B. God’s Exhortations and Consolations of Man
623. Today God judges you, chastises you, and condemns you, but you must know that the point of your condemnation is for you to know yourself. He condemns, curses, judges, and chastises so that you might know yourself, so that your disposition might change, and, moreover, so that you might know your worth, and see that all of God’s actions are righteous and in accordance with His disposition and the requirements of His work, that He works in accordance with His plan for man’s salvation, and that He is the righteous God who loves, saves, judges, and chastises man. If you only know that you are of lowly status, that you are corrupt and disobedient, but do not know that God wishes to make plain His salvation through the judgment and chastisement that He does in you today, then you have no way of gaining experience, much less are you capable of continuing forward. God has not come to kill or destroy, but to judge, curse, chastise, and save. Until His 6,000-year management plan comes to a close—before He reveals the outcome of each category of man—God’s work on earth will be for the sake of salvation; its purpose is purely to make those who love Him complete—thoroughly so—and to bring them into submission under His dominion. No matter how God saves people, it is all done by making them break away from their old satanic nature; that is, He saves them by having them seek life. If they do not do so, then they will have no way to accept God’s salvation. Salvation is the work of God Himself, and the seeking for life is something that man must take on in order to accept salvation. In the eyes of man, salvation is the love of God, and the love of God cannot be chastisement, judgment, and curses; salvation must contain love, compassion, and, moreover, words of solace, as well as boundless blessings bestowed by God. People believe that when God saves man, He does so by moving them with His blessings and grace, so that they can give their hearts to God. That is to say, His touching man is His saving them. This sort of salvation is done by striking a deal. Only when God grants them a hundredfold will man come to submit before God’s name and strive to do well for Him and bring Him glory. This is not what God intends for mankind. God has come to work on earth in order to save corrupt mankind; there is no falsehood in this. If there were, He would certainly not have come to do His work in person. In the past, His means of salvation involved showing the utmost love and compassion, such that He gave His all to Satan in exchange for the whole of mankind. The present is nothing like the past: The salvation bestowed upon you today occurs at the time of the last days, during the classification of each according to kind; the means of your salvation is not love or compassion, but chastisement and judgment, in order that man may be more thoroughly saved. Thus, all that you receive is chastisement, judgment, and merciless smiting, but know this: In this heartless smiting there is not the slightest punishment. Regardless of how harsh My words might be, what befall you are but a few words that might appear utterly heartless to you, and no matter how angry I might be, what rain upon you are still words of teaching, and I do not mean to harm you or put you to death. Is this not all fact? Know that nowadays, whether it be righteous judgment or heartless refinement and chastisement, everything is for the sake of salvation. Regardless of whether today each is classified according to kind or the categories of man are laid bare, the purpose of all of God’s words and work is to save those who truly love God. Righteous judgment is brought to purify man, and heartless refinement is done to cleanse them; harsh words or chastening are both done to purify and are for the sake of salvation. Thus, today’s method of salvation is unlike that of the past. Today, you are brought salvation through righteous judgment, and this is a good tool for classifying you each according to kind. Moreover, ruthless chastisement serves as your utmost salvation—and what have you to say in the face of such chastisement and judgment? Have you not always enjoyed salvation, from start to finish? You have seen God incarnate and realized His omnipotence and wisdom; in addition, you have experienced repeated smiting and discipline. However, have you not also received supreme grace? Are your blessings not greater than those of anyone else? Your graces are more bounteous even than the glory and riches enjoyed by Solomon! Think about it: If My intention in coming were to condemn and punish you rather than save you, could your days have lasted so long? Could you sinful beings of flesh and blood have survived until today? If My goal were merely to punish you, then why would I have become flesh and embarked upon such a great enterprise? Could punishing you mere mortals not simply be done by uttering a single word? Would I still need to destroy you after purposely condemning you? Do you still not believe these words of Mine? Could I save man merely through love and compassion? Or could I only use the crucifixion to save man? Is My righteous disposition not more conducive to making man completely obedient? Is it not more capable of thoroughly saving man?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will to Bring Salvation to Man
