisement), some people ultimately said: “Believing in God is really difficult!” The fact that they used the words, “really difficult,” shows that God’s deeds are unfathomable, that God’s work is possessed of great significance and value, and that His work is highly worthy of being treasured by man. If, after I have done so much work, you had not the slightest knowledge, then could My work still have value? It will make you say: “Service to God is really difficult, the deeds of God are so wondrous, and God truly is wise! God is so lovely!” If, after undergoing a period of experience, you are able to say such words, then this proves that you have gained God’s work in you.
Excerpted from “Those Who Are to Be Made Perfect Must Undergo Refinement” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
For people to experience God’s work, they must first understand His current work and how mankind should cooperate. Indeed, this is something that everyone should understand. No matter what God does, whether it be refinement or even if He is not speaking, not a single step of God’s work falls in line with mankind’s notions. Each step of His work shatters and breaks through people’s notions. This is His work. But you must believe that, since God’s work has reached a certain stage, He will not put all mankind to death no matter what. He gives both promises and blessings to mankind, and all those who pursue Him will be able to gain His blessings, but those who do not will be cast aside by God. This depends on your pursuit. Regardless of anything else, you must believe that when God’s work is concluded, every single person will have a suitable destination. God has provided mankind with beautiful aspirations, but without pursuit they are unattainable. You should be able to see this now—God’s refinement and His chastisement of people is His work, but people, for their part, must pursue a change in disposition at all times. In your practical experience, you must first know how to eat and drink God’s words; you must find within His words what you should enter into and your own shortcomings, you should seek entry in your practical experience, and take the portion of God’s words that should be put into practice and try to do so. Eating and drinking God’s words is one aspect. In addition, the life of the church must be maintained, you must have a normal spiritual life, and you must be able to hand over all of your current states to God. No matter how His work changes, your spiritual life should remain normal. A spiritual life can maintain your normal entering in. No matter what God does, you ought to continue your spiritual life uninterrupted and fulfill your duty. This is what people should do. It is all the work of the Holy Spirit, but while for those with a normal condition this is perfection, for those with an abnormal condition it is a trial. At the current stage of the Holy Spirit’s refinement work, some people say that God’s work is so great and that people absolutely need refinement, otherwise their stature will be too small and they will have no way of attaining God’s will. However, for those whose condition is not good, it becomes a reason to not pursue God, and a reason to not attend gatherings or eat and drink God’s word. In God’s work, no matter what He does or what changes He effects, people must maintain a baseline of a normal spiritual life. Perhaps you have not been lax in this current stage of your spiritual life, but you still have not gained much, and have not reaped a great harvest. Under these kinds of circumstances, you must still follow the rules; you must keep to these rules so that you do not suffer losses in your life and so that you satisfy God’s will. If your spiritual life is abnormal, you cannot understand God’s current work, and instead always feel that it is completely incompatible with your own notions, and though you are willing to follow Him, you lack internal drive. So, no matter what God is currently doing, people must cooperate. If people do not cooperate, then the Holy Spirit cannot do His work, and if people do not have a heart to cooperate, then they can hardly gain the work of the Holy Spirit. If you want to have the work of the Holy Spirit inside of you, and if you want to gain God’s approval, then you must maintain your original devotion before the face of God. Now, it is not necessary for you to have a deeper understanding, a higher theory, or other such things—all that is required is that you uphold God’s word on the original foundation. If people do not cooperate with God and do not pursue deeper entry, then God will take away all the things that were originally theirs. On the inside, people are always greedy for ease and would rather enjoy what is already available. They want to gain God’s promises without paying any price at all. These are the extravagant thoughts that mankind entertains. Gaining life itself without paying a price—but has anything ever been this easy? When someone believes in God and seeks to enter into life and seeks a change in their disposition, they must pay a price and achieve a state in which they will always follow God, no matter what He does. This is something that people must do. Even if you follow all of this as a rule, you must always uphold it, and no matter how great the trials, you cannot let go of your normal relationship with God. You should be able to pray, maintain your church life, and never leave your brothers and sisters. When God tries you, you should still seek the truth. This is the minimum requirement for a spiritual life. Always having the desire to seek, and striving to cooperate, applying all of your energy—can this be done? If people take this as a foundation, they will be able to achieve discernment and entry into reality. It is easy to accept God’s word when your own state is normal; in these circumstances it does not feel difficult to practice the truth, and you feel that God’s work is great. But if your condition is poor, no matter how great God’s work is and no matter how beautifully someone speaks, you will pay no mind. When a person’s condition is abnormal, God cannot work in them, and they cannot achieve changes in their disposition.
