You must have the ability to live independently, to be able to eat and drink God’s words by yourselves, to experience God’s words on your own, and to lead a normal spiritual life without the leadership of others. You must be able to depend on the words God speaks today to live, enter into true experience, and gain true insights. Only by doing this will you be able to stand firm. Today, many people do not fully understand the future tribulations and trials. In the future, some people will experience tribulations, and some will experience punishment. This punishment will be more severe; it will be the coming of the facts. Today, all that you experience, practice, and manifest lays the foundation for the trials of the future, and at the very least, you must be able to live independently. Today, the situation regarding many in the church is generally as follows: If there are leaders and workers to do the work, they are happy, and if there are not, they are unhappy. They pay no heed to the work of the church, nor to their own spiritual lives, and have not the slightest burden—they muddle along like a Hanhao bird.[a] Frankly speaking, in many people the work I have done is merely the work of conquest, for many are fundamentally unworthy of being made perfect. Only a small portion of people can be made perfect. If, having heard these words, you think “since the work done by God is only in order to conquer people, I’ll only follow perfunctorily,” how could such an attitude be acceptable? If you are truly possessed of conscience, then you must have a burden, and a sense of responsibility. You must say: “Regardless of whether I will be conquered or made perfect, I must bear this step of testimony properly.” As a creature of God, one can be utterly conquered by God, and ultimately, one becomes able to satisfy God, repaying God’s love with a heart that loves God and by completely devoting oneself to God. This is the responsibility of man, it is the duty that ought to be performed by man, and the burden that ought to be borne by man, and man must complete this commission. Only then does he truly believe in God. Today, is what you do in the church the fulfillment of your responsibility? This depends on whether you are burdened, and it depends on your own knowledge. In experiencing this work, if man is conquered and has true knowledge, then he will be capable of obedience regardless of his own prospects or fate. In this way, God’s great work will be realized in its entirety, for you people are capable of nothing more than this, and are unable to fulfill any higher demands. Yet in the future, some people will be made perfect. Their caliber will improve, in their spirits they will have a deeper knowledge, and their lives will grow…. Yet some are totally incapable of achieving this, and so cannot be saved. There is a reason why I say they cannot be saved. In the future, some will be conquered, some will be cast out, some will be made perfect, and some will be used—and so some will experience tribulations, some will experience punishment (both natural calamities and man-made misfortunes), some will be cast out, and some will survive. In this, each will be classified according to kind, with each group representing a type of person. Not all people will be cast out, nor will all people be made perfect. This is because the caliber of Chinese people is so poor, and there are only a tiny number among them who possess the kind of self-awareness that Paul had. Among you, few have the same determination to love God as Peter had, or the same kind of faith as Job had. There are hardly any among you who fear and serve Jehovah as David did, who have that same level of loyalty. How pitiful you are!