624. All of you live in a land of sin and licentiousness, and you are all licentious and sinful. Today you are not just able to look upon God, but more importantly, you have received chastisement and judgment, you have received truly profound salvation, which is to say, you have received God’s greatest love. In all that He does, God is truly loving toward you. He has no ill intention. It is because of your sins that He judges you, so that you will examine yourselves and receive this tremendous salvation. All this is done for the purpose of making man complete. From beginning to end, God has been doing His utmost to save man, and has no desire to completely destroy the men He created with His own hands. Today, He has come among you to work, and is such salvation not even greater? If He hated you, would He still do work of such magnitude in order to personally guide you? Why should He suffer so? God does not hate you or have any ill intentions toward you. You should know that God’s love is the truest love. It is only because people are disobedient that He has to save them through judgment; if not for this, saving them would be impossible. Because you do not know how to live and are not even aware of how to live, and because you live in this licentious and sinful land and are yourselves licentious and filthy devils, He cannot bear to let you become even more depraved, He cannot bear to see you living in this filthy land as you do now, trampled on by Satan at will, and He cannot bear to let you fall into Hades. He only wants to gain this group of people and thoroughly save you. This is the main purpose of doing the work of conquest on you—it is just for salvation. If you cannot see that everything done on you is love and salvation, if you think it is just a method, a way to torment man, and something untrustworthy, then you might as well go back to your world to suffer pain and hardship! If you are willing to be in this stream, and to enjoy this judgment and this immense salvation, to enjoy all of these blessings, blessings that cannot be found anywhere in the human world, and to enjoy this love, then be good: Stay in this stream to accept the work of conquest so you can be made perfect. Today, you may suffer a little pain and refinement because of God’s judgment, but there is value and meaning to suffering this pain. Though people are refined and mercilessly exposed by God’s chastisement and judgment—the aim being to punish them for their sins, to punish their flesh—none of this work is intended to condemn their flesh to destruction. The severe disclosures by the word are all for the purpose of leading you onto the right path. You have personally experienced so much of this work and, clearly, it has not led you onto an evil path! It is all in order to make you live out normal humanity, and it is all achievable by your normal humanity. Every step of God’s work is based upon your needs, according to your weaknesses, and according to your actual stature, and no unbearable burden is placed on you. This is not clear to you today, and you feel as if I am being hard on you, and indeed you always believe that the reason I chastise, judge and reproach you every day is because I hate you. But although what you suffer is chastisement and judgment, this is actually love for you, and it is the greatest protection. If you cannot grasp the deeper meaning of this work, it will be impossible for you to continue experiencing. This salvation should bring you comfort. Do not refuse to come to your senses. Having come this far, the significance of the work of conquest should be clear to you, and you should no longer hold opinions about it one way or another!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (4)
625. All people have been subject to refinement because of God’s words. If God had not been incarnated, mankind certainly would not have the blessing of suffering through this refinement. To put it another way, all those who are able to accept the trials of God’s words are blessed. Based on people’s inherent caliber, their behavior, and their attitudes toward God, they are not worthy of receiving this kind of refinement. It is because they have been uplifted by God that they have enjoyed this blessing. People used to say that they were not worthy of seeing the face of God or hearing His words. Today, it is entirely because of God’s exaltation and His mercy that people have received the refinement of His words. This is the blessing of every single person who is born in the last days—have you personally experienced this? In which aspects people should experience suffering and setbacks is predetermined by God—it is not based on people’s own requirements. This is the unequivocal truth. Every believer should possess the ability to accept the trials of God’s words and suffer within His words. Is this clear to you? So, in exchange for the suffering you have undergone, you have received today’s blessings; if you do not suffer for God, you cannot gain His praise.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Genuine Love for God Is Spontaneous
626. That you are able to accept the judgment, chastisement, smiting, and refinement of God’s words, and, moreover, are able to accept God’s commissions, was predestined by God before the ages, and thus you must not be too distressed when you are chastised. No one can take away the work that has been done in you, and the blessings that have been bestowed upon you, and no one can take away all that has been given to you. People of religion brook no comparison with you. You are not possessed of great expertise in the Bible, and are not equipped with religious theory, but because God has worked within you, you have gained more than anyone throughout the ages—and so this is your greatest blessing. Because of this, you must be even more dedicated to God, and even more loyal to God. Because God raises you up, you must bolster your efforts, and must ready your stature to accept the commissions of God. You must stand firm in the place God has given you, pursue becoming one of the people of God, accept the training of the kingdom, be gained by God and ultimately become a glorious testimony to God. Are you possessed of these resolves? If you are possessed of such resolves, then ultimately you are sure to be gained by God, and will become a glorious testimony to God. You should understand that the principal commission is being gained by God and becoming a glorious testimony to God. This is the will of God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Know God’s Newest Work and Follow His Footsteps
