1. What following God’s will is and what kinds of manifestations those who follow God’s will have
Relevant Words of God:
In every age, while working among humans, God bestows some words upon them and tells them of some truths. These truths serve as the way people should adhere to, the way they should walk in, the way that enables them to fear God and shun evil, and the way that people should put into practice and adhere to in their lives and over the course of their life journeys. It is for these reasons that God expresses these utterances to humanity. These words that come from God should be adhered to by people, and to adhere to them is to receive life. If a person does not adhere to them, does not put them into practice, and does not live out God’s words in their life, then this person is not putting the truth into practice. Furthermore, if people are not putting the truth into practice, then they are not fearing God and shunning evil, nor can they satisfy God. People who are incapable of satisfying God cannot receive His praise, and such people have no outcome.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. How to Know God’s Disposition and the Results His Work Shall Achieve
Jesus was able to complete God’s commission—the work of all mankind’s redemption—because He gave every care to God’s will, without making any plans or arrangements for Himself. So, too, was He the intimate of God—God Himself—which is something you all understand very well. (Actually, He was the God Himself who was testified to by God. I mention this here to use the fact of Jesus to illustrate the issue.) He was able to place God’s management plan at the very center, and always prayed to the heavenly Father and sought the will of the heavenly Father. He prayed and said: “God the Father! Accomplish that which is Your will, and act not according to My desires but according to Your plan. Man may be weak, but why should You care for him? How could man be worthy of Your concern, man who is like an ant in Your hand? In My heart, I wish only to accomplish Your will, and I would that You can do what You would do in Me according to Your own desires.” On the road to Jerusalem, Jesus was in agony, as if a knife were being twisted in His heart, yet He had not the slightest intention of going back on His word; always there was a powerful force compelling Him onward to where He would be crucified. Ultimately, He was nailed to the cross and became the likeness of sinful flesh, completing the work of the redemption of mankind. He broke free of the shackles of death and Hades. Before Him, mortality, hell, and Hades lost their power, and were vanquished by Him. He lived for thirty-three years, throughout which He always did His utmost to meet God’s will according to God’s work at the time, never considering His own personal gain or loss, and always thinking of the will of God the Father. Thus, after He was baptized, God said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Because of His service before God that was in harmony with God’s will, God placed the heavy burden of redeeming all mankind upon His shoulders and made Him accomplish it, and He was qualified and entitled to complete this important task. Throughout His life, He endured immeasurable suffering for God, and He was tempted by Satan countless times, but He was never disheartened. God gave Him such an enormous task because He trusted Him, and loved Him, and thus God personally said: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” At that time, only Jesus could accomplish this commission, and this was one practical aspect of God’s completion of His work of redeeming all mankind in the Age of Grace.
If, like Jesus, you are able to give every care to God’s burden, and turn your back on your flesh, God will entrust His important tasks to you, so that you will meet the conditions required to serve God. Only under such circumstances will you venture to say that you are doing God’s will and completing His commission, and only then will you venture to say you are truly serving God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will
God’s requirements for the people of the kingdom are as follows:
1. They must accept God’s commissions. This is to say, they must accept all of the words spoken in God’s work of the last days.
2. They must enter into the training of the kingdom.
3. They must pursue having their hearts touched by God. When your heart has completely turned to God, and you have a normal spiritual life, you will live in the realm of freedom, which means you will live under the care and protection of God’s love. Only when you live under the care and protection of God will you belong to God.