Excerpted from “You Should Maintain Your Devotion to God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
God’s work and word are meant to cause a change in your disposition; His goal is not merely to make you understand or know His work and word. That is not enough. You are a person who has the ability to comprehend, so you should have no difficulty in understanding the word of God, because most of God’s word is written in human language, and He speaks very plainly. For instance, you are perfectly capable of learning what it is that God wants you to understand and practice; this is something that a normal person who has the faculty of comprehension should be able to do. In particular, the words that God is saying in the present stage are especially clear and transparent, and God is pointing out many things that people have not considered, as well as all manner of human states. His words are all-encompassing, and as clear as the light of a full moon. So now, people understand many issues, but there is still something missing—people putting His word into practice. People must experience all aspects of the truth in detail, and explore and seek it out in greater detail, rather than simply waiting to absorb whatever is made available to them; otherwise they become little more than parasites. They know God’s word, yet do not put it into practice. This kind of person does not love the truth and will ultimately be eliminated. To be like a Peter of the 1990s, this means that each one of you should practice the word of God, have true entry in your experiences and gain even more and even greater enlightenment in your cooperation with God, which will be of ever increasing assistance to your own life. If you have read a lot of God’s word but only understand the meaning of the text and lack direct knowledge of God’s word through your practical experiences, then you will not know God’s word. As far as you are concerned, God’s word is not life, but just lifeless letters. And if you only live in observance of lifeless letters, then you cannot grasp the essence of God’s word, nor will you understand His will. Only when you experience His word in your actual experiences will the spiritual meaning of God’s word open itself to you, and it is only through experience that you can grasp the spiritual meaning of many truths and unlock the mysteries of God’s word. If you do not put it into practice, then no matter how clear His word, all that you have grasped are empty letters and doctrines, which have become religious regulations to you. Is this not what the Pharisees did? If you practice and experience God’s word, it becomes practical to you; if you do not seek to practice it, then God’s word to you is little more than the legend of the third heaven.
Excerpted from “Once You Understand the Truth, You Should Put It Into Practice” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
People’s pursuit of entry into life is based upon the words of God. Previously, it was said that everything is accomplished because of His words, but no one saw this fact. If you enter into experiencing the current step, all will be clear to you, and you will be building a good foundation for future trials. Whatever God says, focus only on entry into His words. When God says He will begin to chastise people, accept His chastisement. When God asks people to die, accept that trial. If you are always living within His newest utterances, God’s words will perfect you in the end. The more you enter into God’s words, the more quickly you will be perfected. Why, in fellowship after fellowship, do I ask you to know and enter into God’s words? Only when you pursue and experience in God’s words, and enter into the reality of His words, does the Holy Spirit have the opportunity to work in you. Therefore, you are all participants in every method by which God works, and whatever the degree of your suffering, in the end you will all receive a “souvenir.” In order to attain your final perfection, you must enter into all of God’s words. The Holy Spirit’s perfection of people is not unilateral; He requires people’s cooperation, He needs everyone to consciously cooperate with Him. Whatever God says, focus only on entry into His words—this will be more beneficial to your life. Everything is for the sake of achieving a change in your disposition. When you enter into God’s words, your heart will be moved by Him, and you will be capable of knowing everything that God wishes to achieve in this step of His work, and you will have the resolution to achieve it. During the time of chastisement, there were those who believed that this was a method of work, and did not believe in God’s words. As a result, they did not undergo refinement, and emerged from the time of chastisement without gaining or understanding anything. There were some who truly entered into these words without a shred of doubt, who said that the words of God are the infallible truth and that humanity should be chastised. They struggled therein for a period of time, letting go of their future and their destiny, and when they emerged, their dispositions had undergone some change, and they had gained a deeper understanding of God. Those who emerged from chastisement all felt the loveliness of God and realized that this step of work embodied God’s great love descending into them, that it was the conquest and salvation of God’s love. They also said that God’s thoughts are always good, and that everything God does in man comes from love, not hate. Those who did not believe in God’s words, who did not look to His words, did not undergo refinement during the time of chastisement, and as a result, the Holy Spirit was not with them, and they gained nothing. For those who entered the time of chastisement, although they did undergo refinement, the Holy Spirit was working hidden inside them, and their life disposition was changed as a result. Some seemed, to all outward appearances, very positive, filled with good cheer all day, but they did not enter into the state of the refinement of God’s words and so did not change at all, which was the consequence of not believing in God’s words. If you do not believe in God’s words, then the Holy Spirit will not work in you. God appears to all those who believe in His words, and those who believe in and accept His words will be able to gain His love!