627. To all the brothers and sisters who have heard My voice: You have heard the voice of My severe judgment and you have endured extreme suffering. However, you should know that behind My stern voice are hidden My intentions! I discipline you so that you may be saved. You should know that for My beloved sons, I will surely discipline you and prune you and soon make you complete. My heart is so eager, but you do not understand My heart and you do not act according to My word. My words today come upon you, making you truly recognize that God is a loving God and causing you all to experience the sincere love of God. However, there are also a small number of people who are pretending. When they see the sorrow of other people, they copy them, filling their eyes with tears, too. There are others who—on the surface—appear to owe a debt to God and they seem remorseful, but within them, they do not truly understand God, nor are they certain about Him; rather, they are just presenting a facade. I loathe these people the most! Sooner or later, these people will be cut off from My city. My intention is this: I want those who fervently want Me, and only those who pursue Me with a true heart can please Me. These are people whom I shall certainly support with My own hands, and I will ensure that they encounter no calamities. The people who truly want God will be willing to be considerate of God’s heart and do My will. So, you should enter into reality soon and accept My word as your life—this is My greatest burden. If the churches and the saints all enter into reality and all are able to fellowship with Me directly, to come face to face with Me and practice truth and righteousness, only then will they be My beloved sons, the ones in whom I am well pleased. Upon these people, I shall bestow all great blessings.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Utterances of Christ in the Beginning, Chapter 23
628. Today, you cannot only be content with how you are conquered, but must also consider the path that you will walk in the future. You must have aspirations and the courage to be made perfect, and should not always think yourself incapable. Does the truth have favorites? Can the truth deliberately oppose people? If you pursue the truth, can it overwhelm you? If you stand firm for justice, will it knock you down? If it is truly your aspiration to pursue life, can life elude you? If you are without the truth, that is not because the truth ignores you, but because you stay away from the truth; if you cannot stand fast for justice, that is not because there is something wrong with justice, but because you believe it is out of line with the facts; if you have not gained life after pursuing it for many years, that is not because life has no conscience toward you, but because you have no conscience toward life, and have driven away life; if you live in the light, and have been incapable of gaining the light, that is not because the light is unable to illuminate you, but because you have not paid any attention to the existence of the light, and so the light has quietly departed from you. If you do not pursue, then it can only be said that you are worthless trash, and have no courage in your life, and do not have the spirit to resist the forces of darkness. You are too weak! You are unable to escape the forces of Satan that lay siege to you, and are only willing to lead this kind of safe and secure life and die in ignorance. What you should achieve is your pursuit of being conquered; this is your bounden duty. If you are content to be conquered, then you drive out the existence of the light. You must suffer hardship for the truth, you must give yourself to the truth, you must endure humiliation for the truth, and to gain more of the truth you must undergo more suffering. This is what you should do. You must not throw away the truth for the sake of a peaceful family life, and you must not lose your life’s dignity and integrity for the sake of momentary enjoyment. You should pursue all that is beautiful and good, and you should pursue a path in life that is more meaningful. If you lead such a vulgar life, and do not pursue any objectives, do you not waste your life? What can you gain from such a life? You should forsake all enjoyments of the flesh for the sake of one truth, and should not throw away all truths for the sake of a little enjoyment. People like this have no integrity or dignity; there is no meaning to their existence!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Experiences of Peter: His Knowledge of Chastisement and Judgment
629. Do not assume that following God is such an easy matter. The key is that you must know Him, you must know His work, and you must have the will to endure hardship for His sake, to sacrifice your life for Him, and to be perfected by Him. This is the vision that you should have. It will not do if your thoughts are always bent on enjoying grace. Do not suppose that God is here just for people’s enjoyment, or just to bestow grace upon them. You would be wrong! If one cannot risk their life to follow Him, and if one cannot abandon every worldly possession to follow, then they will certainly not be able to keep following Him to the end! You must have visions as your foundation. If misfortune befalls you one day, what ought you to do? Would you still be able to follow Him? Do not say lightly whether you would be able to follow to the end. You had better first open wide your eyes to see just what time it is now. Though you may currently be like pillars of the temple, a time will come when all such pillars will be gnawed by worms, causing the temple to collapse, for at present, there are so many visions that you lack. You only pay attention to your own little worlds, and you do not know what the most reliable and appropriate way of seeking is. You do not heed the vision of the work of today, nor do you hold these things in your hearts. Have you considered that one day your God will put you in a most unfamiliar place? Can you imagine what would become of you one day when I might snatch everything from you? Would your energy on that day be as it is now? Would your faith reappear? In following God, you must know this greatest vision that is “God”: This is the most important issue.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Must Understand the Work—Do Not Follow in Confusion!