4. They must be gained by God.
5. They must become a manifestation of God’s glory on earth.
These five points are My commissions for you. My words are spoken unto the people of God, and if you are unwilling to accept these commissions, I will not force you—but if you truly accept them, then you will be able to do the will of God. Today, you begin to accept God’s commissions, and pursue becoming the people of the kingdom and attaining the standards required to be the people of the kingdom. This is the first step of entry. If you wish to fully do God’s will, then you must accept these five commissions, and if you are able to achieve them, you will be after God’s heart and surely God will make great use of you.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps
To God, no matter whether a person is great or insignificant, as long as they can listen to Him, obey His instructions and what He entrusts, and can cooperate with His work, His will, and His plan, so that His will and His plan can be accomplished smoothly, then that conduct is worthy of His remembrance and of receiving His blessing. God treasures such people, and He cherishes their actions and their love and affection for Him. This is God’s attitude.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I
Those who serve God should be God’s intimates, they should be pleasing to God, and capable of the utmost loyalty to God. Whether you act in private or in public, you are able to gain the joy of God before God, you are able to stand firm before God, and regardless of how other people treat you, you always walk the path you should walk, and give every care to God’s burden. Only people like this are intimates of God. That God’s intimates are able to serve Him directly is because they have been given God’s great commission and God’s burden, they are able to make God’s heart their own, and take God’s burden as their own, and they give no consideration to their future prospects: Even when they have no prospects, and they stand to gain nothing, they will always believe in God with a loving heart. And so, this kind of person is God’s intimate. God’s intimates are also His confidants; only God’s confidants could share His restlessness, and His thoughts, and although their flesh is painful and weak, they are able to endure pain and forsake that which they love to satisfy God. God gives more burdens to such people, and that which God desires to do is borne out in such people’s testimony. Thus, these people are pleasing to God, they are servants of God who are after His own heart, and only people such as this can rule together with God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How to Serve in Harmony With God’s Will
What you have experienced and seen surpasses that of the saints and prophets from all ages, but are you able to provide testimony greater than the words of these saints and prophets of times past? What I now bestow upon you surpasses Moses and eclipses David, so likewise I ask that your testimony surpass Moses and that your words be greater than David. I give you a hundredfold—so I likewise ask you to repay Me in kind. You must know I am the One who bestows life unto mankind, and it is you who receive life from Me and must bear witness for Me. This is your duty which I send down upon you and which you ought to do for Me. I have bestowed all My glory unto you, I have bestowed unto you the life that the chosen people, the Israelites, never received. By rights, you ought to bear witness to Me and devote to Me your youth and lay down your life. Whomsoever I bestow My glory unto shall bear Me witness and give their life for Me. This has long been predestined by Me. It is your good fortune that I bestow My glory upon you, and your duty is to testify to My glory. If you were to believe in Me only to gain blessings, then My work would bear little significance, and you would not be fulfilling your duty. The Israelites saw only My mercy, love, and greatness, and the Jews witnessed only My patience and redemption. They saw very, very little of the work of My Spirit, to the point that they understood but one-ten-thousandth of what you have heard and seen. What you have seen exceeds even the chief priests among them. The truths you understand today surpass theirs; what you have seen today exceeds what was seen in the Age of Law, as well as the Age of Grace, and what you have experienced surpasses even Moses and Elijah. For what the Israelites understood was only the law of Jehovah, and what they saw was only the sight of Jehovah’s back; what the Jews understood was only the redemption of Jesus, what they received was only the grace bestowed by Jesus, and what they saw was only the image of Jesus within the house of the Jews. What you see this day is the glory of Jehovah, the redemption of Jesus, and all My deeds of this day. So, too, have you heard the words of My Spirit, appreciated My wisdom, come to know My wonder, and learned of My disposition. I have also told you all of My management plan. What you have seen is not merely a loving and merciful God, but a God filled with righteousness. You have seen My wondrous work and known that I brim with majesty and wrath. Furthermore, you know that I once brought down My raging fury upon the house of Israel, and that today, it has come upon you. You understand more of My mysteries in heaven than Isaiah and John; you know more of My loveliness and venerableness than all the saints of ages past. What you have received is not merely My truth, My way, and My life, but a vision and revelation greater than that of John. You understand many more mysteries, and have also looked upon My true countenance; you have accepted more of My judgment and know more of My righteous disposition. And so, though you were born in the last days, your understanding is that of the former and the past, and you have also experienced the things of today, and this was all personally done by Me. What I ask of you is not excessive, for I have given you so much, and you have seen much in Me. Thus, I ask you to bear witness for Me to the saints of ages past, and this is My heart’s only desire.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Do You Know of Faith?