Today, talk of being made perfect is but one aspect. No matter what happens, you must bear this step of testimony properly. If you were asked to serve God in the temple, how would you do so? If you were not a priest, and had not the status of firstborn sons or the sons of God, would you still be capable of loyalty? Would you still be able to expend all your efforts in the work of expanding the kingdom? Would you still be capable of doing the work of God’s commission properly? Regardless of how much your life has grown, the work of today shall cause you to be fully convinced within, and to put aside all your notions. Whether or not you have what it takes to pursue life, God’s work will make you fully convinced. Some people say: “I just believe in God, and I don’t understand what it means to pursue life.” And some say: “I’m all muddled up in my belief in God. I know that I cannot be made perfect, and so I am ready to be chastised.” Even people like this, who are ready to be chastised or destroyed, must also be made to acknowledge that the work of today is carried out by God. Some people also say: “I do not ask to be made perfect, but, today, I am willing to accept all of God’s training, and am willing to live out normal humanity, improve my caliber, and obey all of God’s arrangements….” In this, they have also been conquered and borne testimony, which proves that there is some knowledge about God’s work within these people. This stage of work has been carried out extremely quickly, and in the future, it will be carried out even more rapidly abroad. Today, the people abroad can hardly wait, they are all rushing to China—and so if you cannot be made complete, you will be holding up the people abroad. At that time, regardless of how well you have entered or what you are like, when the time comes My work will be concluded and completed. My work will not be delayed by you. I do the work of all mankind, and there is no need for Me to spend any more time on you! You are too unmotivated, too lacking in self-awareness! You are not worthy of being made perfect—you barely have any potential! In the future, even if people carry on being so lax and sloppy, and remain incapable of improving their caliber, this will not impede the work of the entire universe. When the time comes for God’s work to finish, it will finish, and when the time comes for people to be cast out, they will be cast out. Of course, those who ought to be made perfect, and are worthy of being made perfect, shall also be made perfect—but if you truly have no hope, then God’s work will not wait for you! Ultimately, if you are conquered, this can also be considered bearing testimony. There are limits to what God asks of you; whatever height of stature man is able to achieve is the height of the testimony that is required of him. It is not as man imagines that such testimony will reach the very highest limits and that it will be resounding—there is no way this can be achieved in you Chinese people. I have engaged with you for all this time, and you yourselves have seen this: I have told you not to resist, not to be rebellious, not to do things that cause interruptions or are disruptive behind My back. I have called people out directly on this many times, but even that is not enough—the second they turn around they change, while some secretly resist, without any compunction. Do you think I know none of this? Do you think you can make trouble for Me and nothing will come of it? Do you think I do not know when you try to tear down My work behind My back? Do you think your petty tricks can stand in for your character? You are always seemingly obedient but are secretly treacherous, you hide sinister thoughts in your heart, and even death is not punishment enough for people like you! Do you think some minor work by the Holy Spirit in you can take the place of your reverence for Me? Do you think you gained enlightenment through calling out to Heaven? You know no shame! You are so worthless! Do you think your “good deeds” were moving to Heaven, and that, in turn He made an exception and bestowed you with a modicum of talent, making you silver-tongued, allowing you to deceive others, and to deceive Me? How unreasonable you are! Do you know where your enlightenment comes from? Do you not know whose food you ate growing up? How unconscionable you are! Some among you have not even changed after four or five years of being dealt with, and you are clear about these matters. You should be clear about your nature, and do not object when, one day, you are forsaken. Some, who deceive both those above and below them in their service, have been dealt with a lot; some, because they are greedy for money, have also been dealt with in no small amount; some, because they do not keep clear boundaries between men and women, have also been dealt with often; some, because they are lazy, only mindful of the flesh, and do not act according to principles when they visit the churches, have been subjected to being dealt with a lot; some, because they fail to bear testimony wherever they go, act willfully and recklessly, and even knowingly commit sins, have been warned about this many times; some who merely talk of words and doctrines during gatherings, acting superior to everyone else, having not the slightest reality of the truth, and plotting against and vying with their brothers and sisters—they have often been exposed because of this. I have spoken these words to you so many times, and today, I will speak no more of this—do what you want! Make your own decisions! Many people have not only been subjected to being dealt with this way for just one or two years, for some it has been three or four years, while some have experienced this for over a decade, having been subjected to being dealt with when they became believers, but to date there has been little change in them. What do you say, are you not like pigs? Could it be that God is unfair to you? Do not think that God’s work will not finish if you are incapable of reaching a certain level. Will God still wait for you if you are incapable of fulfilling His requirements? I tell you plainly—this is not the case. Do not have such a rosy view of things! There is a time limit to the work of today, and God is not just playing with you! Before, when it came to experiencing the trial of the service-doers, people thought that if they were to stand firm in their testimony to God and be conquered by Him, they had to reach a certain point—they had to be a service-doer willingly and gladly, and they had to praise God every day, and not be the slightest bit unbridled or slapdash. They thought that only then would they truly be a service-doer, but is that really the case? At that time, various kinds of people were revealed; they exhibited all manner of behaviors. Some made complaints, some disseminated notions, some stopped attending gatherings, and some even distributed the church’s money. Brothers and sisters were plotting against each other. It was truly a great emancipation, but there was one thing good about it: No one retreated. This was the strongest point. They bore a step of testimony before Satan because of this, and later gained the identity of God’s people and have made it as far as today. God’s work is not carried out as you imagine, instead, when the time is up, the work will end, regardless of what point you have reached. Some people might say: “By acting like this You do not save people or love them—You are not the righteous God.” I tell you plainly: The heart of My work today is conquering you and making you bear testimony. Saving you is just an adjunct; whether or not you can be saved depends on your own pursuit, and is not connected to Me. Yet I must conquer you; do not always try to lead Me around by the nose—today I work and save you, not the other way around!