630. One can come to know God by believing in Him: This is the final goal, and the goal of man’s pursuit. You must put effort into living out the words of God so that they may come to fruition in your practice. If you have only doctrinal knowledge, then your faith in God will come to naught. Only if you then also practice and live out His word can your faith be considered complete and in accord with God’s will. On this road, many people can speak of much knowledge, but at their time of death, their eyes brim with tears, and they hate themselves for having wasted a lifetime and lived to a ripe old age for naught. They merely understand doctrines, but cannot put the truth into practice or bear witness to God; instead, they simply run hither and thither, busy as a bee, and only on the brink of death do they finally see that they lack true testimony, that they do not know God at all. And is this not too late? Why do you not seize the day and pursue the truth that you love? Why wait until tomorrow? If in life you do not suffer for the truth or seek to gain it, can it be that you wish to feel regret in your dying hour? If so, then why believe in God? In truth, there are many matters in which people, if they put in just the slightest exertion, can put the truth into practice and thereby satisfy God. It is only because people’s hearts are ever possessed by demons that they cannot act for the sake of God, and constantly rush about for the sake of their flesh, with nothing to show for it in the end. For this reason, people are constantly afflicted by troubles and difficulties. Are these not the torments of Satan? Is this not the corruption of the flesh? You should not try to fool God by flapping your lips. Rather, you must take tangible action. Do not deceive yourself—what would be the point of that? What can you gain by living for the sake of your flesh and struggling for profit and fame?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Ought to Live for the Truth Since You Believe in God
631. Those who do not pursue life cannot be transformed, and those who do not thirst for the truth cannot gain the truth. You do not focus on pursuing personal transformation and entry, but focus instead on extravagant desires and things that constrain your love for God and prevent you from drawing close to Him. Can those things transform you? Can they bring you into the kingdom? If the object of your pursuit is not to seek the truth, then you may as well take advantage of this opportunity and return to the world to make a go of it. Wasting your time this way is really not worth it—why torture yourself? Is it not true that you could enjoy all sorts of things out in the beautiful world? Money, beautiful women, status, vanity, family, children, and so on—are these products of the world not the best things that you could enjoy? What use is it to wander around here looking for a place where you can be happy? The Son of man has nowhere to lay His head, so how could you have a place of ease? How could He create for you a beautiful place of ease? Is that possible? Aside from My judgment, today you can only receive teachings on the truth. You cannot gain comfort from Me and you cannot gain the bed of roses that you long for night and day. I will not bestow upon you the riches of the world. If you pursue genuinely, then I am willing to give you the way of life in its entirety, to have you be like a fish back in water. If you do not pursue genuinely, I will take it all back. I am not willing to give the words from My mouth to those who are greedy for comfort, who are just like pigs and dogs!
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Why Are You Unwilling to Be a Foil?
632. Today, it is faith that allows you to be conquered, and it is being conquered that allows you to believe in Jehovah’s every deed. It is only because of faith that you receive such chastisement and judgment. Through this chastisement and judgment, you are conquered and perfected. Without the kind of chastisement and judgment you are receiving today, your faith would be in vain, because you would not know God; no matter how much you believed in Him, your faith would remain but an empty expression ungrounded in reality. It is only after you receive this work of conquest, work which makes you completely obedient, that your faith becomes true, and reliable, and your heart turns toward God. Even if you suffer great judgment and curse because of this word, “faith,” you nonetheless have true faith and you receive the truest, most real, and most precious thing. This is because it is only in the course of judgment that you see the final destination of God’s creations; it is in this judgment that you see that the Creator is to be loved; it is in such work of conquest that you behold the arm of God; it is in this conquest that you come to fully understand human life; it is in this conquest that you gain the right path of human life and come to understand the true meaning of “man”; it is only in this conquest that you see the righteous disposition of the Almighty and His beautiful, glorious countenance; it is in this work of conquest that you learn of man’s origin and understand all mankind’s “immortal history”; it is in this conquest that you come to comprehend mankind’s ancestors and the origin of mankind’s corruption; it is in this conquest that you receive joy and comfort as well as endless chastening, discipline, and words of reproach from the Creator to the mankind He created; it is in this work of conquest that you receive blessings, as well as the calamities that are man’s due…. Is this not all because of your little bit of faith? And did your faith not grow after you gained these things? Have you not gained a tremendous amount? Not only have you heard God’s word and seen God’s wisdom, but you have also personally experienced each step of His work. Maybe you would say that if you did not have faith, then you would not suffer this kind of chastisement or this kind of judgment. But you should know that without faith, not only would you be unable to receive this kind of chastisement or this kind of care from the Almighty, but you would also forever lose the opportunity to meet the Creator. You would never know the origin of mankind and never comprehend the significance of human life. Even if your body died and your soul departed, you still would not understand all the Creator’s deeds, much less would you know that the Creator did such great work on earth after He made mankind. As a member of this mankind that He made, are you willing to ignorantly fall into darkness in this way, and suffer eternal punishment? If you separate yourself from today’s chastisement and judgment, what is it that you will meet with? Do you think that once separated from the present judgment, you will be able to escape from this difficult life? Is it not true that if you leave “this place,” what you will encounter is painful torment or cruel abuses inflicted by the devil? Might you encounter unendurable days and nights? Do you think that just because you escape this judgment today, you can forever evade that future torture? What will come your way? Can it really be the Shangri-La that you hope for? Do you think you can escape that future eternal chastisement simply by running away from reality as you do now? After today, will you ever be able to find this kind of opportunity and this kind of blessing again? Will you be able to find them when disaster befalls you? Will you be able to find them when all of mankind enters into rest? Your present happy life and that harmonious little family of yours—can they substitute for your future eternal destination? If you have true faith, and if you gain a great deal because of your faith, then all of that is what you—a created being—should gain and also what you should have had in the first place. Nothing is more beneficial to your faith and life than such conquest.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (1)