Excerpted from “People Whose Dispositions Have Changed Are Those Who Have Entered Into the Reality of God’s Words” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
In summary, taking Peter’s path in one’s faith means to walk the path of pursuing the truth, which is also the path of truly getting to know oneself and changing one’s disposition. Only by walking the path of Peter will one be on the path of being perfected by God. One must be clear on how, exactly, to walk Peter’s path, as well as how to put it into practice. First, one must put aside one’s own intentions, improper pursuits, and even family and all things of one’s own flesh. One must be wholeheartedly devoted; that is, one must completely devote oneself to the word of God, focus on eating and drinking of God’s words, concentrate on the search for the truth and the search for God’s intentions in His words, and try to grasp God’s will in everything. This is the most fundamental and vital method of practice. This was what Peter did after seeing Jesus, and it is only by practicing in this way that one can achieve the best results. Wholehearted devotion to the words of God primarily involves seeking the truth, seeking God’s intentions within His words, focusing on grasping the will of God, and understanding and obtaining more truth from God’s words. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines, much less was he focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he concentrated on comprehending the truth and grasping God’s will, as well as achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. Peter also attempted to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, as well as man’s corrupt nature and actual shortcoming, thus meeting all aspects of God’s requirements of man in order to satisfy Him. Peter had so many correct practices that abided by the words of God; this was most in line with God’s will, and it was the best way a person could cooperate while experiencing God’s work. When experiencing the hundreds of trials from God, Peter examined himself strictly against every word of God’s judgment of man, every word of God’s revelation of man, and every word of His demands of man, and strived to fathom the meaning of those words. He tried in earnest to ponder and memorize every word that Jesus said to him, and achieved very good results. Through this manner of practicing, he was able to achieve an understanding of himself from God’s words, and he not only came to understand the various corrupt states of man, but also came to understand man’s essence, nature, and various shortcomings. This is what it means to truly understand oneself. From God’s words, Peter not only achieved a true understanding of himself, but from the things expressed in God’s words—God’s righteous disposition, what He has and is, God’s will for His work, His demands of mankind—from these words he came to know God completely. He came to know God’s disposition, and His essence; he came to know and understand what God has and is, as well as God’s loveliness and God’s demands for man. Although God did not speak back then as much as He does today, results in these aspects were nevertheless achieved in Peter. This was a rare and precious thing. Peter went through hundreds of trials, but did not suffer in vain. He not only came to understand himself from the words and the work of God, but he also came to know God. In addition, he particularly focused on God’s requirements of mankind within His words. In whichever aspects man should satisfy God to be in line with God’s will, Peter was able to put forth great effort in these aspects and achieve full clarity; this was extremely beneficial with regard to his own entry. No matter what God spoke of, as long as those words could become his life and they belonged to the truth, Peter was able to carve them into his heart to ponder and appreciate them frequently. After hearing the words of Jesus, he was able to take them to heart, which shows that he was especially focused on God’s words, and he truly achieved results in the end. That is, he was able to freely put the words of God into practice, accurately practice the truth and be in line with God’s will, act entirely in accordance with God’s intention, and give up his own personal opinions and imaginations. In this way, Peter entered into the reality of God’s words. Peter’s service came in line with God’s will primarily because he had done this.
Excerpted from “How to Walk the Path of Peter” in Records of Christ’s Talks
If you believe in God’s sovereignty, then you have to believe that everyday occurrences, be they good or bad, do not happen at random. It is not that someone is deliberately being hard on you or targeting you; this was all arranged by God. Why does God orchestrate all these things? It is not to reveal you for who you are or to expose you; exposing you is not the end goal. The goal is to perfect you and save you. How does God do that? He starts by making you aware of your own corrupt disposition, of your nature and essence, of your shortcomings, and of what you lack. Only by knowing these things and having a clear understanding of them can you pursue the truth and gradually cast off your corrupt disposition. This is God providing you with an opportunity. You have to know how to seize this opportunity, and you should not butt heads with God. In particular, when faced with the people, matters, and things that God arranges around you, do not constantly feel that things are not as you wish them to be; do not constantly wish to escape them or always blame and misunderstand God. If you are constantly doing those things, then you are not experiencing God’s work, and that will make it very difficult for you to enter truth reality. Whatever you encounter that you cannot fully understand, when a difficulty arises, you must learn to submit. You should begin by coming before God and praying more. That way, before you know it, a shift will occur in your internal state, and you will be able to seek the truth to resolve your problem. As such, you will be able to experience God’s work. As this happens, truth reality will be wrought within you, and this is how you will progress and undergo a transformation of the state of your life. Once you have undergone this change and possess this truth reality, you will also possess stature, and with stature comes life.