What I desire is your loyalty and obedience now, your love and testimony now. Even if you do not know at this moment what testimony is or what love is, you should bring to Me your all, and turn over to Me the only treasures you have: your loyalty and obedience. You should know that the testimony to My defeat of Satan lies within the loyalty and obedience of man, as does the testimony to My complete conquest of man. The duty of your faith in Me is to bear witness to Me, to be loyal to Me and none other, and to be obedient to the end. Before I begin the next step of My work, how will you bear witness to Me? How will you be loyal and obedient to Me? Do you devote all your loyalty to your function, or will you simply give up? Would you rather submit to My every arrangement (even if it be death or destruction), or flee midway to avoid My chastisement? I chastise you so that you will bear witness to Me, and be loyal and obedient to Me. What’s more, the chastisement at present is to unfold the next step of My work and to allow the work to progress unimpeded. Hence, I exhort you to be wise and treat neither your life nor the significance of your existence as worthless sand. Can you know exactly what My work to come will be? Do you know how I will work in the days to come, and how My work will unfold? You should know the significance of your experience of My work, and furthermore, the significance of your faith in Me. I have done so much; how could I give up halfway, as you imagine? I have done such extensive work; how could I destroy it? Indeed, I have come to bring this age to an end. This is true, but moreover you must know that I am to begin a new age, to begin new work, and, most of all, to spread the gospel of the kingdom. So you should know that the present work is only to begin an age and to lay the foundation for spreading the gospel in the time to come and bringing the age to an end in the future. My work is not so simple as you think, nor is it as worthless or meaningless as you may believe. Therefore, I still must say to you: You ought to give your life to My work, and moreover, you ought to devote yourself to My glory. Long have I yearned for you to bear witness to Me, and even longer have I yearned for you to spread My gospel. You ought to understand what is in My heart.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Do You Know of Faith?
Although your faith is very sincere, none among you is able to give a full account of Me, none can give full testimony to all of the facts you see. Think about it: Today, most of you are derelict in your duties, instead pursuing the flesh, satiating the flesh, and greedily enjoying the flesh. You possess little truth. How, then, can you bear testimony to all that you have seen? Are you really confident that you can be My witnesses? If a day comes when you are unable to testify to all that you have seen today, then you will have lost the function of created beings, and there will be no meaning whatsoever to your existence. You will be unworthy of being human. It could even be said that you will not be human! I have done immeasurable work on you, but because you are currently learning nothing, aware of nothing, and ineffective in your labors, when it is time for Me to expand My work, you will just stare blankly, tongue-tied and utterly useless. Will that not make you a sinner for all time? When that time comes, will you not feel the deepest regret? Will you not sink into dejection? All of My work today is not done out of idleness and boredom, but to lay a foundation for My future work. It is not that I am at an impasse and need to come up with something new. You should understand the work I do; it is not something done by a child playing in the street, but is a work done in representation of My Father. You should know that it is not Me doing all this Myself; rather, I represent My Father. Your role, meanwhile, is strictly to follow, obey, change, and testify. What you should understand is why you should believe in Me; this is the most important question for each of you to understand. My Father, for the sake of His glory, predestined all of you for Me from the moment He created the world. It was for the sake of My work, and for the sake of His glory, that He predestined you. It is because of My Father that you believe in Me; it is because of My Father’s predestination that you follow Me. None of this is of your own choosing. Even more important is that you understand that you are the ones My Father bestowed upon Me for the purpose of testifying to Me. Because He granted you to Me, you should abide by the ways I bestow upon you, as well as the ways and the words I teach you, for it is your duty to abide by My ways. This is the original purpose of your faith in Me. Therefore, I say to you this: You are merely people that My Father bestowed upon Me to abide by My ways. However, you only believe in Me; you are not of Me because you are not of the Israelite family, and are instead ilk of the ancient serpent. All I am asking you to do is to bear witness for Me, but today you must walk in My ways. All of this is for the sake of future testimony. If you function only as people who listen to My ways, then you will be without value, and the significance of My Father’s having bestowed you upon Me will be lost. What I insist on telling you is this: You should walk in My ways.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What Is Your Understanding of God?
