Only With Fear of God Can One Tread Upon the Path of Salvation

Those who have no God-fearing hearts will not change, no matter how long they believe in Him. Only those who fear God can obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and step onto the path of salvation. How crucial it is, for man to have a God-fearing heart! Why do some people never come to know themselves? It is because they have no God-fearing hearts. Why are some people never able to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit? It is because they have no God-fearing hearts. Only those who have God-fearing hearts are able to often self-reflect and come to know themselves; they are always afraid of making mistakes or walking down the wrong road. When things happen to them that require them to make choices, they would rather offend man than offend God, and they would rather suffer persecution than distance themselves from God or betray Him. Job was a man who feared God and shunned evil, and he received God’s approval.

So, where must your experience begin, if you would attain salvation in your belief in God? You must start by accepting God’s judgment and chastisement, attaining a true knowledge of yourself, and truly repenting—this is stepping onto the path of salvation. It is not easy for people to know themselves; it is even more difficult for them to know their own corrupt disposition and essence, to know how small and insignificant they are before God, before the Creator. If people cannot know their own corrupt dispositions or what their corrupt essence is, will they then know what kind of relationship they have with God, their measure before God, or whether God likes them? (They will not.) So what have they obtained after all these years of believing in God? Have they obtained the truth? Have they stepped onto the path of salvation? If, after coming to believe in God, they eat and drink His words, live a church life, and perform their duty, does that amount to having a relationship with God? What can a person do, what should they pursue, what position should they stand in, and how should they choose their path, in order to have a relationship with the Creator? Do you know? You cannot answer. It seems you lack too much, which means that you do not focus on seeking or fellowshipping about the truth in many things you do not understand, so your church life is lacking in specifics, and the results thereof cannot possibly be very good. You have on your lips the spiritual terms and sayings that are often spoken in believing in God, but you do not take them seriously, nor do you return to your own spirit and quiet your heart to ponder: “What do these words that God said mean? How do I apply them in my real life? How do I make these words concrete—how do I turn them into reality? What can I do so that these words do not stop at doctrine and theory, but become a part of my life, become the direction in which I walk? How must I behave so that God’s words become a part of my life?” If you can ponder such things, you will be able to reason out many details. But in general, you never ponder such things, so for the majority of the truths commonly spoken about, you stop at a literal understanding. If people stop at a literal understanding, what will others be able to see about them? People often preach about spiritual theories, spiritual terminology, and spiritual sayings, but in their lives, you cannot see the reality of them putting God’s words into practice or experiencing God’s words. Today, you face a very large problem. What problem is that? It is that, because you are capable of preaching a little doctrine, and have a grasp of certain spiritual sayings, and can talk a little about your experiences of knowing yourselves, you think that you understand the truth, that your faith in God has reached a certain level, that you are above most people, but in fact, you have not entered the truth reality, and without people to support and provide for you, without people to fellowship the truth to you and guide you, you would come to a standstill, and grow dissolute. You are incapable of undertaking the work of testifying to God, you are not able to complete God’s commission, yet inside, you still have a high opinion of yourselves, you think that you understand more than most people—but in fact, you lack stature, you have not entered the truth reality, and have grown arrogant merely from being able to understand a few words and doctrines. As soon as people enter this kind of state, when they think they have already gained the truth, and become complacent, what kind of danger are they in? If a glib-tongued false leader or antichrist really does appear, you will undoubtedly be misled and start following them. This is dangerous, is it not? You are liable to be arrogant, self-righteous, and complacent—in which case, will you not stray from God? Will you not betray God and go your own way? You do not have the truth reality, and you are unable to testify to God; you can only testify to yourselves and flaunt yourselves—so are you not in danger? Additionally, if you are mired in this circumstance, what corrupt dispositions will you reveal? First of all, you will reveal an arrogant and self-righteous disposition; that goes without saying. Will you not also pull rank and flaunt your seniority? Will you not lecture people from on high? If you reveal these corrupt dispositions, will God not detest you? If someone is especially arrogant and self-righteous, and they do not self-examine, then is it not possible that God will spurn them? It is truly very possible. For example: You may have performed your duties for several years, but there has been no discernible progress in your life entry, you merely understand a few superficial doctrines, and have no true knowledge of the disposition and essence of God, no breakthroughs to speak of—if this is your stature today, what will you be liable to do? What revelations of corruption will you have? (Arrogance and conceitedness.) Will your arrogance and conceitedness intensify, or remain unchanged? (They will intensify.) Why will they intensify? (Because we will think ourselves highly qualified.) And on what basis do people judge the level of their own qualifications? On how many years they have performed a certain duty, on how much experience they have gained, is it not? And with this being the case, will you not gradually start thinking in terms of seniority? For example, a certain brother has believed in God for many years and performed a duty for a long time, so he is the most qualified to speak; a certain sister has not been here long, and although she has a little caliber, she is not experienced in performing this duty, and hasn’t believed in God for long, so she is the least qualified to talk. The person who is most qualified to speak thinks to themselves, “Since I have seniority, that means the performance of my duty is up to standard, and my pursuit has reached its peak, and there is nothing I should strive for or enter into. I have performed this duty well, I have more or less completed this work, God should be satisfied.” And in this way they begin to grow complacent. Does this indicate they have entered the truth reality? They have stopped making any progress. They have still not gained the truth or the life, and yet they think themselves highly qualified, and talk in terms of seniority, and wait for God’s reward. Is this not the revelation of an arrogant disposition? When people are not “highly qualified,” they know to be cautious, they remind themselves not to make mistakes; once they believe themselves to be highly qualified, they grow arrogant, and start to have a high opinion of themselves, and are liable to be complacent. At such times, are they not likely to ask for rewards and a crown from God, as Paul did? (Yes.) What is the relationship between man and God? This is not the relationship between the Creator and created beings. It is nothing more than a transactional relationship. And when that is the case, people have no relationship with God, and God will likely hide His face from them—which is a dangerous sign.