Excerpted from “To Gain the Truth, You Must Learn From the People, Matters, and Things Around You” in Records of Christ’s Talks
Do you experience God’s work in the daily performance of your duty? Have you prayed to God when faced with problems, and can you resolve them by seeking the truth? This relates to the issue of entry into life. If one does not take one’s state into account and use God’s words to resolve problems in the performance of one’s duty, then the performance of that duty has nothing to do with believing in God. No matter what duty you are performing nor what you are doing, you must give consideration to the aspects of God’s words that are involved, as well as your own thoughts, opinions, or incorrect motives, all of which are parts of man’s state. What does man’s state include? It includes people’s positions, attitudes, motives, and views, as well as some philosophies, logic, and knowledge—and all these things, in brief, are related to people’s usual modes and methods of action and treatment of others. When faced with a task, you must first examine what your view is—this is the first step. The second step is to examine whether that view is correct. How, then, should you determine whether your view is correct or not? It is determined once with God’s words, and again according to the principles of the sort of task in question: the explicit requirements of God’s words, for instance, or the work arrangements and rules of God’s house, or the interests of God’s house. Use these things to determine whether a view is correct—they are the standards of measurement.
Excerpted from “The Attitude Man Should Have Toward God” in Records of Christ’s Talks
After years have passed, man has become weather-beaten, having experienced the hardship of refinement and chastisement. Although man has lost the “glory” and “romance” of times past, he has, without knowing it, come to understand the principles of human conduct, and has come to appreciate God’s years of devotion to saving mankind. Man slowly begins to loathe his own barbarousness. He begins to hate how feral he is, all of his misunderstandings toward God, and the unreasonable demands he has made of Him. The clock cannot be turned back. Past events become regretful memories of man, and the words and love of God become the driving force in man’s new life. Man’s wounds heal day by day, his strength returns, and he stands up and looks upon the face of the Almighty … only to discover that He has always been at my side, and that His smile and His beautiful countenance are still so stirring. His heart still holds concern for the mankind He created, and His hands are still as warm and powerful as they were in the beginning. It is as if man returned to the Garden of Eden, yet this time man no longer listens to the enticements of the serpent and no longer turns away from the face of Jehovah. Man kneels before God, looks up at God’s smiling face, and offers his most precious sacrifice—Oh! My Lord, my God!
Excerpted from “Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
When people experience God’s work, their first knowledge of Him is that He is unfathomable, wise, and wonderful, and they unconsciously revere Him and feel the mystery of the work He does, which is beyond the ken of man’s mind. People want only to be able to meet His requirements, to satisfy His desires; they do not wish to exceed Him, because the work He does goes beyond man’s thinking and imagination and could not be done by man in His stead. Even man himself does not know his own inadequacies, yet God has forged a new path and has come to bring man into a newer and more beautiful world, and so mankind has made new progress and has had a new start. What people feel for God is not admiration, or rather, is not only admiration. Their deepest experience is awe and love; their feeling is that God is indeed wonderful. He does work that man is unable to do and says things that man is unable to say. People who have experienced God’s work always have an indescribable feeling. People of deep enough experience can understand the love of God; they can feel His loveliness, that His work is so wise, so wonderful, and thereby is infinite power generated among them. It is not fear or occasional love and respect, but a deep sense of God’s compassion for man and tolerance of him. However, people who have experienced His chastisement and judgment sense His majesty and that He tolerates no offense. Even people who have experienced much of His work are unable to fathom Him; all who truly revere Him know that His work is not in line with people’s notions but always goes against their notions. He does not need people to admire him wholly or present the appearance of submission to Him; rather, they should achieve true reverence and true submission. In so much of His work, anyone with true experience feels reverence for Him, which is higher than admiration. People have seen His disposition due to His work of chastisement and judgment, and they therefore revere Him in their hearts. God is meant to be revered and obeyed, because His being and His disposition are not the same as those of a created being and are above those of a created being. God is self-existent and everlasting, He is a non-created being, and only God is worthy of reverence and obedience; man is not qualified for this. So, all who have experienced His work and truly known Him feel reverence toward Him. However, those who do not let go of their notions about Him—those who simply do not regard Him as God—have no reverence toward Him, and though they follow Him, they are not conquered; they are disobedient people by nature. What He means to achieve by working thus is for all created beings to have hearts of reverence for the Creator, worship Him, and submit to His dominion unconditionally. This is the final result that all His work is meant to achieve. If people who have experienced such work do not revere God, even slightly, and if their past disobedience does not change at all, then they are sure to be eliminated. If a person’s attitude toward God is only to admire Him or to show Him respect from a distance, and not to love Him in the slightest, then this is the result at which a person without a heart of love for God has arrived, and that person lacks the conditions to be perfected. If so much work is unable to obtain a person’s true love, then that person has not gained God and does not genuinely pursue the truth. A person who does not love God does not love the truth and thus cannot gain God, much less receive God’s approval. Such people, however they experience the work of the Holy Spirit, and however they experience judgment, are unable to revere God. These are people whose nature is unchangeable and who have extremely wicked dispositions. All who do not revere God are to be eliminated, to be objects of punishment, and to be punished just like those who do evil, to suffer even more than those who have done unrighteous things.
Excerpted from “God’s Work and Man’s Work” in The Word Appears in the Flesh