Today, what you have come to understand is higher than that of any person throughout history who was not made perfect. Be it your knowledge of trials or the belief in God, it is all higher than that of any believer in God. The things you understand are what you come to know before you undergo the trials of environments, but your real stature is completely incompatible with them. What you know is higher than what you put into practice. Though you say that people who believe in God should love God, and should strive not for blessings but only to meet God’s will, what is manifested in your lives is a far cry from this, and has been greatly tainted. Most people believe in God for the sake of peace and other benefits. Unless it is to your benefit, you do not believe in God, and if you cannot receive God’s graces, you fall into a sulk. How could what you have said be your true stature? When it comes to inevitable family incidents such as children falling ill, loved ones being hospitalized, poor crop yields, and persecution by family members, even these oft-occurring, quotidian matters are too much for you. When such things happen, you are thrown into a panic, you do not know what to do—and most of the time, you complain about God. You complain that God’s words tricked you, that God’s work made a mockery of you. Do you not have such thoughts? Do you think such things happen among you only rarely? You spend every day living amid such events. You do not give the slightest thought to the success of your faith in God, and how to meet God’s will. Your true stature is too small, even smaller than a little chick’s. When your family’s business loses money you complain about God, when you find yourself in an environment without God’s protection you still complain about God, and you complain even when one of your chicks dies or an old cow in the pen falls ill. You complain when it is time for your son to get married but your family does not have enough money; you want to perform the duty of hosting, but cannot afford it, and then you also complain. You are overflowing with complaints, and you sometimes do not attend gatherings or eat and drink the words of God because of this, sometimes becoming negative for a great length of time. Nothing that happens to you today bears any relation to your prospects or fate; these things would also happen even if you did not believe in God, yet today you pass responsibility for them to God, and insist on saying that God has cast you out. What of your belief in God? Have you truly offered up your life? If you suffered the same trials as Job, none among you who follow God today would be able to stand firm, you would all fall down. And there is, quite simply, a world of difference between you and Job. Today, if half your assets were seized you would dare to deny the existence of God; if your son or daughter were taken from you, you would run the streets crying foul; if your only way to make a living reached a dead end, you would try and take it up with God; you would ask why I said so many words in the beginning to scare you. There is nothing you would not dare to do at such times. This shows that you have not gained any true insights, and have no true stature. Thus, the trials in you are too big, for you know too much, but what you truly understand is not even a thousandth of what you are aware of. Do not stop at mere understanding and knowledge; you had best see how much you can truly put into practice, how much of the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit was earned through the sweat of your own hard work, and in how many of your practices you have realized your own resolve. You should take your stature and practice seriously. In your belief in God, you should not try to merely go through the motions for anyone—whether or not you can ultimately gain the truth and life depends on your own pursuit.
a. The story of the Hanhao bird is very similar to Aesop’s fable of the ant and the grasshopper. The Hanhao bird prefers to sleep instead of building a nest while the weather is warm, despite repeated warnings from his neighbor, a magpie. When winter arrives, the bird freezes to death.