The reason why those who truly testify of God are able to give a resounding testimony to Him is because their testimony rests upon the foundation of the true knowledge and true yearning for God. Such testimony is not offered according to an emotional impulse, but according to their knowledge of God and His disposition. Because they have come to know God, they feel that they must surely testify of God and make all those who yearn for God know God, and be aware of God’s loveliness and His realness. Like people’s love for God, their testimony is spontaneous; it is real and has real significance and worth. It is not passive or hollow and meaningless. The reason only those who truly love God have the most value and meaning in their lives, the reason only they truly believe in God, is that these people are able to live in God’s light and are able to live for God’s work and management. It is because they do not live in darkness, but live in the light; they do not live meaningless lives, but lives that have been blessed by God. Only those who love God are able to testify of God, only they are God’s witnesses, only they are blessed by God, and only they are able to receive God’s promises. Those who love God are God’s intimates; they are the people beloved by God, and they can enjoy blessings together with God. Only people such as this will live to eternity, and only they will forever live under God’s care and protection. God is for people to love, and He is worthy of all people’s love, but not all people are capable of loving God, and not all people can testify of God and hold power with God. Because they are able to testify of God and devote all their efforts to God’s work, those who truly love God can walk anywhere beneath the heavens without anyone daring to oppose them, and they can wield power on earth and rule all the people of God. These people have come together from across the world. They speak different languages and have different skin colors, but their existence has the same meaning; they all have a heart that loves God, they all bear the same testimony, and have the same resolve, and the same wish. Those who love God can walk freely throughout the world, and those who testify of God can travel across the universe. These people are beloved by God, they are blessed by God, and they will forever live within His light.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Those Who Love God Will Forever Live Within His Light
Today, God has officially begun the perfection of man. To be made perfect, people must undergo the revelation, judgment, and chastisement of His words, they must experience the trials and refinement of His words (such as the trial of the service-doers), and they must be able to withstand the trial of death. What this means is that amidst the judgment, chastisement, and trials of God, those who truly abide by God’s will are able to praise God from deep within their hearts, and to utterly obey God and forsake themselves, thus loving God with a heart that is sincere, undivided, and pure; such is a perfect person, and it is precisely the work that God intends to do, and the work that He shall accomplish.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. On the Steps of God’s Work
Today, you should be aware of how to be conquered, and of how people conduct themselves after they have been conquered. You may say you have been conquered, but can you obey unto death? You must be able to follow to the very end regardless of whether there are any prospects, and you must not lose faith in God regardless of the environment. Ultimately, you must achieve two aspects of testimony: the testimony of Job—obedience unto death; and the testimony of Peter—the supreme love of God. In one respect, you must be like Job: He lost all material possessions, and was beset by the pain of the flesh, yet he did not forsake the name of Jehovah. This was Job’s testimony. Peter was able to love God unto death. When he was put on the cross and faced his death, he still loved God; he did not think of his own prospects or pursue beautiful hopes or extravagant thoughts, and he sought only to love God and to obey all of God’s arrangements. Such is the standard you must achieve before you can be considered to have borne testimony, before you become someone who has been made perfect after having been conquered.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (2)