Some people set God aside, controlling God’s chosen people themselves, transforming the setting in which people do their duty into an independent kingdom of antichrists; they transform churches that serve God and worship Him into religious organizations. Have these people entered into the truth and life? Do these people follow, serve, or testify of God? They absolutely do not. Are they doing their duty? (No.) So what are they doing? Are they not involved in the operations and enterprises of man? No matter how well you engage in the operations and enterprises of man, if God is not in your heart, and if you do not pursue the truth, then does that not mean that you have no relationship with God? Is that not a terrible thing? When someone believes in God and follows Him, what is most to be feared is that they depart from God’s words and the truth to engage in human operations and human enterprises. To do so is to stray onto one’s own path. Say, for example, that a church elects a leader. This leader knows only how to preach the words and doctrines, and focuses only on their own prestige and status. They do no practical work. Yet you hear them preaching the words and doctrines well, and in accord with the truth, and all they say is right, so you very much admire them and feel them to be a good leader. You heed them in all things and ultimately, you follow them, obeying them completely. Are you not then misled and controlled by a false leader? And has that church not become a religious group with a false leader at its head? The members of a religious group with a false leader as its head may appear to be performing their duties, but are they truly performing their duties? Are they truly serving God? (No.) If those people are not serving God or performing their duties, do they have a relationship with God? Does a gang that has no relationship with God believe in Him? Tell Me, do followers of a false leader or people under the control of an antichrist have the work of the Holy Spirit? Certainly not. And why is it that they do not have the work of the Holy Spirit? Because they have deviated from God’s words, and they do not submit to God or worship Him, but heed false shepherds and antichrists—God spurns them and does no more work on them. They have deviated from God’s words and been spurned by Him, and they have lost the work of the Holy Spirit. So, can they be saved by God? (No.) They cannot, and that means trouble. Therefore, however many people there are in a church performing their duties, whether they can be saved depends crucially on whether they are really following Christ or a person, on whether they are really experiencing God’s work and pursuing the truth or engaging in religious activities, in human operations and human enterprises. It depends crucially on whether they can accept and pursue the truth and on whether they can seek the truth to resolve problems when they discover them. It is these things that are most crucial. What people really pursue and what road they walk, whether they really accept the truth or abandon it, whether they submit to God or resist Him—God is constantly scrutinizing all these things. Every church and every individual is observed by God. No matter how many people there are performing a duty or following God in a church, the moment they depart from God’s words, the moment they lose the work of the Holy Spirit, they cease to experience the work of God, and thus they—and the duty they are performing—have no connection to and no part in God’s work, in which case this church has become a religious group. Tell Me, what are the consequences once a church becomes a religious group? Wouldn’t you say these people are in great danger? They never seek the truth when faced with problems and they don’t act according to the truth principles, but are subject to the arrangements and manipulations of human beings. There are even many who, while performing their duty, never pray or seek the truth principles; they only ask others and do as others say, acting on cues from others. Whatever other people tell them to do, that’s what they do. They feel that praying to God about their problems and truth-seeking is vague and difficult, so they look for a simple, easy solution. They figure that relying on others and doing what others say is easy and most practical, and so they simply do what other people say, asking others and doing as they say in everything. As a result, even after believing for many years, when faced with a problem, they have never once come before God, praying and seeking His will and the truth, and then achieving an understanding of the truth, and acting and behaving according to God’s will—they’ve never had such an experience. Do such people really practice faith in God? I wonder: Why is it that some people, once they have entered a religious group, are so liable to go from believing in God to believing in a person, from following God to following a person? Why do they change so quickly? Why, having believed in God for so many years, would they still heed and follow a person in all things? So many years of belief, yet there has never really been a place for God in their hearts. Of all that they do, none of it ever has anything to do with God, and nothing to do with His words. Their speech, actions, life, dealings with others, handling of matters, even their performance of their duty and service of God, and all their acts and deeds, and all their behaviors, and even each thought and idea that pours forth from them—none of them have anything do with belief in God, or with His words. Is such a person a sincere believer in God? Can the number of years one has believed in God determine that person’s stature? Can it prove whether their relationship with God is normal? Absolutely not. What is crucial for seeing whether a person sincerely believes in God is looking at whether they can accept God’s words into their heart, and at whether they can live amid His words and experience His work.