633. When Moses struck the rock, and the water bestowed by Jehovah sprang forth, it was because of his faith. When David played the lyre in praise of Me, Jehovah—with his heart filled with joy—it was because of his faith. When Job lost his livestock that filled the mountains and untold masses of wealth, and his body became covered in sore boils, it was because of his faith. When he could hear the voice of Me, Jehovah, and see the glory of Me, Jehovah, it was because of his faith. That Peter could follow Jesus Christ was down to his faith. That he could be nailed to the cross for My sake and give glorious testimony was also down to his faith. When John saw the glorious image of the Son of man, it was down to his faith. When he saw the vision of the last days, it was all the more because of his faith. The reason why the so-called multitudes of the Gentile nations have obtained My revelation, and have come to know that I have returned in the flesh to do My work among man, is also because of their faith. All those who are smitten by My harsh words and yet are brought solace by them and are saved—have they not done so because of their faith? Those who believe in Me but who yet suffer hardships, have they not also been rejected by the world? Those who live outside My word, fleeing the suffering of trial, are they all not drifting through the world? They are akin to autumn leaves fluttering here and there, with no place to rest, much less My words of consolation. Although My chastisement and refinement do not follow them, are they not beggars drifting from place to place, wandering the streets outside the kingdom of heaven? Is the world really your place of rest? Can you really, by avoiding My chastisement, attain the faintest smile of gratification from the world? Can you truly use your fleeting enjoyment to cover up the emptiness in your heart, the emptiness that cannot be concealed? You might be able to fool everyone in your family, but you can never fool Me. Because your faith is too meager, you are still, to this day, powerless to find any of the delights life has to offer. I urge you: better to sincerely spend half your life for My sake than your whole life in mediocrity and busywork for the flesh, enduring all the suffering a man can hardly bear. What purpose does it serve to treasure yourself so much and flee from My chastisement? What purpose does it serve to hide yourself from My momentary chastisement only to reap an eternity of embarrassment, an eternity of chastisement? I do not, in fact, bend anyone to My will. If someone is truly willing to submit to all My plans, I would not treat them poorly. But I require that all people believe in Me, just as Job believed in Me, Jehovah. If your faith exceeds that of Thomas, then your faith will attain My commendation, in your loyalty you will find My bliss, and you will surely find My glory in your days.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. What It Means to Be a Real Person
634. If I were to place some money in front of you right now and give you the freedom to choose—and if I did not condemn you for your choice—then most of you would choose the money and forsake the truth. The better among you would give up the money and choose the truth reluctantly, while those in-between would seize the money in one hand and the truth in the other. Would your true colors thus not become self-evident? When choosing between the truth and anything to which you are loyal, you would all make this choice, and your attitude would remain the same. Is that not so? Are there not many among you who have seesawed between right and wrong? In contests between positive and negative, black and white, you are surely aware of the choices that you have made between family and God, children and God, peace and disruption, riches and poverty, status and ordinariness, being supported and being cast aside, and so on. Between a peaceful family and a broken one, you chose the former, and you did so without any hesitation; between riches and duty, you again chose the former, even lacking the will to return to shore;[a] between luxury and poverty, you chose the former; when choosing between your sons, daughters, wives and husbands, and Me, you chose the former; and between notion and truth, you once again chose the former. Faced with all manner of your evil deeds, I have simply lost faith in you. It simply astounds Me that your hearts are so resistant to being softened. Many years of dedication and effort have apparently brought Me nothing more than your abandonment and despair, but My hopes for you grow with each passing day, for My day has been completely laid bare before everyone. Yet you persist in seeking dark and evil things, and refuse to loosen your grip on them. What, then, will be your outcome? Have you ever given careful consideration to this? If you were asked to choose again, what then would be your position? Would it still be the former? Would you still bring Me disappointment and wretched sorrow? Would your hearts still possess the sole modicum of warmth? Would you still be unaware of what to do to comfort My heart? At this moment, what do you choose? Will you submit to My words or be weary of them? My day has been laid out before your very eyes, and what you face is a new life and a new starting point. However, I must tell you that this starting point is not the beginning of past new work, but the conclusion of the old. That is, this is the final act. I think you can all understand what is unusual about this starting point. One day soon, however, you will understand the true meaning of this starting point, so let us move past it together and welcome the finale to come! However, what continues to worry Me about you is that, when faced with injustice and justice, you always choose the former. That, though, is all in your past. I, too, hope to forget everything of your past, though this is very difficult to do. Nevertheless, I have a very good way of doing it: Let the future replace the past, and allow the shadows of your past to be dispelled in exchange for your true self of today. Thus must I trouble you to make the choice once more: To whom exactly are you loyal?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. To Whom Are You Loyal?
635. Young people should not be without ideals, aspirations, and an enthusiastic desire to better themselves; they should not be disheartened about their prospects, and nor should they lose hope in life or confidence in the future; they should have the perseverance to continue along the way of truth that they have now chosen—to realize their wish to expend their entire lives for Me. They should not be without the truth, nor should they harbor hypocrisy and unrighteousness—they should stand firm in the proper stance. They should not just drift along, but should have the spirit to dare to make sacrifices and to struggle for justice and truth. Young people should have the bravery to not succumb to oppression by the forces of darkness and to transform the significance of their existence. Young people should not resign themselves to adversity, but should be open and frank, with a spirit of forgiveness for their brothers and sisters. Of course, these are My requirements of everyone, and My advice to everyone. But even more, these are My soothing words for all young people. You should practice according to My words. In particular, young people should not be without the resolve to exercise discernment in issues and to seek justice and the truth. You should pursue all things beautiful and good, and you should obtain the reality of all positive things. You should be responsible toward your life, and you must not take it lightly. People come to the earth and it is rare to encounter Me, and it is also rare to have the opportunity to seek and to gain the truth. Why would you not prize this beautiful time as the right path to pursue in this life? And why are you always so dismissive toward the truth and justice? Why are you always trampling on and ruining yourselves for that unrighteousness and filth that toys with people? And why do you act like those old people who engage in what the unrighteous do? Why do you imitate the old ways of old things? Your lives should be full of justice, truth, and holiness; your lives should not be so depraved at such a young age, leading you to fall into Hades. Do you not feel that this would be a terrible misfortune? Do you not feel that this would be terribly unjust?
All of you should do the utterly perfect work of yours and sacrifice it upon My altar, making of it the ultimate, unique sacrifice, that you render unto Me. You should all stand firm in your own stance and not be blown about with every passing breeze like clouds in the sky. You work hard for half your life, so why would you not seek the destination you should have? You toil for half a lifetime, yet you let the pig- and dog-like parents of yours drag the truth and the significance of your personal existence into the tomb. Do you not think this is a great injustice against you? Do you not feel that living life in this way is utterly meaningless? Seeking the truth and the right path in this way will end up causing problems so that the neighbors are uneasy and the entire family is unhappy, and it will lead to deadly disasters. If you live this way, does it not amount to a most meaningless life? Whose life could be more fortunate than yours, and whose life could be more ridiculous than yours? Do you not seek after Me in order to gain My joy and words of comfort for you? But after you have run around for half a lifetime, you provoke Me until I am full of anger and pay no mind to you or praise you—does this not mean that your entire life has been in vain? How could you have the face to go see the souls of those saints throughout the ages who have been released from purgatory? You are indifferent toward Me and in the end you provoke a fatal disaster—it would be better to take advantage of this opportunity and have a joyful trip across the vast ocean and then obey My “assignment.” I told you long ago that you today, as indifferent as you are yet unwilling to depart, would in the end be subsumed and swallowed up by the waves created by Me. Can you really protect yourselves? Are you really confident that your current method of pursuit will ensure that you are perfected? Is your heart not very hard? This kind of following, this kind of pursuit, this kind of life, and this kind of character—how could it gain My praise?
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Words for the Young and the Old
636. God does not want to conquer people through chastisement, He does not want to always lead people by the nose. He wants people to obey His words and work in a disciplined fashion, and through this, satisfy His will. But people have no shame and constantly rebel against Him. I believe that it is best for us to find the simplest way to satisfy Him, that is, to obey all of His arrangements. If you can truly achieve this, you will be perfected. Is this not an easy, joyful thing? Take the path that you should take; pay no mind to what others say, and do not think too much. Are your future and your fate in your own hands? You always try to escape, wishing to take the worldly path—but why can you not get out? Why is it that you waver at a crossroads for many years and then end up choosing this path once again? After wandering for many years, why is it that you have now returned to this house in spite of yourself? Is this up to you? For those of you in this stream, if you do not believe Me then hear this: If you plan to leave, see if God lets you, see how the Holy Spirit moves you—experience it for yourself. To speak frankly, even if you suffer misfortune, you must suffer it in this stream, and if there is suffering, you must suffer here, today; you cannot go elsewhere. Is this clear to you? Where would you go? This is God’s administrative decree. Do you think that God’s selection of this group of people has no meaning? In His work today, God does not grow angry easily—but if people try to disrupt His plan, His face instantly changes, turning from bright to overcast. So, I advise you to settle down and submit to God’s designs, and allow Him to make you complete. Only people who do this are smart.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Path … (7)
637. Your destination and your fate are very important to you—they are of grave concern. You believe, if you do not do things with great care, it will mean that you cease to have a destination, that you have destroyed your own fate. But has it ever occurred to you that people who expend effort solely for the sake of their destination are laboring in vain? Such efforts are not genuine—they are fakery and deceit. If that is the case, then those who work only for the sake of their destination are on the threshold of their final defeat, for failure in one’s belief in God is caused by deceit. I have previously said that I do not like to be flattered or fawned on, or treated with enthusiasm. I like honest people to face up to My truth and My expectations. Even more, I like it when people are able to show the utmost care and consideration for My heart, and when they are even capable of giving up everything for My sake. Only in this way can My heart be comforted. Right now, how many things are there about you that I dislike? How many things are there about you that I like? Can it be that none of you has realized all the different manifestations of ugliness you have put forth for the sake of your destination?