Today, let us revisit the story of Noah’s ark. Was this a major or a minor event? Is it just an ordinary tale of an old man who built an ark in times gone by? (No.) Noah was a man who, of all men, is more worthy of emulation, who feared God, obeyed God, and completed what God entrusted to him; he was commended by God, and should be a model to those who follow God today. And what was most precious about him? He had only one attitude toward God’s words: to listen and accept, to accept and obey, and to obey unto death. It was this attitude, which was most precious of all, that won him God’s commendation. When it came to God’s words, he didn’t just make a token effort, he didn’t just go through the motions, and he did not study, analyze, resist, or reject them inside his head then relegate them to the back of his mind; instead, he listened in earnest, accepted them, little by little, in his heart, and then pondered how to bring God’s words to fruition, how to put them into practice, how to carry them out as originally intended, without distorting them. And at the same time as he pondered God’s words, he said privately to himself, “These are the words of God, they are God’s instructions, God’s commission, I am duty-bound, I must obey, I cannot leave out any details, I cannot in any way go against God’s wishes, nor can I overlook any one of the details of what He said, or else I would not be fit to be called human, I would be unworthy of God’s commission, and unworthy of His exaltation. If I fail to accomplish all that God has told me and entrusted to me, I will be left with many regrets; more than that, I will know myself unworthy of God’s commission and His exaltation of me, and will not have the face to come before the Creator again.” Everything that Noah thought and contemplated in his heart, his every perspective and attitude, all these determined how he became able to put God’s words into practice, and make God’s words a reality, bring God’s words to fruition, make it so that they were fulfilled through him and turned into a reality through him, and so that they did not come to nothing. Judging by everything that Noah thought, every idea that arose in his heart, and his attitude toward God, Noah was worthy of God’s commission, he was a man trusted by God, and one preferred by God. God surveys man’s every word and deed, He looks upon their thoughts and ideas. In God’s eyes, for Noah to be able to think like this, He had not mischosen. Noah showed himself worthy of undertaking God’s commission, worthy of receiving God’s trust, he was able to complete God’s commission: He was the only choice among all of humankind.
—The Word, Vol. 4. Exposing Antichrists. Excursus Three: How Noah and Abraham Listened to God’s Words and Obeyed God (Part Two)
When Job first underwent his trials, he was stripped of all his property and all of his children, but he did not fall down or say anything that was a sin against God as a result. He had overcome the temptations of Satan, and he had overcome his material assets, his offspring and the trial of losing all his worldly possessions, which is to say he was able to obey God as He took things away from him and he was also able to offer thanks and praise to God because of what God did. Such was Job’s conduct during Satan’s first temptation, and such was also Job’s testimony during the first trial of God. In the second trial, Satan stretched forth its hand to afflict Job, and although Job experienced pain greater than he had ever felt before, still his testimony was enough to leave people astounded. He used his fortitude, conviction, and obedience to God, as well as his fear of God, to once more defeat Satan, and his conduct and his testimony were once more approved of and favored by God. During this temptation, Job used his actual conduct to proclaim to Satan that the pain of the flesh could not alter his faith and obedience to God or take away his devotion to God and fear of God; he would not renounce God or give up his own perfection and uprightness because he faced death. Job’s determination made a coward of Satan, his faith left Satan timorous and trembling, the intensity with which he fought against Satan during their life-and-death battle bred in Satan a deep hatred and resentment; his perfection and uprightness left Satan with nothing more it could do to him, such that Satan abandoned its attacks on him and gave up its accusations against Job that it had laid before Jehovah God. This meant that Job had overcome the world, he had overcome the flesh, he had overcome Satan, and he had overcome death; he was completely and utterly a man who belonged to God. During these two trials, Job stood firm in his testimony, actually lived out his perfection and uprightness, and broadened the scope of his living principles of fearing God and shunning evil. Having undergone these two trials, there was born in Job a richer experience, and this experience made him more mature and seasoned, it made him stronger, and of greater conviction, and it made him more confident of the rightness and worthiness of the integrity to which he held firm. Jehovah God’s trials of Job gave him a deep understanding and sense of God’s concern for man, and allowed him to sense the preciousness of God’s love, from which point consideration toward and love for God were added into his fear of God. The trials of Jehovah God not only did not alienate Job from Him, but brought his heart closer to God. When the fleshly pain endured by Job reached its peak, the concern that he felt from Jehovah God gave him no choice but to curse the day of his birth. Such