Ponder this: As you believe in God, if you just involve yourself in religious rituals and keep some regulations; if you just go through the motions as you perform your duty and act, without focusing on the truth principles; if you only talk about words and doctrines as you fellowship on the truth, but have no practical knowledge; if the words of your fellowship are superficial as you spread the gospel and bear testimony; if you only speak the spiritual words and doctrines to provide for and support people—can you achieve results? If you only pursue outward spirituality as you believe in God, is such belief as yours an experience of God’s work? Can you obtain the truth as you perform your duty this way? Is this true belief in God? (No.) What is true belief in God, really? You may have followed God for many years, read many of His words, listened to more than a few sermons, and understand many doctrines—and of course, some of you have partially entered into the truth reality—but would you dare say that you have already attained the stature of salvation? Can you be sure that you will not again be misled and taken captive by Satan? Can you be sure that you will not again worship and follow man? Can you ensure that you will follow God to the end of the road, that you will absolutely not backtrack, that you will not merely believe in a heavenly, vague God, as religious people do, rather than following the practical God? You may follow the incarnate God, but are you pursuing the truth? Are you capable of achieving true submission to God and knowledge of Him? Are you not still in danger of betraying God? You should ponder all these things. Today, which of your means of belief, views, and states are the same as, or similar to, those of believers in Christianity? In what do you share the same state? If someone who believes in God adheres to the truth as though it were a set of regulations, is their belief not liable to become an engagement in religious ritual? (It is.) Observing religious rituals is really no different from Christianity—those who do so are merely more advanced and have progressed further in terms of teaching and theory, and are a bit more elevated and advanced in their faith. That is all. If belief in God turns into religious belief, into a study of theology, into a set of regulations or rituals, has it not then turned into Christianity? There is a difference between new and old teachings, but if all you do is understand the truth as doctrine, and you do not know how to practice the truth, much less how to experience God’s work—and if, however many years you believe in God, however many hardships you undergo, however many good behaviors you have, what you have is nevertheless not a genuine understanding of the truth, and you have not gained the truth or entered the truth reality—then is your mode of belief not that of Christianity? Is that not the essence of Christianity? (Yes.) So, what views or states do you have in your actions or the performance of your duty that are similar to those of Christians, or the same as theirs? (We adhere to regulations and equip ourselves with the words and doctrines.) Adherence to regulations, preaching the words and doctrines, regarding the truth as the words and doctrines—what else? (We focus on doing work, not life entry.) You focus only on exerting yourselves, not on gaining life or entering into the truth reality—what else? (We focus on the appearance of spirituality and good behavior.) You’ve said a bit now, so I’ll summarize: to pursue the appearance of good behavior, and to try mightily to wrap oneself in a veneer of spirituality, and to do things that people hold to be correct in their notions and imaginings, things that people tend to endorse—this is a pursuit of false spirituality. Such a person is a hypocrite who stands on their soapbox to preach the words and doctrines, who instructs others to do good deeds and to be good people, who poses as a spiritual person. Yet in their dealings with others and handling of matters, and their performance of their duty, they never seek the truth, but live by satanic dispositions. Whatever befalls them, they go by their own will, putting God off to the side. They never act according to the truth principles; they merely adhere to regulations. They do not understand the truth at all, nor do they understand God’s will, or the standards of His requirements for man, or what He will achieve by saving man. They never look seriously into these details of the truth or ask about them. All that these sayings and behaviors of man reveal is the stuff of hypocrisy. Having looked at the true states in such people’s hearts along with their outward behavior, one can be certain that they have nothing of the truth reality, that they are in fact hypocritical Pharisees, that they are nonbelievers. If someone believes in God but does not pursue the truth, is their belief genuine? (No.) Can someone who believes in God for however many years, but who does not accept the truth at all, come to fear God and shun evil? (No.) They cannot achieve that. What, then, is the nature of the outward behavior of such people? What kind of path can they walk? (The path of the Pharisees.) With what do they spend their days equipping themselves? Is it not with words and doctrines? They spend their days arming themselves, dressing themselves up with words and doctrines to make themselves more like the Pharisees, more spiritual, more like people who serve God—just what is the nature of all these deeds? Is it worshiping God? Is it genuine faith in Him? (No, it isn’t.) So, what are they doing? They are deceiving God; they are just going through the steps of a process. They are waving the flag of faith and performing religious rites, attempting to deceive God in order to achieve their aim of being blessed. These people do not worship God at all. In the end, such a group of people will end up just like those within the chapels who supposedly serve God, who supposedly believe in and follow God.

What is the difference between the scribes and Pharisees who believed in God in the Age of Law and the pastors, elders, fathers, and bishops of modern Christian and Catholic chapels? That is to say, what is the difference between believing in Jehovah and believing in Jesus? Aside from the name in which they believe, what is the difference? What did those who believed in Jehovah hold to? What was their method of belief? (They kept the law and the commandments.) Did they understand the work of the Holy Spirit? Did they understand the path of carrying one’s cross? (They did not.) Did they know that God is the truth, the way, and the life? Did they have such a concept? Did they know the messages that believers in Jesus have heard? (They did not.) How do those who believe in Jesus see them? (They were backward, conservative, and they did not keep up with the work of the Holy Spirit.) The main thing is that they did not keep up with the steps of God’s work. God said the Messiah would come, and when He came in the flesh He was called Jesus Christ. They did not accept Him, instead stubbornly resisting Him. They did not acknowledge that the Lord Jesus was God incarnate, and they crucified Him. They fell behind, and they were cast out by the Age of Grace. They did not know the messages of the Age of Grace, like redemption, the salvation of the cross, and repentance. Is that not a difference? (It is.) So what do those in the Age of Grace speak of? What is the difference between them and the believers of the Age of Law? What more do they know? First of all, looking at reading the Bible, they read the Old and New Testaments; looking at the name of God they believe in, they no longer refer to God as Jehovah only, instead primarily calling Him Jesus Christ. What do they practice? Confession and repentance, long-suffering and humility; they are loving, they keep the commandments, they carry their cross, they walk the path of suffering the cross, and they look forward to ascending to heaven after death. In many ways, they are different from the believers in God in the Age of Law. They speak of the work of the Holy Spirit, and being filled with and led by the Holy Spirit; they speak of prayer, of acting in the name of the Lord Jesus, and of spreading the gospel. The things they speak of are totally different from those in the Age of Law, but in the end, they receive the same conclusion from God as the people of the Jewish faith—they also belong to a religious group. What kind of matter is this? 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 objects 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 and devils, 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 Satans 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 be spurned by God. 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. Does whether one’s faith in God might meet with His approval depend on its longevity of years? Does it depend on the sort of rituals one observes or the regulations one upholds? Does God look at human practices? Does He look at their numbers? (No.) What does He look at, then? When God has selected a group of people, on what basis does He measure whether they can be saved, whether He will save them? It is based on whether they can accept the truth; it is based on the road they walk. Though God may not have told man as many truths in the Age of Grace as He does now, and though they were not as specific, He was then still able to make man perfect, and there were still people who could be saved. So, if the people of the current age, who have heard so many truths and who understand God’s will, cannot follow His way or embark on the path of salvation, what will their outcome be in the end? Their final outcome will be the same as that of believers in Christianity and Judaism—like them, they will not be able to be saved. This is God’s righteous disposition. It does not matter how many sermons you have heard or how many truths you have understood—if you still follow man, if you still follow Satan, and you are not able to follow God’s way in the end, nor able to fear Him and shun evil, then such people are those whom God spurns. People in religion may be able to preach a great deal of biblical knowledge, and they may understand some spiritual doctrine, but they cannot submit to God’s work, or practice and experience His words, or worship Him truly, nor can they fear Him and shun evil. They are all hypocrites, not people who truly submit to God. In God’s eyes, such people are defined as belonging to a denomination, to a human group, to a human gang, as Satan’s lodging. Collectively, they are Satan’s gang, the kingdom of antichrists, and God spurns them entirely.

Right now, the most urgent thing for you to do is pursue the truth. For one thing, you cannot delay as you do your duty, and for another, you must quickly strive in a short time to step onto the path of salvation, and not be abandoned by God. What a terrible thing that would be! This is your final, fleeting opportunity as God does His work of salvation in the last days. If God determines a person, saying that you have never followed His way, that you could absolutely never fear Him nor shun evil, and when He decides to forsake you, then He will no longer reproach or discipline you, no longer prune you, and no longer judge or chastise you—He will utterly give up on you. At that time, you will feel totally free. No one will watch over you any longer. No one will interfere with how you believe in God; there is no reproach, no matter what bad things you do. There is neither reproach nor discipline if, as you do your duty, you are disloyal, or seek only to satisfy your own ambitions and desires, or disturb and disrupt the work of the church. Even if you have notions about God in your heart, there is neither reproach nor discipline. If you resist or reject being pruned, if you judge others behind their backs, undermine them, or entice them to your side, there is neither reproach nor discipline. What is this a sign of? Is this a good sign? No one watches over you, no one prunes you, and God does not reproach you. Everything seems to be going your way, and you get to do whatever you want. This is very obviously not a good sign. When God wants to give up on you, you will no longer have reproach, you will no longer feel discipline, nor will you feel judgment and chastisement any longer. What does God giving up on a person imply? It implies that this person has no final outcome, that they have lost their chance at salvation. When God gives up on someone, He first makes them feel no reproach; they are overly pleased with themselves each day, and think they are blessed, so they casually indulge themselves, becoming degenerate, following the desires of their heart, doing whatever they wish, and acting however they want. Whatever dissolute things they want to do, there is no reproach, nor is there discipline, much less a feeling of unease or that all is not well. Someone who leaves God’s reproach and discipline is on the edge of danger. What kind of path might they step onto next? They start to become degenerate, dissolute, self-indulgent, and their evil deeds become unceasing. This is very troublesome. From the outside, some people seem to be living fairly comfortably, without a single care, but those who understand the truth can see that such a person is in danger, that God does not want them—God has left them, and they do not even know it! The antichrists of the religious world spend all day judging the words and work of the incarnate God, doing many evil things which resist God. Although they now have no discipline or reproach, this is because God has already left them, and in the end, they will all meet with a great punishment, from which not one of them will escape. From this matter, can you see the will and attitude of God? (Yes.) If you do not pursue the truth as you follow God now, then you could get to the same point as them, and then you will be in danger; your final outcome will be the same as theirs, that is for certain. So right now, what is most pressing that people should do in order to avoid sinking to the point that God would leave them? (We should pursue the truth and fulfill our duty properly.) Apart from fulfilling your duty properly, you must often come before God, eat and drink and ponder His words, accept His discipline and guidance, and learn the lesson of submission—this is very important. You must be able to submit to all the environments, people, events, and things that God has arranged for you, and when it comes to matters you cannot quite fathom, you must frequently pray while seeking the truth; only by understanding God’s will can you find a way forward. You must have a God-fearing heart. Do what you ought carefully and cautiously, and live before God with a heart of submission to God. Quiet yourself often before Him, and do not be dissolute. At the least, when something happens to you, first quiet yourself, then rush to pray, and by praying and seeking and waiting, come to understand God’s will. Is this not an attitude of fearing God? If you fear and submit to God at heart, and are able to quiet yourself before Him and grasp after His will, then with this kind of cooperation and practice, you will be protected, and you will not be tempted, nor will you do anything that disrupts or disturbs the work of the church. Seek the truth in the matters which you cannot see clearly. Do not blindly pass judgment or issue condemnations. In this way, you will not be loathed by God, or spurned by Him. If you have a God-fearing heart, you will be afraid of offending Him, and should something that tempts befall you, you will live before God in terror and trepidation, and yearn to submit to Him and satisfy Him in all things. It is only once you have such a practice and are able to live often in such a state, often quieting yourself before God and often coming before Him, that you will be able unconsciously to shun temptation and evil things. Without a God-fearing heart, or with a heart that is not before Him, there are some evils you will be capable of. You have a corrupt disposition, and you cannot master it, so you are capable of evil. Will the consequences not be severe if you should do such evil as constitutes a disruption and disturbance? At the least, you will be pruned, and if what you have done is serious, God will spurn you, and you will be expelled from the church. However, if you have a heart of submission to God, and your heart can often be quiet before God, and if you fear and are terrified of God, will you not then be able to stay far clear of many evil things? If you fear God and say, “I am terrified of God; I’m afraid of offending Him, of disrupting His work and courting His loathing,” is this not a normal attitude and a normal state for you to have? What is it that will have given rise to your terror? Your terror will have arisen from a God-fearing heart. If you have the terror of God at heart, then you will shun and avoid evil things when you see them, and thus you will be protected. Can someone without terror of God at heart fear Him? Can they shun evil? (No.) Are they who cannot fear God and are not terrified of Him not bold people? Can bold people be restrained? (No.) And do those who cannot be restrained not do whatever occurs to them in the heat of the moment? What are the things people do when they act by their own will, by their zeal, by their corrupt disposition? As God sees them, they are evil things. So, you must see clearly that it is a good thing for man to have terror of God at heart—with it, one can come to fear God. When one has God in their heart and can fear God, they will then be able to stay far clear of evil things. Such people are they who have a hope of being saved.

Is it easy for a believer to fear God and shun evil? In reality, it is no easy matter; if you do not pursue the truth, then you can never attain it. For example, some people say: “It’s really not easy to believe in God, and you must also do your duty, suffer, and pay a price.” How do you feel when you hear these words? What is the problem with saying these words? If you do not have a God-fearing heart, then what would you say? You would say: “That’s exactly right, I have left my home to do my duty for many years, I miss my children and my mother, and I have suffered no small amount. If I were not to receive blessings, that would be unjust!” Is there any fear of God in these words? (There is not.) If a person does not have a God-fearing heart, and they say such words, what is the quality of their behavior? Are they not in conflict with God, complaining against Him? If they speak words of complaint against God, then do they really believe that God is a righteous God? If a person does not have terror of God at heart, if they cannot manage to fear Him, then is it easy for them to shun evil? (It is not easy.) They cannot manage to shun evil. That person says: “If I were not to receive blessings after giving up my family and career, it would be so unjust!” If you immediately followed up with, “That’s exactly right,” how would those words seem to you? Is this shunning evil? The fact that you can say “that’s exactly right” just proves that you, like the other person, are also complaining against God. The complaint has already come out of your mouth to form evil. Not only can you not shun evil, you are capable of speaking complaints and doing evil. Although it is a small evil, it is still complaining against God. If today’s small evil is not resolved, then tomorrow you are in danger of betraying God—that is how terrible man’s corrupt disposition is. Do you see this matter clearly? If a person does not have a God-fearing heart, then whether the things they speak aloud, or the things they think in their heart, or the things which naturally pour forth from them—all are evil. If you do not have a God-fearing heart, then even a small matter can utterly expose your corrupt disposition, your character, pursuits, and intents; it can even expose your dissatisfaction with God. Those who do not have a God-fearing heart say whatever they want. They say whatever they are thinking, and after they say it, it becomes a fact. From God’s perspective, such a person does not fear Him, nor do they shun evil things; rather, they involve themselves in evil things when they see them, and they become partners in crime with evil people. If you have a God-fearing heart, if you are terrified of Him, if you live in His presence, then how should you respond to such a person’s words? What do they mean with their words? They are unwilling to give up blessings. They want to obtain blessings, but they are unwilling to suffer or pay the price, so they say: “It is really not easy to believe in God.” Do they not have a feeling of complaint? These words contain a feeling of complaint; this person is upset with God, they complain, and they think that God’s requirements of people are too high; they think God wants them to pay too high a price for what little blessings He gives them; they think God should not act this way, that He has no love for man, that He does not truly have mercy on man, that He torments man; they think it is not easy for a person to trade suffering for blessing—is this not what they are implying? (It is.) So how should you answer them? Listen to this answer, see if you think it is right. You should say: “What does our little suffering amount to? You see how much God has suffered. To save mankind, God came down to earth from heaven, and was incarnated humbly and secretly among men, and suffered great humiliation; to save mankind, He sacrificed even His life. God’s suffering far outstrips the little we have suffered. Our suffering does not amount to anything. What’s more, we should suffer; is our suffering not so that we can be blessed?” What do you think? On the surface, it seems right, and from a doctrinal standpoint, there are no mistakes, but is there a testimony here? (No.) There is no testimony. This is just cursorily speaking doctrine aloud to exhort someone. Can this resolve any problems? If you want to solve problems, how should you fellowship with them? If you heard these words of complaint, how would you feel in your heart? You would feel that as they did their duty while believing in God, their suffering was not done with a particularly willing heart, but after pondering for a moment you would think: “If they are unwilling, let them be unwilling. What does that have to do with me? If they complain against God, they’re not complaining against me, and it doesn’t involve my profit. This is their personal relationship with God, so they should deal with it themselves. What does this have to do with me?” Treating them this way seems like common sense, and it is not wrong, but as someone who has a God-fearing heart, when this happens to you, you must first think: “This person believes in God, and still complains against Him, and they twist the facts as they speak. This kind of person cannot possibly accept the truth. Being saved is a big deal, so is it fine if they don’t suffer at all? What’s more, why do people suffer? Is it not because of their corrupt dispositions? God has good intentions in allowing people to suffer. It benefits people, it perfects them and builds them up; if people do not suffer they cannot learn their lessons, nor can they obtain the truth, nor can they be in line with God’s will. Suffering a little is mercy and grace on God’s part; it is God’s love for mankind. This is salvation! How can they speak this way? I must fellowship with them. I cannot allow them to misunderstand and complain against God, I cannot allow them to go everywhere and spread these words to influence others. In this matter, I must speak for God. I must help them resolve their misunderstandings about God, and help them have a correct understanding of belief in God. If they misunderstand God in this way, are they not treating Him unjustly? God’s love and salvation for man are so great! How could they think that way?” If you think this way, does that not mean you have a God-fearing heart? (Yes.) As to the matter of fearing God, you do not only speak right words; rather, you have a God-fearing heart in you, you are able to achieve submission to Him, you do not rebel or complain at all. Thus, you become someone who fears God. When it comes to fearing God, you have obtained the truth. You do not merely shout a slogan, you are able to bear testimony of God, and to stand firm in your testimony of Him. With this knowledge, what should you say to that person? You should say: “God expends a great deal of care in the salvation of man. Those who do not have a God-fearing heart often complain against and resist Him, and they take no thought at all for His will. If they suffer a little, or they do not see God’s blessings, then they complain, their hearts rebel, and they become negative and contradictory. This proves that it is natural for people with corrupt dispositions to often resist God, and that human nature is inimical to God. People paying a little price, giving a little bit up, and expending themselves a little bit, is so that they can attain salvation—it is not for God. You suffer because of your corrupt disposition. If you want to obtain the truth, you have to suffer a little. To say it in a less pleasant way, people deserve to suffer; God does not give you suffering, nor does He make you suffer. If you have a rebellious disposition, can you avoid suffering? It is your corrupt disposition that causes you to suffer—it has nothing to do with God. If you truly understood the truth and submitted to God in all things, then would you still give rise to negativity? Would you still complain against God? Would you still suffer these things? So, no matter what people suffer, it is the result of their corrupt dispositions; they cannot blame others, much less God. It is a matter of reaping what you sow. If you do not suffer, you must perish; you must be punished. Which would you choose? God does not want you to suffer, but without suffering, would you be able to submit to God? Without suffering, would you be able to act according to the truth principles? Without suffering, would you be able to listen to God’s words?” Having said these words, will your counterpart be able to gain some understanding? First of all, are these words in line with God’s will? Are they in accord with the truth? (They are.) Seeing as they are in accord with the truth, should a person who fears God not speak them? (They should.) Someone who is capable of speaking these words is shunning evil. So, what must a person possess to cause themselves to shun evil? (They must have a God-fearing heart.) Only with a God-fearing heart can they shun evil; only with a God-fearing heart can people submit to Him and testify of Him. Such people will naturally come to shun evil.

So in what state would you say those people who have no God-fearing hearts often live? Do they have a relationship with God? (They do not.) Some people say: “That’s not right. They pray every day, they read God’s words, they go to gatherings on time, and they do their duty normally. How can you say that they have no relationship with God? If they didn’t believe in God, could they do all that?” Is this way of speaking correct? (It is not. This is merely an outward action. If you do not seek the truth as you act, then you have no God-fearing heart, and nothing you do has anything to do with God.) If, in their belief in God, people do not frequently live before Him, then they will not be able to have any fear of Him, and so will they be incapable of shunning evil. These things are connected. If deep down you often live before God, you will be held in check, and will fear Him in many things. You will not say anything unreasonable, you will not go too far or do anything that is dissolute, nor will you do anything which is loathed by God. If you accept God’s scrutiny, and accept His discipline, you will avoid doing many evil things. As such, will you not have shunned evil? If you say you believe in God yet are often in a daze at heart, neither knowing how God works to save man nor how it is that man ought to pursue the truth, nor whether you love the truth, nor which events should occasion your prayer to God; if you are in a muddle each day, unserious in everything, merely adhering to regulations; if your heart is incapable of being at peace before God, and you do not pray or seek the truth whenever something happens to you; if you often act according to your own will, live according to your satanic disposition, and reveal your arrogant disposition; and if you do not accept God’s scrutiny or discipline, and do not have a submissive heart, then deep down, you will always live before Satan, and be controlled by Satan and by your corrupt disposition. Such people are without the slightest fear of God. They are simply incapable of shunning evil, and even if they do not do evil things, everything they think is still evil, and is both unconnected to the truth and runs against it. Do such people, then, fundamentally have no connection to God? Though they are ruled by Him, their hearts have never come before Him, nor have they ever truly prayed to Him; they have never treated God as God, they have never treated Him as the Creator who holds sovereignty over them, they have never acknowledged that He is their God and their Lord, and they have never considered worshiping Him in earnest. Such people do not understand what it means to fear God, and they think it is their right to commit evil. They say in their hearts, “I’ll do what I want. I’ll take care of my own business, it’s not up to anyone else!” They treat faith in God as a kind of mantra, a form of ceremony. Does this not make them nonbelievers? They are nonbelievers! In God’s mind, these people are all evildoers. All day long, everything they think is evil. They are the degenerates of the house of God, and He does not acknowledge such people as members of His house. What kind of people are those in God’s house? They are people who fear God and shun evil, people who submit to God’s work. Those who merely believe in God’s name, who do not accept Him as their Lord and God—are they part of God’s house? Those who do not accept God as their Creator, who do not accept the fact that He is the truth—do they belong to God? Absolutely not. Only those who accept the truth belong to God; only those who treat God as God belong to Him. With people who can know that God is the truth, who can accept Him as their Lord, and who see that He is the Sovereign of all things, how do such people express themselves? What state do they have in their heart? How do they practice when things happen to them? (They search for the truth in all things.) That is one aspect. What else? (They submit to all of the environments, people, events, and things set out by God, are able to learn from them, and gain the truth.) (They dare not do anything that resists or offends God.) These, too, are ways they express themselves. The main thing is that when something happens to them, whether they understand the truth or not, whether they can put the truth into practice or not, they first and foremost have the terror of God; they do not act rashly according to their own will, they are able to fear God and not offend Him. Others can see that they do not speak rashly, that their actions are calm rather than impetuous or dissolute, that they are profoundly at peace, that they are capable of waiting, that they commune with God in their hearts and seek Him, that they have a heart of submission to God, and they have a God-fearing heart. People who live out these things can connect and link up anything that happens to them with God’s words, and their relationship with Him is normal. Some people—those who do not have God in their hearts—are incapable of living out these realities, and their dispositions are sure to be arrogant, dissolute and unrestrained. They spend all day laughing and joking, they do not put their hearts into performing their duties, they say and do whatever comes into their heads, they bare their fangs and brandish their claws, and they are reckless and impetuous in everything they do. You can tell at first glance that they are like unbelievers. Is someone with this kind of outpourings and behavior someone who lives before God? Do they sincerely believe in God? Is God in their heart? It is absolutely certain that He is not. Such people are condemned and loathed by God.

Today we have been fellowshipping about one of the most important topics of all. What does this topic have to do with? (Salvation.) If people wish to be saved when they believe in God, what’s key is whether or not they have God-fearing hearts, whether or not God has a place in their hearts, whether or not they are able to live before God and maintain a normal relationship with God. What’s crucial is whether or not people are able to practice the truth, and attain submission to God. Such are the path and conditions for being saved. If your heart is not able to live before God, if you do not often pray to God and fellowship with God, and lose the normal relationship with God, you will never be saved, for you have blockaded the path to salvation. If you do not have any relationship with God, you have reached the end of the line. If God is not in your heart, then it’s useless to claim you have faith, to only nominally believe in God. It doesn’t matter how many words and doctrines you are able to speak, how much you have suffered for your belief in God, or how gifted you are; if God is absent from your heart, and you do not fear God, then it doesn’t matter how you believe in God. God will say, “Depart from Me, you evildoer.” You will be classed as an evildoer. You will be unconnected to God; He will not be your Lord or your God. Even though you acknowledge that God holds sovereignty over all, and acknowledge that He is the Creator, you do not worship Him, and do not submit to His sovereignty. You follow Satan and devils; only Satan and devils are your lords. If, in all things, you trust in yourself, and follow your own will, if you trust that your fate is in your own hands, then what you believe in is yourself. Even though you claim to believe in and acknowledge God, God does not acknowledge you. You have no relationship with God, and so you are destined to ultimately be spurned by Him, punished by Him, and cast out by Him; God does not save people like you. People who truly believe in God are those who accept Him as the Savior, who accept that He is the truth, the way, and the life. They are able to sincerely expend themselves for Him and perform the duty of a created being; they experience the work of God, they practice His words and the truth, and they walk the path of pursuing the truth. They are people who submit to the sovereignty and arrangements of God, and who follow His will. Only when people have such faith in God can they be saved; if not, they will be condemned. Is it acceptable for people to engage in wishful thinking when they believe in God? In their faith in God, can people gain the truth when they always cling to their own notions and vague, abstract imaginings? Absolutely not. When people believe in God, they must accept the truth, believe in Him as He asks, and submit to His orchestrations and arrangements; only then can they attain salvation. There is no other way apart from this—whatever you do, you must not engage in any wishful thinking. Fellowshipping this topic is very important for people, is it not? This is a wake-up call for you.

Now that you have heard these messages, you should understand the truth and be clear about what salvation entails. What people like, what they strive for, what they are passionate about—none of this is important. What’s most important is accepting the truth. In the final analysis, being able to gain the truth is what’s most important, and that which can allow you to attain the fear of God and the shunning of evil is the correct path. If you have believed in God for several years and have always focused on the pursuit of things that bear no relation to the truth, then your faith has nothing to do with the truth, and nothing to do with God. You may claim to believe in and acknowledge God, but God is not your Lord, He is not your God, you do not accept that God holds sovereignty over your fate, you do not submit to all that God arranges for you, you do not acknowledge the fact of God being the truth—in which case your hopes of salvation have been shattered; if you cannot walk the path of pursuing the truth, you walk the path of destruction. If everything you pursue, focus on, pray about, and appeal for is based on the words of God, and upon what God asks, and if you have an increasing sense that you submit to the Creator, and worship the Creator, and feel that God is your Lord, your God, if you are increasingly glad to submit to all that God orchestrates and arranges for you, and your relationship with God grows ever closer, and ever more normal, and if your love of God is ever more pure and true, then your complaints and misunderstandings about God, and your extravagant desires toward God, will grow ever fewer, and you will have wholly attained the fear of God and shunning of evil, which means that you will have already set foot on the path of salvation. Although walking the path of salvation comes with the discipline, pruning, judgment, and chastisement of God, and these cause you to suffer much pain, this is the love of God coming upon you. If, when you believe in God, you only pursue being blessed, and only pursue status, fame, and gain, and are never disciplined, or pruned, or judged and chastised, then although you may have an easy life, your heart will grow ever more distant from God, you will lose the normal relationship with God, and you will also be unwilling to accept the scrutiny of God; you will want to be your own boss—which all proves that the path you walk is not the right path. If you have experienced the work of God for a while and have an increasing sense of how humankind is so profoundly corrupt, and so prone to resisting God, and if you are anxious that a day may come when you do something that resists God, and are afraid that you are likely to offend God and be abandoned by Him, and thus feel that nothing is more frightful than opposing God, then you will have a God-fearing heart. You will feel that when people believe in God, they must not stray from God; if they stray from God, if they stray from God’s discipline, and from the judgment and chastisement of God, then this is equivalent to losing the protection and care of God, to losing the blessings of God, and it is all over for people; they can only become ever more depraved, they will be like the people of religion, and will still be liable to oppose God while they believe in God—and in this, they will have become antichrists. If you can realize this, then you will pray to God, “Oh God! Please judge me and chastise me. In everything I do, I beg that You scrutinize me. If I do something that violates the truth and violates Your will, may You severely judge me and chastise me—I cannot be without Your judgment and chastisement.” This is the correct path that people should walk in their faith in God. So measure according to this standard: Do you dare say that you have set foot upon the path of salvation? You dare not, because you have yet to become one of those who pursue the truth, in many things, you do not seek the truth, and you are not able to accept and submit to being pruned—which proves that you are a long way off walking the path of salvation. Is it easy to set foot on the path of salvation if you are not someone who pursues the truth? Actually, it is not. If people have not experienced the judgment and chastisement of God, if they have not experienced the discipline, chastening, and pruning of God, then it is not easy for them to become someone who pursues the truth, and as a result it is very difficult for them to set foot on the path to salvation. If, after hearing this message, you know it is the truth, yet you have yet to set foot on the path of pursuing the truth and achieving salvation, and you do not see this as something serious, feeling that sooner or later, the day will come when you will get on with it—no rush—then what kind of view is this? When you have such a view, you’re in trouble, and you will have a hard time setting foot on the path to salvation. So how should you resolve to be able to set foot on this path? You should say, “Ah! Right now I have yet to set foot on the path to salvation—this is pretty dangerous! God says that people must live before Him at all times, and must pray more, and that their hearts must be at peace, and not impulsive—so I should start putting all this into practice right now.” To practice in this way is to enter onto the right track of faith in God; it’s that simple. What kind of people are those who hear God’s words and then go and put them into practice? Are they good people? They are—they are people who love the truth. What kind of person are they if, after hearing the words of God, they remain numb, indifferent, unyielding—if they treat God’s words lightly, and turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to them? Are they not muddleheaded? People always ask if there are any shortcuts to being saved when they believe in God. I tell you there are not, and then I tell you of this simple path, but after hearing it you do not put it into practice—which is a case of not knowing a good thing when you hear it. Can such people be saved? Even if there is some hope for them, it is not great; salvation will be very difficult. There may be a day when they wake up from sleep, when they think to themselves: “I’m not young anymore, and I have not been attending to my proper duties while believing in God for all these years. God requires that people live before Him at all times, and I have not lived before God. I must hurry up and pray.” If they come to their senses in their hearts and begin to attend to their proper duties, then it’s not too late! But don’t leave it too late; if you wait until you are in your seventies or eighties, and your body is failing, and you no longer have any energy, will it not be too late to pursue the truth? If you spend the best years of your life on meaningless things, and end up putting off or missing out on the pursuit of the truth, which is the most important thing of all, is this not extremely foolish? Is there anything more stupid? Many people are well aware of the true way and yet wait until the future to accept and pursue it—they are all fools. They do not know that pursuing the truth takes decades of effort before they can gain life. It will be too late for regret if they squander the best time for being saved!

Right now, what is the most pressing matter you should put into practice? It is that when things happen to you, you should hurry to seek the truth, make your hearts peaceful before God, and pray to God and read His words with a heart of submission to God. This way, you will be able to establish a normal relationship with God. If you believe in God but have nothing to do with Him, if you still believe in a vague God, if you do not have a normal relationship with the practical God, then can God acknowledge that you believe in Him? If God does not acknowledge you, then aren’t you in trouble? In your heart, you must be clear on how to pursue in order to have God acknowledge you as a member of His house, as one of His followers. Do not be intransigent or rebellious, and you absolutely cannot distance yourself from God; you must come before God and accept Him as your Lord. So what should you do next? Hurry to eat and drink God’s words, accept all the truth He has expressed, put it into practice and experience it, and enter into reality—this is the most important part. If you think these words I have fellowshipped are important, if you can apply these words in your lives, make them a guidebook in your lives, and make them the reality you live out, then you will have made some gains, and I will not have fellowshipped in vain today. The key to believing in God is that you must have God in your heart, be able to act based on God’s words, honor God as great in your heart, and submit to God; you must put all the things you do before God, and make sure they have a relationship with God; this is to say that to believe in God, you must resemble a person who believes in God. You must have the reality of belief in God. After you listen to a sermon, you understand what the will of God is, and you are able to practice and enter according to God’s requirements. After a time, I see that people have changed, that My words have benefited them, changed their state, and changed the direction in which they walk. When people really turn themselves around, I feel that I have not spoken in vain. When I see you put these words into your hearts, without treating them as wind by your ears, then I am very pleased to see you. If you do not listen regardless of how many words I speak, if you do not take them seriously, if you do whatever you want, and act however you want, then I feel pained when I look at you; I start to feel an aversion to you, and it is useless for you to speak nice-sounding words, or to make yourself look better on the outside. To do so would be hypocrisy on your part, and it is unpleasant for Me to look at. So, it is very important for people to practice the truth, and to enter into the truth reality is even more important. People who have the truth reality naturally come to fear God; those who have God-fearing hearts naturally are able to tread onto the path of salvation.

February 5, 2017

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