In My heart, I do not wish to be hurtful to any heart that is positive and aspires upward, and still less do I wish to dampen the energy of anyone who is faithfully doing his duty. Nonetheless, I must remind each of you of your inadequacies and of the filthy soul that lies in the deepest recesses of your hearts. I do so in the hope that you will be able to offer up your true heart in coming face to face with My words, because what I hate most is people’s deceit toward Me. I only hope that, in the last stage of My work, you will be able to give your most outstanding performance, and that you will devote yourselves wholeheartedly, no longer half-hearted. Of course, I also hope that you can all have a good destination. Nevertheless, I still have My requirement, which is for you to make the best decision in offering up to Me your sole and final devotion. If someone does not have that sole devotion, then he is surely a treasured possession of Satan, and I will no longer keep him to use but send him home to be looked after by his parents.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. On Destination
638. In the future, whether you are blessed or cursed will be decided based upon your actions and behavior today. If you are to be perfected by God, it must be right now, in this era; there will not be another opportunity in the future. God truly wants to perfect you now, and this is not a manner of speaking. In the future, regardless of what trials befall you, what events take place, or what disasters you encounter, God wishes to perfect you; this is a definite and indisputable fact. Where can this be seen? It can be seen in the fact that the word of God, through the ages and generations, has never attained such a great height as it has today. It has entered the highest realm, and the work of the Holy Spirit on all of humanity today is without precedent. Hardly anyone from generations past had such an experience; even in the age of Jesus, the revelations of today did not exist. The words spoken to you, what you understand, and your experience have all reached a new peak. In the midst of trials and chastisements, you people do not leave, and this is sufficient proof that the work of God has attained an unprecedented splendor. This is not something that man is able to do, nor is it something that man maintains; rather, it is the work of God Himself. Thus, from many of the realities of the work of God, it can be seen that God wishes to perfect man, and He is certainly able to complete you. If you have this insight, and make this new discovery, then you will not wait for the second coming of Jesus; instead, you will allow God to make you complete in the present age. Therefore, you should each do your utmost, sparing no effort, so that you may be perfected by God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. On Everyone Performing Their Function
639. God’s wish is for every person to be made perfect, to be ultimately gained by Him, to be completely cleansed by Him, and to become people He loves. It matters not whether I say you are backward or of poor caliber—this is all fact. My saying this does not prove that I intend to forsake you, that I have lost hope in you, much less that I am unwilling to save you. Today I have come to do the work of your salvation, which is to say that the work I do is a continuation of the work of salvation. Every person has the chance to be made perfect: Provided that you are willing, provided that you pursue, in the end you will be able to achieve this result, and not one of you will be forsaken. If you are of poor caliber, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your poor caliber; if you are of high caliber, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your high caliber; if you are ignorant and illiterate, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your illiteracy; if you are literate, My requirements of you will be in accordance with the fact that you are literate; if you are elderly, My requirements of you will be in accordance with your age; if you are capable of providing hospitality, My requirements of you will be in accordance with this capability; if you say you cannot offer hospitality, and can only perform a certain function, whether it be spreading the gospel, or taking care of the church, or attending to other general affairs, My perfection of you will be in accordance with the function that you perform. Being loyal, obeying to the very end, and seeking to have supreme love for God—this is what you must accomplish, and there are no better practices than these three things. Ultimately, man is required to achieve these three things, and if he can achieve them, then he will be made perfect. But, above all, you must truly pursue, you must actively press onward and upward, and not be passive in that regard. I have said that every person has the chance to be made perfect and is capable of being made perfect, and this holds true, but you do not try to be better in your pursuit. If you do not achieve these three criteria, then in the end you must be eliminated. I want everyone to catch up, I want everyone to have the work and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, and be able to obey to the very end, because this is the duty that each of you should perform. When you have all performed your duty, you will all have been made perfect, you will also have resounding testimony. All those who have testimony are those who have been victorious over Satan and gained God’s promise, and they are the ones who will remain to live in the wonderful destination.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Restoring the Normal Life of Man and Taking Him to a Wonderful Destination
640. Humanity, having strayed from the Almighty’s provision of life, is ignorant of the purpose of existence, but fears death nonetheless. They are without help or support, yet still reluctant to close their eyes, and they steel themselves to drag out an ignoble existence in this world, sacks of flesh with no sense of their own souls. You live in this way, without hope, as do others, without aim. Only the Holy One of legend will save the people who, moaning in the midst of their suffering, long desperately for His arrival. So far, such belief has not been realized in those who lack consciousness. Nevertheless, the people still yearn for it so. The Almighty has mercy on these people who have suffered deeply; at the same time, He is fed up with these people who lack consciousness, as He has had to wait too long for an answer from humanity. He wishes to seek, to seek your heart and your spirit, to bring you water and food and to awaken you, that you may no longer be thirsty and hungry. When you are weary and when you begin to feel something of the bleak desolation of this world, do not be lost, do not cry. Almighty God, the Watcher, will embrace your arrival at any time. He is keeping watch by your side, waiting for you to turn back around. He is waiting for the day you suddenly recover your memory: when you realize that you came from God, that, at some unknown time you lost your direction, at some unknown time you lost consciousness on the road, and at some unknown time acquired a “father”; when you realize, furthermore, that the Almighty has always been keeping watch, waiting there a very, very long time for your return. He has been watching with desperate longing, waiting for a response without an answer. His watching and waiting are beyond any price, and they are for the sake of the human heart and the human spirit. Perhaps this watching and waiting are indefinite, and perhaps they are at an end. But you should know exactly where your heart and your spirit are right now.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Sighing of the Almighty
641. The love and compassion of God permeates each and every detail of the work of His management, and regardless of whether people are able to understand God’s good intentions, He is still tirelessly doing the work He set out to accomplish. Irrespective of how much people understand about God’s management, the help and the benefits brought to man by God’s work can be appreciated by everyone. Perhaps, on this day, you have not felt any of the love or life provided by God, but as long as you do not abandon God and do not give up on your determination to pursue the truth, there will come a day when God’s smile will be revealed to you. For the aim of the work of God’s management is to recover the people who are under the domain of Satan, not to abandon the people who have been corrupted by Satan and oppose God.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Appendix 3: Man Can Only Be Saved Amidst God’s Management
642. While God’s work of salvation is being done, every single person who can be saved will be saved as far as possible, and none of them discarded, for the purpose of God’s work is to save man. All those who, during the time of God’s salvation of man, are unable to achieve a change in their disposition—as well as all those who are unable to submit to God completely—will become objects for punishment. This stage of work—the work of words—will unlock for people all of the ways and mysteries that they do not understand, so that they can understand the will of God and God’s requirements of them, and so that they can have the prerequisites to put God’s words into practice and achieve changes in their disposition. God uses only words to do His work and does not punish people for being a little rebellious; this is because now is the time of the work of salvation. If anyone who acts rebelliously were punished, then no one would have the opportunity to be saved; everyone would be punished and fall into Hades. The purpose of words that judge man is to allow them to know themselves and submit to God; it is not to punish them with such judgment. During the time of the work of words, many people will expose their rebelliousness and defiance, as well as their disobedience toward the incarnate God. Nevertheless, He will not punish all these people as a result, but instead will only cast aside those who are corrupt to the core and who cannot be saved. He will give their flesh to Satan, and, in a few cases, terminate their flesh. Those remaining will continue to follow and experience being dealt with and pruned. If, while following, these people still are unable to accept being dealt with and pruned, and become more and more degenerate, then they will have lost their chance for salvation. Each person who has submitted to being conquered by words will have ample opportunity for salvation; God’s salvation of each of these people will show His utmost leniency. In other words, they will be shown the utmost tolerance. As long as people turn back from the wrong path, and as long as they can repent, God will give them opportunities to obtain His salvation. When humans first rebel against God, He has no desire to put them to death; rather, He does all He can to save them. If someone really has no room for salvation, then God will cast them aside. The reason God is slow to punish certain people is that He wishes to save everyone who can be saved. He judges, enlightens, and guides people only with words, and does not use a rod to put them to death. Employing words to bring humans salvation is the purpose and significance of the final stage of work.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. You Should Put Aside the Blessings of Status and Understand God’s Will to Bring Salvation to Man
643. In the vast expanse of the world, countless changes have occurred, oceans silting into fields, fields flooding into oceans, over and over. Except for He who rules over all things in the universe, no one is able to lead and guide this human race. There is no mighty one to labor or make preparations for this human race, still less is there anyone who can lead this human race toward the destination of light and liberate it from earthly injustices. God laments the future of mankind, He grieves at the fall of mankind, and is pained that mankind is marching, step by step, toward decay and the path of no return. A mankind that has broken the heart of God and renounced Him to seek the evil one: Has anyone ever given thought to the direction in which such a mankind might be headed? It is precisely for this reason why no one senses the wrath of God, why no one seeks a way to please God or tries to draw closer to God, and what is more, why no one seeks to comprehend God’s grief and pain. Even after hearing the voice of God, man continues on his own path, persists in straying from God, evading God’s grace and care, and shunning His truth, preferring to sell himself to Satan, the enemy of God. And who has given any thought—should man persist in his obduracy—to how God will act toward this humanity that has dismissed Him without a backward glance? No one knows that the reason for God’s repeated reminders and exhortations is because He has prepared in His hands a calamity like never before, one that will be unbearable to the flesh and soul of man. This calamity is not merely a punishment of the flesh, but also of the soul. You need to know this: When God’s plan falls through, and when His reminders and exhortations beget no response, what kind of rage will He unleash? It will be like nothing that has ever been experienced or heard by any created being. And so I say, this calamity is without precedent, and will never be repeated. For God’s plan is to create mankind only this once, and to save mankind only this once. This is the first time, and it is also the last. Therefore, no one can comprehend the painstaking intentions and fervent anticipation with which God saves mankind this time.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. God Is the Source of Man’s Life
a. Return to shore: a Chinese idiom, meaning “turn from one’s evil ways.”