conduct was not long-planned, but a natural revelation of the consideration for and love for God from within his heart, it was a natural revelation that came from his consideration for and love for God. This is to say, because he loathed himself, and he was unwilling to, and could not stand to torment God, thus his consideration and love reached the point of selflessness. At this time, Job elevated his long-standing adoration and yearning for God and devotion to God to the level of consideration and loving. At the same time, he also elevated his faith and obedience to God and fear of God to the level of consideration and loving. He did not allow himself to do anything that would cause harm to God, he did not permit himself any conduct that would hurt God, and did not allow himself to bring any sorrow, grief, or even unhappiness upon God for his own reasons. In God’s eyes, although Job was still the same Job as before, Job’s faith, obedience, and fear of God had brought God complete satisfaction and enjoyment. At this time, Job had attained the perfection that God had expected him to attain; he had become someone truly worthy of being called “perfect and upright” in God’s eyes. His righteous deeds allowed him to overcome Satan and to stand fast in his testimony to God. So, too, his righteous deeds made him perfect, and allowed the value of his life to be elevated and transcend more than ever, and they also made him the first person to no longer be attacked and tempted by Satan. Because Job was righteous, he was accused and tempted by Satan; because Job was righteous, he was handed over to Satan; and because Job was righteous, he overcame and defeated Satan, and stood firm in his testimony. Henceforth Job became the first man who would never again be handed over to Satan, he truly came before the throne of God and lived in the light, under the blessings of God without the spying or ruination of Satan…. He had become a true man in the eyes of God; he had been set free …
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself II
When he was being chastised by God, Peter prayed, “O God! My flesh is disobedient, and You chastise me and judge me. I rejoice in Your chastisement and judgment, and even if You do not want me, in Your judgment I behold Your holy and righteous disposition. When You judge me, so that others may behold Your righteous disposition in Your judgment, I feel content. If it can express Your disposition and allow Your righteous disposition to be seen by all creatures, and if it can make my love for You more pure, that I can attain the likeness of one who is righteous, then Your judgment is good, for such is Your gracious will. I know that there is still much in me that is rebellious, and that I am still not fit to come before You. I wish for You to judge me even more, whether through a hostile environment or great tribulations; no matter what You do, to me it is precious. Your love is so profound, and I am willing to lay myself at Your mercy without the slightest complaint.” This is Peter’s knowledge after he experienced the work of God, and it is also a testimony to his love of God. … Near the end of his life, after he had been made perfect, Peter said, “O God! If I were to live a few more years, I would wish to achieve a purer and deeper love of You.” When he was about to be nailed to the cross, in his heart he prayed, “O God! Your time has now arrived; the time You prepared for me has arrived. I must be crucified for You, I must bear this testimony to You, and I hope that my love can satisfy Your requirements, and that it can become purer. Today, to be able to die for You, and be nailed to the cross for You, is comforting and reassuring to me, for nothing is more gratifying to me than to be able to be crucified for You and satisfy Your wishes, and to be able to give myself to You, to offer up my life to You. O God! You are so lovely! Were You to allow me to live, I would be even more willing to love You. As long as I am alive, I will love You. I wish to love You more deeply. You judge me, and chastise me, and try me because I am not righteous, because I have sinned. And Your righteous disposition becomes more apparent to me. This is a blessing to me, for I am able to love You more deeply, and I am willing to love You in this way even if You do not love me. I am willing to behold Your righteous disposition, for this makes me more able to live out a life of meaning. I feel that my life now is more meaningful, for I am crucified for Your sake, and it is meaningful to die for You. Yet still I do not feel satisfied, for I know too little of You, I know that I cannot completely fulfill Your wishes, and have repaid You too little. In my life, I have been incapable of returning my entirety to You; I am far from that. As I look back at this moment, I feel so indebted to You, and I have but this moment to make up for all of my mistakes and all the love that I have not repaid You.”
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment