3. If we accept the work of the last days of Almighty God, just what should we pursue in order to gain the way of eternal life?
Relevant Words of God:
In the last days, Christ uses a variety of truths to teach man, to expose the substance of man, and to dissect the words and deeds of man. These words comprise various truths, such as man’s duty, how man should obey God, how man should be loyal to God, how man ought to live out normal humanity, as well as the wisdom and the disposition of God, and so on. These words are all directed at the substance of man and his corrupt disposition. In particular, the words that expose how man spurns God are spoken in regard to how man is an embodiment of Satan, and an enemy force against God. In undertaking His work of judgment, God does not simply make clear the nature of man with a few words; He exposes, deals with, and prunes over the long term. These methods of exposure, dealing, and pruning cannot be substituted with ordinary words, but with the truth of which man is utterly bereft. Only methods such as these can be called judgment; only through judgment of this kind can man be subdued and thoroughly convinced into submission to God, and moreover gain true knowledge of God. What the work of judgment brings about is man’s understanding of the true face of God and the truth about his own rebelliousness. The work of judgment allows man to gain much understanding of the will of God, of the purpose of God’s work, and of the mysteries that are incomprehensible to him. It also allows man to recognize and know his corrupt essence and the roots of his corruption, as well as to discover the ugliness of man. These effects are all brought about by the work of judgment, for the essence of this work is actually the work of opening up the truth, the way, and the life of God to all those who have faith in Him. This work is the work of judgment done by God. If you do not regard these truths as important, if you think of nothing but how to avoid them, or how to find a new way out that does not involve them, then I say you are a grievous sinner. If you have faith in God, yet seek not the truth or the will of God, nor love the way that brings you closer to God, then I say that you are one who is trying to evade judgment, and that you are a puppet and a traitor who flees from the great white throne. God will not spare any of the rebellious who escape from under His eyes. Such men shall receive even more severe punishment. Those who come before God to be judged, and have moreover been purified, shall forever live in the kingdom of God. Of course, this is something that belongs to the future.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Christ Does the Work of Judgment With the Truth
Today’s work of conquest is to recover all the testimony and all the glory, and to have all men worship God, so that there is testimony among the created; this is the work to be done during this stage. How, exactly, is mankind to be conquered? By using the work of words of this stage to fully convince man; by using disclosure, judgment, chastisement, and merciless curse to bring him into utter submission; by disclosing man’s rebelliousness and judging his resistance so he may know the unrighteousness and filth of mankind, and thus use these things as a foil to God’s righteous disposition. It is chiefly through these words that man is conquered and fully convinced. Words are the means to the ultimate conquering of mankind, and all who accept God’s conquest must accept the smiting and judgment of His words. The process of speaking today is precisely the process of conquering. And just how should people cooperate? By knowing how to eat and drink these words, and achieving an understanding of them. As to how people are conquered, this is not something they can do by themselves. All you can do is, through eating and drinking these words, to come to know your corruption and filth, your rebelliousness and your unrighteousness, and fall down before God. If, after grasping God’s will, you are able to put it into practice, and if you have visions and are able to completely submit to these words, and not make any choices by yourself, then you will have been conquered—and it will have been as a result of these words.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. The Inside Truth of the Work of Conquest (1)
Whether the words spoken by God be plain or profound in outward appearance, they are all truths indispensable to man as he enters into life; they are the fount of living waters that enables man to survive in both spirit and flesh. They provide what man needs to stay alive; the principles and creed for conducting his daily life; the path, goal, and direction through which he must pass in order to receive salvation; every truth that he should possess as a created being before God; and every truth about how man obeys and worships God. They are the guarantee that ensures man’s survival, they are man’s daily bread, and they are also the sturdy support that enables man to be strong and stand up. They are rich in the truth reality of normal humanity as it is lived out by created mankind, rich in the truth by which mankind breaks free from corruption and eludes Satan’s snares, rich in the tireless teaching, exhortation, encouragement, and solace that the Creator gives to created humanity. They are the beacon that guides and enlightens men to understand all that is positive, the guarantee which ensures that men will live out and come into possession of all that is righteous and good, the criterion by which all people, events, and objects are measured, and also the navigation marker that leads men toward salvation and the path of light. Only in the practical experience of God’s words can man be supplied with the truth and with life; only herein can man come to understand what is normal humanity, what is a meaningful life, what is a genuine created being, what is real obedience to God; only herein can man come to understand how he should care for God, how to fulfill the duty of a created being, and how to possess the likeness of a real man; only herein can man come to understand what is meant by genuine faith and genuine worship; only herein can man come to understand who is the Ruler of the heavens and earth and all things; only herein can man come to understand the means by which the One who is the Master of all creation rules over, leads, and provides for creation; and only herein can man come to understand and grasp the means by which the One who is the Master of all creation exists, becomes manifest, and works. Separated from the real experience of God’s words, man has no real knowledge of or insight into God’s words and the truth. Such a man is a downright living corpse, a consummate shell, and all knowledge relating to the Creator has nothing whatsoever to do with him. In God’s eyes, such a man has never believed in Him, nor has he ever followed Him, and so God recognizes him neither as His believer nor as His follower, even less as a genuine created being.
—The Word, Vol. 2. On Knowing God. Preface
In pursuing life, you must pay attention to two things: first, understanding the truth within God’s words; second, understanding yourself within God’s words. These two things are most fundamental. There is no life or truth outside of God’s words. If you do not seek the truth within God’s words, where, then, can you go to seek it? Where is there truth in the world? All of the world’s books are compiled of the devil Satan’s theories, are they not? They do not contain even one iota of truth! The most important parts of understanding the truth in God’s words are understanding God within His words, understanding human life within His words, and understanding all aspects of the truth within His words, such as the true understanding of oneself and discovering the meaning of human existence within God’s words. All truth is within God’s words. You cannot enter into the truth unless it is done through the words of God. The main outcome you must attain is to know what it is to possess understanding and knowledge of God’s words. With a real understanding of God’s words, you can then understand the truth. This is the most fundamental thing.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. Only by Pursuing the Truth Can One Achieve a Change in Disposition
The truth that man needs to possess is found in the word of God, and it is a truth that is the most beneficial and helpful to mankind. It is the tonic and sustenance that your body needs, something that helps man restore his normal humanity. It is a truth that man should be equipped with. The more you practice God’s word, the more quickly your life will blossom, and the clearer the truth will become. As you grow in stature, you will see things of the spiritual world more clearly, and the more strength you will have to triumph over Satan. Much of the truth that you do not understand will be made clear when you practice the word of God. Most people are satisfied to merely understand the text of God’s word and focus on equipping themselves with doctrines rather than on deepening their experience in practice, but is that not the way of the Pharisees? So how can the phrase, “The word of God is life” be real for them? A person’s life cannot grow simply by reading God’s word, but only when the word of God is put into practice. If it is your belief that to understand God’s word is all that is needed to have life and stature, then your understanding is warped. Truly understanding God’s word occurs when you practice the truth, and you must understand that “only by practicing the truth can it ever be understood.” Today, after reading the word of God, you can merely say that you know God’s word, but you cannot say that you understand it. Some say that the only way to practice the truth is to understand it first, but this is only partially correct, and is certainly not entirely accurate. Before you have knowledge of a truth, you have not experienced that truth. Feeling that you understand something you hear in a sermon is not truly understanding—this is just taking possession of the literal words of the truth, and it is not the same as understanding the true meaning therein. Just having a superficial knowledge of the truth does not mean that you actually understand it or have knowledge about it; the true meaning of the truth comes from having experienced it. Therefore, only when you experience the truth can you understand it, and only then can you grasp the hidden parts of it. Deepening your experience is the only way to grasp the connotations, and to understand the essence of the truth. Therefore, you can go everywhere with the truth, but if there is no truth in you, then do not think of trying to convince even your family members, much less religious people. Without the truth you are like fluttering snowflakes, but with the truth you can be happy and free, and none can attack you. No matter how strong a theory is, it cannot overcome the truth. With the truth, the world itself can be swayed and mountains and seas moved, whereas a lack of the truth can lead to strong city walls being reduced to rubble by maggots. This is an obvious fact.
—The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. Once You Understand the Truth, You Should Put It Into Practice
In summary, taking Peter’s path in one’s faith means to walk the path of pursuing the truth, which is also the path of truly getting to know oneself and changing one’s disposition. Only by walking the path of Peter will one be on the path of being perfected by God. One must be clear on how, exactly, to walk Peter’s path, as well as how to put it into practice. First, one must put aside one’s own intentions, improper pursuits, and even family and all things of one’s own flesh. One must be wholeheartedly devoted; that is, one must completely devote oneself to the word of God, focus on eating and drinking of God’s words, concentrate on the search for the truth and the search for God’s intentions in His words, and try to grasp God’s will in everything. This is the most fundamental and vital method of practice. This was what Peter did after seeing Jesus, and it is only by practicing in this way that one can achieve the best results. Wholehearted devotion to the words of God primarily involves seeking the truth, seeking God’s intentions within His words, focusing on grasping the will of God, and understanding and obtaining more truth from God’s words. When reading His words, Peter was not focused on understanding doctrines, much less was he focused on obtaining theological knowledge; instead, he concentrated on comprehending the truth and grasping God’s will, as well as achieving an understanding of His disposition and His loveliness. Peter also attempted to understand the various corrupt states of man from God’s words, as well as man’s corrupt nature and actual shortcoming, thus meeting all aspects of God’s requirements of man in order to satisfy Him. Peter had so many correct practices that abided by the words of God; this was most in line with God’s will, and it was the best way a person could cooperate while experiencing God’s work. When experiencing the hundreds of trials from God, Peter examined himself strictly against every word of God’s judgment of man, every word of God’s revelation of man, and every word of His demands of man, and strived to fathom the meaning of those words. He tried in earnest to ponder and memorize every word that Jesus said to him, and achieved very good results. Through this manner of practicing, he was able to achieve an understanding of himself from God’s words, and he not only came to understand the various corrupt states of man, but also came to understand man’s essence, nature, and various shortcomings. This is what it means to truly understand oneself. From God’s words, Peter not only achieved a true understanding of himself, but from the things expressed in God’s words—God’s righteous disposition, what He has and is, God’s will for His work, His demands of mankind—from these words he came to know God completely. He came to know God’s disposition, and His essence; he came to know and understand what God has and is, as well as God’s loveliness and God’s demands for man. Although God did not speak back then as much as He does today, results in these aspects were nevertheless achieved in Peter. This was a rare and precious thing. Peter went through hundreds of trials, but did not suffer in vain. He not only came to understand himself from the words and the work of God, but he also came to know God. In addition, he particularly focused on God’s requirements of mankind within His words. In whichever aspects man should satisfy God to be in line with God’s will, Peter was able to put forth great effort in these aspects and achieve full clarity; this was extremely beneficial with regard to his own entry. No matter what God spoke of, as long as those words could become his life and they belonged to the truth, Peter was able to carve them into his heart to ponder and appreciate them frequently. After hearing the words of Jesus, he was able to take them to heart, which shows that he was especially focused on God’s words, and he truly achieved results in the end. That is, he was able to freely put the words of God into practice, accurately practice the truth and be in line with God’s will, act entirely in accordance with God’s intention, and give up his own personal opinions and imaginations. In this way, Peter entered into the reality of God’s words.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter
If one can satisfy God while fulfilling one’s duty, is principled in one’s words and actions, and can enter all aspects of the truth reality, then one is a person who is perfected by God. It can be said that the work and the words of God have been completely effective for such people, that God’s words have become their life, they have obtained the truth, and they are able to live in accordance with God’s words. After this, the nature of their flesh—that is, the very foundation of their original existence—will shake apart and collapse. After people possess God’s words as their life, they will become new people. If the words of God become their life, if the vision of God’s work, His requirements of humanity, His revelations to humans, and the standards for a true life that God requires them to meet become their life, if they live according to these words and truths, then they are perfected by the words of God. Such people are reborn, and have become new people through God’s words. This is the path by which Peter pursued the truth; it was the path of being perfected, perfected by God’s words, and gaining life from the words of God. The truth expressed by God became his life, and only then did he become a person who obtained the truth.
—The Word, Vol. 3. The Discourses of Christ of the Last Days. How to Walk the Path of Peter